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Thread: Definitions of Fascism and Racism

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    Definitions of Fascism and Racism

    I have never found exact definitions of fascism and racism. Can any other member of this forum give definitions?
    Could it be that the reason there are no set definitions for these terms is that the people on the left know that they could get sued(defamation) for referring to people with them? No dictionary has ever given me an exact definition for either one. Being labeled a racist or fascist can cost you(employment, housing, etc.), so why not have set definitions of these terms to protect people who have dared to speak out against leftist social policies?

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    "Racism"'s purpose actually is to defame and shame, it's a propaganda tool invented and designed to label the opponents of international communism criminals.

    It's been invented by Leon Trotsky, first ever usage of this term is in his book "The History of the Russian Revolution" from 1930.

    The word "anti-semitism" was invented by Bernhard Lazare, a French Jew, who wrote the book "Anti-Semitism: Its history and causes" in 1903.

    Fascism is rather complicated, while it in itself is only an economic model (mainly that of Mussolini's Italy, differing in many aspects from German National-Socialism), it's connotation has been transformed into meaning "extreme nationalism and belief in the nation's/race's superiority, leading inevitably to genociding all inferior people", basically a fascist has become someone who wants to kill 6 mio Jews again.

    All of these terms (and their related muzzle tools) have taken on an unquestionable, religious aura. They are absolute. Like denouncing someone as a witch during the inquisition era, the result (and their purpose) is to destroy a person. And like with the witch accusation, there is no way to defend yourself against "unjustified" accusations. No law protects you here.
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    In regard to fascism, our understanding of the word has been heavily influenced by the marxist conception of fascism. Soviet historiography considered fascism to be the final stage of capitalism, the reason why 'fascist' became a general derogatory name for western countries. The marxists in the West of the Frankfurt school took up this liberal use of the term and developed the 'F-scale', a way of measuring 'fascism'. This scale was based on a collection of quite normal conservative values. The result was that every traditional value could be associated with fascism. The combination of soviet historiography and the cultural fascism of the Frankfurt school created a paradigm in which anything that doesn't comply with leftist orthodoxy can be considered 'fascist'. That's the historical and ideological root of the still dominant rhetoric of the leftists.

    Historically, of course, fascism is simply the name of a single political movement that originated in Italy. There are some characteristics that are central to this historical fascism. First of all, it was a movement of action. Its ideology was not to have an ideology. It subordinated ideology to the direct politics of action. This set it apart from both marxism and liberalism. It was therefore also very voluntaristic. The optimist mindset associated with fascism therefor cannot be compared to the utopianism of marxism. Marxist optimism is derived from an idea of scientific historical necessity. Fascists on the other hand lay emphasis on the human will. Everything stands or falls by the will to act.
    Secondly there is the leadership principle. Action is interpreted in terms of hierarchy. Some men are meant to lead, therefore to act as a nation means to follow the will of leaders. It is the leader as such that is the source of this principle. In reference to ancient Germanic society it is not the King, but the Dux/Herizogo or the war leader that is the source of political authority, by virtue of his own merits. The source of power is internal and not external (like with sacred kingship).
    Both of these principles, action and leadership, make fascism somewhat 'nietzschean'.

    A third important feature is the state. In Italian fascism the state was considered the highest form of human development. In this way it was rooted in philosophical idealism. The state wasn't mere bureacucracy or a tool, but it was the fulfillment of all human life. Therefore fascism was explicitly totalitarian. The 'total state' is an italian concept.

    This last feature is what distinguished fascism from nationalsocialism. For nationalsocialism the state was a mere tool to preserve the racial community. They explicitly rejected the term 'total state'. What the state was for Italian fascism, the race was for German nationalsocialism. Fascism wasn't inherently racist. It developed a racial theory, or rather praxis, but the state was primarily the origin of the nation, not the race. It's exactly this aspect that made historians like Nolte distinguish national socialism from fascism. Emphasis on the first two features, action and authority, on the other hand would lead to an inclusion of nationalsocialism in a wider conception of fascism. The leadership principle and the idea of action are important to nationalsocialism as well (historically, in both cases, the idea of action originated in the same circumstances of soldiers returning from war and not feeling at home in their country anymore), but all is subordinated to race. Another thing they have in common is the economic model of corporatism which transcends marxist class conflict, brought about by liberal capitalism, in order to secure the unity of the community.
    Fascism did tend to develop a 'fascist international' but this only made more visible the distinction between race (and soil) focussed nationalsocialism and state focussed fascism. Many movements throughout Europe could be divided along this line of division. But many 'fascist' movements also developed their own characteristics, such as the legionary movement of Romania and the Falange movement of Spain. So where 'fascism' is used simultaneously to denote the original Italian movement and the collection of all authoritation-nationalist movements of that era, perhaps there should exist a completely different term that includes all of them, fascism next to nationalsocialism, falangism, legionarism, etc. and manages to express their relatedness and their differences. After all, any nationalist movement will differ per nation, because its prime goal is its own nation including its specific characteristics.

