Why do people think Fascism is right-wing? - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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Any other minor ideologies.
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#14849409
Just looking for an answer to something I've been pondering for a couple days, whenever I hear people talking about "Fascists" or "The alt-right" it makes me wonder why they are associated. The idea of the Right is more liberty and individual freedoms, each person having sovereignty with less government involvement and a freer market. However people seem to associate this with Fascism, which is an ideology which involves people renouncing/giving up their individuality and essentially giving their whole life to the state. I'm not sure if there's something I'm missing/not seeing as I'm new to politics but I would appreciate someone teaching me why these two ideologies are so closely associated.

Thanks =)
#14849422
The idea of the Right is more liberty and individual freedoms, each person having sovereignty with less government involvement and a freer market.


Well I would like to agree with this. As a paleo-conservative (for lack of a better descriptor) I would like it to be sorta true. Here is the thing though.

In the US many, if not most, of those who identify as conservative do not ascribe to these principles. Look a the so-called neocons. They do not support individual freedom. They would, for example, rescind a woman's right to choose to have an abortion. (They make a weak argument about defending the "child") but this is mostly the imposition of religious principles. They would prohibit a person's right to marry whomever he/she chooses. Just two examples. How can these be seen to be socially libertarian principles? They are not. They are the antithesis of individual freedom. Our current so-called conservative government wants to enforce existing federal marijuana laws in the face of states legalizing the drug. Not only is this counter to the essential conservative value of states rights it goes against principles of arch-conservatives like the conservative icon William F. Buckley who said:

Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the prohibitionists at face value, marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could.


On the economy. They claim to want freer markets but seek to tear down treaties that open markets. They seek trade advantage and protection rather than open competition. They spend like drunken sailors. Bush passed the largest social welfare program since medicare and did not put in place any funding. Trump is proposing huge tax cuts without a single countervailing budget cut to pay for them. Indeed he is raising government spending at the same time.

There was a time when the watch-word of conservatism was a balanced federal budget. In the 60's arch conservative Barry Goldwater bemoaned:

Where is the politician who has not promised to fight to the death for lower taxes- and who has not proceeded to vote for the very spending projects that make tax cuts impossible?


Where is the serious move to do these reductions in spending? Oddly enough the democrats are closer to this ideal because they are not afraid to tax to fund government spending.

So what passes for the conservative today has become a big-spending, sold out to business party dominated by fundamentalist Christians and closet racists.

Calling modern conservatives fascist is not true in its entirety but it is apt in some ways. For example (and remember I am speaking if the US now) the move to a government that must be dominated by a single party to accomplish anything is a bedrock of fascism. It is the goal of both parties in the US. To make real change in the US a party must control the congress, Senate and presidency to such an extent that they have an unassailable majority. (Bonus points for stacking the Supreme Court and Gerrymandering their power in the states.) Fascist states are single party states. In single party governments the "president" become the front-man for an ideologically dictatorial state. Little more.

Look at your avatar's moves. He made peace and obtained support from the Catholic Church. This is very much like the relationship between the republican party and the fundamentalist Christian churches today. Look at the republican party. It is dedicated to corporatism. CEO's as Secretary of state and other high cabinet officers?

We have an aggressive foreign policy. Right out of Moussilini's play book.

So you see, there are real similarities between (at least) the neocon movement in the US and the actual goals and practices of fascist Italy. We have become so politically polarized in the US that the only decisive government we imagine is one that takes on fascist qualities. Perhaps the same could be claimed should the democrats take over but were we to judge by the Obama administration it does not appear to be so. Or at least certainly not to such a degree.
#14849431
You’re not wrong, in one sense. But the right, when the term was invented during the French Revolution, was about protecting the individual rights that were gained; which instead makes it hostile to extending those rights to those that do not have them since it deludes the power and rights of those currently in possession.

In a very basic way, Hitler (in this most extreme case) wanted to protect the rights of German citizens over the international rights of everyone else that may have been in Germany.

But fascism is its own thing, more related to libertarian and other rightwing ideologies than either likes to admit.

Fascism is the ideology of the petite-bourgousie in decay. When confronted by the haute-bourgousie on the one hand, and the proletariat on the other, they have little to do. But, when conditions are correct; when the haute-bourgousie are in serious danger, when the proletariat are rising, than the haute-bourgousie has a purpose for the use of fascism:

Trotsky wrote:The bourgeoisie is incapable of maintaining itself in power by the means and methods of the parliamentary state created by itself; it needs fascism as a weapon of self-defense, at least in critical instances. Nevertheless, the bourgeoisie does not like the 'plebian' method of resolving its tasks....The big bourgeoisie likes fascism as little as a man with aching molars likes to have his teeth pulled. The sober circles of bourgeois society have followed with misgivings the work of the dentist Pilsudski, but in the last analysis they have become reconciled to the inevitable, though with threats, with horse-trades and all sorts of bargaining. Thus the petty bourgeoisie's idol of yesterday becomes transformed into the gendarme of capital.


This is, incidentally, exactly what the libertarian Founding Fathers said was great about fascism:

Hayek wrote:At times it is necessary for a country to have, for a time, some form or other of dictatorial power. As you will understand, it is possible for a dictator to govern in a liberal way. And it is also possible for a democracy to govern with a total lack of liberalism. Personally I prefer a liberal dictator to democratic government lacking liberalism.


Hoppe wrote:There can be no tolerance toward democrats and communists in a libertarian social order. They will have to be physically separated and expelled from society. Likewise, in a covenant founded for the purpose of protecting family and kin, there can be no tolerance toward those habitually promoting lifestyles incompatible with this goal. They – the advocates of alternative, non-family and kin-centered lifestyles such as, for instance, individual hedonism, parasitism, nature-environment worship, homosexuality, or communism – will have to be physically removed from society, too, if one is to maintain a libertarian order.


Rothbard wrote:Take Back the Streets: Crush Criminals. And by this I mean, of course, not "white collar criminals" or "inside traders" but violent street criminals – robbers, muggers, rapists, murderers. Cops must be unleashed, and allowed to administer instant punishment, subject of course to liability when they are in error.

Take Back the Streets: Get Rid of the Bums. Again: unleash the cops to clear the streets of bums and vagrants. Where will they go? Who cares? Hopefully, they will disappear, that is, move from the ranks of the petted and cosseted bum class to the ranks of the productive members of society.


Ludwig von Mises wrote:The deeds of the Fascists and of other parties corresponding to them were emotional reflex actions evoked by indignation at the deeds of the Bolsheviks and Communists. As soon as the first flush of anger had passed, their policy took a more moderate course and will probably become even more so with the passage of time.

This moderation is the result of the fact that traditional liberal views still continue to have an unconscious influence on the Fascists...

It cannot be denied that Fascism and similar movements aiming at the establishment of dictatorships are full of the best intentions and that their intervention has, for the moment, saved European civilization. The merit that Fascism has thereby won for itself will live on eternally in history. But though its policy has brought salvation for the moment, it is not of the kind which could promise continued success. Fascism was an emergency makeshift. To view it as something more would be a fatal error.


