Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
Sanguinia
Jan 1, 2012

#RXT REVOLUTION~!
2000





The conversation about the Confederacy in US news was interesting, keep talking about it and other related topics defining fascism, protofacism, neo-facism, and how much those definitions are dependent on historical context here.

My mom once asked me if Napoleon was a fascist and my mind went completely blank because I wasn't really sure how to approach the question, so feel free to tackle the question of pre-industrial authoritarian militarism as a form of protofascism, I bet that'd be interesting too. We all know the fasc loves the Viking and the Romans, right?

edit: also I hosed up my thread title joke, shameful me. I wish posters could edit thread title

Sanguinia fucked around with this message at 01:04 on May 8, 2021

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Bel Shazar
Sep 14, 2012



I just think the political and economic classes of the south were the main remnants of monarchist thought in colonial America and put forth mighty effort to maintain an aristocratic class of landed gentry... they were neo-feudalists, but I also agree with the post from USNews that the confederacy would have become more and more fascist as the state eventually consolidated itself like it did in the union, particularly in the 20th century... notwithstanding the whole counterfactual about the world wars and a divided America.

TulliusCicero
Jul 29, 2017



I feel like fascism is honestly hard to define before Mussolini's Italy/ Franco's Nationalists.

Like one could argue the Roman Empire was fascist to some extent by modern definition, but our very idea of how we define nation states is a relatively new Idea, born out of mostly the late 18th early-19th century.

To answer your question I would say Napoleon does not fit the classical definition of fascist no, but he was a dictator.

TulliusCicero fucked around with this message at 01:19 on May 8, 2021

Epicurius
Apr 10, 2010


College Slice

Like I said in the other thread, I don't think you get fascism without WWI. I repeat my suggestion to read Payne. But I think that before you say "this government is fascist", you have to define what fascism is and what it values.

Madkal
Feb 11, 2008

It was all going well, and then the parademons showed up


Fallen Rib

I remember being told that the Italian ideal of Fascism was kind of a make it up as you go along, the leader is the only one who can make it up part. That is to say there aren't any written down set ideals and anything the leader says is the right thing. From there everything gets justified. This was the early Italian ideal of Fascism where Benito just made up a philosophy/policy that he didn't always abide by but whatever.
Because this was the beginning stages a lot of things kind of cemented themselves to become set rules though ie strong leader, strong military, extreme toxic masculinity etc. I guess looking back at history you can see different things throughout time that fall into the rules but because these rules never existed before it is hard to call them "fascism" just like it would be hard to call any group living in in a commune style arrangement pre-1800s communistic/marxist.

Vasukhani
Jan 13, 2019


can't have fascism before the airplane

confed were reactionary counter revolution, not fash. neo -confeds are fash usually

Vasukhani
Jan 13, 2019


TulliusCicero posted:

I feel like fascism is honestly hard to define before Mussolini's Italy/ Franco's Nationalists.

Like one could argue the Roman Empire was fascist to some extent by modern definition, but our very idea of how we define nation states is a relatively new Idea, born out of mostly the late 18th early-19th century.

To answer your question I would say Napoleon does not fit the classical definition of fascist no, but he was a dictator.

The historical memory of Rome is certainly tied with fascism, seen as a golden age of virtuous men etc, but real rome had almost no fascist features

Vasukhani
Jan 13, 2019


fascism has to drive towards the creation of a new man, fascism has to be aware of its modernity, it has to exult in speed and violence and humanity's own power. It has a desire to violently create the future by returning to the past.

Vasukhani
Jan 13, 2019


In a sense, I think fascism is something very unique to the 20th century. Many fascists today would be better defined as like, post-modern racists, if you really dissect their hate-ideology.

reignonyourparade
Nov 15, 2012


If we want a definition of fascism that's actually useful I think Trotsky gave us the best one in "mass movement of the petite bourgeois."

Vasukhani
Jan 13, 2019


reignonyourparade posted:

If we want a definition of fascism that's actually useful I think Trotsky gave us the best one in "mass movement of the petite bourgeois."