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    The major reason for this nonsensical application of terms for differing political ideologies is probably an inherent human trait for generalisation/pars-pro-toto-usage, in case there's even the slightest similarity between two things. Even if the differences objectively are greater than the perceived similarity.
    It's a convenient way for the average man to talk about (and belittle) something without having actually any deeper knowledge about the subject.

    I have often noted, that people, especially Americans, do the same in regards to the term "Socialism", which seems to them synonymous with Stalinist communism.

    It’s interesting to note, that Orwell, a self-described socialist in the wider sense of the word, realised(and lamented) already in 1944 that the word “Fascism” was devoid of any meaning even in his time and even before the war:

    George Orwell
    What is Fascism?

    TRIBUNE – 1944

    Of all the unanswered questions of our time, perhaps the most important is: ‘What is Fascism?’
    One of the social survey organizations in America recently asked this question of a hundred different people, and got answers ranging from ‘pure democracy’ to ‘pure diabolism’. In this country if you ask the average thinking person to define Fascism, he usually answers by pointing to the German and Italian régimes. But this is very unsatisfactory, because even the major Fascist states differ from one another a good deal in structure and ideology.

    It is not easy, for instance, to fit Germany and Japan into the same framework, and it is even harder with some of the small states which are describable as Fascist. It is usually assumed, for instance, that Fascism is inherently warlike, that it thrives in an atmosphere of war hysteria and can only solve its economic problems by means of war preparation or foreign conquests. But clearly this is not true of, say, Portugal or the various South American dictatorships.

    Or again, antisemitism is supposed to be one of the distinguishing marks of Fascism; but some Fascist movements are not antisemitic. Learned controversies, reverberating for years on end in American magazines, have not even been able to determine whether or not Fascism is a form of capitalism.

    But still, when we apply the term ‘Fascism’ to Germany or Japan or Mussolini's Italy, we know broadly what we mean. It is in internal politics that this word has lost the last vestige of meaning. For if you examine the press you will find that there is almost no set of people — certainly no political party or organized body of any kind — which has not been denounced as Fascist during the past ten years. Here I am not speaking of the verbal use of the term ‘Fascist’. I am speaking of what I have seen in print. I have seen the words ‘Fascist in sympathy’, or ‘of Fascist tendency’, or just plain ‘Fascist’, applied in all seriousness to the following bodies of people:

    • Conservatives: All Conservatives, appeasers or anti-appeasers, are held to be subjectively pro-Fascist. British rule in India and the Colonies is held to be indistinguishable from Nazism. Organizations of what one might call a patriotic and traditional type are labelled crypto-Fascist or ‘Fascist-minded’. Examples are the Boy Scouts, the Metropolitan Police, M.I.5, the British Legion. Key phrase: ‘The public schools are breeding-grounds of Fascism’.

    • Socialists: Defenders of old-style capitalism (example, Sir Ernest Benn) maintain that Socialism and Fascism are the same thing. Some Catholic journalists maintain that Socialists have been the principal collaborators in the Nazi-occupied countries. The same accusation is made from a different angle by the Communist party during its ultra-Left phases. In the period 1930-35 the Daily Worker habitually referred to the Labour Party as the Labour Fascists. This is echoed by other Left extremists such as Anarchists. Some Indian Nationalists consider the British trade unions to be Fascist organizations.

    • Communists: A considerable school of thought (examples, Rauschning, Peter Drucker, James Burnham, F. A. Voigt) refuses to recognize a difference between the Nazi and Soviet régimes, and holds that all Fascists and Communists are aiming at approximately the same thing and are even to some extent the same people. Leaders in The Times (pre-war) have referred to the U.S.S.R. as a ‘Fascist country’. Again from a different angle this is echoed by Anarchists and Trotskyists.

