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"When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross"

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  • anarchist100anarchist100 680 Pts   -  
    When fascism comes to America no one will know it because nobody today actually knows what fascism is, it's just a word to describe what you don't like.
  • ClodiusClodius 34 Pts   -  
    @anarchist100

    That's not actually true. I admit, it took me a while to wrap my head around it, but here it is. 

    Fascism is a totalitarian system (the government controls all aspects of life: social, economic, cultural etc.). Using propoganda, and force if necessary, a hierarchy is established and protected (in socialism, there is no hierarchy: "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need").

    The reason why this is so difficult to figure out is that the left (with the exception of an indignant Mao) failed to recognise that communism in the USSR was Fascism (particularly under Brezhnev) , with the hierarchy being the structure of the Soviet Communist Party itself. Nazism and the system created by Mussolini were in fact less fascist than Stalinist Russia due to the fact that they were less successful at weeding out rival power bases like the church, the army, the landowners etc. and thus the government was not all-powerful (ie. the system was not totalitarian.) 

    Marxists see fascism as a system designed to protect the capitalists, as was the case in Italy Pre-WW2. I believe that this is just one form of fascism (ie. one where the Fascist Party is controlled by the pre-existing elite). In the USSR, the same system was in operation, but a new hierarchy was created (again, I stress, Socialism and the dream of Communism attempt to destroy all hierarchies).

    An interesting example of actual socialism is Mao's China. He tried to avoid the need for middle managers and socio-economic classes, but merely ended up proving that if the concept of value is to have any meaning, there must be some form of hierarchy.

    It is also worth noting that fascism is often associated with aggressive nationalism. This is simply due to the need for the ruling elite to provide the people with some kind of reason for following them, which allows them to maintain a grip on power (a widespread popular uprising is almost impossible for a government to stop). This is the equivalent of the communist dream. The government requires public buy in to limit the number of dissidents. For the same reason, cult of personality is a common feature of totalitarian systems. 

    The crucial point is that there is no time in history when communism has been in operation in a country. It is usually Fascism in practise. 
    jackOakTownA
  • BoganBogan 195 Pts   -  
    I began to think about how similar both Communism and Fascism were from reading Guy Sajer's book which recounted his experiences as a German soldier on the Russian front.      He said quite prophetically, "We were dying by our millions to destroy a system of government that was almost identical to our own."

    THAT got me thinking.    What is the essential differences between communism and Fascism?     Let's look at Nazi Germany and Stalin's USSR.      Hitler had his Gestapo and Stalin his KGB.     Stalin called Beria "my Himmler."      Hitler had his SS divisions and Stalin had his Guards divisions.    Both systems were totalitarian.      Okay, so what made them different?

    My premise, is that what makes Communism and Fascism different is the demographics in society which support totalitarianism.       This can change from country to country but basically, Communist totalitarianism is supported by those democgraphics in society which feel that they can benefit themselves by having their particular class having absolute control over everything.     This means the public service (minus the police and armed forces, or any other uniformed service) along with the academic class.    These people dream of a world where bureaucracies can solve everything.    Unfortunately, such people have no grasp of economic realities and their total control of the means of production eventually causes bankruptcy.

    Fascism differs from Communism because the demographics who support totalitarianism are different.      Demographics who support Fascism can include the church, the armed forces, the middle class, landowners, and the upper or nobility class.       Such people do not believe in total government control of the means of production.   Instead, they believe in free market capitalism tightly controlled by the government. 

    Of these two forms of totalitarianism (there are others such as absolute monarchs and Theocracies), fascism is superior to communism because it is at least usually economically much more realistic.    The Chinese CCP has evolved from communism to fascism for that reason, and so has Russia.       
  • ClodiusClodius 34 Pts   -  
    @Bogan

    What you are saying about the different demographics seems correct at first glance, but I do not believe it holds up to scrutiny from a historical perspective. It is true that the National Socialist Party, and the Fascist Party before them, received a lot of support from the established elite (the church, the industrialists etc.), but the leadership of both parties bear a lot of resemblance to that of the Soviet Communist Party: Mussolini was a socialist and his father was a blacksmith; Hitler was a failed arts student. In short, while I agree that communists and fascists tend to draw support from different demographics, this is makes no real practical difference since both end up producing brand new hierarchies — only the founding myths differ. It is worth noting that the Churches eventually suffered considerably in Nazi Germany, as did most industrialists. Hitler was tightening his grip on the economy Pre-WW2 and in Italy a similar situation was occurring (note that Mussolini never really achieved a totalitarian state mainly because he could not wrestle control of the Catholic Church). 

