How to recognize Fascism
August 27, 2008 · Updated 8:24 PM
It is only the faces that identify one TV channels news from another. The sameness isnt so much that they all draw from the same well, but that they speak the same sound-bites. Once the rhetoric is set in DC press conferences, TV anchors parrot them. Weapons of Mass Destruction. War on Terror. Surge. Certainly there is frightening substance behind such terms, but does that explain our being beaten over the head with them so often?
Those particular sound-bites originated with the political right. From the left come charges of Fascism. But do Liberals expect the general public to understand what Fascism really means? After all, it has been almost 70 years since Benito Mussolini and Adolph Hitler tried to impose Fascism on the world. Perhaps some quotes from their speeches and letters might help to understand whether Fascism is alive and well today.
First, some quotes from Mussolini. Even more than Hitler, Mussolini was fond of spouting off about what he took to be the virtues of Fascism.
Fascism should rightly be called Corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power.
Fascism, the more it considers and observes the future and the development of humanity, quite apart from political considerations of the moment, believes neither in the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace.
It is humiliating to remain with our hands folded while others write history. It matters little who wins. To make a people great it is necessary to send them to battle even if you have to kick them in the pants. That is what I shall do.
Let us have a dagger between our teeth, a bomb in our hands, and an infinite scorn in our hearts.
The Liberal State is a mask behind which there is no face; it is a scaffolding behind which there is no building.
The truth is that men are tired of liberty.
War alone brings up to their highest tension all human energies and imposes the stamp of nobility upon the peoples who have the courage to make it.
War is to a man what maternity is to a woman. From a philosophical and doctrinal viewpoint, I do not believe in perpetual peace.
We become strong, I feel, when we have no friends upon whom to lean, or to look to for moral guidance.
Hitler and Mussolini pretty much defined modern Fascism through their words and actions. While Mussolini threw the Fascist label about freely, Hitler wasnt shy about explaining how lies and truth-bending were the cornerstones of his control over the masses.
Any alliance whose purpose is not the intention to wage war is senseless and useless.
Humanitarianism is the expression of stupidity and cowardice.
I believe that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.
I do not see why man should not be just as cruel as nature.
I use emotion for the many and reserve reason for the few.
If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.
Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.
The great masses of the people will more easily fall victims to a big lie than a small one.
It is not truth that matters, but victory.
Strength lies not in defense but in attack.
The broad masses of a population are more amenable to the appeal of rhetoric than to any other force.
The art of leadership consists in consolidating the attention of the people against a single adversary and taking care that nothing will split up that attitude.
The leader of genius must have the ability to make different opponents appear as if they belonged to one category.
The very first essential for success is a perpetually constant and regular employment of violence.
What good fortune for governments that the people do not think.
Who says I am not under the special protection of God?
The victor will never be asked if he told the truth.
World War I was supposed to be the War to End All Wars, as was WWII. The United Nations was chartered so that nations might talk out their differences, yet in fighting war after war we confirm George Santayanas observation: Those who dont learn from history are doomed to repeat it. We should be asking if, in ways small or large, whether Fascism is alive today. Did it die with the defeat of Nazi Germany and Italy or must it be defeated again?
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