The Von Mises institute today continues the interpretation:

Grandin wrote:Like Friedman, Hayek glimpsed in Pinochet the avatar of true freedom, who would rule as a dictator only for a "transitional period, " only as long as needed to reverse decades of state regulation. "My personal preference, " he told a Chilean interviewer, "leans toward a liberal dictatorship rather than toward a democratic government devoid of liberalism." In a letter to the London Times he defended the junta, reporting that he had "not been able to find a single person even in much maligned Chile who did not agree that personal freedom was much greater under Pinochet than it had been under Allende." Of course, the thousands executed and tens of thousands tortured by Pinochet’s regime weren’t talking.


As does the CATO Institute that keeps fascists on its staff.

Milton Friedman's grandson concluded that the future of capitalism could not be democratic:

CATO wrote:Democracy Is Not The Answer

Democracy is the current industry standard political system, but unfortunately it is ill-suited for a libertarian state. It has substantial systemic flaws, which are well-covered elsewhere, and it poses major problems specifically for libertarians:

1) Most people are not by nature libertarians. David Nolan reports that surveys show at most 16% of people have libertarian beliefs. Nolan, the man who founded the Libertarian Party back in 1971, now calls for libertarians to give up on the strategy of electing candidates! Even Ron Paul, who was enormously popular by libertarian standards and ran during a time of enormous backlash against the establishment, never had the slightest chance of winning the nomination. His “strong” showing got him 1.6% of the delegates to the Republican Party’s national convention. There are simply not enough of us to win elections unless we somehow concentrate our efforts.

2) Democracy is rigged against libertarians. Candidates bid for electoral victory partly by selling future political favors to raise funds and votes for their campaigns. Libertarians (and other honest candidates) who will not abuse their office can’t sell favors, thus have fewer resources to campaign with, and so have a huge intrinsic disadvantage in an election.

Libertarians are a minority, and we underperform in elections, so winning electoral victories is a hopeless endeavor.

Emergent Behavior

Consider these three levels of political abstraction:

Policies: Specific sets of laws.
Institutions: An entire country and its legal and political systems.
Ecosystem: All nations and the environment in which they compete and evolve.

Folk activism treats policies and institutions as the result of specific human intent. But policies are in large part an emergent behavior of institutions, and institutions are an emergent behavior of the global political ecosystem.


Then you have the fascists themselves that set themselves up as the defenders of a natural hierarchy to which the market is part, and a way to defend this "natural" way against the proletarian hordes:

Mussolini wrote:Fascism [is] the complete opposite of…Marxian Socialism, the materialist conception of history of human civilization can be explained simply through the conflict of interests among the various social groups and by the change and development in the means and instruments of production.... Fascism, now and always, believes in holiness and in heroism; that is to say, in actions influenced by no economic motive, direct or indirect. And if the economic conception of history be denied, according to which theory men are no more than puppets, carried to and fro by the waves of chance, while the real directing forces are quite out of their control, it follows that the existence of an unchangeable and unchanging class-war is also denied - the natural progeny of the economic conception of history. And above all Fascism denies that class-war can be the preponderant force in the transformation of society....

After Socialism, Fascism combats the whole complex system of democratic ideology, and repudiates it, whether in its theoretical premises or in its practical application. Fascism denies that the majority, by the simple fact that it is a majority, can direct human society; it denies that numbers alone can govern by means of a periodical consultation, and it affirms the immutable, beneficial, and fruitful inequality of mankind, which can never be permanently leveled through the mere operation of a mechanical process such as universal suffrage....

...Fascism denies, in democracy, the absur[d] conventional untruth of political equality dressed out in the garb of collective irresponsibility, and the myth of "happiness" and indefinite progress....

...given that the nineteenth century was the century of Socialism, of Liberalism, and of Democracy, it does not necessarily follow that the twentieth century must also be a century of Socialism, Liberalism and Democracy: political doctrines pass, but humanity remains, and it may rather be expected that this will be a century of authority...a century of Fascism.


Mussolini wrote:...Fascism is opposed to Socialism, which confines the movement of history within the class struggle and ignores the unity of classes established in one economic and moral reality in the State; and analogously it is opposed to class syndicalism. . . .


Hitler wrote:...And it is the greatest source of pride to us that we have been able to carry through this revolution, which is certainly the greatest revolution ever experienced in the history of our people, with a minimum of loss and sacrifice. Only in those cases where the murderous lust of the Bolsheviks, even after the 30th of January, 1933, led them to think that by the use of brute force they could prevent the success and realization of the National Socialist ideal—only then did we answer violence with violence, and naturally we did it promptly...

...I mean here that if Europe does not awaken to the danger of the Bolshevic infection, then I fear that international commerce will not increase but decrease, despite all the good intentions of individual statesmen. For this commerce is based not only on the undisturbed and guaranteed stability of production in one individual nation but also on the production of all the nations together. One of the first things which is clear in this matter is that every Bolshevic disturbance must necessarily lead to a more or less permanent destruction of orderly production. Therefore my opinion about the future of Europe is, I am sorry to say, not so optimistic as Mr. Eden’s. I am the responsible leader of the German people and must safeguard its interests in this world as well as I can. And therefore I am bound to judge things objectively as I see them.

I should not be acquitted before the bar of our history if I neglected something—no matter on what grounds—which is necessary to maintain the existence of this people. I am pleased, and we are all pleased, at every increase that takes place in our foreign trade. But in view of the obscure political situation I shall not neglect anything that is necessary to guarantee the existence of the German people, although other nations may become the victims of the Bolshevic infection.

...But I believe that nobody will question the sincerity of our opinions on this matter, for they are not based merely on abstract theory. For Mr. Eden Bolshevism is perhaps a thing which has its seat in Moscow, but for us in Germany this Bolshevism is a pestilence against which we have had to struggle at the cost of much bloodshed. It is a pestilence which tried to turn our country into the same kind of desert as is now the case in Spain; for the habit of murdering hostages began here, in the form in which we now see it in Spain. National Socialism did not try to come to grips with Bolshevism in Russia, but the Jewish international Bolshevics in Moscow have tried to introduce their system into Germany and are still trying to do so. Against this attempt we have waged a bitter struggle, not only in defence of our own civilization but in defence of European civilization as a whole.

In January and February of the year 1933, when the last decisive struggle against this barbarism was being fought out in Germany, had Germany been defeated in that struggle and had the Bolshevic field of destruction and death extended over Central Europe, then perhaps a different opinion would have arisen on the banks of the Thames as to the nature of this terrible menace to humanity. For since it is said that England must be defended on the frontier of the Rhine she would then have found herself in close contact with that harmless democratic world of Moscow, whose innocence they are always trying to impress upon us. Here I should like to state the following once again: —

The teaching of Bolshevism is that there must be a world revolution, which would mean world-destruction. If such a doctrine were accepted and given equal rights with other teachings in Europe, this would mean that Europe would be delivered over to it. If other nations want to be on good terms with this peril, that does not affect Germany’s position. As far as Germany itself is concerned, let there be no doubts on the following points: —

(1) We look on Bolshevism as a world peril for which there must be no toleration.

(2) We use every means in our power to keep this peril away from our people.

(3) And we are trying to make the German people immune to this peril as far as possible.

