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About 10 years ago, the GOP was all set to rebrand "Fascism" as "liberal Fascism." Conservatives had been ready to openly embrace Fascism in the 1930s, but by the 1990s they were tired of hearing the word "Fascism" lobbed at them.

So the GOP decided to go for an Orwellian "destruction of words" with a Newspeak version of "Fascism" that would be defined by their PR people. If the word "Fascism" is destroyed, then it becomes almost impossible to protest actual Fascism.

'It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.... Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it."
The GOP plan was to redefine "Fascism" as anything liberal. Since Hitler himself claimed he was saving Germany from the liberals' genocidal anti-white conspiracy, American conservatives were merely adopting themes directly from Mein Kampf. Overall this little plan was spoiled by the election of mixed race Obama, and it would have been too much a stretch to declare he was the Nazi Schwarzkommando.

But we can see that the GOP has gotten that message out to its base, mostly thanks to the tireless work of Jonah Goldberg and Glenn Beck to redefine "Fascism." Many other republicans suffering from Holocaust envy also rushed to wrap themselves in the memory of Ann Frank.

But if everything is "Fascist," then nothing is really Fascist any more.  For that reason, there have always been Nazi apologist and Hitler apologists trying to redefine "Fascism" as narrowly or broadly as possible and rebrand Hitler as an eccentric pushed into war by Churchill and the Nazi generals.  If everything is "Fascist," then there is no reason not to have a Fascist Party on the ballot or in Congress, is there?

Jonah offered this nugget of Quisling stupidity and Hitler apology

Dec 06, 2008
Was Hitler Racist?
I'm not sold. Hitler was very inconsistent about lots of things, but he was certainly a consistent anti-Semite....I don't think anti-Semitism is necessarily racist.
I guess Jonah missed the hundreds of pages of virulent racism (specifically about "race") in Mein Kampf.

And of course lets not forget Alan Keyes, the idiots at Freeperville, white supremacist terrorist child killer Ander Breivik, or his white supremacist fans at StormFront (links at the end). They all want to change the meaning of the word "Fascism."  Let's not join these idiots on the bus to Crazytown, OK?

Because the real danger for a free country is that if the meaning of the word "Fascism" changes, then far right groups will be able to introduce Fascist policies and nobody will be able to say "Hey, that's Fascism." If we are to "Never forget," the dangers of Fascism and Nazism, we can't redefine the words "Nazi" and "Fascist." If we do, we have not just forgotten, we have effectively erased history.

I wrote a diary on novelist Umberto Eco's ("Name Of The Rose") classic 1995 essay on the definition of Fascism.
Tea Party At Nuremberg: Umberto Eco on UrFascism
Eco know about this first hand, because he grew up under Mussolini.

Here's the condensed wikipedia version of Eco's list.  The article has additional definitions of Fascism also.

"The Cult of Tradition", combining cultural syncretism with a rejection of modernism.
"The Cult of Action for Action's Sake", which dictates that action is of value in itself, and should be taken without intellectual reflection. (Obama, stop dithering and invade someone!)
"Fear of Difference", which fascism seeks to exploit  racism or an appeal against foreigners and immigrants.
"Appeal to a Frustrated Middle Class", fearing economic pressure from the demands and aspirations of lower social groups.
"Obsession with a Plot" and the hyping-up of an enemy threat. (FEMA camps! Death panels!)
"Pacifism Is Trafficking with the Enemy" because "Life is Permanent Warfare" - there must always be an enemy to fight.
"Contempt for the Weak" - although a fascist society is elitist, everybody in the society is educated to become a hero. (Fuck the people on food stamps!)
"Selective Populism" - the People have a common will, which is not delegated but interpreted by a leader. This may involve doubt being cast upon a democratic institution, because "it no longer represents the Voice of the People". (Fake Tea Party populism!)
"Newspeak" - fascism employs and promotes an impoverished vocabulary in order to limit critical reasoning. (Like redefining "Fascism!")
Eco wanted to make sure that the meaning of the word "Fascism" did not change, because losing the meaning of the word would be an essential step to the rebirth of a Fascist movement.  When he wrote the essay in 1995, he did not see this a likely because the middle class was doing so well.  Clearly the risk is much higher now, and changing the definition of the word "Fascism" is midwifing the birth of new Fascist movements.

