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View Diary: Fascism or Socialism? GOP Candidates Can't Decide (10 comments)

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  •  This diary reminds me of something that happened (1+ / 0-)
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    to me a couple years back on HuffPo. Some deluded rightwinger had been convinced by Glenn Beck or whoever that fascism, socialism, communism and totalitarianism were all left wing political ideas. We spent two weeks going back and forth as I begged, BEGGED him to simply look these terms up on Wikipedia or consult any grade school level political science text. He simply could not be convinced that fascism and socialism are actually on opposite sides of the political spectrum. He also believed that the Nazis were socialists simply because their party was the 'National Socialists' party, a spurious argument that Beck has been making for years. It's sad how much brainwashing and willful ignorance is out there.

    But yeah, the majority of conservatives likely couldn't define communism, socialism or fascism even if you gave them a dictionary. They're just meaningless smear words that they like to hurl.

    •  The economic system in Nazi Germany (0+ / 0-)

      and certainly Fascist Italy was largely socialist, although it was distinct from the international socialism championed by Marx.  Where Republicans and Democrats both, frankly, go wrong, is in thinking that it was economics that distinguish fascism.  It's not.  Virtually all European and North American states extended social safety nets and took part in directing their national economies.  If anything, the Nazis adopted Keynesian measures more enthusiastically then even FDR.  

      Still, that doesn't make the Nazis "left wing".  What distinguished fascism was extreme nationalism, and that's why they are considered to have been a right-wing movement.  Hence, "national socialism", which replaced Marx's notion of class identity with national identity, and advocated ethnic, rather than class solidarity.

      In any case, that HuffPo poster was wrong about fascism being "left-wing", but that idea predates Beck by a long time.  Freidrich Hayek, and many of the other German free-market economists persecuted by the Nazis argued that fascism was the natural outcome of state intervention in the economy.  They were, imo, wrong, but that doesn't mean that the fascists didn't nationalize industries, direct industrial production, or enact social programs.  

      To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

      by sneakers563 on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 02:01:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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