Fascism: An authoritarian government, normally right-wing, relying on nationalism and rigid social organization to maintain a select group in power. In all cases, fascism is opposed to classical liberalism which fascists will usually equate with either anarchism or (post-1917) with Marxism.
Marxism is a different story–and should not be seen automatically as a synonym for “Soviet”. There’s a big difference between Marxism and Leninism and a chasm between Leninism and Stalinism (which IS basically the USSR’s version of fascism).
In any event, fascism was and is popular with many without realizing they support an ideology which will eventually destroy their freedom. Introduced in Italy in the 1920s, the Fascists promoted order and a better economy–and provided it. Fascism is a big part of what National Socialism became (the Nazis)–the Nazis promised economic improvement, a return to respect/repudiation of Versailles, law and order/defeat of the Communists–and provided it. In Japan, post-1918, the military took over the government, strangled civilian interference as it geared towards a war economy, using nationalism to promote war with China (which is why World War Two should really be considered as going 1931-45…too often Americans and the West think Europe-first and look to Hitler’s invasion of Poland on 9/1/39 as the start of hostilities).
So, the question is–do you stand with Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, et al? No? Then congratulations, you’re ‘antifa’–anti-fascist. Don’t believe everything you hear or read about terms. You may be surprised by digging deeper–for instance, what the heck does ‘high crimes and misdemeanors‘ mean? Is the 2nd Amendment meant to secure liberties or suppress them?
Anyways–back to fascism’s characteristics for a moment. Fascists have certain things they support. Where do you fit on this?
- Democracy fails to provide order. It is unstable with the constant elections and switches of who controls the levers of power.
- The Chief Executive should have the final word on what government policy is, unconstrained by a legislature.
- Exercising power/seeming forceful will lead to ‘national rejuvenation’. (I put that in quotes–not my term, it is from a 1990s textbook, but it SURE LOOKS like ‘Make America Great Again’, doesn’t it?)
- Free trade is for schmucks. The nation should be self-sufficient.
- Foreigners, those who ‘do not share our values’ are dangerous. Immigration should be curtailed.
- Economic inequality is not bad. It shows the natural superiority/inferiority of those individuals.
- Military force should be used domestically to insure order.
- State/regional governments exist to carry out the will of the national chief executive and his desired policies.
- Reverence for symbols of the nation and use of the flag, the military, and past heroes to promote stability and furtherance of the Chief Executive’s policies.
Interesting, huh? The issue of representative government vs. authoritarian rule is nothing new–it was the basis of the American Revolution. Those revolutionaries fought against centralized power, believing the more power concentrated in one place or a select few hands, the more corruption would occur, the less government would reflect the people and their needs (this was known as Whig ideology). Franklin observed that those who give up their essential liberty for the sake of security, wind up with neither. Look at the increased use of executive orders, changing where budget item funding goes without Congress doing anything to intervene–we near the point where DC, the president and Congress are the 21st century London, King George III, and Parliament.
So, if you get accused of being Antifa as a pejorative, you’re in good company. If they were alive, these guys would be on your side:
- Abraham Lincoln, U.S. Grant, Bill Sherman
- George W., T.J., and James Madison
- FDR–along with every Republican he defeated
- Dwight Eisenhower, whether as SHAEF commander or President of the United States
- Elulard Luchell McDaniels known as “El Fantastico” (along with James Peck, Patrick Roosevelt, and Paul Williams)
- Winston Churchill
- Anthony Eden
- Josephine Baker (yes, that Josephine Baker)
- students of the White Rose
Look, the list goes on…including pretty much every man who took part in Overlord in Europe or the Marines’ island campaign in the Pacific or the Army fighting north through New Caledonia and the Philippines. It includes men like Carter and Reagan who fought the Cold War against the Soviets, who tried to put American ideals at the forefront, to show what this nation is capable of being–not perfect, but always striving for greatness and to live up to the premise ” We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Be antifa. It’s the most American thing ever.