Monday, 6 June 2011


Is it at all possible that some form of Fascism/Nazism make a comeback and become a movement, just as it did in the interwar era in the Europe and then a regime in Italy and Germany? Or is society finished with such movement and can only move toward some variety of democracy yet untested? 

While it is more likely that mass movements will invariably result in progressive or democratic movements and possibly regimes, it is not out of the realm of possibility that a variety of Fascist or Nazi movement may emerge and even become regime. How can this take place, given that Fascism/Nazism rests in 'anti-...' positions and at its core is opportunistic in so far as it tries to appeal to all people and does not permit dissent in an era of mass politics?

If an 'anti-' position on a variety of issues can constitute a coherent political philosophy, then Fascism and Nazism are in the same category of political philosophies as Liberalism and Marxism. However, Fascism and Nazism is not a "philosophy", if because at its core it is nothing but 'anti-' positions, indeed, anti-theoretical and 'Bonapartist' in order to appeal to disparate groups of people and not just the lower middle class that actually constituted its popular base. 

The closest that we come to associating Nazism with a philosophy is if we accept that Nazism rested on Social Darwinism, but that hardly goes far enough, given that non-Fascists embraced Social Darwinism. Although there was selective reliance on F. Nietzsche, T. Carlyle and R. Wagner for aspects of Fascist/Nazi ideas on everything from creativity to preeminence of the will as the guiding forces for action, it was existentialist thinker Martin Heidegger provided some grist for Nazism, especially by arguing for 'the need of Fuhrer principle', but his work (Being and Time) is hardly a philosophical foundation for Nazism.

Fascism/Nazism is an eclectic ideology with heterogeneous roots that can be found in everything from Romanticism and Protestant Christianity to ultra-nationalism. Nazism and Fascism are eclectic especially in so far as they are distinguished in what they are against, namely, anti-Democratic, anti-Liberal, anti-clerical (although in reality they allied themselves with the Church), anti-capitalist (although in practice they served capitalist interests), anti-Communist, anti-Semitic, anti-Gypsy, anti-non-white, anti-feminist, anti-egalitarian, anti-intellectual, anti-rationalist, anti-parliamentary, anti-individualist, anti-anarchist, anti-foreign, anti-materialist, anti-pacifist, anti-homosexual, anti-class conflict, anti-social justice. In short, the "ANTI-..." is what defines Fascism and Nazism.

Unlike Liberalism and Marxism, Nazism and for that matter Fascism lack a coherent ideology, despite the fact that there were Fascist and Nazi intellectuals who tried to inculcate Nazism and Fascism into all facets of life during the Mussolini and Hitler regimes. The precursors to Fascism - Georges Boulanger Adolf Stoker and Karl Lueger - appealed to peoples' fears and insecurities about the dangers of progressive change, especially revolutionary change. In short, they propagated that social change intended to bring social progress would result in chaos and loss of direction for society that would lose its traditions and the strong nation-state. At the same time, the villains of change are invariably foreigners and intellectuals that reject nationalism and traditionalism.

A movement that emerged in the second half of the 19th century as a reaction to mass politics, Fascism can reemerge out of a deep societal crisis, especially in an advanced capitalist country that perceives a threat from the masses demanding continued upward social mobility and curtailing the plutocratic economic system. 

From the US where the Tea Party is legitimate part of the political landscape to European nations where extreme right wing movements have deep roots, it is possible to see in the future the flowering of some variety of Fascism. This would take place when the business elites lose confidence in the traditional political parties and in a state of panic, as they did in Italy and Germany in the interwar, they seek an extreme right wing solution.

With regards to "tending to objectivity and learning from history," if only that were true, the human race would be free of problems after more than five thousand years of civilization. People repeat mistakes because they only relate to their own experiences, and not to those they may have read from others in the past. The human race is doomed to repeat mistake of the past until its extinction. Toward this end, it is entirely possible that societies confronting a deep and crisis seemingly unsolvable by the parliamentary system can revert to some form of Fascism/Nazism. 

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