    • Trotskyists: Communists charge the Trotskyists proper, i.e. Trotsky's own organization, with being a crypto-Fascist organization in Nazi pay. This was widely believed on the Left during the Popular Front period. In their ultra-Right phases the Communists tend to apply the same accusation to all factions to the Left of themselves, e.g. Common Wealth or the I.L.P.

    • Catholics: Outside its own ranks, the Catholic Church is almost universally regarded as pro-Fascist, both objectively and subjectively;

    • War resisters: Pacifists and others who are anti-war are frequently accused not only of making things easier for the Axis, but of becoming tinged with pro-Fascist feeling.

    • Supporters of the war: War resisters usually base their case on the claim that British imperialism is worse than Nazism, and tend to apply the term ‘Fascist’ to anyone who wishes for a military victory. The supporters of the People's Convention came near to claiming that willingness to resist a Nazi invasion was a sign of Fascist sympathies. The Home Guard was denounced as a Fascist organization as soon as it appeared. In addition, the whole of the Left tends to equate militarism with Fascism. Politically conscious private soldiers nearly always refer to their officers as ‘Fascist-minded’ or ‘natural Fascists’. Battle-schools, spit and polish, saluting of officers are all considered conducive to Fascism. Before the war, joining the Territorials was regarded as a sign of Fascist tendencies. Conscription and a professional army are both denounced as Fascist phenomena.

    • Nationalists: Nationalism is universally regarded as inherently Fascist, but this is held only to apply to such national movements as the speaker happens to disapprove of. Arab nationalism, Polish nationalism, Finnish nationalism, the Indian Congress Party, the Muslim League, Zionism, and the I.R.A. are all described as Fascist but not by the same people.


    It will be seen that, as used, the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless. In conversation, of course, it is used even more wildly than in print. I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox-hunting, bull-fighting, the 1922 Committee, the 1941 Committee, Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley's broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else.
    Yet underneath all this mess there does lie a kind of buried meaning. To begin with, it is clear that there are very great differences, some of them easy to point out and not easy to explain away, between the régimes called Fascist and those called democratic.
    Secondly, if ‘Fascist’ means ‘in sympathy with Hitler’, some of the accusations I have listed above are obviously very much more justified than others.
    Thirdly, even the people who recklessly fling the word ‘Fascist’ in every direction attach at any rate an emotional significance to it. By ‘Fascism’ they mean, roughly speaking, something cruel, unscrupulous, arrogant, obscurantist, anti-liberal and anti-working-class. Except for the relatively small number of Fascist sympathizers, almost any English person would accept ‘bully’ as a synonym for ‘Fascist’. That is about as near to a definition as this much-abused word has come.
    But Fascism is also a political and economic system. Why, then, cannot we have a clear and generally accepted definition of it? Alas! we shall not get one — not yet, anyway. To say why would take too long, but basically it is because it is impossible to define Fascism satisfactorily without making admissions which neither the Fascists themselves, nor the Conservatives, nor Socialists of any colour, are willing to make. All one can do for the moment is to use the word with a certain amount of circumspection and not, as is usually done, degrade it to the level of a swearword.
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    Fascism = Communism - Socialism

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    Quote Originally Posted by Juthunge View Post
    I have often noted, that people, especially Americans, do the same in regards to the term "Socialism", which seems to them synonymous with Stalinist communism.
    I would not say that Americans use the term "Socialism" in being synonymous with Stalinist communism as much as they view as being synonymous with bolshevism in general. The initial idea of true Americanism is the all governments are form of necessary evil against the free will and thought of man. This feeling with true Americanism has it negative downsides in that people's opinions are swayed heavily by outside thought influences such as media.

    Most Americans if asked would say that Adolf Hitler was fascist, mainly because that is what they are told by the leftist media and education system and they do not understand the difference between fascism, socialism, nationalism, capitalism, communism or any other ideology. Americans as a whole don't even know the difference between a democracy and a republic, the words democracy and freedom are crammed down their throats from day one in every school in America, this leaves them with a thought process that only associates freedom with democracy and that all other ideas are a form of oppression. To prove this you only need to ask random Americans if their country is a democracy and almost all of them will say "yes", when in fact America is supposed to be republic governed by a set of laws in order to keep the government in check from damaging the free will of the people on a personal level.
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