Crying Wolf

Are we all fascists now?

The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot, by Naomi Wolf, New York: Chelsea Green, 192 pages, $13.95

Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning, by Jonah Goldberg, New York: Doubleday, 496 pages, $27.95

In a May 2008 essay for The Times of London, playwright Tom Stoppard, the British son of Czech émigrés, explained his long-held contempt for his more hyperbolic comrades in the theater. “I felt myself out of patience with people who, from 1968 onwards, would denigrate this country that adopted me, this country that I’d adopted, as some kind of fascist police state. It just seemed so embarrassing that those countries that truly could be described as such were very, very different from Britain.” In Stoppard’s acclaimed 2006 play Rock ’n’ Roll, a meditation on Czech resistance to Soviet occupation, one character upbraids his daughter for her lazy use of the term, grumbling that many in her generation “think a fascist is a mounted policeman at a demo in Grosvenor Square.”

To anyone that has attended a political demonstration, trawled a blog, or attended a Western university in the past half century, the scattershot use of “fascist” will ring familiar. And almost as clichéd as accusing an ideological opponent of fascist sympathies is the accurate observation that such charges often demonstrate an utter lack of understanding of just what qualifies as fascist, other than “someone I vehemently disagree with.” As an indicator of a particular set of political beliefs, “fascism” has become a perfectly meaningless pejorative, a political cudgel that is obtuse and imprecise by design.

What, if anything, unites such disparate fascist dictators as Benito Mussolini of Italy, Adolf Hitler of Germany, António de Oliveira Salazar of Portugal, and Francisco Franco of Spain? Fascism, the historian Stanley Payne writes in Fascism: Comparison and Definition, “is the vaguest of contemporary political terms.” Few ideologies have produced so many academic volumes dedicated to establishing a singular set of definitional criteria. All of the political movements commonly associated with fascism overlap in key areas (opposition to both classical liberalism and communism, for instance) and diverge in others (the Germans rejected Italian-style corporatism in favor of what one historian called a “racist-totalitarian welfare state”).

While professional historians puzzle over the definitions, pop-culture references to Nazism continue to be flung with distasteful abandon. In a recent ad campaign, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals compared factory farming to the systematized killing at Auschwitz. In a public service television spot produced by MTV, a packed subway car is dramatically raided by a heavily armed SWAT team. At gunpoint, menaced by a pack of German shepherds, terrified passengers are hustled out of the car and onto an empty platform, where shrieking children are separated from their parents. The scene freezes, then the image morphs into an archival photo of passengers disembarking a train at a Nazi death camp. If the visual message was unclear, helpful text fills the screen: “The Holocaust happened to people like us.” Fascism is coming.

Political commentators and actors of all stripes—right and left, Christian and Muslim and atheist—accuse their enemies of harboring fascist tendencies. Radical Islamists are lazily labeled “Islamofascists,” not because they possess an interest in corporatism but because they are brutish and dumb and harbor fantasies of exterminating Jews. Pro-Palestinian groups routinely compare the actions of the Israeli military to the Nazi Holocaust. Evangelical Christians are “religious fascists” duping Americans into embracing theocracy, according to writers such as former New York Times foreign correspondent Chris Hedges, author of American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On America. Creationists attempt to connect Darwinism to Nazism, while atheists counter that Nazism’s nexus with Pope Pius XII was vital to its success.

More than six decades after the death of Hitler and 30 years since the collapse of Franco’s clerico-military dictatorship in Spain, fascism has returned as the preferred insult of the intellectually careless. In the post-history decade of the 1990s, when Cold War passions deflated along with the military budget, such accusations were largely consigned to the radical fringe. To the mainstream left, Bill Clinton might have been a shameless panderer who punted on gays in the military and co-opted conservative issues like welfare reform, but he was still, after all, a liberal. But with the election in 2000 of a Republican president who greatly expanded executive power and inaugurated a Long War on Terror, it was natural that the fascism charge would once again come into vogue. But this time, after years of politico-linguistic abuse by the left, some on the right have begun to fight back, conflating fascism with the progressivism many liberals hold dear. The insult isn’t just for lefties anymore. Two recent bestsellers exemplify how fascism has evolved in our political discourse. With Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning, Jonah Goldberg, a conservative columnist and editor-at-large of National Review Online, attempts to reappropriate the word from those who employ it willy-nilly against enemies to their right. “The major flaw in all of this,” Goldberg writes, “is that fascism, properly understood, is not a phenomenon of the right at all.”

While hostile bloggers and reviewers piled on Goldberg, few noticed the runaway success of another, much more shoddily researched fascist-themed tract, this one from the feminist writer Naomi Wolf. According to Wolf’s The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot, America is barreling down the road toward a fascist future, following a path well-trodden by Mussolini and Hitler. The Bush administration’s spotty record on civil liberties and the growth of executive power aren’t temporary phenomena, Wolf argues, but portend a greater “fascist shift.” America, she writes, is in the late stages of our own Weimar Republic —it’s a partially free society nearing collapse, “on the verge of a violent police state.”

As overheated as such sentiments seem, they are increasingly infiltrating the cultural mainstream. The End of America spent 15 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and nearly six months fluttering around the Amazon top 50. Before hitting bookstores, it was awarded a coveted “starred review” from Library Journal and named the “best political book” of 2007 by The Nation’s John Nichols.

At a taut 180 pages, The End of America offers a Monarch Notes recapitulation of German and Italian fascism in an attempt to draw parallels between various 20th century totalitarianisms and the numerous “examples of [America’s] shift into a dictatorial reality.” Wolf insists this is no exercise in hyperbole. “Every argument I make is strictly on the facts,” she writes. “I am not being heated or even rhetorical. I am being technical.”

By Wolf’s estimation, there are 10 warning signs that presage a fascist takeover: A pre-fascist government will invoke an internal and external enemy, establish secret prisons, develop a paramilitary force, surveil ordinary citizens, infiltrate citizen groups, arbitrarily detain and release citizens, target key individuals, restrict the press, cast criticism as “espionage” and dissent as “treason,” and subvert the rule of law.

Several of these steps aren’t particularly “fascist” at all. Non-fascist authoritarian states such as China, Cuba, and Vietnam are known to “establish secret prisons,” “target key individuals,” and “subvert the rule of law,” for example. Nor does Wolf seriously consider the fact that many of her steps—carefully selected to hew close to the controversies of the Bush years—would also apply to previous American presidents, including the liberal titans Franklin Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Abraham Lincoln.

