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What is fascism & is it a legitimate political point-of-





gandalfthegrey
Hey everyone,

I was having a debate with a friend last week over what fascism was and if it is a legitimate political point-of-view for people to have in our modern times.

According to wikipedia most scholars cannot agree on what fascism is. There are four common ideas or factors that people tend to define as fascist. They are (1) Nationalism and (2) Totalitarianism/Authoritarianism, and (3) A form of Communism, and (4) a form of run-a-way Capitalism or a merger of Capitalism and the state. Usually people combine any two or more of these definitions to define what Fascism is in whatever they are writing or lecturing on.

The first definition tends to define fascism as a Nationalistic, and thus racist ideology.

The second defines Fascism as being defined by Absolute Power.

The third defines Fascism as merely a form of Communism that is misunderstood to be the complete opposite of Communism. Fascism = Communism

The fourth defines Fascism as some kind of run-a-way Capitalism or a merger of Capitalism and the State. Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave an interest quote once eluding to this definition.

What is Fascism?
Is any of these definitions a legitimate political ideology or point-of-view to have?
gandalfthegrey
“The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it comes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism - ownership of government by an individual, by a group.” - Franklin Delano Roosevelt
lagoon
It is legitimate, it's just hated by most of the population of most countries.
ocalhoun
People have trouble defining it because it doesn't fit into the left vs. right picture of the world that is so prevalent.

In reality, it is left vs. right and libertarian/anarchist vs. big government/fascist.


Each political view is somewhere on this chart.
It is possible to be a combination of say, left-wing and populist, but to do so, you cannot be extremely either. The more extreme the leaning towards one corner, the less it can be combined with the views of adjacent corners, hence, as you move towards a corner, your ability to go sideways gets more limited.

Every corner can be taken too far: Left-->communism, right-->religious fundamentalism, libertarian-->anarchism, populist-->fascism.

To sum it up, libertarians would agree that the the best government is the one that governs the least. Fascists are polar opposites: They work towards a government that is in complete control of everything.
deanhills
@ocalhoun. I would imagine that every different political view would look at fascist differently. For some "fascist" is a word that is used to denote a person or group of people who are super controlling. For example, libertarians may view anything right wing as fascist. Some of the groups in the right wing may not see themselves as fascists, but would reserve "fascism" for those in the far right. People use "fascism" and "communism" depending on what work best for their political views.

There is an interesting discussion in Wikipedia about the position of fascism in having originated from left or right:
Quote:
Fascism is normally described as "extreme right"[30], but writers on the subject have often found placing fascism on a conventional left-right political spectrum difficult.[31] There is a scholarly consensus that fascism was influenced by both the left and the right.[7] A number of historians have regarded fascism either as a revolutionary centrist doctrine, as a doctrine which mixes philosophies of the left and the right, or as both of those things
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
@ocalhoun. I would imagine that every different political view would look at fascist differently. For some "fascist" is a word that is used to denote a person or group of people who are super controlling.

Well, yes, given fascism's stigma from the Nazis, people will try to label their enemies as fascists...
I think we can look beyond the name calling, and look at what it actually is though.

The Wikipedia quote is accurate enough in that it is difficult to place fascism on a left-right political spectrum. Observe again the two-dimensional political spectrum I posted, and their difficulty in defining fascism as left or right has an obvious reason: it is neither.



Is it a legitimate point of view? No more than the extremes of any other direction. But, a more diluted form of it, where one believes that the government must step in to protect the people from themselves, within limits, is a valid point of view. Just like how anarchy is not really a valid point of view, but a more diluted form of it, libertarianism, is.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
Is it a legitimate point of view? No more than the extremes of any other direction. But, a more diluted form of it, where one believes that the government must step in to protect the people from themselves, within limits, is a valid point of view. Just like how anarchy is not really a valid point of view, but a more diluted form of it, libertarianism, is.
If one looks at the fascist Governments of Hitler and Mussolini during WWII fascism seems to appear like a doctrine/manifest as a tool in the hands of dictators. Maybe the doctrine/manifest was the fascist part, and Hitler the non-fascist dictator? So one can argue that as an "ideology" or "manifest", like "communism" (the latter never really implemented as communism), fascism was used by dictators to manipulate and subjugate the people of their countries? The contents of "Mein Kampf" for example has to be pure fascist ideology and guidelines?
handfleisch
gandalfthegrey wrote:
Hey everyone,

I was having a debate with a friend last week over what fascism was and if it is a legitimate political point-of-view for people to have in our modern times.

