A collection of Roger's essays and articles
- Part II of ‘Us vs. Them: On the Meaning of Fascism’The coin that the Nazis struck after the successful journey and stay for 6 months, in 1933, of baron von Mildenstein,
who became head of the Jewish Desk of the SS’s Security Service (SD) in 1935, as a guest of the kibbutzim and Histadrut
This disarmingly simple formula, Zionism equals Nazism, is analogous to the famous assertions of Galileo and Copernicus – demonstrable but so heretical in their contemporary context as to unleash a deafening chorus of outrage from defenders of the conventional wisdom. Speaking truth to power is always a very risky business but it has its compensations – if you live long enough you can enjoy the fleeting pleasure of vindication and the comforting thought that no matter how bad things may seem at the time, they do have a way of working themselves out..
In Part I of this series, ”Us vs. Them: On the Meaning of Fascism,” I laid out the basic argument for classifying Zionism as a form of fascism. This brief essay takes the next logical step, equating Zionism with Nazism. It is meant for readers who have developed at least some measure of immunity to the omnipresent, ubiquitous and extraordinarily effective propaganda effort underway for as long as almost all of us have been alive. We will proceed in the same fashion, drawing on the Wikipedia definitions and then looking at the current usage in order to deconstruct the deceptions of the Zionists.
Wikipedia: “Nazism, known officially in German as National Socialism, is the totalitarian ideology and practices of the Nazi Party or National Socialist German Workers’ Party under Adolf Hitler, and the policies adopted by the dictatorial government of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945…In the 1930s, Nazism was not a monolithic movement, but rather a (mainly German) combination of various ideologies and philosophies which centered around nationalism, anti-communism, traditionalism and the importance of the ethnostate. Groups such as Strasserism and Black Front were part of the early Nazi movement. Their motivations were triggered over anger about the Treaty of Versailles, and what they considered to have been a Jewish/communist conspiracy to humiliate Germany at the end of the World War I. Germany’s post-war ills were critical to the formation of the ideology and its criticisms of the post-war Weimar Republic…”
OK, all well and good. Note that the principal ideological elements of Nazi thought were “nationalism, anti-communism, traditionalism and the importance of the ethnostate.” The rest of the definition elaborates on the importance of a sense of victimhood. Also note the elision of “Jewish/communist conspiracy.” As people are increasingly coming to understand, Hitler’s primary animus was not against Jews as such, but Bolshevism, which indeed was largely a Jewish endeavor.
Wikipedia: “Zionism is the international political movement that originally supported the reestablishment of a homeland for the Jewish people in the Land of Israel, the historical homeland of the Jews. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement continues primarily to support it. Zionism is based on historical ties and religious traditions linking the Jewish people to the Land of Israel. Almost two millennia after the Jewish diaspora, the modern Zionist movement, beginning in the late 19th century, was mainly founded by secular Jews, largely as a response by Ashkenazi Jews to antisemitism across Europe, especially in Russia…”
In this definition we are confronted with the inescapable imprint of Zionist propaganda that is characteristic of any Wikipedia pages having to do with Zionism or Israel. Notice the favorite rhetorical tactic of begging the question. We are asked to blindly accept as axiomatic the highly dubious proposition of “the reestablishment of a homeland for the Jewish people in the Land of Israel.” These are the key points of the mythology exploded by the Israeli historian Shlomo Sand in his recent best-seller “The Invention of the Jewish People. And never mind that it was years after the founding of Zionism by Theodor Hertzl that the main goal of creating a homeland for “the Jews” zeroed in on Palestine as the location for a Jewish State. In any case, we can accept the Wikipedia definition as at least accurately representing the Zionist belief system.
In terms of current usage, Nazism is a thoroughly discredited ideology that has become virtually synonymous with political evil in much the same way as the more general category of fascism. As the well known formula has it, history is written by the winners. It is largely forgotten that there was considerable support for the Nazis in both the US and in Britain, articulated by numerous highly regarded people like Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh. It could have gone either way. As for what Zionism means nowadays, it is the expression of an historical aberration, the political Zionism of people like Vladimir Zabotinsky – the source and continuing gold standard of Middle Eastern terrorism – quite the opposite of the idealistic philosophy of the cultural or spiritual Zionists who were dominant in the movement prior to the rise of the Nazis, whom the political Zionists admired and collaborated with.
We are currently experiencing a similar phenomenon – the battle between the Zionazis and the anti-Zionists. It is essentially the same battle, fought out by two different protagonists, but the principles involved are the same. For the sake of simplicity it can reasonably be viewed as the age old struggle between good and evil. The differences are even starker, as this is clearly a conflict between the forces of money and power versus ordinary people, between a purely utilitarian, amoral materialism vs. a sense of what is truly sacred, between imperialism and those less powerful, between colonialism and “the natives,” between truth and falsehood, and so on and so forth. And due to the Zionization of the Western world, it is playing out as the West against the rest of the world. It is an epic confrontation and it is not hyperbole to say that once again the fate of mankind lies in the balance.