When asked for a single-line definition of fascism, Wolf is equally murky, telling Democracy Now host Amy Goodman last year that “one dictionary definition is when the state starts to use terror against the individual in an effort to oppose democracy. And that’s what we’re seeing in the United States right now.” Wolf would be advised to invest in a new dictionary.

By seeing no doctrinal distinctions between the various authoritarian and dictatorial regimes she invokes, Wolf instead draws upon a series of dubious parallels between American foreign and domestic policy and the crimes of Nazi Germany, East Germany, fascist Italy, Maoist China, and Stalinist Russia—all presented as evidence of the “fascist shift.”

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  • zoltan||

    There's only one Guantanamo Bay and just because the rights of the prisoners there aren't being as shat upon as those in Auschwitz it doesn't mean they haven't been treated unfairly.

  • Dormouse||

    Great article.

  • *||

    Jonah Goldberg is a douchebag. Discuss.

  • Episiarch||

    What's there to discuss? That he's a douchebag, or that he's a douchebag?

  • No Name Guy||

    I hope Goldberg and Klein never end up being in the same room together.

    I shudder to think what such lightweight douchebaggery from opposite ends of the spectrum coming in contact with each other would do to the fabric of the universe.

    Would it be like matter an anti-matter colliding?

  • dhex||

    that article was totally fascist.

  • ||

    Wolf is just using "fascism" to mean "authoritarianism" or "totalitarianism."

    Goldberg's comparisons remind me of the Jack Van Impe show. "What's in the news, Rexella?"

    "There were earthquakes in Turkey."

    "Isaiah 5:34, at the End Times, there will be earthquakes..."

  • ||

    Jonah Goldberg is a douchebag. Discuss.

    Worse than douchebaggery, Goldberg is a TRUE fascist. He is a fucking Republican, mixing his love of corporatism, militarism, nationalism, and religion into a teapot he can sup from while others salute the state.

    But what else from a Bush drone?

    So I begin my practice......

    'I pledge allegiance, to

    ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS

    MARCHING AS TO WAR.

    Yassuh, let us bow down to Busho!

    King o the monkeys!

    WITH THE CROSS OF JESUS

    GOING ON BEFORE.

    ahhh, I like a good wide stance...

    Tom Foley - we hardly knew ye!

    CHRIST OUR ROYAL MASTER!

    Lets go kill some fucking A-rabs,

    Blackwater, O how we love our mercs!

    GOING ON BEFORE!

    I'm revivling!

  • Mojotron||

    "Goldberg is also stretching accuracy by claiming that right-wing fascism is "a myth.""

    is "stretching accuracy" how you right-wingers call each liars without actually calling each other liars?

  • ||

    We have been living under fascism since before the Bush administration. In fact, according to the economic definition of the word, we've been a fascist-lite state since FDR. Fascism is a system where nominal ownership remains in the hands of the capitalists but control of the property rests with the state.

    It pisses me off when Democrats decry Bush as being fascist, because most Democrats in office are just as fascist. In fact, every call for the draft in the past thirty years has come from a Democrat politician. The Democrat Party might just as well be called the Social Fascist Party. (Not that I'm excusing the Republicans for their equally fascist tendencies!).

  • Episiarch||

    I shudder to think what such lightweight douchebaggery from opposite ends of the spectrum coming in contact with each other would do to the fabric of the universe.

    NEVER CROSS THE STREAMS.

  • ed||

    "Douchebag" is the new orange.

  • Episiarch||

    Shrike, Ritalin is for children, not adults. So I can't tell if you are on it or off it.

  • Patrick||

    Agreed on most points, but antiquated in that it describes modern China as not a fascist state. In its industrial and social policy, which is now about as corporate as pre-war Italy, emphasis on Han dominance over other internal cultures, and the frightening government orchestrated outbursts of violence against Japanese and Koreans within the country, China is now pretty close to the genuine article.

    The red is now for show. The country turned black shortly after Deng.

  • ||

    What, if anything, unites such disparate fascist dictators as Benito Mussolini of Italy, Adolf Hitler of Germany, António de Oliveira Salazar of Portugal, and Francisco Franco of Spain?

    1. The Fuhrer Principle.

    2. The identification of the race or nation as the natural organizing principle of human society, and the rejection of the idea that socioeconomic class fills this function.

    3. The identification of conflicts between races/nations as the operative force in human history, and the rejection of the idea that conflicts between classes fill this function.

    4. The belief in a natural aristocracy based on biology, both on the level of groups and of special individuals.

    5. Hostility to democracy/republicanism/parliamentarianism.

    6. Hostility to liberarlism/individual liberty.

    7. Hostility to Marxism, unionism, socialism, communism, and leftist movements in general.

    8. Social traditionalism

    9. Militarism - and not just military aggressivness, but the idealization of the military and of military service as defining characterstics, and the structuring of society along military lines.

    I'm not listing things, like the banning of political opposition or the use of violence to seize and maintain power, that are universal among revlutionary or tyrannical political system, as they aren't part of what makes fascism specifically fascism.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Facism defined?

    Fascism is a system where nominal ownership remains in the hands of the capitalists but control of the property rests with the state.

    Not sure that is accurate:

    http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/27/073.html

    Actually wikipedia has a nice discussion

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

  • No Name Guy||

    To add to Joe's list, anti-modernism.

  • ||

    If you look at Franco's Spain, Mussolini's Italy, pre-Anschluss Austria, Hitler's Germany, Peron's Argentina, and Roehm's "eternal principles" before Hitler had him killed, it becomes very difficult to argue that there is such a thing as "fascist economics."

    To the extent that fascists had economic principles, they were all over the map - but most fascists didn't have principles in the field of economic policy (as opposed to their racism, or their denial that economic classes had different interests, which they genuinely believed in). They just did whatever was most practical in order to maximize the industrial and economic might the state could bring to bear on advancing those goals they did believe in.

  • Bingo||

    shrike needs to up his medication a little.

  • ||

    That's complicated, NNG. Yes, in the sense that they hearkened back to an idealized age, and attempted to create a modern version of it.

    Yet, they were all technophilic, and sought to harness the virtues of that idealized age to create a modern, even futuristic, society.

    They were by no means Luddites or fundamentalists.

