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xocolatl Donating Member (196 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-04 12:00 PM
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Features of Fascism
During the past week there have been numerous discussions on fascism vis-a-vis the Bush Administration.

For your reference, I am once again posting Umberto Eco's Eternal Fascism: Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt:

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 Ur-Fascism, or 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.


For the record, I do believe that the present administration shares many features of fascism, although not all of them described by Eco. However, lest we appear to be fanatics worthy of dismissal, I think it's important not to overuse the word. When somebody challenges our use of the word, we should point them to articles such as this one.
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wurzel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-04 12:07 PM
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1. The problem is really the use of "Nazi"
It is fair to say Bush is driving this country in a fascist direction. But it is not appropriate to compare him with Hitler or call him a Nazi. He is very class conscious, but not particularly racist.
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AndyTiedye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-04 12:22 PM
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2. He Certainly Exploits Racism and Bigotry
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wurzel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-04 12:35 PM
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3. Yes. But with him it is "just politics".
Rather than a holding real "hardcore" racist attitudes. He really has contempt for working people, and most blacks are working people. Or are when they find a job with a living wage.
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indigobusiness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-04 12:46 PM
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5. To ignore the parallels would be delusional at best
treasonous at worst.

They clearly exist. Even if unintentional.

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indigobusiness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-12-04 12:41 PM
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4. Excellent---Eco is an astute analyst
Edited on Mon Jul-12-04 12:49 PM by indigobusiness
Great stuff...thanks.

Some of the points are chilling but fascinating:


Both Fascists and Nazis worshipped technology, while traditionalist thinkers usually reject it as a negation of traditional spiritual values. However, 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 Ur-Fascism can be defined as irrationalism.


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 Ur-Fascism, from Hermann Goering's fondness for a phrase from a Hanns Johst play ("When I hear the word 'culture' I reach for my gun") to the frequent use of such expressions as "degenerate intellectuals," "eggheads," "effete snobs," and "universities are nests of reds." The official Fascist intellectuals were mainly engaged in attacking modern culture and the liberal intelligentsia for having betrayed traditional values.


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

5. Besides, disagreement is a sign of diversity.

Ur-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 Ur-Fascism is racist by definition.


Ur-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.



I will bookmark this thread and revisit it often.

Help keep it kicked.

edited to add-- Welcome to DU xocolatl. Great contribution.
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