It is in accordance with this attitude of ours that we should avoid close contact with the carriers of these poisonous bacilli. And that is also the reason why we do not want to have any closer relations with them beyond the necessary political and commercial relations; for if we went beyond these we might thereby run the risk of closing the eyes of our people to the danger itself.

I consider Bolshevism the most malignant poison that can be given to a people. And therefore I do not want my own people to come into contact with this teaching. As a citizen of this nation I myself shall not do what I should have to condemn my fellow-citizens for doing. I demand from every German workman that he shall not have any relations with these international mischief-makers and he shall never see me clinking glasses or rubbing shoulders with them. Moreover, any further treaty connections with the present Bolshevic Russia would be completely worthless for us. It is out of the question to think that National Socialist Germany should ever be bound to protect Bolshevism or that we, on our side, should ever agree to accept the assistance of a Bolshevic State. For I fear that the moment any nation should agree to accept such assistance, it would thereby seal its own doom.


Hitler wrote:I aimed from the first at something a thousand times higher than being a minister. I wanted to become the destroyer of Marxism. I am going to achieve this task and, if I do, the title of minister will be an absurdity as far as I am concerned. . . .

At one time I believed that perhaps this battle against Marxism could be carried on with the help of the government. In January, 1923, I learned that that was just not possible. The hypothesis for the victory of Marxism is not that Germany must be free, but rather Germany will only be free when Marxism is broken. At that time I did not dream that our movement would become great and cover Germany like a flood.]Hitler[/url]"]I aimed from the first at something a thousand times higher than being a minister. I wanted to become the destroyer of Marxism. I am going to achieve this task and, if I do, the title of minister will be an absurdity as far as I am concerned. . . .

At one time I believed that perhaps this battle against Marxism could be carried on with the help of the government. In January, 1923, I learned that that was just not possible. The hypothesis for the victory of Marxism is not that Germany must be free, but rather Germany will only be free when Marxism is broken. At that time I did not dream that our movement would become great and cover Germany like a flood.


Hitler wrote:IN NOVEMBER, 1918, Marxist organizations seized the executive power by means of a revolution. The monarchs were dethroned, the authorities of the Reich and of the States removed from office, and thereby a breach of the Constitution was committed. The success of the revolution in a material sense protected the guilty parties from the hands of the law. They sought to justify it morally by asserting that Germany or its Government bore the guilt for the outbreak of the War.

This assertion was deliberately and actually untrue. In consequence, however, these untrue accusations in the interest of our former enemies led to the severest oppression of the entire German nation and to the breach of the assurances given to us in Wilson's fourteen points, and so for Germany, that is to say the working classes of the German people, to a time of infinite misfortune....

The splitting up of the nation into groups with irreconcilable views, systematically brought about by the false doctrines of Marxism, means the destruction of the basis of a possible communal life.... It is only the creation of a real national community, rising above the interests and differences of rank and class, that can permanently remove the source of nourishment of these aberrations of the human mind.


Fascism and libertarianism aren't the same thing, but they come from the same people with the same impulse. It's the cry of the doomed petite-bourgousie, stuck firmly between two historic classes, with nothing to sustain itself but populist visions of destroying its enemies and creating a fanciful utopia. But it is not a class of historic relevance, and its cries are always in vain. This is the opposite, in the words of both fascists and libertarians, of the the doctrine of the conditions of the liberation of the proletariat.
#14849467
Wow TIG. That is a lot to absorb. I will read through it several times.

My first thought is to observe just what thoughtful and educated these men were. I am generally no great fan of the Austrian School, Mises or the Cato Institute, clearly they are men/people of great depth and scholarship.

I wonder if the average student of today would be able to understand the likes of Trotsky and Marx. (Or Rothbard, Adam Smith or their 12th grade civics teacher for that matter.) We live in a time of Cliff Notes and Wikipedia. Our news programs are shallow to say the least. We find out political depth in the sarcasm of political comedians. But then I suppose in their own day the average person did not understand Trotsky, Smith, or Marx either. Indeed in what was to become the Soviet Union, most could not read or write much at all.

Have we descended into a mere howling democracy? Or has the electorate already been snapped up by a confederation of behind the scenes puppeteers. I am convinced this is pretty much the case. Still our hopes best lie in this howling democracy.
#14852718
The Immortal Goon wrote:
Fascism and libertarianism aren't the same thing, but they come from the same people with the same impulse. It's the cry of the doomed petite-bourgousie, stuck firmly between two historic classes, with nothing to sustain itself but populist visions of destroying its enemies and creating a fanciful utopia. But it is not a class of historic relevance, and its cries are always in vain. This is the opposite, in the words of both fascists and libertarians, of the the doctrine of the conditions of the liberation of the proletariat.


Yes, and this is why the fascists and the libertarians coalesce in the alt right, a loose alliance between nationalists and reactionaries, much to the disdain of the center left haute bourgeoisie and the more left-liberal or socialist identity groups. As a movement of Middle America they have taken up a gauntlet in the death throes of conservatism, itself representing the decline of middle america and the 'white' demographic. In the process they are giving up all pretenses to political and economic liberalism (at least for a time) and taking up the role of the antagonist left as a void in identity politics and how bicoastal elites see the flyover heartland. This heartland, as globalization exaggerates our racialized class inequities, appears to be becoming a proletarian and conservative nation in contrast to the decadent, corrupt, heterogenous centers of finance, trade, tech, and decaying higher education that serve as hives of materialistic and hedonist American liberalism.

To defend western civilization in the age of globalization means dually opposing the excesses of liberal capitalism that harm the nation-state (of which the nativist worker, the middle class white collar type, and the small & local business have the most stake in) and the anti-western left that has gotten more radical as the band aid fixes of the 60s become a distant memory and globalization exacerbates a racialized class issue.

The nationalists manifest as a populist middle class vanguard leading the disenfranchised white working class in a desire to create an organic society, with a restored family model and national bonds, a homogeneous high trust set of communities, a path to the middle class to steer the proletariat away from the left, a national or racial identity with which to enforce a social character on an economic elite, localism/regionalism and opposition to supranational states or the federal government, and a national economic alternative to globalization.

They are essentially the expressed agony of the middle class and the white working class under conditions of accelerated capitalism (neoliberalism/globalization) in the context of liberal ideological hegemony and the end of history. They, along with alternative media displacing cable monopolies, euroskeptics, and the failed experiment in liberal capitalism that is Russia, have succeeded in temporarily disrupting this end of history with Brexit and Trump and, in tandem with the far left among other identity groups, forced the west to harken back to the ideological battles of the 20th century.

One thing is clear: everyone outside of the haute bourgeoisie and the upper middle class is becoming increasingly far left or far right, and liberal capitalism is in crisis. Illiberal mass movements have returned with a twist, since this is the anglosphere and not the european continent we view the left and right very differently. But it's the same inching towards a weimar like scenario regardless.

What temporary peace and prosperity a generation or two had after WW2 seems to be fading as we go back to the heightening inequality and social chaos caused by capitalism's continual revolutionizing of society that came before those generations. I think we'll see less for 68ers and more for november 1918ers and 33ers.