That's why neonazis and neofascists want to redefine the meaning of the word "Fascism" - to launch Fascism under a new brand name.   Don't forget Hitler himself perfected this word game - he said it was the Jews were the real genocidal maniacs, and today the Nazis would call themselves the Love and Free Puppies party, while he would call the Jews the "real Fascists."  Nordic white supremacist, terrorist, and mass child killer Anders Breivik agrees, that he's not a Fascist, that liberals are the "real Fascists," which is how he justified stalking and killing 70 children.

Here's where Anders says that because liberals won't create Nordic homelands, they are the real Fascists, not him.

If this is the case for Aborigines in Australia and Native Americans in the US, shouldn’t that be the case for Europeans in Europe as well? The fact that the cultural Marxists, anti-nationalist humanists and globalists outright refuse us the same basic human rights prove without a doubt that THEY are in fact the racists, that they are the fascists and Nazis of our time.
See? Once you change the definition of "Fascism," killing liberals is merely self defense, if not an actual moral imperative.  Just like kindly Uncle Adolph said. If you find a wingnut  trying to redefine "Fascism," they will almost inevitably start spouting material straight from Mein Kampf,

Above all, remember that fascism is a conspiracy theory which is easily summarized and familiar to all Beck fans and Nazis:

Liberals and their multicultural henchmen are planning to enslave and kill white people
That's why if you check out CT websites, you are never more than two mouse clicks from white supremacist sites. You will also see  ads for the book "The Holocaust Hoax."   If you want to check out some 9-11 conspiracies, go to the white supremacist site StormFront (spoiler alert - the Jews did it!).

Many people enjoy pseudointellectual wrangling about exact definitions of Fascism, but they are usually trolls who just enjoy conflict.  It's easier just to look at the fundamental principles of Fascism and leave it to the reader.

So here is a list of Nazi talking points. Most of you will be able to just connect the dots, because these are generic right wing talking points.  Not all Fascist regimes would use every talking point, and in addition they would have other features from Eco's list (which is my personal favorite):

Short Guide To Nazi Propaganda Talking Points

Things The Nazi Were Against:

   Trade unions
   "Social justice"
   "The liberal press"
   "Social Democrats"
   "Civil Rights"
   Liberal "envy"
   Liberal class warfare ("class struggle")
   Religious tolerance
   Mixed marriages
   Sex education
   Bilingual anything
   Universal education
   Art that does not glorify the state
   Darwin and teaching evolution
   Einstein and relativity
   Elementary teachers who don't teach nationalism
   University professors
   People who don't support the troops
   ...and of course Jews

Things The Nazi Were For:
    Crushing unions (Enabling Act 1933)
   Promising church/state cooperation (Enabling Act announcement)
   State take-over of local government (Reich Local Government Law of 1935)
   Federal regulation of marriage and sex (Nuremberg Laws)
   Pre-emptive war
   State religion
   "Positive Christianity"
   Conspiracy theories
   Undermining voter's faith in elections and parliament
   Reducing history to broad populist themes of white victimization
   Claiming whites are the victims of racist liberals
   A "spiritual" movement that creates ruthless, unwavering violence
   Values education in the schools
   Reducing science education
   School "reform" using business people
   College students ratting out professors for lack of loyalty
   Voting restrictions
   Early marriage
   High birth rate
   State control of the media, arts, and science
   Personality cults
   Making nationalism part of the school curriculum
   Worship of an idealized version of the past
   Rebellion against "weak" authority
   Blaming minorities and immigrants for everything
   Invoking destiny and being judged by history
   Pandering to Christians
   Promising the cooperation of church and state
   Claiming to do "God's will"
   Calling liberalism a mental illness ("madness")

Another way to redefine "Fascism" - claim Fascism and Communism were the same thing. Only conservatives make this argument, so they say that since they aren’t  Communists, then they aren’t Fascists either. Of course, they believe many Fascist conspiracy theories and the talking points on the previous list, but that doesn't matter because they created a talking point that "proves" they are innocent. So let's debunk that:
The Differences between Fascism and Communism:

Fascism is explicitly racist and focused on racial purity. Communism is not racist, which allowed it to spread to many countries. Fascism attacks immigrants as the "enemy within."

Fascism condemns "class warfare" and creates new classes that may reduce certain people to slaves.  Communism is all about "class struggle"

Fascism protects private property and factory owners. Communism promises that the workers will control the "means of production."

