PeterS doesn't seem to know much about fascism. He cites Nationalism, but conservatives aren't Nationalists, we're Constitutionalists. Fascists sublimate the rule of law to the "National Will" or some other means of sanitizing the whims of the dictator and his party. This is the opposite of Constitutional protections and limits on government. His other examples are equally invalid:
Originally Posted by PeterS
Militarism: Conservatives don't support the militarization of society, which is what fascists demand. We oppose the creation of paramilitary organizations that impose their will on the public. Fascism creates labor battalions, propaganda collectives and a host of other militarized agencies which channel the collective efforts of the people into acting in concert with the goals of the ruling party. Our "militarism" is support for a military that is strong enough to protect our interests, but balanced by other forces (including armed individuals), so that it cannot become a threat to our liberties.
Corporatism: Again, a word that I don't think that PeterS gets, or if he does, he is willfully distorting it. In the fascist state, corporatism is the division of sectors of the economy into government controlled organizations (corporations). These include trade unions and employers, who would speak for their entities and allegededly eliminate class conflicts, as well as reduce opposition and reward allies. Conservatives favor economic liberty.
Irrationalism: This is just how Progressives flatter themselves. Since they are the epitome of rational thought, anyone who disagrees with them must be irrational. The Soviets used this to great effect when they politicized their mental health system and determined that dissent was a form of mental illness.
Mythicism: This is a new one. Does it mean "mysticism" (in which case, we can cite loads of "mystical" hogwash from the left, starting with their Gaia worship, nutty fringe religions and obsessions)? Does it simply mean religious faith? Several conservatives here are non-believers, myself included (blame the bacon), so that doesn't apply. This is just silly.
Disdain for Liberalism and Communism: As communists have subverted liberalism, so that the two have become interchangeable on the left, along with Progressivism and assorted other euphemisms that they rediscover whenever their most recent label has been rendered toxic by their excesses, it is understandable to equate them. However, disdain for communism is not a fascist trait. Communists and Fascists were rivals, not opposites. Mussolini, the founder of Fascism, even stated this:
“Between us and the communists there are no political affinities but there are intellectual ones. Like you [communists], we consider necessary a centralized unitary state which imposes iron discipline and all persons, with this difference, that you reached this conclusion by way of the concept of class, and we by the way of the concept of nation.”
Richard Pipes, author of Communism: A History, identified a number of areas of agreement between fascism and communism:
- Both the fascists and communists had a common enemy, which was liberal democracy with its reverence for civil rights, property, and peace.
- Both the fascists and communists were totalitarian regimes that regarded human beings as expendable raw material for the construction of a new social order.
- Both the fascists and communists tried to obliterate all distinctions between the state and the citizenry by penetrating and controlling every aspect of organized life.
- Both the fascists and communists enjoyed a political monopoly and governed with the assistance of the security police, which were endowed with unrestricted powers.
- Both the fascists and communists viewed pacifism with contempt.
So, if PeterS is still lurking, at least he will benefit from this explanation of his errors, and perhaps he may someday develop a less doctrinally leftist worldview, or at least better manners in expressing it.
PeterS doesn't necessarily know that they are lies. Remember, the Soviet propaganda machine has been spreading the lie that fascist=rightwing for decades, and most of our institutions follow that same line. At the same time, he also probably doesn't know the origins and mindset of the Progressive movement. Progressives believed in social Darwinism. They assumed that human existence was a series of forward movements towards an enlightened future, and that humanity would evolve, just as other species do. They believed that, as the enlightened vanguard, it was their duty to guide that evolution and jumpstart it. They were advocates of all manner of social engineering, owing a great deal to the ideas of Rousseau and Marx, but also to Darwin and Freud. They wanted eugenics, for example, but dropped that when the Nazis put the full program into practice, but before then, they had quite a run in the US:
Originally Posted by txradioguy
Many early progresssives advocated eugenics, or human engineering, to purge society's gene pool of undesirable traits. In Looking Backward, socialist author Edward Bellamy mused about “race purification,” a fantasy shared by many utopian novelists. Indiana's state government in 1907 became the first in the modern world to codify eugenic principles, and more than two dozen additional American states soon followed suit. These states did not dictate the coupling of ideal mates, which could be called “positive eugenics.” Rather, they advocated “negative eugenics” – i.e., the sterilization of those harboring undesirable genetic makeups, precisely as Bellamy had advocated.
Eugenics was wholly compatible with the progressive era's faith in science, the future, the regulatory potential of the state, and human perfectibility. The Rockefeller Foundation and the Carnegie Institution helped bankroll organizations that sought to advance eugenics. Among the more notable progressives to embrace the practice were the anarco-communist Emma Goldman, NAACP founder W.E.B. Dubois, author H.G. Wells, political scientist Harold Laski, socialist reformers Sidney and Beatrice Webb, biology instructor/atheist Edward Aveling, economist John Maynard Keynes, playwright George Bernard Shaw, World Wildlife Fund founder Julian Huxley, sex theorist Havelock Ellis, and Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger. Sanger, taking issue with the Church's view that eugenics was immoral because the souls of all people were equally valuable in the eyes of God, said:
“My own position is that the Catholic doctrine is illogical, not in accord with science, and definitely against the social welfare and race improvement. Assuming that God does want an increasing number of worshipers of the Catholic faith, does he also wantan increasing number of feeble-minded, insane, criminal, and diseased worshipers?”
Eugenics only became unpopular after the Holocaust gave us visual evidence of what the program looked like in fact, rather than abstract theory. But you can see the echoes of Nazism in Sanger's comments about the Church. This is one of the links between the Progressive left and the Fascist left. There are many others.
In 1913, Brown University's progressive sociologist Lester Ward endorsed eugenics as a means of fighting “that modern scientific fatalism known as laissez-faire,” and of facilitating “the betterment of the human race.” “The end and the aim of the eugenicists cannot be reproached,” he expanded. “The race is far from perfect. Its condition is deplorable. Its improvement is entirely feasible, and in the highest degree desirable.”
Speaking on a related theme, the playwright George Bernard Shaw advocated the creation of a panel tasked with the duty of deciding who was, and who was not, worthy of being allowed to continue living.
"You must all know half a dozen people at least who are no use in this world, who are more trouble than they are worth. Just put them there and say Sir, or Madam, now will you be kind enough to justify your existence? If you can’t justify your existence, if you’re not pulling your weight in the social boat, if you’re not producing as much as you consume or perhaps a little more, then, clearly, we cannot use the organizations of our society for the purpose of keeping you alive, because your life does not benefit us and it can’t be of very much use to yourself."
By 1927, the U.S. Supreme Court had accepted the progressive belief that the state ought to be empowered to determine who should and should not be permitted to reproduce.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, the Court's progressive icon, wrote in 1915 that his "starting point for an ideal for the law" would be the "coordinated human effort ... to build a race." He elaborated:
“We have seen more than once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the State for these lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by those concerned in order to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. It is better for all the world if, instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for the crime or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind.... Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”
All told, some 60,000 Americans were sterilized by the decrees of state governments.