  • No Name Guy||

    I guess it would make more sense to say anti-modern culture but very much in favor of modern technology to advance their ends.

  • ||

    What's old is new again.

    "The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies 'something not desirable.'"

  • Episiarch||

    Hitler was anti-technology at first, promoting physical labor and getting your hands dirty. It wasn't until he realized how much technology would help advance all his plans that he changed his mind.

  • No Name Guy||

    E.G., the Nazis liked organic food, the idealized small agricultural village, the man at the head of the household, women barefoot pregnant and in the kitchen, hated the department store (the big box store of their day), hated modern art, modern music (Jazz), etc.

    Contrast it to the Bolsheviks who believed in free and easy divorce and women in the work place, hated the old village and sought to replace it with the industrialized collective, loved the big state-run department store, promoted modern art etc.

  • ||

    The economic side of fascism is corporatism: the state and corporation united for the greater good. Add to it a helping dose of nationalism and leader-worship, and you have the FDR years down to a tee.

    The socialists first started using the word as an epithet because the fascists were opposed to socialism, communism and Stalinism. This despite the near similarity in most areas with socialism. Socialists are taught that both fascism and capitalism are the polar opposites of the socialism (note how Joe's definitions above are all contrasted with Marxist phraseology), and thus equate capitalism with fascism. Over the years the epithet has lost all its meanings (just as "reactionary" did), to the point that most people equate it with mere militarism. For example, the movie Starship Troopers was filmed to parody fascism, yet there is nothing fascist at all in the movie.

    Which is why I keep my definition limited to "authoritarian corporatism".

  • No Name Guy||

    The FDR years were Swedish-style Social Democracy, or at least as close as this country has ever come to it.

  • ||

    Episiarch | July 14, 2008, 4:33pm | #

    Hitler was anti-technology at first, promoting physical labor and getting your hands dirty.


    Certainly, but at the same time, he was dreaming about ultra-modern supercities, mega-highways, universal automobile ownership, and other accoutrements of the modern life. His plans involved technological and material advancement right from the beginning.

  • ||

    George Orwell said long ago that political pundits avoid concrete definitions for words they like to use in their name-calling substitutes for logic. He mentioned fascism specifically, stating that it now (1946) merely means "something not desirable." How prophetic he was.

  • ||

    shrike needs to up his medication a little.

    Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
    Forward into battle; watch his hard-on grow!

  • ||

    Brandybuck,

    Brandybuck | July 14, 2008, 4:37pm | #

    The economic side of fascism is corporatism: the state and corporation united for the greater good.


    Really? Do you think that describes Franco? Do you think it describes the "eternal principles" of Ernst Roehm? Those were pretty clearly two hardcore fascist leaders, and their economic beliefs were not just completely different from what you describe, but completely different from each other as well.

    Hitler and Mussolini, whose performances tend to establish our perception of fascism, certainly ended up operataing much as you describe, but there is a great deal of variety among fascist governments.

    Among the Nazis' early economic proposals were to nationalize - and maintain in public ownership - the department stores, and the breaking up of aristocratic families' agricultural holdings to sell as small farms to the German peasantry. Neither of those - state ownership over private property, and dissolving large, private farms in favor of small holdings - strikes me as having anything at all to do with "the state and corporation united for the greater good."

  • ||

    Lazy John | July 14, 2008, 4:45pm | #
    George Orwell said long ago that political pundits avoid concrete definitions for words they like to use in their name-calling substitutes for logic. He mentioned fascism specifically, stating that it now (1946) merely means "something not desirable." How prophetic he was.



    Too lazy to read the thread, I see. PWND LOL

  • ||

    The economic side of fascism is corporatism: the state and corporation united for the greater good. Add to it a helping dose of nationalism and leader-worship, and you have the FDR years down to a tee.

    The socialists first started using the word as an epithet because the fascists were opposed to socialism, communism and Stalinism. This despite the near similarity in most areas with socialism.


    Socialism/communism are "nearly similar in most areas" with "the government and corporations united?"

    Really?

  • ||

    joe pretty good list at 4:18pm.

    But if you drop a couple of the things you mentioned you come pretty close to describing Stalinist Russia and (as Patrick points out at 4:14pm) modern China.

    I have actually met Marxists who loudly protest if one brings up Stalinist Russia as an example of Communism. Stalinist Russia, they will tell you, was a fascist state and not at all what Marx had in mind.

  • Josh||

    You've actually met Marxists? How the hell old are you anyway? I thought they all had died.

  • No Name Guy||

    Modern China is certainly Fascist.

  • ||

    The FDR years were Swedish-style Social Democracy, or at least as close as this country has ever come to it.

    Tell Brandybuck, aka Jonah Goldfarb of the Right-Wing Dishrag.

    He is backpeddling so fast to avoid the Bush comparison that a 'fascist' will soon mean Neandrethal Man......

  • No Name Guy||

    The closest thing to American Fascism was Huey Long's Louisiana.

  • Episiarch||

    Certainly, but at the same time, he was dreaming about ultra-modern supercities, mega-highways, universal automobile ownership, and other accoutrements of the modern life. His plans involved technological and material advancement right from the beginning.

    I was more specifying that he seemed to initially believe in a lot of hand labor for all of these goals, which gave people work and was "good for them". But building the Autobahn* is a lot slower if you are shoveling by hand instead of using a bulldozer, so he changed his mind.

    * If I recall a certain History Channel show correctly, the Autobahn example is true and was one of the tipping points that caused him to embrace more mechanization. Also, the Autobahn was initially for the purpose of moving troops across Germany quickly.

  • ||

    Isaac B,

    By my count, you would have to drop 6 of my 9 to describe Stalinist Russia.

    2. The identification of the race or nation as the natural organizing principle of human society, and the rejection of the idea that socioeconomic class fills this function. Precisely the opposite of Stalinism.

    3. The identification of conflicts between races/nations as the operative force in human history, and the rejection of the idea that conflicts between classes fill this function. Precisely the opposite.

    4. The belief in a natural aristocracy based on biology, both on the level of groups and of special individuals. No NATURAL aristocracy, and certainl no biological determinism.

    7. Hostility to Marxism, unionism, socialism, communism, and leftist movements in general. No comment necessary

    8. Social traditionalism Not exactly idealizers of the stay-at-hom mom or parental authority, you know?

    9. Militarism - and not just military aggressivness, but the idealization of the military and of military service as defining characterstics, and the structuring of society along military lines. The Stalinists idealized the worker, not the soldier. Wasn't there some term they invented to describe soldiers are merely one type of worker? Military worker, or some such thing?