Fascism is a "spiritual" movement and condemns Communism's "materialism" (pseudo scientific rules). Marx used "dialectic materialism."

Fascism is almost never atheist. It may embrace organized religion, but it will usually use "syncretism" - a mixture of beliefs. Fascist countries may have an official state religion, and Hitler came to power by pandering to Christians. Communist societies are often officially atheist.

Fascism will destroy society to return to the Utopian past. Communism will destroy society to create the Utopian future.

Fascism believes human nature is cemented by their racial identity - people don't change. Communism believes that man and nature are plastic and can be molded by society.  People in China and Russia starved because their crop scientists were forced to reject genetics.

Finally, let's just recap with a review of the people who have been working hard to redefine "Fascism."  Yes, I wrote all this material, so look upon my works:

"Liberals Persecuting Christians" is recycled antisemitic propaganda from the 1920s.  Thank you Henry Ford!

Saving the fatherland from "Envy" and "Class Warfare" are classic Nazi themes now being recycled by the GOP.

Tea Party At Nuremberg: Umberto Eco on UrFascism summarizes the Eco's definition of Fascsim, based on the famous authors experiences growing up under Mussolini, and how it compares to the Tea Party.  

Oslo Shooter Manifesto: Exterminate The "Liberal Fascists"

Glenn Beck's relentless use of Nazi themes is discussed in Achtung Glenn Beck! Beck's Nazi Roots Revealed

Unions Are Like Nazis? Erick Erickson Is Rebranding Hitler

Pat Buchannan gets all weepy for Hitler's birthday (again!) in Pat Buchanan and Tea Party Going "White Power"

March 23 - Christian Nation Day (Moments In Fascism)  How Hitler became a dictator with the votes of a Christian coalition.

Mein Kamp chronicles - Hitlers Words Live On Adolph knows about people like you.

A look back at Jonah Goldberg's "Liberal Fascsim" blog.

Nazism in 3 Words: "Liberals Plan Genocide" -Hitler & Beck
Why Glenn Beck and Jonah Goldberg should literally treat Hitler as religious prophet.

Democrats Equal Nazis? The Madness Of Alan Keyes including a look at the party platform of the National Socialists.

Democrats Equal Nazis? Sad Freeperville Circlejerka more detailed look at the party platform of the National Socialists.

There are plenty of good books on the subject of Fascism and nazism by people who saw it first hand, including Karl Popper, Erich Fromm, Wilhelm Reich, William Shirer, Milton Meyer, and Paul Linebarger.  

On the other hand there are also a lot of books that have been written by neonazis and Nazi apologists and Hitler apologists.  And writing a diary on this topic will frequently attract concern trolls that the things I saw aren't nice, or that it violates Godwin's Law to talk about actual Nazis (which is of course just nonsense). Looking at one of my old diaries, I saw where I had simply told someone to fuck off, and I felt like that was a bit harsh, but I saw that he later got banned. So that happened.

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Comment Preferences

  •  it is a mistake (9+ / 0-)

    to conflate Nazism and fascism.  The Nazis were/are a particular "brand" of fascism, while fascism writ large includes a number of other non-Nazi brands.  The "racist" part is particularly problematic . . . there are fascists who are not racist, and racist fascists who identify "ubermensch" and "untermensch" quite differently from the Nazis.

    Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

    by Deward Hastings on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 06:49:47 PM PDT

    •  Cite Some Examples Of Nonracist Fascism nt (4+ / 0-)

      There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

      by bernardpliers on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 07:01:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  sure . . . (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        in the Middle East Ba'ath would be one example.  Pinochet in Chile another.  There are a number of States in SE Asia that exhibit all the economic and political indicators without any overtly "racist" component.  And then there's the one closest to home . . .

        Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

        by Deward Hastings on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 07:20:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  asdf (4+ / 0-)

          Saddam not a racist? Ask the marsh Arabs about that!

          Regards the rest, I'd probably include Pinochet as a Fascist for other reasons.  

          Everyone has a slightly different definition of Fascism, and there is no single definitive checklist that is just right.  Again, it's always possible to say that almost nobody is a  fascist depending on how you slice it.  Here a review of the definitions.

          But as Fascism if reemerging now in Greece and England (see the other diary that's up) it is largely driven by racism and xenophobia.  they are considerate enough to identify themselves as Fascists, which takes the guesswork out of it.

