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-   -   How do you define fascism. Who is a fascist. And how do you identify. (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=878813)

snfaulkner 07-14-2019 11:40 PM

How do you define fascism. Who is a fascist. And how do you identify.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka
View Post
I doubt you and I agree enough about who the fascists are in modern-day America to make an answer to that question worthwhile, and besides that, my position on fascists isn't the topic of the thread, your (general you, I have no idea if you personally identify with Antifa or not) dead Antifa comrade is.

Please, oh please. DO tell us your definition of fascist/fascism, who you think ARE fascist, and how you identify. I'll post a non pit thread for you to ignore shortly.

Ok Ditka. Please enlighten us. This ain't the pit.

Wesley Clark 07-15-2019 08:03 AM

Are you just asking Ditka or all of us.

I've looked at the official definition of fascism and found it kind of convoluted.

To me fascism is a response to feeling threatened by things like foreign threats, economic collapse, minorities, terrorism, etc. It's a strict, authoritarian, right wing movement that believes strongly in social hierarchies and being as strong and ruthless as possible in the face of external and internal threats. They want to purge domestic weakness and strengthen the police and military to deal with threats. Civil liberties are seen as inviting weakness in.

There is also the argument that a nation's level of pathogens helps predict how fascist it is prone to becoming. The argument is that the fear of infectious diseases make people naturally conformist and afraid of outsiders as a built in method of preventing disease spread. These attitudes make a society ripe for fascism.

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/ar...l.pone.0062275

rowrrbazzle 07-15-2019 11:04 PM

Orwell, Politics and the English Language:
Quote:

The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies "something not desirable". [...] Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way. That is, the person who uses them has his own private definition, but allows his hearer to think he means something quite different. [...] Other words used in variable meanings, in most cases more or less dishonestly, are: class, totalitarian, science, progressive, reactionary, bourgeois, equality.

thelurkinghorror 07-16-2019 12:00 AM

I am 100% certain that someone carrying an axe with a bunch of sticks tied around it is a fascist. The rest I can't be completely sure of.

Little Nemo 07-16-2019 12:49 AM

My opinion:

Fascism is a totalitarian dictatorship. It's a system where the government is absolute and controls all aspects of society.

Fascism is militaristic. It believes that war is a good thing for society. (Although in some cases, the fascist regime will recognize its limitations and accept that it's not strong to attack other countries. So it will talk a lot about war but not follow through.)

Fascism is based on a cult of personality. It says that the leader of the nation is at a level above ordinary men and is entitled to blind and total obedience and veneration.

Fascism is nationalistic. It believes that there is a group of people who are inherently superior to everyone else and that these people should rule over everyone else.

Inigo Montoya 07-16-2019 07:17 AM

Summary: Hateful, bossy jerks are fascists.

Hateful = focusing national animosity on a cultural minority, malicious & misleading propaganda, generally nasty personal disposition appealing to anti-intellectuals
Bossy = telling someone else what to do, totalitarian
Jerks = the sort of people who are not allowed to post here. HD, Shodan, and I are not jerks. SA was. pimpdaddylongstroke & Thaidog were just weird.

madmonk28 07-16-2019 07:31 AM

A fascist is someone who believes that access to political processes and markets, and protection by the state should be based on racial and cultural identity. When a fascist speaks of democracy s/he sees it as limited to those of a certain race/culture. The state exists to advance the agenda of the preferred race and to protect it from the undesirable races. When people from undesirable races step out of line, the state should come down hard on them. To the extent that other races are allowed to exist, it is to serve the needs of the preferred race.

ETA: fascism is often characterized by wildly conflicting ideologies and belief in conspiracy theories to explain away those conflicting beliefs.