  • Episiarch||

    The only way to settle this is for one of us to travel back in time and ask Hitler himself.

    NOT IT

  • ||

    Episiarch,

    I was more specifying that he seemed to initially believe in a lot of hand labor for all of these goals, which gave people work and was "good for them".

    This is certainly true. What I'm saying is, Hitler's ideology about hard work, outdoorsey leisure, and getting back to the land worked side-by-side with his futurism. If he had his way, Germans would have been living in Lando's Cloud City, and taking vacations to milk cows and build pyramids.

    But does this describe Mussolini, or Peron, or Franco?

  • ||

    NOT...ah, crap.

  • reviled and unrefined nobody||

    The word "fascist" has too much of a charge to it. I use "authoritarian" instead. I also evoke this Heinlein quotation a lot when cussing and discussing our nations' fascist (err...authoritarian) lurch:

    "Political tags - such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth - are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire."

  • Episiarch||

    But does this describe Mussolini, or Peron, or Franco?

    Hitler's ideology was..."bigger" than the others because he was nuttier than a fruitcake; far beyond average dictator nuttiness. So his dreams were more grandiose.

    The other guys, in my opinion, were using current political rhetoric to justify their position. Did they also believe what they spouted? Maybe. But priority number one was "I am in charge".

    I think Mussolini wanted to be Octavian.

  • ||

    What about the abortionists and gays kissing?


    Oh my gawd! what about us fetus lovers?

  • ||

    Socialism/communism are "nearly similar in most areas" with "the government and corporations united?"



    You'll hate me just as much for my definition of "socialism": The state ownership of the means of production. "Ownership" does not mean merely holding title to, it means having control over a property. Socialism takes the factory away from the capitalist, while fascism let him pretend he's still in charge. But in both it is the state which decides what is to be produced.

    (In their pure forms, anyway. Most "socialist" countries today are not at all socialist, but rather social democratic with generous dolops of corporatism.)

    p.s. Please note that I am not claiming that the state wrests control from innocent laissez faire businessmen to create fascism. History shows the opposite, in that it's usually big business that starts a nation down the road to fascism. In this regard the slack-jawed socialists do get it right.

  • Rhywun||

    It's actually spelled kriegsfuss.



    It was actually spelled Kriegsfuß, where ß is the ligature of s and z but later came to be represented as "ss". I am also a student of language :)

  • ||

    Shorter Jonah Goldberg:

    "I'm sick of lefties saying that fascism is made of things that they don't like. Everyone knows fascism is in fact things that I don't like."

  • TallDave||

    But as he explains, "not every flag-bedecked rally is Nuremberg, not every Guantanamo Bay is Auschwitz, and not every ill-conceived call for redistribution is a sign of corporatism."

    How dare you bring common sense to the debate!

  • Kolohe||

    joe-
    One of the core differences between Stalinism and Leninism (as they were specifically implemented) was Russian nationalism and the subjugation of the near abroad and their own ethnic minorities.

    And many (most?) the Lenninist/Maoist 'people's liberations' movements of the 20th century had a very strong ethnic nationalist component - with varied consequences. Just in east asia, they ranged from 'let's kick out the europeans' (vietnam), to 'let's kick out the europeans and dominate our near abroad' (china) to 'let's kick out all the europeans and all european influence and create cultural purity' (cambodia , but also china for a while)

  • No Name Guy||

    Stalin disliked Russian nationalism. His first post was Minister of Nationalities, in which he attempted to stamp out what he called "Great Russian Chauvanism".

    Stalin was, after all, a Georgian, not a Russian.

  • No Name Guy||

    Later on he used Russian nationalism, but I think he did to his own ends not because he believed in it.

  • ||

    Stalin was, after all, a Georgian, not a Russian.

    Oh, shit.

    Finally, Newt Gingrich explained!

  • Travis||

    I love the WARNING FASCISM picture I want to make that into a shirt.

  • ||

    Brandybuck,

    Socialism takes the factory away from the capitalist, while fascism let him pretend he's still in charge

    What happened to factory owners in Germany, Italy, and Spain?

    What happened to them in Russia?

  • ||

    Stalin disliked Russian nationalism. His first post was Minister of Nationalities, in which he attempted to stamp out what he called "Great Russian Chauvanism".

    What about "Socialism in one country"?

    He didn't care about Russia _or_ Georgia, he only cared about Stalin.

    And yeah, perhaps JG stretches a bit from time to time, but there's enough red meat in _Liberal Fascism_ to bring any fan of liberty to a vibrating rage... I can only hope that the 'Fascist Moment' inoculated the US against a far more virulent stream that overtook Europe and elsewhere, and I fear that the inoculation is wearing off...

  • Neu Mejican||

    I think the important point from Eco on fascism is

    " These features cannot be organized into a system; many of them contradict each other, and are also typical of other kinds of despotism or fanaticism. But it is enough that one of them be present to allow fascism to coagulate around it. "

    Like most categories, a list of features will always fail to capture the category. We really form these categories by analogy from a prototype or set of examples.

    Fascist states are those that "feel/seem" like core examples of fascist states from the past.

  • ||

    Kolohe,

    You raise a good point about the involvement of nationalism in communist movements. The "Holy Russia" speech also comes to mind.

    I'd say, first, that "kicking out the Europeans," in an anti-colonial situation is a proxy for class conflict from the p.o.v. of a communist. You mention the "cultural purity" desired by the Khmer Rouge, but recall: it wasn't a Combodian cultural purity they were after - they slaughtered old-line, culturally-traditional people - but a communist one.

    Stalin's willingness to turn Russian nationalism on and off like a light switch - he never tried to Russify the Warsaw Pact nations, but did try to Russify the Balkans - suggests to me a cynical pragmatism more than an ideology.

  • No Name Guy||

    He only promoted "Socialism in one country" because he just did the opposite of whatever Trotsky did. An intellectual giant Stalin wasn't.

  • ||

    Dr. Noisewater,

    What about "Socialism in one country"? That one's actually very easy to dismiss. Socialism in one country was a pragmatic response to military weakness, a tactical pause in the international movement during a specific period, owing to circumstances.