And yet the Nazis successfully recruited from every social strata

reignonyourparade
Nov 15, 2012


Vasukhani posted:

And yet the Nazis successfully recruited from every social strata

"Mass movement of the proletariat" socialism also recruited from every social strata so what of it?

Vasukhani
Jan 13, 2019


reignonyourparade posted:

"Mass movement of the proletariat" socialism also recruited from every social strata so what of it?

whole point of the vanguard was that it wasn't a mass movement of the proletariat

FLIPADELPHIA
Apr 27, 2007




Grimey Drawer

Several people have repeatedly said "well you need to define fascism". Ok let's do that. The 14 features that constitute fascism, by Eco

1. The first feature of Ur-Fascism is the cult of tradition.

Check. Southern society was steeped in the traditions of Anglo Saxon landed gentry

2. Traditionalism implies the rejection of modernism

Check. "Modernism" in this context certainly includes universal abolition and as I stated in the other thread, the CSA was itself a pure manifestation of the rejection of abolition. That was its core tenet.

3. Irrationalism also depends on the cult of action for action's sake

Check. The CSA launched a war against a far superior power before their government was even fully constituted. Confederate politicians had insane fever dreams of turning Latin and South America into a vast slave empire ruled by white Americans.

4. No syncretistic faith can withstand analytical criticism / disagreement is treason

Check. Though the CSA lacked the thought police and centralized propaganda arms of 20th century fascist regimes, abolition was not tolerated as a possible concession or tactic to end the war. In fact the Confederate government declared abolition unconstitutional during the war (which incidentally also destroys the "state's rights" argument thrown around by Confederate apologists

5. The first appeal of a fascist or prematurely fascist movement is an appeal against the intruders. Thus UrFascism is racist by definition

Check. Again, the otherization of black humans was THE foundation of Southern society. Their own vice president said those very words.

6. Ur-Fascism derives from individual or social frustration. That is why one of the most typical features of the historical fascism was the appeal to a frustrated middle class, a class suffering from an economic crisis or feelings of political humiliation, and frightened by the pressure of lower social groups.

Check. Poor rural Southerners were fighting not for the right to own slaves personally (most could not afford to) but for the preservation of a racial pecking order where even the poorest white man stands head and shoulders above the most capable black man.

7. To people who feel deprived of a clear social identity, Ur-Fascism says that their only privilege is the most common one, to be born in the same country. This is the origin of nationalism. Besides, the only ones who can provide an identity to the nation are its enemies.

Check. The Confederacy existed as a protest against the United States. Its very identity was reactionary in nature.

8. The followers must feel humiliated by the ostentatious wealth and force of their enemies

Check. This is a huge component of the Lost Cause Myth - that despite being outnumbered, out-supplied, and out-spent, the valiant and virtuous southern boys gave Billy Yank hell and fought on well past the point of retaining their honor. Primary sources from Confederate soldier diaries feature much resentment against the Union soldiers for their perceived superior equipment, supply, and terms of service.

9. For Ur-Fascism there is no struggle for life but, rather, life is lived for struggle. Thus pacifism is trafficking with the enemy. It is bad because life is permanent warfare

Check. There is a reason that Confederate/Southern identity was/is so wrapped up in ideas of military worship, being in a "militia", and having the "freedom" to own weapons of war to fight tyrannical government.

10. Elitism is a typical aspect of any reactionary ideology, insofar as it is fundamentally aristocratic, and aristocratic and militaristic elitism cruelly implies contempt for the weak. Ur-Fascism can only advocate a popular elitism.

Check. Aristocratic, militant cultural elitism? Yeah, check.

11. In such a perspective everybody is educated to become a hero. In every mythology the hero is an exceptional being, but in Ur-Fascist ideology, heroism is the norm

Check. Considering the first thing the CSA did was declare war on its much larger neighbor with an army made up of zealous volunteers, I'd say this definitely describes southern attitudes toward dying for the cause.

