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Thread: On Ur-Fascism

  1. #1

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    Here's a short version of a now famous essay by Umberto Eco, who , apart from being the author of The Name of the Rose, is the leading protagonist of semiological theory and, (at least for me), a voice of reason coming out of Berlusconi's Italy. Lets see what you think of his 14 points on fascism?


    Eternal Fascism:
    Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt
    By Umberto Eco
    Writing in New York Review of Books, 22 June 1995, pp.12-15. Excerpted in Utne Reader, November-December 1995, pp. 57-59.

    The following version follows the text and formatting of the Utne Reader article, and in addition, makes the first sentence of each numbered point a statement in bold type. Italics are in the original.

    For the full article, consult the New York Review of Books, purchase the full article online; or purchase Eco's new collection of essays: Five Moral Pieces.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In spite of some fuzziness regarding the difference between various historical forms of fascism, I think it is possible to outline a list of features that are typical of what I would like to call Ur-Fascism, or Eternal Fascism. These features cannot be organized into a system; many of them contradict each other, and are also typical of other kinds of despotism or fanaticism. But it is enough that one of them be present to allow fascism to coagulate around it.
    * * *

    1. The first feature of Ur-Fascism is the cult of tradition.

    Traditionalism is of course much older than fascism. Not only was it typical of counterrevolutionary Catholic thought after the French revolution, but is was born in the late Hellenistic era, as a reaction to classical Greek rationalism. In the Mediterranean basin, people of different religions (most of the faiths indulgently accepted by the Roman pantheon) started dreaming of a revelation received at the dawn of human history. This revelation, according to the traditionalist mystique, had remained for a long time concealed under the veil of forgotten languages -- in Egyptian hieroglyphs, in the Celtic runes, in the scrolls of the little-known religions of Asia.

    This new culture had to be syncretistic. Syncretism is not only, as the dictionary says, "the combination of different forms of belief or practice;" such a combination must tolerate contradictions. Each of the original messages contains a sliver of wisdom, and although they seem to say different or incompatible things, they all are nevertheless alluding, allegorically, to the same primeval truth.

    As a consequence, there can be no advancement of learning. Truth already has been spelled out once and for all, and we can only keep interpreting its obscure message.

    If you browse in the shelves that, in American bookstores, are labeled New Age, you can find there even Saint Augustine, who, as far as I know, was not a fascist. But combining Saint Augustine and Stonehenge -- that is a symptom of Ur-Fascism.

    2. Traditionalism implies the rejection of modernism.

    Both Fascists and Nazis worshipped technology, while traditionalist thinkers usually reject it as a negation of traditional spiritual values. However, even though Nazism was proud of its industrial achievements, its praise of modernism was only the surface of an ideology based upon blood and earth (Blut und Boden). The rejection of the modern world was disguised as a rebuttal of the capitalistic way of life. The Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, is seen as the beginning of modern depravity. In this sense Ur-Fascism can be defined as irrationalism.

    3. Irrationalism also depends on the cult of action for action's sake.

    Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, reflection. Thinking is a form of emasculation. Therefore culture is suspect insofar as it is identified with critical attitudes. Distrust of the intellectual world has always been a symptom of Ur-Fascism, from Hermann Goering's fondness for a phrase from a Hanns Johst play ("When I hear the word 'culture' I reach for my gun") to the frequent use of such expressions as "degenerate intellectuals," "eggheads," "effete snobs," and "universities are nests of reds." The official Fascist intellectuals were mainly engaged in attacking modern culture and the liberal intelligentsia for having betrayed traditional values.

    4. The critical spirit makes distinctions, and to distinguish is a sign of modernism.

    In modern culture the scientific community praises disagreement as a way to improve knowledge. For Ur-Fascism, disagreement is treason.

    5. Besides, disagreement is a sign of diversity.

    Ur-Fascism grows up and seeks consensus by exploiting and exacerbating the natural fear of difference. The first appeal of a fascist or prematurely fascist movement is an appeal against the intruders. Thus Ur-Fascism is racist by definition.