  • Neu Mejican||

    "Political tags - such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth - are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled ______________ and those who have no such desire."

    Dichotomies are easy to create.

  • ||

    Bud. The "King" o' beers.

    That is all you niggas need to know.

  • BakedPenguin||

    joe - where did you get the info about Mussolini having racial views? I've read a few bios of him, and I don't remember anything beyond his wanting to revive the "glory of Rome" - which is closer to John McCain view of America than it is to Hitler's Aryan fantasies. He (Mussolini, not McCain) switched from communism mainly because the communists ruled from a Politburo, and he definitely didn't want to share power.

    Also, some industrialists didn't fare so well under Hitler. Thyssen could have easily would up in a concentration camp, as did a few factory owners in Nazi Germany.

  • ||

    "Douchebag" is the new orange.

    See, I though "douchebag" was the new fascist. Or is that the other way around?

    Really, though, all the struggling for or against the applicability of the word "fascist" is just more vindication of Orwell's maxim. Bloody-handed thugs are all pretty much the same to me, regardless of their laundry. The victims of "communism", "fascism", and the neo-variants of each are all just as dead, and for much the same reason.

  • ||

    Oops, clicked too soon.

    I mean, who gives a shit, really, if the Holy Writ of some psychotic megalomaniac uses the cant of class or volk? The jackboots come down just as hard either way.

  • ||

    Baked Penguin,

    The term I used was "race or nation." Mussolini was all about the Great Italian People being heirs to the Romans.

    And while "some" industrialists fared poorly under Hitler, so did "some" generals, "some" farmers, "some" physicians and even "some" high Nazi Party members. Did only "some" Jews fare poorly in Germany, or "some" rich landowners in Russia?

  • ||

    From Moynihan's review: He(Goldberg) is convinced that "Hitler would have given Dead Poets Society a standing ovation."

    I'd like to think this part is true. In fact, I think Hitler would have approved of almost all of Robin Williams' "serious" movies.

  • Kolohe||

    joe et al.
    Totally agree that the only core principle of Stalin's Stalinism was Stalin. I forgot the Georgia thing, but I always thought - like how the bastard hick Hamilton tried to out-aristocrat the aristocracy - that Stalin tried to out-Russian the Russians. As a random thought, it really shows the power and importance of institutions, in that the worse that happens when we have someone like that in charge in the US is Nixon.

  • ||

    I mean, who gives a shit, really, if the Holy Writ of some psychotic megalomaniac uses the cant of class or volk?

    People who want to strangle such movements in their cribs, and don't want to have to wait until they are strong enough to stomp all over people?

    If you only think that totalitarianism can come from one side or the other, you can end up like those East Germans who decided that the hammer and sickle meant freedom, because it was opposed to the swastika. Or vice versa.

    "That guy can't be a totalitarian; he hates the unions and believes in strong families."

    "That guy can't be a totalitarian; he supports the unions and rails against the patriarchy."

    Guess what?

  • ||

    Interewting (BaBa Wawa here)

    Why do the Bush fascists look at the BOTTOM of the food chain for their Imperical Overlord Data?

    I dunno.... ?????

    But Cheney is rubbing my thigh as I t,t,t,t, type!

    OHHH Dick! That do my Chingo lusto fingo!

  • Kolohe||

    and joe you have a point regarding 'year zero' projects (which seem to happen practically everywhere; in Cambodia, Cultural Revolution China, and New Soviet Man Russia). But I can't help thinking that psychologically, they still relied on subliminal ethnic nationalism. e.g. 'great people of our nation, we will create a glorious future based on the new modern person, and only we can do this, because everyone else is a poopyhead.' This is essentially the core principle of North Korean Juche.

  • ||

    I erased some fourteen gooks in one swipe back in Nam, mothafuckas. Fuck you all.

    I pulled better men out of the blood gutter of my bayonet.

    Get down, bitches!

  • Neu Mejican||

    In so doing, he, like Wolf, fails to provide the reader with a single, accurate definition, relying instead on the occasional doctrinal commonality between historical fascists and his modern ideological opponents.

    Michael Moynihan fails to provide his readers with even a sketch of a definition yet seems to think that there is an "accurate definition."

  • ||

    shrike? meds?

  • ||

    Kolohe,

    Wasn't there a "Year Zero" in Jacobin France, too?

    I hear you on "subliminal ethnic nationalism," but something that's subliminal is precisely the opposite of ideology, and I've been discussing ideology.

    Even radical re-inventors of human nature are people, complete with their cultural backgrounds and baggage. A taste for vodka, straight, isn't part of Communist ideology, either, know what I mean?

  • ||

    Neu Mejican,

    Can we say that ideologies, like neighborhoods, are more defined by their cores than by their boundaries?

  • Neu Mejican||

    joe,

    I don't know...is a penguin or an ostrich less of a bird than a robin?

  • ||

    What happened to factory owners in Germany, Italy, and Spain?



    They got screwed.

    What happened to them in Russia?



    They got screwed.

    The only pragmatic difference is that more factory owners managed to survive cold hearted fascism than warm caring socialism.

  • No Name Guy||

    Krupp didn't get screwed. He prospered. Same with I.G. Farben, and Porsche, and...basically any non-Jewish big business capitalist prospered, at least until the allied bombs fell.

  • tarran||


    Wasn't there a "Year Zero" in Jacobin France, too?



    Yep

  • Neu Mejican||

    doctrinal commonality between historical fascists and his modern ideological opponents.

    In essence the analogy works for some and doesn't for others. If it is a salient enough analogy, and it convinces enough people that the term can be applied as it was in the particular case, then that becomes part of the "correct" meaning of the term.

    MM doesn't find these two author's analogies salient enough. He gets one vote.

  • ||

    More than six decades after the death of Hitler and 30 years since the collapse of Franco's clerico-military dictatorship in Spain, fascism has returned as the preferred insult of the intellectually careless.

    First in with Joe is a fascist.

  • ||

    What happened to factory owners in Germany, Italy, and Spain?
    They got screwed.

    Uhhhhh, no. They got rich, received high government positions from the Party, and their support was carefully courted.

    I'm always interested in different points of view, but you don't get to make up your facts like that, Brandybuck.

  • ||

    Ostrich! Ostrich!

    Screw you, corning, it's ostrich!

  • Neu Mejican||

    This just in:

    Joshua Corning admits to being intellectually careless.

    joe admits to burying his head in the sand.

