Jennifer Bethke I wanna to start a new revolution. How about I put a spiffy new spin on the negative image of fascism. How about: "fascism, it works for you" or "put a new face on fascism and it will put a smiley face on you" (with little lapel buttons to match of course) or "fascism is what you always wanted, you mindless indecisive imp" or "fascism it's what's for dinner" or "fascism hits the mark!" "Got Fascism?" or "fascism was before sliced bread" or "God is a fascist too" or "Hey, I look good in black and red too" or β€œ Fascism - the only society were you need a permit to reproduce” or "Fascism can end world overpopulation, how many minorities are there?" or "strength, cunning, foresight and honor are the cornerstones of fascism. . . all it needs is you at the top." or "Hey we though of superman first" or "you are a stupid zombie buy coke and say yes to fascism you fat couch potato what do you care?" or "My place or yours? With fascism they're monitoring both." or "The truth be told we’re all just fascist deep down inside, just some of us have the courage to admit it. Do you?" or "Fascism it works for you, or do you work for it?" or "It's 2'O'Clock in the morning, you are sound asleep, but fascism is wide awake and growing." 030513
Sam Vaknin Nazism - and, by extension, fascism (though the two are by no means identical) - amounted to permanent revolutionary civil wars. Fascist movements were founded, inter alia, on negations and on the militarization of politics. Their raison d'etre and vigor were derived from their rabid opposition to liberalism, communism, conservatism, rationalism, and individualism and from exclusionary racism. It was a symbiotic relationship - self-definition and continued survival by opposition.

Yet, all fascist movements suffered from fatal - though largely preconcerted - ideological tensions. In their drive to become broad, pluralistic, churches (a hallmark of totalitarian movements) - these secular religions often offered contradictory doctrinal fare.

I. Renewal vs. Destruction

The first axis of tension was between renewal and destruction. Fascist parties invariably presented themselves as concerned with the pursuit and realization of a utopian program based on the emergence of a "new man" (in Germany it was a mutation of Nietzsche's Superman). "New", "young", "vital", and "ideal" were pivotal keywords. Destruction was both inevitable (i.e., the removal of the old and corrupt) and desirable (i.e., cathartic, purifying, unifying, and ennobling).

Yet fascism was also nihilistic. It was bipolar: either utopia or death. Hitler instructed Speer to demolish Germany when his dream of a thousand-years Reich crumbled. This mental splitting mechanism (all bad or all good, black or white) is typical of all utopian movements. Similarly, Stalin (not a fascist) embarked on orgies of death and devastation every time he faced an obstacle.

This ever-present tension between construction, renewal, vitalism, and the adoration of nature - and destruction, annihilation, murder, and chaos - was detrimental to the longevity and cohesion of fascist fronts.

II. Individualism vs. Collectivism

A second, more all-pervasive, tension was between self-assertion and what Griffin and Payne call "self transcendence". Fascism was a cult of the Promethean will, of the super-man, above morality, and the shackles of the pernicious materialism, egalitarianism, and rationalism. It was demanded of the New Man to be willful, assertive, determined, self-motivating, a law unto himself. The New Man, in other words, was supposed to be contemptuously a-social (though not anti-social).

But here, precisely, arose the contradiction. It was society which demanded from the New Man certain traits and the selfless fulfillment of certain obligations and observance of certain duties. The New Man was supposed to transcend egotism and sacrifice himself for the greater, collective, good. In Germany, it was Hitler who embodied this intolerable inconsistency. On the one hand, he was considered to be the reification of the will of the nation and its destiny. On the other hand, he was described as self-denying, self-less, inhumanly altruistic, and a temporal saint martyred on the altar of the German nation.

This doctrinal tension manifested itself also in the economic ideology of fascist movements.

Fascism was often corporatist or syndicalist (and always collectivist). At times, it sounded suspiciously like Leninism-Stalinism. Payne has this to say:

"What fascist movements had in common was the aim of a new functional relationship for the functional and economic systems, eliminating the autonomy (or, in some proposals, the existence) of large-scale capitalism and modern industry, altering the nature of social status, and creating a new communal or reciprocal productive relationship through new priorities, ideals, and extensive governmental control and regulation. The goal of accelerated economic modernization was often espoused ..."

(Stanley G. Payne - A History of Fascism 1914-1945 - University of Wisconsin Press, 1995 - p. 10)

Still, private property was carefully preserved and property rights meticulously enforced. Ownership of assets was considered to be a mode of individualistic expression (and, thus, "self-assertion") not to be tampered with.

This second type of tension transformed many of the fascist organizations into chaotic, mismanaged, corrupt, and a-moral groups, lacking in direction and in self-discipline. They swung ferociously between the pole of malignant individualism and that of lethal collectivism.

III. Utopianism vs. Struggle

Fascism was constantly in the making, eternally half-baked, subject to violent permutations, mutations, and transformations. Fascist movements were "processual" and, thus, in permanent revolution (rather, since fascism was based on the negation of other social forces, in permanent civil war). It was a utopian movement in search of a utopia. Many of the elements of a utopia were there - but hopelessly mangled and mingled and without any coherent blueprint.

In the absence of a rational vision and an orderly plan of action - fascist movements resorted to irrationality, the supernatural, the magical, and to their brand of a secular religion. They emphasized the way -rather than the destination, the struggle - rather than the attainment, the battle - rather than the victory, the effort - rather than the outcome, or, in short - the Promethean and the Thanatean rather than the Vestal, the kitschy rather than the truly aesthetic.

IV. Organic vs. Decadent

Fascism emphasized rigid social structures - supposedly the ineluctable reflections of biological strictures. As opposed to politics and culture - where fascism was revolutionary and utopian - socially, fascism was reactionary, regressive, and defensive. It was pro-family. One's obligations, functions, and rights were the results of one's "place in society". But fascism was also male chauvinistic, adolescent, latently homosexual ("the cult of virility", the worship of the military), somewhat pornographic (the adoration of the naked body, of "nature", and of the young), and misogynistic. In its horror of its own repressed androgynous "perversions" (i.e., the very decadence it claimed to be eradicating), it employed numerous defense mechanisms (e.g., reaction formation and projective identification). It was gender dysphoric and personality disordered.

V. Elitism vs. Populism

All fascist movements were founded on the equivalent of the Nazi Fuhrerprinzip. The leader - infallible, indestructible, invincible, omnipotent, omniscient, sacrificial - was a creative genius who embodied as well as interpreted the nation's quiddity and fate. His privileged and unerring access to the soul of the fascist movement, to history's grand designs, and to the moral and aesthetic principles underlying it all - made him indispensable and worthy of blind and automatic obedience.

This strongly conflicted with the unmitigated, all-inclusive, all-pervasive, and missionary populism of fascism. Fascism was not egalitarian (see section above). It believed in a fuzzily role-based and class-based system. It was misogynistic, against the old, often against the "other" (ethnic or racial minorities). But, with these exceptions, it embraced one and all and was rather meritocratic. Admittedly, mobility within the fascist parties was either the result of actual achievements and merit or the outcome of nepotism and cronyism - still, fascism was far more egalitarian than most other political movements.

This populist strand did not sit well with the overweening existence of a Duce or a Fuhrer. Tensions erupted now and then but, overall, the Fuhrerprinzip held well.

Fascism's undoing cannot be attributed to either of these inherent contradictions, though they made it brittle and clunky. To understand the downfall of this meteoric latecomer - we must look elsewhere, to the 17th and 18th century.
X easy target X fascism rules the world...fuck that...but that was some funny shit jennifer 040325
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