          There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

          by bernardpliers on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 08:14:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's a stretch (0+ / 0-)

            to make Saddam (an Arab) into a "racist" because of the marsh . . . Arabs.  His government included representatives of all the major "races" and religions in Iraq (Kurds and Christians in particular), although he may have developed some feelings about "Persians" as a result of the Iran war.  Or maybe he had them before . . . but "anti-Persianism" does not seem to have been a motivator of either his political or economic positions.

            There are some pretty obviously racist fascists in the Middle East, but it's a stretch to include Saddam (or Assad, for that matter) among them.

            Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

            by Deward Hastings on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 08:47:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's A Stretch To Include Non-European Cultures (0+ / 0-)

              Most  regimes with all the trapping of Fascism for instance have been officially Christian.  We can compare Fascist nations to cultures that never heard of Fascism, and find similarities, but that doesn't seem to "prove" much one way or the other.

              On the other hand, if some nation had started off with Fascist philosophy, gone off in a different direction and said this is "the real Fascism," it would be more meaningful difference.


              There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

              by bernardpliers on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 09:17:03 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  that's an interesting twist . . . (0+ / 0-)

                as it essentially defines fascism as "European", rather than on ideology and functional characteristics.  Does it mean that you would not use the "fascist" label on Imperial Japan?  Or the pre-eminent fascist State of the 21st Century, which is clearly not Christian?

                If your definition of fascism is going to devolve simply to "looks like Nazi Germany" it's not going to be all that useful.

                Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

                by Deward Hastings on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 10:10:44 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Comparing Versus Real Correlation Or Causation (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  You can compare anything, but the question of whether similarities are meaningful is usually not similar.

                  Japan did not become "Fascist" by adapting Fascist theories or philosophy.  It's feudal culture managed to avoid conflicting with the Nazi industrialized feudalism. It's useful to compare them but not very helpful to call Japan "Fascist" since it implies all sort of things.

                  At some point all authoritarian societies start looking similar, and that increases as they get further away from their unique revolutionary origins.  This lets wingnuts say communism and Nazism are the same things, and when everything is "Nazism," then nothing is Nazism.

                  There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

                  by bernardpliers on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 10:51:53 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Sorry for many typos, bed time nt (0+ / 0-)

                    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

                    by bernardpliers on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 10:56:10 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  the difference between (0+ / 0-)

                    feudal and fascist is simply the difference between agrarian and industrial.  In Japan the transition for the most part came quickly and late.  If you don't want to call the end result "fascist" then you're back to "it's not fascist if it's not Nazi Germany" . . . which as a definition is both useless and wrong.  There were other fascist States.

                    There still are.

                    Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

                    by Deward Hastings on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 11:04:21 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Flailing Around + Deliberate Silliness (0+ / 0-)
                      If you don't want to call the end result "fascist" then you're back to "it's not fascist if it's not Nazi Germany
                      Which contradicts the whole diary doesn't it? Because it's about people who want to make the definition too narrow or too broad to the point of being meaningless.

                      Every fascism diary  has to have someone playing your role of obfuscating about the definition of Fascism.  And in this case, the Fascism diary is about people who obfuscate on the definition of Fascism, which is why it's a meta diary.

                      But if you think you are making an actual point, you should by all means go write a diary of your own.

                      There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

                      by bernardpliers on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 08:22:08 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  OK, how about (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        Apartheid South Africa?  I'd say it might fit the definition, with a largely agrarian society with some extractive and industrializing sectors thrown in.  Authoritarian, but many characteristics of fascism.

                        I'm part of the "bedwetting bunch of website Democrat base people (DKos)." - Rush Limbaugh, 10/16/2012 Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

                        by tom 47 on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 01:36:55 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Really Interesting Wikipedia Page (0+ / 0-)

                          Various Fascist movements by country and their philosophical roots


                          Overwhelmingly, they are varieties of Nazism.

                          Yes, South Africa had a Nazi movement in the 30's and 40's.  Personally I don't know enough about their society to comment on whether it was Fascist, although I really really would like to say yes.  

                          Of course, Fascism was largely about protecting the social class structure from Communist "class struggle."  In fact, that was one of the main selling points of Nazism, which reduced non-Aryans to literal slaves.  That sure doesn't conflict with the apartheid.

                          In biology, there is the concept of "convergent evolution."  A dolphin looks like a fish, but everyone except maybe Homer Simpson knows it is not a fish.