Hypno-Toad 07-16-2019 07:37 AM

To me fascism is about ultra-conformity. it's about making sure that everyone stays in their culturally-defined role, by force if necessary. A dictator is not completely necessary. We all know how oppressive a community can be to those who "get uppity." I hear people ask, "How could anyone be in favor of fascism?" Well, those in charge sure love any system that is all about keeping them in charge. But it extends throughout a culture. Favored groups can act in a fascist nature too, when they choose leaders to enforce the status quo or oppress those trying to change the situation. I am always wary of anyone whose politics is based on The Way It Used To Be. This is someone from a favored group trying to push down at those trying to rise up from lower down the pyramid. Fascists have traditionally harnessed this to push their agenda. Sowing fear among the voters of hated minorities who are gaining "at the expense of us good people."

Isn't it funny that the higher you go in the pyramid, the more morally acceptable the pyramid becomes.

PatrickLondon 07-16-2019 08:14 AM

Another factor, besides authoritarian and militaristic nationalism, usually coupled with strict defined social roles and sometimes a traditionalist religiosity (or an invented set of rituals aping the religious), is the common characteristic of a lot of bullies - playing on their perceived sense of grievance to get their martyrdom in first, so as to plead justification for whatever they do later to their victims.

manson1972 07-16-2019 08:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Little Nemo (Post 21752808)
My opinion:

Fascism is a totalitarian dictatorship. It's a system where the government is absolute and controls all aspects of society.

Fascism is militaristic. It believes that war is a good thing for society. (Although in some cases, the fascist regime will recognize its limitations and accept that it's not strong to attack other countries. So it will talk a lot about war but not follow through.)

Fascism is based on a cult of personality. It says that the leader of the nation is at a level above ordinary men and is entitled to blind and total obedience and veneration.

Fascism is nationalistic. It believes that there is a group of people who are inherently superior to everyone else and that these people should rule over everyone else.

This seems like a fairly decent definition. And I would say a person who wants all those things is a "fascist"

jz78817 07-16-2019 08:29 AM

"fascists" are anyone who have political beliefs different from mine.


/s

madmonk28 07-16-2019 08:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jz78817 (Post 21753103)
"fascists" are anyone who have political beliefs different from mine.


/s

Actually, it is a real concept with a definition in the dictionary and everything.

Scumpup 07-16-2019 09:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by madmonk28 (Post 21753126)
Actually, it is a real concept with a definition in the dictionary and everything.

Right, but his definition is how I see the word used most often, lately.

madmonk28 07-16-2019 09:05 AM

Is it possible that others are noticing an alarming trend in the rise of fascism in the United States and that some of our citizens are oblivious or complicit?

VOW 07-16-2019 10:15 AM

*covering head with arms*

Please forgive me. Every single definition/explanation just screams "Trump" to me.

You gotta understand. In my very first presidential election, at the ripe old age of 19, I voted for McGovern.


~VOW

Inigo Montoya 07-16-2019 10:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VOW (Post 21753288)
*covering head with arms*

Please forgive me. Every single definition/explanation just screams "Trump" to me.

You gotta understand. In my very first presidential election, at the ripe old age of 19, I voted for McGovern.


~VOW

What's the problem? Trump's a fascist.

VOW 07-16-2019 10:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Inigo Montoya (Post 21753318)
What's the problem? Trump's a fascist.

What? No kissy smilie?

*kisses*


~VOW

HurricaneDitka 07-16-2019 10:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by snfaulkner (Post 21750700)
Please, oh please. DO tell us your definition of fascist/fascism ...

I think these posters nailed it:

Quote:

Originally Posted by rowrrbazzle (Post 21752728)
Orwell, Politics and the English Language:

Quote:

Originally Posted by jz78817 (Post 21753103)
"fascists" are anyone who have political beliefs different from mine.


/s

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scumpup (Post 21753156)
Right, but his definition is how I see the word used most often, lately.

In the dead Antifa terrorist thread, I wrote this:

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21750704)
... To too many on the Left, "fascist" is just the latest smear for everyone they don't like.

I think that accurately reflects how the word is most often used today in modern American political discourse.

If you want a dictionary definition, this one is as good as any:

Quote:

Fascism is a form of radical right-wing, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and strong regimentation of society and of the economy which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe.
Quote:

Originally Posted by snfaulkner (Post 21750700)
... who you think ARE fascist...

