"All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state."
What is Fascism? It is a word that defines a specific social, political, and economic order... but what manner of order does it define? There are those who call it\'s definition vague and meaningless. Yet, the word exists, thus there must be a meaning to which the word is connoted.
Benito Mussolini coined the word "Fascismo" when he united Italy under a new form of political organization. He described it as "the merger between government and corporate power." And indeed, the economics of Fascism is Corporatism (or Mercantilism). But what of it\'s Social and Political structures?
The most extreme example of Fascism was brought about in Nazi Germany. Adolph Hitler has no doubt become the stereotypical incarnation of political evil, yet he is in no way alone in the abuse of power throughout the course of human history and the dark history of the State. What we can learn, however, from the German experience in Fascism, as well as the Italian and Spanish in the same era, can help us define the basic ideals and formations that make Fascism what it is.
What Fascism essentially is, is the merger between the two most popular anti-liberal (1) ideologies of the late 19th and early 20th centuries combined to create a new political order.
The first, is Nationalism.
Nationalism was a common European concept, arising from the Napoleon era of the Central State (which came at odds with the old Feudalist order that had stretched over Medieval Europe for centuries after the fall of Rome).
As defined by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (see here: http://plato.stanford.edu/ entries/nationalism/) it means: "(A: the attitude that the members of a nation have when they care about their national identity and (B: the actions that the members of a nation take when seeking to achieve (or sustain) self-determination."
Nationalism, in a nutshell, is the ideal that each Nation should be seen as a single entity. That each individual is subject to the Nation as a whole. That the State is the proper head of each Nation, and that each Nation should vie primarily for it\'s security, prosperity, and success (no matter the consequences wrought against other Nations). National Exceptionalism is employed... where it may be considered wrong for a neighboring nation to invade another territory unprovoked, it is perfectly fine for THEIR Nation to do so.
The most extremes of Nationalism will demand absolute conformity in Religious beliefs, political ideology, sexual (and other) preferences, material possessions, and (as is the case in Nazi Germany) race, ethnicity, and genetics.(2)
The domestic programs of Nationalism are focused on absolute submission and regimentation. The State has complete hegemonic control over every institution of society. All rights (be they individual rights to life, liberty, or property) are subject to the needs of the State (which are perceived to be the needs of the Nation at large). Subjugation of the masses is necessary to quell any possible political dissent (which may infiltrate religion as well) and to ensure the security of the State.
The policies of the Nationalist State is generally that of constant fear and false promises. They will promise the people security from all threats (3) (though they are only interested in their own security). They will promise prosperity, and happiness, and even freedom (despite the actual meaning of the word). In order to scare the populace they must create enemies. These enemies may be domestic (drugs, guns, alcohol, rebels, separatists, criminals and anarchists) or foreign (armies, terrorists, impending doom of any sort) but both implies the requirement of the people to give up their liberties in order to gain "safety" from these threats. Complete compliance is necessitated to give the State what it needs to fight these malcontents and ensure the public good.
The foreign goal of the Nationalist State is Imperialism and Militarism. The Nationalist State will use the force of it\'s armies and weapons to impose it\'s will on any weaker opponent, to subjugate it\'s people to the oppression and taxation of the Empire, and to set up it\'s form of government in place of opposing structures. Continual war (whether against crime, poverty, illiteracy, etc. at home... or against terrorism, armies, and enemies overseas) is needed by the Nationalist State to continue their false legitimacy and feed it\'s fiat authority. Nation Building and Globalism are all interests of the Nationalist State.
The economic goals of the Nationalist State is regimentation and Neo-Feudalism (4). To garner the needed finances, the State will increase taxes and receive it\'s wealth from the financial elite... which creates not only a Political Class at odds with the interests of the public, but an entrenched Plutocracy (5) that supplies the State\'s needs and politically favored goals in exchange for favors and special rights.
The political structure of the Nationalist State is usually Oligarchy (the rule of the few) or Monarchy/Dictatorship (the rule of one). At any case it is marked by Despotism and Draconian Rule... which, in it\'s ultimate extreme, can be Totalitarian (total control of society by the State). A Nationalist State does not usually bother with Democratic process... but if it does, it is almost always one sided and biased. In other words... the Nationalist State will not seriously risk it\'s hold to power.
Now let us turn to the second part of the combination... Socialism.
Socialism arose out the minds of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels; two German social and political scientists/philosophers. Together they published Das Kapital (The Capital; see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wi ki/Das_Kapital) which was a critique of Western Capitalism (lasseiz-faire Free Markets) and the Industrial Revolution. In essence, the two came to the conclusion that Capitalism concentrates wealth in the higher socio-economic classes of society (the Bourgeoisie) who exploit the poor, middle, and working classes (the Proliteriat).
