What Is Fascism?

The word “fascism” has come out of nowhere to describe Donald Trump, as shown by search engine frequency that is ten times higher than what it was in 2014. After researching what fascism really means, I’ve concluded that it is being used as a weapon to shut down dissident thought after previous attack labels like “sexist” and “racist” lost their power.

The problem with the word fascism is that it never had a clear definition. Every single resource I found that tried to define fascism has used a different set of standards and rules, meaning that no objective definition exists. It describes nothing and everything at the same time, meaning that it has no function in discourse but that of a rhetorical weapon, simply because of the World War 2 Axis Power connotation that is associated with it.

Let’s start with the simplest definition, offered by historian R.J.B. Bosworth.

…it might be argued that the quest for definition of fascism has become absurdly laboured. Why opt for a long list of factors or paragraph of rococo ornateness when Mussolini, on a number of occasions, informed people he regarded as converted to his cause that Fascism was a simple matter? All that was needed was a single party, a dopolavoro [“after work”, a social leisure time organization], and, he did not have to add, a Duce (with a Bocchini to repress dissent) and a will to exclude the foe (somehow defined). To be still more succinct, as Mussolini told Franco in October 1936, what the Spaniard should aim at was a regime that was simultaneously ‘authoritarian’, ‘social’, and ‘popular’. That amalgam, the Duce advised, was the basis of universal fascism.”

Donald Trump does not advocate for a single party, does not have a social leisure organization, and initially tried to reach across the aisle to include the foe (Democratic party) in advancing his pro-America agenda. From the mouth of Mussolini himself, the progenitor of fascism, we can easily conclude that Trump is not one.

This would seem like an open-and-shut case, but instead of taking Mussolini’s word for it, historians insist on endlessly analyzing the qualities and nature of his regime to produce an expanded definition of fascism. This is where we get into trouble, because their analysis becomes more subjective and mired in problems of definition.

All three authors agree that statism, nationalism, unity, authoritarianism, and vigor are essential elements of fascism.

Immediately you may be struck by how terms like “unity” and “vigor” are vague descriptors, especially the latter, which can be used to merely describe an alpha male. I’ve also seen the word “vitality” being used to describe fascism, as if the opposite is more preferable. These authors will also have different definitions of statism, nationalism, and authoritarianism, and those definitions will shift over time, becoming vague enough that they can be used as a means of attack on nearly anyone. “Fascism” becomes a system that is defined upon other systems, all of which have definitions that can be changed at a moment’s notice by any competent propaganda machine to make fascist what previously was not fascist.

For sake of historical accuracy, it should be noted that Jews were disproportionately represented in Italy’s fascist regime, just like they were in communism and Cultural Marxism.

[The authors] also note that the role of anti-Semitism in the rise of fascist movements was minor. In the Italian case, it played no role at all in the early days. Jews, indeed, were disproportionately likely to be party members: it is estimated that in the early 30’s, 25% of adult Jews were Fascist party members, compared to about 10% for the entire adult population.

George Orwell, author of Animal Farm and 1984, wrote an essay that points out the bendability of fascism.

Catholics: Outside its own ranks, the Catholic Church is almost universally regarded as pro-Fascist, both objectively and subjectively.

War resisters: Pacifists and others who are anti-war are frequently accused not only of making things easier for the Axis, but of becoming tinged with pro-Fascist feeling.

Nationalists: Nationalism is universally regarded as inherently Fascist, but this is held only to apply to such national movements as the speaker happens to disapprove of. Arab nationalism, Polish nationalism, Finnish nationalism, the Indian Congress Party, the Muslim League, Zionism, and the I.R.A. are all described as Fascist but not by the same people.

Even in 1944, in the fresh aftermath of Mussolini, the term was already being abused.

It will be seen that, as used, the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless. In conversation, of course, it is used even more wildly than in print. I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox-hunting, bull-fighting, the 1922 Committee, the 1941 Committee, Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley’s broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else.

He concludes his piece by stating that “fascist” is merely an insult to mean “bully.”

…even the people who recklessly fling the word ‘Fascist’ in every direction attach at any rate an emotional significance to it. By ‘Fascism’ they mean, roughly speaking, something cruel, unscrupulous, arrogant, obscurantist, anti-liberal and anti-working-class. Except for the relatively small number of Fascist sympathizers, almost any English person would accept ‘bully’ as a synonym for ‘Fascist’. That is about as near to a definition as this much-abused word has come.