Benito Mussolini, to offer one prominent historical example.

Quote:

Originally Posted by snfaulkner (Post 21750700)
and how you identify. ...

I identify as someone who hates identity politics. If I must label myself, I consider myself to be a conservative and a capitalist, and don't really have any sympathy for early 20th-century Italian dictators that got lined up against a wall and shot.

HurricaneDitka 07-16-2019 10:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Little Nemo (Post 21752808)
My opinion:

Fascism is a totalitarian dictatorship. It's a system where the government is absolute and controls all aspects of society.

Fascism is militaristic. It believes that war is a good thing for society. (Although in some cases, the fascist regime will recognize its limitations and accept that it's not strong to attack other countries. So it will talk a lot about war but not follow through.)

Fascism is based on a cult of personality. It says that the leader of the nation is at a level above ordinary men and is entitled to blind and total obedience and veneration.

Fascism is nationalistic. It believes that there is a group of people who are inherently superior to everyone else and that these people should rule over everyone else.

This sounds like you're describing communist North Korea

manson1972 07-16-2019 10:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21753327)
If you want a dictionary definition, this one is as good as any

Quote:

Fascism is a form of radical right-wing, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and strong regimentation of society and of the economy which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe

Are you for or against that type of radical right-wing, authoritarian ultranationalism?

Inigo Montoya 07-16-2019 10:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21753332)
This sounds like you're describing communist North Korea

"A turd by any other name..."

HurricaneDitka 07-16-2019 10:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by manson1972 (Post 21753348)
Are you for or against that type of radical right-wing, authoritarian ultranationalism?

Against. I thought the last line of my earlier post made that clear.

manson1972 07-16-2019 10:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21753370)
Against. I thought the last line of my earlier post made that clear.

No, it did not.

Mundane Super Hero 07-16-2019 10:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scumpup (Post 21753156)
Right, but his definition is how I see the word used most often, lately.


Might I offer you ... glasses...?

thelurkinghorror 07-16-2019 11:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21753332)
This sounds like you're describing communist North Korea

Best Korea hasn't claimed to be communist for quite some time. They're Juche now.

Scumpup 07-16-2019 11:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mundane Super Hero (Post 21753387)
Might I offer you ... glasses...?

Thanks, no. Over the years, I have encountered a few genuine fascists. We're talking real American neo-Nazis and their Eastern European kin. I don't like them or support their ideals. In the wonderful world of internet social media, though, the word is applied to anybody politically to the right of the writer or just to authoritarian regimes in general. It is now just a smear word, whatever its dictionary meaning.

Little Nemo 07-16-2019 11:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21753332)
This sounds like you're describing communist North Korea

Yes, I would accept that as an example of a fascist regime. I would also call Saddam Hussein and Benito Mussolini fascists. And of course Hitler.

Little Nemo 07-16-2019 11:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21753327)
I identify as someone who hates identity politics.

For somebody who claims to hate identity politics, you sure do a lot of it.

Ludovic 07-16-2019 11:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scumpup (Post 21753450)
We're talking real American neo-Nazis

I hear some of them are fine people.

madmonk28 07-16-2019 11:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ludovic (Post 21753510)
I hear some of them are fine people.

Some are failed casino owners.

Scumpup 07-16-2019 12:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ludovic (Post 21753510)
I hear some of them are fine people.

The ones I knew were poor, ignorant, and angry. Prone to violence too. Chemical abuse was the rule as was having a criminal record. They were the unpleasant results of unpleasant lives.

excavating (for a mind) 07-16-2019 12:36 PM

It is interesting how may posters' definition of fascism includes "right wing" when the overwhelming historical examples that most everyone will agree as being fascist (Nazi Germany, USSR, Red China, Prewar Italy) were overwhelmingly "left". It seems to me that fascism requires socialism to work. Even the Spanish Inquisition depended on the Catholic Church, certainly a leftist organization based on leftist ideals (particularly for the time).

Quote:

Originally Posted by jz78817 (Post 21753103)
"fascists" are anyone who have political beliefs different from mine.


