What IS fascism?

 
    • aibom said...
    • User
    • 17 Oct 2009, 10:45

    What IS fascism?

    The common consensus among leftists seems to be "Corporatism".
    However, these same people seem to also feel that Strasserism and other forms of Left Wing Ultranationalism are "Fascist" as well.

    And why is that?
    The only objective definition I've been able to come across is "Authoritarian Nationalism". Which means that fascism is completely independent of economy and not an economic position.



    • goat404 said...
    • User
    • 18 Oct 2009, 04:37
  • Bonapartism and Fascism might be a good read on the topic.
    "Fascism in power, like Bonapartism, can only be the government of finance capital. In this social sense, it is indistinguishable not only from Bonapartism but even from parliamentary democracy."

    "Left Wing Ultranationalism" makes no sense, unless you are talking about the left wing of ultranationalism, which is nowhere near the left more generally and thus should not even be thought of as somehow leftist.

    • aibom said...
    • User
    • 24 Oct 2009, 15:50
    Gracchvs said:
    "Left Wing Ultranationalism" makes no sense

    Capitalism is an elitist philosophy, in which the money is above the ethnicity or anything like that.

    That's what the Right Wingers tend to mean by "Individualism against Leftism".

    Socialism by nature is more of a Populist/Collectivist ideology, which is more compatible with Nationalism than Individualism. For instance, borders can be held through government without Capitalism, eugenics can be enforced by government without Capitalism, extreme cultural protectionism through government without Capitalism, and so on and so forth. A government alone could enforce strict cultural and racial unity and make sure that those deemed not racially qualified to be part of such a society are not allowed in.

    What are these things, if not High Level Nationalism? If it is not, why?
    And if it is Nationalistic, but not Capitalistic, but Right Wing, how is it Right Wing?



  • aibom said:
    borders, eugenics, extreme cultural protectionism, and so on and so forth.

    Typical libertarian 'collective of collectivists' crap. None of those things are compatible with socialism, so your argument fails.

    • aibom said...
    • User
    • 24 Oct 2009, 16:23
    Why? Why cannot these things exist in a non-Capitalistic society?
    Why are they incompatible?

    I hear you say it as wrong, but I don't hear your reasoning.



  • Socialism is inherently egalitarian... How can it be compatible with anything based on stratified and enforced inequality?

    • aibom said...
    • User
    • 24 Oct 2009, 16:45
    Ah, this appears to be a semantics on the term "Socialism".
    I know that Communism is an inherently egalitarian concept, but I was not aware that Socialism was also one. If that is the case I should like it's source, and I will change my wording. All of those things can exist in a society which is not Capitalistic.

    Also, a place that is ethnically isolationist is not necessarily not egalitarian. Every member of that ethnicity could be treated the same.



  • Semantics on the term socialism? That is what your whole argument rests on, and yet you somehow have the gall to say that the base assumption "equality" should be denied because such base assumptions are mere 'semantics'... Because why? Because you want to deny socialism is equalitarian?

    My source is the history of the socialist movement, from Robert Owen through to today. If you have a more authoritative source than that, do let me know.

    • aibom said...
    • User
    • 26 Oct 2009, 16:45
    Gracchvs said:
    Semantics on the term socialism? That is what your whole argument rests on

    I think it's more of an "us" here. We're both talking about a definition of a word, here.
    Your statement about Socialism being egalitarian in ALL aspects, is also semantics.

    We've reached the point where we're discussing the meaning of the term Socialism, you've claimed I have a wrong understanding of the term Socialism that it can include Nationalistic and Authoritarian undercurrents. I am asking you to prove that. I'm not just brashly claiming that you are false. If there is some flaw in my understanding of socialism, I will admit where I am wrong. I don't understand what you're going on about this "gall" or that I'm claiming you are wrong because I brought up the term semantics.

    "The history of the Socialist movement" is too vague to be a source.
    Also specifics about Robert Owen would be required.

