Fascism is the exact opposite of communism. Thus it is not surprising that its arrival was as a result of the defeat of the first communist wave mainly in Italy, Germany and Russia. Whereas communism expresses our human love of life, each other, and the belief that in solidarity we can build a much better society than the one we have now, fascism embodies the hatred and loathing of life, which can emerge when progressive life-fulfilling aspirations suffer terrible defeat as they did in the 1920's. It is the same in everyday ordinary living. If something that you love is sullied and destroyed then your feelings of resentment and bitterness at this loss can easily turn into a hatred and loathing of life itself, and a desire for revenge on everyone including your self. Masochism and sadism begin to replace warm feelings of love and the delights of sharing, and the desperate individual is plunged into a private hell.
In a passion for self-destruction, and seeking the infliction of more pain on an already tortured spirit, the disappointed human being looks around for others who feel the same. Having lost all desire for creative thought, anyone who can provide some kind of guidance in the form of imposed discipline from outside, and give some kind of regimentation and order to a life where all worthwhile direction has been beaten down and crushed, is seen as a saviour. Hitler and the Nazi Party were thus able to appear on the scene in Germany as the anticipated saviours of all the lost souls; and at first slowly, but then more quickly as what they had to offer appeared to satisfy what the masses were looking for, gain more and more adherents and even eventually achieve state power.
This fascist state came to embody everything that a mass hysteria of lost and desperately lonely people were looking for. It was viciously strong. It told you what to think and believe. It replaced the need for any personally won authority and self-understanding, with its own unchallengeable authoritarianism. It confirmed that the feelings of hate and resentment that the First World War and the now seen as mistaken proletarian uprising had left behind, in so far as anyone now remembered this at all, were feelings that could be built on in the furtherance of the glorious all-powerful, all-dominating state which was going to conquer the world and give the German Nation and its people a glory never before witnessed in the history of the world. This glory was dramatized in the form of giant theatrical displays of highly regimented and ritualized militarization and music. The performances were hypnotic. The nazis had learned a lot from the Church. And the throngs of people now totally under fascism's ideological spell found it all irresistible. They had become the unthinking adherents of a system which promised free beer tomorrow if you submitted life and soul to its dictates today.
And just to confirm that uncritical submission to the absolute conformity demanded payed off, scapegoats were provided for mass amusement: rather as the Caesars of Ancient Rome had provided the cruelties of the Coliseum for the distraction of their impoverished peoples. Gypsies and homosexuals, became easy victims: and the Jewish people were especially singled out. Leftover communists doubtless too. Anyone who failed to toe the fascist line with an expressed hatred of "the other" could find themselves in trouble. This included books containing the wrong ideas, or any ideas at all, and even "modern art"! In Russia - did the USSR with its powerful state rise to the heights of a fully fledged fascism - even music became subservient to perceived state requirements.
Fascism, particularly as expressed in Nazism, must represent human psychology and thought at one of its lowest ebbs. As I said at the start of this piece, fascism is the exact opposite or reversal of everything that communism will be. Is that where its appeal lies?