What is a Fascist Part 2

40 posts / 0 new
Last post
Roberteh
What is a Fascist Part 2

F-A-S-C-I-S-T = 7 letter swearword for people on the left to describe their opponents in the 20th century?
 
Maybe, I am just an ignorant Costa Rican-Canadian EMS worker but I don’t think any previous posts apply to the new century.  Not that I disagree with any of the explanations offered above – they are all valid and true but they do not conform to the realities that we are trying to capture. 
 
The 21st century, much like the 20th century is dominated by two struggles in constant competition; Democracy, on one hand and Dictatorship on the other.  The 20th century bore witness to horrible dictatorships which sometimes substituted the invisible hand for the iron foot of the state or each limb acted in concert to underpin the other.
 
Anything, which limits or seeks to place unreasonable or anti-constitutional limits or concrete walls (barbed wire) upon Democracy could be called fascist.  What is Democracy?  Easier to say what it is not.  However, Democracy is meaningless unless the mass of people are not involved in trying to change the world around them for the better.  This is not an argument for either lawlessness or anarchy but the incorporation of the whole people into the process of changing their individual and collective lives deciding their own path.
 
Therefore, if I might humbly submit – that we generate new words and language that is readily understood by mass of people in their own interpretation of reality what they are confronting in their daily lives and stop using tired clichés or profanities.
 
Excuse me, now, I have to run to work…

Issues Pages: 
RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture
Sean in Ottawa

Roberteh-- thank you for your post. I see you are new here in the last couple days. I also see that you put a lot of effort in to this post. Even if people don't always recognize that, there are people who read and value these contributions.

Of course where you work or where you come from does not define your value here except by the addition to the diversity of experiences we all bring.

I would say for your consideration that the generation of words is more organic than by design and we do not choose individually what words survive or even the meanings they hold. Clichés and profanities have their place in communication to the extent that any message or symbol communicated and understood has. Language is a series of pre-agreed symbols that we use knowing that the listener will understand the meaning of. Of course if we think about it, language is developed by previous experience that is commonly understood (old information) yet we have to use it to express new information when we share a new idea. This is kind of a complicated idea, I hope I am expressing it adequately.

When it comes to the question of democracy-- that is also an interesting concept-- I see it as an ideal that so-called democracies achieve only to a limited extent. I don't see dictatorship as an idea-- more a failure to have a democracy. Democracy is also a system-- a technology. I wonder what that technology will look like in a few hundred years, I also wonder if we will get better at it, and how a greater balance of power among cultures could inform it. I can't imagine exactly what the differences would be but a democracy designed in today's world from a non-European source would not I think look like those we see now. It might be much better. I also wonder if we would even recognize it as democracy.

Anyway, democracy as a theory may be much easier to describe than democracy as a system. And so far, I can think of no absolute examples.

Fidel

Democracy should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power. - George Washington

George Victor

Actually, that was Chomsky and Herman quoting Franklin Delano Roosevelt....which makes a helluva lot more sense if you think about it for 5 seconds.

Fidel

My bad, George. Caught me red handed.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Our popular culture gives us ideas like Eat the Rich which persist through generations.  Fascism is very last century but not the idea that the richest people in the world seek to control the economy for their benefit and the impoverishment of the rest of the population. That is a reality that people can understand.  It is greed that drives empires.  

Is America fascist is the same question as was Rome fascist or was the British empire fascist?  They are all inherently imperialist so to me fascism is irrelevant.

I think we should start putting names and faces to the families in Canada that are responsible for the misery in our society.  We need to take the protests against corporate greed to the people who own the most shares.  There are only a small number of super rich in Canada so lets out them.  Let the common folk know who's actually responsible for the decisions that hurt them and their families. We get lists of the richest people in Canada so it can't be illegal to talk about who the real power players are.

Lift the Corporate Veil

Show us the Faces of our Masters

Fidel

Imperialist empires usually lasted several centuries and typically left some signs of positive development in the colonies. The Romans left their mark in various territoriies they held with modern architecture, roads, architecture and even modern plumbing. The British imperial empire lasted 200 years. Alfred I thought highly of the Roman empire and is said to have thought it a good idea to emulate Roman imperialism certain ways. Both empires shared the same charcteristics: extreme cruelty and slavery. Imperialist empires came to an end with the demise of: the Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, Russian, British, and Japanese empires all expiring at various times in the last century.