    6. Ur-Fascism derives from individual or social frustration.

    That is why one of the most typical features of the historical fascism was the appeal to a frustrated middle class, a class suffering from an economic crisis or feelings of political humiliation, and frightened by the pressure of lower social groups. In our time, when the old "proletarians" are becoming petty bourgeois (and the lumpen are largely excluded from the political scene), the fascism of tomorrow will find its audience in this new majority.

    7. To people who feel deprived of a clear social identity, Ur-Fascism says that their only privilege is the most common one, to be born in the same country.

    This is the origin of nationalism. Besides, the only ones who can provide an identity to the nation are its enemies. Thus at the root of the Ur-Fascist psychology there is the obsession with a plot, possibly an international one. The followers must feel besieged. The easiest way to solve the plot is the appeal to xenophobia. But the plot must also come from the inside: Jews are usually the best target because they have the advantage of being at the same time inside and outside. In the United States, a prominent instance of the plot obsession is to be found in Pat Robertson's The New World Order, but, as we have recently seen, there are many others.

    8. The followers must feel humiliated by the ostentatious wealth and force of their enemies.

    When I was a boy I was taught to think of Englishmen as the five-meal people. They ate more frequently than the poor but sober Italians. Jews are rich and help each other through a secret web of mutual assistance. However, the followers of Ur-Fascism must also be convinced that they can overwhelm the enemies. Thus, by a continuous shifting of rhetorical focus, the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak. Fascist governments are condemned to lose wars because they are constitutionally incapable of objectively evaluating the force of the enemy.

    9. For Ur-Fascism there is no struggle for life but, rather, life is lived for struggle.

    Thus pacifism is trafficking with the enemy. It is bad because life is permanent warfare. This, however, brings about an Armageddon complex. Since enemies have to be defeated, there must be a final battle, after which the movement will have control of the world. But such "final solutions" implies a further era of peace, a Golden Age, which contradicts the principle of permanent war. No fascist leader has ever succeeded in solving this predicament.

    10. Elitism is a typical aspect of any reactionary ideology, insofar as it is fundamentally aristocratic, and aristocratic and militaristic elitism cruelly implies contempt for the weak.

    Ur-Fascism can only advocate a popular elitism. Every citizen belongs to the best people in the world, the members or the party are the best among the citizens, every citizen can (or ought to) become a member of the party. But there cannot be patricians without plebeians. In fact, the Leader, knowing that his power was not delegated to him democratically but was conquered by force, also knows that his force is based upon the weakness of the masses; they are so weak as to need and deserve a ruler.

    11. In such a perspective everybody is educated to become a hero.

    In every mythology the hero is an exceptional being, but in Ur-Fascist ideology heroism is the norm. This cult of heroism is strictly linked with the cult of death. It is not by chance that a motto of the Spanish Falangists was Viva la Muerte ("Long Live Death!"). In nonfascist societies, the lay public is told that death is unpleasant but must be faced with dignity; believers are told that it is the painful way to reach a supernatural happiness. By contrast, the Ur-Fascist hero craves heroic death, advertised as the best reward for a heroic life. The Ur-Fascist hero is impatient to die. In his impatience, he more frequently sends other people to death.

    12. Since both permanent war and heroism are difficult games to play, the Ur-Fascist transfers his will to power to sexual matters.

    This is the origin of machismo (which implies both disdain for women and intolerance and condemnation of nonstandard sexual habits, from chastity to homosexuality). Since even sex is a difficult game to play, the Ur-Fascist hero tends to play with weapons -- doing so becomes an ersatz phallic exercise.

    13. Ur-Fascism is based upon a selective populism, a qualitative populism, one might say.

    In a democracy, the citizens have individual rights, but the citizens in their entirety have a political impact only from a quantitative point of view -- one follows the decisions of the majority. For Ur-Fascism, however, individuals as individuals have no rights, and the People is conceived as a quality, a monolithic entity expressing the Common Will. Since no large quantity of human beings can have a common will, the Leader pretends to be their interpreter. Having lost their power of delegation, citizens do not act; they are only called on to play the role of the People. Thus the People is only a theatrical fiction. There is in our future a TV or Internet populism, in which the emotional response of a selected group of citizens can be presented and accepted as the Voice of the People.