Even the word “bully” has had its definition change over the years, and has now come to mean anyone who is strong, capable, and mighty. In other words, an alpha male. In a society that actually believes masculinity is “toxic” and any man who pursues sex with women as a likely “rapist,” we’ve endured a full decade of relentless propaganda attacking anything that is male, meaning even a man of average assertiveness becomes a “bully.” Within ten years, any man who is not a cuckold will also be called a bully. Real bullies who prey on the weak do exist, and that should be discouraged, but the mainstream establishment has used the word bully to define anyone and anything with an essential masculine quality.

From the above analysis, we can now create a definition of fascism for modern usage: anyone to the right of me who possesses strength. If your political views are to the right of someone, and you believe that strength in leadership is necessary, and the year is current, you will be called a fascist. If you are a “conservative” who is fearful of strength because it is literally Hitler, you will not be called a fascist. If you are on the far left but use strength to assert your position, like militant Black Lives Matter groups, you will not be called a fascist. If you are a moderate homosexual Jew like Milo, who has leftist views but is still right of where most leftists reside, you will be called a fascist, and your supporters will be beaten with pipes. The term is therefore relative and emotional—it’s a feeling that someone who is more conservative than you believes in strength to aid in upholding societal stability and cultural values.

Since the nebulous textbook definition of fascism uses various other systems to define it, mostly for the use of labeling by historians to write books that justify their positions and salaries, anyone who genuinely fears fascism should instead levy specific accusations of wrongdoing if they intend to carry on an intellectual debate. For example, what specific feature of Trump’s nationalism is wrong on logical terms? What specific authoritarian act that does not follow due process has he encouraged?

I do not expect the fascist labelers to drill down to such a level of logic, so we must endure their endless use of the term, mostly because their previous labels of sexist, racist, and rapist have lost steam and are no longer effective at shutting down conversations and ideas that they view as dangerous to their globalist platform. Behold the era of the fascist bot, who utters a term merely out of emotion for a need to assert power, and nothing more.

Read Next: What Donald Trump’s Victory Means For Men

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Laguna Beach Fogey
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anyone to the right of me who possesses strength

Yeah, that’s pretty much it. Well said.

Clark Kent
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“How many times has Fascism been accused with obtuse malevolence of barbarity? Well yes: once you understand the true significance of this barbarity we will boast of it, as the expression of the healthy energies which shatter false and baleful idols, and restore the health of the nation within the power of a State conscious of its sovereign rights which are its duties.” – Giovanni Gentile

“Gentlemen, Fascism is a party, a political doctrine. But Fascism, while being a party, a political doctrine is above all a total conception of life. So the fascist, whether his is writing in newspapers or reading them, going about his private life or talking to others, looking to the future or remembering the past and the past of his people, must always remember he is a Fascist. Thus he fulfills what can really be said to be the main characteristic of Fascism, to take life seriously. Life is toil, is effort, is sacrifice, is hard work.”
-Giovanni Gentile.

UriKatsavR
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Traditionally the equation goes:
Fascism = Big Government + Big Money.
That is, a system where Government and Money worked together to issue and execute economic, political and military policies for two purposes:
1. A quick, efective capitalization of the economy to create a powerful machinery to sustain a big State in general, also a powerful army.
2. To pursue hegemonic interests in regional or global issues.
Such policies would include: Supression of civil rights and liberties, control of the economic process in favor of capitalization. Militarization of the economy, etc.
Today ‘Fascist’ is just a derogatory term used against anyone who oposses globalism and who has the means to do effectively.

Larsen Halleck
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I’ve always shut down the “Trump is a fascist” argument with this:
“Fascism is, at its core, an extreme form of ‘blood and soil’ nationalism. Show me a single instance where Trump has explicitly said anything like that”

disqus_2015ScorpioWater
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That isn’t what he is advocating, he simply wants to enforce laws that have existed for decades. Look how different countries handle immigration, and look what happens when they fail to secure their borders. The far left in America has become extreme and highly emboldened under 8 years of Obama. Obama did a great job of agitating these groups into activity, but nothing to stop wars or create jobs, but liberals don’t see him as a fascist when he very much was more fascist than Trump.

disqus_2015ScorpioWater
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The left is so pathetic they are now using George W Bush as a voice against Trump. Got to be a joke, Bush Jr was a class A warmonger and pretty much a fascist. Also he restricted immigration from almost all Muslim nations through the NSEERS program, and that was a program that Obama kept for 2 years of his term in in office.
Bush also invaded Iraq which started a cascade of events that have destablized the Middle East and caused the refugee crisis. Remember America before Bush Jr? I do, it was actually a pretty ok place.
This was a man who brainwashed the entire country into a war frenzy, including the Democrats, to invade a country that had nothing to do with 9-11. And the Left using Bush Jr. against Trump.