Fascism arose from the French Revolution as did socialism and the other modern isms. Fascism is unique in that its ideologues  oppose socialism specifically. Fascists have never lasted as long in power as imperialist empires have, which is another difference. And I believe this is true partly because of the revolutions. People around the world have drawn the line at slavery(imperialism) and are now getting used to modern slavery(usury, anti trade unionism, neoliberalism, globalization etc) I think it reamains to be seen how much longer fascism can retain power in the western world. They are pushing for dynastic rule something similar to empires past.

American fascism today exhibits characteristics of both a vicious empire and fascist state. It's a hybrid of both and ceased being a 'constitutional democracy' by 1947 with the signing of the National Security Act. Since then America has become a fascist-imperialist state controlled by the military and shadow government and heavily influenced by Wall Street bankers, a few thousand military contractors, big oil, big pharama, big agri-business, and a small number of billionaire oligarchs owning some large percentage of the nations wealth. The original colonists did attempt to create the first constitutional democracy not influenced by European financier oligarchy, but that experiment failed. What they have today is a Wall Street-military dictatorship. As leader of the cosmetic government, Obamacrats are weak and ineffective and powerless to wrest control from those secretive groups running the three ring circus from the shadows.

thorin_bane

Michael Moore was very outspoken about knowing who really runs things. Roger and Me and his TV series The Awful Truth was buit with this in mind. We get all upset at politicians, but if we started putting the heat on the owners the fortune 400 assholes it would be more useful. What do politicians care what the pions think, what matters is what those in charge think. Its like management, they are given authority from the owners and don't feel(for the mort part) that the workers should have opinions or have a say.

Our politics isn't much different from the work place. Where we direct our anger at the managers but its the owners making policy.

siamdave

- didn't get all the way through the opening thread, but I was a bit surprised not to see this well known piece from a year or two ago - http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/apr/24/usa.comment - Naomi Wolf's 'Ten steps to fascism', showing how the Great Bastion of Democracy to the south of us is actually pretty close to fascist. We're still a bit further away in the cold north, but definitely heading in that direction rather than any other. 

Fidel

[url=http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Fascism/What_Is_Fascism_Gibson.html]What is fascism?[/url] Rich Gibson

Quote:
Fascism is the unchecked rule of a class of the privileged, or relatively rich, in power--a full-scale assault on poor and working people. Parliamentary institutions are usually set aside, or so demeaned as to be meaningless. (The Holocaust was legal). Elites issue direct orders, frequently through a populist leader. Wages, any social safety net, working hour laws, labor laws; all come under legal (and extra-legal) attack. The stick replaces the carrot.

Even between capitalists of the same nation, struggle intensifies. Fascism in its early stages has been popular among masses of people mystified by nationalism, racism, and sexism. These ideas are key to the construction of fascism. But, "war means work" for some, which may also explain its historical popularity. Fascism requires and is built on the support of capitalist elites. Henry Ford, the Dulles family, the Catholic Church, and the German Krupps among many others, were early supporters of fascism in the U.S....

[url=http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=21208]FBI Raids Activists' Homes in Sinister COINTELPRO Replay[/url]  September

Roberteh

Quote:
Lift the Corporate Veil

Show us the Faces of our Masters

I like that...consider it stolen. Indeed, Canadians seem marketedly blaise about the Corporate Leaders...it would seem that many would welcome corporate domination. Such is the estrangement of the local citizen with the politics of direct action and the whole transfering of authority over the economy to those ruling families. What I find most odd is despite all the downsizing and economic turmoil that Canadians continue to blame themselves for the performance of the economy. They simply do not want to occupy the factories or the streets.

Is this a failure of a political leadership in Parliament or a failure of Unions to maintain the cohesion of communities. Or just the passive acceptance that private enterprise can do whatever they want because of the confusion between private property and personal property.

 

George Victor

quote: 

"Is this a failure of a political leadership in Parliament or a failure of Unions to maintain the cohesion of communities. Or just the passive acceptance that private enterprise can do whatever they want because of the confusion between private property and personal property."

 

This list (of three) is far, far short of complete. It invites something about the whole new economic ball game we've been attenting since the searly 1970's " The new relationship betwen citizen and corporation, and the role of finance capital.

 

The citizen now identifies as "taxpayer" and "consumer", instead of gains in earnings (beyond cost of living), folks have been given credit; instead of healthy benefit packages, including a guarantee of income level at retirement, there's now an invitation to play the market.

 

The list is endless.

Fidel

I was disappointed in Diane Francis' outlook on NAFTA recently and in comparison to what she wrote in Controlling Interest back in the 1980s. I thought at the time, Now here's a Liberal supporter I can really relate to. So we have a few more billionaires today, and the Bronfman empire has come down a peg or two. Does anyone else agree with Diane Francis? She still makes a lot of sense, but I do not agree with the premise of her argument for NAFTA today. Canadian economy is still characterized by extreme concentration of wealth in the hands of a relative few billionaires and millionaires. Even the percentage of true middle class in Canada is skewed.

Uncle John

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism

or

a political theory advocating an authoritarian hierarchical government (as opposed to democracy or liberalism)

There is nationalist fascism, theological fascism, and ideological fascism.

Iwant Liberty

There is a great degree of confusion of terms, no doubt about it.  Mussolini's "Doctrine of Fascism" (an interesting document to read if you have the time), explains how Fascism makes the state paramount over and above the will of any individual or group of individuals, and is direclty opposed to Democracy because it (Democracy) lowers the state to the level of the majority.

Corporatism is the use of state power for corporate ends (i.e., the merging of private business and the state).

Democracy is a means of electing state officials, it is not corporatism.  Regardless of the form of government a country can have, special interests are always attempting to use the coercive powers of the state to achieve their goals.  Corporatism can happen with Democracy as much as it could happen in a Dictatorship.

I hope that helps.

Fidel

Also, it's not clear from the US Constitution that corporatism is recognized. It makes no mention of capitalism or corporate rights superceding all else or even socialismo for fat-cat banksters. It does begin with the words, [url=">http://constitutionus.com/][i]"We the people..."[/url]

Apparently fascismo(upside-down socialism for rich people) just kind of happens out of the blue for reasons which few ordinary people really understand at the time.

[url=http://www.denverpost.com/commented/ci_16223157?source=commented-]TERROR... is the current fascist swear word. It used to be communism, red menace etc and still causes paranoid delusions for them that it did during the cold war. Five heretics were hauled outside an opera house for yelling, "THE WAR ON TERROR IS A LIE!", where Newt Gingrich was giving a squawking oratory against Iran and China.

trippie

I thought a Fascist was from Italy?

Fidel

They have chapters, like the KKK and Hells Angels have different memberships from state to state and internationally.

I think our guys in North America belong to the Scum of the Earth chapter of fascistas.

6079_Smith_W

You don't know the half of it. I thought today was going to be just democratic until I had that fascist cup of coffee.

Fidel

Ah yes, cash crop capitalism and caffeine. We wouldn't be able to afford to wake up in the am if fascist trading companies didn't pay what amount to slave wages for back-breaking work under the tropical sun.

6079_Smith_W

Oh never mind those people, it was much worse than that, don't you understand? It was fascist! A shocking, fascist assault on my senses. Ruined everything.  I mean.... well you must know what I mean, surely. It's perfectly clear.

Fidel

You could bang some pots and pans and scare them away.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
I mean.... well you must know what I mean, surely. It's perfectly clear.

 

I know only too well, being the child of FASCISTS!

 

"Pick up your dirty laundry! Do your homework! Take out the garbage or you can't use the car!".

 

And the worst part was that the world just stood idly by. First they came for Snert, and I said nothing...

al-Qa'bong

The jackbooted thugs in the cafeteria doled out Cream of Fascism soup again today.

Caissa

Those choosing to broaden the definition of fascism are trivializing it.

remind remind's picture

Am not sure trivializing Fascists in that fashion is an acceptable standpoint here, or actually anywhere, snert, but am open to being persuaded by you that it is.

