In the lexicon of the Left in recent times, a new end-of-conversation epithet has begun to rival the traditional big-four terms of “racist”, “misogynist”, “homophobic”, and “Islamophobic”: it is “Fascist”. If one expresses opposition to any tenet of Progressivism or Postmodern neo-Marxism, or espouses alternative points of view, this is the label de jour. And it’s often more than just a label; it can be a call for action. For example, if a conservative speaker is scheduled to appear on university campus, there is usually an uproar from the Left, and quite often the event is either cancelled, or if held, is interrupted by demonstrations, setting off fire alarms, and even violence. Central to the opposition will be the characterization of the speaker as a “fascist,” or espousing “fascist ideas”.
Is this a valid characterization? Are conservatives and other non-progressives such as libertarians simultaneously fascists? What about some notable non-Leftist speakers on the university circuit? Should Jordan Peterson, Janice Fiamengo, Ben Shapiro, Milo Yiannopoulos, Ann Coulter, Christina Hoff Sommers and David Crowder be considered fascists?
The obvious question to be asked is, what IS a fascist? What is Fascism? And there’s a related question: what’s the difference between a Fascist and a Nazi? Are they the same? If not, how different?
Two recent books shed light on this question:
Dinesh D’Souza – The Big Lie – Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left (2017)
What these writers show in great detail is that Fascism is a Leftist ideology, derived from Marxism, and Socialist in nature. The two most well-known Fascist regimes were from World War II: Mussolini’s Fascist Italy, and Hitler’s Nazi Germany.
The “Big Lie” in the title to D’Souza’s book is that Fascism and Nazism are Right-wing ideologies. This self-serving, false narrative of the Left became necessary as the information about the Holocaust and the colossal immorality of the genocide began to emerge following World War II. What is bizarre is that the term “Nazi” is a contraction for “National Socialist Workers Party”; it’s socialist, which is Leftist, not Rightist. Similarly in Italy, Mussolini was a socialist, a believer in collectivism, except, unlike Communism, it was a Nationalist version of socialism. Note that the term “fascist” refers to a tightly bound group of sticks, representing the collectivist nature of the ideology. Further, most socialist/communist countries have had a strong Nationalist flavor. Plus, serious inter-ideology antagonisms are found elsewhere; for example, the Sunni-Shia conflict in Islam has been going on for centuries. Or the battles fought between Catholics and Protestants after the Reformation. So the fact that Hitler didn’t like communists, doesn’t magically move socialist Germany into the conservative Right-wing, pro-democracy, small-government, non-collectivist camp!
Same in Italy. Arguably the two most prominent Marxists in Italy in the 1920s were fascist Mussolini and communist Antonio Gramsci. Mussolini imprisoned Gramsci because he was leading the rival Italian communist party, not because Mussolini had converted into being a conservative Right-winger. Yet, that what today’s Progressives teach.
It should be noted that both Hitler and Mussolini got some of their ideas from US Progressives, including Woodrow Wilson and FDR. Note for example that Hitler’s Nuremberg laws demonizing the Jews and other – according to Hitler – “undesirables” obtained their inspiration and even some cases wording from US Jim Crow laws.
Some of the tenets that both Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy had in common that came from US progressivism include:
- centralized government
- state-sanctioned violence
- enforced cultural uniformity
Among those leading the construction of the “Big Lie” were Theodor Adorno and Herbert Marcuse, both Cultural Marxists of the Frankfurt School, who fled to America in the mid-1930s. They were both German Communists, and also Jewish. Thus, they were 2-fold enemies of Hitler. in part because of the anti-Semitism of the Nazi’s, but also because Hitler wanted complete control, and there was no room in his Germany for another version of socialism. Even though Hitler for a time teamed with Stalin and the Soviet Union, he wanted no competition in Germany from Communists, or any other entity, such as believing Christians.
Once safely in America, Marcuse and Adorno attempted to promote their Frankfurt School ideology of Cultural Marxism in the 1930s, without much initial success. However, during World War II, Marcuse was brought into the US government as an expert on Nazism and anti-Semitism, one of many Marxists brought into the US government at this time. After the war, Marcuse and Adorno came up with a revisionist idea to redefine Nazism as a Right-wing ideology, to serve as a contrast to Marxism.
