31
May
07

Worth Reposting

Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler, Mussolini, Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. Britt found 14 defining characteristics common to each:

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism – Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos slogans symbols, songs and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights – Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of “need.” The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause – The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

4. Supremacy of the Military – Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

5. Rampant Sexism – The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.

6. Controlled Mass Media – Sometimes the media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

7. Obsession with National Security – Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

8. Religion and Government are Intertwined – Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government’s policies or actions.

9. Corporate Power is Protected – The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

10. Labor Power is Suppressed – Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.

11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts – Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.

12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment – Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism.

13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption – Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

14. Fraudulent Elections – Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

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46 Responses to “Worth Reposting”


  1. 1 Laura
    May 31, 2007 at 11:49 am

    It’s pretty scary when you think about it. I’m linking to this because it is so very important.

    I think our media self-censors itself out of pressure from corporate exec and government influence. When the outcome is the same – news that matters being surpressed – does it matter if the means is direct gov’t control or self-censorship? I almost think direct government control is better in this case, since it’s obvious. There is an obvious solution. How do we solve the problem of media self censorship?

  2. 2 United We Lay
    May 31, 2007 at 12:02 pm

    Laura,
    Link away. It’s funny, the first time I posted about this people thought I was crazy. I half thought I might be, but I guess it’s the same with everything. The more I look, the more I see. Trying to discuss this with my parents has been most difficult, as I am trying to prepare them for the eventuallity of having to take their grandson to another country. It’s always the intelligencia who leave first, which is why they survive.

    Blogs help with the media censorship. Would you have seen these if it weren’t for the internet? I certainly wouldn’t have. The trouble is convincing young people to look for the news and convincing older people that the TV news is no longer an accurate picture. Maybe we should go along with Freeway Blogger’s campaign and post signs that say, “I get the real news from Jon Stewart”.

  3. 3 Daniel Hoffmann-Gill
    May 31, 2007 at 12:55 pm

    I remember the first time you posted this, it caused quite a storm.

    I sit in the middle, many features are apt but we are still a long way off from the kind of regimes Italy and Germany experienced.

    And at last the trains ran on time…

  4. 4 United We Lay
    May 31, 2007 at 12:58 pm

    I agree that we’re not quite there yet, which is why posting something like this is so important. Fascist governments are only allowed to exist because the PEOPLE allow them. The idea is to point out and eliminate the similiarities while there’s still the time to do so.

  5. 5 Scott
    May 31, 2007 at 1:47 pm

    Well yeah. You could also list the ten planks of communism and see that we’ve got pretty much all those too. “Free” State education, progressive income tax, National banking system, State owned communication systems and transportation systems, etc.

    1930’s Communism (Russia), Socialism (Germany), or Fascism (Italy) are all pretty similar in nature. All are based on the theory that central planned governments know better than individuals on how things should get done. All seek to place the means of production in the State’s hands, either directly or indirectly.

    When Fascism came about it was a reaction to communism, and specifically the Comintern which sought to spread communism throughout the World, “By any means necessary”. Fascism wasn’t always the pejorative it is today.

  6. 6 Laura
    May 31, 2007 at 2:09 pm

    Oh I agree we’re certainly not there, and we do have aspects of many different ideological leanings too. In general, the path our administration is leading us down is this one though. Suspension of civil liberties, speech, due process, human rights. Strong-arming the media to spin its version of things…

    That’s why it’s important for us to actually insist on USING the rights we are so lucky to have. I think we take them for granted far too often. Just by having this discussion, we’re doing that.

  7. 7 Godwhacker
    May 31, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    “None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free.” – Goethe

    That is a pretty accurate checklist of America today. I think we are closer then some might think. The parallels facist states of the past is way to close.

    To pose an answer to Laura’s question “How do we solve the problem of media self censorship?” First we should be sure to get our news from diverse sources. Second, we should boycott biased media and their sponsors. Ultimately, they work for us and if they aren’t doing their job, fire them!

    I’ve already programed Fox News off my t.v. because of their support for “alternative interrogation techniques”. I can’t support any organization that treats human rights with such disdain.

  8. 8 United We Lay
    May 31, 2007 at 2:37 pm

    Scott,
    Free state education ends at high school here. In communist countries you can get a Dr. for free if you make the grades. I think it’s sad that in the wealthiest nation in the world we are able to hold back the lower socioeconomic levels from getting a higher education. Our income tax is far from progressive – try looking at the system in Germany. Our trandsportation system leaves MUCH to be desired, especially if you live in the suburbs or need to get from PA to CA on the train. It’s slow and outdated.

    I thnk we need to come up with a new word ro describe the new fascism.

  9. 9 United We Lay
    May 31, 2007 at 2:38 pm

    Godwhacker,
    We’ve done the same with Fox. i think it’s important that people see Fox “news” for what it is – a propaganda machine.

