Fascism – then and now

September 25, 2006 at 12:55 pm (Islam, Islamism, Religion, The United States, The West)

Some characteristics of a fascist state or ideology is excessive nationalism or patriotism, authoritarianism, and subjecting everything to The Cause (which is often The Nation). They also tend towards totalitarianism.

In Germany during the Third Reich and in Italy during Mussolini’s regime (and even in Japan during the militarists), everything and everyone was rated relative to how it contributed to the State. Thus, capitalism, to some degree, remained, as long as the corporations served or contributed to the State. The State – which included with such designation its fascist government – could not be challenged. To challenge the State would be to commit high treason. To fail to love the State as much as its citizens were directed to, to fail to contribute as one may or as one is directed to would also be to commit high treason. Any crime against the State was high treason; all enemies of the State were enemies of the people, the Nation, the State, and so on.

One problem this created was relative moral value: people and things and acts and laws were all rated according to how they contributed to the State. What in some instances could be tolerated in others would not be. (Protests and tolerating homosexuals are excellent examples of this.)

Would this not describe the Soviet Union as well? Perhaps, to a degree; but the Soviet Union was not so much devoted to the State as much as to the international proletariat’s revolution, to socialism. Its economy, after all, was socialist – and this not because it served the State but because it identified the State. Thus, the State was made subject to Socialism, and therefore for the most part could not be called fascist. When this changed – when the State became supreme over even Socialism – then one could call it a fascist state.

But after Nazism, Mussolini-ism, Japanese militarism, and other forms of fascism, a new fascism is arising. A far more deadly fascism because its scope and goal is international. This is Islamist fascism. (Or Islamo-fascism, as Islamic sharī‛ah, which defines Islam, can be said to be fascist in addition to being totalitarian and authoritarian.) Unlike traditional fascism, one cannot say it is devoted to the State as we understand it. But it is fascist in that it is utterly devoted to the creation and maintainence of a political polity: the Caliphate. Until then, it is utterly devoted to the struggle of Islamists to make Islamism supreme. As authoritarian and totalitarian as an Islamist system is, the inevitable consequences will produce a fascist state. Even if Islamists succeed in stalling themselves in a number of different states (as they are in Saudi Arabia and Iran, and as they are coming to be in Somalia, and trying to be in Algeria, Egypt, and other areas), this movement is still fascist because this multi-state-ness is only transitory to the one, worldwide Caliphate.

So when this movement is condemned as “fascist,” the description is accurate. Unfortunately for the new fascists, The West has a habit of prevailing over fascism. As much as they may proclaim it, the victory will not go to the Islamist fascists – who agitate for their agenda on a variaety of fronts in a variety of ways using a variety of techniques. If The West will it, The West will prevail.

So. Question for The West: Do you will to win?

(This post is dedicated to Isaac Schrödinger and The Lioness of Europe Oriana Fallaci. The latter fought the good fight with eloquence and feistyness that inspired us all, and she won; the former is fighting the good fight, so let us help him fight on! The Lioness would approve.)

Update: In the comments, dicentra made some very pertinent and important points, which I would like to add to the body of this post:

To your definition of fascism, I would add the following:

• An overarching mythology relating to a time of past glory that must be recaptured. The Nazis saw themselves as the rightful heirs of the Roman Empire; Islamofascists want to (re)create the Caliphate.

• A mythology of inherent superiority. The Nazis said that Aryans were the superior race; Islamofascists say that Islam is the superior religion.

• The “urge to purge” anything that isn’t superior. For the Nazis, that was the Jews and all non-Aryans. And homosexuals and Jehovah’s Witnesses and gypsies and anyone who resisted them. For the Islamists, it’s also the Jews and homosexuals and anyone who doesn’t convert to Islam.

I would say that the Inherent Superior mythology is one thing that separates the Fascists from the equally oppressive Soviets. The Soviet mythology envisioned an economic Utopia, but they weren’t particularly concerned with ethnicity or race. They just eliminated anyone they considered to be an ideological opponent.

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3 Comments

  1. dicentra said,

    To your definition of fascism, I would add the following:

    • An overarching mythology relating to a time of past glory that must be recaptured. The Nazis saw themselves as the rightful heirs of the Roman Empire; Islamofascists want to (re)create the Caliphate.

    • A mythology of inherent superiority. The Nazis said that Aryans were the superior race; Islamofascists say that Islam is the superior religion.

    • The “urge to purge” anything that isn’t superior. For the Nazis, that was the Jews and all non-Aryans. And homosexuals and Jehovah’s Witnesses and gypsies and anyone who resisted them. For the Islamists, it’s also the Jews and homosexuals and anyone who doesn’t convert to Islam.

    I would say that the Inherent Superior mythology is one thing that separates the Fascists from the equally oppressive Soviets. The Soviet mythology envisioned an economic Utopia, but they weren’t particularly concerned with ethnicity or race. They just eliminated anyone they considered to be an ideological opponent.

  2. Christopher Taylor said,

    The tough part about examining the nazis is to distinguish between their ideology, their economic system, and their method of governing. To really know what they were doing and why, you have to divorce their philosophy from the tyranny they ran. A dictoratorship shares certain characteristics with all other dictatorships, and these characteristics are what people consider to be “fascist” or “nazi” most often. In the past this was simply called tyranny and was reviled whatever the form of government.

    Tyranny can be religious, or atheist, it can be communist, it can be elected, it can be a monarchy. Tyranny is simply the oppression and lack of liberty of the governed, it is characterized by fear. Tyranny is the boot against the door in the middle of the night, it’s the death camps and the secret police. The French were the first to really organize and be good at it during the Terror in revolutionary France, and it was fine tuned under Napoleon’s reign. Tyranny was the method used to govern.

    Further, you have to divide between Nazism and Fascism. Nazis were a kind of economic conept, national socialism. This is where a lot of the statist concepts blended with a strong central government where many socialist concepts were implemented to control. Nazism was the economic system used to govern.

    Fascism was the philosophy behind why they governed they way they did, it was the natural result and logical extension of a series of (at the time) hard left concepts such as euthanasia and evolution. The idea was of a strong leader, the failure of weak morality, and a call to a stronger mythical time when men were more noble and pure in their lives. It was a rejection of Christianity and Judaism for older religions, without being religious.

    The strange thing is that the racial purity philosophies are not a neccessary or even incidental part of either fascism or nazism. It was something Hitler injected into his system that Moussoulini and the Falangists of Spain did not buy into. The racial purity concept was simply Hitler following evolution along and proposing that he’d found a more evolved people, the race that would supplant present homo sapiens in the evolutionary chain, and through purges and eugenics, it was our responsibility to breed this master race for the good and future of mankind.

  3. Re: Islamic fascism « Muslihoon said,

    […] Dicentra left an enlightening comment. […]

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