What, then, are the differences and similarities between Zionism and Nazism? If we go back to the definition of Nazism we see four characteristics mentioned. One of them was a reference to a transient political ideology, communism, while the other three are historical constants. Throwing out “anti-communism” we are left with the essential elements. When we look at Zionism in terms of what it actually is rather than some devious, self-serving Zionist definition we find what? – “Nationalism, traditionalism and the importance of the ethnostate.” We also find the essential elements of fascism in general, the arrogance of group ego and the assertion of an a priori privilege that trumps any such fripperies as civil rights, human rights, international law or even common human decency. Coercion and force majeure are the means and virtual enslavement or extermination of the “others” (the goyim) are the ends. Characteristically, we also find the common element of a sense of infinite entitlement based on perceived prior victimhood.
As for any arguments based on the obvious or perceived differences between Zionism and Nazism, we can easily dismiss them as superficialities rather than differences that make a difference. Whether it’s a brown rat or a grey rat, it’s the same animal. Substantively, they are identical manifestations of the same basic pathology and they are equally dangerous to the well being of humanity. We can comfort ourselves with the knowledge that the bullies never win in the end, because underneath the bluster they are abject cowards and cowardice can’t sustain itself in the long term. But that doesn’t mean we can just sit back and wait for them to meet their inevitable fate – as we have seen, they are capable of doing immense harm in the meantime.
All of the great wisdom traditions are in agreement that we are human beings first and anything else is at best a secondary characteristic. As long as there remains any confusion about this various forms of fascism will arise and bedevil us. As long as we identify ourselves primarily in some tribal fashion, whether it’s based on nationality, ethnicity, religion, gender or any parochial and exclusionary manner, then confusion and conflict will reign supreme. We shall indeed overcome, if we last that long, but only when it is universally understood that We refers to all of us. In the meantime, silence is complicity.
(See also, Jews and Nazis, by Ron Unz)
If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, you better duck
Roger Tucker is a Jewish American activist in the One Democratic State movement. He can be reached at rtucker41 @ earthlink.net
“If the Holocaust can be shown to be a Zionist myth, the strongest of all weapons in Israel’s propaganda armory collapses.”
~ Professor W D Rubenstein (Quadrant, September 1979)
Just so. There are two intertwined stories that provide the rationale for a Jewish State in Palestine.The first, both chronologically and rhetorically, is that the Jews are simply returning to their homeland. The weakness of this argument is suggested by the comical phrase “There is no God, but he gave us the land.” But even more devastating is that Zionism is a product of the European Jews, specifically the Yiddish speaking Ashkenazim. As is well known, and documented by a number of people starting with Arthur Koestler in his monograph “The Thirteenth Tribe,”and most recently Prof. Shlomo Sand’s “The Invention of the Jewish People,” these mostly secular Jews are descended from the Khazarians, a Turko-Finnic people who converted to Judaism in the 8th Century, obeying an Imperial fiat. In brief,the argument for a “return” has no traction and is easily debunked.
Much more interesting and potent is a more recent historical event, the experience of the Jews in Europe during the Third Reich. Prior to this, the Jewish community overwhelmingly rejected the Zionist project. Therefore, the Zionists’ first priority became the subversion of the Jewish community, otherwise a notoriously savvy bunch – not a people easily fooled, but all too easy to frighten. With this accomplished the Zionists were more than halfway to their goal. Here is a quote that illustrates the thinking of respected and prominent Jews at the time:
“The concept of a racial state- the Hitlerian concept- is repugnant to the civilized world, as witness the fearful global war in which we are involved.. I urge that we do nothing to set us back on the road to the past.To project at this time the creation of a Jewish state..is to launch a singular innovation in world affairs which might well have incalculable consequences.”
~Lessing J.Rosenwald, president of the American Council for Judaism, in 1944
This was said at precisely the turning point, just before the cult of the Holycause took hold starting in 1945, at the very same time that things were coming to a head in Palestine.
But what is it exactly that they are selling? Itis referred to as the “official” version of events, whichhas become a religious dogma, no less rigid and fiercely protected than was the Vatican approved version of Roman Catholicism during the Holy Inquisition. Vast amounts of time, energy and money are devoted to shoring up this narrative, and heretics (anyone who publicly doubts the dogma or even just insists that people have the right to be skeptical about some of its details) are hunted down and their lives destroyed. In twelve European countries the punishment is long prison terms. After all, they have committed heresy and must be dealt with accordingly. Theistic religions are predominantly based on blind faith and the Church Militant recognizes no limits to the retribution deserved by those who dare to question. And let there be no doubt that the Holycause has become the dominant religion of our time, at least in the West.
