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Is Fascism a resurgent political philosophy?

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  • Is Fascism a resurgent political philosophy?

    Seeing as how my previous thread earned the distinction of making into the Troll Cave, which then had the entrance dynamited to prevent any more from going in, or coming out...and with this news item freshly grabbing my attention, maybe we can open this subject back up for discussion...

    Quoted from link:

    Germans Criticize Leaders, Admire 'Arnold Effect'

    By Erik Kirschbaum

    BERLIN (Reuters) - Call it the "Arnold Effect."


    The straight-talking Hollywood action star's election win in California has had an electrifying impact on Germany, leading to calls Friday for top politicians to voice clear ideas in simple language or be swept away at the polls.

    "The more confused we are by what they say, the greater our longing for a man or woman with simple words," wrote Bild newspaper columnist Franz Josef Wagner. "The only problem is that it's the wrong ones who usually master simple language."

    Schwarzenegger's victory in the California race for governor has led to editorials calling for German politicians to abandon their barely comprehensible speaking style in favor of "Klartext" (straight talk).

    But Wagner and others also warn of the dangers of falling for simple remedies from loud Austrians who enthrall the masses. Austrian-born Adolf Hitler still casts a long shadow in Germany.

    Celebrities, columnists, ordinary citizens and even some politicians have joined the chorus of calls for less talk and more action to get Germany moving again after years of economic stagnation and political standstill.

    "My first thought was 'Oh my God, not another Austrian emigrant -- the first one caused enough damage"' wrote Peter Boenisch, a former government spokesman and newspaper editor, in an analysis on Schwarzenegger for the tabloid Bild.

    "But Germany urgently needs something Schwarzenegger-like: a can-do spirit, unconventional thinking, courage, strength and vision. We're facing the worst crisis since the war," he wrote.

    Manfred Guellner, managing director of the Forsa polling institute, said there is widespread discontent with politicians.

    "The dissatisfaction is growing every day," he told Reuters. "Germany and Europe are ripe for the same sort of phenomenon. People feel they're being messed with. They want simple language and simple remedies."

    A survey by the Emnid institute to be published Saturday in the conservative daily Die Welt found 49 percent even want a popular television game show host, Guenther Jauch, to lead them.

    The irreverent left-wing newspaper Tageszeitung voiced concern about the calls for straight-talking leaders, noting that Hitler had attacked the German parliament as a "Talking Shop" before abolishing it.

    "People want to be entertained and not bothered with problems," wrote the liberal Sueddeutsche Zeitung. "People want a strong leader."

    Ordinary Germans said Arnold would cut a good figure here. "I can imagine someone like Arnold would be good for Germany," said Karin Rittmeister, 59, a university librarian in Berlin.

    Ronny Zibinski, a 19-year-old Berlin technician, said he liked the idea of a Schwarzenegger-type chancellor for Germany. "We need someone like that to clean up the mess and blow away the lousy politicians," he said.

    ...End Quote...

    My own thoughts are that Fascism is indeed a resurgent philosophy, at least here in the United States. What insight do some of our European comrades have in this respect? How does this story compare with many US conservatives views that European countries in general, and the EU in particular, are beset by hopelessly entrenched Socialist tendencies? Is there a groundswell of Fascist thought in Europe as I feel there is here? Is it just a latent undercurrent?
    I have no problem at all with being proved wrong. Especially when being proved wrong leaves the world a better place, than being proved right...

  • #2
    Arnold isn't really a fascist, is he?
    "There is no great genius without some touch of madness."

    Seneca (5 BC - 65 AD)

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Chuck
      Arnold isn't really a fascist, is he?
      No, I think for liberals, they just call him a neo-fascist. As if they have nothing better than do that to Arnie.

      Dan
      Major James Holden, Georgia Badgers Militia of Rainbow Regiment, American Civil War

      "Aim small, miss small."