    Because of its qualitative populism, Ur-Fascism must be against "rotten" parliamentary governments. Wherever a politician casts doubt on the legitimacy of a parliament because it no longer represents the Voice of the People, we can smell Ur-Fascism.

    14. Ur-Fascism speaks Newspeak.

    Newspeak was invented by Orwell, in Nineteen Eighty-Four, as the official language of what he called Ingsoc, English Socialism. But elements of Ur-Fascism are common to different forms of dictatorship. All the Nazi or Fascist schoolbooks made use of an impoverished vocabulary, and an elementary syntax, in order to limit the instruments for complex and critical reasoning. But we must be ready to identify other kinds of Newspeak, even if they take the apparently innocent form of a popular talk show.

    * * *

    Ur-Fascism is still around us, sometimes in plainclothes. It would be so much easier for us if there appeared on the world scene somebody saying, "I want to reopen Auschwitz, I want the Blackshirts to parade again in the Italian squares." Life is not that simple. Ur-Fascism can come back under the most innocent of disguises. Our duty is to uncover it and to point our finger at any of its new instances — every day, in every part of the world. Franklin Roosevelt's words of November 4, 1938, are worth recalling: "If American democracy ceases to move forward as a living force, seeking day and night by peaceful means to better the lot of our citizens, fascism will grow in strength in our land." Freedom and liberation are an unending task.

    Umberto Eco © 1995


    sic transit gloria mundi

  2. #2

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    Excellent article--My readings on totalitarianism from earlier this year definately would cause me to agree with most of his points.

    But such "final solutions" implies a further era of peace, a Golden Age, which contradicts the principle of permanent war. No fascist leader has ever succeeded in solving this predicament.
    An excellent, very correct point.

    7. To people who feel deprived of a clear social identity, Ur-Fascism says that their only privilege is the most common one, to be born in the same country.

    This is the origin of nationalism. Besides, the only ones who can provide an identity to the nation are its enemies.
    Another interesting point, as it is truly unbelievable to see the real magnitude of fanaticism and support that an ultimately artifical construct can gather from indivuduals.


    Nevertheless username, get to your sneaky point :p --How does this relate to Berlusconi? Obviously he controls the media of Italy, but in terms of actual pertinence of this article I am perhaps left in the dark.

    NM
    Former Patron of: Sbsdude, Bgreman, Windblade, Scipii, Genghis Khan, Count of Montesano, Roman American, Praetorian Sejanus

    My time here has ended. The time of the syntigmata has ended. Such is how these things are, and I accept it. In the several years I was a member of this forum, I fought for what I considered to be the most beneficial actions to enrich the forum. I regret none of my actions, and retain my personal honor and integrity.
    Fallen Triumvir

  3. #3
    wilpuri's Avatar It Gets Worse.
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    I saw a TV documentary some time ago about Berlusconi, and according to it, he pretty much controls Italy. If I remember correctly, he has enough supporters in Parliament to pass and block laws as "he" pleases. Correct me if I'm totally wrong.
    The common culture of a tribe is a sign of its inner cohesion. But tribes are vanishing from the modern world, as are all forms of traditional society. Customs, practices, festivals, rituals and beliefs have acquired a flut and half-hearted quality which reflects our nomadic and rootless existence, predicated as we are on the global air-waves.

    ROGER SCRUTON, Modern Culture

  4. #4

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    I couldnt Help it. If Username will have his way with this "Mussolini petit", Im taking a more direct stab at our own little fuhrer on this side of the pond:

    The underlined are mine.


    Fourteen Defining
    Characteristics Of Fascism
    By Dr. Lawrence Britt
    Source Free Inquiry.co
    5-28-3


    Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), 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.

