What is fascism?

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What is fascism?
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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? 


Communism is equality for all? No it isn't!  Communism is the right to be unequal: that is to say, different.  This is what fascism loathed and still loathes in its modern watered down forms.  Unequal means: from each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs.  It sounds so simple, but needs to be thought about to get its full meaning.  Short and sweet, but serious and mindbending. 


I hear you Enhance ... but Fred's right.

I too used to think I knew what 'equality' meant but Marx was ahead of the game: 

'But one man is superior to another physically, or mentally, and supplies more labor in the same time, or can labor for a longer time; and labor, to serve as a measure, must be defined by its duration or intensity, otherwise it ceases to be a standard of measurement. This equal right is an unequal right for unequal labor. It recognizes no class differences, because everyone is only a worker like everyone else; but it tacitly recognizes unequal individual endowment, and thus productive capacity, as a natural privilege. It is, therefore, a right of inequality, in its content, like every right. Right, by its very nature, can consist only in the application of an equal standard; but unequal individuals (and they would not be different individuals if they were not unequal) are measurable only by an equal standard insofar as they are brought under an equal point of view, are taken from one definite side only -- for instance, in the present case, are regarded only as workers and nothing more is seen in them, everything else being ignored. Further, one worker is married, another is not; one has more children than another, and so on and so forth. Thus, with an equal performance of labor, and hence an equal in the social consumption fund, one will in fact receive more than another, one will be richer than another, and so on. To avoid all these defects, right, instead of being equal, would have to be unequal.'

Marx: Critique of the Gotha Programme

(I appear to be turning into a librarian Fred: should I get some leather elbow patches?)


in praise of AS

You are absolutely marvelous AS.  But surely you already have leather patches and a sort of Sherlock Holmes pipe (lol)!   Marx is marvelous too.  Sometimes I forget how marvelous he is. How dare I?   Whenever a vague idea drifts into view (like being unequal for example) the question immediately arises as to whether it can actually be correct, or how do we explain it?  But usually Marx has already done it.   Why was he so good?  Is it because he was right in there at the beginning of the dawn of proletarian consciousness?  Not just him of course but Engels and others. And got this incredible far seeing vision of what the proletariat meant for philosophy (its end!) and for the future development of mind and the emancipation of humanity and thus our continuing evolution as a species - is 'gens' the right word to use here? 

And Marx goes to so much trouble, when others might not be bothered or say...well I'll leave it till tomorrow: and then forget about it, conveniently.  Didn't Marx think that nothing was too good for the proletariat? Or is that the ICC?  

So your function as a librarian is appreciated AS: you don't just reference books which in my case I'll  never now have access too, but provide the relevant quote.  This is a great contribution to the culture  of debate. 

At it again ...

Thanks Fred: you're thinking of this from Engels perhaps.

After Marx's death he wrote to C.Schmidt in Berlin : August 1890 

'But instead of this too many of the younger Germans simply make use of the phrase historical materialism (and everything can be turned into a phrase) only in order to get their own relatively scanty historical knowledge — for economic history is still as yet in its swaddling clothes! — constructed into a neat system as quickly as possible, and they then deem themselves something very tremendous...............

 It often seems as if these gentlemen think anything is good enough for the workers. If these gentlemen only knew that Marx thought his best things were still not good enough for the workers, how he regarded it as a crime to offer the workers anything but the very best!''

Yes :he felt that even his best was not good enough: and note especially that the aim of his Herculean labours was to create something  'to offer to the workers' 

Clear as day: and yet baseless uncomprehending accusations still circulate: 'infallibility', 'dogma', 'elitist' both about him and his legacy.







The marxist criticism of the notion of equality is that it's based on a notion of equivalent exchange - fair trade - where everyone comes to the market place as 'equals' in terms of value. It's not a vision of a material community, an association where the 'free development of each is the condition for the free development of all'. Similarly with rights: it's based on the idea of the atomised citizen and assumes that bourgeois society can treat everyone fairly. Better to understand that in this social order the exploited have no rights - they can only defend themselves through struggle.  