At the very least, if I am not persuaded, it would certainly be interesting to see how you explain being told to do your homework, or to pick up your laundry, is equivalent to millions being murdered, millions more dying, and a continent destroyed, by actual known Fascists.

remind remind's picture

Oh, so you are saying snert is being satyrically ironic, caissa, in response to what he perceives to be trivialization of fascism?

Caissa

If you want to put it that way, "yes."

6079_Smith_W

That would be the ironic boot, no?

al-Qa'bong

remind wrote:

Oh, so you are saying snert is being satyrically ironic, caissa, in response to what he perceives to be trivialization of fascism?

 

So, are you saying he is substituting a thyrsus for a fasces?

Caissa

Only on Satyrday. Wink

6079_Smith_W

Is this a re-enactment of the punnic wars?

Caissa

Try reading the first thread on this topic.

There are tons of books on the market that deal with the development of fascism in the inter-war years.

remind remind's picture

'kay thanks caissa, as it is hard to tell with snert's posts sometimes, and I saw no one really trivializing Fascism, nor really broadening the definition. But perhaps I overlooked it, could you give an example of what you believe to be a broadened definition in compare to historic  examples and definitions?

As really this is something, in my view at least, given the current state of the world, which should be firmly detailed, so we have an ability to speak about it, through better understanding of what it exactly is. So...I am open, seriously, to  better understanding how you see its advent historically, as being different from nowadays.

 

ETA: Gratuitous spelling flames caissa? LMAO another link in a growing body of evidence.

remind remind's picture

What I asked was, "how you see it", not how some  books see it, and you are assuming that I have no knowlege on this...as you never posted in that first thread at all, and apparently only came in here to what, decipher snert's post for him?

So, I thought you might have something to say on the topic, or at least worthwhile, given your advanced degree in history and current job position.

6079_Smith_W

If we want to talk about fascism, as opposed to predatory capitalism, organized crime, or abuse of political power and democracy there are plenty of historical examples.

Although it is fiction, I'd recommend watching Pasolini's "120 Days of Sodom", and reading some of the background material on that very important movie - the fact that the filmmaker grew up in the fascist state where the movie is set, that the text is almost verbatim from the Marquis de Sade's book of the same name, and that Pasolini was murdered because of it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sal%C3%B2,_or_the_120_Days_of_Sodom

I have sat through it twice, and have no desire to do so again. It is very unpleasant viewing, but anyone tossing around the word "fascism" should probably watch it as a stark reminder that real estate agents don't quite fit the definition.

Fidel

[url=http://home.iprimus.com.au/korob/fdtcards/Cards_Index.html]America is NOT fascist!![/url]

[url=http://www.takebackthemedia.com/bushnonazi.html]No one here but us Bush Nazis[/url]

And these are important truths to consider when realizing that there is no real need for glasnost in the USSA or any of its corrupt northern colonies.

Merowe

Roberteh wrote:

Quote:
Lift the Corporate Veil

Show us the Faces of our Masters

I like that...consider it stolen. Indeed, Canadians seem marketedly blaise about the Corporate Leaders...it would seem that many would welcome corporate domination. Such is the estrangement of the local citizen with the politics of direct action and the whole transfering of authority over the economy to those ruling families. What I find most odd is despite all the downsizing and economic turmoil that Canadians continue to blame themselves for the performance of the economy. They simply do not want to occupy the factories or the streets.

Is this a failure of a political leadership in Parliament or a failure of Unions to maintain the cohesion of communities. Or just the passive acceptance that private enterprise can do whatever they want because of the confusion between private property and personal property.

 

Not sure if it's possible to generalize about 'Canadians' in the first place, but on the whole, I think while their hearts are in the right place for the most part they're sheep. Political culture is unnervingly stunted and non-existent across wide swathes of the population and the level of discussion is pretty unsophisticated. You need only look at the current election campaign in Toronto to get a sense of how utterly oblivious the general population is. Someone else can illustrate the historical reasons for this but the upshot is, damned nice country but don't hold your breath waiting for the future to emerge here. Why would it? Lots of resources, the corrupt old order ticks along ok, not too many dead-of-starvation in the street...let's talk about sports.

trippie

WE will be able to witness first hand what fascists are as American capitalism keeps on sinking.