Does Communism and Fascism meet in practice? - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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The non-democratic state: Platonism, Fascism, Theocracy, Monarchy etc.
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#14536449
At least in the ways in which these ideologies were implemented? I mean surely all of you are familiar with the idea of "totalitarianism" and it is a rather frequently-used trope that Stalin and Hitler had a lot in common with each other. I myself might or might not agree with that but it is out there in the atmosphere, and I would suspect the general public (of at least the USA) holds to the view that Fascism and Communism are highly similar in comparison with Democracy/Capitalism.
#14536494
Communist theory is (on the whole): materialist, internationalist, historically determinist, anti-clericalist, collectivist, and it upholds a democratic socialism. Whether the 'really existing socialism' of the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc met all of this criteria is up for debate - Stalin's 'socialism in one country' was essentially a masked nationalism hiding behind internationalism, and it wasn't democratic or libertarian. The underlying goal for communism is however internationalism, and so any nationalist sentiments coming from Marxists can essentially be described as a façade used to hold that system together by drawing support from the local people's affinities and persuasions (love for their own country). Communism's target audience is the working class.

Fascism insofar as it has manifested as an ideology and movement in the past can be described as: anti-materialist, (Jacobin) nationalist, anti-determinist, modernist (fundamentally, behind its traditionalist discourse), collectivist, non-democratic socialist (corporatism, opposed to the 'absolute democracy' of communist theory) authoritarian, militaristic. Typically its electorate has been the middle classes, which to a degree rely on working class support.

I have observed that communists are less willing (if willing at all) to acknowledge any sort of overlap between communist and fascist movements as they manifested historically, whilst many fascists will happily take pride that Stalinism was 'an expression of Russian nationalism', or that Ceaușescu's leadership in Romania was a patriotic form of 'national communism' which accomplished a great many things for that country.

Ultimately, it depends on who you ask - there are different shades of leftist and rightist, so they will give you different answers. As I've outlined above however, whilst the two ideologies are revolutionary, they begin from radically different points of views - fascism came after communism and it was a reorientation of socialism away from internationalism and materialism. Another theme that will crop up when discussing these two ideologies from their respective proponents is how similar their opponents' ideology is to liberalism: communists will accuse fascists of colluding with liberals; liberals will accuse communists and fascists of being equally reprehensible; fascists look to liberals and communists, as self-proclaimed inheritors of Enlightenment philosophy and thinking, as being similarly detestable.

It's also amusing when postmodernist 'New Left'/'smash the system' types battle it out and argue about this sort of thing with so-called 'national communists'/orthodox Marxists.
#14536633
UnusuallyUsual wrote:I would suspect the general public (of at least the USA) holds to the view that Fascism and Communism are highly similar in comparison with Democracy/Capitalism.


Of course they were, in actual practice. Both meant monolithic states with a supreme Leader, a single ideology, a big bureaucracy, militarism and hegemonization, even if the communists were less aggressive than the fascists. Communism came to resemble fascism because pristine communism was not for the real world.
#14536647
Yes. Fascism and the State Communists of the Stalinist style both seek total control of society and adopted to some degree similar methods and organization. Secret Police, Camps, Child indoctrination. Similar goals in total control of society lead to similar methods. While there are similarities their are many differences. Large doctrinal differences and organizational forms.
#14536659
pugsville wrote:Yes. Fascism and the State Communists of the Stalinist style both seek total control of society and adopted to some degree similar methods and organization. Secret Police, Camps, Child indoctrination. Similar goals in total control of society lead to similar methods.


And not just internal control but State power vis a vis other nations. The ironic thing is the state grew as much under the system which predicted its disappearance as under the one that glorified it. Which says something about which was more realistic or less utopian.
#14536663
the concepts of dictatorship and the proletariat and withering away of the state were subject to plenty of criticism from the left. Marxism strength is analysis rather than solutions (IMHO). It can be a useful way of looking at economic structure of society (but should not be used as the sole way of looking). The "iron discipline" of the various official communist parties made them effective and often attractive to people but also made them pliable tools of Stalin and others.
#14536679
Rei wrote:Sure. They meet each other on the battlefield.


This. x 1000

Goldberk wrote:Dag's tankie apologism is a distortion, Stalin was no communist.


lol

Pugsville wrote: Secret Police, Camps, Child indoctrination.


like every state in existence?
#14536703
The State can't wither away until the world bourgeoisie are no longer in a position to launch counterrevolutionary wars against the socialist bloc. Until the class and ideological enemy has been crushed worldwide, the coercive apparatus of the proletarian State must remain and must work ruthlessly to keep foreign-backed right wingers from wrecking and sabotaging socialism.
#14536705
KlassWar wrote:The State can't wither away until the world bourgeoisie are no longer in a position to launch counterrevolutionary wars against the socialist bloc.


