One of the purposes of my blog is to explore and search out new ideas (at least to myself). Recently I seem to be seeing a lot of attention to "Fascism". At the above link sunny accused me of being a Fascist indirectly. Now in his defence I called him a communist (on this blog) and he has not responded. His links to Lenin's Tomb seems to explain it all. We should all honor a man that killed around 4 million of his own people. Not! Even if we are to claim 100,000 dealths then the US would need 100 years to kill 4 million. But since this has brought up some interesting intersections, I thought I would discuss "Fascism" and the left-right divide.
So first let me start with definitions:
1. A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.
2. A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a system of government.
n : a political theory advocating an authoritarian hierarchical government (as opposed to democracy or liberalism)
I believe in free markets with well defined property rights, decentralized government controls that follows all the principles of a liberal democracy and decry racism and belligerent nationalism. Well it sounds like I do not meet any of the Fascist principles. Let us look further into these issues.
Let me start with Dr. Rummels views in Hitler was a Socialist:
What is socialism? It is a politico-economic philosophy that believes government must direct all major economic decisions by command, and thus all the means of production for the greater good, however defined. There are three major divisions of socialism, all antagonistic to each other. One is democratic socialism, that places the emphasis on democratic means, but then government is a tool for improving welfare and equality. A second division is Marxist-Leninism, which based on a "scientific theory" of dialectical materialism, sees the necessity of a dictatorship ("of the proletariat") to create a classless society and universal equality. Then, there is the third division, or state socialism. This is non or anti-Marxist dictatorship that aims at near absolute economic control for the purpose of economic development and national power, all construed to benefit the people.
Mussolini's fascism was a state socialism that was explicitly anti-Marx and aggressively nationalistic. Hitler's National Socialism was state socialism at its worse. It not only shared the socialism of fascism, but was explicitly racist. In this it differs from the state socialism of Burma today, and that of some African and Arab dictatorships.
Also note that Nazi party never won popular support here:
Communists 4.8 million votes
Social Democrats 7.2 million votes
Centre party 5.5 million votes
Nationalists 3.1 million votes
Other parties 1.4 million votes
Nazis 17.3 million votes
To be clear, National Socialism differs from Marxism in its nationalism, emphasis on folk history and culture, idolization of the leader, and its racism. But the Nazi and Marxist-Leninists shared a faith in government, an absolute ruler, totalitarian control over all significant economic and social matters for the good of the working man, concentration camps, and genocide/democide as an effective government policy (only in his last years did Stalin plan for his own Holocaust of the Jews).
Mein Kampf, Chapter 4:
If the National Socialist Movement should fail to understand the fundamental importance of this essential principle, if it should merely varnish the external appearance of the present State and adopt the majority principle, it would really do nothing more than compete with Marxism on its own ground. For that reason it would not have the right to call itself a philosophy of life. If the social programme of the movement consisted in eliminating personality and putting the multitude in its place, then National Socialism would be corrupted with the poison of Marxism, just as our national-bourgeois parties are.
This appears Socialist and leaning to Marxism. And from Gregor Strasser, a National Socialist theologian states:
We National Socialists are enemies, deadly enemies, of the present capitalist system with its exploitation of the economically weak ... and we are resolved under all circumstances to destroy this system.
Doesn't look like Socialist like the capatalist system. And:
There are two patterns for the realization of socialism. The first pattern (we may call it the Lenin or Russian pattern) . . . . the second pattern (we may call it the Hindenburg or German Pattern) nominally and seemingly preserves private ownership of the means of production and keeps the appearance of ordinary markets, prices, wages, and interest rates. There are, however, no longer entrepreneurs, but only shop managers ... bound to obey unconditionally the orders issued by government.
By Steve Kanga Myth:Hitler was a Leftist...
Many conservatives accuse Hitler of being a leftist, on the grounds that his party was named "National Socialist." But socialism requires worker ownership and control of the means of production. In Nazi Germany, private capitalist individuals owned the means of production, and they in turn were frequently controlled by the Nazi party and state. True socialism does not advocate such economic dictatorship -- it can only be democratic. Hitler's other political beliefs place him almost always on the far right. He advocated racism over racial tolerance, eugenics over freedom of reproduction, merit over equality, competition over cooperation, power politics and militarism over pacifism, dictatorship over democracy, capitalism over Marxism, realism over idealism, nationalism over internationalism, exclusiveness over inclusiveness, common sense over theory or science, pragmatism over principle, and even held friendly relations with the Church, even though he was an atheist.
We will get back to this later.
Let me see what Wikipedia has to say aboutFascism:
Fascism was typified by attempts to impose state control over all aspects of life. The definitional debates and arguments by academics over the nature of fascism, however, fill entire bookshelves. There are clearly elements of both left and right ideology in the development of Fascism.
Being a conservative, I do not believe in strong state control.
The US ,or world, political spectrum is represented as a simplistic line as in Left-Right Politics:
George Orwell once argued that the difficulty in classifying Left versus Right is due in part to the propensity for nascent factions of an ideology to be disavowed and labeled as being on the opposing side of the left-right divide by their erstwhile comrades - or they may so choose to label themselves to highlight their disagreement. This results in incremental or evolutionary doctrinal distinctions being placed in opposition in the popular perception of the left-right political spectrum.
My first political science instructor stated that the straight line was not sophisticated enough and he drew a circle with a small gap on the bottom. He said as politics went to the extreme left and right end up being closer to each other than the centrists. I believe that the closest were anarchists and communists.
For a start, Communism was never a social system at all, but a political MOVEMENT. There is a social system called ‘communism’, which literally means people living in communes (barracks), with no private ownership of property, no government, and everything shared out on the principle ‘from each according to their ability, to each according to their need’.
So now that I have concluded our political spectrum can not be analyzed by a line then what other model can we think of to explain the differences in political groups. A good place to start is Political Spectrum. The first chart is Nolan Chart. I like this because it shows that Liberatarians strive for more economic and personal freedoms. But this also places Fascist and Communist in the same lower left corner, so maybe too simplistic. But try the test anyway.
And now for something completely different...Take the test. This might be the best model but what do you think?
Next model is Pournelle. While I like the statism as an axis in "state as ultimate evil" and "state worship", but I see that Fascism and Naxisism as having rationalism also. All political groups want to portray themselves as not "irrational" but as "reason entroned".
The next model is Friesian Political Spectrum. It starts with the Nolan Chart and then makes it 3d with Z axis being liberty value. How about another test? I will try to study this later.
And lastly this chart is interesting. This seems to imply that we are more likely to get along with others in our group. But some international bonds are formed when both parties are willing to spend the social and political energy to get past cultural divides. Because I see the relationship of Japan and the US to be under this mutual cooperation, even though Japan is Confucian and the US is English Speaking.
I don't expect this to explain all aspects of fascism but at least get a primer started on thinking of how political parties in the US and the world should be analyzed in relationship to each other. One of my philosphies is that people or to a broader sense groups should be allowed to express themselves in their own words and not imposed by outside groups that want to disparage such groups in hyperbolic political attacks.
Progressivism is not dead! (But it's on life support ...)
Labels: Democratic Peace