“”Israelis and American Jews fully agree that the memory of the Holocaust is an indispensable weapon — one that must be used relentlessly against their common enemy .. Jewish organizations and individuals thus labor continuously to remind the world of it. In America,the perpetuation of the Holocaust memory is now a $100-million-a-year enterprise [much greater in today’s dollars of course], part of which is government funded.”
~ Israeli author Moshe Leshem, Balaam’s Curse
The bedrock of both the Western Enlightenment and all of the genuine spiritual traditions is the inalienable right to seek the truth, particularly when it is inconvenient or even dangerous to do so. On the other hand, all conventional institutions of power, be they political, economic or religious, are based on the right, indeed the necessity, to lie. The rationale for the latter is exquisitely expressed in the chapter from Dostoyevsky”s novel The Brothers Karamazov entitled ‘The Grand Inquisitor.’
I am an agnostic regarding the Holocaust. I don’t know what actually happened; I doubt there’s anyone alive who does (if you’re thinking of Elie Wiesel I have a very strong impression that he is a total fraud). However, I am certainly dubious about the three major assertions of the prevailing dogma, which consist of the following:
- Six million Jews (more or less) died or were murdered – they don’t specify – by the Nazis, mostly in the concentration camps.
- Most of those who died in the camps were gassed to death using Zyklon B (or diesel fuel, as some have claimed).
- These events occurred as the result of an official Nazi policy of extermination, commonly referred to as the Final Solution.
The first item is more of a tabloid insertion than an historical assertion. The provenance of this claim dates from the turn of the last century and was invented by Christian Zionists, estimating the number of Jews living in Europe at that time, so it has no historical standing whatsoever. The second and third items are legitimate subjects of debate and research, but such activities are proscribed by the Holy Inquisition. It is of no importance whether I believe or disbelieve these assertions, although there is considerable evidence contradicting them. As Shakespeare put it, “Methinks the lady protesteth too much.”
The Wikipedia page Criticism of Holocaust Denial is superbly written by the prosecution, and would be convincing if one didn’t look any further. If a defense attorney of the same caliber were to argue the case before the jury it would be difficult to predict the outcome, but this case is a classic example of the usual order of things, where the power and deep pockets of the State argue the case against the accused, represented by a Public Defender working 100 hours a week and scratching to make ends meet. To make it even worse, in Europe they are not only throwing the historical revisionists into prison, but their lawyers as well. The crime? Casting doubt on the official dogma or providing legal representation to someone with the chutzpah to do so. It should also be noted that there are at least two Israeli organizations, one of them set up by the IDF, dedicated to controlling the contents of Wikipedia pages of interest to the Zionists. What really matters is that one is prohibited from even publicly discussing the subject, so that the public is prevented from weighing the evidence themselves.
Before reading any further take a look at Anthony Lawson’s superb video Holocaust, Hate Speech & Were the Germans so Stupid? At least the circumstantial evidence (which is all we really have, aside from the extremely dubious and frequently hilarious “memoirs”) inclines me to doubt the gas chamber story. The same goes for the existence of an official policy or plan for a “Final Solution.” But as I have been suggesting, why don’t you look into it yourself.
“Much of the literature on Hitler’s Final Solution is worthless as scholarship. Indeed, the field of Holocaust studies is replete with nonsense, if not sheer fraud. …Given the nonsense that is turned out daily by the Holocaust industry, the wonder is that there are so few skeptics.”
~ Norman Finklestein, The Holocaust Industry, pp 55 & 68
As Gilad Atzmon frequently mentions, the anti-Zionist movement is often bedeviled by Jewish “anti-Zionists” who insist on setting the terms of discussion. These are “progressive” tribal Jews,who, consciously or not, resonate to the mantra “if it’s good for theJews…” Needless to say, such people buy into the Holycause lock, stock and barrel and fight tooth and nail to discredit anyone whom they consider outside the Pale. They blithely employ the term “Holocaust denier,” similar to the accusation of being “anti-semitic” – the twin canards of the Zionist spinmeisters and those they have successfully conned. These are their principal weapons of character assassination, one stemming from the Zionist religion, the Holycause as I term it, and the other from the secular ideology. It’s like a two barreled shotgun. If they don’t kill you with the first shot there’s still another shell in the chamber.
To sum things up, the noblest and most crucial human rights struggle of our time, against the apartheid, settler-colonialist, fascist State of Israel,can only be successful if we are able to debunk both of the twin pillars of the mytho-historical Zionist narrative. Creating doubt in the public mind about just one won’t cut the mustard – the Hydra has two heads. The case against the historical right of Jewry to dispossess the Palestinians has been exhaustively made and most of the world is on board, at least outside of the English speaking countries, but doubting the dogma of the Holycause remains too subversive, too dangerous for “prudent” people to acknowledge. All it will take is a little guts and determination, and perhaps the right to publicly question dogma will reassert itself, and we may find ourselves finally in possession of a weapon powerful enough to undermine and defeat the so far unassailable hegemony of Zionism over much of humanity.