We've sure come a long way from the 2000s and Ron Paul on the petty bourgeois right and anti war stuff on the left

Incidentally I just got done watching this video by hans herman hoppe on the alt right, where he defends it and rakes libertarians opposed to it over the coals. You'll find it very interesting, I hope you watch the whole thing:

#14852807
Conscript wrote:Yes, and this is why the fascists and the libertarians coalesce in the alt right, a loose alliance between nationalists and reactionaries, much to the disdain of the center left haute bourgeoisie and the more left-liberal or socialist identity groups. As a movement of Middle America they have taken up a gauntlet in the death throes of conservatism, itself representing the decline of middle america and the 'white' demographic. In the process they are giving up all pretenses to political and economic liberalism (at least for a time) and taking up the role of the antagonist left as a void in identity politics and how bicoastal elites see the flyover heartland. This heartland, as globalization exaggerates our racialized class inequities, appears to be becoming a proletarian and conservative nation in contrast to the decadent, corrupt, heterogenous centers of finance, trade, tech, and decaying higher education that serve as hives of materialistic and hedonist American liberalism.

To defend western civilization in the age of globalization means dually opposing the excesses of liberal capitalism that harm the nation-state (of which the nativist worker, the middle class white collar type, and the small & local business have the most stake in) and the anti-western left that has gotten more radical as the band aid fixes of the 60s become a distant memory and globalization exacerbates a racialized class issue.


I can only imagine how you are defining "left." It reads as if you are simply doing so as something that gives you bad feelings. It certainly doesn't appear as any kind of Marxist conception of it with the mewing of an American heartland and desire for technological backwardness, and frankly fascist conception that there is an invisible group of leftists that secretly control society and make it as rightwing as possible in its desire for a more powerful and segregated form of capitalism for no apparent reason at all.

The nationalists manifest as a populist middle class vanguard leading the disenfranchised white working class in a desire to create an organic society, with a restored family model and national bonds, a homogeneous high trust set of communities, a path to the middle class to steer the proletariat away from the left, a national or racial identity with which to enforce a social character on an economic elite, localism/regionalism and opposition to supranational states or the federal government, and a national economic alternative to globalization.

They are essentially the expressed agony of the middle class and the white working class under conditions of accelerated capitalism (neoliberalism/globalization) in the context of liberal ideological hegemony and the end of history. They, along with alternative media displacing cable monopolies, euroskeptics, and the failed experiment in liberal capitalism that is Russia, have succeeded in temporarily disrupting this end of history with Brexit and Trump and, in tandem with the far left among other identity groups, forced the west to harken back to the ideological battles of the 20th century.


This isn't the first time that these kinds of contradictions come to light. Marx himself was alive in a big fight between the kind of "accelerated capitalism" you claim in the repeal of the Corn Laws in Britain. Lenin was too as the entire world was claimed by one imperialist power or another.

Today isn't so much a unique form of capitalism but a continuation of global capitalism. Further, your characterization of the "left" as being some kind of omnipresent international threat that is always mucking up a big imperialist power was an old trick in Marx's time:

Marx wrote:Flat as a riddle whose answer is known in advance. Whether it was a question of the right of petition or the tax on wine, freedom of the press or free trade, the clubs or the municipal charter, protection of personal liberty or regulation of the state budget, the watchword constantly recurs, the theme remains always the same, the verdict is ever ready and invariably reads: "Socialism!" Even bourgeois liberalism is declared socialistic, bourgeois enlightenment socialistic, bourgeois financial reform socialistic. It was socialistic to build a railway where a canal already existed, and it was socialistic to defend oneself with a cane when one was attacked with a rapier.

This was not merely a figure of speech, fashion, or party tactics. The bourgeoisie had a true insight into the fact that all the weapons it had forged against feudalism turned their points against itself, that all the means of education it had produced rebelled against its own civilization, that all the gods it had created had fallen away from it. It understood that all the so-called bourgeois liberties and organs of progress attacked and menaced its class rule at its social foundation and its political summit simultaneously, and had therefore become "socialistic." In this menace and this attack it rightly discerned the secret of socialism, whose import and tendency it judges more correctly than so-called socialism knows how to judge itself; the latter can, accordingly, not comprehend why the bourgeoisie callously hardens its heart against it, whether it sentimentally bewails the sufferings of mankind, or in Christian spirit prophesies the millennium and universal brotherly love, or in humanistic style twaddles about mind, education, and freedom, or in doctrinaire fashion invents a system for the conciliation and welfare of all classes. What the bourgeoisie did not grasp, however, was the logical conclusion that its own parliamentary regime, its political rule in general, was now also bound to meet with the general verdict of condemnation as being socialistic.

...Thus by now stigmatizing as "socialistic" what it had previously extolled as "liberal," the bourgeoisie confesses that its own interests dictate that it should be delivered from the danger of its own rule; that to restore tranquillity in the country its bourgeois parliament must, first of all, be given its quietus; that to preserve its social power intact its political power must be broken; that the individual bourgeois can continue to exploit the other classes and to enjoy undisturbed property, family, religion, and order only on condition that their class be condemned along with the other classes to like political nullity; that in order to save its purse it must forfeit the crown, and the sword that is to safeguard it must at the same time be hung over its own head as a sword of Damocles.

In the domain of the interests of the general citizenry, the National Assembly showed itself so unproductive that, for example, the discussions on the Paris-Avignon railway, which began in the winter of 1850, were still not ripe for conclusion on December 2, 1851. Where it did not repress or pursue a reactionary course it was stricken with incurable barrenness.


Conscript wrote:One thing is clear: everyone outside of the haute bourgeoisie and the upper middle class is becoming increasingly far left or far right, and liberal capitalism is in crisis. Illiberal mass movements have returned with a twist, since this is the anglosphere and not the european continent we view the left and right very differently. But it's the same inching towards a weimar like scenario regardless.

What temporary peace and prosperity a generation or two had after WW2 seems to be fading as we go back to the heightening inequality and social chaos caused by capitalism's continual revolutionizing of society that came before those generations. I think we'll see less for 68ers and more for november 1918ers and 33ers.


Should this be the case, we should certainly join the communists instead of the fascists. It seems that, at best, you are making the mistake of the Third Period theory--a theory that its adherents to their credit wadded up and threw away as it proved to be wrong and destructive to the proletariat itself.

Comintern Sixth Congress wrote:The bourgeoisie resorts either to the method of Fascism or to the method of coalition with social democracy according to the changes in the political situation; while social democracy itself, often plays a Fascist role in periods when the situation is critical for capitalism.

In the process of development social democracy reveals Fascist tendencies which, however, do not prevent it, in other political situations, from acting as a sort of Fronde against the bourgeois government in the capacity of an opposition party. The Fascist method and the method of coalition with social democracy, are not the methods usually employed in “normal” capitalist conditions; they are the symptoms of the general capitalist crisis, and are employed by the bourgeoisie in order to stem the advance of the revolution.


This worked upon the intoxicating premise that Social Democracy and Fascism were twins as they both opposed the USSR. However, the USSR within its own first generation of action could not yet see (as it later did) that history was still based upon the old conceptions that Marx, Engels, and Lenin had drawn. This is to say, that the basis was still capitalism that worked exactly as it always had instead of entering itself a revolutionary stage in the same way that the proletariat had during the interwar years.