    Another point worth remarking on is the different economic situations in Germany, Italy, Russia and China. Germany was heavily industrialised and as a consequence there was a very distinct middle class. This was also the case in northern Italy were fascism really took off. In China, there was pretty much no middle class to speak of and while Russia was partially industrialised it was nowhere near Germany's level. (Remember that the middle class did actually wage a successful revolution in Russia against the authoritarian Tsarist regime). Chinese communism was based on the peasants. My point is that the regime changes in these four countries were all part of the same movement, but the demographics involved differed simply due to the fact that the individual countries as a whole had different demographics. Crucially, they all had the result of introducing an entirely new hierarchy (except Italy perhaps, as noted previously).

    In addition, you state that "Such people do not believe in total government control of the means of production". This is certainly not true. Germany and Italy were all steadily moving towards an entirely centralised state. In fact, fascism ( a self-described totalitarian system) would not be totalitarian if it did not believe in a command economy. 

    You also stated that "fascism is superior to communism because it is at least usually economically much more realistic". Again, I do not agree. Stalin's economic programme was good for Russia in the long term. He rapidly industrialised the country at the expense of consumer goods, which necessitated harsh control of the hungry and materially poor Russian citizens who understandably were demanding immediate gains. (On a slight tangent, I want to observe that the very things left-wing commentators complain about with respect to capitalism are usually present in communism - magnified significantly: in historic communism, the living standards of the people have invariably been sacrificed for economic gain, much more so than under capitalism.) Hitler and Mussolini essentially adopted a Keynesian approach, choosing to pump-prime the economy. In doing so I believe that they were reducing the future wealth-creating capacity of their countries for short-term gain (Goering encouraged businesses to produce at a loss). Ultimately, these different approaches just serve to emphasis that Fascism is Communism in an industrialised society: both are inefficient systems of government intervention. 

    What is really important to understand is that communism does not exist: it is predicated on an unrealised belief that human nature could change from self-serving to entirely self-sacrificing. The fall of this dream meant that "communist'' countries had to introduce a middle class (a natural by-product of the fact that some people are more skilled that others and thus require a greater incentive in order to fully utilise their talents). Fascism is honest communism: it accepts that it is impossible to create an entirely classless society and so uses other ideas to garner popular support eg. aggressive nationalism.

    Finally, I think I should point out that Russia is not a Fascist state (up until now anyway); it is merely an authoritarian one. While the government does exert some control over the economy, it is certainly not completely centrally planned (though it is moving that way). 
  • BoganBogan 195 Pts   -  
    @Clodius

    To I Clodius.

    Clodius wrote

     What you are saying about the different demographics seems correct at first glance, but I do not believe it holds up to scrutiny from a historical perspective. It is true that the National Socialist Party, and the Fascist Party before them, received a lot of support from the established elite (the church, the industrialists etc.), but the leadership of both parties bear a lot of resemblance to that of the Soviet Communist Party:

     The Soviet system was so distrustful of it's own military that it had "political officers" in every company level military unit to keep an eye on the opinions of it's own officers and soldiers.      That is because traditionally, the Left recognises that the military holds right wing views.      National Socialist Germany did not need to have political oficers within military units because it was accepted that soldiers who supported totalitarianism did not need to be watched too much.

     Same with Mao and the CCP.    Mao was very suspicious of his own professional military and for much of his rule, the military was laughably mismanaged.     The armed forces under Mao were equipped with vintage weaponry because Mao put more faith in a "people's army" of peasants which he could control with his own political officers.    One reason why the Chinese threw off communism and embraced fascism was because of the Gulf War, where the Chinese military were confronted by the indisputable fact that their armed forces were antiquated in respects to the Americans.     Just like Putin today, the Chinese had had their arses kicked in the Sino-Vietnamese war, where political correctness trumped practical military necessity.   That is why the Chinese Armed forces opposed "the gang of four" and supported Deng Xiaping.  

     I can not give you the demographic breakdown of the leadership of either the Nazi Party or the Soviet Union.    it was true that Hitler was an intellectual artist, but he was also a returned soldier, and war veterans are another rich source of support for right wing totalitarian regimes.     On the Soviet side, Trotsky was an intellectual who managed to have a flair for both organisation and military thinking and it was he who orchestrated the success of the Red Army against the Whites. 

     Clodius wrote

     Mussolini was a socialist and his father was a blacksmith; Hitler was a failed arts student. In short, while I agree that communists and fascists tend to draw support from different demographics, this is makes no real practical difference since both end up producing brand new hierarchies — only the founding myths differ. It is worth noting that the Churches eventually suffered considerably in Nazi Germany, as did most industrialists. Hitler was tightening his grip on the economy Pre-WW2 and in Italy a similar situation was occurring (note that Mussolini never really achieved a totalitarian state mainly because he could not wrestle control of the Catholic Church). 

