Thu 21 November 2013
(On Dan Carlin’s discussion board somebody asked about fascism. After he got reference to some basic texts and Wikipedia, I felt compelled to write down couple of thoughts which have been busy in my mind for the last couple of months.)
In the mainstream history (and literature) fascism (and Nazism) is considered to be a right-wing movement. However, there is not insignificant number of libertarian (non-extremist) thinkers who consider both of these to be leftist extremist movements. After all, NSDAP stood for “National Socialist Workers Party of Deutschland” and Mussolini is on record that his socialism will end with the last breath of his life (although his socialism was certainly mixed with ultra-nationalism and was anti-Marxist).
Another variant of this thinking is linking Franklin Delano Roosvelt's New Deal as (perhaps a little less virulent) form of fascism (NOT of Nazism or Stalinism, which both have its own terrible additions to Mussolini's philosophy, also see this definition in a dictionary). See for example these two blogposts (just first two pages of the web search for “franklin delano roosevelt diary fascism”). Also see the Wikipedia page on Criticism of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Of course, the problem is that history is written by the winners, and of course these winners tried to put themselves as far as possible from the defeated. However, if we broaden the definition of fascism to the extreme, than the idea that “interest of nation/class/community is always superior to the interest of individual” (shared by all three dictatorships and unfortunately also FDR) is something which is unpleasantly dominant in all our current political thinking of almost all ideological variants. Just a food of thought.
I have to emphasize that I cannot say that I would stand firmly behind such opinions. It seems a bit too extreme. However, I have for long time suspected that FDR is less than the saint most of friends from Boston believed (I am especially unhappy with his government being very clear moment when the United States left traditions of federalism, strict constitutionalism, constitutional amendments). Certainly, it is a good food for thoughts.