This is to say that the idea that Social Democracy is fascism is capitalism is to misunderstand the dynamics of each and the basics of how capital works. It is a conception that Stalin followed briefly and, as mentioned, threw away as it became obviously incorrect. It is a shame that it seems some people are unwadding it and trying to see if something fantastical that doesn't even fit in the current time and place might be used as a roadmap.
#14852889
Blook wrote:Just looking for an answer to something I've been pondering for a couple days, whenever I hear people talking about "Fascists" or "The alt-right" it makes me wonder why they are associated. The idea of the Right is more liberty and individual freedoms, each person having sovereignty with less government involvement and a freer market. However people seem to associate this with Fascism, which is an ideology which involves people renouncing/giving up their individuality and essentially giving their whole life to the state. I'm not sure if there's something I'm missing/not seeing as I'm new to politics but I would appreciate someone teaching me why these two ideologies are so closely associated.

Thanks =)


I don't care if this was answered yet, I want to make clear what the issue is.

Part of the problem is that the left-right paradigm you are using here is the American one which asserts free-markets and personal liberty as a "right position." historically this position was called "classical liberalism" but is considered conservative my Americans only because it has been the traditional position of Americans and not socialism (progressivism) which is what Americans tend to refer as "liberal."

Historically, being conservative was synonymous with traditionalism or holding to monarchy, ethnic-preservation, established national churches, punishing heretics, supporting mercantilist economics and imperialism etc. Fascism is not the same as this, but is clearly closer to such than "American Constitutionalism" or "Libertarianism."

Americans justify their definition of left v. right by saying the right represents "freedom" or "liberty" and left represents state control. Under such a definition fascism and socialism would both be "left" and libertarianism would be far-right, but this would create odd consequences.

Firstly, it would imply that libertarians that are indifferent to immigration, women voting, and abortion are more "conservative" than someone who is against all three.....that is awkward even in the minds of most Americans....it would also imply that a Fascist who wants to create a national church and a socialist who wants to ban religion are both "liberal," which also seems ridiculous.

Thus we have left-right spectrums

The Old One: Traditionalism (Right) Libertarianism (Left)
The American One: Libertarianism (Right) Statism (Left).
The New Emerging One (Which I Advocate): Traditionalism (Right) Cosmopolitanism (Left).

It seems that "Right" should be defined in terms of defending tradition: traditional peoples, religions, and heirarchies, it is demographically self-interested and preservationist in outlook, the state is but a means to accomplish these ends.

The "Left" is the opposite and seeks a cosmopolitan utopian future for mankind, it is internationalist in outlook, believes in transcending traditional distinctions of race, religion, gender, and class, the state is but a means to accomplish these ends.

Paleo-Conservatives would be center-right in this paradigm; whereas Gary Johnson Libertarians would be center-left. The Alt-Right, Fascism, Christian Theocrats, Imperialists, etc would be Far Right and most Marxists and Socialists would be Far Left.
#14852895
I don't know that it's changed that much in three centuries, RON PAUL's libertarian nonsense aside.

During the French Revolution you had those that wanted to defend the traditional rights of the people that had them sitting on the right side of the National Assembly, and those that wanted to extend the rights and privileges to apply to everyone (while necessary diluting the powers the people traditionally in charge) sit on the left.

Way back in the year 2008 or so, when RON PAUL was about to completely take control of the republic and save us all, his supporters started making the nonsensical claim that it was a government versus non-government binary. So the Anti-fa that smashed your car windows? Basically just a normal corn fed American conservative apparently.

Because that made total sense.

In reality this was something the libertarians had long been trying to coax into existance because (as shown in my initial post here) the libertarians and fascists have a long and deep love affair. So to change the subject to something nonsensical, where not only Stalin and Trotsky are besties-but Hitler, Churchill, and Mussolini, Ceasar, the Chinese Emperor, Mao, the Weimar Republic, the Third Republic in France, the Restoration in France, Alexander the Great, and Abe Lincoln are all the same ideology for some reason because they believed in government--was a good way to distract from any kind of reality.

In short, I think you're right, though you overestimate the changing of the meaning of the left-right orientation.
#14852940
Well, I understand your position, different sub-classes of the bourgeois will support Fascism v. Libertarianism; therefore, there is a class-singularity behind both movements which is why you are so insistent upon the connection. I am listening to "A Very Shory Introduction to Fascism" on Audible (a very left-oriented series I might add) and it presents the Leninist interpretation of Fascism in this way which seems to line up with much of what you have said thus far. Likewise, I believe it was Lenin who argued that Fascism was the highest stage of capitalism (If I am not mistaken) which is a similar interpretation to what he gave to Imperialism in his work by the same name.

I find the Marxist dialectic of history fascinating in this regards, only because the "true right" has failed to rally behind a single dialectic of their own. As a Christian I suppose I already have my own history and eschatology, but I do find the work of J.D. Unwin and Carle Zimmerman close to being what I believe should be our Dialectic.....perhaps Spengler as a close second.

I am curious as to reasoning behind your allegation of my overestimation.
#14852943
TIG said:You’re not wrong, in one sense. But the right, when the term was invented during the French Revolution, was about protecting the individual rights that were gained; which instead makes it hostile to extending those rights to those that do not have them since it deludes the power and rights of those currently in possession.

In a very basic way, Hitler (in this most extreme case) wanted to protect the rights of German citizens over the international rights of everyone else that may have been in Germany.

But fascism is its own thing, more related to libertarian and other rightwing ideologies than either likes to admit.

Fascism is the ideology of the petite-bourgousie in decay. When confronted by the haute-bourgousie on the one hand, and the proletariat on the other, they have little to do. But, when conditions are correct; when the haute-bourgousie are in serious danger, when the proletariat are rising, than the haute-bourgousie has a purpose for the use of fascism:


Ditto. 100% agreement with this assessment. Nothing else to add to answer the OP.
#14852956
Blook wrote:Just looking for an answer to something I've been pondering for a couple days, whenever I hear people talking about "Fascists" or "The alt-right" it makes me wonder why they are associated.

Perhaps you need to ask them? Because make no mistake, fascists and (right) Libertarians love to hang out with each other. Why was it that that Ron Paul had so many Hitler lovers and White supremacists at his rallys. What exactly was Von Mises doing working for fascist government before bringing radical Libertarianism to the United States? Why was it that that left winger Roosevelt was so keen to get America into a war with fascism and the right wing libertarians in America were so reluctant? Why was it that prominent right wingers like General Patton were so sympathetic to Nazi Germany? Why was it that the American left was so keen on de Nazification after the war ended and the American right so luke warm? Why was the American Right so comfortable taking ex Nazis into the American military industrial complex? Why were the American Right who had been so luke warm about conflict with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, so pacifist and isolationist when it came to dealing with fascism, were so keen to confront the Soviet union and Red China?

Why did the German right and centre vote for the enabling act but the left oppose it? Why were most European Conservatives so tolerant towards fascism while the left in the European liberal democracies were so intolerant? To get an answer to these questions we need to ask some other questions, like why were so many of the early heroes of American Libertarianism slave owners or / and defenders of the slavery? Why did Libertarians after world war II during the Cold war support conscription? Why was John Locke an investor in the slave trade? Why were the fathers of Libertarianism, Cato the Younger and Brutus slave owners?

