Fascist (non-offensive)

Reply Wed 16 Jan, 2013 03:49 pm
Why are fascists regarded as "right-wing"? Are "left-wing" dictators, who adopt "Hitlerite" methods, not fascists also? The Emperor Augustus was said to be "fascist", but is said to have cared about the welfare of ALL Romans and, after the first phase of his rule, govererned in a moderate manner. Were not some medieval kings and Popes (no offence intended) fascist? I thank all who respond.
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Reply Wed 16 Jan, 2013 05:45 pm
Why are fascists regarded as "right-wing"?

Because that is end of the political spectrum from which the term originated. Whether the term has to stay true to its roots is debatable, or at least has been debated; but for those who define fascism as a rightist ideology, that is more or less the reason why.

Are "left-wing" dictators, who adopt "Hitlerite" methods, not fascists also?

These days they are often described so, yes, though that is a relatively recent phenomenon. It just depends on how strictly one wants to use the term.
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Reply Wed 16 Jan, 2013 05:46 pm
Whoever alleges that Augustus was a fascist either knows nothing about Augustus, or doesn't know what a fascist is. While fascism allegedly had socialist origins, in practice, fascist states favored capitalists and industrial and financial initiatives in order to achieve its goals. The proletariat were supposed to benefit from the system and its suppression of the bourgeoisie, but in practice, the bourgeoisie were the ones who ran the system, and they worked hand in glove with capitalists and financiers. There is no more stark example of this than Hitler's wooing of the scholtbarons, the "smokestack barons," in order to get the financial support he needed to make the NSDAP the dominant party in Germany.

All fascist states which have existed have been dictatorships, but not all dictatorships have been fascist. One could argue that the principiate Roman Empire (i.e., Caesar, Caesar Augustus and their successors) was a dictatorship, but the aspects of a regard for the proletariat (purely propagandistic) and the organization of the a command economy were lacking in the Empire. The Romans really didn't understand economics, and more than anything else, the empire always was, before and after Caesar, an oligarchic dictatorship. The Romans would have loved to have organized the economy to imperial ends, but they simply didn't have a functioning concept of their economy.

It is now a popular American conservative meme that fascism and its ugly stepchildren such as Nazism and Franco's Falange were all socialist. That is fundamentally dishonest as none of those movements actually did anything more than pay lip service to the idea of a dictatorship of the proletariat. Their aims were nationalist and militarist, and to that end, they colluded with capitalists--industrialist and money men. It was much easier for them to attain their goals through cooperation with the right wing than to pursue some fantasy about handing the state over to the working class. Hitler clearly rose to power through a coalition of the NSDAP, the DNVP--both right wing parties--and the Zentrum, the Center Pary, a center right Catholic party.

You can, of course, subscribe to the notion so popular today among the far right that all those fascists and nazis were left-wingers. You would, however, be flying in the face of the evidence. There was a long-lived, silly thread here for a long time based on the contention that not just fascists and nazis, but all dictators have been left-wingers. Join them if you wish.
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