/s

This really appears to the only accurate (and neutral) definition.
He got it right.

Ludovic 07-16-2019 12:39 PM

I wouldn't agree that USSR and Red China were fascist. While they were bad enough that it's even debatable whether they were better or worse than Nazi Germany, that doesn't make them fascist.

Ludovic 07-16-2019 12:42 PM

With regards to leftism, socialism was "in" at the time so at least the Nazis and Fascists (not sure about Franco) had to have the trappings of socialism but did not deliver on most of it, and indeed purged the actual socialists from their ranks in the case of Germany.

Ravenman 07-16-2019 12:44 PM

TLDR version of this thread:

* Posters who talk a lot about socialism suddenly have trouble defining political theories.

madmonk28 07-16-2019 02:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenman (Post 21753660)
TLDR version of this thread:

* Posters who talk a lot about socialism suddenly have trouble defining political theories.

FTW

thelurkinghorror 07-16-2019 02:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by excavating (for a mind) (Post 21753639)
It is interesting how may posters' definition of fascism includes "right wing" when the overwhelming historical examples that most everyone will agree as being fascist (Nazi Germany, USSR, Red China, Prewar Italy) were overwhelmingly "left". It seems to me that fascism requires socialism to work. Even the Spanish Inquisition depended on the Catholic Church, certainly a leftist organization based on leftist ideals (particularly for the time).

This really appears to the only accurate (and neutral) definition.
He got it right.

1) Ah, this old argument. The vertical axis on the Political Compass was more important in this case; you're conflating fascism with authoritarianism. The Nazis were not purely right wing, but they rose with the help of right wing movements and in opposition to leftism.

2) The Spanish Inquisition was under the control of the Spanish monarchs, and done without the influence of Rome.

Ludovic 07-16-2019 02:34 PM

Furthermore, outside the areas of the formal Inquisition, the church often was more interested in protecting the Jews specifically than the common people were, at least paying lip service to their right to exist rather than cheering on the murderous mobs.

jz78817 07-16-2019 03:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21753332)
This sounds like you're describing communist North Korea


North Korea is not "communist."



Communism (i.e. what Marx originally envisioned) has never existed on national scale, it simply can't work. I don't think it can ever work for anything bigger than, say, a neighborhood. And yes, I know the ruling parties of most of those countries (whether still existing or not) called themselves some form of "Communist Party," that doesn't make them so. Just like North Korea is not a democracy simply because they call themselves the "Democratic People's Republic of Korea." A ruling class which enforces their power at gunpoint is pretty much the opposite of communism.



All Lenin did was change the nameplate on the door.

Wesley Clark 07-16-2019 04:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21753332)
This sounds like you're describing communist North Korea

North Korea probably is more fascist than communist at this point. They even make racial purity a major part of their program, and unlike communist nations that at least give lip service to social egalitarianism, North Korea has strict social hierarchies.

Of the 5 communist nations on earth, I don't know if any are truly communist anymore.

Gatopescado 07-16-2019 04:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thelurkinghorror (Post 21752773)
I am 100% certain that someone carrying an axe with a bunch of sticks tied around it is a fascist. The rest I can't be completely sure of.

I don't know. It could be a Boy Scout. You'd have to look more closely at the uniform.

Bone 07-16-2019 06:01 PM

The primary component of fascism in my view is authoritarianism. That can come from anywhere - the desire to control others isn't monopolized by the left or right.

Little Nemo 07-16-2019 06:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by excavating (for a mind) (Post 21753639)
It is interesting how may posters' definition of fascism includes "right wing" when the overwhelming historical examples that most everyone will agree as being fascist (Nazi Germany, USSR, Red China, Prewar Italy) were overwhelmingly "left". It seems to me that fascism requires socialism to work. Even the Spanish Inquisition depended on the Catholic Church, certainly a leftist organization based on leftist ideals (particularly for the time).

If you believe this, you need to learn a lot more history.

madmonk28 07-16-2019 06:15 PM

excavating reminded me of another feature of fascism: a profoundly ignorant populace that accepts rewritten history as fact (see any Texas history textbook on slavery, or randomly turn on Fox News).