Maximus Decimus Meridius
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I can’t believe I am about to write this (see above comment) but yes… blood and soil, if not also soul, nationalism. This is PRECISELY what America is facing, as was Germany in the 1930s. The response (fascism) was extreme, but the threat necessitated it. I will never forget hearing a German in a documentary on those early days say why and her words went something like this (paraphrase and embellished with context):

“Yes, many things were bad (Nazis). But the times were even worse. Germans believe you have to take the good with the bad, the rough with the smooth. Hitler improved Germany and the state and status of its peoples immensely after breaking from the accords that were bankrupting it and killing and impovershing its people after WWI. We did not like many aspects of the new government and the one party, but the alternative was far, far worse.”

Not an exact quote… but if that does not set the hairs on the back of your neck standing up to what is going on in America today and why Trump got elected, nothing will.

Trump is not Hitler, but what brought Hitler to power is the same context and circumstances that allowed Trump to win by a landslide. Different time, different response, same cause.

SmackMacDougal
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Roosh merely describes the use of the words fascism and fascist as pejoratives.

TRUMP IS A FASCIST‽ SO WHAT DOES FASCISM TRULY MEAN ANYWAY? AND WHAT ABOUT COMMUNISM AND SOCIALISM?

disqus_2015ScorpioWater
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When it applies to Trump that is what they are, but the alt-left wants you to believe Trump is the Man in the High Castle. Note about that show, its on Amazon’s network, and Jeff Bezos is considered to be an adversary of Donald Trump. Bezos also owns the Washington Post, which has gone into overdrive to demonize Trump and to frighten millions into thinking America is now under a fascist dictatorship. I have not seen anyone locked up, or “disappeared” for protesting Trump or insulting him. In fact the opposition is in Hyperdrive. All Trump has done in response is react on Twitter.

Mavwreck
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You came up with a pretty good definition of Fascism, but I’d tweak it a bit. I don’t think it’s just “anyone to the right of me who possesses strength”; it’s “anyone to the right of me who I think wants to use strength internally”. Someone who calls another fascist doesn’t just think the other party is strong, or wants to use that strength to defend against external foes; they’re worried the other guy wants to use that strength to control the direction of their group.

fact_comment
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Political theory won’t make a beta male less beta.

Michael Ryan
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Basically ‘Fascist’ is whatever Liberals Hate much like the Nazis labeled whatever they hated ‘Jewish’ to justify their hatred which really shows how pathetic and ignorant these clowns are. Ironically Yellow Socialism which is what Fascism was originally called (and more shocking the guy who created it Moses Hess a friend of Karl Marx and of Jewish Decent) was an Authoritarian Ideology of Class Unity as opposed to Class Warfare in which The State As Agent of the People didn’t weed out the ‘Oppressors of the Working Classes’ but brought everybody together and transforms them into a greater community and their will into collective action through such things as putting everybody into uniform, leading people in public rituals and a lot of other things, Confucius would have loved them for some of their practices. Overall it was the ideology of the Alpha Male as opposed to the intellectual Epsilon wussy.

Grab That One
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The Nazis were mostly Jewing and the Liberal are mostly Fascists. Funny world.

Michael Ryan
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Actually the original Nazi Party Hitler joined had at least five openly Jewish members but they were expelled along with others Hitler didn’t like. Truth is most fascist parties in Europe had little interest in the ‘aryan’ nonsense and had Jewish members.

Grab That One
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Most top Nazis from Hitler’s circle were Jewish.

Michael Ryan
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wrong.

FinnShane
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The problem with the Jews was that a large number of them supported communism and could not be trusted. Fascism could be viewed as an extreme militarized reaction to the the very real threat of communist takeover. One doesn’t have to be a follower of Aryan ideology to acknowledge this.

Michael Ryan
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Actually you will find Jews in every political system there is like you will find anybody else. Mussolini had no problem with Jews among his fascists, he had many among his followers and his leadership groups, Anton Mussert of the Dutch NSB had no problem with Jews among his followers either and there were many French Jews among the French Fascist parties as well. There were at least five Jews in the Nazi party before Hitler joined. Fact is you will find Jews serving in the Confederacy during the American Civil War just as you will find them fighting for the North.

disqus_2015ScorpioWater
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If liberals hate you they resort to name calling, calling you a Fascist or Hitler. Doesn’t s like that Trump is planning no new regime changes like Bush/Obama, so the Neocon establishment in DC is upset. Trump wants to build factories and enforce current immigration laws, let other nations clean up their own shit. This is making the establishment go crazy, so the media is hyping up the image of Trump as some kind of horrible being.
Obama’s criticism of Bush was shown to be a facade when both of them were laughing and smiling when they met last year.