      Comment


      • #4
        If “People want to be entertained and not bothered with problems" is the definition of fascism, then our societies are already fascists. At the same time it is something dating from Rome : bread and games.
        In Europe the fascist/far right parties play a lot on the reject of traditional politicians by the population. They show that they are new and certainly not like the current politicians who can’t resolve social problems. Apparently it is something that Arnold did during his campaign, always saying he is not a politician, that he knows nothing about politic. And the interview of average citizens in the text show it : Arnold Schwarzenegger is interesting because he is different, and is not a politician, people reject traditional leaders in general.
        But I wouldn’t say that Schwarzenegger is fascist, and that because he is American, and elected in America. If the same thing would have happen in Europe, he could be named fascist. But instead of fascist, we should maybe say that Arnold is populist. And it is the same in Europe, since some years now there are populist movements in Europe, and they have obtained the power in some countries : Austria, Italy… In 1930 these movement could have been qualified as fascist, but not really now. It is certainly because the society is less violent politically. I would say that the fascism belong to history now. In fact the fascism was a step in the democratization of Europe.

        Otherwise comparing Schwarzenegger and Hitler, saying that they are the same because they are simply Austrian, is xenophobe.

        And I don’t think that you can make a parallel between fascism in Europe and certain aspects of the American politic. If the Americans seem to be more to the right than the Europeans (your rightists would be in the far right in Europe), they can be labeled as fascist in my opinion, and that because they are not a danger for the Republic, they don’t want to destroy it, they don’t want to destroy the institution, to change the constitution… It is not the same in Europe. Here ultra conservators, religious fundamentalists/extremists can be labeled as fascist because they want to destroy the democracy, they want to install a strong power with no political parties in the society. They want that the society come back to an old order, an old regime, where democracy didn’t exist. It is historical : in European societies, there were a period when the democracy didn’t exist. In America it is the contrary, you have always known democracy. In France the democracy exist only since the Revolution, only for 200 years, when France has a history older than 1000 years.


        LaPalice.
        Monsieur de La Palice est mort
        Mort devant Pavie.
        Un quart d'heure avant sa mort
        Il était encore en vie...

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by LaPalice
          And I don’t think that you can make a parallel between fascism in Europe and certain aspects of the American politic. If the Americans seem to be more to the right than the Europeans (your rightists would be in the far right in Europe), they can be labeled as fascist in my opinion, and that because they are not a danger for the Republic, they don’t want to destroy it, they don’t want to destroy the institution, to change the constitution… It is not the same in Europe. Here ultra conservators, religious fundamentalists/extremists can be labeled as fascist because they want to destroy the democracy, they want to install a strong power with no political parties in the society. They want that the society come back to an old order, an old regime, where democracy didn’t exist. It is historical : in European societies, there were a period when the democracy didn’t exist. In America it is the contrary, you have always known democracy. In France the democracy exist only since the Revolution, only for 200 years, when France has a history older than 1000 years.

          LaPalice.
          The emphasis is mine, are you saying the right wing here in America is fascist? I'm not sure what you meant by that one.

          It is true that some of us, not all, are more right than Europeans, however, that doesn't mean we (conservatives) are fascists. Since I am a conservative, I have no interest in destroying the democratic institutions, change the US Constitution, or instill a single-party state.

          Anyway, you're right, Schwarzenegger isn't a fascist, however, his father was a Nazi supporter. I don't think Nazism (or Fascism) is a hereditary disease, now is it?

          Dan
          Major James Holden, Georgia Badgers Militia of Rainbow Regiment, American Civil War

          "Aim small, miss small."

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Cheetah772
            The emphasis is mine, are you saying the right wing here in America is fascist? I'm not sure what you meant by that one.

            It is true that some of us, not all, are more right than Europeans, however, that doesn't mean we (conservatives) are fascists. Since I am a conservative, I have no interest in destroying the democratic institutions, change the US Constitution, or instill a single-party state.

            Anyway, you're right, Schwarzenegger isn't a fascist, however, his father was a Nazi supporter. I don't think Nazism (or Fascism) is a hereditary disease, now is it?

            Dan
            No, I completely say the contrary : American right can't be labeled as fascist because it doesn't want to destroy the American republic, republican institutions, the constitution... even if in some aspect the American right is "righter" than the european right, which is more close to the Democrat party.

            Edit : LoL in fact I make a mistake in my previous post, I wanted to say can't and not can The sentence should have been "they can't be labeled as fascist"
            LaPalice.
            Monsieur de La Palice est mort
            Mort devant Pavie.
            Un quart d'heure avant sa mort
            Il était encore en vie...