  • ||

    1. The Fuhrer Principle.

    2. The identification of the race or nation as the natural organizing principle of human society, and the rejection of the idea that socioeconomic class fills this function.

    3. The identification of conflicts between races/nations as the operative force in human history, and the rejection of the idea that conflicts between classes fill this function.

    4. The belief in a natural aristocracy based on biology, both on the level of groups and of special individuals.

    5. Hostility to democracy/republicanism/parliamentarianism.

    6. Hostility to liberarlism/individual liberty.

    7. Hostility to Marxism, unionism, socialism, communism, and leftist movements in general.

    8. Social traditionalism

    9. Militarism - and not just military aggressivness, but the idealization of the military and of military service as defining characterstics, and the structuring of society along military lines.


    more then half these things could be used to describe FDR's state or Stalin's.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Joshua,

    Which 5 for Stalin?

    Which 5 for FDR?

  • ||

    Look, joshua, shiny object!

    jingle jingle jingle

    Go get it!



    Now, where were we?

  • ||

    Joshua Corning admits to being intellectually careless.

    Where the hell have you been?

    If one were to make a list of 9 things that define Joshuaism i think "Intellectual carelessness" would at least be in the top 5.

  • SIV||

    No Name Guy | July 14, 2008, 4:21pm | #
    To add to Joe's list, anti-modernism.



    Fascist aesthetic is the ne plus ultra of modernism

  • No Name Guy||

    Yeah, Hitler sure was a fan of modern art SIV!

    No really.

  • No Name Guy||

    Er, "Not really".

  • No Name Guy||

    I hear he loved Jazz and Hollywood, too.

  • Kolohe||

    joe @ 656
    good points all, don't disagree.

  • ||

    They got rich, received high government positions from the Party, and their support was carefully courted.



    Only if they followed the Leader's wishes, and only while the leader had use for them. The Nazi/Fascist still needed the capitalists to have nominal title to the factories. They were in essence high priced hookers. They got paid well but they still got screwed. They did not have the power to decide NOT to produce guns or insecticide. Some of them were willing accomplices (see my post above), but some found themselves in a very uncomfortable position. Ei. Schindler. Hitler would have cleared a few of them out if he didn't need them for the war effort.

    But I am still puzzled by this recurring attitude that socialism is morally superior to fascism because it murdered factory owners. Both are evil inhuman systems.

  • SIV||

    Architecture,industrial design, are you trying to tell me VWs weren't modernist?

    The Italian Futurists, Le Courbosier dedicating The Radiant City "To Authority".
    The love of modernism is one of those "links" between National Socialism and the Commie kind.
    Fascists were more Deco while Communists were more minimalist.

  • Neu Mejican||

    this recurring attitude that socialism is morally superior to fascism

    I didn't pick up on that attitude.

    I am assuming that you mean something like "Stalinism" when you say "socialism." I am pretty sure the Swedish socialists haven't murdered their factory owners.

  • ||

    Some apropos links on fascism.

    http://mises.org/story/2903
    http://mises.org/story/1957
    http://www.fee.org/Publications/the-Freeman/article.asp?aid=2699
    http://www.fee.org/publications/the-freeman/article.asp?aid=2696

  • ||

    By "socialists" I mean Marxists. The Swedes are social democrats.

  • Neu Mejican||

    By "socialists" I mean Marxists. The Swedes are social democrats.

    As I thought.
    So, I don't see how you are picking up on an attitude that Marxists are "morally superior to fascism."

    At least not in this thread.

  • No Name Guy||

    SIV-

    In their attitudes towards art, music, cinema, and the family, the Nazis were distinctly anti-modern.

    Remember how Hitler declared modern art "Jewish", Jazz "negro" and "degenerate", and Hollywood films "Bolshevik"?

  • No Name Guy||

    And then for women there was "children, kitchen, and the church". They wouldn't even mobilize women for war production until it was too late!

  • Kolohe||

    No Name Guy-
    Is 'triumph of the will' anti-modern? (serious question, i've never seen it)

  • Kolohe||

    because i have always heard that triumph of the will (and birth of the nation for another example) while odious to modern sensibilities were cutting edge for their time.

  • ||

    Luckily in America, the public has to support Fascism before we will ever get it. Libertarianism is such a hard political belief to defend, especially when you are an atheist.

    I am tired of Republicans trying to out do the Democrats in how much Statism that they can pass. When are we going to get a libertarian Republican who is not a kook (read Ron Paul)?

  • No Name Guy||

    Kolohe--

    They were cutting edge in terms of cinematography for sure.

    But their themes were anti-modern.

    The Fascists were anti-modern in terms of culture while still appropriating modern technology for their ends.

  • MJ||

    "They got rich, received high government positions from the Party, and their support was carefully courted."

    As Brandybuck says only if they followed the Party line. Before the Nazis came to power they received very little support from German industrialists. When the Nazis got to power, the industrialists choices were clear cooperate or something awful would happen to you and yours (Nazi Party Labor Union rhetoric threatened to put businessmen in concentration camps if they did not increase wages). The Nazis were a populist movement steeped in socialist notions about the evils of big business. The industrialists were not their natural allies.

  • ||

    Only if they followed the Leader's wishes, and only while the leader had use for them. The Nazi/Fascist still needed the capitalists to have nominal title to the factories. They were in essence high priced hookers. They got paid well but they still got screwed. They did not have the power to decide NOT to produce guns or insecticide.

    Dude, that's happened here. Look at the domestic wiretapping. Qwest was the only company not to cooperate and their CEO was convicted of insider trading.

  • SIV||

    No Name Guy,

    FWIW Tons of PhDs and scholarly tomes have bben issued for revision/refutation of the conventional view of Fascism as anti-Modern aesthetics.Kind of obvious if you look at their cool stylish junk and iconography.

    Futrism was distincly Modern and was the predominate school of art in Fascist Italy. It's founder was friends with Mussolini and a founding member of the party. He persuaded Il Duce to refuse entry of the Nazi's Degenerate Art exhibit as it contained Futurist pieces

  • ||

    "{facism}doesn't need to be reappropriated or redefined, it needs to be buried."

    Moynihan is right, we need to ban the use of the term. It serves no purpose in helping build up state power. However, we reserve the right to use the term anti-semite when referring to critics of the federal reserve system and in using this term we may also try to associate people who are against a interventionist foreign policy with Hitler and thereby assign them responsibility for Auschwitz.