First came Adorno’s important book in 1950 entitled, “The Authoritarian Personality”. In it, he framed an outline of the kind of personality that would be susceptible to Nazism, deriving an “F-Scale” to determine if a person possessed such Fascist proclivities. Among the factors Adorno cited were basically a profile of a traditional conservative who supported free-market Capitalism, believes in God/Christianity, and also sexual restraint.
Marcuse carried the sexual aspects further, in 1955 publishing “Eros and Civilization”, which among other things emphasized the importance of the elimination of sexual restraints, to avoid becoming an authoritative person and thus a Fascist. While one might recoil at the sheer immoral nonsense he was proclaiming, it must be admitted that he would find a very appreciative audience among the youth.
Marcuse’s contribution to the sexual revolution of the 1960s was immense, but equally important was his contribution to the Fascism-as-Right-wing myth. No wonder D’Souza used the term “Big Lie” in his title to identify this Leftist slight-of-hand, supposedly “scholarly” explanation for the emergence of Nazism and Fascism.
Dinesh D’Souza has identified the original architect of Fascism, not as some early conservative, authoritarian, sexually repressed Christian man, but as Giovanni Gentile, a Marxist-Socialist. D’Souza states:
Now, remember, Gentile was a man of the left. He was a committed socialist. For Gentile, fascism is a form of socialism—indeed, its most workable form. While the socialism of Marx mobilizes people on the basis of class, fascism mobilizes people by appealing to their national identity as well as their class. Fascists are socialists with a national identity. German Fascists in the 1930s were called Nazis—basically a contraction of the term “national socialist.”
For Gentile, all private action should be oriented to serve society; there is no distinction between the private interest and the public interest. Correctly understood, the two are identical. And who is the administrative arm of the society? It’s none other than the state. Consequently, to submit to society is to submit to the state—not just in economic matters, but in all matters. Since everything is political, the state gets to tell everyone how to think and what to do.
The point is that while the Left attempts to affix the labels “Fascist” or “Nazi” to Conservatives, Fascist philosophy and practice entailed huge, totalitarian governmental control of human behavior: all for the “state”. This is the polar opposite to Right-wing Conservatism, which emphasizes individual rights and freedoms, supports free-market Capitalism, and seeks to work with as small a government as possible.
Note that both Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy had organized groups of ideology enforcers: the Nazi “Brownshirts” (later on, the “SS”) and Mussolini’s “Blackshirts”. Violence and death were always near. Today we have similar Leftist ideology enforcers, taking a 21st century approach, organizing ideology-focused “marches” and other demonstrations, often in opposition to narrative-based rather than fact-based “enemies”.
Today’s most notorious group “AntiFa” adopts the false narrative of “anti-Fascist” in their name. Their intimidation and violence tactics bear resemblance to the Fascist enforcers in Germany and Italy in the 1920s and 1930s. On university campuses and occasionally other locations, an important component of their efforts is to prevent all speech which opposes their ideology. Similar to the Black and Brown shirts, violence and the threat of violence are often nearby.
And if not AntiFa thugs, then groups such as Social Justice Warriors make use of chants, noise-makers, and general disruption of events that they deem to be offensive; they adamantly opposed free speech, with great passion and faux moral indignation.
Critique: It is clear that in the 21st century, supporters of Postmodern neo-Marxism such as AntiFa and Social Justice Warriors employ tactics similar to the Nazi’s and Fascists in Germany and Italy, while using the epithet of “Fascist” and “neo-Nazi” to attempt to shame and intimidate anyone who disagrees with their ideology. Sadly, in most cases, universities and local law enforcement act in support of the protestors, rather than protecting free speech.
To be clear, it is the Left. In the US, the Democrat party, the Postmodern neo-Marxists on campus, and in the entertainment and news media that are today’s Fascists, dealing in intimidation, name-calling, “fake” news, “fake” history, as well as governmental entities sometimes exceeding their constitutional limitations to achieve Leftist ideological goals.
For additional videos dealing with this subject, see Contemporary Fascism.
A final comment on the “Right”. There are some people in the West who strongly oppose Postmodern neo-Marxism, but who are not committed to conservative concepts of free speech, the rule of law, and constitutional principles. Some have referred to them as “alt-Right”, “neo-Nazi”, “White Supremacists”, and similar. However, those who advocate intimidation, racism, lawlessness and violence are strongly condemned by the actual Right. Further, currently, this movement has little traction, but it certainly needs to be monitored. And since they do not share much in common with the true “Right”, some label other than “alt-Right” needs to be found, because the Left uses this term as a word-weapon similar to “Fascist” against the legitimate Right.