Why are Libertarians so lucky? Libertarians have discovered that slavery and conscription have nothing to do with Libertarianism. Wasn't it a stroke of luck that they only discovered these principles once they had nothing to lose by being principled.
#14853143
Victoribus Spolia wrote:Well, I understand your position, different sub-classes of the bourgeois will support Fascism v. Libertarianism; therefore, there is a class-singularity behind both movements which is why you are so insistent upon the connection. I am listening to "A Very Shory Introduction to Fascism" on Audible (a very left-oriented series I might add) and it presents the Leninist interpretation of Fascism in this way which seems to line up with much of what you have said thus far. Likewise, I believe it was Lenin who argued that Fascism was the highest stage of capitalism (If I am not mistaken) which is a similar interpretation to what he gave to Imperialism in his work by the same name.


Lenin argued that imperialism was the highest stage of capitalism.

Lenin died in 1924. While Mussolini was a name at that point, Lenin was more worried about what would happen with the USSR after he died than some jag-off in a small defeated country was whining about.

What you may be talking about is Stalin's Third Period (part of what Lenin was warning against when he died) in which every country was going through a neat little process where everyone joined with the USSR or the fascists. Those that said they didn't really do either, like the social-democrats, were actually fascists that needed to be taken out. Hence things like the "Red Referendum" when Stalin encouraged the communists to vote Hitler so that everyone could get to where he imagined everyone on the chessboard should be. Of course, to his credit, Stalin dropped the idea as time went on because it obviously wasn't accurate. Stalin's government quietly ended up using Trotsky's definition of fascism as a lashing out of the petite-bourgeoisie.

I find the Marxist dialectic of history fascinating in this regards, only because the "true right" has failed to rally behind a single dialectic of their own. As a Christian I suppose I already have my own history and eschatology, but I do find the work of J.D. Unwin and Carle Zimmerman close to being what I believe should be our Dialectic.....perhaps Spengler as a close second.

I am curious as to reasoning behind your allegation of my overestimation.


I only mean that I find the left/right dynamic extremely consistent aside from a singular libertarian moment and interpretation. The American version you bring up, I would suspect, is rejected by the vast majority of Americans--just some of the loudest libertarians would continue to scream about it.
#14853167
The Immortal Goon wrote:I only mean that I find the left/right dynamic extremely consistent aside from a singular libertarian moment and interpretation. The American version you bring up, I would suspect, is rejected by the vast majority of Americans--just some of the loudest libertarians would continue to scream about it.


That is fair. More now than ever.

The Immortal Goon wrote:Lenin argued that imperialism was the highest stage of capitalism.


I know that was the subtitle of his work and that that the resource needs of the Bourgeois manufacturing class would lead to colonial expansionism under Lenin's thought, but I have also heard said that the Leninists viewed Fascism as a final stage or final blow-back from a dying capitalism; whereas, it seems imperialism was viewed as the "highest stage" in the sense of a "pinnacle" rather than a "final" stage in a life cycle.

Perhaps you can clarify for me?

This source seems to see Lenin as arguing that fascism was the final state of imperialism: https://books.google.com/books?id=YYdTv ... sm&f=false
#14853180
What the bourgeoisie did not grasp, however, was the logical conclusion that its own parliamentary regime, its political rule in general, was now also bound to meet with the general verdict of condemnation as being socialistic.

And this, indeed, is precisely what we see happening in the USA right now. From the 1990s and Newt Gingrich's gridlocks onwards, the self-proclaimed "conservatives" in the US have been doing everything in their power to make America ungovernable. Their reasoning is that all political power, all government, is by definition socialistic. Bill Clinton was therefore a "socialist", Obama was a "socialist", even the two George Bushes were "socialists" simply by virtue of the fact that they were the head of government. In reality, we see the bourgeois class trying to abolish its own rule; we see the bourgeois class turning its sword against its own right to govern society. It's astounding.
#14853284
Victoribus Spolia wrote:I know that was the subtitle of his work and that that the resource needs of the Bourgeois manufacturing class would lead to colonial expansionism under Lenin's thought, but I have also heard said that the Leninists viewed Fascism as a final stage or final blow-back from a dying capitalism; whereas, it seems imperialism was viewed as the "highest stage" in the sense of a "pinnacle" rather than a "final" stage in a life cycle.

Perhaps you can clarify for me?


The two main types of Leninists to come after Lenin were the Marxist-Leninists (Stalinists); and the Bolshevik-Leninists (Trotskyists).

They both have different views of the above, though the former ends up quietly reconciling with the latter in terms of fascism after its theories collapse.

In the Stalinist scheme of things, fascism was a general orientation that capitalism was going into. Thus a social-democrat, way further left than British Labour or the American Democratic Party, was a "social-fascist." Stalin explained as the Cold War began heating up and he reverted to the original theory (World War II having caused an alliance that had temporarily violated the general theory):

Stalin wrote:Firstly, it is not true that fascism is only the fighting organisation of the bourgeoisie. Fascism is not only a military-technical category. Fascism is the bourgeoisie’s fighting organisation that relies on the active support of Social-Democracy. Social-Democracy is objectively the moderate wing of fascism. There is no ground for assuming that the fighting organisation of the bourgeoisie can achieve decisive successes in battles, or in governing the country, without the active support of Social-Democracy. There is just as little ground for thinking that Social-Democracy can achieve decisive successes in battles, or in governing the country, without the active support of the fighting organisation of the bourgeoisie.


This goes partially toward Stalin's conception that Marx, Engels, and Lenin were incorrect and that socialism could be created within one country. Because of this, alliances with the bourgeoisie of other countries were permissible leading to the Popular Front strategy of foreign relations.

A Trotskyist, on the other hand, holds that socialism—being a dialectical concept—has to emerge as an antithesis to capitalism, which is a world country. Which is to say, one can have a workers' state in one country alone, but socialism itself can only be worldwide.

Because of this, there was no toleration of alliances with the bourgeoisie of other countries as they were impeding (not helping to protect) socialism to be grown in any area. This led to the formation of a more particular United Front strategy in which only revolutionary elements should be fought alongside.

This is important in that, for Stalin, Social-Democrats were enemies that needed to be wiped out as they were competition for an already established socialist state that was in existence (as were some communist parties. Stalin ordered the Chinese communists to surrender to Kang-Khi-Chek to be killed; and lines of diverging communists in the Spanish Civil War were taken out and the ground conceded to Franco); while for the Trotskyists the Social-Democrats were a political orientation that could be organically liquidated by simple virtue of the communists being correct that would help to build socialism throughout the world if they were given the truth of the matter and convinced to see the correctness of Marx's line:

Trotsky wrote:But the truth is that what helped most of all to weld together social democracy was the wrong policy of the Communist Party, which found its highest generalization in the absurd theory of social fascism. To measure the real resistance of the social democratic ranks, a different measuring instrument is required, that is, a correct Communist tactic. With this condition -- and it is not a small condition -- the degree of internal unity of the social democracy can be revealed in a comparatively brief period.