    In rebuttal, I would also cite Socialists like Gregor Strasser, Otto Strasser, Joseph Stalin, and Vladimir Lenin. Gregor Strasser and Otto Strasser would have both agreed with Ultranationalism. and Stalin and Lenin may not have held such Nationalistic tenancies, but they were Socialists who did not believe in governmental egalitarianism. Even the Left Communist Leon Trotsky was not a perfect governmental egalitarian. Economic leftist or not, if people do not have an equal standing in governmental power, a society is not egalitarian.

    I know that these people are not Communists, but are they not Socialists, either?

    Gracchvs said:
    Because you want to deny socialism is equalitarian?

    You're making way too much assumptions here. I never claimed that since we're moving into the area of defining and understanding words and their meaning that you're moving into some bad semantics. I also don't understand why I, a person who claims Libertarian Socialism, would want to portray Socialism in a bad light.

    This sounds like it could be delving into the matter of appeal to motive. I certainly hope not. I do not come into the Commies group as a non-socialist. That is unless I do not still understand yet what Socialism is. I cannot claim to be or not be something that I do not understand.



  • Robert Owen was pretty much the first socialist, and he proved that it could work in awesome epic style.

    In my post I did not mention political equality, just equality. To be clearer, I should have mentioned economic equality, but I thought the lable 'equalitarian' would take care of that. More correctly.

    But to say that history is vague is... plainly wrong? I honestly don't know how you can come to that understanding, or rather, lack of understanding. Socialism, at all times, has been a movement aiming toward social leveling. It is also important to note that I am not talking about a word, but a movement.

  • I will say that in addition to the things that are common to all authoritarian govt's (like, say, an infatuation with the military) the distinguishing features of a fascist regime is, yes, that it protects corporate power. The flip-side, the suppression of the power of organized labor is one that is shared by both fascist and so-called communist govt's. There is also a nationalism at play that identifies some minority segment of the population as a scapegoat and the cause of whatever problems the country is seen as experiencing. Religion will play a factor. It may not be the case of the regime actually believing the tenets of the religion... but the famous description, opiate of the masses, has been seen by fascist regimes to be pretty much a dead-ringer for accuracy.

    And, hello aibom. Have you joined me in cheering for the new hate crime bill? ;-D

    • aibom said...
    • User
    • 6 Nov 2009, 15:53
    Gracchvs said:
    Socialism, at all times, has been a movement aiming toward social leveling.

    And the meaning of that is so universal, that is applies things such as race?
    Is the social leveling possibly selective in any sort of form or fashion?

    What is Otto Strauss?
    What is a society, for instance, of white people, without class but as a mutual group, that does not want black people into it's community and seeks to have all white people, group together and collectively push out nonwhites from their affairs?

    I've certainly come across a few anti-Capitalists that say the problem with Capitalism is that it promotes multinationalism, multiracialism, and multiculturalism chosen and moderated by the Corporate higher ups. While they, for instance, a lower class proletariat, do not want such things. And that all whites should be on equal footing and play an equal part in a community that will, in their belief, uphold white values similar to their own.

    Cultural protectionism can be done by a collective poor. A racialist identity can be done by people with no government, and no Capitalist system. Is this not nationalist? I don't think that a State or Capitalist system is absolutely necessary for nationalism. And if it is nationalism, this "racial collectivism", but not Socialist, then is Socialism really that different from anti-Capitalism and that much more specific about the matter of Nationalism and Collectivism?

    To my understanding, Socialism is nothing more than class and economic equality, not necessarily racial, sexual, political, and so forth equality.

    I know this goes back to the "collective of collectivists" thing you mentioned, but I still haven't gotten any significant answers on this matter. Why cannot this Tribalist Nationalism exist within the Left, Socialism, or so forth?

    Also, as far as I can see from what you're saying, although you may not have put it clearly, that egalitarianism here also includes the state. As in equal political power as well as a lack of Capitalism. And therefor the USSR was not only not Communist, but not Socialist as well.