It might be helpful all round

It might be helpful all round  Enhance 81 if you said what you think equality is.  2=2 but I in no way equal a new born babe, and I certainly am no equal to you or AS, because we're all different. You just have to read some of our posts to see how different we are.  We probably have different tastes in music, food and sexual preferences too.  So how can you say that we're "equal" when we're clearly different and want to stay that way.  In fact, under communism we would probably be a lot more different (un-equal) than we are now.  The bourgeoisie wants us to think we're all equal, and all the same, because we all have to work for them and work for our livings or, more accurately, work for their livings.  That's a kind of equality and it stinks.  The equality of slavery.  The Nazis treated the Jewish people as all being equal and their equality reached its zenith in the gas chambers and death camps. 


You seem to think that it  all comes down to being rich or poor.  So I suppose, in North Korea most people are equal because they're nearly all poor and starving. Under communism, I guess we'll all get enough to eat, though some comrades will doubtless eat more than others. But that's the privilege communism will bestow on us: the right not all to have to be the same, and get the same rations, like clones, or replicas of each other.  Even Haydn and Beethoven are not equal though they have things in common like both being musically talented and living at the same time though one was younger than the other.  If you listen to their music you realize how unequal they are though, and thank god for that.  They weren't even equal in terms of employment. Haydn being a court employee and  Beethoven an early free-lancer.  


As to the ICC, CWO and other left communist organizations being just to the left of the communist party of  Great Britain  and the SWP as you pronounce so dramatically  above again, this is just all bollocks and baloney.  Tell me Enhance, do you distinguish at all between bourgeois political organizations and genuine working class organizations, or do you think they're all equal? 



I DO face it

And so did Marx. When was was just a 20 something, he had thoroughly studied lots of 'philosophies' 'political theories' 'economic theories' 'ideas' : he smelt a rat - as it were. 

You may be surprised to hear that he came to broadly the same conclusion as you : 'this endless theory' 'the perfect idea' : it's so stupid' ( though he provided somewhat more evidence as to why and how this was most definitely the case) 

Thus from the very beginning of his life's work (150 years before 'Sting' even) he was not only living 'in the material world': he was tirelessly denouncing the wrong-headedness of the 'perfect ideaists; 'the endless abstracted theorising' by going to immeasurable lenghts to show that the actual 'in yer face' conditions of man breathing in and out on Earth was the only place one could start anything from.

He clearly writes -specifically re the philosopher Hegel's 'Perfect Idea'

"The 'absolute idea', the 'abstract idea' ...this whole 'idea' thing, which 'behaves' in such a strange and bizarre way, and has given its proponents such terrible Kopfschmerz (headaches) is from beginning to end nothing else than abstraction'

I personally, have no problem with being called stupid or even 'a half-blind wanker' (both statements contain more than a grain of truth).

But I can't let you get away with a dismissal of The Marxist Revolutionary Movement simply by casually stating precisely what it is absolutely not.

At one of the all night chess sessions he liked (he just would not stop playing -especially if he lost) with his  'Young Hegelian' mates , it would have been Marx himself , who might well have said: 'will you cut it out with that 'absolute idea' shit ? It's doing my head in ...





Aha ...

My misconception: crossed wires: I thought that because you were drawn to post on this forum, something here resonated within. 

I am always interested: always asking: I am a jazz/salsa musician: Vajrayana Buddhism- which btw I don't take to be a religion as much as a substantial 'philosophy-in-practice of reality' - for only the individual I hasten to add - has been a thread in my life: I have lived miles from nowhere and grown all my own food in years past. I've been round the world four times. 

I came upon Marx and Engels immeasurable treasure of work. Its initial impact - against the 'alleged' high level of education - gobsmackingly reversed perception: machetied its way through the jungle I was wandering through: i.e. the world-movie into which I had been born, the world movie which then presented the growing-up me with an astronmical number of incomprehensible plots/sub-plots, ridiculous rules of behaviour, arbitrarily based on god knows what, obvious lies, deception, brutality, repression.

I'm a creative man writing this in public. I'm not 'chattering' or 'chatting':  nor am I not some stupified robot parroting the 'invented' 'opinions' of corpses: nor are topics revealing torture and murder going on right now 'distant from reality'. 

My intuition whispers that you find the whole foundation, approach to be misconceived: the style: the language et al. only you can tell me if that's the case. You are perfectly entitled to find it so.

No problem: fine: billions of us live on this blue marble bowling ball :kaleidoscopic life.

