Wednesday, February 06, 2008
From Jonah Goldberg--Fascism is a religion of the state. It assumes the organic unity of the body politic and longs for a national leader attuned to the will of the people. It is totalitarian in that it views everything as political and holds that any action by the state is justified to achieve that common good. It takes responsibility for all aspects of life, including our health and well-being, and seeks to impose uniformity of thought and action, whether by force or through regulation and social pressure. Everything, including the economy and religion, must be aligned with its objectives. Any rival identity is part of the "problem" and therefore defined as the enemy.
Here are Paxton's nine "mobilizing passions" of fascism:
- -- a sense of overwhelming crisis beyond the reach of any traditional solutions;
- -- the primacy of the group, toward which one has duties superior to every right, whether universal or individual, and the subordination of the individual to it;
- -- the belief that one's group is a victim, a sentiment which justifies any action, without legal or moral limits, against the group's enemies, both internal and external;
- -- dread of the group's decline under the corrosive effect of individualistic liberalism, class conflict, and alien influences;
- -- the need for closer integration of a purer community, by consent if possible, or by exclusionary violence if necessary;
- -- the need for authority by natural leaders (always male), culminating in a national chief who alone is capable of incarnating the group's destiny;
- -- the superiority of the leader's instincts over abstract and universal reason;
- -- the beauty of violence and the efficacy of will, when they are devoted to the group's success;
- -- the right of the chosen people to dominate others without restraint from any kind of human or divine law, right being decided by the sole criterion of the group's prowess in a Darwinian struggle.
Here's another definition from Emilio Gentile: Fascism is--
--A mass movement that combines different classes but is prevalently of the middle classes, which sees itself as having a mission of national regeneration, is in a state of war with its adversaries and seeks a monopoly of power by using terror, parliamentary tactics and compromise to create a new regime, destroying democracy.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (IV-R) lists each and every neuroses and psychoses humans suffer from. It also lists the generally recognized (essential) signs and symptoms of each disorder. In order for a mental health professional to diagnose a disorder, the patient must suffer from a majority of the symptoms (for example, five out of nine). That's the model we should utilize here. The SLA was, after all, a tiny movement not a nation state. Nations and their history differ from each other at least as much as individual humans do. For example, one of the dominant features of NAZI Germany was a fanatical hatred of Jews. Such Jew hatred was almost completely absent in Fascist Italy (indeed Jews were well represented in the Fascist government there). No sane person could doubt, based on this difference, or even on others, that both nations were fascistic 70 years ago. Let's look at the SLA and see if it had the bulk of fascist markers.
Here is the SLA manifesto, I think, (it's not the model of clarity): Basically they declare war against the murderous oppressors of the capitalist class of (a little projection going on here) The Fascist United States of America. They are seeking to create, through violence, a new world of justice and equality. All oppressed people of color were encouraged to join in the struggle.
Here are some SLA facts:
- Most, but not all, of its members were middle class white women.
- They adopted the seven part principles of Kwanzaa (I'm not kidding) which are socialistic.
- Their first actions were assassination of school administrators Marcus Foster and Robert Blackburn, then the kidnapping of heiress Patty Hearst and then a bank robbery.
- The 'ransom' for Hearst was a free food program for the poor starving in the Bay Area. Hearst paid it.
- Donald DeFreeze (aka 'Cinque') was the charismatic leader, the self styled Field Marshall.
Unless one is too blinded by partisanship to see, the SLA clearly has the bulk of the essential features, described above, of historical fascist movements, but it was mainly an adherent of self-righteous, murderous socialism, which is the clearest marking feature of fascism.
Labels: SLA: Fascism