Some words on fascism
. There have been many stupidities spewed forth about fascism – that is, fascism as a political movement and not “fascism” as a pejorative – with bizarre definitions, confusion between genuine fascism and reactionary para-fascism, etc.
Now, true enough that political definitions are subjective, not objective. One cannot define a political movement with the same definitiveness as one can define some natural phenomenon. Nevertheless, some definitions have more explanatory power than others, and it are these more powerful explanations, which do a better job illuminating reality, that deserve to become paradigmatic memes.
I reject definitions of fascism that are mere lists of alleged characteristics, lists that confuse surface manifestations with underlying core belief. I reject definitions that do not understand the revolutionary dynamism of fascism, and I also reject those definitions that are based on obvious bias (Marxist definitions are particularly odious, non-explanatory, and self-serving). Definitions that reject obvious manifestations of fascism (such as national socialism) while including obvious non-contenders (such as Franco’s Spain) are also rejected.
Instead, I follow Roger Griffin’s simple yet incisive characterization of fascism as palingenetic ultra-nationalism.
The palingenetic component captures the revolutionary essence of fascism, it defines the spiritual core of the doctrine, and it clearly distinguishes fascism from para-fascism. Thus, Franco’s Spain – a reactionary authoritarian regime focused on maintaining a traditional status quo – was in no way, shape, or form fascist. Franco had no overarching, palingenetic vision for Spain, he did not promote any rebirth of Spanish society, did not strive to create the New Spanish Man, did not promote any new strain of ideological current for Spain, Europe, or the West. Instead, he was a military dictator, anti-communist, with an agenda of promoting the interests of the military, church, business, etc. The same applies to all the other “strongman” (usually military) dictatorships labeled “fascist” by the Left and by nitiwits on the moderate Right. Without an underlying aim of national rebirth, of overturning the old order, of a futurist rather than rigidly traditionalist worldview, whatever a political movement is, it is not fascist.
The nation being defined in particularist terms as a specific people, a specific ethny, a specific culture, then the ultra-nationalism component excludes from consideration any regime, scheme, or movement that is universalist in scope, regardless of whether or not it has palingenetic aspects. Therefore, various messianic visions of the Globalist Left are not fascist – not American multiculturalist globalism, not the various permutations of Marxism (including the New Soviet Man), or schemes (including those that are Marxist) that divide based on class – class is not a nation; the proletariat is international and hence universalist and non-particularlist. A purely religious focus cannot be fascist if the religion is, like Christianity, universalist, although it is possible to fuse ethny with religion in genuine fascism as was the case in Romania.
Having excluded false “fascisms” we now must admit that fascism is a rather protean beast, a sociopolitical philosophy that can be actualized in many manifestations. The palingenesis can differ, and, as history shows us, the specific defintion of nation can differ, as long as the nation has a particularlist, non-universalist focus that has some sort of ethny-basis and can be defined in an “us vs. them” manner.
Thus, Italian Fascism was People-State; German National Socialism was People-Race; Romainian Legionaryism was People-Faith. These are all different definitions of nation, but are all opposed to universalism, and also are all palingenetic in one form or another. The more radical forms of (national socialist) White Nationalism are also obviously fascist, as the Race component in People-Race is a bit expanded compared to the Hitlerian version, but still sharply particularlist, distinguishing the “White Nation” from the various non-White peoples of the Earth.
This definition of fascism has greater explanatory power than other versions, and provides a useful model for moving forward.