Some General Ideological Features
"Reactionary concepts plus revolutionary emotion result in Fascist mentality." -Wilhelm Reich
Is nationalism inherently evil? Would a one-world government be more preferable? Are appreciating and defending one's own culture and cultural values somehow primitive instincts that must be overcome by the educational efforts of the enlightened?
We have all heard of Fascism, but our image is usually of a brutal soldier wearing a uniform emblazoned with a swastika. Most people in the U.S. are aware that the U.S. and its allies fought a war against the Nazis, but there is much more to know if one is to learn the important lessons of our recent history.
Adolph Hitler's Nazis were certainly the most prolific of the Fascist states. The seeds of Fascism, however, were planted in Italy. "Fascism is reaction," said Benito Mussolini, author of The Doctrine of Fascism, but reaction to what?
Mussolini forged Fascism in post-World War I in Europe. The national aspirations of many European peoples nations without states, peoples arbitrarily assigned to political entities with little regard for custom or culture had been crushed after World War I. The humiliation imposed by the victors in the Great War, coupled with the hardship of the economic Depression, created bitterness and anger. That anger frequently found its outlet in an ideology that asserted not just the importance of the nation, but its unquestionable superiority and predestined role in history.
Italy was the birthplace of Fascist ideology. Mussolini, ironically a former socialist journalist, organized the first Fascist movement in 1919 at Milan. In 1922 Mussolini led a march on Rome, he was given a government post by the king, and began transforming the Italian government into a Fascist state. In 1938 he forced the last remains of democracy, the Council of Deputies, to vote themselves out of existence, leaving Mussolini dictator of Fascist Italy.
Fascism and the Doctrine of Fascism is more complex than popular belief. What, then, is the nature of Fascism?
The doctrine tells of a world where the instinctiveness of man to live a life of selfish and momentary pleasure are subjugated by a moral law. A law which binds together individuals into a mission in which through the denial of themselves and sacrifice of private interests realizes complete spiritual existence. In essence, Fascism attempts to create a state where the citizens do not exist individually, it creates instruments for the state to manipulate. It achieves this under the guise of spirituality. The hopeless, cheerless, and forgotten are the most susceptible to the Fascism virus. By putting them into uniforms and incorporating them into organized movement, Fascism makes them feel as if they belong to something great, something greater than their individual lives. It emphasizes the myth of a national or racial rebirth after a period of decline or destruction. To this end, Fascism calls for a spiritual revolution against signs of moral decay such as individualism and materialism. Fascism is opposed to all the individualistic abstractions of a materialistic nature.
The Fascist conception is for the State, and as long as the individual is under the command of the state, it is also for the individual. The Doctrine of Fascism preaches that the true reality of the individual is the state. Therefore, anything outside the state or in opposition to the state has no true value. A citizen cannot believe in anything that the state does not want him to believe in, nor can he do anything the state does not want him to do. The state becomes the citizens supreme authority and the will of the citizen is the state.
The Doctrine of Fascism is hostile towards Socialism, liberalism, and democracy. Fascism...