While these Socialists embraced the Liberal concepts of Human Rights, Freedom, and Anti-Authoritarianism (as well as Religious Tolerance)... they stood at odds with the Lockean principle of Property Rights (6) as well as the Liberal tradition of lasseiz-faire economics (the freedom of trade and contract) and instead favored Collective Communitarianism, Redistribution of Wealth, and massive regulations which would offset Industrial Progress.
The Online Dictionary Defines it as: "a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole." The absolute collective control/ownership of capital and property is Communism (Leninism). This is carried to it\'s extremes in International Socialism (Bolshevik Communism/Trotskyism), which holds that an international revolution of the Proletariat against the Bourgeoisie would be the only way to ensure Communist ideas. Other Socialist ideologies held that Capitalism was a necessary evil for society to gain wealth, but that the State would then act (at the interests of the masses) to redistribute that wealth to those who need it, and would also regulate and "tame" the "wild horse" of the Free Market... these people called themselves Progressives (Modern Left-Wing Liberals). (7)
Communist ideology eventually came under the possession of several Despots (Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse Dong, Pol Pot, etc.) who used the underlying premise of Socialism to justify State take-overs of society which led to devastating results. These travesties led many Socialists and Communists to embrace Anarchism or Local Communalism as the best way to put forward Marx\'s theories.
And yet, the theories Marx espoused, though widely accepted, are not representative of the facts. The ideal that Capitalism always concentrates wealth to a certain sector of society at the expense of the other is not at all true, and has never been proven. The definition of the word "exploitation" is all the more vague when referred to in Marx\'s manifesto. While the Liberal tradition believed law and justice came from the ideas of natural rights (life, liberty, property) and that only an infringement of these rights could be rightly seen as unjust and necessitate defense. (8)
Though there are differing political structures, social, and foreign policies in the varieties of Socialism, the common area of agreement is regarding economics. Socialist economics means government taxation and regulation of commodities/services, and redistribution of wealth according to Marx\'s (from each according to his ability, to each according to his need) dictum. (9) This is essentially controlled "capitalism", or the so-called "third" way. Communist economics means government ownership and production of commodities/services, and common (though the State actually decides) ownership of wealth. This is essentially totalitarian economic policy, in which all free enterprise no longer exists and is replaced by the State in all areas of personal economic life.
Now... to the combination of both Nationalism and Socialism that creates the hybrid political order; National Socialism (i.e. Fascism).
The combination of an Imperial and Militaristic foreign policy, an entrenched political (and possibly financial) elite, the regimentation of social life on the basis of conformity and compliance, economic control of industrial, banking, and financial institutions (though technically in private ownership) (10), taxation and redistribution of wealth, welfarism, corporatism, and a strong belief in Nationalism (the Nation above all else)... resulted in the rise of a new political order. A political order based on total State control of social and economic life, the use of propoganda and fear (via the media) to ensure conformity and submission, and the use of Warmongering to pursue Empire. An order supposedly in the interests of the middle-class and workers, and in the interests of National Security and Pride.
To quote the founding father of Fascism himself...
On Economics: “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power”
On War: “War alone brings up to their highest tension all human energies and imposes the stamp of nobility upon the peoples who have the courage to make it.”
On Social/Political Order: “It is the State which educates its citizens in civic virtue, gives them a consciousness of their mission and welds them into unity”
and On Nationalism combined with Socialism: “We deny your international capitalism, because it is a luxury which only the upper classes can afford; the working people are hopelessly bound to their native shores.”
Of course, Fascism was defeated in WWII wasn\'t it? A falser statement there has not been.
No, in fact Fascism has it\'s roots in American policy back to the very founding. Alexander Hamilton spoke of Empire, Nationalism, and Federal interests intertwined with the interests of Banking, Finance, and Industry. Luckily, the Jeffersonian Liberals won the day on that argument.
Fascism (an early form, before it was referred to as Fascism) came to America the first time in the incarnation of the Republican Party (gee, I wouldn\'t have guessed that). When Lincoln took office in 1861, the Whiggish policies (derived from Hamiltonian ideology) favored High Tariffs (which would bankrupt the Agrarian South in the interests of Northern Industry), Federal Government superseding the independence of sovereign States, and an Imperalistic and Mercintilistic polices towards the Indian populated Western Territories. During his reign, Lincoln suspended Habeus Corpus, arrested people without warrants, used propoganda and fear mongering to subjugate the States under his control, ordered the invasion of independent southern States (assuming their natural and constitutional right to secede), allowed the killings of southern (and Indian) civilians, the bombardment of peaceful southern cities, instituted the first draft, the first income tax, and destroyed the Constitutional Republic of Jefferson and Washington... replacing it with a consolodated Federal Empire.