  • TallDave||

    What about the millions wrongly imprisoned in U.S. civilian prisons, under worse conditions, for victimless "crimes" usually consisting of a consensual transaction between adults? I guess that doesn't make as convenient a political football.

  • ||

    " Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship. ...voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country. "

    I'm not calling anyone fascist, but the stuff this old german guy(Hermann Göring) said sure sounds a lot like how Talldave, Bush and Micahel Young got things working around here.

  • ||

    I shudder to think what such lightweight douchebaggery from opposite ends of the spectrum coming in contact with each other would do to the fabric of the universe.

    Make it slightly damper, I would imagine.

    The effect would be highly localized, of course.

  • ||

    Moynihan wrote: "Night of the Long Knives," a reference to Hitler's violent 1934 putsch against the powerful, street-brawling brownshirts."

    I'm no "chest puffing" student of history, but I thought the expression "Night of the Long Knives" refered to an event in 460 AD. Didn't it originate in Geoffrey of Monmouth's description of Vortigern's betrayal by the Saxons (literally Saxes = Long Knives) and get co-opted much later to describe the '34 putsch?

  • ||

    For knowing who Vortigern is, I bestow upon you the title of "Chest Puffing Student of History".

  • ||

    Puff, Puff, Pass...

  • ||

    Brandybuck,

    Only if they followed the Leader's wishes, and only while the leader had use for them. Ah, but the fascists set up their economy so that "the Leader's wishes" were very much in the interests of those industrialists. Indeed, the industrialists themselves were often the people setting economic policy.

    And the entirety of the sentiment "Marxists are morally superior to fascists" is in your head. There hasn't been anything remotely suggestive of that written anywhere on the thread.

  • ||

    MJ,

    Before the Nazis came to power they received very little support from German industrialists. That's not actually true. The Nazis had numerous big-money sugar daddies, going all the way back to the 20s, among the industrialists. Their newspaper, which was essential for their rise, was primarily funded by an industrialist.

    And, in fact, Naziism was a middle-class movement which first started drawing support from the traditionalist, conservative/nationalist parties. The working class continued to support the SDs and, to a lesser extent, the Communists until very late in the game.

  • economist||

    The interstate system was inspired by the Autobahn. It was even billed as a transport system for troops lest the U.S. be invaded. Didn't do much good in "Red Dawn".

  • economist||

    "A Marxist claimed that Stalin's Russia...was a fascist state."
    Of course. Once Stalin's crimes became undeniable to where even Kruschev wouldn't deny them, the left tried to distance itself from the man. One great thing the left can always do when the crimes of its heroes are pointed out is disavow them and say they weren't real leftists because there is nothing inherently leftist about mass murder and repression. They're right on that count, but one wonders why these things should be more closely associated with laissez-faire economics and social traditionalism than with state control of the economy and the government-supported restructuring of society.

  • ||

    I think joe @ 6:30 pm is agreeing with me in not caring what marketing wrap is adopted by a psychotic megalomaniac.

    I suppose there's some value in being an expert in authoritarian marketing, but I would think it would be more valuable to be an expert in early diagnosis of authoritarianism, and the application of suitable prophylactic measures.

  • ed||

    I mean, who gives a shit, really, if the Holy Writ of some psychotic megalomaniac uses the cant of class or volk?

    Um, let's see...labels are very handy devices for those individuals who cannot grasp concepts? Why think when you can just call someone a douchebag?

  • ||

    Just one quibble: Franco's dictatorship imposed far more interventionist economic policies than what Robert Paxton allows for, particularly during its first two decades (1939-1959). Spain got peppered with state-owned enterprises, rigid labor market regulations, price controls, industrial policy fiascos, protectionist trade policies, limits on foreign investment, etc.

    There was indeed some measure of economic liberalization during the 1960's, but a large bit of the Francoist statist legacy remained in the books until the 1990's. In fact, with Franco, the comparison to fascist economic policies (in their Italian version) is certainly quite well supported by the facts.

  • ||

    So, ed, are you saying that it really matters whether a psychotic megalomaniac's marketing campaign is based on racial hatred rather than class hatred?

    Or are the critical concepts here actually "psychotic megalomaniac", "authoritarian", and "hatred"?

  • Mike||

    I have never read the book by Goldberg but from the account given by the article's author, Goldberg has no conception of German history. There are several historical factors that precipitated the rise of Nazism in Germany. To start with, Germany was not a united state until 1871 after the Franco-Prussian war. This is significant because while many other western european states were expanding colonial possessions, Germany had no unified conception of itself. Therefore the German people were susceptible to a charismatic leader that provided a stark, lucid vision for the future. Another contributing factor to the rise of Nazism is the idea of the "back stab myth." After the First World War Germany was subjected to a shameful defeat due to the Treaty of Versailles. The German people were constantly told that they were winning up until the very end of the war, and they were unable to see that the war was going poorly. When the Treaty of Versailles was signed the German people still believed that they could have won the wars, but placed blame on the Social Democrats who signed the treaty when the Kaiser abdicated. This led the German people to be wary of Democracy and distrust the government of the Weimar Republic. Not to mention that the Constitution, although on paper was nearly perfect, was not respected and not obeyed. Finally the economic malaise required strong leadership and an economic vision to pull them out of it. The German people were desperate to find a way to shirk the impossible reparations imposed on them by victorious, yet idiotic, allies. These factors, and others, are what caused the rise of Nazism in Germany. Goldberg looks at the tactics of the Nazi's but not the reasons why they rose to power.

  • shrike is number one!||

    Comedy gold! Who knew you could pack that much crazy into half a page of wide-margin, double-spaced rambling?

  • ||

    Marketing campaign?

    Hitler's anti-semitism was just a marketing campaign?

    If we are to take RC Dean's last couple of comments at face value, then Communism, Fascism, and even Naziism are not, by themselves, dangerous, but merely the "marketing campaign" of ideology-free megalomaniacs.

    In other words, if a good-hearted, serious, well-intentioned people set out to establish a Fascist or Communist state, if they genuinely believed in and worked to establish a society and government that operated along those principles, we wouldn't have to worry. It is because those ideologies have been used as a "marketing campaign" by bad people that things turned out badly.

    I don't buy it.