...If the Communist Party, in spite of the exceptionally favorable circumstances, has proved powerless seriously to shake the structure of the social democracy with the aid of the formula of "social fascism", then real fascism now threatens this structure, no longer with wordy formulae of so-called radicalism, but with the chemical formulas of explosives. No matter how true it is that the social democracy by its whole policy prepared the blossoming of fascism, it is no less true that fascism comes forward as a deadly threat primarily to that same social democracy, all of whose magnificence is inextricably bound with parliamentary-democratic-pacifist forms and methods of government...

The policy of a united front of the workers against fascism flows from this situation. It opens up tremendous possibilities to the Communist Party. A condition for success, however, is the rejection of the theory and practice of "social fascism", the harm of which becomes a positive measure under the present circumstances.

The social crisis will inevitably produce deep cleavages within the social democracy. The radicalization of the masses will affect the social democrats. We will inevitably have to make agreements with various social-democratic organizations and factions against fascism, putting definite conditions in this connection to the leaders, before the eyes of the masses.... We must return from the empty official phrase about the united front to the policy of the united front as it was formulated by Lenin and always applied by the Bolsheviks in 1917.


Victoribus Spolia wrote:This source seems to see Lenin as arguing that fascism was the final state of imperialism:


This appears to me to be in error. Perhaps it was merely an editing error where it should have read "Leninist" instead of "Lenin."

But Lenin had been dead for seven years before Mussolini published his Doctrine of Fascism.

Though there was a fascist moment before that, I haven't seen anybody outside of Italy defining it.

Within Italy, the marxist Gramsci was bravely standing up to it. He defined it:

Gramsci wrote:Fascism is a spontaneous swarm of reactionary energies that coalesce, dissolve and then reassemble, following the official leaders only when their orders correspond to the inner nature of the movement. This is what it is, regardless of the speeches of Mussolini, the statements of Pasella, and the war cries of all the idealists in the world.

To launch, or join, a movement of popular resistance – while setting in advance limits to its expansion – is the gravest tactical error one could commit in this moment.

It is vital not to create illusions among the popular masses, who suffer cruelly. Their miserable living conditions incline them to delusions – to the belief that they can alleviate their pain simply by shifting their position. They must not be encouraged to believe that a little effort will be enough to save them from the dangers that hang over all working people today.

They must understand – they must be compelled to understand – that today the proletariat does not only confront private associations, but it confronts the entire state apparatus: with its police force, its courts, and its newspapers that manipulate public opinion according to the desires of the government and the capitalists.


Gramsci correctly characterized fascism as coming from class tensions; largely from the middle classes of the petite-bourgousie having conflicting interests with the haute-bourgousie; and able to make an alliance with rural working people that felt that the urban proletariat were cafe-drinking elitists.

Tragically, for himself if nothing else, he mistakenly thought that these two groups could not reconcile themselves and fascism would collapse upon its birth.

Gramsci wrote:The ruthless offensive against the class organs of the proletariat has served the capitalists well. In the course of a year they've seen all the apparatus of the socialist unions smashed and rendered impotent.

However, this offensive has also had another effect. It is clear that the escalating violence has provoked a widespread hostility towards fascism among the middle and working classes.

...In reality the ‘crisis’ of fascism is not new. It has always existed. Once the contingent reasons that maintained the unity of these anti-proletarian groups ceased, it was inevitable that their latent disagreements would quickly flare up. The crisis, therefore, is nothing other than the clarification of pre-existing tendencies.


Ten years later, Trotsky explained how this alliance between antagonistic classes were held together:

Trotsky wrote:The petty bourgeois is hostile to the idea of development, for development goes immutably against him; progress has brought him nothing except irredeemable debts. National Socialism rejects not only Marxism but Darwinism. The Nazis curse materialism because the victories of technology over nature have signified the triumph of large capital over small. The leaders of the movement are liquidating “intellectualism” because they themselves possess second- and third-rate intellects, and above all because their historic role does not permit them to pursue a single thought to its conclusion. The petty bourgeois needs a higher authority, which stands above matter and above history, and which is safeguarded from competition, inflation, crisis, and the auction block. To evolution, materialist thought, and rationalism – of the twentieth, nineteenth, and eighteenth centuries – is counterposed in his mind national idealism as the source of heroic inspiration. Hitler’s nation is the mythological shadow of the petty bourgeoisie itself, a pathetic delirium of a thousand-year Reich.

In order to raise it above history, the nation is given the support of the race. History is viewed as the emanation of the race. The qualities of the race are construed without relation to changing social conditions. Rejecting “economic thought” as base, National Socialism descends a stage lower: from economic materialism it appeals to zoologic materialism.

The theory of race, specially created, it seems, for some pretentious self-educated individual seeking a universal key to all the secrets of life, appears particularly melancholy in the light of the history of ideas. In order to create the religion of pure German blood, Hitler was obliged to borrow at second hand the ideas of racism from a Frenchman, Count Gobineau [4], a diplomat and a literary dilettante. Hitler found the political methodology ready-made in Italy, where Mussolini had borrowed largely from the Marxist theory of the class struggle. Marxism itself is the fruit of union among German philosophy, French history, and British economics. To investigate retrospectively the genealogy of ideas, even those most reactionary and muddleheaded, is to leave not a trace of racism standing.

The immense poverty of National Socialist philosophy did not, of course, hinder the academic sciences from entering Hitler’s wake with all sails unfurled, once his victory was sufficiently plain. For the majority of the professorial rabble, the years of the Weimar regime were periods of riot and alarm. Historians, economists, jurists, and philosophers were lost in guesswork as to which of the contending criteria of truth was right that is, which of the camps would turn out in the end the master of the situation. The fascist dictatorship eliminates the doubts of the Fausts and the vacillations of the Hamlets of the university rostrums. Coming out of the twilight of parliamentary relativity, knowledge once again enters into the kingdom of absolutes. Einstein has been obliged to pitch his tent outside the boundaries of Germany.

On the plane of politics, racism is a vapid and bombastic variety of chauvinism in alliance with phrenology. As the ruined nobility sought solace in the gentility of its blood, so the pauperized petty bourgeoisie befuddles itself with fairy tales concerning the special superiorities of its race. Worthy of attention is the fact that the leaders of National Socialism are not native Germans but interlopers from Austria, like Hitler himself, from the former Baltic provinces of the Czar’s empire, like Rosenberg; and from colonial countries, like Hess, who is Hitler’s present alternate for the party leadership. [5] A barbarous din of nationalisms on the frontiers of civilization was required in order to instill into its “leaders” those ideas which later found response in the hearts of the most barbarous classes in Germany.

Personality and class – liberalism and Marxism – are evil. The nation – is good.
#14853326
@The Immortal Goon,

Thanks for the response. I found the Trotsky v. Stalin stuff interesting, I knew that there was a difference, but you gave probably the best brief explanation I have ever read.

However, do you have a more succinct answer to my question, I feel the answer is in there, but I just can't pinpoint it. So, the Stalinists believed that Fascism or "Social-Fascism" represented the death pangs (final stage) of capitalism, but the Trotskyites did not?......shouldn't that be the opposite given the historical orientation of the Trotskyites in their global-international view of socialism that would see capitalism as not nationally localized (as Stalin) but progressing as an international system towards a global socialist end?
#14853353
Victoribus Spolia wrote:@The Immortal Goon,

Thanks for the response. I found the Trotsky v. Stalin stuff interesting, I knew that there was a difference, but you gave probably the best brief explanation I have ever read.