                          There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

                          by bernardpliers on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 05:56:17 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Interesting list (0+ / 0-)

                            And Alfredo Stroessner's Partido Colorado in Paraguay  doesn't even get a mention? 39 years or so in power, second only to Kim Jong-Il or Ferdinand Marcos in the Phillipines? And how about Piochet in Chile?

                            Maybe those are more straight-ahead garden variety dictatorships, not strictly fascist? I guess it depends on how many "points" they have on the list of characteristics, or something.

                            Just asking- - I know it's not your list.

                            I'm part of the "bedwetting bunch of website Democrat base people (DKos)." - Rush Limbaugh, 10/16/2012 Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

                            by tom 47 on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 12:11:31 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No Regime Scores 100 On Eco's List (0+ / 0-)

                            ...and he discusses that in his essay.  

                            For instance, does America have a "Cult Of Heroic Death?"  No but increasingly we hear the frustrated Tea Party types talk about going out heroically in a hail of bullets.

                            There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

                            by bernardpliers on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 09:39:37 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

      •  Xenophobia is basic to all fascist movements (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bernardpliers, mollyd, Dirtandiron
        •  that's perhaps (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bernardpliers, Onomastic

          a bit of an exaggeration.  It is certainly present in many, but I think you lose too much if you define too narrow . . .

          Robert Paxton defines fascism as:

          “a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.”
          Paxton wrote his definition clearly intending to describe the Nazi movement in Germany in the 30’s (which is, after all, his scholarly area of expertise).  He avoided "racism" in his definition, although I suppose one might claim it's implied by the "purity" attrubute.  I wouldn't agree.  I have no idea whether (or not) he simultaneously realized how perfectly he described other, more contemporary, fascist states.

          My own understanding of it is a bit broader, although I don't disagree that most, if not all, of the characteristics Paxton enumerates are commonly present.  What I've suggested is

          “There is nothing new about Fascism (it barely differs from Feudalism) . . . the rich have always felt "entitled" to rule, and have expressed that entitlement with a lesser or greater (usually greater) degree of authoritarianism.  And there is nothing new about racism . . . probably since the dawn of time some tribes have felt themselves superior to, and more "entitled" than, well, everyone else.  And there was nothing new about Nazism . . . it is simply another unhappy convergence of those two "entitlements" that had happened before and, unfortunately, has happened since as well.”
          To that I would add exaggerated nationalism (which might converge with your "xenophobia" concept) and militarism . . . the "warrior ethic" and "loyalty and service to country" are common if not universal themes in fascist states, and probably should be included as defining characteristics of fascist states, if not fascism (the ideology) itself.


          Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

          by Deward Hastings on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 08:26:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Paxton Seems Very Readable (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I have not gotten to him yet.

            But yeah, the rural parties that the Nazis absorbed in the 1920s were notoriously racist. And Mein Kampf is loaded with nasty racism, and that was 1927.  

            There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

            by bernardpliers on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 08:42:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not all xenophobes are fascists. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I was talking about historical fascism.
              But all xenophobes bear watching.

              •  But You Can Bet They Know A Few (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT, devis1

                As the Orcinus blog often pointed out, Jonah Goldberg had to tie himself in knots to avoid mentioning real Fascists in the United States, from the German American Bund in the 1930s to the present.

                It would be possible to debate whether the KKK is actually "Fascist," but they do march with NeoNazis. So, maybe not "Fascist" per se, there's a big overlap in their beliefs and even group affiliation.

                Whenever some goober on the WaPo comments section would say "Nazis were  liberals" I would say "Well there are plenty of real Nazis around, and I'd be happy to drive you around to find some so you can explain to them that they are "liberals," just as long as I can record the video of when they curbstomp you."

                There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

                by bernardpliers on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 10:05:18 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  All Nazis are fascists, (11+ / 0-)

      but not all fascists are Nazis.

      The GOP can't win on ideas. They can only win by lying, cheating, and stealing. So they do.

      by psnyder on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 07:41:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nazis Provide The Best Self-Defined Standard (4+ / 0-)

        Now we see variations on white supremacy in Europe and America which are Zionists in the unconditional support of of Israel.  The Oslo terrorist said over and over that he is a supporter of Zionism and not a Nazi, but he still wants to kill all the non-Zionist liberal Jews (2/3 by his own estimate) and deport the rest.

        There's not minimum check list that defines Fascism, and any organization (like the Girls Scouts) meets some of the standards and comes up short on others.  The United States for instance lacks Eco's criteria of a Cult Of Heroic Death.