The next few decades was a history of One Party control (the Republicans) over Washington, militaristic expansion, and ever growing Federal powers. The Democratic Party (started by Jeffersonian Statesman Andrew Jackson) was still the minority shouting for Liberty. Unfortunately, with the election of Woodrow Wilson in 1912... the Democratic Party embraced the Rebublican Progressivism and moved America one step closer to absolute Fascism. Wilson instituted the third national bank (the Federal Reserve) which lay under the control of private banking interests (Rockefeller, Rothschild, and the Bilderbergs, etc.) and created a fiat dollar system (seperated from hard currency) that has led to 95% inflation since it\'s inception, the boom/bust cycle (including the Great Depression and our current Recession) based on artificial credit and arbitrary setting of interest rates, and a secretive monopoly over our monetary system. As well, Wilson instituted the Income Tax (16th ammendment), a failed attempt at Prohibiting Alcohol (repealed only to make room for Drug Prohibition still in effect today), and involved us in an unnecessary war (which allowed him to implement the Alien & Sedition Acts). (11)
Later that century America would take the greatest leap towards Fascism with the election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt after the start of the Great Depression. Roosevelt brought a purely Corporatist/Socialist economic policy (the New Deal), partnered with Draconian crackdowns and regimentation, propoganda and fear-mongering, as well as increased centralized power in the Executive Branch. This regimentation of society helped in the outset of WWII (see 11) including the Draft, imprisonment of Japanese and German citizens (the latter of which is downplayed in history), and one of the greatest losses of lives in American history.
The 10-year prolonging of the Depression (due to misguided Keynesian policies) also led to starvation, impoverishment, and much suffering. The programs implemented in the Fascist New Deal led to dependency on the Federal Government that carries through until today.
Following FDR came Truman (who should be correctly labeled a war criminal), LBJ\'s New Deal lite (the Great Society) combined with American Imperialism in Vietnam, and most recently, George W. Bush\'s unwarranted invasion of Iraq for oil interests as well as his Corporatist Bailouts of Wall-Street.
Now we are left with Barrack Obama... who ran on the platform of "Change" and "Hope"... yet for all the rhetoric, nothing has really changed. We are still involved in the occupation of Iraq (except in the cities!), Afghanistan, and an invasion of Pakistan (possibly Iran if we keep going). We still have our Army stationed in over 100 "soveriegn" countries world-wide. We are still holding prisoners without trial or warrant. We are still spying on citizen, the "USAPATRIOT" act is still in effect, and none of our Constitutional rights have been restored. Obama has yet to give up any of Bush\'s attained Executive Powers and Privileges. We are still bailing out Banking and Financial institutions, and regimenting them in service to the State and it\'s political interests. Even the Auto Industry is now subservient to the State.
On top of it all, the Health Care Industry (already subservient to State and Corporate interests) is threatened to be further regimented by the State.
The United States of America, is now marked by the political order of Oligarchy and Plutocracy. The Democratic process that exists is a sham and a farcical. Those in power (the political class) are beholden to the Financial and Banking interests via the Corrupt, Secretive, and Evil Federal Reserve System. Our foreign policy is marked by Militarism and Imperialism. We have Client States that serve our political and oil interests. We use belligerent diplomacy, and follow the twisted ideology of Globalists and the murderous Neo-Conservatives.
Our economy is marked with Corruption, Socialism, and Corporatism. We have direct Taxation of personal wealth, coupled with irresponsible spending and borrowing that is driving us to bankruptcy (as well as a printing press driving our money to devalument). We have massive regulation of private property, voluntary contracts, and free enterprise. We have redistribution of wealth and Welfarism. We give subsidies to favored business and stifle competition with beauracratic red-tape and protectionist tariffs (in order to control the freedom to trade).
We have Domestic Tyranny in the form of the War on Drugs and the War on Guns. Police Statism is becoming all the more common. (12) We have social regimentation in the form of Political Correctness and Hate-Speech laws, as well as "Free Speech Zones", Permits, and other State-sanctioned rights/freedoms.
Arbitrary Rule and Special Rights are rampant among the Political Class, the Constitution is a dead paper, and mystification is used (rather than, as in the old world, with Religious Clerics) with the modern institutions of Teachers, Scientists, Professors, and Financial "Experts" who serve political interests at the behest of the State.