    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 29 Nov 2009, 02:53
    Left Communist Leon Trotsky

    He wasn't, he was the left opposition, I think I'm right in saying that?

    Left Communism is something entirely different.

    Wiki - Left Communism

    Left Communists = International Communist Current

    Fascism according to Wilhelm Reich:

    "fascism" is the basic emotional attitude of man in authoritarian society, with its machine civilization and its mechanistic-mystical view of life. It is the mechanistic-mystical character of man in our times which creates fascist parties, and not vice versa.

    The Mass Psychology of Fascism

    • aibom said...
    • User
    • 30 Nov 2009, 00:18
    Hmm....I may be mistaken then. But although Trotsky persecuted many Anarchists, I could have swore than the Left Opposition was somewhat aligned with Left Communism or Libertarian Communism against Leninism. And while not truly Left Communist, it was in between the two, somewhat.

    I understood that Left Communism and Left Opposition were not the same, but I may have been mistaken in thinking that they were in any way related.

    Either way I find Left Communism the most agreeable kind. And I like it better than Trotskyism. While I like Trotskyism better than Leninism and Stalinism. At least, for my understanding which could have been bad enough to conflate Left Communism with Left Opposition on some level.

    It may not have been of explicit mention, but I could have swore that Leon Trotsky was more resembling a Left Communist than Vladimir Lenin. This misconception could have helped been gained by the fact that both are in the name of Communism and in opposition to Leninism. Interestingly, the word "Left" in Left Communism surely means actually "Libertarian".

    One of the many overlappings between anti-government and anti-capitalism that exists to this day in the "right" and "left" dichotomy. Heck United States Americans don't even know what a Liberal is. And Europeans often aren't perfect with the term either, one making the assumption that Liberalism is Social Liberalism and the other thinking that it is Classic of Neo-Liberalism.

    I always as a younger person figured my views were "left" because I was told they were, but they were actually closer to Libertarian with left leanings. I tended to disagree with government a lot and capitalism a little and thought that was left. I'm a little more actually left than I was then. And closer to a Left Communist.

    If Trotsky really was basically the same and not more Libertarian than Lenin, I have made a grave mistake on the matter of political understanding here.
    So that brings me to this, between Libertarian Leftism and Authoritarian Leftism, where do you think Lenin and Trotsky lie? Are they basically the same or is one less Authoritarian?



  • aibom said:
    Hmm....I may be mistaken then. But although Trotsky persecuted many Anarchists, I could have swore than the Left Opposition was somewhat aligned with Left Communism or Libertarian Communism against Leninism. And while not truly Left Communist, it was in between the two, somewhat.

    I understood that Left Communism and Left Opposition were not the same, but I may have been mistaken in thinking that they were in any way related.

    Either way I find Left Communism the most agreeable kind. And I like it better than Trotskyism. While I like Trotskyism better than Leninism and Stalinism. At least, for my understanding which could have been bad enough to conflate Left Communism with Left Opposition on some level.

    It may not have been of explicit mention, but I could have swore that Leon Trotsky was more resembling a Left Communist than Vladimir Lenin. This misconception could have helped been gained by the fact that both are in the name of Communism and in opposition to Leninism. Interestingly, the word "Left" in Left Communism surely means actually "Libertarian".

    One of the many overlappings between anti-government and anti-capitalism that exists to this day in the "right" and "left" dichotomy. Heck United States Americans don't even know what a Liberal is. And Europeans often aren't perfect with the term either, one making the assumption that Liberalism is Social Liberalism and the other thinking that it is Classic of Neo-Liberalism.

    I always as a younger person figured my views were "left" because I was told they were, but they were actually closer to Libertarian with left leanings. I tended to disagree with government a lot and capitalism a little and thought that was left. I'm a little more actually left than I was then. And closer to a Left Communist.