12. Since both permanent war and heroism are difficult games to play, the Ur-Fascist transfers his will to power to sexual matters. This is the origin of machismo (which implies both disdain for women and intolerance and condemnation of nonstandard sexual habits, from chastity to homosexuality). Since even sex is a difficult game to play, the UrFascist hero tends to play with weapons – doing so becomes an ersatz phallic exercise.

Check, though I think this is a particularly 20th century aspect of Eco's vision for UrFascism. I think the roots of gun worship were present in Confederate society, but perhaps did not manifest as the obsession with weaponry we see in contemporary American fascism.

13. Ur-Fascism is based upon a selective populism, a qualitative populism, one might say. In a democracy, the citizens have individual rights, but the citizens in their entirety have a political impact only from a quantitative point of view - one follows the decisions of the majority. For Ur-Fascism, however, individuals as individuals have no rights, and the People is conceived as a quality, a monolithic entity expressing the Common Will

I'm willing to acknowledge that this item doesn't fit naturally and is much more in line with the centralized fascist states post-WW1. The CSA was too fractured to have a unified "People" as a singular political entity.

14. Ur-Fascism speaks Newspeak. All the Nazi or Fascist schoolbooks made use of an impoverished vocabulary, and an elementary syntax, in order to limit the instruments for complex and critical reasoning

This one is difficult to address because the CSA was only around for a short time, and wasn't able to develop a distinct body of literature or political commentary that would serve as evidence one way or the other. However, if we look to the writings of Confederate sympathizers in the aftermath of the war, we can find one of the most successful disinformation campaigns of all time. If the CSA going to war to protect the rights and freedoms of Southerners isn't Newspeak, then nothing is.


As stated previously, not all 14 points are milled to perfection fits, but if we accept Eco's theory of what constitutes eternal fascism, there is very strong evidence that the CSA was the first true fascist state, as it was explicitly founded for the primary reason of preserving a racial hierarchy. Slavery wasn't a feature of the CSA, it was its raison d'etre.

Vasukhani
Jan 13, 2019


were the Vandeans fascists?


For the CSA racial ideology too, consider the absolute obsession with the idea that union victory = "miscegenation"

Vasukhani fucked around with this message at 06:39 on May 8, 2021

Antifa Turkeesian
Aug 20, 2006



Modernity under the rubric of fascism has to involve the radical anomie and alienation of the capitalist mode of production, right? I don’t think modernity can be understood as simply any new idea or practice, but rather as shorthand for accelerating social change with a material basis that produces people who are alienated from the new forms coming into being and who craft for themselves a mythic past designed to confront what they don’t like about modernity—those are your fascists. I don’t know if the antebellum south had material or cultural conditions sufficient to create that dynamic.

I think the invented mythic past can’t just be veneration of old national heroes either, as there’s no narrative to use in, like, big portraits of George Washington. The antebellum south itself comes much closer to serving that purpose for contemporary American fascists who use it to construct a white-supremacist fantasy land to pose against their actual lives. But white supremacy as a political movement in the US (as opposed to an already-existing state of affairs) only makes sense in the context of the gains of reconstruction and the 20th-century civil rights movement.

Beelzebufo
Mar 5, 2015

Frog puns are toadally awesome




Antifa Turkeesian posted:

Modernity under the rubric of fascism has to involve the radical anomie and alienation of the capitalist mode of production, right? I don’t think modernity can be understood as simply any new idea or practice, but rather as shorthand for accelerating social change with a material basis that produces people who are alienated from the new forms coming into being and who craft for themselves a mythic past designed to confront what they don’t like about modernity—those are your fascists. I don’t know if the antebellum south had material or cultural conditions sufficient to create that dynamic.

I think the invented mythic past can’t just be veneration of old national heroes either, as there’s no narrative to use in, like, big portraits of George Washington. The antebellum south itself comes much closer to serving that purpose for contemporary American fascists who use it to construct a white-supremacist fantasy land to pose against their actual lives. But white supremacy as a political movement in the US (as opposed to an already-existing state of affairs) only makes sense in the context of the gains of reconstruction and the 20th-century civil rights movement.

Yeah, I think the mythic past as a blueprint for society is a big part of it. Fascism interprets the alienation created by capitalism as degeneracy/decadence, in fact that may be the biggest tell of facism, channeling escalating class conflict into a conflict over a loss of social morality by "degenerate" (marginalized) groups within a society, and stating that absent those elements, a more pure, correct social order would prevail.

If you just expand fascism to extend to all nationalist movements with racial elements, it loses value as a label. Like, I don't think you could call the Young Turks of the CUP fascist, since their aims were towards a fundamental reordering of society, but they used nationalist rhetoric and ethnoreligious fear as part of their campaign to consolidate power. They were a reaction to modernity, but coming from the collapse of the old Ottoman social structures, not industrial capitalism like Germany and Italy were.

The CSA weren't fighting for an imagined past, they were contesting for a political system that was at that point under threat. Just because the system was evil, doesn't mean it was fascist.

E: In fact, echoing other people in this thread, I don't think something should be defined as fascist unless it is specifically a social reaction to capitalism in the modern sense. Otherwise it's too easy to just define any autocratic and expansionist society as "fascist"

Beelzebufo fucked around with this message at 13:05 on May 8, 2021

axeil
Feb 14, 2006


FLIPADELPHIA posted:

Several people have repeatedly said "well you need to define fascism". Ok let's do that. The 14 features that constitute fascism, by Eco

1. The first feature of Ur-Fascism is the cult of tradition.

Check. Southern society was steeped in the traditions of Anglo Saxon landed gentry

2. Traditionalism implies the rejection of modernism

Check. "Modernism" in this context certainly includes universal abolition and as I stated in the other thread, the CSA was itself a pure manifestation of the rejection of abolition. That was its core tenet.

3. Irrationalism also depends on the cult of action for action's sake

Check. The CSA launched a war against a far superior power before their government was even fully constituted. Confederate politicians had insane fever dreams of turning Latin and South America into a vast slave empire ruled by white Americans.

4. No syncretistic faith can withstand analytical criticism / disagreement is treason

Check. Though the CSA lacked the thought police and centralized propaganda arms of 20th century fascist regimes, abolition was not tolerated as a possible concession or tactic to end the war. In fact the Confederate government declared abolition unconstitutional during the war (which incidentally also destroys the "state's rights" argument thrown around by Confederate apologists

5. The first appeal of a fascist or prematurely fascist movement is an appeal against the intruders. Thus UrFascism is racist by definition

Check. Again, the otherization of black humans was THE foundation of Southern society. Their own vice president said those very words.

6. Ur-Fascism derives from individual or social frustration. That is why one of the most typical features of the historical fascism was the appeal to a frustrated middle class, a class suffering from an economic crisis or feelings of political humiliation, and frightened by the pressure of lower social groups.

Check. Poor rural Southerners were fighting not for the right to own slaves personally (most could not afford to) but for the preservation of a racial pecking order where even the poorest white man stands head and shoulders above the most capable black man.

7. To people who feel deprived of a clear social identity, Ur-Fascism says that their only privilege is the most common one, to be born in the same country. This is the origin of nationalism. Besides, the only ones who can provide an identity to the nation are its enemies.

Check. The Confederacy existed as a protest against the United States. Its very identity was reactionary in nature.

8. The followers must feel humiliated by the ostentatious wealth and force of their enemies

Check. This is a huge component of the Lost Cause Myth - that despite being outnumbered, out-supplied, and out-spent, the valiant and virtuous southern boys gave Billy Yank hell and fought on well past the point of retaining their honor. Primary sources from Confederate soldier diaries feature much resentment against the Union soldiers for their perceived superior equipment, supply, and terms of service.

9. For Ur-Fascism there is no struggle for life but, rather, life is lived for struggle. Thus pacifism is trafficking with the enemy. It is bad because life is permanent warfare

Check. There is a reason that Confederate/Southern identity was/is so wrapped up in ideas of military worship, being in a "militia", and having the "freedom" to own weapons of war to fight tyrannical government.

10. Elitism is a typical aspect of any reactionary ideology, insofar as it is fundamentally aristocratic, and aristocratic and militaristic elitism cruelly implies contempt for the weak. Ur-Fascism can only advocate a popular elitism.

Check. Aristocratic, militant cultural elitism? Yeah, check.

11. In such a perspective everybody is educated to become a hero. In every mythology the hero is an exceptional being, but in Ur-Fascist ideology, heroism is the norm

Check. Considering the first thing the CSA did was declare war on its much larger neighbor with an army made up of zealous volunteers, I'd say this definitely describes southern attitudes toward dying for the cause.

12. Since both permanent war and heroism are difficult games to play, the Ur-Fascist transfers his will to power to sexual matters. This is the origin of machismo (which implies both disdain for women and intolerance and condemnation of nonstandard sexual habits, from chastity to homosexuality). Since even sex is a difficult game to play, the UrFascist hero tends to play with weapons – doing so becomes an ersatz phallic exercise.

Check, though I think this is a particularly 20th century aspect of Eco's vision for UrFascism. I think the roots of gun worship were present in Confederate society, but perhaps did not manifest as the obsession with weaponry we see in contemporary American fascism.

13. Ur-Fascism is based upon a selective populism, a qualitative populism, one might say. In a democracy, the citizens have individual rights, but the citizens in their entirety have a political impact only from a quantitative point of view - one follows the decisions of the majority. For Ur-Fascism, however, individuals as individuals have no rights, and the People is conceived as a quality, a monolithic entity expressing the Common Will

I'm willing to acknowledge that this item doesn't fit naturally and is much more in line with the centralized fascist states post-WW1. The CSA was too fractured to have a unified "People" as a singular political entity.

14. Ur-Fascism speaks Newspeak. All the Nazi or Fascist schoolbooks made use of an impoverished vocabulary, and an elementary syntax, in order to limit the instruments for complex and critical reasoning

This one is difficult to address because the CSA was only around for a short time, and wasn't able to develop a distinct body of literature or political commentary that would serve as evidence one way or the other. However, if we look to the writings of Confederate sympathizers in the aftermath of the war, we can find one of the most successful disinformation campaigns of all time. If the CSA going to war to protect the rights and freedoms of Southerners isn't Newspeak, then nothing is.


As stated previously, not all 14 points are milled to perfection fits, but if we accept Eco's theory of what constitutes eternal fascism, there is very strong evidence that the CSA was the first true fascist state, as it was explicitly founded for the primary reason of preserving a racial hierarchy. Slavery wasn't a feature of the CSA, it was its raison d'etre.

I like that you provided a definition, so thank you for that as it allows us all to work off the same understanding.

I would still say that definition is lacking though as it ignores that fascism as a system of government still requires heavy government control over private industry and private life, otherwise it's better classified as another sort authoritarian of government.

E.g.: Neo-Feudalist if its like the CSA where the government has no power, Apartheid State if it's more like Apartheid South Africa (see: modern Israel wrt Palestine), Junta if its run by the military but without excessive private interference, etc. The absolute level of control over the private sector and private life is one of the key things that distinguished the authoritarian regimes of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy and by not including those elements you end up with a definition that can lump all these different authoritarian governments under one umbrella.

I agree that a fascist state will hit all 14 of these points, but I think it's missing a 15th that indicates the extreme level of control the government has over private industry and private life. By this definition you get some weird answers that conflate government systems that have less in common than one may think.

By this metric you could argue Imperial Rome (and maybe Republican Rome) was fascist as it was super into tradition, anti-modern, obsessed with defense of self/hostile to outsiders, etc. But this would then ignore how ecumenical Imperial Rome was compared to all its other contemporaries. By the time you get into the Imperial age lots of non-Italian groups had been given Roman citizenship and were treated as equals (provided they were in the Senatorial class). I mean poo poo, Trajan was from Spain and was generally beloved.

