Conservative First

April 2, 2009

What Is Fascism?

Filed under: Economics,Politics — Sofie @ 3:04 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

This morning I was listening to Glenn Beck on the radio while I was driving to campus. He was talking about how the country is moving toward fascism by way of socialism and suggested that his listeners read the definition of fascism in the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics at the Library of Economics and Liberty.  Here is the first paragraph of the definition by Sheldon Richman:

As an economic system, fascism is socialism with a capitalist veneer. The word derives from fasces, the Roman symbol of collectivism and power: a tied bundle of rods with a protruding ax. In its day (the 1920s and 1930s), fascism was seen as the happy medium between boom-and-bust-prone liberal capitalism, with its alleged class conflict, wasteful competition, and profit-oriented egoism, and revolutionary Marxism, with its violent and socially divisive persecution of the bourgeoisie. Fascism substituted the particularity of nationalism and racialism–“blood and soil”–for the internationalism of both classical liberalism and Marxism.

I found these definitions as well:

  • a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition” (“fascism” at Merriam Webster Online)
  • “a political theory advocating an authoritarian hierarchical government (as opposed to democracy or liberalism)” (“fascism” at WordNet)
  • “[a] system of government that promotes extreme nationalism, repression, anticommunism, and is ruled by a dictator” (“Vocabulary Words Starting With Letter ‘F’” at Oswego City School District Regents Exam Prep Center)

Even though it has a “capitalist veneer,” fascism is obviously still tyranny.  A couple of definitions I found, and didn’t include, put fascism at the far or “extreme” right end of the political spectrum.  Since it puts the nation or race above the individual, it clearly belongs at the left end with socialism and Marxism.

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