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by LaPalice
              No, I completely say the contrary : American right can't be labeled as fascist because it doesn't want to destroy the American republic, republican institutions, the constitution... even if in some aspect the American right is "righter" than the european right, which is more close to the Democrat party.
              This is not exactly true. There is a sizeable and overly influential minority in the American Right, that wants to turn this republic into a Christian Theocracy. There is a sizeable and overly influential minority in the American Right that wants to turn this republic into a means based oligarchy. It is the overlap of these constituencies in the great Venn diagram of political thought, that worries me with respect to a slide towards Fascism, as they have (or are rapidly developing) both the political will, and ability to push forward their undemocratic agenda.
              I have no problem at all with being proved wrong. Especially when being proved wrong leaves the world a better place, than being proved right...

              Comment


              • #8
                I think organized religion is the only way to get fascism installed in this country. Only a minority will benefit from fascism so other ways are needed the 'sell' the public on it.
                "There is no great genius without some touch of madness."

                Seneca (5 BC - 65 AD)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by JAMiAM
                  This is not exactly true. There is a sizeable and overly influential minority in the American Right, that wants to turn this republic into a Christian Theocracy. There is a sizeable and overly influential minority in the American Right that wants to turn this republic into a means based oligarchy. It is the overlap of these constituencies in the great Venn diagram of political thought, that worries me with respect to a slide towards Fascism, as they have (or are rapidly developing) both the political will, and ability to push forward their undemocratic agenda.
                  Yes, but what I wanted to say is that your right, your common right, in Europe would belong to the far right, and could be called fascist, because with their European background they would be anti-democratic. Not the minorities in your right, but all the American right, or at least the greatest part, when democrat would be our right, and our conservative right I would even say. In Europe this movements are a danger for democracy, they are a danger for the republic in France, but they are not a danger for the democracy in America.
                  In Europe Bush could be considered as a fascist, because he would belong to populist/far right movements.

                  LaPalice.
                  Monsieur de La Palice est mort
                  Mort devant Pavie.
                  Un quart d'heure avant sa mort
                  Il était encore en vie...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JAMiAM
                    This is not exactly true. There is a sizeable and overly influential minority in the American Right, that wants to turn this republic into a Christian Theocracy. There is a sizeable and overly influential minority in the American Right that wants to turn this republic into a means based oligarchy. It is the overlap of these constituencies in the great Venn diagram of political thought, that worries me with respect to a slide towards Fascism, as they have (or are rapidly developing) both the political will, and ability to push forward their undemocratic agenda.
                    Please! I may be a conservative, but do you have to all conservatives fascists simply because they (conservatives) want to see America get back on the "right track" (ie. a conservative track)?

                    Are you willing to call me a fascist simply because I do stand for conservative values? I think this time, you've gone too far.

                    Anyway, I think for most part, a large part of conservative group is people like me who want to see America have a good core of conservative moral values. Is that a sin?

                    Dan
                    Major James Holden, Georgia Badgers Militia of Rainbow Regiment, American Civil War

                    "Aim small, miss small."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Chuck
                      Arnold isn't really a fascist, is he?
                      Honestly, I can't yet say that Arnold is a fascist, though he's expressed an admiration for Hitler, and basically wished that he could experience being the focus of such cult adulation as was expressed in the Nuremburg Rallies in the 1930's. It takes a greater man than I to admit that the thought of having the power to sway millions with your oratory skills, or to stand before the glazed eyes of millions isn't at least tempting.

                      Thinking, even openly, of such allure does not a Fascist make...

                      However, if we go back to the definition of Ur-Fascism from the article in the referenced thread, and look at some of the things that I think Arnold (for want of a better word) embodies then I think that the trend is certainly possible. I've bolded such portions that I believe Arnold or his actions during the candidacy embody.

                      All 14 characteristics of Eco’s matrix of ur-fascism apply to America to some degree. (1) the cult of tradition; (2) the rejection of modernism; (3) the cult of action for action’s sake; (4) the idea that dissent is betrayal; (5) fear of difference, or racism; (6) the appeal to individual or social frustration; (7) obsession with conspiracies, along with xenophobia and nationalism; (8) the message that the enemy is at once too strong and too weak (note the media spin on Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein); (9) the idea that pacifism is collusion with the enemy, and that life is a permanent war; (10) scorn for the weak; (11) the cult of heroism; (12) machismo, or transferring the “will to power onto sexual questions"; (13) the belief that individual rights are subordinate to the unity of the state, and that fascism “has to oppose ‘rotten’ parliamentary governments” ; and (14) ur-fascism uses a language of propaganda.