However, do you have a more succinct answer to my question, I feel the answer is in there, but I just can't pinpoint it. So, the Stalinists believed that Fascism or "Social-Fascism" represented the death pangs (final stage) of capitalism, but the Trotskyites did not?......shouldn't that be the opposite given the historical orientation of the Trotskyites in their global-international view of socialism that would see capitalism as not nationally localized (as Stalin) but progressing as an international system towards a global socialist end?


Stalin saw fascism as a final stage of capitalism. He saw it all coming up into a final apocalyptic war between the capitalists with the fascists as their vanguard and the communists with the USSR as its vanguard. Basically. By not singing on with Stalin, you were signing on with Hitler.

This was the "Third Period" that was building to the final fight.

It may be a little Freudian to point out, but I do recognize that Stalin spent not a little time in seminary, and the final fight to occur in this seems like the conclusion instead of the analysis in my determination.

---

For Trotsky it was a little more irrelevant. The fascists were the small shop owners and whatnot being grinned between their workers that were demanding more; and the giant corporations crushing them. The fascists for Trotsky, while he openly despised them, were a frenzied result of capitalism:

Trotsky wrote:Reducing the program of petty-bourgeois illusions to a naked bureaucratic masquerade, National Socialism raises itself over the nation as the worst form of imperialism. Absolutely vain are hopes that Hitler’s government will fail today or tomorrow, a victim of its internal inconsistency. The Nazis required the program in order to assume power; but power serves Hitler not at all for the purpose of fuming the program. His tasks are assigned him by monopoly capital. The compulsory concentration of all forces and resources of the people in the interests of imperialism – the true historic mission of the fascist dictatorship – means preparation for war; and this task, in its turn, brooks no internal resistance and leads to a further mechanical concentration of power. Fascism cannot be reformed or retired from service. It can only be overthrown. The political orbit of the regime leans upon the alternative, war or revolution.


And a particular historical circumstance that resulted in this frenzy coming to roost:

Trotsky wrote:Both theoretical analysis as well as the rich historical experience of the last quarter of a century have demonstrated with equal force that fascism is each time the final link of a specific political cycle composed of the following: the gravest crisis of capitalist society; the growth of the radicalization of the working class; the growth of sympathy toward the working class and a yearning for change on the part of the rural and urban petty bourgeoisie; the extreme confusion of the big bourgeoisie; its cowardly and treacherous maneuvers aimed at avoiding the revolutionary climax; the exhaustion of the proletariat, growing confusion and indifference; the aggravation of the social crisis; the despair of the petty bourgeoisie, its yearning for change, the collective neurosis of the petty bourgeoisie, its readiness to believe in miracles; its readiness for violent measures; the growth of hostility towards the proletariat which has deceived its expectations. These are the premises for a swift formation of a fascist party and its victory.


Whereas Stalin saw no difference between the fascists, the capitalists, hand the Social Democrats; Trotsky saw them part of specific historical circumstances. For instance, all capitalists are not fascists, even if the fear exists.

Trotsky wrote:The successes of fascism easily make people lose all perspective, lead them to forget the actual conditions which made the strengthening and the victory of fascism possible. Yet a clear understanding of these conditions is of special importance to the workers of the United States. We may set it down as an historical law: Fascism was able to conquer only in those countries where the conservative labor parties prevented the proletariat from utilizing the revolutionary situation and seizing power. In Germany two revolutionary situations were involved: 1918-1919 and 1923-24. Even in 1929 a direct struggle for power on the part of the proletariat was still possible. In all these three cases the social democracy and the Comintern criminally and viciously disrupted the conquest of power and thereby placed society in an impasse. Only under these conditions and in this situation did the stormy rise of Fascism and its gaining of power prove possible.


For instance, we all pretty much now agree that Petain wasn't running a fascist regime as we tend to think of them:

Trotsky wrote:In France there is no fascism in the real sense of the term. The regime of the senile Marshal Petain represents a senile form of Bonapartism of the epoch of imperialist decline. But this regime too proved possible only after the prolonged radicalization of the French working class, which led to the explosion of June 1936, had failed to find a revolutionary way out. The Second and Third Internationals, the reactionary charlatanism of the “People’s Fronts” deceived and demoralized the working class. After five years of propaganda in favor of an alliance of democracies and of collective security, after Stalin’s sudden passage into Hitler’s camp, the French working class proved caught unaware. The war provoked a terrible disorientation and the mood of passive defeatism, or to put it more correctly, the indifferentism of an impasse. From this web of circumstances arose first the unprecedented military catastrophe and then the despicable Petain regime.


It is, in short, the difference between fascism being a very specific regime that comes from a specific set of circumstances (Trotsky) or fascism being a general catch-all for systems that we are opposed to (Stalin).
#14853408
@The Immortal Goon,

Excellent summary, Got it.

Stalin viewed fascism as the last stage and death pangs of capitalism culminating in an almost eschatological climax of nations v. nations, stalin v. hitler. Trotsky saw fascism as the result of bougeous infighting with-in capitalist systems, but not necessarily anything more significant than that. Stalin's view became almost antiquated following WWII, but Trotsky's view could still, theoretically, be relevant in intrepreting the eb-and-flow of the dialectic of history in the inevitable march towards international socialism.

Makes sense.

So where I have heard the argument that fascism is the final stage of capitalism, was likely a Neo-Stalinist or someone who followed his thinking on that issue, echoed through time in the market place of ideas......well that settles it.....i'm just glad i'm not crazy. :D
#14853423
The answer to the OP is simple. The essential difference between left vs right isn't in personal freedom vs authoritarianism because you can have both left & right ideologies concerned with liberty (leftist anarchism vs libertarianism) or also with state authority (communism vs fascism). Let's look at wikipedia's definition of left-wing vs right-wing politics:

Left-wing politics supports social equality and egalitarianism, often in opposition to social hierarchy and social inequality. It typically involves a concern for those in society whom its adherents perceive as disadvantaged relative to others, as well as a belief that there are unjustified inequalities that need to be reduced or abolished...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left-wing_politics

Right-wing politics hold that certain social orders and hierarchies are inevitable, natural, normal or desirable, typically supporting this position on the basis of natural law, economics or tradition. Hierarchy and inequality may be viewed as natural results of traditional social differences.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-wing_politics

So, the defining moral & philosophical difference between right vs left is that the left is concerned with social equality/egalitarianism while the right believes that certain social hierarchies are natural & desirable. Communism is extreme leftism because it desires equal outcomes for everyone. Fascism is on the extreme right because firstly it is a racist ideology where certain races (and cultures/ethnicities) are deemed superior vs inferior on a hierarchy, where the most "inferior" (Jews etc) are even executed. Fascism also glorifies the strong while demonizing the weak. Eg. Nazis sterilized or murdered disabled people so their inferior genes wouldn't be passed on. Youth are seen as the future & so molded to be strong & achieving citizens (eg. Hitler Youth). All of this is the complete antithesis of the left, which shows compassion for the weak & often sees the strongest & most achieving people/races/countries as oppressors of the weak (eg. the rich, the US government, white men etc).
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