What is Fascism

What is Democracy | What is Communism | What is Capitalism | What is Socialism | What is Republic | What is Fascism | What is Aristocracy | What is Anarchism | What is Corporatism | What is Libertarianism | Conclusion

What is Fascism

You think Fascism is heavy handed military and police dictatorship of one man and his party over all people ?

True. But that’s the apparently visible part of fascism. It’s what reflects to observers from outside or inside, if you only look on the surface. Reality is not only much more different, but also much more interesting.

It’s actually as how Mussolini, the first prominent fascist dictator, and the author of doctrine of fascism explained:

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

Well, he doesn’t say it exactly like this – this is what appears in English translation of his papers. However what he explains in his doctrine is exactly this.

How Nazi party came to power explains what he means, and is very telling of how Fascism comes to being and what they do:

Nazis were one of the many small ultra-nationalist right wing groups frustrated by the humiliation Germany suffered after World War I with Treaty of Versailles. They were capitalizing on the militarist sentiment which had been in Germany throughout its history. You know, ‘our great army’, ‘great nation’ and such. They directed their anger towards minorities, (mainly Jews, Gypsies) and other ‘undesirable elements’ in the society – some of which being left-wing segments, trade unions and the like.

And that’s exactly why they came to power : The business circles who did not want to pay higher wages or give more rights (like paid vacations, weekend leaves, benefits, workplace security) to workers, started funding and supporting the Nazis. This was why Nazis have been able to break through the ranks of a zillion of small time right wing extremist groups in Germany.

Also one more thing – instead of totally opposing the left and treating workers as enemies, the Nazi party has ‘adopted’ some socialist ideas at least in appearance. This is why the word ‘Socialist’ is present in the party’s official name: the “National Socialist German Workers’ Party” (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei).

Despite integrating some socialist principles into their party program to get support from workers, they totally massacred all the socialist-leaning (but still extreme right wing and nationalist) segments in their own party after coming to power, in a night which is now known as “The Night of the Long Knives”. That is, the extremist SS groups they cultivated inside the party entered the houses of the ‘unwanted’ segments, and murdered them in their sleep with long knives.

Unbelievable isn’t it…

Well, these groups were seen as harmful by the business interests who supported Nazi party. Therefore, in a spectacular night of bastardry, this problem was ‘fixed’.

Incorporating many such concepts from all the potential rival political ideologies and parties, and beating up/murdering/coercing their opposition, the Nazi party was able to win elections in 1933.

Afterwards they burned the parliament, blamed it on socialists, then proceeded to fund extreme military expansion in which contracts were awarded to supporting business circles. They also banned trade unions, and installed a heavy handed police state to ensure that no segment of the population would disturb business.

So you couldn’t ask for raises, negotiate pay, ask for workplace security, benefits, guarantees etc. You were there to get used as cheap labor and as the consumer of the products manufactured, instead.

It doesn’t end there of course, since the business circles naturally kept supporting militarism and extreme nationalism and even vied for war, since they weren’t able to acquire enough raw materials they needed for the industry. And as you know, this ended in World War III.

One interesting thing is, Nazi party did not ever, EVER mobilize Germany entirely – even in the worst days of the war when central planning was most needed. Instead in the worst days of the war, the military was handing out contracts and production was being performed exactly according to capitalist business practices: They were handing out design contracts to private companies in Germany, and the winner was doing entire production privately, profiting privately. Exactly like how it would work in a normal, everyday business environment. This is considered one of the factors which caused Germany to lose the war in that they were not able to mobilize their full strength, not only in the early days of war, but even in the waning days.

Looking at Italy, where the first major fascist party came to power, things are EXACTLY the same. Except some facets are much more apparent there :

From even the early days, Italian fascists were used to repress workers, break up strikes, scatter trade unions. They were using firearms and they were beating up, killing people. None of these were intervened against by police. Actually, police had been disarming the workers whereas they have been ignoring that the fascist groups were running around with guns in their belts. Even so that in most cases police would protect the fascist groups when they were overwhelmed and cooperate with them against protesters. And after they got the power, they just implemented full range of policies for the benefit of business circles.

You can imagine how the rest would follow: A clique of already established businessmen, rich wealth holders owning the country’s industry and the repressive collaborators in government would continue to run the country exactly according to their own interests. Allowing what is beneficial or harmless, and preventing/repressing anything that they deem harmful.

To justify, rationalize and have enough support for a power base to keep the population in check, various concepts are used in Fascism. Generally the strongest of the below sentiments present in the country is the main line, which is then supplemented by the others :

– Religion (as Mussolini so graciously explains)
– Nationalism
– Militarism
– Racism
– Jingoism
– Hatred or Vengeance towards minorities or other nations

In short: Fascism is merging of corporate/business/wealth power with state power in order to repress the population and utilize them for the benefit of private interests.

Pretty simple. In fact its not too different from aristocracy, in which a minority privileged elite does this directly.

What is Democracy | What is Communism | What is Capitalism | What is Socialism | What is Republic | What is Fascism | What is Aristocracy | What is Anarchism | What is Corporatism | What is Libertarianism | Conclusion

CC BY-SA 4.0 What is Fascism by Via Populi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.