  10. 10 Godwhacker
    May 31, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    “I think we need to come up with a new word to describe the new fascism.”

    I see your point, but I think a few old words do quite well. Those being “aristocracy” or “feudalism” ~ a classed and segregated society where birthright was the key determinate of social status. Upward mobility was something modern an unique that seems to be loosing relevance, as we slip back to the “born a serf, die a serf” ways of the past. Welcome to the new dark ages!

  11. 11 undergroundlogician
    May 31, 2007 at 2:51 pm

    UWL:

    I must say, you are persistant. It must be cathartic for you to put stuff like this on the blog. I am certain that the current leftist agenda working withing the Democratic party could be described as a type of fascism. Thanks for opening our eyes! How about we call it: “Democratic Fascistm?”

    1. I know of some countries who are not Fascist but promote nationalism anyway.
    2. The U.S. looks the other way when it comes to rights of the unborn and allow abortions on demand. Could very well be the means to eliminate races, since most abortions performed are on blacks and non-caucasian.
    3. Anyone who uses terror against us ought to be resisted, don’t you think? Or are you of the ilk who think that we should be nice to them?
    4. Gee, we spend more on education than the military every year. Phew, I guess we’re not fascist.
    5. Yes, BIG Government is the answer, like Hilary’s view in “It takes a village.”
    6. Then I suppose you are against the government controls against the media in “The Fairness Doctrine” proposed by Dennis Kucinich.
    7. Fear when there is no basis for it, yes. Are you saying we have nothing to fear? I hope not. That would be scary!
    8. Does humanism fit in that scenario as well, since it was declared to be a religion?
    9. Big business in media as well? NYTimes, LATimes, CBC, NBC, ABC, CNN?
    10. We still have unions.
    11. Yes, look at all the PC occurring against conservative professors and Republican student unions! Talk about fascism in the universities…
    12. Whatever.
    13. You should go to Europe.
    14. Phew, I’m glad our system worked to keep that slimy Al Gore from bringing his Eco-fascism into the U.S. government.

  12. 12 Scott
    May 31, 2007 at 4:14 pm

    Free state education ends at high school here. In communist countries you can get a Dr. for free if you make the grades.

    “Free” education exists nowhere. Nothing’s free, we all pay for it everyday and we pay heavily for the little we receive back.

    I think it’s sad that in the wealthiest nation in the world we are able to hold back the lower socioeconomic levels from getting a higher education.

    By what standard are we the wealthiest nation in the world? We’re bankrupt. We’ve got massive amounts of federal mandatory spending for social security and Medicaid that our children’s children will be paying for. There’s no way to keep these programs up and we’re looking for MORE to add to it with “free” college and “free” healthcare?

    Our income tax is far from progressive – try looking at the system in Germany.

    Well considering the top 5% of wage earners pay, what, 50% of the income tax I think “progressive” is a pretty good word for it. If you take into account ALL taxes you might be able to make an argument that the whole of all taxation is not “progressive”, but certainly the income tax is progressive. Still, it’s all extortion anyway, so what difference does it make how it’s stolen?

    I thnk we need to come up with a new word to describe the new fascism.

    “Democracy” fits nicely.

    I think maybe I didn’t make my point clear the first comment. My point was not that we have the wrong kind of government; it was that we have too much government. Fascism is nothing more than a symptom of anti-individualism. It’s not inherently different way of governing than socialism, communism, or even our own Democratic system. They’re all systems that see the State as an entity of power above, not below, individuals. This country was founded on the belief that the individual is the highest entity, that governments exist only to protect the rights of the individual. This has been perverted though, and we now live an era where government is seen as the Great Provider.

    However, I fear in our rush to anoint Big Brother as the savior of humanity we’ve forgotten a few things our founders understood quite well. That government is a necessary evil. That power tends to corrupt. That government is not a tool of freedom; Government. IS. Force.

    So how did we get here? I’m afraid it didn’t happen in the 6 years since Bush took office. As much as I loathe the man, he is nothing more than a symptom of the system.

  13. 13 Laura
    May 31, 2007 at 4:52 pm

    “Free state education ends at high school here.”

    I forgot I wanted to respond to the education bit too…

    Actually if you look at the history of American compulsory education it was actually designed to provide well-trained, well-behaved workers for the factories. Wealthy businessmen sent (and still do send) their children to private schools. So it still serves the state agenda, it’s just this time the state agenda is economic growth rather than resource distribution.

    I posted about that a while back actually. We can debate who actually pays and all that – though with funding coming mainly from local property taxes, people pay for their “own” public schools.

  14. 14 Laura
    May 31, 2007 at 4:56 pm

    Godwhacker: (Great name btw). I know this sounds defeatist, but I know what I can do to better inform myself… the question is how do we spur collective action. A few people turning off Fox forever is one thing… but until it reaches a critical mass, it won’t register as even a blip on their radar.