“I’ve checked out the six volumes of Churchill’s Second World: not a single mention of Nazi ‘gas chambers,’ a ‘genocide’ of the Jews, or of ‘six million’ Jewish victims of the war. Eisenhower’s Crusade in Europe is a book of 559 pages; Churchill’s Second World War totals 4,448 pages; and De Gaulle’s three-volume Mémoires de guerre is 2,054 pages. In this mass of writing, which altogether totals 7,061 pages (not including the introductory parts), published from 1948 to 1959, one will find no mention either of Nazi ‘gas chambers,’ a ‘genocide’ of the Jews, or of ‘six million’ Jewish victims of the war.”
~ Richard Lynn, Professor Emeritus University of Ulster, December 5, 2005
As a point of entry for those not versed in the subject, The Holycause and Historical Revisionism, with links to a number of websites,would be a good place to start.
Editor, One Democratic State
August 15, 2011
- January 12, 2010
“We have met the enemy and they are us.” – PogoPretty much everyone nowadays rejects fascism, but nobody seems to know quite what it is. The words “fascist” and “fascism” are frequently flung about, but they seem to be applied to all sorts of different and unrelated people and things. The dictionaries and Wikipedia are no help because they all assume that the word refers to a political phenomenon that arose in Europe in the 20th Century. That is indeed when the word “fascism” was coined (in the form of “fascismo,” an Italian word for the ideology of Benito Mussolini’s political party). Here’s an excellent contemporary example: “The definition of “fascism” has some academic variance, but is essentially collusion among corporatocracy, authoritarian government, and controlled media and education. This “leadership” is only possible with a nationalistic public accepting policies of war, empire, and limited civil and political rights.” (1) However, it is rather easy to demonstrate that fascism, in terms of usage (what people mean when they employ the term) dates back to the dawn of history.
In order to do that we have to look at what goes into the process of properly defining a word. There are two things that need to be taken into consideration; the historical, linguistic roots (the etymology of the word) and contemporary usage. The Oxford English Dictionary is usually helpful with the former but not in this case, as it too (following the OED rule that looks at the first instance in print) refers only to the recent manifestations in Italy and Germany. In order to determine usage we need to pay close attention to how and when people nowadays commonly employ the terms “fascist” and “fascism.”
The word “fascism” has as its root the Latin term “fascis.” Here Wikipedia is helpful: “[Fasces:] from the Latin word fascis, meaning “bundle,” symbolize summary power and jurisdiction…The traditional Roman fasces consisted of a bundle of white birch rods, tied together with a red leather ribbon into a cylinder, and often including a bronze axe (or sometimes two) amongst the rods, with the blade(s) on the side, projecting from the bundle. It was used as a symbol of the Roman Republic in many circumstances, including being carried in processions, much the way a flag might be carried today…Believed to date from Etruscan times, the symbolism of the fasces at one level suggested strength through unity. The bundle of rods bound together symbolizes the strength which a single rod lacks. The axe symbolized the state’s power and authority.” Another word with the same root is “fascia,” which Wikipedia defines as follows: “(from Latin: a band) is the soft tissue component of the connective tissue system that permeates the human body…It is responsible for maintaining structural integrity…” Again there is a sense of the binding factor, suggestive of the social glue or cultural bond that defines and holds a community together and gives it strength and endurance.
The Etruscan origin is probably correct and some have theorized that the original symbol depicted a bound sheaf of wheat. Whether factual or not, this hypothesis is very suggestive and goes to the heart of the matter. The bound sheaf of wheat, or bundle of sticks tied together, are clearly symbolic of the basic family, clan or tribal group that lives and works the land together cooperatively. That is what most of the names of indigenous tribes or peoples all over the world mean in their own language, “us,” “the people,” bound together by blood, language and place.
In its primary and positive sense the fasces symbolizes how we are bound to the earth and how, by working harmoniously with it, we sustain ourselves. It evokes primal feelings of oneness with nature and with one another and is suggestive of nurturing and fertility. It invokes the feminine, or mother principle, and it is no wonder that the early agricultural communities worshiped an earth goddess. Its not so benign meaning emerges with the addition of the axe blades, symbolizing the masculine principles of power, authority and the monopoly of force wielded by those who sit atop the hierarchy that naturally develops in human groups. In that sense, the original holders of the fasces were the mother and father of the primitive family and through the evolution of culture has become invested at the highest level in the leaders of nation-states and those who represent them.