    Buy your 9/11 flag everyone, don’t want to be an un-American socialist-terrorist sympathizer now, do you?

    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.

    Abu Ghraib ring a bell?

    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.

    GOLDSTEIN! GOLDSTEIN! Osama!? Saddam! Osama?

    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.

    Boy, Im not even going to start…

    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.

    Lets see, Catholics and Protestants calling for overturning Roe v Wade, an constitutional act against homosexual marriage in the works, and our great leaders traditional family values spiel boiling down to wifey stay at home and care fer the younggins.


    6. Controlled Mass Media - Sometimes to 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.

    Faux News anyone? Sure, its not Putin Russia or Berlusconi’s Italy yet, but it doesn’t have to be. Here, in America, we are subtle about it, that and the public just isn’t as informed. Would anyone want some water? Clear water perhaps? Good cuz that’s all your getting

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

    What are we now? Yellow? Red? Polka dot?

    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.

    Read above…

    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.

    Again, this would drive me into a diatribe I have no time for, and would be preaching to a choir. No sense in castrating you all

    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.

    Try applying for any sort of low income job, you know, the one most americans have. Here, try Wal-Mart or any such place. Check that you’ve been in a Union. Then look for another job.

    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.

    Why do u think he talks like he talks.

    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. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

    Been to a protest lately?

    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.

    ARGH!

    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.


    I live in Florida. Where are you from?

    From Liberty Forum
    Ok, so username has done Berlusconi. Ive taken Care of Bush, and I KNOW NM is doing his little dance around Putins statue right now. Anyone else wanna jump in with your favorite contemporary fascist


    Word, fair mates.

    Boris
    He that will not reason is a bigot, He that cannot reason is a fool, He that dares not reason is a slave.

  5. #5
    wilpuri's Avatar It Gets Worse.
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    Word, fair mates.
    Word. :

    A few points

    6. Controlled Mass Media - Sometimes to 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.

    Faux News anyone? Sure, its not Putin Russia or Berlusconi’s Italy yet, but it doesn’t have to be. Here, in America, we are subtle about it, that and the public just isn’t as informed. Would anyone want some water? Clear water perhaps? Good cuz that’s all your getting
    I wouldn't go as far as to saying that the entire media is controlled, rather that the media itself has aligned itself politically and become polarized, just like most of American society. In this bi-polar post 9/11 USA, both factions (Democrat and Republican) have long since cared what the real truth is. The media is one of the biggest authorities when it comes to what we know and what we believe to be true. The media, the government, etc are the main sources of "reliable" information that the common people have. Now, when some of the media networks' credibility can be challenged with the information of other media networks or information sources, it becomes very unclear for the commoner what to really believe. I think that "truth" has become such an abstract idea in present day America, that it is really a question of making sure that "your truth" is the more likable one, and Bushites and the "everything is ok, we are winning" turth must be more appealing in this sense.

    When "indpendent" media networks align themselves in this manner to a politicial faction, they lose all credibility, and they cannot be trusted as a source of true information. This also has an effect on all other outlets of information, and people have learned that the information they are given is not necessarily true. Politically motivated people are able to prove the information from the media outlet aligned to the opposing political faction, when armed with information from the media outlet from their politically motivated own media outlet. This can quite clearly be seen in many of the different debates that take place in these forums, both sides armed with links and quotes and the like, basically trying to prove the other side wrong, which is armed in a similar manner.

    Now, when one can clearly see that the various madia outlets clearly contradict each other with the information they give out, how can anyone be sure that the media outlet aligned along the lines of their political ideologies gives out "truer" information than the opposing side? There is no way for the common person to know what is really happening outside the safe zone they live in, and have to get their information from an outside source, usually the media. Truth has become a very abstract concept during the last two years, with both political factions contradicting each other, yet having various sources of truth backing them up. Its up to the commoner to take his pick, which truth he likes better.

    I hope you understand what I'm trying to say. In conclusion, I disagree that the Bush administration controls the media or abuses it anymore than the Democrats and anti-Bushites do.


    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.