According to wikipedia most scholars cannot agree on what fascism is. There are four common ideas or factors that people tend to define as fascist. They are (1) Nationalism and (2) Totalitarianism/Authoritarianism, and (3) A form of Communism, and (4) a form of run-a-way Capitalism or a merger of Capitalism and the state. Usually people combine any two or more of these definitions to define what Fascism is in whatever they are writing or lecturing on.

The first definition tends to define fascism as a Nationalistic, and thus racist ideology.

The second defines Fascism as being defined by Absolute Power.

The third defines Fascism as merely a form of Communism that is misunderstood to be the complete opposite of Communism. Fascism = Communism

The fourth defines Fascism as some kind of run-a-way Capitalism or a merger of Capitalism and the State. Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave an interest quote once eluding to this definition.

What is Fascism?
Is any of these definitions a legitimate political ideology or point-of-view to have?


You should ask someone with real knowledge instead of relying on wikipedia or random people on website forums. Though you might ask for the moderator called Bikerman to answer this, and he'll tell you how in no way are Communism and Fascism the same thing, and how that is just the latest nonsense coming from the right wing Republicans in the US. In fact that discussion was already held here, you might want to look around for that thread.
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:
how in no way are Communism and Fascism the same thing, and how that is just the latest nonsense coming from the right wing Republicans in the US. In fact that discussion was already held here, you might want to look around for that thread.

No need to look in another thread for it. I've already mentioned that in this thread.

Fascism is neither conservative nor liberal, just like how libertarianism is neither conservative nor liberal.
There are more than two dimensions to the political spectrum, despite how modern American politics likes to ignore that fact.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
gandalfthegrey wrote:
Hey everyone,

I was having a debate with a friend last week over what fascism was and if it is a legitimate political point-of-view for people to have in our modern times.

According to wikipedia most scholars cannot agree on what fascism is. There are four common ideas or factors that people tend to define as fascist. They are (1) Nationalism and (2) Totalitarianism/Authoritarianism, and (3) A form of Communism, and (4) a form of run-a-way Capitalism or a merger of Capitalism and the state. Usually people combine any two or more of these definitions to define what Fascism is in whatever they are writing or lecturing on.

The first definition tends to define fascism as a Nationalistic, and thus racist ideology.

The second defines Fascism as being defined by Absolute Power.

The third defines Fascism as merely a form of Communism that is misunderstood to be the complete opposite of Communism. Fascism = Communism

The fourth defines Fascism as some kind of run-a-way Capitalism or a merger of Capitalism and the State. Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave an interest quote once eluding to this definition.

What is Fascism?
Is any of these definitions a legitimate political ideology or point-of-view to have?


You should ask someone with real knowledge instead of relying on wikipedia or random people on website forums. Though you might ask for the moderator called Bikerman to answer this, and he'll tell you how in no way are Communism and Fascism the same thing, and how that is just the latest nonsense coming from the right wing Republicans in the US. In fact that discussion was already held here, you might want to look around for that thread.
Are you sure you read gandalfthegrey's posting right? As far as I can see, he is not saying that Communism and Fascism are the same thing. He is referring to other people who use the term fascism in the meaning of communism. It is no rocket science knowledge that the two are completely different from one another. It is very obvious, that the two are completely different in meaning. What is correct however is that people are using both terms with a large spectrum of different meanings, hence the origin of this thread. gandalfthegrey gave a number of meanings that are attached to "fascism", including one where fascism is used in the context of communism. The latter is obviously very wrong, but the fact that some people do use fascism in that context is correct.
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