Fascism: Not Powerful, Nor Successful. Anti-fascism: Now That’s Scary

via Robert Wenzel at TargetLiberty

This is one of the best discussions I’ve ever heard on fascism.  Loved it.  Perfect for those who have to incur name calling when arguing  with Social Justice warriors.  Listen to this.  Learn from this and be prepared to use the material in your fight against nasty name-calling.

What follows are my notes and attempt at paraphrasing.  Woods starts by asking for a definition of fascism.  That’s good!  Gottfried says it’s important to contextualize fascism.

Contextualizing fascism:

Interwar European movement that develops most fully in Latin Catholic countries, where it acquires its particular contours, usually characterized by a struggle against the revolutionary Left in which the other side takes on some of the characteristics of the Left. For instance, it’s a national revolution as opposed to international revolution.  Struggles against the Left in the name of the nation and its history.   Against socialism as it devlops an idea of corporatism, neo-medeival corporatism, at least in theory, where fascism takes over.

Cult of violence, which is also taken from the Left, that the fascist can only come to power, act of revolution.  They’re typically contemptuous of Parliamentary Liberalism, which they see as a weak force that cannot resist the revolutionary Left.  They carry out the revolution in the name of the nation or the historical people.  So we cannot begin to understand fascism unless one looks at it in the context discussed in his book.

Not enough to look around the US in 2016 and politicianms who view public/private arrangemnt.  Today’s corporatist model with some kind if cooperation of government/corporatist entity is not fascism.  Not today.  Woods is referring to the classic definition laid by Mussolini’s statement that “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.”

Corporatist model of liberal democracy that has developed into a corporate or big governmen does not make a government a fascist government.

Developing a welfare state does not make a fascist government.

Opposing immigration.  Few fascist governments even cared about immigration.  70% of the countries in the world today would be fascist based on this concern of immigration.

The classic case of facism is Italy, not Germany.  Italian fascists as a movement is distinguished between fascists in government.  As a movement, fasicim in Italy sounds very revoluationary and aligns itself with natioanalist socialist, people who favor witin the nation who favor a socialist economy.  Once Mussolini takes power in 1922, he does very little to advance socialism, a criticism made of him by social democrats.  Many of them leave the country and go into exile, set up shop in New York or in Paris.  What he does is create a kind of corporatist model of the state in which large corporations, the working class, and the fascist bureaucracy all play some kind of role.  There aren’t too many serious economic changes that come about in the system, and a lot of fascism I tell people, is aesthetic.  Iconographic, look fascist rhetoric, fascist art, which is actually very interesting and innovative of the 1920s.  And this tells you more about fascism than the economic changes.

Nulla al di fuori dello Stato, tutto nello stato.

Nothing outside the state, everything in the state.

The Italian state does not embrace very much under the fascists in the 1920s.  In the 1930s, there is an acceleration of centralized power that occurs under Mussolini.  opposition to the one-party state that he created He makes an alliance with the Catholic Church in the Laterine Pacts of 1929.  By 1931, Catholic youth organizations are going to be treated unkindly in some cases by the fascist government.  There is an effort at creating a unified state.  The most persistent characteristic of fascism is the most glorification of something called the STate, a living ideal that incorporates a historic nation.  It is not just a bureacuracy or a public administration.  It’s a mystical concept of the state.  Statolotry. The state replaces God.  Everything is a sort of religions, everything organized in the state. The Italian state was not a particularly powerful state.  They also stay out of wars until relatively late.  It’s not until the Ethopian invasion of 1936 that they do any kind of major military operations.  Then they’re drawn into the Axis and become a German satellite. From 1934 to 1936, the Italian fascist government led the resistance to Nazi Germnay, supported Jews, let them come there.  There was no anti-semitism until the so called racial laws of the fall of 1938, and a very large percentage of Italian Jews became fascists. The Grand Concilio, the great Counciul of the Fascist state had Jewish members in it.  So the fascists distanced themselves, the Italian fascists, from Nazi anti-semitism until very late.  Even after 1938 there was nothing like the persecution of Jews that occurs in Nazi Germany.   That doesn’t begin until the Nazi Germanb government occupies Italy in 1943. The Nazi form of government is not a particularly successful form of government.  It’s an interesting historical phenomenon, that is limited to a time and to a place.  If it weren’t for anti-fascism, fascism in itself would not be considered a major historical force of the 20th century.

Listen to the whole interview.  You’ll want to get the book . . . if you like history.

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