Flag Waving, faux Patriotism, and Loyalty to the Federal Government have replaced the American spirit of Rebellion to Tyranny, Radicalism, and Loyalty to Human Freedoms. "Mainstream" Statism (13) has replaced the Liberal Tradition of Individual Rights, Free Markets, and Peace.
American Fascism is not only a possibility, it is the reality we must face. We do not live in a Republic... nor do we live in a Democracy... we live in a Fascist State, which slowly encroached until it engulfed our entire political system of governance. It is no longer in it\'s infancy, it is full blown and in the day-light.
It isn\'t beholden the racism of the Nazi\'s, or the Religionism of Old Europe... but instead it has embraced Science and Multiculturalism as a way to legitimize it\'s position and continue it policies.
Things are still not entirely hopeless. Though I strongly doubt any possibility of a return to the original republic by working inside the system, there are other options. My personal favorite is Secession, but all paths to Liberty are fine (as long as they do not entail the negation of our principle of non-aggression in it\'s means).
The Doctrine of Fascism, of National Socialism, as set forth by Mussolini is far from dead. In fact it is manifest in the American Empire today. The ideal of Nationalism is as old as Rome, Persia, and Ancient Egypt. The ideal of Socialism is younger than the very nation it now infects. Yet the combination of these two has created one of the greatest forms of political evil to ever plauge society, to rob it of it\'s wealth, to enslave it\'s citizens, and to murder, plunder, and rape society. Fascism (whether Totalitarian in it\'s nature or not) is the ultimate mixture of Statist ideology.
As Mussolini said: "All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state."
We must counter: "All things outside the State, nothing within the State, all of us against the State."
-Justin T. Buell
(1) Liberal in the Classical Sense (as put forward under John Locke). The ideology of Personal Freedoms, Individual Human Rights (including Life, Liberty, and Property), and a lasseiz-faire outlook on economics.
(2) This ideal came from Darwin\'s "Origin of the Species". However, the principle of evolution (survival of the fittest), was misconstrued and put into racial terms. The Aryan Race was seen as the master (more highly evolved) race, that must fight against (and rid their civilization of) the "lesser" races in order to thrive properly. This is generally referred to as Social Darwinism, and was a very popular scientific theory of the early 20th century. After the fall of Nazi Germany, it lost it\'s appeal.
(3) They never take into account the threat that the State itself poses to the public good.
(4) Fuedalism is the common socio-political system that engulfed Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire. It entailed set classes (peasant, lord, noble, king, merchant, knight, priest, etc.) that held certain importance in society. Rather than based around a Nation State, Feudalism was rather decentralized and local (in most cases).
Neo-Fuedalism is the new Elitist structure by which the Central State merges it\'s interests with those of Plutocrats.
(5) The socio-political system in which the rich elites control the will of the State.
(6) Locke held that Property sprung from Labor and Usage. To mix labor with unclaimed property (for survival or happiness) was to gain ownership and control. He argued that the only legitimate way to earn property was in this manner, or to exchange it for something else (property, labor, money), or to receive it as a gift or charity. To obtain property in any other way is involuntary, violent, and an infringement on a person\'s natural rights... this constitutes theft.
(7) The Left-Right dichotomy that we refer to today (left-wing vs. right-wing) actually springs from the French Assembly during and after the Revolution of the late 18th century. The Conservatives (in favor of the old Aristocracy) sat on the right side (or wing) of the assembly, as where the Liberals (the classical liberals who began the French Revolution against the Monarchy) sat on the left side.
(8) Though all classical Liberals agreed on this point, there was (and continues to be) a split on whether the protection of rights should be guaranteed by a central government (democratically chosen and constitutionally limited in Republican form) or whether the State should be totally abolished (Anarchism).
(9) This isn\'t necessarily a bad concept, if done voluntarily. For it simply means that those who have will give to those who have not, but are in need.
(10) i.e. Private Profit, Public Losses
(11) The Treaty of Versailles in 1919 actually led to the disgrace of Germany (and the failure of the Weimar Republic) which gave rise to Nazism and WWII. It should also be noted that the Japanese front of WWII was antagonized by FDR purposely (via an embargo on trade) to justify intervention in Europe (due to the German/Japanese Alliance, or "Axis" that was formed earlier).
(12) Recently, in the final days of the Bush administration, he signed an order allowing a military unit to serve as a "police" force in domestic crisis.
(13) The current left-right dichotomy of political ideology is very much flawed and inconsistent (it also bears no resemblance to it\'s origins... see (7) ). While the Left Liberals believe in personal civil liberties, they stand against the right to bear arms and the absolute right to property. And while the Right Conservatives believe in Limited Government, they support Military Adventurism and Un-Constitutional "Patriot" acts at home.
"All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state."