The reason this definition is too broad is because Point 5 has a key implicit assumption around racism which is that it uses the modern notion of racism as its definition. That form of racism didn't really exist until the Enlightenment era. Prior to that you'd just kill/enslave people because they were from not-your-area, not necessarily because you thought you were superior (although I suppose you may have thought your religion was superior). Modern racism is a fundamentally atheistic line of thinking which doesn't mesh with the Ancient/Classical/Medieval world.

Tl;dr: Eco's definition is a decent starting point but ignores some of the more specific elements of Fascism that distinguish it from other authoritarian government systems. By not including these it misses some of the distinguishing features in each different flavor of authoritarian system and undermines our understanding.

Discendo Vox
Mar 21, 2013


Fascism is characterized by its bad faith approach to public discourse (though this is a general trait of all illiberal ideologies to varying degrees). Fascist writing is difficult and limited in its utility to understand fascism as practiced, as even more than with other ideologies, fascist theory documents are propaganda. The quote from Sartre's Anti-Semite and Jew is relevant here, although it was meant to refer to anti-semites, it captured the ethos of the emergent fascist discourse.

That said, some texts that I think need to be raised to provide some context for fascism definitions or theory:

Italian fascism
Manifesto of the Fascist Intellectuals

The Fascist Manifesto

German fascism
The Concept of the Political
I think of this really just...monstrous book (that is extremely popular in China, gosh gee I wonder why) as offering some insights, because it's a legit internal, sincere fascist writing a good faith academic argument justifying the ways and means of the German government. At the same time, its scope is narrow and doesn't focus well on individual policies, such as economic parallel party structures, for example.

With all this said, I know that there are some more contemporary philosophers who really tried to tackle consistent fascism definitions that render my direct source reading pretty moot; other users will know who these are, as this subject came up a few years ago (if they're still on the forums). Karl Popper wrote against illiberal governments generally, I can review his work and see if there's anything concrete to use to characterize a fascism definition.

Discendo Vox fucked around with this message at 17:15 on May 8, 2021

Timeless Appeal
May 28, 2006


I think there are two ways that I see elements of Fascism in the South....

1) I'd argue there is a an imagined past, but not usually in the sense of re-achieving a once great state. There is both a lot of mythology built around enslavement and the nature of Black people, but also an idea that slavery can be a harmonious thing. As long as the enslaved just do as they're told and people stop trying to tempt them with liberty and intellectualism, they can be happy. The barbarity and sadism of slavery is not inherent to slavery, it's always because of outside forces of enslaved people who just don't understand. I don't think that really fits traditional definitions of slavery. That is a different sort of imagined past than what we traditionally mean when we say fascism though.

2) Where I do see it is in how the enslaved and free Blacks are both inferior to whites, but loving terrifying. You can basically find runaway posters that claim the liberated person is both of course an idiot savage, BUT also clever and cunning. You can find posters for bi-racial people who of course are inferior and need to be brought back into bondage, but are so light skinned they could pretty much just pass for a white person and live their lives as a white. Also, for a people so sure of the inferiority of Blacks, a whole lot of them were terrified of what would happen if these people read books. Once again, the justification against this was that intellectual development is against their platonic happily submissive enslaved person.

In terms of categorization, no the CSA was probably not fascist, but I don't think it's a completely silly observation.