    If Trotsky really was basically the same and not more Libertarian than Lenin, I have made a grave mistake on the matter of political understanding here.
    So that brings me to this, between Libertarian Leftism and Authoritarian Leftism, where do you think Lenin and Trotsky lie? Are they basically the same or is one less Authoritarian?


    Trotskyism is an offshoot of Leninism - it is in no way opposed to Leninism. Nor does Trotskyism have anything to do with "left communism." The Left Opposition was a current within the Communist Party during the 1920s in opposition to the growing Stalinist bureaucracy.

    • aibom said...
    • User
    • 25 Dec 2009, 21:14
    Then I am deeply misunderstanding of Trotsky and, somewhat embarrassed of any previous statements I might have ignorantly painted him in a more positive light than Lenin or somewhere between Leninism and Left Communism.

    It probably should have been obvious to me knowing that several anarchists suffered due to Trotsky. While I don't believe it holds weight on some of the other statements I have made about Socialism, I will most certainly admit that from the sound of it I made very foolish statements regarding Trotskyism. And am in need of a far greater education of Leon Trotsky.



  • It's been a while

    To elaborate on what Coup said:
    The factional title of the Left Opposition/Trotskyism is 'Bolshevik-Leninism' just as the Stalinists took on the title 'Marxism-Leninism.

    Trotsky's position was for a re-establishment of Soviet democracy and international proletarian revolution as the only means to establish socialism. To this end, all enemies of the revolutin must be ruthlessly repressed. This does not mean all non-Bolsheviks, but rather all anti-Bolsheviks.

    As to the actual positions of Trotsky and Lenin, there is no way you could say that they had any principled differences at the end of Lenin's life, with Trotsky having come over to Lenin's understanding of organisation during the course fo the Great War, and Lenin tacitly adopting Trotsky's theory of Permanent Revolution in the April Theses. The only differences after that were purely incidental and practical.

    A good, if rather long, read on Trotsky's position on the revolutionary state is his work Terrorism and Communism, which is identical to Lenin's State and Revolution and The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky.

    Also, just to respond to something brought up quite some time ago (which would have been dealt with were it not for computer and health issues)

    Also, as far as I can see from what you're saying, although you may not have put it clearly, that egalitarianism here also includes the state. As in equal political power as well as a lack of Capitalism. And therefor the USSR was not only not Communist, but not Socialist as well.

    The Soviet Union was in no way socialist. It was a deformed workers' state, but not socialist, that much is correct.

  • NATIONAL-BOLSCHEVISM

    DO YOU KNOW THE PHENOMEN OF "NAZ-BOLS"? THEY ARE VERY POPULAR IN RUSSIA, BIELORUSSIA AND UKRAINE. A MIXTURE BETWEEN COMMUNISM AND EXTREME NATIONALISM. IS THIS FASCISM OR COMMUNISM?

    http://banderaroja.foroactivo.com/

    http://pnbe.wordpress.com/

    http://nazbolmedia.blogspot.com.es/

    http://es.metapedia.org/wiki/Nacional-bolchevismo

    http://whitenoisedada.blogspot.com.es/

    .
  • Fascism is, at root, a mobilization of the petit-bourgeoisie (and lumpenproletariat) by the bourgeoisie against the proletariat.

    That's what it is in material terms. What it happens to be in ideological terms is contingent upon the needs of the bourgeoisie at a given point in time and place.

    Needless to say, it is funadmentally an offshoot of the capitalist system.

  • daydream_set's statement is to my knowledge indeed absolutely correct (if perhaps not complete).