     Mussolini was a Communist (he was editor of the Communist Party newspaper) who fell out with the Italian Communist Party over the involvement of Italy in World War 1.   .  Communist parties are supposedly Internationalist (but can be very nationalist when the mood suits them), while fascist parties are Nationalist.     Mussolini hated the Internationalist policies of the Italian Communist Party because he was essentially an ardent extreme Nationalist.     This is the primary schism between the two different types of socialism.         Different demographics are attracted to either Internationalist or Nationalist socialist worldviews.   Academics are very class conscious and they consider fellow academics in every nation in the world as their own peer group.    This was why so many scientists involved in the Manhattan Project committed treason and gave away the secrets of the Atomic bomb to the Soviets.    The academics think that they are a class apart, smart people who collectively know much better than the politicians democratically elected by ordinary (inferior) people. 

    Clodius wrote

     Another point worth remarking on is the different economic situations in Germany, Italy, Russia and China. Germany was heavily industrialised and as a consequence there was a very distinct middle class. This was also the case in northern Italy were fascism really took off. In China, there was pretty much no middle class to speak of and while Russia was partially industrialised it was nowhere near Germany's level. (Remember that the middle class did actually wage a successful revolution in Russia against the authoritarian Tsarist regime). Chinese communism was based on the peasants. My point is that the regime changes in these four countries were all part of the same movement, but the demographics involved differed simply due to the fact that the individual countries as a whole had different demographics. Crucially, they all had the result of introducing an entirely new hierarchy (except Italy perhaps, as noted previously).

     The Chinese had the land owning class which roughly equated to the land owning nobility of western countries.   Mao was another intellectual who managed to convince the working class peasants that his party was the party of the peasants.     But as usual, this is never the case with totalitarians.    Mao became another emperor who screwed a virgin girl every night, and he was supported by the Chinese bureaucracy which in China, had always been a very influential part of Chinese society.     There are supposedly two types of wealthy people in china.    Those who seek wealth to get power, and those who seek power to get wealth.     The 1949 revolution saw the bureaucrats win, and the landowning nobility lose.     The 1949 revolution can be seen as the biggest armed robbery in history.

     Clodius wrote

    In addition, you state that "Such people do not believe in total government control of the means of production". This is certainly not true. Germany and Italy were all steadily moving towards an entirely centralised state.

     It is true.    In National socialist Germany, all of the big industrialists kept their privately owned businesses and they all vied for government armaments contracts.    This was completely different to the Soviet system, where all of the means of production and distribution was under state control.

     Clodius wrote

     In fact, fascism ( a self-described totalitarian system) would not be totalitarian if it did not believe in a command economy. 

     I like former President Ronald Reagan's definition of Fascism on that concept.    Reagan said that Fascism was totalitarianism with a capitalist economic system.


    Clodius wrote

    You also stated that "fascism is superior to communism because it is at least usually economically much more realistic". Again, I do not agree. Stalin's economic programme was good for Russia in the long term. He rapidly industrialised the country at the expense of consumer goods, which necessitated harsh control of the hungry and materially poor Russian citizens who understandably were demanding immediate gains.

     And Stalin nationalised the already very efficient farming industries run by small landowners which had been a major source of foreign exchange for Moscow.      After stealing their land and livestock, he forced the small landowners to become slaves on farming "collectives", which was a policy so i-d-i-o-t-i-c and disastrous that tens of millions of people starved to death.   The Ukrainians still call this period where millions of them starved to death "the Hostomol", and it is another reason why they hate totalitarian Russians.   Perhaps you should bone up on your socialism studies before you come out with any more crackpot ideas about how the Russian communist party improved anything?      

     Clodius wrote

     (On a slight tangent, I want to observe that the very things left-wing commentators complain about with respect to capitalism are usually present in communism - magnified significantly: in historic communism, the living standards of the people have invariably been sacrificed for economic gain, much more so than under capitalism.)

     What economic gain?      The communist countries started off poor and they remained that way to this day.    Cuba and North Korea are  hardly an economic success stories, are they?     Russia was once described by Avril Harriman as "Upper Topdoggia with rockets."     Every single farking invention that improved the life of ordinary people in the last 100 years was invented in western free market economies.    Name one thing which Russia or China invented which are commercial successes today?

     Clodius wrote

     Hitler and Mussolini essentially adopted a Keynesian approach, choosing to pump-prime the economy. In doing so I believe that they were reducing the future wealth-creating capacity of their countries for short-term gain (Goering encouraged businesses to produce at a loss). Ultimately, these different approaches just serve to emphasis that Fascism is Communism in an industrialised society: both are inefficient systems of government intervention. 