I guess I'm just wondering why you would walk into a steelworks to buy vegetables. 


(google : Jazzmonk and you'll find your way to my website, my creations in sounds and visions : my personal enhanced reality) 


Bravo ..

Yes indeed: the warrior prince 'dropped out' of society, renounced his scripted role intuiting that it was charade.

He tried the 'standing on one leg for weeks' thing, the 'eating one grain of rice a day' thing, all the established, ascetic, 'supposed' paths to finding out why stuff is like it is and, having really tried to do it 'other people's' ways, as just a man pulling himself up by his own bootstraps, he thought 'nah...these ways still don't cut it ...' 

Starving hungry, looking like a Belsen victim and scaring the local children, a shepherd girl gave him a bowl of cream: the first thing he said after drinking it was: 'can I have some more please?'

Then he just sat for a day and a night: for want of a better phrase 'watching mind'.

'Aha... now I 'get it' all of it ..',

Needless to say, the almost unanimous sneering response was .." oh yeh ? .. yeah ...right .."

Now ...nothing in Marx/Engels or a Revolutionary Organisation's 'stance''practice''platform' dismisses the immeasurable, untapped human potential for development at every level: on the contrary, they cry out to us to work and fight precisely to establish a world in which the opportunity to develop these potentials is universal before it is lost forever.

It ain't gonna happen as a result of 6/7/800,000 or even more individual musos,seekers, travellers poets, baggists, shaggists, spoon-benders, crystal healers, gardeners , visionaries, whatever glimpsing a different reality, smelling the 'aroma' of new pastures: and then suddenly the masters of war go 'hmmm ..by jove you are right ...we'll stop being murderous, criminal oppressors immediately Would that it were so.

The Proletarian Revolution is the horse - the only horse since forever - that pulls the cart of liberated human potential.

... er.. excuse me?

Your 11 word 'tweet', insultingly presented as the 'alleged' logical conclusion which 'allegedly' follows from what I have genuinely and patiently tried to make clear is nonsense:(which btw. does not imply that your personal explorations, methods, visions are.)

I can only speculate as to why you read what is quite carefully written to mean the precise opposite of what it says and means.

So! I'll try one final time:

The work and fight is to establish a world in which the opportunity to develop immeasurable untapped human potential for creativity at every level throughout the world. 

To quote the tennis player John McEnroe " you surely cannot be serious !!' when you carelessly and utterly inaccurately render this as the absurd reduction 'an extreme idea'.

AHa! you cry (ignoring 99% of the statement): 'fight for' .... see ! see! : kill kill kill ! 

Who has the guns and bullets?  Who has the B56 Bombers? Who has the nuclear submarines ? Who has the 200,000 Hiroshima-sized nukes? Who has the tanks, landmines, stun grenades, tazers, tear gas cannisters, water-canons? Who has command over ordering the use of this 'lethal equipment' ? Who has used these to kill a hundred million in the last 100 years? Who are at this very moment using these murder weapons to kill and maim? 

Who has them? The standing armies of every State Capitalist Government or alliance thereof.

Who has command over ordering (justified by obscene moral lie of 'defending freedom') this murder to be unleashed ? The 'democratically elected' (ahahahahahaha !) State Capitalist Governments of the world.

It is they who are not only 'ready' to kill millions but have a long record of killing millions and are right now killing tens of thousands.

Me? ha! I'm 62 with a retractable hernia, two fingers that don't work very well, failing eyesight .. I'm not 'ready' to kill : nor - to address what I think you really mean - would I ever be able to: I have trouble swatting a fly.  

Violence, the level of violence is entirely dictated and forced upon the situation by the current Ruling Oppressors globally: think about it for a minute:

Did you and I want to start dropping bombs and spraying bullets in Iraq - reducing one of the oldest centres of human civilisation to rubble? Did hundreds of thousands of us not mass in the streets and protest?

Did that stop Blair ordering young 'workers-in-uniform' to go and kill/die for something that was never going to be of any benefit to those young workers?

Hey ..Enhance! 'I' am not 'against' 'you': I've hippied: dropped acid: walked through the doors of perception on mescalin: I'd much rather focus on joy than horror.

Unfortunately, my personal preferences don't address or change the global facts on the ground.

I think that I have said all I can honestly say on this subject 

Have a nice life :@}