PolisRangerArtyom
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Check out Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg. really good book.

MKDAWUSS
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Fascism = Anything the Russians don’t like

disqus_2015ScorpioWater
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The accusation of “Fascism” is used by the left to attack and question of the legitimacy of anyone who opposes their views. The media is going into a frenzy against Trump, particularly when any small incident occurs or he says or does something, he is put under a microscope.
Then again look at Obama, his predecessor, people who made coherent criticism of Obama were labeled “racists” and silenced. Obama militarized local police forces by providing them with military hardware including drones, he helped enact legislation that gave the President power to declare marshal law, he destroyed the governments of Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Tunisia, and also left Iraq to fend for themselves(which lead to ISIS). He increased the surveillance state.
Also look at Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, who both live in hiding because of Obama and Clinton, both exposed their misdeeds. So what’s not fascist about those two?
All the idiots crying about Hillary losing don’t realize the mess that she and Obama made of the world and America?

Titan000
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If you views are of the post-French Revolution pedigree you are not Far-right.

Edward Easterling
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Thanks for the article, Roosh.
I always understood Fascists to mean a person who is authoritarian and arrogant. Someone who is not capable of reason and logic, even when proven beyond a doubt to be in error, is practicing Fascism. That is as I always understood it to mean.
But I do like this post.

AlFromBayShore
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I’ve come to understand “fascism” to be a variant of “statism”. Statism is economic control by government. Economic control by government leads to political control by government. Fascism differs from socialism/ communism (government ownership of the means of production) in that ownership of the means of production is privately owned but it exists to promote the interests of government. The issue is about control. In both cases, government wields control.

The difference between socialism/ communism and fascism is the difference between media owned and subordinate to government interests and a privately owned media that promotes a narrative endorsed by government.

Mello Sasindi
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They dont matter ..your opinions…it doesn’t matter what you think about politics or women ,men cats or dogs, your name doesn’t matter and your mother doesnt, know why? Because humans die…..time is limited for everyone…diseases wait for you:..heart attacks,alzheimers ..it is inevitable.and it is not as long away…50 times Christmas and that’s it , good night to all of you.that is what your future holds. No child we raised ,no friends we had will ever grief longer than 2 months after our deaths…and wiped out…gone ..with all of your fucking unnecessary opinions and you put your whole energy into them. If trump builds a wall today it doesn’t matter it will be destroyed by a man in 100 years called mump.why so naive people? Why?how can you take things serious that are in reality ridiculous? Help me understand your state of mind.how can you take yourself so serious when all you are is food for worms in the end.help me understand

Quintus Curtius
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It’s a labeling word, signifying nonconformity to the prescribed orthodoxy of the day. Just as the words: “witch”, “heretic”, or “infidel” were once used.

Imperator82
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this is well constructed and logically-presented.

Albionic American
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Just think of the implicit sexism and racism of this “Literally Hitler” nonsense. Why can’t a nonwhite woman become Literally Hitler? We keep hearing that women of all races can beat the pants off of white men because of “equality,” so why can’t some nonwhite woman become America’s Literally Hitler some day and terrorize the world?comment image

jon
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where did that come from?!?!?

OldFan
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Italian Fascism was a breakaway socialist movement that ran afoul of the supposedly ‘international” communist party of the Soviet Union. Mussolini – Europe’s premier socialist media star in 1914 – dared to go his own way. Furthermore, he was doing rather well in the mid-1930’s – and that made Stalin look bad. For this unforgivable crime, Stalin made the word “fascist” the ultimate pejorative term for all loyal communists to use (equal to ‘doubleplusbad duckspeak’, but much shorter).

It became an all-purpose term ( just like “racist”) that now means only “somebody the commies do not like.” It is an utter waste of time to try to explain anything else about what it ‘really means.’ It is a hissing noise that the communists (or the far less honest social justice warriors) emit to express hatred – that is all.

disqus_2015ScorpioWater
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Obama’s drone strikes and targeted killing of US citizens overseas. His collusion with Wall Street at the expense of middle class Americans, his lead from behind regime changes in Libya, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen. His militarization of American police including providing many with drone surveillance capabilities. What do you call that? To me that’s quite fascist.
Also he did absolutely zero for African Americans, in fact they fared worse under Obama than Bush Jr which was already bad, yet they revere him and spew hate against Trump.