  15. 15 TomCat
    May 31, 2007 at 6:47 pm

    The Bush family has roots in nazi Germany. Prescott continued to trade with Hitler even after war was declared.

  16. 16 United We Lay
    May 31, 2007 at 7:46 pm

    Godwhaker,
    I think this “democratic fascism” is something different. We have allowed its institution, and only we can turn it around. Upward mobility is all we have.

    UL,
    Let me start by saying that I don’t like your attitude. Disagree, but don’t act like a child. Democratic fascism is an excellent term, especially since we have (for the most part) elected the politicians (Republican AND Democrat) who have instituted the changes leading to fascism. Both parties are responsible, and I find Democrats even more hypocritical as they pretend to be on the side of the people and the facts, but they’re not. Republicans are least more at honest in their open disdain for the truth (though they’ll deny it). Also, let me say again that these are CHARACTERISTICS of fascism. All countries fit into one or more of the catagories, but it’s when they fit into more than half that the people need to start paying closer attention. I feel that we fit into many of these catagories in ways that I find troubling. To be able to recognize that, and more importantly to be able to discuss it with people who agree AND disagree is something that cannot happen in a truly fascist nation. We’re not there yet, but we ARE heading in that direction, and that scares the hell out of me.

  17. 17 United We Lay
    May 31, 2007 at 8:19 pm

    1. There are countries where the citizens vote but they are not democracies. It is the degree of nationalism that is troubling, not its mere presence.

    2. Let’s talk about the rights that everyone agrees on, such as the right for people to NOT BE TORTURED, or the right to a fair and speedy trial.

    3. Iraq did not use terror against us, so that argument is void. Why is it that if you don’t support this war, you support terror? The two are not even close to the same thing. The bipartisan politics the country is mired in was started by the TV pundits coming out against the liberals. Basically we have separated each other by placing labels on our fellow Americans. How is that good for our country? And let’s not forget the “War on Christmas”.

    4. No. We don’t. But that’s a common misconception. Our defense budget is taken from several different departments under a variety of names. The CIA, FBI, NSA, DEA, FDA, and Boarder Patrol are only a few, but I think you get the point. The military is definitely glamorized, meaning that stories are not relevant or realistic, especially around holidays. This administration flat out LIED about the roles of certian soldiers in this war, namely Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman.

    This part really belongs with #11, but I’ll respond since this is where you brought it up. The money within education is poorly spent. Ity’s not the quantity, it’s the QUALITY. Spend the money on educating teachers, incorporating technology, and free college and the country will be in great shape. Laura is right about the American education system.

    5. I don’t know where you get BIG government from this, but it DOES take a village. Our President proposed and Ammendment to the US Constitution to block gay marriage. Women are not adaquately represented in this government, or in this country. Minorities are not well represented, either. We are beginning to see that change, but it has been institutionalized for a VERY lONG TIME. The system is built against women – taking time off to have children is not possible if you want to compete. Men don’t have to make that sacrifice. Women are just as able to serve in the military as men, and should be able to do so without the fear of being raped. Prostate screenings are covered under most health plans but mamograms and pap smears aren’t. The Supreme Court just struck down a womans right to sue for wage discrimination based on a technicallity.

    7. I’m saying that fear is used to motivate the masses to do something the politicians want. Terror scares are happening all the time, but they are only REPORTED when there is something else to cover-up or it will help someone in the polls. The media and government control what Americans are afraid of by deciding what to report. We don’t talk about the loss of the honeybees or seriously discuss what we can do to combat envirionmental hazards, but ONE guy with TB in Atlanta is a huge fucking story. That’s just crap. As is the Bird Flu, the SARS scare, and the Summer of the Shark. And why do we keep refrencing 9/11 (a date that is shrouded in lies and government cover-ups). Scientific fact: The heat from the jet would not have melted steel.

    I will answer the rest of these later, but I have plans for this evening.

  18. 18 Psychomikeo
    June 1, 2007 at 1:03 am

    “I think we need to come up with a new word to describe the new fascism.”

    How about Corporatism

    “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power.” Benito Mussolini

    “Capitalism is Man Exploiting Man;
    Communism is just the opposite.”

  19. 19 United We Lay
    June 1, 2007 at 3:24 am

    8. A few people calling it a religion does not make it so.

    9. Yes. Big business is ALL areas. CNN is more accurate, but no less beholden to corporate sponsers than Fox News.

    10. Yes. We have a few unions. Mostly, we don’t. It is incredibly difficult in many states to form a union, and most states don’t protect workers from the fear of retribution from their employers for forming a union.

    11. Your statement makes no sense whatsoever. However, a professor was just fired for expressing his ideas – you know – what professors are HIRED TO TEACH.