In the simplest and most basic sense we are talking about group ego. The term “ego” is generally understood as the sense of self, all of the disparate physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual elements that we think of as an “I,” an ongoing, solid and independent actor. All wisdom traditions point out the danger of solidifying this concept. They teach us that we are inextricably connected, existing only in relation to one another and to everything else. Whether perceived as pacific and cooperative or aggressive and warlike, all group identities court the same danger, the reification of the concept of “Us.” Fascism is neither masculine nor feminine, neither rightist or leftist, but a combination of both. Nor does it have anything to do with a particular political or economic setup. Let’s take a look at what the Italian fascisti, the ones who coined the term, had in mind. The following is in Wikipedia’s translation of the Fascist Manifesto:
The Manifesto (published in “Il Popolo d’Italia” on June 6, 1919) is divided into four sections, describing Fascist objectives in political, social, military and financial fields. Politically, the Manifesto calls for:
Universal suffrage polled on a regional basis, with proportional representation and voting and electoral office eligibility for women;
Proportional representation on a regional basis;
Voting for women (which was opposed by most other European nations);
Representation at government level of newly created National Councils by economic sector;
The abolition of the Italian Senate (at the time, the Senate, as the upper house of parliament, was by process elected by the wealthier citizens, but were in reality direct appointments by the King. It has been described as a sort of extended council of the Crown);
The formation of a National Council of experts for labor, for industry, for transportation, for the public health, for communications, etc. Selections to be made of professionals or of tradesmen with legislative powers, and elected directly to a General Commission with ministerial powers (this concept was rooted in corporatist ideology and derived in part from Catholic social doctrine).
In labour and social policy, the Manifesto calls for:
The quick enactment of a law of the State that sanctions an eight-hour workday for all workers;
A minimum wage;
The participation of workers’ representatives in the functions of industry commissions;
To show the same confidence in the labor unions (that prove to be technically and morally worthy) as is given to industry executives or public servants;
Reorganisation of the railways and the transport sector;
Revision of the draft law on invalidity insurance;
Reduction of the retirement age from 65 to 55.
In military affairs, the Manifesto advocates:
Creation of a short-service national militia with specifically defensive responsibilities;
Armaments factories are to be nationalised;
A peaceful but competitive foreign policy.
In finance, the Manifesto advocates:
A strong progressive tax on capital (envisaging a “partial expropriation” of concentrated wealth);
The seizure of all the possessions of the religious congregations and the abolition of all the bishoprics, which constitute an enormous liability on the Nation and on the privileges of the poor;
Revision of all contracts for military provisions;
The revision of all military contracts and the seizure of 85 percent of the profits therein.
The Manifesto thus combined elements of contemporary democratic and progressive thought (franchise reform, labour reform, limited nationalisation, taxes on wealth and war profits) with corporatist emphasis on class collaboration (the idea of social classes existing side by side and collaborating for the sake of national interests; the opposite of the Marxist notion of class struggle).
This sounds remarkably like a program that most liberals and progressives could salute, doesn’t it? Of course, fascismo changed markedly after Mussolini assumed control and turned it into a right-wing dictatorship, but what we’re concerned with here is the evolution of the term fascism from its linguistic origins in pre-Roman Italy to the present. However, we must guard against the notion that there is anything particularly Italian (or German for that matter) about fascism. The symbolism of the fasces is widely used and displayed in government sponsored designs in the U.S., France and a number of other Western democracies. Similar symbols are native to most cultures; it is well nigh universal.In order for fascism to come to dominate an identity group, it must have a compelling narrative. Whether group identity is based on nationality, ethnicity, religion, class, caste, gender or whatever, there is sure to be a story that glorifies the “tribe” and sets it above all others. Typically, it reaches far back into history and has elements both of exaltation and humiliation, triumph over its adversaries and victimization. And it will come replete with slogans and symbols, and nowadays, more than likely, bumper stickers.
To sum up, the linguistic root of the term fascism and its visual representation clearly refer to identification with a particular group of people, originally based on family, clan and tribe, including place and language, evolving eventually into what we would nowadays call nationalism, or internationalism when it is based on a politico-economic ideology like capitalism or communism. As will be discussed further, the essential principle applies to any kind of identity politics that distinguishes between “Us” and a “Them” and asserts “Our” interests as primary.At what point, then, does this basic pattern, which is neither good nor bad in itself, become malevolent and get properly labeled as “fascist”? One could say that it turns ugly when sports fans, for example, start physically assaulting one another rather than just rooting for the home team. At the scale of international relations, when nationalism becomes aggressive and predatory, then we can clearly identify the pattern as fascistic. The simplest manifestation is that of the schoolyard bully, usually consisting of a leader and his loyal followers. Writ large, it supplies the tacit or explicit rationale for all wars.
It must be stressed that there is nothing inherently wrong with group identification. On the contrary, without it we would be alienated and lost. Indeed, there appears to be a biological basis to this familiar phenomenon – see The Dark Side of Oxytocin, the Hormone of Love – Ethnocentrism – NYT. The turning point is when a healthy sense of group pride turns into belligerent arrogance and racism; when patriotism becomes an excuse for hating foreigners, when we start dehumanizing and vilifying others, when we go along with a party line that gives us the right to oppress and dispossess those outside the group boundary.
