What Is Fascism?

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Writes Eric Margolis:

“The best modern definition I’ve read of fascism comes in former Colombia University Professor Robert Paxton’s superb 2004 book, `The Anatomy of Fascism.’

“Paxton defines fascism’s essence, which he aptly terms its `emotional lava’ as: 1. a sense of overwhelming crisis beyond reach of traditional solutions; 2. belief one’s group is the victim, justifying any action without legal or moral limits; 3. need for authority by a natural leader above the law, relying on the superiority of his instincts; 4. right of the chosen people to dominate others without legal or moral restraint; 5. fear of foreign `contamination.’

“Fascism demands a succession of wars, foreign conquests, and national threats to keep the nation in a state of fear, anxiety and patriotic hypertension. Those who disagree are branded ideological traitors. All successful fascists regimes, Paxton points out, allied themselves to traditional conservative parties, and to the military-industrial complex.

“Highly conservative and militaristic regimes are not necessarily fascist, says Paxton. True fascism requires relentless aggression abroad and a semi-religious adoration of the regime at home.”

1:44 pm on August 28, 2006

What Is Fascism?

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Jim Pinkerton accuses Ron Paul of smearing Mike Huckabee. Oh please.

First, as a Christian in politics, Ron hardly opposes Christians in politics. But as a Baptist who harks back to an earlier tradition, Ron worships the Prince of Peace, not Ares, and he opposes the use of the state to advance his religion.

But what is fascism? It is a real ideology, not just an epithet. It is characterized by belligerent nationalism, militarism, aggressive war, suppression of civil liberties, use of religion in the service of the state, exaltation of the executive, opposition to free markets domestically and internationally, corporatism, welfarism, domestic spying, torture, and detestation of the Other, in this case Muslims and Arabs. So not only is Huckabee a fascist, so are most other candidates of both parties, and much of the leadership of the Christian right.

7:02 pm on December 20, 2007