Little Nemo 07-16-2019 06:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ludovic (Post 21753643)
I wouldn't agree that USSR and Red China were fascist. While they were bad enough that it's even debatable whether they were better or worse than Nazi Germany, that doesn't make them fascist.

I agree.

Communist regimes are certainly totalitarian dictatorships. And they have had periods when they had cults of personality (Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro).

But communist regimes aren't overtly militaristic. They claim that peace is their goal. I realize they often stray away from that goal but so do western democracies. The point is that they present peace as a positive and war as a negative. Fascist regimes do the opposite.

Communist regimes also lack the belief in inherent tribalism that is a central pillar of fascism. Communism claims to be a universal ideology in which everyone is potentially welcome and equal. In an ideal communist world, everyone would be a communist. This is not true of fascism; fascist believed that there is one group that is better than everyone else and that people who are outside of this group can never enter in. Communists believe you can convert people into communists; fascists believe outsiders can't be converted to insiders and must therefore be subjugated or eliminated.

Wesley Clark 07-16-2019 06:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bone (Post 21754352)
The primary component of fascism in my view is authoritarianism. That can come from anywhere - the desire to control others isn't monopolized by the left or right.

Disagree. There is an authoritarian left but generally there are major differences between right wing and left wing authoritarianism.

Right wing tends to be nationalistic, while left wing doesn't believe in national borders.
Right wing believes in racial and gender heirarchies, left wingers generally do not (at least nominally)
Right wing authoritarians tend to be friendly to powerful corporations, left wing ones are not
etc.

Fascism is more right wing authoritarianism, motivated by a sense of defenselessness in the face of domestic and foreign threats.

And not all authoritarian regimes are ideological. I wouldn't personally consider the dictatorship in Syria to be either right or left wing. A lot of dictatorships are just about maintaining the power and status of the dictator and their inner circle, not about any political ideology. Personally I'd consider Islamic extremist groups fascist (like Al Qaeda or ISIL), North Korea is arguably fascist, and the resurgence of neofascism in Europe & the US in response to globalization and islamic migration is fascist too. But its nothing like Venezuela which is a different kind of authoritarian regime.

Melbourne 07-16-2019 09:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka (Post 21753332)
This sounds like you're describing communist North Korea

Also from Orwell:
Quote:

“The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

Melbourne 07-16-2019 09:46 PM

Mussolini on Fascism: The Docrine of Fascism

Little Nemo 07-16-2019 10:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Little Nemo (Post 21754386)
I agree.

Communist regimes are certainly totalitarian dictatorships. And they have had periods when they had cults of personality (Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro).

But communist regimes aren't overtly militaristic. They claim that peace is their goal. I realize they often stray away from that goal but so do western democracies. The point is that they present peace as a positive and war as a negative. Fascist regimes do the opposite.

Communist regimes also lack the belief in inherent tribalism that is a central pillar of fascism. Communism claims to be a universal ideology in which everyone is potentially welcome and equal. In an ideal communist world, everyone would be a communist. This is not true of fascism; fascist believed that there is one group that is better than everyone else and that people who are outside of this group can never enter in. Communists believe you can convert people into communists; fascists believe outsiders can't be converted to insiders and must therefore be subjugated or eliminated.

I forgot another major difference between communist regimes and fascist regimes; their temporal orientation.

Fascist regimes present a mythological and pseudohistorical basis for their legitimacy. They will claim to be the successors of some past golden age who are trying to revive that golden age.

Communist regimes present a pseudoscientific basis for their legitimacy. They will claim they are making a clean break with the past and are moving forward into an ideal future as something new.

thelurkinghorror 07-17-2019 12:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gatopescado (Post 21754251)
I don't know. It could be a Boy Scout. You'd have to look more closely at the uniform.

Webelos sounds communistic. Should be Mebelos.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wesley Clark (Post 21754408)
Right wing tends to be nationalistic, while left wing doesn't believe in national borders.

There are many left wing nationalist movements out there.


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