    Read above…
    Although the current administration is a very traditional and religious one, I don't see how religion has been interwined with the law system and official elements of government. I agree that a man who makes many decisions on religious motives is not fit to run a nation, but so far I've failed to see the interwining of government and religion. A president must be allowed to be religious after all, otherwise it would be religious persucution, no? :p

    Just my Two cents (Euro cents, that is)


    Otherwise I agree with you Boris, nice one.

    Word.
    The common culture of a tribe is a sign of its inner cohesion. But tribes are vanishing from the modern world, as are all forms of traditional society. Customs, practices, festivals, rituals and beliefs have acquired a flut and half-hearted quality which reflects our nomadic and rootless existence, predicated as we are on the global air-waves.

    ROGER SCRUTON, Modern Culture

  6. #6
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    Wow, long since I ever stuff this well overthought and written. I will try to comment a few statements:

    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.
    Iraq war? US forces in Somalia? Vietnam? :w00t

    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.
    May god continue to bless America!!

    For Ur-Fascism, disagreement is treason.
    So my former religion teacher was an Ur-Fascist! (guess that was an insider).

    There is no struggle for life but, rather, life is lived for struggle.
    I love that phrase! I will print it on a huge poster and hang it from the walls of my school!

    By contrast, the Ur-Fascist hero craves heroic death, advertised as the best reward for a heroic life. The Ur-Fascist hero is impatient to die. In his impatience, he more frequently sends other people to death.
    Rather you than me.

    Heck, after all I've read here, there are far more fascists around than I'd even dare to think about. I even must honestly say I would agree with an Ur-Fascist regime, judging by most of the points stated in Eco's theatrise, except for the ones about censorship, suppression of the Arts etc. It reminds me of the Utopia by, what was his name again? Thomas (...), some kind of advisor of Henry the 8th or so, while ago we handled that one. But I hope you catch my meaning.

  7. #7

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    It reminds me of the Utopia by, what was his name again? Thomas
    Moore




    And word Boris
    Former Patron of: Sbsdude, Bgreman, Windblade, Scipii, Genghis Khan, Count of Montesano, Roman American, Praetorian Sejanus

    My time here has ended. The time of the syntigmata has ended. Such is how these things are, and I accept it. In the several years I was a member of this forum, I fought for what I considered to be the most beneficial actions to enrich the forum. I regret none of my actions, and retain my personal honor and integrity.
    Fallen Triumvir

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    wilpuri's Avatar It Gets Worse.
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    I'm going to use the fourteen defining points to prove that Stalin was a fascist. Ok, shock-horror, he was, but still I want to see how this goes (I'm researcing and thinking it up as I go along from point to point).

    Fourteen Defining
    Characteristics Of Fascism
    By Dr. Lawrence Britt
    Source Free Inquiry.co
    5-28-3


    Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), 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.

    Definately, the revolution, for the motherland etc. Statues erected all over the place. Even the army had a political wing, the politruks (sp?) that kept everyone in line and upheald revolutionary thought.

    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.

    Of course, the ordinary svoiet citizen probably did not know too much about the gulags and other cleansings and purges of "harmful elements", but it happened on a scale that dwarves pretty much everything in the field.

    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.

    The Capitalists and the Fascists, the victory of the communist system over the capitalist was an evemtuality, 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.

    Stalin built up the red army into one of the greatest armies in the world.

    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.

    Really quite the opposite, in the Soviet Union women had greater opportunities to create a political career than in most other contemporary nations.

    6. Controlled Mass Media - Sometimes to 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.

    Nothing like Soviet propaganda. Stalin was one who understood the importance and usefulness of keeping all of the sources of information available in his own hands

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

    Counter-revolutionary behaviour was kept in check by the various different secret police organisations

    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.

    Not true for Stalinist Soviet Union. Communism and the Marxist theory really replaced Orthogox Christianity with a political ideology. However, Marxist thought was applied to pretty much every area of society. Scientists used the theory of Dialectical Materialism to explain phenomena and so on.

    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.