    12. Oh. Look. UL has nothing to say. It’s hard to dispute police brutality when it’s plastered all over the news.

    13. So because it happens in Europe it’s okay if it happens here? Really? THAT’S your argument? That’s the equivilant of “he hit me first”.

    14. I can only assume that someone who is still disputing this is ignorant of the facts and the law.

    You are supposedly an educated person. I don’t undersand how someone who seems to enjoy learning can avoid the facts so blatanly. Facts are facts. They cannot be spun by either party. The can not be disputd. They are not statistics. They are proven. I can only surmise that someone who ignores facts continuously either is afraid of what they’ll learn or is stupid.

  20. 20 undergroundlogician
    June 1, 2007 at 3:34 am

    UWL:

    We are always faced with some sort of threat to our freedoms. Ignorance and fear are terrible weapons to use, no matter which political stripe worn. I suggest we continue to discuss this and look carefully what is happening. I am being more serious here, and I apologize if I came off flippant. I’m trying to make a point that fascism is already here; it will be difficult to root out.

    Any political activity can become corrupt. The strength of the moral fiber of a nation is what makes it healthy or not. I have fears similar to yours, but they lie in whether the people have the moral capacity to make proper choices.

    Also, to make proper moral choices, a nation needs to be informed and educated. I see huge gaps in information and truth-telling going on in media simply because media has become huge, rich, and powerful. Media has now become the means to move people politically by means of manipulation and misinformation. Schools, as you see first hand, are not training our youth to think. And technology provides the means to entertain youth every moment of the day, from I-pods to television on cell phones. The fear of boredom plagues our kids today.

    Such is the consequence of a hedonistic culture. And as civilizations have risen and fallen, my fear is that the current one is in decline. What will take its place…a new totalitarianism? I think it is possible and the picture looks frightfully like a new dark age.

  21. 21 daveawayfromhome
    June 1, 2007 at 6:04 am

    who are you and what have you done with UL?

  22. 22 Daniel Hoffmann-Gill
    June 1, 2007 at 12:33 pm

    Scott: sorry to burst your bubble but socialism was never involved in the Nazi party scheme of things, the direct translation does not match up to the political ideal. It was Fascism but Hitler’s version.

  23. 23 Daniel Hoffmann-Gill
    June 1, 2007 at 12:35 pm

    UL: Europe is very nice, all welcome, even bigots!

  24. 24 United We Lay
    June 1, 2007 at 12:40 pm

    And that is the kind of discussion I’m looking for. I don’t mind you expressing your ideas, especially if they disagree with mine, but this post is important to me. It is important in general that we recognize the problems within our society and try to do something about them BEFORE we descend into fascism. The only way to do that is to have discussions. Open, honest, and real. Sarcasm does not facilitate that end. I am trying to spawn more debate and discussion without having people resort to frustration. We have enough of that in our world. We don’t need it in our escape.

  25. 25 United We Lay
    June 1, 2007 at 12:48 pm

    I agree that our culture is in decline. I think all of us here have to make a committment to something more about it than we are already doing. Daniel teaches young kids. i reduce my impact on the environment (regardless of GW, it’s just a healthiers, better way to live). We all write. What we really need to do is come togetherand focus our attentions on making a change, whatever that change may be. If life is easy, you’re doing something wrong. We’re all separated by time and place, but there has to be something we can all do together. a book, perhaps? A screen play? something to show tha media isn’t dead. We’re alive. We’re out here. AND we’re talking. So take that, CNN!!

  26. 26 Scott
    June 1, 2007 at 2:03 pm

    Scott: sorry to burst your bubble but socialism was never involved in the Nazi party scheme of things, the direct translation does not match up to the political ideal. It was Fascism but Hitler’s version.

    National Socialism had nothing to do with Socialism? Well, if you say so, but that still is beyond my point.

    The problem in the modern nation State model is centralized power. We have allocated too much power in too few amounts of people. Not that having too much power allocated to a large group of people is considerably better.

    The point I tried to make earlier is we could just as easily call our mode of government communist or socialist as we could fascist. I know college kids don’t like referring to the National Socialists as Socialists because Socialism=good and fascism= bad and all that but I pretty sure things aren’t that simple. I mean we do all remember that Joey Stalin guy right? He’s the one who killed what, twice? Three times as many as Hitler? All under Communism (AKA revolutionary socialism)

    The goals aren’t any different in the three movements. State power, limited individual rights. That’s what we need to focus on.

  27. 27 daveawayfromhome
    June 1, 2007 at 9:11 pm

    Okay, I’m going to be shocking and say that I actually agree with UL. Maybe it’s because he hasnt gone into detail, but then I might argue that the role of government should only extend to those things that people (more or less) agree upon. But I wont argue right now.