Maximus Decimus Meridius
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I have come to believe that Hitler created fascism as a means to unify Germany in the fight against communism and capitalism. Bar none, it was Marx and Lenin Hitler feared the most. The socialist part came about because in the early 20th century, capitalism had a lot of things wrong – it was sheer domination by the owners over the slaves, er, employees. What he said was “Look… our situation is desperate. We can see what the capitalist powers want to do to us (Brits/French) and we can see what the Communists want to do to us (USSR). We are Germans, and we will guide our own destiny. We will care for the less fortunate (socialism) while allowing industry to be free do its best work (no state ownership, only partnership). No one… NO ONE… is going to take care of us except us. We can see the whole world (you know who) is out to destroy us. If we don’t UNITE under ONE PARTY, with ONE goal, to free the German people and free the world from both (usury capitalism, communist dictatorship), we will go extinct.” This is why for me, comparisons to Hitler of Trump are accurate on a historical/contextual level, if not an academic/factual one. America, The West, is now facing the same existential crisis that Germany as a nation and people did in the 1930s. The West will either rise in response, or this time, “they” will finally win and wipe all us blonde hair and blue eyes out.

Waldemar Pabst
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Fascism is love.

Love for your state, your culture, your blood, your people, your traditions.

You cannot have love without hate. When people today say they want us to stop the hate, they really mean they want us to stop love as well.

If I love my nation’s history, my culture, my people and I am proud of my traditions and what makes me me, should I not hate that which seeks to destroy what I love?

Waldemar Pabst
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Fascism is like a healthy relationship: it is exclusive, possessive, and defensive. You wouldn’t want to share your wife with other men right? She is yours? Exclusively yours? The same with a nation: it is yours and it does not belong to others.

indispen
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Fascism is a lack of criticism.

Tim Murphy
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Perhaps the best working definition I’ve ever heard of how the word is used now, nicely juxtaposed with its original meaning. Clearly displays (again) the way language can be used as a potent weapon.

Hunn
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Fascism originally meant the system of Mussolini.

Later Stalin and the Komintern borrowed the phrase to describe the German Nazis.
The reason for that is that Nazi means National Socialist, and the Communists did not like the term Socialist used in connection with Nazis.

Later the Liberal-Bolsheviks took it from there, and started to call anything to the right of them “Fascists”.

Richard O-Godson
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I must say that I am disappointed in you Roosh for your post. I have been following on and off for about two and a half years. I think this marks the end of that. Your long lecture on what is and what is not fascism is a thin veiled attempt to prey on the minds of unsuspecting followers and lull them into endorsing the ways of a demagogue dumb fuck. Fascist or not, Trump is bad for respect, family values and basic human ethics. I just lost 99% of the respect that I had left for you.

Angelo Cappella
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Well said Roosh. Fascist has just been a word to describe any person or movement that someone disagrees with. Its become a potty word for politics. I have also read and studied Fascist ideology and I agree with a lot that I have read. However Trump definetly would not be considered a Fascist. Usually when you hear somebody call another person a Fascist (Right or Left wing) I usually just end the conversation. Great Article!

SomeRandomFellow
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Fascism is White men with Testosterone.

spicynujac
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Very interesting discussion of fascism here:

In modernism, the highest good is to be comfortable and safe, while
avoiding pain and danger. Everything is good or bad according to that
criteria. In traditionalism, the highest good is truth and the rejection
of falsehoods. Everything is good or bad according to that criteria.

http://ironmarch.org/index.php?/topic/5147-what-is-fascism/

Actually I think this was the specific discussion I found. It talks about fascism as it relates to ORDER and DUTY.

I particularly liked this part, which helps explain why America is both the richest nation financially but poorest morally and spiritually:

Economics cannot be a goal in of themselves as that breeds individualism,
pure capitalism, liberalism, and those in turn lead to the formation of
collectivism and communism. Instead, economics must be a tool towards
the fulfillment of Duty and the realization of all Truths in the Organic
State. Fascist economics is then economy made subservient to the Nation

http://ironmarch.org/index.php?/topic/6794-fascist-economics-and-socialism-of-duty/

I’m still not on board with the idea of nationalism being good, but I have yet to experience a moral, strong nation.

Ares
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Benito Mussolini was a hero to Italians. His reforms is what improved 1930s Italy.