     No.   It means that the bureaucratic class and their academic mates, who's income is entirely from the government, thinks that money just falls from the heavens like manna.    They really do believe that they can order prosperity by decree.     Just look at that Biden's latest "Inflation Reduction Act", which is guaranteed to make the USA's 8.4% pa inflation rate even worse.     Biden and his comrades think that the USA can spend it's way out of dept.     As Margie Thatcher said about left wing socialism, it always fails because , "Sooner or later they run out of other people's money to spend."

     Clodius wrote

    What is really important to understand is that communism does not exist: it is predicated on an unrealised belief that human nature could change from self-serving to entirely self-sacrificing.

     You finally wrote something that I agree with.     Self interest is one of the most reliable predictors of human behaviour.    People can be altruistic, especially if they have a strong sense of community, but altruism is not the most common of human virtues.

     Clodius wrote

     The fall of this dream meant that "communist'' countries had to introduce a middle class (a natural by-product of the fact that some people are more skilled that others and thus require a greater incentive in order to fully utilise their talents). Fascism is honest communism: it accepts that it is impossible to create an entirely classless society and so uses other ideas to garner popular support eg. aggressive nationalism.

     All political systems over 200 people have to create classes because skill specialisation creates the need for classes of people with unique types of intelligence, who need to be treated in different ways.     Nobody has ever created a modern classless system.      Today, the ideologues have gone right off the idea of class equality, namely because those who preached this nonsense previously are the biggest snobs around.     Today, ideologues claim that all races are equal, which is as idiotic as saying that all classes are equal.  

     Clodius wrote

     Finally, I think I should point out that Russia is not a Fascist state (up until now anyway); it is merely an authoritarian one. While the government does exert some control over the economy, it is certainly not completely centrally planned (though it is moving that way). 

     I disagree there.    Whatever Russia is, it is not an absolute monarchy, a theocracy, or a Communist state.    Unless you can define a new type of totalitarianism, then Russia is most definitely a Fascist state.      As for China, last I heard, China had 800 billionaires as card carrying members of the CCP.    Whatever China's CCP  is, it sure isn't a communist party.


  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 4713 Pts   -  
    The end goal of communism and fascism is the same: perfectly collectivized society fully populated by the "new man" with high ideals, few needs and wants and an unsatiable desire to serve the common cause. Where they differ is in the roads they take towards that goal. In case of communism, products of capitalism's efficiency are used to undermine the system and gradually nationalize everything while maintaining an acceptable quality of life, until everything is nationalized; at that point the proletariat will naturally take off and the system will be self-propagating, at which point the state is no longer necessary and goes away. Fascism is a more pragmatic approach: rather than rely on products of capitalism, it harnesses the productive power of the system and embeds it in a guild-like hierarchical structure, with the national leader at the top of the structure, a structure in which everyone has a predefined role - with gradual assimilation of those roles into each other as people become more and more perfect. At the end of each, we have societies in which everyone is a perfect servant to the community, and the community is a perfect servant to everyone; at that point economical and philosophical differences wash away completely.

    As Western societies nowadays are becoming more and more authoritarian and collectivistic, moving towards the same end goal, it stands to reason to ask: which of the two paths are they more closely following, the fascist or the communist? While many of the advocates of this motion call themselves socialist or even communist, their actual policies, it seems to me, align closer with fascism. Few politicians in the US, or the UK, or France talk about outright nationalization of private companies Venezuela-style; instead, they are subjected to strict governmental control, indirectly through the system of private contracts for public projects, and directly through the system of economical regulations. Bernie Sanders or Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, the most prominent and open "democratic socialists" in the US, have almost everything on their platforms that Mussolini or Hitler had, with the exception of nationalism and certain forms of social authoritarianism - those have been adopted by self-called "national conservatives", such as Donald Trump or Josh Hawley.

    Certain communist elements are present as well, mainly in the social philosophy of the movement of the "left": post-modernism inspired by the same philosophers (Kant and Hegel) that inspired Marx, Lenin and Mao; social-constructivism which is right from Marx' cookbook... The fact that they can so perfectly coexist with blatantly fascist economical policies promoted by the same people is just another evidence in support of the thesis that communism and fascism are very closely aligned in their approaches and goals.

    As the two sides of the political spectrum are openly calling each other "fascist" nowadays, there is very little realization on either side that they both largely represent fascism. When people like the OP call the people they strongly oppose "fascism", on the very next breath they easily advocate for fascistic policies themselves. Someone who would want to see Donald Trump in chains often would very happily endorse Bernie Sanders, as if the differences between the two were that significant. The only difference is in marketing: Trump tries to appeal to a different audience than Sanders. Once elected, both would act largely the same way, and while particular policies may superficially look like polar opposites, their actual effects on how the system functions, what freedoms individuals living under that system have and so on are nearly perfect copies of each other.
    Clodius
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