    There was no private sector under Stalin, but the state = the power elite also owned the businesses :p

    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.

    Meh... Well workers weren't treated too well under Stalin, but...

    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.

    Not true for Stalinist Russia. Education was looked well upon, although it was very indoctrinating to say the least. Intelectuals of "the old school" were persecuted though, as well as artists not hyped about the revolution.

    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. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

    Shoot first, ask questions later..

    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.

    Rampant Corruption no doubt, and I'm sure the people who worked with Stalin were his friends, until they disappeared.

    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.

    Elections?
    The common culture of a tribe is a sign of its inner cohesion. But tribes are vanishing from the modern world, as are all forms of traditional society. Customs, practices, festivals, rituals and beliefs have acquired a flut and half-hearted quality which reflects our nomadic and rootless existence, predicated as we are on the global air-waves.

    ROGER SCRUTON, Modern Culture

  9. #9

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    Just some observations on Stalinism:

    Sexism - how many women in the politbureau? How many women as factory directors? Stalinism had a very perverse form of sexism where the women were supposed to be equal to men in operating heavy machinery and tractors, but not equal in having a desk job or managerial position. You also ignore the stalinist puritanism which is extremely sexist towards the body of the woman.

    Religion and government - oh in a stalinist regime they are pretty much the same thing. Stalin was God, people talked to his portraits, people sacrificied their lifes to save his portrait from a burning house. In his case the cult of the leader went as far as it gets - when he died people taught their world has ended.

    Labor Power - there were no independent unions at all in Soviet Russia. There was only one workers union and every worker was by default a member of it.

    Disdain for Intellectuals - on first sight thats tricky because officially communist power was big friends with the arts and the inteligentsia. Only that those were only the desired arts and the desired intelligentsia. Needless to say, the undesired intellectuals were concentrated in Syberia or in mass graves (not that there was any qualitative difference).


    edit - to answer NM's question - I wasnt actually referring to the citizen Silvio and as far as I know neither did Eco. But then again he almost fits the image does he? What I meant is that Berlusconi's Italy smells of Il Duce nostalgia and people like Eco remind me that its not totally true.

    Hope this makes sense.

    Word *smokin*
    sic transit gloria mundi

  10. #10
    Mordhak's Avatar Civitate
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    You guys know your stuff pretty well, it seems

    Thanks for reminding me of the Moore part of Thomas' name, NM.
    Oh, and what's up with the word thing? Am I retarted since I seem like the only one who doesn't get it? Further explanation required.

    Sentence.

  11. #11

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    Originally posted by Mordhak@Oct 20 2004, 06:51 AM
    You guys know your stuff pretty well, it seems

    Thanks for reminding me of the Moore part of Thomas' name, NM.
    Oh, and what's up with the word thing? Am I retarted since I seem like the only one who doesn't get it? Further explanation required.

    Sentence.
    If you do not KNOW, then you are NOT supposed to KNOW. *does secret handshake*
    He that will not reason is a bigot, He that cannot reason is a fool, He that dares not reason is a slave.

  12. #12

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    Originally posted by wilpuri@Oct 19 2004, 05:07 PM
    I saw a TV documentary some time ago about Berlusconi, and according to it, he pretty much controls Italy. If I remember correctly, he has enough supporters in Parliament to pass and block laws as "he" pleases. Correct me if I'm totally wrong.
    Believe me, better him then another left wing incompetent prime-minister.
    He even retouch some point of the constitution....but politics are not that simple, Berlusconi work together with other right wing people that are somewhat more "right" suc as Bossi and Fini. Bossi basically started his political adventure with a questionable target: devide Italy again; separate northen regions with the rest of italy. recently he got more diplomatic and asking for federalistic reforms which I do agree. Then Fini, he come from the MSI (movimento sociale italiano) party. Basically a Neo fascist movement, but not that extremist. He chilled a lot and formed the AN (Alleanza Nazionale) which is the party of choice for the right-wing citizen. Fini is truly a great politician....one of the very few politician that can stand a long conversation without looking at memos.

