Fisking “14 Defining Characteristics of Fascism.”

So there was this:

As it happens, none of this has anything whatsoever to do with the actual definition of Fascism. Fascism is a totalitarian political system with complete state control of every aspect of the economy and daily life and usually headed by a charismatic supreme dictator. The above is just a list of things that Marxists (whether cryptomarxist or actually “out”) want to complain about. But let’s take them one at a time.

  1. Powerful and continuing Nationalism. You think this is a characteristic of fascism? Does the Russian nationalism of the Soviet Union make them fascist? How about China? Oh, sure the Soviet Union was always on and on about “International Socialism” but when you look at their actions what they meant was “Russian Supremacy and Suzerainty over the world.” Their foreign policy was all about making others follow Russia’s lead (and that included the other “Republics” in the “Union of Soviet Socialist Republics”).
  2. Disdain for Human Rights. You mean rights like free speech, the ability to buy and sell property as one will, the ability to use ones property as one sees fit? Those kind of rights? How about the right to worship as one sees fit? How about the right to defend ones life against those who would do one harm and the right to the most effective tools for such defense. How about the right to liberty? Yeah, I see a lot of disdain for human rights but it’s not by those being labeled “fascist” by folk who share things like the above. No, it’s by people like the antifa apologist who shared that (where I got it). It’s people like antifa.
  3. Identifying of enemies as a unifying cause. “Capitalists.” “The One Percent.” “Zionists.” Oh, and, of course, labeling anybody you don’t like and want to demonize as “fascist.”
  4. Supremacy of the Military.
    You mean like this (note, that video is more than an hour long):

5. Rampant sexism. Perhaps you should define your terms? Is it sexism when one group makes choices that lead to different outcomes? (Example: a degree in social work, let alone feminist dance therapy, will generally lead to a lower income in the work force than one in electrical engineering. And yet, more women go into one field and more men into another.) Is it sexism that taking oneself out of the work force for an extended period means that one is going to end up behind folk who didn’t do that. (Even if the reason is to have children and raise a family.) Is it sexism that never married women who never had children average 17% more income then men in the same category? Also, have you actually looked at fascist and Nazi society. They were perfectly willing to put women to work right alongside the men for the greater good of the state. The “fascism is sexist” is just something folk have made up because it suits them to claim that about their political opponents.

6. Controlled mass media. Well, maybe, but one has to look at just who controls the mass media. Hint: it’s not the people being called “fascist” by Antifa & Co. And controlling the media isn’t particularly a fascist trait.

7. Obsession with National Security. See video above with the Red Square parades. Or see the arms buildups of places like China, Cuba, or any place else that is communist run. They are seriously concerned about their national security. It’s our national security they want to fall by the wayside, them and their willing quislings in our media and politics (including the antifa crowd. But, again, it’s not something that’s particularly a “fascist” trait.

8. Religion and government intertwined. Um, that’s…bizarre. Musollini (the inventor of fascism) wasn’t particularly religious. Neither was Hitler. Some of the Nazi ruling council was, but others were…different. We had some obsessed with the occult. Others, didn’t particularly care one way or another. Either would cynically use whatever tools could be used to direct the people in directions they wanted them to go, whether it’s insignia saying “Gott mit uns” or inventing a history making Germanic pagan myths a national identity, or making “Aryans” (a root from which we get the word “Iran”) as an ethnic heritage. None of it has anything to do with anyone’s real religious beliefs.

9. Corporate power protected. If by “protected” you mean “completely controlled by the state. As Mussolini said: “All within the state. Nothing outside the state. Nothing against the stated.” Businesses are centrailly controlled and “managed.” It’s a centrally planned economy. Exactly. The. Same. As. Socialism. The only difference, and it’s trivial in its importance, is that “on paper” ownership remains private. The control, and with it the real ownership is by the central government, exactly as it is in socialism. Fascism is simply a form of socialism, retaining a few fig-leafs of private ownership to pretend it’s otherwise.

10. Labor Power Suppressed. Well, strictly speaking, all power other than the State is suppressed, again exactly as it is in socialist/communist governments. Oh, sure, various promises are made going in, but the end result is the same either way: All within the state. Nothing outside the state. Nothing against the state. They are all built on a foundation and structure of central planning and control.