                      In spite of all the warning signs, I'm not entirely convinced yet that Arnold himself is a Fascist. However, as a figurehead, in the clutches of the wrong handlers, I can see the potential danger.

                      As a final note, in spite of all my handwringing and worrying, I am pleased to see that he is picking a rather diverse set of advisors to assist him in the transition and governing of the state. I fervently hope to have my fears prove to be wrong...
                      I have no problem at all with being proved wrong. Especially when being proved wrong leaves the world a better place, than being proved right...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The previous post shows just how difficult it has become to define fascism. My 60's teenage peers used to scream "Fascist" at their parents, and if their terms weren't precisely defined, their meaning was clear.
                        I think what we're observing now is a resurgence of a longing for social order, the pendulum having swung pretty far in the direction of license and chaos. The electorate certainly seems to be voting that way, both in the midterms and in the CA recall. Arnold's an authority figure, although a pretty shaky one since his rep is based on film roles and his personal life is questionable. Bush too, but again there are issues in his past, particularly his military record.
                        I think the real strongman has yet to appear. The stage seems to be set for him - we're just a crisis or two away.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by St Just
                          The previous post shows just how difficult it has become to define fascism. My 60's teenage peers used to scream "Fascist" at their parents, and if their terms weren't precisely defined, their meaning was clear.
                          I think what we're observing now is a resurgence of a longing for social order, the pendulum having swung pretty far in the direction of license and chaos. The electorate certainly seems to be voting that way, both in the midterms and in the CA recall. Arnold's an authority figure, although a pretty shaky one since his rep is based on film roles and his personal life is questionable. Bush too, but again there are issues in his past, particularly his military record.
                          I think the real strongman has yet to appear. The stage seems to be set for him - we're just a crisis or two away.
                          And I would speak more about populism than fascism with what currently happens in our society. At least in Europe, with movements which seems to belong to the extreme right, and then fascist. Some years ago there was a fascist movement in Italy, but it understood that it has to change, and became a conservative movement. Now it is in the Berslusconi’s government.

                          LaPalice.
                          Monsieur de La Palice est mort
                          Mort devant Pavie.
                          Un quart d'heure avant sa mort
                          Il était encore en vie...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            As I see the posts, you are speak about Nazism, not fascism.
                            Fascism was the Duce's ideology, Hitler's the nazism. There was a lot of difference between them. Of course defining the nazism (or the fascism) not easy (Mein Kampf not a good reference, and the existing nazism and the theoritical nazism(if any) is different, too. It is easy to tell what happened in the Third Reich, but hard to tell what was the ideology behind it. It is same with the communism, and the "so called" existing communism.).

                            My other problem with this thread:
                            I am more human being who can love an ideology, but can act differently, and I think most of the people are the same. There are not much "clear" people in regards of ideology (who accept all the views of a certain ideology, I know only one here Cheetah ).
                            a brain cell

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                            • #15
                              After Socialism, Fascism combats the whole complex system of democratic ideology, and repudiates it, whether in its theoretical premises or in its practical application. Fascism denies that the majority, by the simple fact that it is a majority, can direct human society; it denies that numbers alone can govern by means of a periodical consultation, and it affirms the immutable, beneficial, and fruitful inequality of mankind, which can never be permanently leveled through the mere operation of a mechanical process such as universal suffrage....

                              The foundation of Fascism is the conception of the State, its character, its duty, and its aim. Fascism conceives of the State as an absolute, in comparison with which all individuals or groups are relative, only to be conceived of in their relation to the State.

                              For Fascism, the growth of empire, that is to say the expansion of the nation, is an essential manifestation of vitality, and its opposite a sign of decadence.

                              Fascism, which was not afraid to call itself reactionary... does not hesitate to call itself illiberal and anti-liberal.

                              _Benito Mussolini

                              If Benito were alive today, I don't think he would be a main-stream Republican (but he may find work in the Justice Department )
                              And we are here as on a darkling plain
                              Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
                              Where ignorant armies clash by night.


                              Matthew Arnold

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