        There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

        by bernardpliers on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 07:59:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Neofascists Would Say Nazis Are The Only Fascist (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        psnyder, Dirtandiron

        I'm agreeing with you, and you may want to reread the diary.

        Because people like Anders Breivik would deny being a Nazi and even being a Fascist, because he merely sees himself as a genocidal antisemitic Nordic white supremacist terrorist.

        But of course he is a Fascist and more than a little bit of a Nazi.  I mean, he tells his audience to leave the swastika flags at home when they march, and how deep does someone have to be in the Nazi closet to need to say that?

        There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

        by bernardpliers on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 08:38:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Once he's conceded that he's (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          "a genocidal antisemitic Nordic white supremacist terrorist." he's already sort of lost the public relations (hide the swastikas, guys!) game.

          In Breivik's case, if it looks like a duck, etc.

          The GOP can't win on ideas. They can only win by lying, cheating, and stealing. So they do.

          by psnyder on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 09:39:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  US Right Wingers Struggled To Disown Breivik (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            psnyder, offgrid

            That was a whole 'nother diary about how many of his terrorist manifesto's themes seem to have been taken from the Fox web site.


            He's a Birther
            He praises the Tea Party
            Global warming is a hoax
            He wants to abolish Social Security
            He's into Christian "spiritual warfare"
            Hates "secularism"
            Says his movement has many friends in American GOP
            Believes in the Fox News' "War On Christmas"
            Wants to restore "Christian culture"
            Hates "multiculturalism" and "political correctness."
            Condemns "cultural Marxism" (Andrew Breitbart and Pat Buchannan also attack "cultural Marxism")

            There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

            by bernardpliers on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 09:49:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Many early fascist thinkers looked at their (6+ / 0-)

      movement as a direct rejection of the 'ideals of 1789'(Liberty, equality and fraternity). There is much of that in today's US conservatives.

      Hitler expressed hatred of unions and socialist ideas in Mein Kampf, despite his takeover of the tiny German Workers Party after infiltrating the group as a spy for the Germany Army.
      The early German Workers Party rejected the soldiarity of the working classes in Marxism as anti-German and divisive(an other anti-union trope).
      Nevertheless the NSDAP name attracted many socialists, like Otto Strasser who were effectively purged in 1926 by Hilter, who instituted
      a cult of personality-the Fuhrerprinzip.

      Hitler's 'German socialism' was the mere regimentation of the working class in the furtherance of a crusade to defeat Jewish Bolshevism led by himself.
      Having already led an anti-government coup in 1923,
      it's clear that Hitler was a revolutionary, not a politician.

      A lot of crackpots on the right are cut from the same cloth.

      •  Nazi Socialists Died In Night Of The Long Knives (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Onomastic, alain2112, Dirtandiron

        This included the Strasser wing of the party, who were rounded up an executed.  And that "socialism" would still have been more like a military junta, just minus the racism and paranoia of the Nazis.

        And in the beginning Nazism was "socialist" for the party members, but gradually it became ruthlessly oppressive for everyone.

        There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

        by bernardpliers on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 08:03:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Strasser, Roehm didn't 'believe' in infallibility (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bernardpliers, Dirtandiron

          of Germany's Guide and that violated the Fuhrerprinzip.

           “Woe to him who does not believe!” --Hitler

          •  Antisemitism Was Rural Populism, But Hitler...... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            .....believed all that antisemitic stuff, right up to his final hours.

            If the Nazis had only made a few land grabs and stayed out of Scandinavia and France, and left the Jews alone, they would probably still be in power.

            Without the Holocaust, there would be an actual "Fascist Party" right now in the United States, and it would on the ballot in every state.

            BTW it is possible to cherry pick pro-Socialist Nazi propaganda, which they sent east to Russia, while sending anti-Socialist propaganda west to England.  

            There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

            by bernardpliers on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 10:16:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hitler believed both in World Jewish Conspiracies (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              and  in the effectiveness of anti-Semitism politics as practiced by Vienna mayor Karl Lueger.


              Hitler attacked Russia based on its performance in WWI and the Finnish Winter War. I am not sure Russia would
              have beaten Germany if the US had not entered the war
              but I would have still given the edge to Stalin.
              I don't think you could have kept Hitler out of France,
              he wanted revenge for Versailles.
              A lot of Hitler's antisemtism was rooted in the Stab-in-the-Back myth spread by Ludendorf.