    Education might sound like the key, but I’d qualify that to be a variety of education. The big danger I see with NCLB (and my wife teaches History in middle school, so I’m up to speed on these things) is the homogeneity of the learning. When everyone “knows” the same things, nobody ever questions them. (Incidentally, spending on education may be greater than that on the military, but how much of that spending goes to bureaucracy and testing companies, rather than actual teaching of people, big or small?)

    The same goes for the media. The problem with the media is not bias, but lack of variety. When a half dozen companies own most of the media outlets in the country, you get less information. That ownership has been shrinking since the 70’s. One can only imagine what kind of information we would (not) be getting if it were not for the massive variety of the internet. Concentration of information (which thinkers have recognised as the New Wealth for the last few decades) in the hands of a few should be one of the primary causes for concern in America, but it barely makes the radar. I’ll include myself in that condemnation, also.

    I’ll also agree that hedonistic behavior on the part of Americans is bringing the downfall of America, again without going into details. But whether it’s the selfishness of abortion, or lack of civic responsibility shown in the anti-tax movement (or, more likely, both) the answer is, again, information, then discussion of that information.

    Information is the answer to political corruption, also. How much corruption could be gotten away with were politicians not able to hide behind such dodges as “executive priviledge”, as if they were their own authority and not our employees. And fear is easy to use, if the population you use it on is ignorant.

    I could probably go on longer, but I gotta go to work.

  28. 28 SME
    June 2, 2007 at 7:41 am

    The only thing I would add is “stupid fashion statements” (beards or little moustaches, lapel pins…)

  29. 29 undergroundlogician
    June 2, 2007 at 4:21 pm

    Daveaway:

    I know you’re surprised because you thought you had me pegged. This is usually the case with anyone. We all, myself included, tend to caracaturize others instead of really listening and learning. I have my naughty times, but usually I’m quite pleasant to be with! Just ask Mrs. UL. I hope to extend to you the same openness and will watch for those dreaded assumptions.

    I had an interesting time studying Plato at Marquette U., which a decent amounbt of time was spent on “The Republic.” His analogy of politics in the city to describe justice is quite eye opening. He lists, in sort of descending order the types of governments that exist; Democracy is near the bottom.

    Now Plato’s Democracy is a real one where the citizenry actually make decisions in governing, not like the Democratic Republic we have in United States. So we have a say in our government by choosing our leaders, but I think Fascism can still infiltrate. It takes time, and the changes that occur are incremental, but they still change.

    Changes that occur under the radar I think involve technology. Technology is fueled by the philosophy of pragmatism; it actually, left unchecked, can become an entity in itself. Not like AI, but in technological advancement. For instance, did you see the articles about finding people via satelites on Google? Kind of wierd. If someone wanted to check out the UL’s bald spot in his cave in Wisconsin, one can find it on the internet. It seems the lust for information in our striving for greater technology can jeopardize our right to privacy.

    An interesting discussion here.

  30. 30 Godwhacker
    June 3, 2007 at 4:18 pm

    Wow, now this is what I call blogging!

    @Laura ~ glad you like the “Godwhacker” handle. It’s borrowed from a very cool Steely Dan song, a tongue-in-cheek production about a hit-man that takes on malfeasant deities. But to answer your question, I think we need an out and out non-violent revolution in the vain of those orchestrated by MLK or Gandhi. Just turning off the t.v. is not enough, but all of these companies are supported by the public via our patronage. Cutting them off is just a small first step.

    @Tomcat ~ right on man! Germany lost WWII, but the Nazis won. They now rules our nation and their names are Bush, Rockefeller, DuPont, and Harriman to name a few.

    @Daniel Hoffmann-Gill ~ Hate to burst your bubble, but Scott is right on the money on this. Hitler was a national socialist and all of the crimes he committed where justified as being “for the good of the people”. “”It is thus necessary that the individual should finally come to realize that his own ego is of no importance in comparison with the existence of his nation; that the position of the individual ego is conditioned solely by the interests of the nation as a whole; that pride and conceitedness; the feeling that the individual… is superior, so far from being merely laughable, involve great dangers for the existence of the community that is a nation; that above all the unity of a nation’s spirit and will are worth far more than the freedom of the spirit and will of an individual; and that the higher interests involved in the life of the whole must here set the limits and lay down the duties of the interests of the individual.” [Adolf Hitler 1933]

    Fascist ethics begin … with the acknowledgment that it is not the individual who confers a meaning upon society, but it is, instead, the existence of a human society which determines the human character of the individual. According to Fascism, a true, a great spiritual life cannot take place unless the State has risen to a position of pre-eminence in the world of man. The curtailment of liberty thus becomes justified at once, and this need of rising the State to its rightful position.[Mario Palmieri, “The Philosophy of Fascism” 1936]

    All our lives we fought against exalting the individual, against the elevation of the single person, and long ago we were over and done with the business of a hero, and here it comes up again: the glorification of one personality. This is not good at all.” [Vladimir Lenin, as quoted in Not by Politics Alone]

    “There is more that binds us with Bolshevism than separates us.” [Adolf Hitler 1935]

    Same hooker, different dress.