    Although Berlusconi seems a funny and ridiculous politician he is doing good for my skrewed up counrty.

  13. #13

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    @mordhak ::ot::

    What's up with that sig?

    Is it just a bad joke or an expression of self-hate, or perhaps sarcasm in which case I understand.

    Don't mean to be rude, but either way enough is enough.

    But please enlighten me as to the purpose of it.

    The reason why it pisses me off is because I went to an integrated school and once some black dude told in a class that in the future blacks will run the country and whites will be terrorized. Such stupidity just gets to me. I support equal rights, but if choosing between killing or being killed, I preffer the former.

    BTW, you wouldn't get rid of racism by eliminating whites. Until there will be one culture (which I hope will not happen) ethnocentrism will exist. It just comes along with the package.


    The Story of Janosik <>Courtesy of Cracker Monkey and ARCHER29

  14. #14

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    I&#39;m all for killing whitey.
    "Jamf was only a fiction, to help him explain what he felt so terribly, so immediately in his genitals for those rockets each time exploding in the sky... to help him deny what the could not possibly admit: that he might be in love, in sexual love, with his, and his race's, death." - Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

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  15. #15

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    Originally posted by rububula@Oct 20 2004, 10:55 PM
    I&#39;m all for killing whitey.
    Word.
    He that will not reason is a bigot, He that cannot reason is a fool, He that dares not reason is a slave.

  16. #16

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    Originally posted by rububula@Oct 21 2004, 03:55 AM
    I&#39;m all for killing whitey.
    and in self defense

    I am all for killing you


    The Story of Janosik <>Courtesy of Cracker Monkey and ARCHER29

  17. #17

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    There youhave it - I start a topic on crypto fascism and see where it got us :wack
    sic transit gloria mundi

  18. #18
    Mordhak's Avatar Civitate
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    I am very sorry about it, username, but I think the people here require an explanation.

    My sig is meant to be sarcastic, in a way that people would call me a racist and ban me if I would have scrapped the black bunny out. It took 2 weeks till someone responded it the way it is like now, and it wasn&#39;t even condamned as racistic.

    Listen, I was being racistic against the white race. And nobody who really cares. Where&#39;s the irony of the case?

    Sorry again about the ::ot::

  19. #19

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    Originally posted by Mordhak@Oct 21 2004, 12:57 PM
    I am very sorry about it, username, but I think the people here require an explanation.

    My sig is meant to be sarcastic, in a way that people would call me a racist and ban me if I would have scrapped the black bunny out. It took 2 weeks till someone responded it the way it is like now, and it wasn&#39;t even condamned as racistic.

    Listen, I was being racistic against the white race. And nobody who really cares. Where&#39;s the irony of the case?

    Sorry again about the ::ot::
    Everyoen knows you do it to prove your own convoluted political point, so no one pays any attention. Cracker.
    He that will not reason is a bigot, He that cannot reason is a fool, He that dares not reason is a slave.

  20. #20

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    Originally posted by borispavlovgrozny+Oct 21 2004, 08:21 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td> (borispavlovgrozny @ Oct 21 2004, 08:21 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-Mordhak@Oct 21 2004, 12:57 PM
    I am very sorry about it, username, but I think the people here require an explanation.

    My sig is meant to be sarcastic, in a way that people would call me a racist and ban me if I would have scrapped the black bunny out. It took 2 weeks till someone responded it the way it is like now, and it wasn&#39;t even condamned as racistic.

    Listen, I was being racistic against the white race. And nobody who really cares. Where&#39;s the irony of the case?

    Sorry again about the ::ot::
    Everyoen knows you do it to prove your own convoluted political point, so no one pays any attention. Cracker. [/b][/quote]
    I think he has a rational point to make.

    Since this is a thread about fascism and its inconsistencies, what better place would suit this? I will not differentiate, therefore, between racism of one kind vs. another. That is fascist at its core.


    The Story of Janosik <>Courtesy of Cracker Monkey and ARCHER29

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