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My thoughts on fascism (a debate with a reactionary)

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cool user name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 06:39 PM
Original message
My thoughts on fascism (a debate with a reactionary)
Me

The prime characteristic of fascism is the merger of corporation and the state. These have variances - classical fascism as defined by Mussolini (actually coined by someone else but El Duce took it as his own) relegates the state (and the party/leader) as absolute with the corporation being a willing subservient to the state. Both mutually benefit. Neo-fascism is a bit more tricky and subtle. Neo-fascism doesn't necessarily have one party or leader at the helm and its unique characteristic is that the state serves the corporation (see military/industrial complex for a fine example).

Nationalism, appeals to racism or ethnic purity, scapegoating, oppression, suppression of dissent are all characteristics of both, however, it is important to remember that these characteristics are a means to the end - that being that either the state or corporation are absolute.

I, for one, in response to your other post, would regard Bush as a neo-fascist while avoiding the same term when attempting to define radical/militant Islamism. There's a huge difference. The ends for radical/militant Islamism are entirely different from that of fascists or neo-fascists. The means may be similar yet that doesn't necessarily make for an adequate definition.

Are the Mullahs of Iran totalitarianists? Yes, according to my view, they are - but it is irresponsible to label militant Islamists as fascists.

As an aside, I find some of the Soviet propaganda regarding Germany as fascist a tad bit ironic - considering the Soviet example would be a prime example of Mussolini's definition of fascism.

My two cents.


Reactionary's post:

No. Mussolini was the one and only true fascist.

Bush is a corporatist just as is Al Gore, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Chirac and the most of the rest of the western leadership elite.

The difference is that in the case of Bush and the others, the state is subordinated to the interests of the corporations. The goals of the corporate interest become the tasks of the state.

In the classical fascist state the corporations are harnessed to the goals of the state but do not lead it or determine state policy.



Me:

The classical definition, as defined by Mussolini himself, is the merger of corporation and state. It is centralized - in the sense that the industry is collectivized (lobby sects) and has major influence in political affairs yet the state is absolute - as in Mussolini's Italy.

Neo-fascism is inversed - and doesn't have to be centralized. The state is subordinate to capital. The corporation is transnational and doesn't have to abide by the nuisance of national boundries and laws. It dictates the laws via the WTO and various other trade agreements. The various governments are manipulated by this. Bush's support (and that of Clinton) of free trade agreement such as NAFTA and CAFTA are illustrative of his capitulation of big business. This insures the flow of capital from the poor wretched into the hands of the rich and powerful. That is the bottom line. Corporation will use the state to maximize profits and minimize costs. That's the very essence of neo-fascism. Bush and Clinton are both neo-facsists in this regard.

It's more subtle than classical fascism but in the end, the captains of industry have more power and more wealth - and the people have a mere illusion of democracy - which is essential in maintaining the exploitation of the world's resources. Content people make for poor revolutionaries.

Throw in idiotic propositions like gay marriage or abortion into the referenda, and you'll have the exploited voting against their very own interests! The propaganda is blatent yet the distortion of history and the manipulation of consent is outstanding! Stalin would have been proud.

Anyone who won't take time to recognize a spade as a spade is only fooling themselves.
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cool user name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 06:42 PM
Response to Original message
1. Update:
Reactionary's post:

I suspect neo-fascism is a figment of a fevered leftist's angry imagination. I'll go with the classical definition of fascism, thank you very much.

Me:

Be my guest if you want to go with the classical definition. It still doesn't change the fact that political influence is no longer reserved for the people.

If it makes you happy to call it fried chicken or milk toast - please do so.
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cool user name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 06:55 PM
Response to Original message
2. Update 2:
Reactionary's post:

That may or may not be true but it doesn't make it fascism or "neo-fascism" either. Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc.

Me:

Ok, so you don't think that political power is concentrated in the hands of a few - namely the corporate sector? You don't think that the country's policies are mainly influenced by big business?

If say, Bolivia objected to Bechtel controlling the water rights and subsequently selling the people's own water back to them at insanely high prices, what do you think Bolivia could do?

Big business would just muscle in on the WTO and Bolivia would have no recourse. That's big business acting on a multi-national level and that's big business overpowering a sovereign nation - basically to do it's bidding regardless of what the "people" think. The "people" have no influence in political affairs. They have no control on whether their own water should be free or at the very least, affordable.
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