    @United We Lay, you are right that we need to have unity in order to make a dent in this trend of tyranny. I can’t and won’t support any politician who doesn’t call for the immediate repeal of the Patriot Act and the Military Commissions Act. That leaves me with 3 choices right now ~ Gravel, Kusinitch, and Paul. Of the three, I feel most comfortable philosophically with Paul, but right now any politician against war and torture would be a step in the right direction.

  31. 31 Daniel Hoffmann-Gill
    June 4, 2007 at 3:38 pm

    Godwhacker: absolute rubbish, national socialism had nothing at all to do with socialism and anyone who believes there was any similiarity beyond the name has as little knowledge of political history as I do of Ice Hockey.

    Socialism has no connection with the Nazi party and nor did Hitler follow any of the tenants of socialist ideals. If you look at the key manifesto for the Nazi party the ideology is so clearly not socialist it beggers belief.

    Me thinks I smell someone who has a distrust of all things socialist, which considering the said politcal ideology keeps the majority of Europe afloat I’d say that was flawed.

  32. 32 Scott
    June 4, 2007 at 7:29 pm

    Dan,

    I think you might be kind of missing the point. The crux of this entire conversation is not “was Hitler a socialist?” (which he was) but rather what is the cause of an overbearing fascist style government. To that end, the argument that I’ve made is not that Germany just wasn’t fascist at all, but rather that fascism, socialism, and communism are not entirely different animals, and that the foundation that they all rest upon is the notion of the common good over the rights of the individual. I think if you read the very prudent quotes that Godwhacker posted under that light, the whole discussion will make more sense to you.

    However, if it is just the fact that Hitler was a socialist that you contend with you should really provide a bit more to back that up than you did. Obviously not being from Europe I probably stand at somewhat of a disadvantage to you. Any enlightenment would be appreciated. From what I understand health care was a national priority for the Nazi’s, as well as a modernized, cozy, welfare state.

    But really, your “anyone who doesn’t agree with me is daft” argument is actually very compelling.

  33. 33 Daniel Hoffmann-Gill
    June 4, 2007 at 9:13 pm

    I can tell I’m dealing with Americans with very little understanding of European politics, Hitler was not a socialist you madman! As I’ve said, read Mein Kampf, read the Nazi manifesto, or better perhaps have German relatives who fought for Mazi Germany and lived in it’s political age and you will know that Hitler and his form of politics was in no way connected with or attempted to be socialism.

    Good grief! There are some poor histry texts in the US.

    I will repeat: socialism is the prime force in European politics, in very successful nations across Europe; it is not to be lumped in with fascism or communism.

    As for the common good, from where I am, I see a nation that is in some dire need of common good above individual greed and selfish behaviour and that nation is the US; the only Western nation to never have a socialist party in power in its entire history.

    For people who have never experienced firsthand socialism, who have very little idea of European political history, you sure do throw around your weight on matters you know little about.

    Can I be clear here, a Welfare State and a free national health service are good things.

    And as you require a blow by blow break down of National Socialist policy I shall give you the key tenants which are so far from socialism it beggers belief:

    Anti-semetic
    Anti-bolshevik
    Anti-Marxism
    Anti-communist
    Extreme nationalism
    Expansionism
    Belief in Aryan Race
    Anti-liberalism
    Anti-democracy
    Militarism
    Puesdo religion

    Jesus wept, by 1929 Hitler wanted the word socialist removed from the party name because of it’s connortations with the Social Democrat movement in Germany (which ironically was the main reason he put it in, to give the fringe, cult party some level of gravitas).

    PS: Hitler spent most of the post WW1 period smashing socialist groups across Germany and I know this as fact as my Great Grandfather was part of such groups, long before 1933.

  34. 34 Godwhacker
    June 5, 2007 at 2:39 am

    With all due respect Daniel, you are just flat out wrong. Socialism is the system wherein the rights of the individual are subordinate to the will of the state. That is a dicatorship. You might have benevolent dictators for a while, but the system is ultimately susceptible to corruption.

    You list a litany of sins associated with Hitler’s rule, but you are unable to identify the philosophical underpinnings that made those sins possible; that philosophy is socialism.

  35. 35 Daniel Hoffmann-Gill
    June 5, 2007 at 8:19 am

    As I suspected, people who have no idea what socialism is, who have never experienced a socialist party in power are making very wrong assumptions regarding what socialism is.

    You seem to be deaf to the fact that socialism is the primary political force in Europe!

    As for Hitler utilising socialism you are wrong, he was not, never was and never wanted to be a socialist. But as you keep running with this ignorance I will have to provide more terrible proof that you don’t know what Hitler believed in and that you have no idea what socialism is!

