Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

If you using the terms fascism or fascist, Umberto Eco is a must read.

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007) Donate to DU
 
Hoping4Change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 02:42 PM
Original message
If you using the terms fascism or fascist, Umberto Eco is a must read.
Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 02:44 PM by Hoping4Change
"In spite of some fuzziness regarding the difference between various historical forms of fascism, I think it is possible to outline a list of features that are typical of what I would like to call Eternal Fascism. These features cannot be organized into a system; many of them contradict each other, and are also typical of other kinds of despotism or fanaticism. But it is enough that one of them be present to allow fascism to coagulate around it."



1. The first feature of Fascism is the cult of tradition.



2. Traditionalism implies the rejection of modernism.

"... even though Nazism was proud of its industrial achievements, its praise of modernism was only the surface of an ideology based upon blood and earth (Blut und Boden). The rejection of the modern world was disguised as a rebuttal of the capitalistic way of life. The Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, is seen as the beginning of modern depravity. In this sense Fascism can be defined as irrationalism.'



3. Irrationalism also depends on the cult of action for action's sake.

Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, reflection. Thinking is a form of emasculation. Therefore culture is suspect insofar as it is identified with critical attitudes. Distrust of the intellectual world has always been a symptom of Fascism... The official Fascist intellectuals were mainly engaged in attacking modern culture and the liberal intelligentsia for having betrayed traditional values.



4. The critical spirit makes distinctions, and to distinguish is a sign of modernism.

In modern culture the scientific community praises disagreement as a way to improve knowledge. For Fascism, disagreement is treason.



5. Besides, disagreement is a sign of diversity.

"Fascism grows up and seeks consensus by exploiting and exacerbating the natural fear of difference. The first appeal of a fascist or prematurely fascist movement is an appeal against the intruders. Thus Fascism is racist by definition."



6. Fascism derives from individual or social frustration.

That is why one of the most typical features of the historical fascism was the appeal to a frustrated middle class, a class suffering from an economic crisis or feelings of political humiliation, and frightened by the pressure of lower social groups.



7. To people who feel deprived of a clear social identity, Fascism says that their only privilege is the most common one, to be born in the same country.

This is the origin of nationalism. Besides, the only ones who can provide an identity to the nation are its enemies...



8. The followers must feel humiliated by the ostentatious wealth and force of their enemies.

..followers of Fascism must also be convinced that they can overwhelm the enemies. Thus, by a continuous shifting of rhetorical focus, the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak. Fascist governments are condemned to lose wars because they are constitutionally incapable of objectively evaluating the force of the enemy.



9. For Fascism there is no struggle for life but, rather, life is lived for struggle.

Thus pacifism is trafficking with the enemy. It is bad because life is permanent warfare. This, however, brings about an Armageddon complex...



10. Elitism is a typical aspect of any reactionary ideology, insofar as it is fundamentally aristocratic, and aristocratic and militaristic elitism cruelly implies contempt for the weak.

... In fact, the Leader, knowing that his power was not delegated to him democratically but was conquered by force, also knows that his force is based upon the weakness of the masses; they are so weak as to need and deserve a ruler...



11. In such a perspective everybody is educated to become a hero.

...This cult of heroism is strictly linked with the cult of death...



12. Since both permanent war and heroism are difficult games to play, the Fascist transfers his will to power to sexual matters.



13. Fascism is based upon a selective populism, a qualitative populism, one might say.

...individuals as individuals have no rights, and the People is conceived as a quality, a monolithic entity expressing the Common Will....



14. Fascism speaks Newspeak.

...All the Nazi or Fascist schoolbooks made use of an impoverished vocabulary, and an elementary syntax, in order to limit the instruments for complex and critical reasoning. But we must be ready to identify other kinds of Newspeak, even if they take the apparently innocent form of a popular talk show.



SNIP


Fascism can come back under the most innocent of disguises. Our duty is to uncover it and to point our finger at any of its new instances every day, in every part of the world. Franklin Roosevelt's words of November 4, 1938, are worth recalling: "If American democracy ceases to move forward as a living force, seeking day and night by peaceful means to better the lot of our citizens, fascism will grow in strength in our land." Freedom and liberation are an unending task.






Umberto Eco (c) 1995
Eternal Fascism:
Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt

By Umberto Eco
Writing in New York Review of Books, 22 June 1995, pp.12-15. Excerpted in Utne Reader, November-December 1995, pp. 57-59.


For the full article, consult the New York Review of Books, purchase the full article online; or purchase Eco's new collection of essays: Five Moral Pieces.




http://www.themodernword.com/eco/eco_blackshirt.html




edit in link
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
mainegreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 02:44 PM
Response to Original message
1. Umberto Eco is a very smart man.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
myrna minx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 02:44 PM
Response to Original message
2. K&R.
The modern word is one of my favorite websites and Eco is one of my favorite authors. :toast:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
villager Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 02:44 PM
Response to Original message
3. Damn! The "new" GOP to a T!
n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Hoping4Change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. I don't think it just fits the GOP. I think the threat of fascism
looms in every corner of the globe. Where ever people feel victimized fascism can gain a foothold, because fascists exploit that sense of victimization.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #3
13. kind of a cross between Hogan's Heroes and HeeHaw
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
sgxnk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 02:47 PM
Response to Original message
4. excellent!!!
and if that doesn't describe the (ooh the word is so scary. only a freeper could use it) islamofascists, nuttin' does

umberto knows of what he speaks

i also suggest the works of elie weisel for a very personal and disturbing look at fascism

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Hoping4Change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 02:56 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. Elie Weisel is excellent but doesn't address the fact that Israel
could become a fascist state. No country, no religion is exempt from this threat. Wherever a populace feels victimized fascist forces can move in and exploit that feeling for their own ends.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
sgxnk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. that, i can agree with
the king is dead long live the king and all

no population is riskless

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 02:47 PM
Response to Original message
5. So?
I'm assuming you're referring to the islamofascist threads.

Ummah. Best of nations. Enjoin the right and forbid the wrong. Pitch in a strong whiff of Salafi thought. Submission.

Bingo.

The Newspeak isn't necessary; just a common occurrence.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Hoping4Change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. Not just to the islamofascist threads. Another thread was about
Christian fascists.

As for newspeak, as stated by Eco, only one of the above points is necessary for fascist ideology to "coagulate" around it so newspeak isn't necessary.



Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 06:08 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. Ah.
Agreed.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
yellerpup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 02:51 PM
Response to Original message
6. You can trust Umberto Eco
to define the deepest meaning of anything. He's a genius author and a foremost world authority on semiotics.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
myrna minx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Not to mention that he was a child during WWII
and lived through the Mussolini regime. He is such a brilliant thinker.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
yellerpup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 03:37 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. So true.
I'm such a fan. Wish I had a fraction of his brain power.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Hoping4Change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 06:24 PM
Response to Original message
15. Whenver a populace feels deeply victimized fascist forces can move in
and exploit the situation for its own ends.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Thu Jul 31st 2014, 11:05 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC