If you were a fascist, who would you vote for?

Discussion in 'Political Discussions' started by JoAnnP38, Sep 2, 2004.

  1. JoAnnP38

    JoAnnP38 Member

    In an effort to be fair and balanced since I found the other thread to be totally offensive....

    Of course, unlike the other thread, the answer to this thread is fairly obvious.
  2. Khan

    Khan New Member

  3. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    Re: Re: If you were a fascist, who would you vote for?

    The point is that we're to be offensive here. There must be an answer that better fits the context? ;)
  4. mrw142

    mrw142 New Member

    In an effort to be fair and balanced since I found the other thread to be totally offensive....

    Of course, unlike the other thread, the answer to this thread is fairly obvious.

    What precisely was so offensive about the other thread? I'm assuming you're a Kerry supporter and that your offense is because you presume it was a set up for a healthy round of Kerry smears, but that other thread didn't exactly evolve into a nonstop Kerry bash, the original post notwithstanding--so tell us, what in the world was so offensive?

    I'm also assuming that your "obvious" answer in response to your post is "Bush", but are you aware of what "fascist" means? I'm surprised at how many liberals--assuming you are one--throw that word around as a generic description for whatever Republican resides on Pennsylvania Avenue. There is simply nothing about either of the two major candidates that fits the definition of fascist. And for that matter, neither candidate resembles a communist.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 2, 2004
  5. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Fascism has proven in the past to be compatable with religious fundamentalism. This has occurred in Muslim countries such as Syria, Christian countries such as Austria in the 20s and 30s, and is beginning to appear even among the right wing Jews of Israel. Therefore, if I were a fascist, I would vote for the candidate with the most right wing, fundamentalist religious views.

    N.B. Fascism is not Nazism.
  6. uncle janko

    uncle janko member

    Of course we're dealing with a liberal here--somebody with no respect for the small parties of the extreme left, and who therefore assumes that a communist-vote question couldn't possibly have a serious answer.

    I think Dr Clifton and I showed otherwise.

    It's funny how folks who would happily assign a veto over American foreign policy to this or that western European country are unable to take seriously political parties for which millions of western Europeans routinely have voted.

    Since the prevalent form of fascism in our day is Arab fascism--in two varieties, one "clerical" (al-Qaeda, Saudi, etc.) and the other "secular" (Ba'athism), not to mention the Codreanuesque efflorescence of Palestinian terror--for whom would a fascist in America vote?

    For Kerry, democratic fumbler on Ba'athism?
    For Bush, democratic fumbler on Wahhabism?
    For Nader, another democrat, on ethnic grounds?

    Not much of a choice there for our hypothetical poor fascist. Failure to understand a phenomenon does not mean that one is a part of it.

    Neo-Nazi organizations have taken on a typology all their own in the US, and probably should not be called "fascist"; whether or not adherents of such groups vote, since they invariably and dementedly view the US government as an illegitimate Zionist-controlled enterprise, I couldn't say. The only political party in the US of which I am aware that could properly be called fascist is a very small group, I forget the name, which consciously takes its inspiration from the Lebanese Phalange (Gemayelists) of the days before the Syrian colonial occupation of Lebanon.

    Even the MSI in Italy has Euro-ized (remember Eurocommunism, kids?) into the Alleanza Nazionale. Here is an interview:

    In sum, the question is much harder to answer than the one about the voting choice of Communists (assuming the CPUSA either isn't running a candidate or is deprived of ballot access).
  7. mrw142

    mrw142 New Member

    Fascism isn't Nazism, but they're related in more ways than not. Fascism, as I understand it, is the use of a totalitarian regime to oppress individuals, the rights of the individuals being subservient to the state. Fascism also often has elements of racism and classism--Nazism was in many senses fascist.

    Just because fascism may have proven "compatible with" religious fundamentalism in the past--or in some modern-day Islamic nations--does not mean fascism = religious fundamentalism either, or that all religious fundamentalist states are fascist--in the U.S. Revolutionary Period, 9 of 13 colonies had official state churches, most of them based on fundamentalist beliefs, and they were hardly fascist.
  8. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Actually, I think an argument CAN be made that religious fundamentalism is very useful to fascism. Here's why:

    Fascism has as its principal concept the ultimate duty of the individual to the State. (Yes, I know Leninism ended up in a similar place, but bear with me.)

    The effect of this is the suppression of individual freedoms to the"greater good". Now, the effect of the "cult of the state" is to vest all power in the individual or party that controls the state. In short, authority no longer derives from the governed, but from the governors and from the ideology of the governing party. Must be so; there aren't free elections in fascist states!

    Now, I still maintain that THE fundamental conflict between a democratic society and a religious society is that in a democracy, the people govern themselves according to their lights but a religious society derives its authority from the religion, not from the authority of the governed, but from (allegedly) God. In short, a fascist party finds "anti-democracy" ready-made in conservative religious societies. Furthermore, religious institutions being human, it is quite possible to bend them to the will of the fascists.

    This isn't speculation, BTW. It's a fairly good description of the Austrian clerical-fascist government of the 1920s and 30s before the Anschluss.
  9. mrw142

    mrw142 New Member

    I'm not arguing that fascism can't be a useful tool for religious fundamentalists or vice-versa, of course it can--but it can also be used by those who would oppress religion: i.e., the Nazis. Also recognize that the notion that rulers govern by consent of the governed came as much from religious philosophers as from secular. St. Thomas Acquinas said that people have natural rights by dint of their dignity as human beings created in the image of God, and he used this springboard to question the divine authority of monarchs.

    And remember, we had 9 little colonies here in America with official state churches, and no widespread tyranny to be found save that from the very secular King George III. Religious beliefs give human beings that concept of inherent worth that makes human rights possible. In my opinion without One who stands behind it all--and I surely don't mean the state!--bestowing such rights, we are nothing but a complex arrangement of chemical processes that will eventually break down and return to dust--what right has such a thing to dignity or respect--to inalienable rights?
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 2, 2004
  10. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Fair enough. I too do not say that religious fundamentalism always results in fascist societies or the reverse. Of course not. But I DO say that the fundamental concept of democracy is that there is no legitimate government except that which derives its authority from the consent of the governed. Not from philosophy, not from the Bible, not from armed might, but from the consent of the governed ALONE.

    Now, where does that leave US as lawyers? You and I are part of the "undemocratic" system called "rule of law" that derives its authority from philosophy, history and human reason!

    My personal fig leaf is that, at one point or another in history, "the people" freely chose to confer authority on the system of the common law. After all, it IS in the constitution, right?

    But part of me really doesn't believe it.
  11. mrw142

    mrw142 New Member

    Every government derives its authority from the consent--or meek acquiesence--of the governed; it can be nothing but, almost by definition. As you surely know, counselor, the common law is about as old as civilization; stare decisis was a legal concept before there was a Latin language to give it that name. I don't know why we follow a common law system, probably historical accident--we're a former English colony; why did it develop there or anywhere? Have the people ever given their "consent" to be ruled by it? I don't know.

    But you've touched on an interesting topic, one that never really occurred to me, and probably an interesting topic for a dissertation. If I remember correctly, UoL allows for a dissertation to replace one of the four modules in the LLM program, perhaps you've charted a direction there to satisfy part of your requirements. If you do, please shoot mwe a copy of that paper, and by all means, keep me updated on your progress in the program. After you've finished your LLM, will you consider yourself to have completed the equivalent of a PhD? I always tell people that in my field the doctorate comes before the Masters, and that the best conception of the latter is roughly as a doctorate--what do you think?

    Best to you!
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 2, 2004
  12. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Well, no, an LL.M. just isn't a doctorate. It seems to be the basic University law teaching credential throuought the common law world, but it isn't a research degree.

    Here in the U.S., the J.D. is the FUNCTIONAL equivalent to a Ph.D. but no one in his right mind would equate the two in terms of effort or intellectual accomplishment...well, maybe the ABA might...

    Yes, one can substitute a 25000 word "master's essay" for one of the four subjects. I can't do it though; you have to have a faculty supervisor and there's no one around here who would qualify. So, I'll write my papers and be content.

    If one were looking for a place to write this, and accreditation weren't an issue, one COULD talk to NWCU Law...
  13. mrw142

    mrw142 New Member

    Thanks for the response. I may not be in my right mind, but I really think that a JD is every bit the equivalent of some doctorates in terms of effort and intellectual accomplishment--but by no means all. I'm not at all willing to concede that a PhD in Art History or English or Educational Administration requires a greater level of competence or accomplishment than receiving a JD--I've talked to PhDs who informed me that the grading was a joke, the coursework as much a matter of showing up as actually understanding the lecture, and the dissertation a workout, but by no means a profound intellectual accomplishment the likes of which we mere attorneys can't imagine. Now, if you're talking about a PhD in say, Economics or Chemistry or Mathematics, then I'd say you have a real point (although my wife, a class shy of an ABD in pure mathematics from a top 40 univ told me the things about the joke aspect of all but the dissertation even in the hardest of the hard sciences).

    Don't sell yourself short, a JD plus an LLM plus the bar plus the research that an attorney necessarily must do--I admit, it's different from and likely less rigorous than scholarly research--is nothing to sneeze at; I'd put that accomplishment somewhere between the Math PhD and the Ed Admin PhD on my spectrum--though closer to the latter than the former.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 2, 2004
  14. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    I guess that before I can respond to this, I need to define 'fascist'. I'm not a political historian, so all that you are going to get are layman's impressions.

    Most loosely, 'fascist' seems to mean "conservative that I don't like", or more generally "conservative", since the word is an epithet and obviously the person using it doesn't like conservatives.

    Most historically, the word refers to a whole set of 1930's European nationalist movements that seem to share little except a family resemblance. So I don't think that 'fascist' in that sense is really applicable to the present day.

    But I'm most inclined to use the word 'fascism' more abstractly than the latter and more technically than the former. I understand it to mean a nationalist theory of the corporate state. By that I don't mean business enterprises. I mean corpus in the Latin sense of 'body'. Namely the model of the nation as a physical organism, with each of its citizens occupying social roles analogous to bodily organs.

    That means that the health of the organism is dependent on each organ performing its assigned function. The body works best if the spleen strives to be the best spleen that it can be, the superman of spleens. But if the spleen ever gets the crazy idea that it really should be the heart or the brain, there's serious trouble.

    And one of the necessary social functions is that of the brain. The function of leadership. While the leader serves the whole just as the toenail does, his word is law and must not be challenged. The Fuhrer-prinzep. It's basically the Renaissance idea of the absolute soverign whose word is law and who himself is subject to no law. The Leviathan.

    Finally, I think that fascism imagined these corporate states to be in constant Darwinian struggle for the survival of the fittest. Those peoples survive who deserve to survive. The whole social-body is a survival mechanism for the nation, the people, who compose it. International relations is a battle to the death.

    This all demands total loyalty. All aspects of the body politic must serve the greater good. And that means that social contagion, those walking-talking diseases who infiltrate the nation with alien social identifications and with divisive agendas of their own, must be purged and disposed of.


    I think that fascism in this sense is incompatible with the market system, in which each individual is seen as an independent actor seeking his or her own best interest. It is incompatible with system in which large scale social changes are the resultant of countless individual choices propagating their way from the bottom up. It's almost the antithesis of the changes that globalization is bringing about, the mixing up of peoples, the proliferation of choices and the homogenization of cultures.

    I don't really think that it should be identified with religious fundamentalism either.

    In its basic meaning, I think that 'fundamentalism' is a drive to purify a religious tradition of accretions that have led it astray, a desire to return a tradition to the (supposedly) purer message of its founders. It's the idea that a faith has indispensible fundamentals and that it's time that the tradition returned to them. In this sense, all religions have their own fundamentalisms. And in this sense, fundamentalism isn't necessarily threatening nor is it necessarily a bad thing.

    Problems arise in Semitic-style religions that emphasize legalism. Judaism offers examples, more tangentially Christianity, but the preeminant example is Islam. The idea is that God revealed a Law to man, a model of what the ideal social order should be. It is man's duty to live as God demands. The danger is that the fundamentalists will get it into their heads to try to enforce this law on society in a "return" to some imagined ideal theocracy.

    But while the danger of fundamentalist totalitarianism is obvious and real, I think that theocracy is a different animal than fascism. But in practice the results can be almost indistinguishable. There's an absolute leviathan up on top, be it God or the Fuhrer, and it is sin/treason for the rest of us to disagree and to propose our own ideas in opposition. And since God is always inexplicably silent, it invariably falls on his interpreters to speak for him, the ayatollahs with their beards and their turbans, the wild-eyed taliban from the madrasahs.

    Or, I sometimes fear, the religious right with their Bibles clutched tightly in their fists...

    Bottom line: I don't think that there's a lot for a fascist to choose from in Bush and Kerry. Neither man proposes anything like a fascist agenda.
  15. mrw142

    mrw142 New Member

    Concurring Opinion:

    I join in Mr. Dayson's opinion excepting the references to the "religious right" and "superman sleens".
  16. maranto

    maranto New Member

    The intellectual debate on the nature of Fascism, notwithstanding… I think that the clear choice for a card caring fascist would be Mr. Jack Grimes.

    He is running an independent/write in campaign under the banner of the United Fascist Union-Pennsylvania. Basically, he is a crackpot who wants to be military dictator of the world. I won’t post his website here, but its not too hard to find if you want to laugh (or cry). Thankfully, I think it’s a relatively small voting block.

    Tony Maranto
  17. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    Much of this talk assumes that facists rule would be bad, appoint me to be your ruler so that I can prove you right! Muahahaha!
  18. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    That, Mr. Dayson, is one of the best posts I've seen on this discussion board.

    As to the J.D... I understand MRW142's point. As a professional degree program, the J.D. is nothing if not arduous.

    I will back down on my "right mind" comment. Perhaps I am seeing apples and apples while someone else could see apples and oranges.
  19. uncle janko

    uncle janko member

    Great post, Bill!
    Nosborne, bang-on on Austrian clerical-fascism.

    See how great it is when words have meaning?
  20. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Since George Lincoln Rockwell, Robert Welch, and J.B. Stoner are no longer alive, I guess they would vote for no one.

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