    The whole problem with the terminology of history and other social sciences is the obfuscation of causal relationships. A general tendency of historical analysis, whether by laymen, scientific or semi-scientific writers, is to ignore obvious social characteristics of events and entire societies, and another tendency is to reduce them to their ideologies - which provides no sound basis for social analysis at all.
    I know that this does not strictly speaking belong here, but the term socialism is a far better example of this than fascism (since the latter is not a socioeconomic system in its own right but merely a polarisation of a society in crisis).
    Most people on hearing about socialism instantly associate it with 'total state' when in fact a state is not necessarily required. The most general concept of socialism first and foremost requires one thing of its social order: socialised means of production, which enables a planned economy to truly focus on social production, as opposed to individually profitable production. Whether this first step is achieved by state property, cooperatives or through trade unions (as I understand syndicalism - though I may be wrong), the result is the seed of socialism. So the debate above is partly immaterial because the predominant ideology in a socialist community can be racist or nationalist just as easily as in a capitalist society. The Cuban people's general support for their government for instance is to a significant degree not socialist but opposition to the US and their blocade.

    As for fascism now, (I'm not yet familiar with fascism under Franco, Mussolini or Pinochet, so I can only speak about Germany) it is generally conceived of in its own terminology (i.e. its ideology), as 'national socialist'. But that only leads to severe contradictions which are being dealt with by not being adressed at all.
    Both ideological components are superficialities or, if you will, necessities. The 'national' component was a necessity for a nation preparing for war outside and suppressing its internal conflicts.
    The 'socialist' component, on the other hand, was purely ideological. There had been a lot of social facade, like health care, employment policies, some token changes in taxation and price stability (at least at first). But that does not at all constitute socialism, since no productive property was socialised apart from the possessions of Jews (and most of those were instantly re-privatised, if possible).
    Accordingly, the actual believers in the NSDAP propaganda (like the member of the SA) were subsequently weeded out to obviate their inevitable dissent.
    In economic reality the German fascism provided social peace (of a kind), expansionist strategy and loads of slave labour for the German industrial capitalists.

    So debating the ideologies should be a secondary concern. Concentrating on those is not only unproductive but positively harmful.

  • while my kneejerk reaction to fascism is to smash it rather than debate it, i do think it's important to discuss it nonetheless. if nothing else to clarify its definition. so here is a good concrete example to expand upon what comrade aggroroofer said about 6 weeks ago.

    many fellow US lefties will characterize various means of domestic gov't spying as an implementation of fascism. and i while i will not disagree that such state action is of a far-right & authoritarian orientation (and ought to be battled on its own terms), it is distinct from fascism in terms of political & economic characteristics. simply put, domestic spying is a form of capitalist state oppression. pretty much exactly how Lenin explained it in State & Revolution!

    but to drive the point home... aside from the Great Recession, nothing has fundamentally changed within the US culturally in such a way that would imply that fascism is currently in full force here. even as the government continues to grow more and more corrupt. the Tea Party was the closest that we came and it has been largely discredited as an activist organization. and the fundamental reason that this happened is that the TP were fighting bogeymen. Obviously American socialists exist, but we are few and far between. Particularly in the public consciousness.

    To draw a distinction, i'll point to what's currently going on in Greece concerning Golden Dawn, which is a current, real-world manifestation of fascism.

    if you'll recall, Greece recently suffered a severe debt crisis as part of the GR and has weakened economically to a substantial degree as a nation. Greek anticapitalists and progressives attempted a resistance in response to austerity measures imposed by the government in lieu of ensuing consequences. Because of the severe nature of the circumstances which developed, however, Golden Dawn arose as an "alternative" explanation and solution for these economic ills.

    Why has GD been successful? Because anticapitalist sentiment is/was far more visibly apparent within Greece than it is/was in the US. Fascism always projects itself as a "third way" within the dialectic struggle between the (weak) capitalist status quo and the anticapitalist resistance.

    the nature of that "third way" in this case? blame non-Greek immigrants. and not only blame them, but beat them up in the streets. target them. even kill them. it's racism, plain and simple. and it's racism taken to its most political extreme. they ignore the issues of capitalist exploitation and utilize immigrants as scapegoats for the society's problems instead.

    This is not a reality in the US and I hope that it never becomes a reality. with the civil rights movement and ensuing social developments, i feel like we've conquered those issues. but capitalism has no ethical boundaries. we need to be prepared for whatever the future holds as well as fighting present battles such as "gov't spying" today.

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