First, to be clear, I want to say that I am 100% AGAINST Fascism. That is why I am so concerned that since WW2 Americans have forgotten what it really is and our leaders, commentators and media have in my opinion intentionally distorted it. We cannot avoid it recurring if we do not understand it. The last major fascist rising cost the lives of over 50 million people, so we should never forget how it started so we can avoid it in the future. To repeat the cliche, those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it.
The word Fascism, and the epithat “fascist” have lost all meaning in American conversation. As with my earlier rant against the media’s penchant for stirring up racial divide, the mainstream media always gets political left and right incorrect as well, interchanging left for all things good, and right for all things bad. An example – as you go left politically you pass by liberalism, then socialism, then to communism and ultimately to anarchism. Clearly, communism is to the LEFT. However, when the media talked about the Soviet Union, they would talk about the RIGHT-wing hard-liners as the evil ones, such as the KGB, and the reformers as the LEFT Wing reformers. In the Soviet Union, the hard liners were the FAR LEFT hard liners and the reformers were Socialists, so they were to the RIGHT of the hard liners.
So it is with fascism, which your Professors and the Media would have you believe are extreme RIGHT wing, when in almost all cases they sprung up on the LEFT, through communists and labor movements. There are exceptions of course. In Spain and Argentina, the fascists were right wing. In the Spanish Civil War, an early proxy fight leading up to WW2 the Franco faction was comprised of landowners, Hidalgos and Catholics. The opposition were communists and anarchists. The Soviets, French and Americans helped the left wingers while Italy and Germany helped Franco.
As with other wars, the movies and books are deceiving. They talk about the horrors of the right wing (which did in fact happen) but glorify the left. The communists and anarchists lost because they raped nuns, slaughtered priests, tried to take away all property rights and redistribute all land to new people, wanted to disband the military and replace it with mobs and even committed atrocities against each other. Franco’s faction was supported by the Church, all property owners, and the military. The Spanish Civil War was exceptionally bloody, and yes, Franco was RIGHT wing. However, when Hemingway wrote For Whom The Bell Tolls, it was about glorifying fighting with the communists in the Spanish Civil War, but Hollywood changed it to WW1 instead, so you would be more sympathethic.
However, both Hitler and Mussolini were LEFT wing. Hitler started out as a Communist Party operative, but could not get enough control. Many of his fellows, such as Goebells started the same. So they moved to the Socialist Party (still LEFT wing). NAZI is short for National Socialist German Workers’ Party, a clearly LEFT wing, socialist workers’ movement that was anti-democracy and anti-capitalist. Hitler used his brown shirt thugs to fight against the communist thugs in the streets. The industrialists backed Hitler because they were more afraid of the communists, and they thought they could control him. After he rose to power, Hitler threw his brown shirts under the bus to please the military, assassinating all their top leadership. Hitler was a vegetarian, implemented anti-smoking laws and national fitness. He built the first modern highways.
Mussonlini also was LEFT wing, starting in a socialist labor party. Mussolini had his black shirt thugs to fight against the opposition. Mussolini reclaimed and distributed land and got the trains running on time. Hitler came into power due to an economic crisis brought on by an ineffective democracy and reparations after WW1. Mussonlini took over from a Monarchy and ineffective government during economic crisis. Franco took power by preserving the current government against crisis created by an incoming Marxist government. All different approaches, groups, causes, so to call Fascism right wing or left wing is simply incorrect. It is something else entirely.
Mirriam Websters defines Fascism as – a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.
In simple terms, and in my opinion, fascism seeks to take over when a nation is divided politically and weakened economically. It takes over more and more decision making and control in the name of rebirth and it uses the media and other sources to demonize and destroy those who disagree. It attacks and weakens institutions that oppose its new rule.
Unfortunately, it is hard to tell you are becoming fascist as a nation, until after it happens. All political movements and parties try to change goverment to their own designs and try to demonize and diminish opposition.
A clear example to me is Chavez in Venezuela. He has police shut down and arrest media stations that do not agree with him, he rises as a labor, left wing man of the people. He takes over the major industries, including the oil companies, which he gives to his brother to run. He rewards his friends and oppresses, arrests or kills his enemies. He unites his people by tough talk to America and his neighbors in Columbia while building up his military.
I don’t know if we are heading that way in America. First, we started under the second Bush with bailing out Wall Street. Since then, the federal government, for the good of “our nation” has taken over Wall Street while hiring people from Goldman Sachs to run the government, taken over health care, taken over the car manufacturers except Ford, taken over the Banking industry, taken over mortgages, taken over credit card companies, etc. The federal government has tripled in size while our economy has been in deep recession. Now they want to take over oil after pushing alternative fuels. Everything is done “for our benefit” and yet more and more the government controls everything.
The press is more and more controlled by the government as well, with dissenting views threatened with censorship through “the fairness doctrine”, advertisers attacked, dissenting views are called hate speech, etc. Like I said, it is hard to know if you are headed to fascism until afterwards. No one realized it in Spain, Italy, Germany or Venezuela until after it happened. I am not even saying this a Democrat or Republican issue. I think it is a Washington elite issue where Ivy League trained lawyers think they know better than the rest of us how we should live.
That is why it is important to remember history. We need to fight to keep out multiple party system, our free speech, our freedom of religion, our freedom of the press – and most important, our individual freedoms. I yearn for the simpler days when I could buy whatever light bulb I wanted, I could get a toilet that flushed right, I could get a shower head that didn’t drizzle, I could do what I wanted even it was bad for me, like eat popcorn made with coconut oil.
Mostly I miss being able to express my political views without being attacked.