Many observers have remarked that people use the words “fascist” or “fascism” in a context that has only the vaguest reference, if any, to historical events that occurred in the previous century. However, there is a remarkable consistency to the usage that is commonly overlooked. First of all, it is always negative, something to be rejected and actively opposed. Second, it is always used to refer to something characteristic of a particular group of people unlike us, people with whom “we” don’t identify, all of whom have in common this “fascistic” quality. And it always contains some explicit or implicit accusation of injustice, abuse of power and arbitrary use of force.
At this point it should be becoming clear that fascism is a word that may have been coined in the context of 20th century European politics, but which has been adopted in popular speech to refer to something far more basic, universal and timeless, for which no handier term existed. I suspect that the peculiar potency of the word derives from the enormously successful wartime propaganda of the Allies that strove to identify “our enemies” du jour with evil incarnate, and kept alive through a myriad of films, books and the approved version of history taught to young people. It is no accident that fascists are always the “other,” while “we” are always both the victims and the heroic warriors keeping “them” at bay.
Let’s look at some circumstances in which a person or some group of people are typically labeled fascist. Children sometimes accuse their parents, or caretakers, of being fascists. What they mean is that their liberty to do as they please is being unfairly circumscribed. No, you can’t stay up late playing video games. You can’t sleep over with your friends, or whatever. They are fascists because they have used the authority vested in their position to control your behavior and activities. You must comply, because they have a monopoly on the use of force, the ability to withhold whatever you want or feel you need and are entitled to, and in the last resort, to inflict physical punishment if you do not obey.Another frequent use of the term occurs in the context of confrontations with the police. They represent authority, as signified by their uniforms and the fact that they are armed and have the government sanctioned option to use their weapons. Nowadays, in our generally disaffected mood, the Government is commonly perceived to be fascist. Here, the relationship to the Roman fasces is obvious – they are identified with the State and its power.
A wonderful example of the notion of fascism as it is popularly understood is the character of Nurse Ratchett in Ken Kesey’s classic “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” She represents the absolute and arbitrary power of established authority to control others’ lives. One might accuse one’s boss of being a fascist for exactly such reasons. They have the authority and the power and, as you see it, they abuse it.
In terms of politics, the term is generally employed in reference to parties whose ideology asserts a prerogative to rule based on ethnocentric supremacy. However, it has been applied to a variety of political views based on group identity if that identity is used as a rationale for domination over others. “We” could just as easily be “the working class” as are self-proclaimed representatives of national or religious identity. It is useful to remember that both the Italian Fascist party and the Nazis considered themselves to be socialist, while the Spanish and Japanese parties openly appealed to conservative, traditionalist sentiments. In terms of a useful definition of fascism, these distinctions are meaningless.
Let’s try a thought experiment to test our own fascist propensities. Create a mental list of those characteristics that constitute your identify. I will provide an example by doing this for myself. I am male, Caucasian, an American, a Jew by birth and a Buddhist by inclination, a senior citizen and retiree, a veteran, a writer, a revolutionary, left-handed and blue-eyed with dark hair. And that’s just a partial survey. To what extent do I identify with each of the groups just enumerated? The answer is all of them, to a greater or lesser extent. By identify I mean that there is some emotional attachment, some sense of tribal belonging, however vague and ill-defined that might be.
But is that really who I am? Note that all of the above are accidents of birth, except for being a Buddhist and a writer, which are the result of choices that I made (I enlisted in the Army when I was young, confused and looking for a place to hang my hat, and almost immediately regretted it), Also note that, with the exceptions mentioned, all of these identity groups have a story associated with them, ranging from some simple positive affirmation to a long and complicated narrative. Let’s look at them one by one in terms of fascist potential.
Male – Just ask a feminist (or vice-versa)
White – Just ask anyone who isn’t
American – The Free (to dominate, monopolize, control and bomb) and the Brave (when backed up by overwhelming firepower)
Jewish – When I was young I thought Chosen People meant chosen to suffer. But things morph and change, and now it appears to mean to make others suffer (see the Old Testament).
Buddhist – Yes, there are Buddhists who claim exclusive possession of the Truth
Senior/Retiree – Ah, the Gray Panthers and AARP
Veteran – Ever been to a VFW gathering?