              US fascism would probably look like Petain's France where
              Liberty, Equality and Fraternity were replaced by
              Work, Family and the Fatherland.

              •  There Was A Lot Of Antisemitism (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                ..... but German Jews were more cosmopolitan and and assimilated than in other countries.  And it was the Nazi Nuremberg laws that defines someone as Jewish according to their grandparent's ethnicity.  Hitler lost support when key people who had been Christian for 2 generations were classified as "Jews."

                Hitler blended the idea of national "spirit" and race, and you can see that today as conservatives (Dinesh D'souza) say Obama is not really "American" because he is apparently tainted by his jungle blood or something.  It was ever so kind of D'souza to move to America from his native Bangalore to referee what is a "real" American.

                There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

                by bernardpliers on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 12:43:32 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  "Rejection Of Modernism" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ....was on Eco's list and when I read that I immediately thought of 1776 and 1789

        There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

        by bernardpliers on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 08:21:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Mussolini Said it Should Be Called Corporatism (7+ / 0-)

    so it seems a lot more a category with as you say Naziism a unique example.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 07:07:10 PM PDT

  •  I recc'ed the diary because it is important... (14+ / 0-)

    to discuss and I think you are right about the purposeful obfuscation of the word.  

    However, I think you may be combining several traits that are more consistent with authoritarian governments in general to fascism specifically.

    Benito Mussolini coined the word fascism for the utalian word fasci meaning "to bundle".  He claimed that it was meant show the bundling of corporate and government interests together.  The government would provide the muscle to protect the interests of the corporations and the corporations would provide the finances to build the military.  The American wealthy loved this idea.

    Read about Smedley Butler sometime and see we were not far from that already using the military as muscle for the corporations like the American Fruit Company in South and Central America.  They even tried to recruit Smedley into helping them overthrow FDR and the American government and installing a fascist regime here in the United States.

    The way I understand it is Communism is extreme liberalism and Fascism is extreme conservatism.  American has always fallen somewhere near the middle; sometimes leaning a little to the right and sometimes leaning a little to the left.  It appears that it is now being pushed to the right and hard by not only the Republicans but the Democrats in office as well.  The clown circus that was the Republican primaries simply pushed the overton window so far to the right that anything left of Ronald Reagan now seems like Karl Marx.

    You are absolutely right that they had to change the definition of the word because people have never bothered to learn what the word actually means, they just learn that it means something bad.  The same is true about communism and socialism and secularism, etc...  Vague understandings allowing the average person to pretend to be knowledgeable about something without putting forth any real effort to actually read or learn about it.  They have even made it hard to research it because now they have books giving contradictory definitions and that means people have to actually read multiple sources and use critical thinking skills.  Critical thinking is explicitly called out as a Texas party platform issue in which they are against it.  Absolutely stunning bravado there.

    "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

    by Buckeye Nut Schell on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 07:11:16 PM PDT

  •  Don't forget the UNIFORMS! (3+ / 0-)

    That's the big one!  They have to be in Dark Colors and have Symbols of death on them!  You know, REALLY evocative, and symbols that nobody would want to associate with...

    Huh?  That's the Drone Program's unit patch?

    Ok, hell with it, there's no such thing as Fascism unless it specifically refers to a time in the past or somebody who no longer exists.

    Goddammit Stormfront, I'm TRYING to help you here, stop defending Hitler!


    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 07:27:45 PM PDT

  •  Thank you for this. (7+ / 0-)

    Language is so plastic, so amenable to change, merely through the long passage of time.

    I think of words like "radical" and how one of its original meaning is -  " the base, or root of something,  fundamental," and how now it's used in a societal context as a pejorative.

    Then there are words emptied of meaning with intent, phrases devised to strip meaning from reality.

    The phrase "food insecure" - distancing the lived reality of heart cracking fear when you can't feed your family, the incessant worry that shadows each day, the eradication of hope, from the word "hunger."  

    And we're all familiar with how the word "Liberal" has been bastardized into something so foreign as to be unrecognizable to its open minded, warm hearted, meaning.

    Thank you for allowing a space to examine how another word is being stripped of its meaning and recast into something that we ignore at our peril.

