Posts Tagged ‘National Socialism’

What fascism is, and isn’t

March 4, 2014

Fascism and the Future, Part One: Up From Newspeak

Fascism and the Future, Part Two: The Totalitarian Center

Fascism and the Future, Part Three: Weimar America

Since the word “fascism” is being bandied about fairly loosely, I recommend these articles by John Michael Greer of Cumberland, Md., for anyone who is interested in the historic definitions of fascism and national socialism.

I read somewhere — I can’t verify the fact, but I believe it – that Stalin banned the use of the word “Nazi.”  The Communists instead referred to “fascists” and “Hitlerites” because the term “national socialism” might invite comparisons with the Soviet regime.

I have a couple of minor quibbles with Greer.  He is correct in saying that the Nazis were not conservatives, and that German conservatives were not comfortable with them.  But it also is true that the German business owners were allowed to continue enjoying their profits while German labor leaders went to concentration camps.

The reason that most of the internal opposition to the Nazis came from conservatives was that the socialists and Communists were in concentration camps.  That is not because the Nazis were in fact conservative, but they needed a functioning army and functioning industry and needed (temporarily) the existing Army officers and industrialists.

His last article is a scenario in which a Hitler could arise in the United States, as a populist reaction to the failure of the U.S. government instead of (as happened in Spain, Chile and Argentina) a counter-revolution imposed from above.

I don’t think his scenario is impossible.  I don’t think the United States can continue as it is, but change is not necessarily for the better.

I think Greer neglects the degree in which the existing U.S. national security apparatus is made to order for a Hitler.   But, as I said, these are minor quibbles.  His articles are a good review of the historical background and meanings of the words “fascist” and “national socialist”.