Writer – Those who really know about stuff, the intellectual elite
Revolutionary – the Vanguard of the People (the new ruling class in waiting)
Left-handedness – Well, you know, we are more intuitive and creative
And so on and so forth…
ExamplesFascism, as herein defined, is ubiquitous and has no particular origin. It might be useful, then, to talk only about the two varieties with which I’m most familiar, being both an American and a Jew. Coincidentally, these two identity groups also represent the greatest political challenges facing our world today.American fascism
American fascism, by definition, became possible once the inhabitants of the Colonies began to see themselves as other than ordinary Englishmen who happened to reside on the other side of the Atlantic. That self-perception solidified, at least among the disaffected, as soon as friction arose between the two populations, culminating in the War for Independence. Victory arrived with all of the fascist accoutrements, tribal symbols, a self-glorifying national narrative and, of course, a flag. However, those who had the responsibility of fashioning the new nation were an unusual assembly of highly educated, sophisticated people (mostly lawyers) who were well aware of the dangers the fledgling republic was facing – not external dangers, but internal ones.
Much consideration went into creating obstacles to giving birth to what we are calling a fascist state. But the seeds had already been planted; America’s development was dependent on the processes of genocide and slavery. If one overlooks American poaching in Canada and Florida and similar early adventures, one could say that it was pretty much a done deal once the Republic engaged in its first full-blown war of international aggression, which resulted in the acquisition of the northern half of Mexico. Not too much later, the United States proclaimed itself a full-blown Imperialist power in the European tradition with its conquest of the Spanish territories of the Philippines, Cuba and Puerto Rico, while at the same time grabbing Hawaii from its indigenous population.Something needs to be said at this point about two terms that are closely related to fascism, “racism” and “imperialism.” Fascism necessarily includes racism. Just as in the case of individual egoism, group ego requires the solidification of the sense of separation and distinctness from the other. Furthermore, in order to start going down the road to full-blown fascism, group identity must become chauvinistic, that sense of overweening pride in ourselves and our superior characteristics. The expression of this sense of superiority over others is what is called racism, and America, as we know, is a profoundly racist country and always has been – although the “other,” aside from the old standbys – the Blacks, the Indians and the Hispanics – kept changing depending on who the latest immigrants were.
The next step, to full-blown imperialism, requires nationalistic aggression against other states. Whether to acquire loot in whatever form, or to expand control over an ever increasing territory, the drums of war are frequently heard around the land. All of this has become fully institutionalized in the U.S., to the extent that the prevailing national doctrine is now perpetual war (the current Pentagon term is “the long war”). Not that long ago President Calvin Coolidge could say that “the business of America is business.” But times have changed; imperialist war – business by other means to paraphrase Clausewitz – has become our major occupation and economic activity – and, no doubt, will in due time be our undoing, as history so clearly tells us.
This pattern of serial aggression, which requires creating enemies when they don’t conveniently present themselves, is inherent in the dynamics of fascism. All empires have fallen when they have become fully overextended, militarily, financially, geographically and in every other respect. America now has clearly has opted for this destructive and self-defeating strategy.Jewish fascism (aka Zionism)Another clear, albeit bizarre, example is Israel, which would no doubt quickly implode without the requisite unifying principle of an external enemy with which the nation must always be at war, or preparing for war. I refer to it as Jewish fascism because it predates the Zionist project. When I was in Hebrew school in the early 50’s, in preparation for my bar mitzvah, I thought I should read the Old Testament. What struck me was that much of it conformed to what we were being taught was the essence of fascism, though I didn’t make much of it at the time. Although I haven’t read it, it appears that the Talmud, the primary scripture of the Orthodox ashkenazim, is a veritable manual of Jewish fascism. (4)Israel is exceptional in a number of ways:1. It is the only nation that has ever been deliberately created with the express purpose of occupying foreign territory through the ethnic cleansing of its inhabitants.2. It is the only nation that required the invention of a “people” to carry out such a settler/colonialist project (1).3. It is the only nation to have invented a religion (the Holycause) to complement its secular political ideology (Zionism).4. It is the only nation that is wholly parasitical, dependent on extorting the economic means to survive from other societies that it (or its agents in other countries) has effectively subverted.Thus, Israel combines three convergent forms of fascism: ethnocentric (based on mytho-history much like the Nazi notion of an Aryan race); religious (nominally Jewish, although its founders were secular. Following the 1940’s the place of Judaism as the sustaining religious identity was essentially replaced by the Holycause, complete with a Holy Inquisition.); and, of course, virulently nationalistic. Fortuitously for the Jewish fascists, or maybe not so coincidentally (3), an extremely powerful ally emerged from within the American religious world, the Christian Zionists. Although essentially a doomsday cult, it numbers, conservatively, 40-50 million Americans eager for Israel to build the Second Temple, thereby paving the way to Armageddon, at which point these lunatics expect be “raptured up” to heaven.