    "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." Hubert H. Humphrey

    by Onomastic on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 08:10:28 PM PDT

    •  'It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Onomastic, Dirtandiron, AoT
      'It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. Of course the great wastage is in the verbs and adjectives, but there are hundreds of nouns that can be got rid of as well.... Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it."

      There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

      by bernardpliers on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 09:36:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've been discribed as a "Nature Poet" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bernardpliers, AoT

        I love language in its impossible contradictions. Its simultaneous richness and poverty, for it can never truly encompass what it seeks to describe.

        Not the living, breathing, sweating, sun and moon struck reality of it.

        And yet, it can hurt or heal hearts. Free or enslave minds.

        I don't think I've read anything more chilling that what you just quoted.

        "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." Hubert H. Humphrey

        by Onomastic on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 10:01:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  1984 Is Really Frightening (4+ / 0-)

          The last parts where OBrien describes the future is chilling.

          The linguist who is quoted in the cafeteria scene is later liquidated.  He loved the Party, Big Borther, Newspeak, and his job.  The problem was that he understood what he was doing, and that's not permitted.

          There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

          by bernardpliers on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 10:54:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thinking and understanding not permitted. (5+ / 0-)

            I find that so horrifying and we're seeing that kind of thing going on around us. The Tea Party Republican orthodoxy. The way their elected officials in States like North Carolina, Michigan and Wisconsin, simply will not countenance any other view point but their own. The name calling, and vilifying. MSM's silence on all of it. It's all part of the whole.

            The last time I read 1984 was decades ago. It frightened me so badly I never wanted to read it again.

            Margaret Atwood's, The Handmaid's Tale, is a brilliant successor to 1984.

            Both works, and others, like Fahrenheit 451, have stayed with me for a very long time.

            But 1984's focus on language, the stripping away of meaning and any critical understanding, showed how we could arrive in the landscapes of the Handmaid's Tale and Fahrenheit 451.

            That's why I was so furious with Clinton's Telecommunications Act of 1996.  Still am. Its done untold damage.

            "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." Hubert H. Humphrey

            by Onomastic on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 08:27:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  O'Brien Explains (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Onomastic, Dirtandiron, AoT

              We need endless war because it is imperative to have poverty and the right mental conditioning

              War, it will be seen, accomplishes the necessary destruction, but accomplishes it in a psychologically acceptable way. In principle it would be quite simple to waste the surplus labour of the world by building temples and pyramids, by digging holes and filling them up again, or evenby producing vast quantities of goods and then setting fire to them. But this would provide only the economic and not the emotional basis for a hierarchical society. What is concerned here is not the morale of masses, whose attitude is unimportant so long as they are kept steadily at work, but the morale of the Party itself. Even the humblest Party member is expected to be competent, industrious, and even intelligent within narrow limits, but it is also necessary that he should be a credulous and ignorant fanatic whose prevailing moods are fear, hatred, adulation, and orgiastic triumph. In other words it is necessary that he should have the mentality appropriate to a state of war. It does not matter whether the war is actually happening, and, since no decisive victory is possible, it does not matter whether the war is going well or badly. All that is needed is that a state of war should exist. The splitting of the intelligence which the Party requires of its members, and which is more easily achieved in an atmosphere of war, is now almost universal, but the higher up the ranks one goes, the more marked it becomes.

              There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

              by bernardpliers on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 08:58:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  I was with you.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bernardpliers, Onomastic

    Until this:

    Socialism will destroy society to create the Utopian future.
    Socialism isn't Communism, any more than the system in Scandinavia is China's.

    This Rover crossed over.. Willie Nelson, written by Dorothy Fields

    by Karl Rover on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 08:17:13 PM PDT

  •  NY book review about concepts of purification (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    In communist and nazi ideology leading to mass murder was interesting.

    "We're now in one of those periods when the reality of intense pressure on the middle class diverges from long-held assumptions of how the American bargain should work" --James Fallows

    by Inland on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 05:05:41 AM PDT

    •  Constant Theme In RW Sites And Tea Party (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dirtandiron, AoT

      The purification is some sort of violent purge, a secular apocalypse that will be the end of the world for everyone else.  Part of this is the old libertarian fantasy of dumping paper money and living off barter and pine cones.  OK I made up the pine cones part, but that's filling the blanks further than they ever have. Libertarians definitely year for purification.

      The Tea Party is all about this, and the "spiritual" reawakening is central to Fascism.

      Got a link to the NYT article?

      There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

      by bernardpliers on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 08:01:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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