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Sunday, March 02, 2008


A couple of posts I had answered on the Jerry Pournelle website. He agrees that the Green attutude is properly definable as Fascism. However disagrees that Fascism & Nazism are close, thinking Nazism & Communism are closer. He knows considerably more about the history of political philosophies than I, having done degrees on it, so while I do not agree & don't think the leaders of them would either, I don't relish arguing further:

I have been using the term eco-fascist in debates on newspaper online comments. I can & do justify it in terms of the belief in "consensus" which was the heart of Mussolini's doctrine. It has not made me popular with some but others have started using the term too. I don't know how it is in the US but in the UK, while editorial is overwhelmingly on the alarmist side & letters chosen are strongly so, online comments, where they are not heavily moderated run heavily towards scepticism, even in middle class lefty papers like the Guardian.

I have to be in a really bad mood or writing about DDT to call them eco-Nazis.

Neil Craig

I selected this because I wanted to do a short note about the difference between Fascism and Nazi's, but I seem to be running low on energy. Look: either the words are meaningless noises conveying disapproval, similar to saying "Ugh!" or "Filthy! Disgusting!" or they are useful in actual discussion. Fascism is not the same as Nazi-ism. Fascism is an extreme development of the Progressive and Pragmatic movement, with roots in Jacobinism. Marx would consider it a heresy of his own social analysis. Fascism accepts the notion of class warfare, and would end the class struggle not by abolishing the classes, but by requiring them to work together within the State. "Everything for the State. Nothing outside the State. Nothing against the State."

Italian Fascism was not anti-Semitic and there were Jews in high places both in government and the Party until Mussolini, partly driven to isolation by Stalin's Popular Front Against Fascism, sought alliance with the Germans. At one point Mussolini threatened war with Hitler over the independence of Austria, but the Allies didn't like him, and eventually he found himself isolated.

I don't agree with you about the space between Fascism & Nazism. Il grant that had things gone differently Mussolini could have sat out the war, as indeed he did till France was clearly defeated & he thought the war was all but over in 1940 & as Franco did.

The point about DDT & Nazism is that we have killed something like 70 million people by banning it but since they are very largely African children nobody mentions it.

Neil Craig

I am sorry you don't agree, but that's your problem. If words and history have any meaning, you are merely expressing "feelings". That's fine but not very useful in intellectual discourse. Sorry to be so blunt. This problem of confusing one's beliefs with reality is the mark of this age, and you are not the only one afflicted with it.

Your statement about DDT is correct, but again irrelevant to the definitions here

"(Pournelle)disagrees that Fascism & Nazism are close, thinking Nazism & Communism are closer."

If Pournelle really believes that then his numerous degrees aren't worth the paper they are printed on.Nazism is NOT closer to Communism than Fascism is.

Pournelle is dead wrong.

Here's why.

Communism as defined by Karl Marx was mainly about class struggle.The working class against the capitalist owning class for example.

Fascism was NOT about class struggle at all but the unity of classes (hence the Italian word fascio, which means "bundle" or "union", and the Latin term "fasces").

Nazism on the other hand as practised by Adolf Hitler and his NSDAP was about maintaining a heirarchy of classes NOT doing away with them.

For example, through the goal of unity of all classes in Fascism or the class war (struggle) between the Proletariat worker class and the Capitalist owner class.

Here is an extract from Wikipedia (granted, not always a reliable, neutral or unbiased source of info on political and contemporary issues, but in this case they have got it basically correct):

"The term "fascismo" was coined by the Italian Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini and Hegelian philosopher Giovanni Gentile. It is is derived from the Italian word fascio, which means "bundle" or "union", and from the Latin word fasces.

The fasces, which consisted of a bundle of rods tied around an axe, were an ancient Roman symbol of the authority of the civic magistrates, and the symbolism of the fasces suggested strength through unity: a single rod is easily broken, while the bundle is difficult to break."

Title: Fascism's main characteristics; differences and similarities with communism.
Author: Yanet Manzano
Subject: History
Year: 1999

Fascism, and discontent go hand in hand. After WWI Europe was devastated, the people had lost hope in the systems, neither the liberals, nor conservatives had been able to prevent the terrible disaster that was the war.

Socialists were the closest one, however not happy with socialism either, a group of socialists joined and formed their own ideology.

The difference between this new ideology, and others that had originated before, is that the first thing that comes to mind when you talk about fascism, is not what they stood for but what they hated most.

Fascists hated socialism because of its internationality. They hated liberals because specially because their ideology center in the individual strength of the human being, and in sharing when a variety of thoughts are in conflict, not imposing. They hated conservatives because they like to preserve the system, and for them change had to be very small, and slow, while fascist wanted radical change now.

Fascism and communism had a lot in common. They both wanted radical change, and they both believe in the use of violence to achieve their goals. In fact this is exactly what the Russian revolution was about, so why did the fascist hate the communists too? First, they were reacting to the Russian Revolution, and their relation to WWI.

People lost faith in everything that existed before, after the War, and the Russian Revolution was part of that. A radical difference between them and communists is that while communists emphasized the struggle of classes; fascists in the union of all classes.

There are a lot of similarities between Fascism, and Nazism.

For example, both believe in the union of classes. In order to reach this goal it was necessary to reach each and every person, so they put great emphases in providing massive awareness through rallies, programmed tv, and radio.

They put great emphasis in symbols, and they consider their leader to the greatest symbol since they had to embody the ideal of the nation.

Both of them attempted to militarize politics, which is necessary since they did not allow any of their people to have any ideals, or believe that would lay outside their set of believes.

Total unity was a key element in the success of their ideologies, so they went to extreme measures to eliminate all opposition. They believe that if they could not persuade someone to believe and follow them with words, then they would with violence.

Violence was a key term for both this systems; they encourage street fight, or any other type of violent action that would show them where the strongest party.

This included war, against all opposition within the country, and then war against every other country that opposed them. A little of violence keeps society healthy, was their excuse.

Neither of these ideologies considered women's place to be at home raising the children, and they were totally against homosexuals.

They both believe in the exaltation of youth; they focus all their attention on youth since they consider the old generation to part of the problem and therefore useless.

There are also differences between these two systems.

Nazis believed in the superiority of a race above all other. They wanted to create, using genetics, a new race of man superior to all humanity in all sense. They wanted a biological change.

Fascists, on the other hand attempted to create a new man through education, and persuasion.

Both systems were racist; however, the Fascists were more conservatives.

For example, the Nazis had a hierarchy of classes.

For them, the Jew and Black people were at the bottom of the pyramid, totally inferior, and therefore disposable.

For fascists, inferiority was based in nationality. For Italians, for example, Jews and Blacks where inferior, but as they were Italians first.

Another critical difference, is the extremes they went to achieve their goals. Fascists used beating, and violence to eliminate their opposition.

The Nazis used massive execution, and slavery to eliminate their opposition. Nazis went to much greater extremes to accomplish total power, and at the end they did, Nazis reached greater control than fascism did."
I pretty much agree Nuclear & you have put a lot into this.

Jerry's degrees are definitely worth it however. I will always listen to him & usually defer to his judgement & there are few others I would say the latter about.

This, plus the fact that which is more linked to which can easily descend to a theological debate similar to whether the Holy Ghost was created by God or God & Jesus working together* means I don't this can profitably be taken further.

*This question was genuinely what the Catholics & Orthodox Christians broke over.
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