    National Socialists believed that the existence of inequality and separate social classes was beneficial (contrary to the views of socialists) and supported state-enforced inequality.

    Nazi’s strongly rejected all previous forms of socialism and particularly opposed Marxism and communism, calling them “Jewish ideologies”. Remember that the Nazi Party did not have a clear economic program, and different groups within the Party had different and often contradictory views regarding economic policy.

    I would argue that the policies were essentially capitalist: close relationship with big business, banned strikes and trade unions, and imprisoned or executed socialist leaders.

    Hope that helps to clear up your underatanding of European politics and what socialism means.

  36. 36 United We Lay
    June 5, 2007 at 11:17 am

    I think the problem is that people are going off of the “dictionary definition” of what socialism is. This is a definition that has not been ammended or updated, and one that is, in some respects, false. One requires an extensive knowledge of political structure. Americans barely have knowledge of their own political structure. I find that most Europeans will give a similar view of Socialism to what Daniel has outlined. Socialism is NOT a bad thing.

  37. 37 Godwhacker
    June 5, 2007 at 2:12 pm

    Daniel & UWL,
    I’d like to point your attention to The Ominous Parallels, a book which clearly connects the degeneration of liberty in modern America with the events leading to the rise of Hitler in Germany. I can assure you that I have an abundance of education in the areas of government, history, and philosophy and it’s a little smug to suggest that someone who doesn’t agree with you is somehow uninformed.

    There are numerous types of socialism and many variants have been better in practice then others, but I still think socialism is a bad system and so is fascism. Both are variants of a system known as statism. Statist systems exercise the rights of the state over the rights of the individual and I think that makes them inherently evil. The differences that you describe Daniel are cosmetic when compared to the basic premise that the individual and all of his/her work, property, and achievements are the property of the state.

    So let’s make this simple:
    •All socialists systems are statist
    •All communists systems are statist
    •All fascist systems are statist

    It is important to point out that the major domestic policies of Hitler’s Germany included universal education, universal health care, universal job security, and guaranteed incomes for the elderly. IF that is not socialism, then perhaps you have another definition for me. A state that is so powerful as to grant you these things is also powerful enough to take them away.

    The only ethical reason to have a government is to protect the rights of the individual. And BTW, those who advocate minority rights, but reject individual rights are inconsistent. The smallest minority is the individual.

    The first step in curing an illness, and I will be the first to state that our country is sick, is to diagnose the disease. My diagnosis is that the further we drift from our constitution that defined a limited government and expansive civil liberties, the further we drift towards dictatorship and oblivion.

  38. 38 Scott
    June 5, 2007 at 3:03 pm

    or better perhaps have German relatives who fought for Mazi Germany and lived in it’s political age and you will know that Hitler and his form of politics was in no way connected with or attempted to be socialism.

    I actually took your advice on this.

    I work with several European immigrants. One of them is from Austria and is an outspoken suporter of Hitler. No really he is. So I asked him:

    Me: Joe, would you say Hitler was a socialist?

    Joe: Yeah, yeah of course, National Socialist, that was his party.

    Me: Well when I say that to people they tell me that he was a fascist.

    Joe: No, no, that was Mussilini.

    Me: Oh, why do people call Hitler a fascist?

    Joe: That’s just people turning things around. Hitler supported the people. They had education, health care, he said people who have full time jobs should have vacation time, he got rid of the evil bankers that kept screwing up the currency. He tried to clean up society, if you could see the filth that the Jews brought with their pornography and shit. Everyone tries to paint him as an evil guy but most of it’s bullshit.

    Me: Ah, and your Dad lived in Germany?

    Joe: Yeah, Austria, same thing.

    Me: And he faught in World War II?

    Joe: Yeah, he was in the SS. That’s not what they say either that was like the Marines. The best fighters. They didn’t waste time with concentration camps or Jews or whatever.

    Me: Okay.

    So that was it.

    I agree with Godwhacker (obviously) there are different strainns of Socialism. We have a lot of them here in the States and will have more soon when the Democrats win the election next year.

    If it’s got all the characteristics of socialism, but doesn’t have egalitarianism, can’t it still be a variant of socialism?

    If socialism is the driving force in Europe, and you can’t have socialism without equality and egalitarianism, how do you explain the vast anti-semitism that still exists in Europe today? At least that’s the impression I get from talking to Europeans that I know.

    *shrug*

  39. 39 daveawayfromhome
    June 5, 2007 at 6:39 pm

    “The only ethical reason to have a government is to protect the rights of the individual.”

    I’m going to have to disagree with this statement. The most ethical reason to have a government is to protect the individual from predation. After all, your right to swing your fist ends at the tip of my nose, yes? Government is the hand that grabs the swinging arm, thus protecting the individual.
    You can call this “protecting the rights of the individual” if you want to, but dont use that to justify the idea (currently in vogue) that whatever someone has they got it “all by themselves”, and so it’s their “right” to keep it. This is the Right’s objection to “socialism”. The Left (in theory – perhaps more in Europe than in America) recognises that as a member of any society, that society plays a part in any gains you may have personally made.

