The Road To Fascism
Here’s a seemingly simple question: what is the difference between a political Party and a fascist organization?
According to Wikipedia, Fascism is a far-right, authoritarian, ultranationalist political ideology and movement, characterized by a dictatorial leader, centralized autocracy, militarism, forcible suppression of opposition, belief in a natural social hierarchy, subordination of individual interests for the perceived good of the nation and race, and strong regimentation of society and the economy.
The problem with this definition is that it relies implicitly on how we define politics. If we use a very expansive definition whereby politics is anything at all that influences the way in which a nation is governed, then the Wikipedia definition is excellent. But if we define politics more narrowly to mean the development and promotion of policies that have a semi-coherent foundation centered around purported benefits to society as a whole arising largely from economic posture and supported by legislation intended to provide as much internal peace and stability as possible, then the Wikipedia definition of fascism fails to capture an important point.
Moreover, with its opening claim that fascism is always a far-right ideology, the Wikipedia definition also fails to capture the fact that essentially fascist behaviors are regularly seen evinced by far-left governments and organizations as well as by those on the far-right.
There was, in essence, no meaningful difference between Mao’s dictatorship in China and Hitler’s dictatorship in Germany. Nor was there much difference between Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s USSR. In every case, cynical power-grabbing was dressed in the guise of “saving” their respective nations and all utilized unlimited brutality in order to eliminate any opposition, both within the nation and within their own organizations. In each place, the lives of citizens were controlled by a single person, whose immediate subordinates had near-limitless power over everyone else.
And in each nation the results were predictably catastrophic over the longer term. Hitler’s expansionist ideology resulted in the death of millions of Germans; Stalin and Mao both slaughtered tens…