American and Jewish fascism appear to have converged into an aggressive pathological force that, considering their nuclear arsenal, endangers humanity more than any such phenomenon in the past. Both Americans and Jews have made extraordinary positive contributions to world civilization, but a ruthless and predatory American imperialism and fascistic Zionism we can do without.The AntidoteThe inner fascist in all of us claims to be one of the “good” people, the “superior” people, the “strong” people, or the “smart” people, but whatever flavor it comes in, we are one of the “exceptional” people. The antidote to such delusions is the realization that we are just people, pretty much like everybody else, with as much right to be here as anyone else (and vice versa). This realization cuts through self-deception, protects us from buying into whatever snake-oil the zealots happen to be selling today and contains within it the possibility of a sane society, however far off and illusory that may seem.
We all belong to one tribe, humanity, and if we take our cue from those whom history has deemed wise, we realize that caring for others and the environment that supports us is the key. When we attempt to separate ourselves, individually as egomaniacs or as part of some fascistic identity group, then we’re only asking for trouble. We may think we are protecting ourselves by attempting to control and manipulate others, but in the end what goes around comes around, a pointless and painful cycle that reason and experience tell us to abandon.
Fascism as we have been describing it is a social pathology and it can legitimately be considered humanity’s most urgent public health problem. If enough people come to understand what the disease is and how to diagnose it, perhaps there will emerge a means to inoculate ourselves.
In the short term, it is imperative to dissolve the Jewish state of Israel. Such a state, which has no basis other than a fascistic narrative constructed out of paranoia and mythology, has no legitimacy in our world. It embodies all of the characteristics that humanity has resoundingly rejected in the last century – settler colonialism, racism, ethnic cleansing, apartheid and genocide. The dehumanization and destruction of a people, along with the dispossession of their land and property, is utterly intolerable. The only feasible alternative is its replacement by a pluralistic, democratic state that includes the Palestinians as equals. There is no other viable solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, a conflict that threatens to engulf the entire planet in nuclear devastation. In the long term, we must overcome the tendency to adopt belief systems that are based on blind faith, whether they take the form of political or religious dogmas. Only then can we grow up and have the opportunity to create a truly sane world.[Updated March 6, 2018, as follows:
The term ‘Fascism’ doesn’t work because that name has been misappropriated to merely signify a political movement that arose in the 20th Century. By virtue of etymology and common usage, the usual requirements for a proper definition, fascism would otherwise be the precise word to use. To overcome this linguistic problem, I have suggested the term ‘proto-fascism’ – the prefix ‘proto’ signifying original. This is a matter of great importance as a proper understanding of this fundamental political phenomenon, dating back to the beginnings of human society, would clarify a great deal of confusion and provide a solid basis for properly identifying one of humankind’s greatest and most enduring problems – the perversion of a healthy and positive sense of community (usually by a small, pathological ‘elite’) into an aggressive, destructive license to plunder and kill for the benefit of the ruling class, aka the 1%.]
To sum up, a fascist, according to popular usage, is someone who is perceived as abusing their authority. That authority may or may not be officially recognized. It may also refer to someone who is sympathetic or identifies with a political ideology that fits the definition of Fascism (see below). Following the convention of capitalizing the first letter of a political party, such a person could be characterized as a Fascist, obviously including activists and members of a fascist organization or political party.FascismFascism is term used to describe an identity group that distinguishes its adherents from others (Us vs Them, In group – Out group), while extolling the virtues and primacy of Ús and the lesser virtues and inferiority of Others. It is characterized by denigrating and dehumanizing Them. The use of violence in order to impose control over Others is an inevitable characteristic of Fascism. It can be seen as organized bullying.
Examples of FascismThe Weimar Republic was home to two opposing fascist groups, the Nazis and the Communists. [search on ´Weimar Germany street fighting´]. These antagonists were excellent examples of Right and Left wing fascism, respectively – the first based on ethnicity and nationalism, the latter on a political/economic theory. Hence the implacable enmity between the Third Reich and the Soviet Union. War between them was inevitable, as war is always based on the inherent dynamic of fascism – Us vs Them – especially between two implacably opposed versions.
Zionism (a political ideology based on Jewish identity), like Nazism, is a perfect example of fascism. So too, is the nationalist ideology of the Jewish State of Israel, which grew out of Zionism. Ironically, it was based on the intention to remove the stigma and consequences of being Jewish through creation of a new kind of Jew, rooted not in ethnicity, religion or culture, but in a common land, a nation like other nations, consisting of people like other people. Instead, the resulting toxic mixture of ideologies (ethnic, religious, cultural, nationalist) resulted in what could be called Super Fascism, as it mixes all of the principle types. It is, as a result, an historical anomaly and a implacable threat to the rest of the world.References:
1. American fascism: by political definition the US is now fascist, not a constitutional republic, by Carl Herman
3. Scofield Bible made uncompromising Zionists out of tens of millions of Americans, by Maidhc Ó Cathail
“Faith in a holy cause is to a considerable extent a substitute for the lost faith in ourselves.” – ‘The True Believer’ by Eric Hoffer
Publisher, One Democratic State