11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts. Ask Solzhenitsyn how much disdain Communism had for his intellectual status and art (writing in his case). And as for fascist/nazi disdain for intellectuals, who, exactly put the first jet fighter into operation? Who put the first jet bomber? Who developed new techniques which utterly revolutionized warfare? The first guided missile? The first ballistic missile? Who declared “Today, the space ship is born”? The military art and science is as much an intellectual endeavor as any other. But, in addition, both Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy engaged and used many artists and intellectuals. The ideologies demanded it But, like all totalitarian societies, they required that the intellectuals and the arts adhere to politically determined standards. Thus we had Lysenkoism in the Soviet Union, and the bizarre “science” behind China’s “Great Leap Forward” and Cambodia’s “Killing Fields.” The problem is not that fascists disdain intellectuals and the arts, but that in totalitarian regimes the arts and sciences are shackled to “political truth” with any dissent ruthlessly squelched. Note that disagreement (even wrong disagreement) is not “disdain. It is the testing of idea against idea where truth truly emerges. People need to be free to say “I think that’s wrong and here’s why” to which others can reply, “no, you’re wrong and here are the reasons.” People need to recognize that the science is never settled, that there’s always the possibility that some new bit of information might come to light which sets everything we thought we knew on its ear (like two guys in Columbus, named Michelson and Morley, did with classical physics). Truth, real truth, will out in an environment of intellectual freedom. Suppressing ideas and thoughts and beliefs because “those guys are wrong” or worse, by challenging the presumed motives of someone making an argument rather than the content of the argument itself.

It’s not the presumed “fascists”, by and large, who are doing all that, but the supposed “anti-fascists” themselves.

12. Obsession with crime and punishment. Um, you think that’s a fascist trait? Have you actually looked at other even reasonably well developed societies, let alone the prisons and gulags of communist societies? All societies have penalties attached to those who break the rules. Thomas Sowell notes that a lot of the rise in crime, in victimization of people, in the US, can be traced to a move away from punishment to hair-brained schemes for “rehabilitation.” This is not to say that rehabilitation is impossible but basing it on wishful thinking rather than hard reality is a recipe for failure. In any case, “obsession with crime and punishment is hardly a fascist trait.

13. Rampant cronyism and corruption. Okay, this is just ridiculous. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, with more cronyism and corruption than communist/socialist countries unless it might possibly be third world hellholes. The problems of fascist societies is less the corruption (except that a certain amount of corruption is necessary to work around the nascent disaster that any centrally planned economy will requrie) than it is the top down planning itself that, invariably, will create a mess that people will have to find “creative means” (i.e. corruption in the technical sense) to try to work around. See “The Nail” for why that might be.

14. Fraudulent Elections: Fraud by mail. Early Frauding. Same day register to Fraud and Fraud. The people caught voting multiple times have been, by and large, folk on the Left, not the folk antifa & co call “nazis” or “fascists.” No, what they object to are attempts to institute policies to prevent such fraud. Seems to me that what’s going on here is:

So some of these things are fairly broad in civilizations in general. Some are common to totalitarian societies of all stripes (fascist or otherwise) and generally accused by folk like antifa against folk to whom they don’t apply. None of them–not one–is specific to fascism.

If anything it’s groups like Antifa and BLM that meet the real definition of fascism–All within the state. Nothing outside the state. Nothing against the state.

In the end, it really looks like “Antifa” is rather “ante-fa”–“ante fascist”, as in “preparing the way for.” They certainly aren’t fighting “fascists.” Bluntly, calling anyone who advocates smaller, less intrusive government and for more personal and economic freedom “fascist” requires a special kind of stupid.

But that’s something in which “antifa” seems to excel.

21 thoughts on “Fisking “14 Defining Characteristics of Fascism.””

  1. Coined by Mussolini, Fascism is national socialism. In your list, I did not find the one central theme both Hitler and Mussolini sought. They wanted socialism, but did not want to be a global socialist model (Russia had cornered the market there so to speak). They defined a socialism for their nation. The characteristics on your list do fit, but it should be noted some only showed up after the party had full control.

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    1. Yes, fascism is a form of socialism. Good catch. That’s what “state control of the economy” means. I had certainly intended to note that in the post but in the course of writing it, it fell by the wayside. I should probably go back up and include it and might do that later today when I’m not so rushed as I am right now.

