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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Fascists, Fascism

Every ignorant fool out there who hollers "Fascist!" at people who oppose limitless welfare spending or homosexual marriage would love for you to forget this (or they don't know themselves), but fascism is just another variety of socialism; that is, it's not a right-wing or conservative thing at all, but rather a leftist phenomenon. It differs from other varieties of socialism chiefly in two ways: it is an explicitly nationalist socialism, whereas other varieties of socialism, especially communism, are more internationalist in their thinking, and it is more willing to tolerate private ownership of capital, as long as the state still directs everything.

I can't tell you how many people shout "Nazi!" or "Fascist!" without understanding--or perhaps deliberately forgetting--fascism's socialist nature. But it's glaringly obvious; the most infamous fascist state in history, Nazi Germany, made it plain: "Nazi" is just an acronym for Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, or "National Socialist German Workers' Party."

So, no, fascism isn't right-wing totalitarianism after all; it's another variety of leftist, socialist totalitarianism. The fighting between Nazi Germany and Communist Russia in World War II was something of an internecine struggle between two competing varieties of socialism--and inescapably means that socialism of one variety or another is responsible for the murders and killing of almost inconceivably enormous numbers of people.

For more--and highly recommended--reading on this, see Jonah Goldberg's excellent Liberal Fascism.

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