    The cost of socialised medicine would, overall, be much less than the cost of medicine that we currently pay. The difference is that some, who cannot pay now and so recieve nothing (except expensive urgent care at tax-payer financed hospitals), would be kept healthy for free. Gasp!
    In America, the idea of the Undeserving Poor has taken a strong grip on our psyche, as has the idea of the Deserving Wealthy. They apparently deserve this wealth, though many have never worked even half as hard to get it as the lowest paid member of those who actually make the product that creates their wealth.
    I’m not going to make the arguement that people who provide capital shouldnt profit from it, or that the management/owner class shouldnt make more money than those that work. But the Working Class in this country is, increasingly, being treated like so many cogs in a machine; cheap plastic cogs that can and ought to be replaced whenever less expensive ones are found. Why else do you think that jobs are being shipped overseas. The invitable conclussion to this trend is a return to the 19th century, robber barons, and a screaming need for a new Jacob Riis.

    There’s talk here about “individual liberties”, but all I hear is selfishness. Taxation (and that’s what the Right’s bitching about socialism is really all about) is not an attack on individual liberties. It is the cost of running a government and of belonging to any society, and the best guarantee to maintain the individual liberties of a nation is to make sure that all your citizens are in good health and have access to all the education they want.
    America is doing things ass-backwards. The right has us convinced that if we just put all our money into Business, then infrastructure, education, health and happiness of the People will naturally follow. But it’s just another Trickle-down scam. Invest in the health and education of the People, build a solid infrastructure for them to work within, and then cut them loose within a system of loosely regulated (there do have to be rules you know) capitalism. That’s how to build a healthy Nation.

    ***

    On a side note, Scott, you really shouldnt talk to Nazis, it just encourages them.

  40. 40 Scott
    June 5, 2007 at 7:32 pm

    huh? The idea that government’s sole purpose is securing individual rights is not some in vogue idea of the Right, it’s the founding principle of the United States of America.

  41. 41 United We Lay
    June 6, 2007 at 11:16 am

    Scott,
    Which side did he fight on?

  42. 42 Scott
    June 6, 2007 at 12:40 pm

    uwl,

    He fought for the Germans.

  43. 43 United We Lay
    June 6, 2007 at 9:32 pm

    Yeah, I think that kind of discredits him a little bit.

  44. 44 Daniel Hoffmann-Gill
    June 8, 2007 at 12:49 pm

    Godwhacker: Awful, your ‘let’s make it simple’ is as flawed as it is dangerous, I’ll show you:

    All humans get angry-all killers are angry when they kill-everyone kills when they are angry.

    Statist is not a bad thing, again, please see European politics and it’s success for reference. Also, your assertion regarding Hitler’s policy is not true, he lacked any coherent economic plan and remember the idea was never universal, it was exclusive only to those that were racially pure.

    At least we’ve managed to work out that the Nazi party were not socialist…

    Scott: Your interview victim has to be discredited for not understanding that a/Austria is very different to Germany and b/that the Nazi party had very little to do with fascism when in reality it was closely aligned although, of course, different.

    Political naivity is the issue here, failing to see the complexity of the matter. Also, I return to the fact that Hitler and his Nazi party destroyed and attacked Socialist groups.

    “If socialism is the driving force in Europe, and you can’t have socialism without equality and egalitarianism, how do you explain the vast anti-semitism that still exists in Europe?”

    This is another timely example of political naivity! Of course you can have socialism without equality and egalitarinanism! Who said anything about perfection? It’s about trying to succeed with socialist values!

    As for a Europe ‘rife’ with anti-Semitism (which is not true, anti-Zionism yes), this is not a political issue but one of personal ignorance.

  45. 45 Scott
    June 8, 2007 at 5:24 pm

    You told me to interview a Nazi to see that Hitler was a fascist and when he says he wasn’t you discredit him for disagreeing with you?

    I don’t really know how to talk to you. Every argument a person with a differing opinion is discounted as simply being naive.

  46. 46 Daniel Hoffmann-Gill
    June 10, 2007 at 3:50 pm

    Scott: please stop being silly, I interview one American and ask him if he hates black people, he says yes, ergo the US is inherently racist. One interview as you call it makes not an arguement.

    Pull yourself together and accept the reality, you’re talking to a German heritage European who has spent far longer on matters of the Nazi party, socialism and other such matters, take my word for it and stop this endless, tedious tit-for-tat.


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I am not perfect. I do my best to practice what I preach, but I am human. My mantra is, "DO NO HARM". I may not always succeed, but I will always try. My goal is to be a better person today than I was yesterday.

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