  • Alberta Blue||

    "Comedy gold! Who knew you could pack that much crazy into half a page of wide-margin, double-spaced rambling?"

    Check out the posts showing affection for Jesse Helms support of segregation.

    Besides, can't we all just agree that the only appropriate time to call someone a Fascist is when you either begin to lose a debate, or simply shout Nazi whenever you hear an idea that you don't like.

    It works for Jonah Goldberg and Naomi Wolf.

  • oleg||

    WALL-E is fascism...

  • Justen||

    I, for one, am getting sick of the increasing disdain some people show for comparing any modern event or policy with that of any distasteful event or policy in history, especially Nazism. If one sees a parallel between a policy being advocated now with one that was put in place and failed in the past, must he refrain from pointing it out because some in the audience will be uncomfortable with the comparison?

    The point is to show that the policy in question is bad, by example. Here's a newsflash, everyone: the Axis lost the war. Before that, they managed to place their countries in worse economic and political positions than they were in before the war, which took a decade of post-war aid and outside economic stimulus to repair. Japan and Germany were both essentially smoldering ruins; one can hardly point out to the autobahn and say "look, fascism worked great!" They failed by adopting economic and social practices that were unsustainable and ultimately intolerable by society as a whole. Fascism failed because it didn't work, not because some supernatural force dooms all governments who commit evil acts. Without the evils of racism, it still would have failed; without military expansionism it would never have got started. There were no positive and functional aspects to fascism; Hitler did not "do good stuff too". He wasted phenomenal amounts of resources to do relatively little unless you cherry pick the successes and forget the massive, incredible failures, which is convenient since they have long sense been torn down and forgotten to history, and ignore the cost in terms of natural and human resources and the impossibility due to those costs of sustaining such productivity in the long term.

    When someone says a policy is fascist, in a shallow sense they may be trying to imply that it's the product of a morally evil mind; but in a deeper sense they are drawing comparison to a policy that is known to fail, whether or not they are aware of it.

    For example, corporate monopolies are bad because they are not efficient or beneficial in the long term, contrary to the claims of national socialism and corporatism; laws and court rulings that weaken the power of anti-trust laws in the guise of "deregulation" to benefit the free market in fact put the market at risk. Propping up monopolistic entities with legal favoritism and tax dollars is the antithesis of capitalism, and it's also a major component of national socialism and Mussolini's corporatism, which by the final chapters of World War II had been proven as economic failure; are we not allowed to point that out for fear of committing reductio ad hitlerum and being ridiculed by our peers?

    Maybe we should just erase the first half of the twentieth century - hell how about the whole century because nobody likes talking about the cold war either - from the history books. It's not fashionable to bring up in political discussion, and certainly the mistakes of the past are never repeated if you ignore them properly. If we all consent to never talk about fascism again, maybe it'll just disappear.

  • Alberta Blue||

    "I, for one, am getting sick of the increasing disdain some people show for comparing any modern event or policy with that of any distasteful event or policy in history, especially Nazism. If one sees a parallel between a policy being advocated now with one that was put in place and failed in the past, must he refrain from pointing it out because some in the audience will be uncomfortable with the comparison?"

    The problem is that people use the comparison when it isn't appropriate most of the time.

    Best example I can find is Jonah Goldberg going on about how Hollywood produces Fascist movies, something which should be laughed at.

    I agree we should talk about Fascism, but it shouldn't be relegated to simply calling any person we don't like Fascist as both Naomi Wolf and Jonah Goldberg have done.

  • ||

    Golberg asks, if you ignore the holocaust, the militarism, the violence and the love of war, what really distinguishes social democrats from fascists?

    Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?

  • Alberta Blue||

    "Golberg asks, if you ignore the holocaust, the militarism, the violence and the love of war, what really distinguishes social democrats from fascists?"

    Depends on who you define as Fascist, would that include Pinochet, Franco, Peron, Suharto, Mussolini, and the Shah?

  • ||

    Watch, and observe how simple this mindless rhetorical game is to play:

    Just for fun, I will attack the Bush administration, but it could be almost anyone I want to hamstring.

    1. The Fuhrer Principle.

    2. The identification of the race or nation as the natural organizing principle of human society, and the rejection of the idea that socioeconomic class fills this function.

    3. The identification of conflicts between races/nations as the operative force in human history, and the rejection of the idea that conflicts between classes fill this function.

    4. The belief in a natural aristocracy based on biology, both on the level of groups and of special individuals.

    5. Hostility to democracy/republicanism/parliamentarianism.

    6. Hostility to liberarlism/individual liberty.

    7. Hostility to Marxism, unionism, socialism, communism, and leftist movements in general.

    8. Social traditionalism

    9. Militarism - and not just military aggressivness, but the idealization of the military and of military service as defining characterstics, and the structuring of society along military lines

  • ||

    Whoops! Stupid HTML markup!!

    1. The Fuhrer Principle.(Anyone remember the traitorous Dixie Chicks?...or "God speaks to me")

    2. The identification of the race or nation as the natural organizing principle of human society, and the rejection of the idea that socioeconomic class fills this function.(Post-9/11 commercial: "I am....an American")

    3. The identification of conflicts between races/nations as the operative force in human history, and the rejection of the idea that conflicts between classes fill this function.(Can you say War on Terror? Of course you can!)

    4. The belief in a natural aristocracy based on biology, both on the level of groups and of special individuals.("Bring it on!"...or in the words of "average Americans"...."Let's bomb them sand nigga's back to the Stone Age")

    5. Hostility to democracy/republicanism/parliamentarianism.(We'll be making just a slight adjustment in Executive Power, but only on an emergency basis/war footing)

    6. Hostility to liberarlism/individual liberty.
    (We're not listening in on your phone calls, we're just trying to keep ahead of the enemy......or..."habeus corpus? what habeus corpus?")
    7. Hostility to Marxism, unionism, socialism, communism, and leftist movements in general.(Okay, so that's almost everyone since Truman)

    8. Social traditionalism(I am a compassionate conservative...a God-fearing man)

    9. Militarism - and not just military aggressivness, but the idealization of the military and of military service as defining characterstics, and the structuring of society along military lines(Whoops! Sorry, that's McCain, isn't it?)

  • ||

    I would like to congratulate you on writing this excellent article. It deserves a very large audience.

    Regards,
    RRE

  • ||

    or attended a Western university in the past half century

    if you actually went to college half a century ago ago, or went to berkeley.

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