That's so naive. I don't believe communist elites would've given up power if they were the only ones who had it.

Until the class and ideological enemy has been crushed worldwide, the coercive apparatus of the proletarian State must remain and must work ruthlessly to keep foreign-backed right wingers from wrecking and sabotaging socialism.


There never was a "proletarian state." Even those purporting to be are long gone (most anyway) so it's all academic.
#14536708
This is all so much liberal back-patting.

The liberals creaing rigimes like the [url=http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_military_junta_of_1967–74]Greek Military Junta[/url] or the Pinochet dictatorship, or Taiwan, are mostly expected to let these crimes go into the ether.

Incredibly, some things like the Thatcher's best friends the Khmer Rouge, Aparteid South Africa, and the current North Korean regime--all defining themselves as anti-communist - are made into communists.

Fascism is a specific thing, and so is communism. To just decide that they're the same thing is problematic. Was the Greek Military Junta communist? Most certainly not. Yet it must be so, or else the statement that communists and fascists are essentially the same thing in practice completely falls apart. And so reality itself becomes warped enough that the regime that defines itself as having killed the invading communists and embraced religious values of the past against the terrible lies of materialism becomes a materialist-communist state for the west.

Trotsky wrote:A moralizing Philistine’s favorite method is the lumping of reaction’s conduct with that of revolution. He achieves success in this device through recourse to formal analogies. To him czarism and Bolshevism are twins. Twins are likewise discovered in fascism and communism. An inventory is compiled of the common features in Catholicism – or more specifically, Jesuitism – and Bolshevism. Hitler and Mussolini, utilizing from their side exactly the same method, disclose that liberalism, democracy, and Bolshevism represent merely different manifestations of one and the same evil. The conception that Stalinism and Trotskyism are “essentially” one and the same now enjoys the joint approval of liberals, democrats, devout Catholics, idealists, pragmatists, and anarchists. If the Stalinists are unable to adhere to this “People’s Front”, then it is only because they are accidentally occupied with the extermination of Trotskyists.

The fundamental feature of these approchements and similitudes lies in their completely ignoring the material foundation of the various currents, that is, their class nature and by that token their objective historical role. Instead they evaluate and classify different currents according to some external and secondary manifestation, most often according to their relation to one or another abstract principle which for the given classifier has a special professional value. Thus to the Roman pope Freemasons and Darwinists, Marxists and anarchists are twins because all of them sacrilegiously deny the immaculate conception. To Hitler, liberalism and Marxism are twins because they ignore “blood and honor”. To a democrat, fascism and Bolshevism are twins because they do not bow before universal suffrage. And so forth.

Undoubtedly the currents grouped above have certain common features. But the gist of the matter lies in the fact that the evolution of mankind exhausts itself neither by universal suffrage, not by “blood and honor,” nor by the dogma of the immaculate con ception. The historical process signifies primarily the class struggle; moreover, different classes in the name of different aims may in certain instances utilize similar means. Essentially it cannot be otherwise. Armies in combat are always more or less symmetrical; were there nothing in common in their methods of struggle they could not inflict blows upon each other.
#14536737
It is traditional nationalist racist liberalism and fascism that are close. Take the original Italian fascism, the King and the elite found it convenient to make him dictator and then in 1943 they found it convenient to un-make him dictator. There was no revolution to begin fascism and there was no revolution to end fascism. So indistinct is fascism that In Spain, people can't even decide whether it ever was fascist. But it was the same thing when democracy was restored, no revolution just business as usual.

When Churchill said
I have always said that if Great Britain were defeated in war I hoped we should find a Hitler to lead us back to our right­ful posi­tion among the nations.
He was of course being coy. What he really meant was that he would hope to become Britain's dictator in such circumstance. The Libertarians all went along with fascism and Nazism in their own countries, unless they were Jews in Nazi Germany. There big regret was not fascism and Nazism but that there leaders led into wars that they lost. There is not the shadow of doubt that British and American libertarians would have backed the fascists and Nazis if their countries had been in similar predicaments. Nazis that did go the United States after the war had no problem fitting into American libertarian circles. Von Mises and Hayek of course were fascists. that didn't stop them turning up in America as Libertarian anti fascist warriors.

This doesn't mean that leaders don't matter and they matter particularly in Dictatorships. Things would have gone differently if Hitler and Mussolini had not been made leaders. But this is true of democracy. If Conservative William Haig had won the 2001 British General Election, there's no way Britain would have been part of the Iraq invasion. It matters but it doesn't usually change the fundamental system.
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