      Of the “14 defining characteristics of fascism” some of them are typical of societies in general (intertwining government and religion was pretty much the default for most of societies in most of the world through most of history, and pretty much every society that could claim the status of “nation” worried about national defense–if it didn’t, it would soon cease to be). Some of them are simply characteristic of any authoritarian or totalitarian regime. None of them are specific to fascism. As I said, it’s simply a “wish list” that folk like the facebook commenter who posted it use in an attempt to browbeat people they don’t like.

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    2. Mussolini broke with the Italian Socialist party when they stiffed him out of its leadership position, which he felt was his by right because he’d devoted his life to pushing their party forward, as writer end editor of a string of socialist newspapers, like “Avanti!” and “Populo d’Italia”, including the party’s own.

      One of his key insights was that the Marxist model of class warfare and seizing the means of production didn’t make a lick of sense in a country where most people worked in their family’s business, which they would take over anyway, as had happened for generations. So he recast class warfare as a war between different classes of country, with Italy being a working class country that was being exploited by Anglo-capitalist oppressor nations.

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    1. Yes, they are. And they’re also the people who gave their name to the region that would come down to us as Iran. They also had no more to do with the Nazi “Aryan” myth than the historic Cimmerians had to do with Robert E. Howard’s Hyborian Age.

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    2. Nazi use of that term is nothing but their attempt to rewrite history to suggest that the ancestors of the Indo-European peoples were “racially pure” and that they, the Germans, were the true successors of that culture. All others, by corollary, are either usurpers or corruptions, according to their logic.

      At its root, it’s essentially the same as all the pseudo-linguists today who claim that their own language is the ancestor of every other major language. The key Nazi innovation was to use it as a justification for industrialized genocide.

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  2. I’d also note that it’s the communists who are typically more concerned with the government being involved in religion. Though it traditionally takes the form of state-enforced atheism.

    Alternatively, there’s what the Chinese Communist government is doing right now, which is “okay you can be religious, but only in approved churches,” and then they rewrite the religious texts to suit Party interests and require Communist propaganda posters and portraits of the President-Dictator to be hung in church facilities.

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    1. The state and religion have been intertwined since the dawn of time, whether it was the emperor was a deity, the “divine right of kings”, the king determining the religion of the country, or what have you. There’s nothing particularly “fascist” about it as it existed long before there was anything that could remotely be called fascism.

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    2. Nod.

      Of course, in the US most of the complaints about “mixing religion and politics” boil down to “how dare those religious people support the Wrong Politics and don’t support the Proper Politics”.

      When Religious People support the Proper Politics (including condemning Conservative Politicians), then the complainers are either silent or applaud the Religious People.

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    3. The National Socialists did try to remake the Lutheran Church in their own image with the so-called “Deutsche Christen” (German Christian) movement, which was to push a Germanized pseudo-Christianity purified of “decadent” Jewish/Old Testament influence. (Jesus was supposedly an Aryan fighting the corrupt Jews, and tommyrot like that.) However, that did not make much headway thanks to fierce resistance by some pastors (Martin Niemöller and Dietrich Bonhoeffer are the best-known ones), plus the boorishness of the “leader” of the (bowel) “movement” turning even sympathetic Lutherans off. Eventually it went the way of the dodo. Read Eric Metaxas’s biography of Bonhoeffer for more. (Bonhoeffer is a bit player in my alternate history series “Operation Flash”.)

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  3. in totalitarian regimes the arts and sciences are shackled to “political truth” with any dissent ruthlessly squelched
    Hey, that sounds familiar…….

    As to Crime and Punishment, the issue isn’t “rehabilitation”, per se. It’s that gov’t should not be in the business of it. They should be in the business of justice. let the prison ministries and churches and such handle rehabilitation. The gov’t is only going to screw it up.

    will create a mess that people will have to find “creative means” … to try to work around
    It’s not just later, after it starts to fail, though. Because of the central control, right from the get-go, corruption will abound, as the “right people” get their carve-outs and such.

    The only complaint I would have about this whole thing is not reiterating that the AntiFa thing is all intramural warfare. Yes, AntiFa is “anti-fascist” in that they are pro-communist, and hate the fascists primarily for being their marxian rivals. Really, they’re not fascists. They’re the varsity squad, and the fascists are the JV.

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  4. “The above is just a list of things that Marxists (whether cryptomarxist or actually “out”) want to complain about.”
    It’s also a list of things Marxists inevitably do when they seize power.

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