Remember, the Nazis and Fascists acted as if they were anti-capitalists and tried to form ties with non-marxist left parties. However apon siezing power they obviously stood for big business and capitalism.
Fascism is right-wing, fiercely nationalist, subjectivist in philosophy, and totalitarian in practice. It is an extreme reactionary form of capitalist government. Fascism began in Italy (1922-43), Germany (1933-45), Spain (1939-75), and various other nations, starting generally in the time between the first and second world war. The origin of the term comes from the Italian word fascismo, derived from the Latin fasces (a bundle of elm or birch rods containing an ax: once a symbol of authority in ancient Rome). Benito Mussolini adopted the symbol as the emblem of the Italian Fascist movement in 1919.
The social composition of Fascist movements have historically been small capitalists, low-level bureaucrats of all stripes (see petty bourgeoeis), with great success in rural areas, especially among farmers, peasants, and in the city, slum workers. Meanwhile, fascist leadership invariably comes to power through the sponsorship and funding of massive capitalists, without needing a revolution. These capitalists along with the top-tier leaders they create become fascism's ruling aristocracy.
Fascism has many different forms: the Italian fascism of Mussolini was often against Hitlerâ€™s Fascism, calling it â€œone hundred percent racism: Against everything and everyone: Yesterday against Christian civilization, today against Latin civilization, tomorrow, who knows, against the civilization of the whole world.â€ When Hitler began achieving impressive military conquests, which Mussolini had started in Ethiopia in 1935, the two formed an axis of power in June of 1940. The birth of fascism in Germany was aided by Western governments, who for two decades viewed it as the ideology that would successfully crush the Soviet Union. Not until Germanyâ€™s tanks were on the borders of England and France did those governments â€˜switchâ€™ sides: now it was their imperialist domination being threatened.
While Mussolini had once been a member of the Socialist party (banished from the party for his rampant support of World War I), Hitler fought leftists from the first. Thus it is not without irony, that in the name for his party Hitler used â€œsocialist,â€ (Nazi = National Socialist) conceding to the engrained consciousness the German masses had for leftist ideals. It should be noted that fascism supported the community ideal, but not the grass-roots power of direct community democracy as Socialism demands, but the obideance and unity of the community to vanguard of the Nation.
Further, orthodox fascism constantly parrots the Communist lexicon of working class struggle, etc, for reasons of populism.
Neo-fascism, on the other hand, disdains any trace of Socialist/Communist terminology in thier labels, and instead appeals to new populist roots: the modern aspirations of many workers to be wealthly, to be stronger than others, etc.
Fascism championed corporate economics, which operated on an anarcho-syndicalist model in reverse: associations of bosses in particular industries determine working conditions, prices, etc. In this form of corporatism, bosses dictate everything from working hours to minimum wages, without goverment interference. The fascist corporate model differs from the more moderate corporatist model by eradicating all forms of regulatory control that protect workers (so-called "consumers"), the environment, price fixing, insider trading, and destroying all independent workers' organisations. In fascism, the corporate parliament either replaces the representative bodies of government or reduces them to a sham and the state freely intervenes in the activity of companies, either by bestowing favouritism, or handing them over to the control of rivals.
â€œto believe, to obey, to combatâ€
There are several fundamental characteristics of fascism, among them are:
1. Right Wing: Fascists are fervently against: Marxism, Socialism, Anarchism, Communism, Environmentalism; etc â€“ in essence, they are against the progressive left in total, including moderate lefts (social democrats, etc). Fascism is an extreme right wing ideology, though it can be opportunistic.
2. Nationalism: Fascism places a very strong emphasis on patriotism and nationalism. Criticism of the nation's main ideals, especially war, is lambasted as unpatriotic at best, and treason at worst. State propaganda consistently broadcasts threats of attack, while justifying pre-emptive war. Fascism invariably seeks to instill in its people the warrior mentality: to always be vigilant, wary of strangers and suspicous of foreigners.
3. Hierarchy: Fascist society is ruled by an righteous leader, who is supported by an elite secret vanguard of capitalists. Hierarchy is prevalent throughout all aspects of society â€“ every street, every workplace, every school, will have its local Hitler, part police-informer, part bureaucrat â€“ and society is prepared for war at all times. The absolute power of the social hierarchy prevails over everything, and thus a totalitarian society is formed. Representative government is acceptable only if it can be controlled and regulated, direct democracy (e.g. Communism) is the greatest of all crimes. Any who oppose the social hierarchy of fascism will be imprisoned or executed.
4. Anti-equality: Fascism loathes the principles of economic equality and disdains equality between immigrant and citizen. Some forms of fascism extend the fight against equality into other areas: gender, sexual, minority or religious rights, for example.
5. Religious: Fascism contains a strong amount of reactionary religious beliefs, harking back to times when religion was strict, potent, and pure. Nearly all Fascist societies are Christian, and are supported by Catholic and Protestant churches.
6. Capitalist: Fascism does not require revolution to exist in captialist society: fascists can be elected into office (though their disdain for elections usually means manipulation of the electoral system). They view parliamentary and congressional systems of government to be inefficent and weak, and will do their best to minimize its power over their policy agenda. Fascism exhibits the worst kind of capitalism where corporate power is absolute, and all vestiges of workers' rights are destroyed.
7. War: Fascism is capitalism at the stage of impotent imperialism. War can create markets that would not otherwise exist by wrecking massive devastation on a society, which then requires reconstruction! Fascism can thus "liberate" the survivors, provide huge loans to that society so fascist corporations can begin the process of rebuilding.
8. Voluntarist Ideology: Fascism adopts a certain kind of â€œvoluntarism;â€ they believe that an act of will, if sufficiently powerful, can make something true. Thus all sorts of ideas about racial inferiority, historical destiny, even physical science, are supported by means of violence, in the belief that they can be made true. It is this sense that Fascism is subjectivist.
9. Anti-Modern: Fascism loathes all kinds of modernism, especially creativity in the arts, whether acting as a mirror for life (where it does not conform to the Fascist ideal), or expressing deviant or innovative points of view. Fascism invariably burns books and victimises artists, and artists which do not promote the fascists ideals are seen as â€œdecadent.â€ Fascism is hostile to broad learning and interest in other cultures, since such pursuits threaten the dominance of fascist myths. The peddling of conspiracy theories is usually substituted for the objective study of history.
Further Reading: Fascism Subject Archive, Fascism, What is and how to fight it by Leon Trotsky; What is Fascism? by Benito Mussolini.
As in Communism. Your point?
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