Epicurius
Apr 10, 2010


College Slice

While their definitions are probably too complicated to sum up in a post, I have book recommendations. The first, as I mentioned, before is by Stanley Payne. Payne is a historian, now retired, who's focus was the Spanish Civil War, and he tried to define fascism in, first, his 1980's "Fascism: Comparison and Definition", and then in his 1996 "A History of Fascism 1914-1945,"

The second is by Robert Paxton, a political scientist who studied Vichy France, and he wrote a book called "The Anatomy of Fascism". One of the things he warns about in it is trying to focus too much on fascist doctrine and philosophical underpinnings.

quote:

Fascism, by contrast [to older political movements], was a new invention created afresh for the era of mass politics. It sought to appeal mainly to the emotions by the use of ritual, carefully state-managed ceremonies, and intensely charged rhetoric. The role programs and doctrine play in it is, on closer inspection, unlike the role they play in conservativism, liberalism and socialism. Fascism does not rest explicitly on an elaborated philosophical system, but rather upon popular feelings about master races, their unjust lot, and their rightful predominance over inferior peoples. It has not been given intellectual underpinnings by any system builder, like Marx, or by any major critical intelligence, like Mill, Burke, or Tocqueville.

FLIPADELPHIA
Apr 27, 2007




Grimey Drawer

Beelzebufo posted:


If you just expand fascism to extend to all nationalist movements with racial elements, it loses value as a label.

No one here is doing that. Also, the CSA didn't just have "racial elements", it was a state explicitly dedicated to white supremacy. Every other political, social, and economic element of the Confederacy was built upon the supposition of the ethnostate. Confederate politicians admitted this in their own words.

Governments explicitly founded on racial apartheid in response to humanist, post-Enlightenment movements toward racial parity are strong candidates for the fascist label. The CSA wasn't authoritarian for the average white citizen, but it was authoritarian for its black subjugated populace. The power of the state was largely dedicated to the preservation of an underclass.

Again, perhaps not fascist, but certainly protofascist.

Beelzebufo
Mar 5, 2015

Frog puns are toadally awesome




But was the British Raj a fascist state then? Or the Imperial German administration of Namibia? Or the Belgian Congo? All of these states existed at a point in history well past the CSA and were all equally founded on theories of racial superiority as justification for their policies and acts of violence, and all were explicitly white supremacist states. I'm not sure what explanatory power calling the CSA a protofascist state gives. I think I agree with the definitions of fascism as a modern phenomenon of mass politics more. Maybe even to the point that fascism requires telecomunications as a way of quickly deseminating the emotional affect the regime depended on to keep people motivated.

E: Whereas I think people who argue that Hindutva ideology in India is essentially fascist are correct.

Beelzebufo fucked around with this message at 18:39 on May 8, 2021

sean10mm
Jun 29, 2005

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, MAD-2R World


quote:

6. appeal to a frustrated middle class

Check. Poor rural Southerners

You went off the rails on this point for sure.

And in general you're making the CSA fit this definition of fascism by playing very fast and loose with the meanings of the terms he's using, e.g. "modernism" here doesn't mean "any new thing somebody doesn't like."

Gumball Gumption
Jan 7, 2012

GET BACK UP

Epicurius posted:

Like I said in the other thread, I don't think you get fascism without WWI. I repeat my suggestion to read Payne. But I think that before you say "this government is fascist", you have to define what fascism is and what it values.

Yeah, WW1 and the second industrial revolution feel necessary for facism. Were the Confederate states on the road to fascism? Maybe, if they had won the war, set their sights on expansion, and had moved away from the feudal economy they wanted. Did they have a lot in common with fascists? Oh absolutly. Were they facist? Absolutely not. That doesn't keep them from being white supremacists and monsters but they're not facists.

DrSunshine
Mar 23, 2009

Did I just say that out loud~~?!!!


Isn't it probably more correct to characterize the CSA as an Apartheid State rather than a fascist state?

Fritz the Horse
Dec 26, 2019

... of course!

I think you'd need a combination of centralized authoritarian government and mass media (radio!) to get a fascist Confederacy.

In the alternate history where the CSA won independence and survived another 50+ years then sure, you might well see them evolve into a version of fascism.

Neo-feudal (and white supremacist) seems about right. They wanted to preserve a colonial slave society where wealthy plantation owners were free to exploit African slaves and poor whites without intervention by government.

DrSunshine posted:

Isn't it probably more correct to characterize the CSA as an Apartheid State rather than a fascist state?

Kinda? Apartheid in SA came after abolition of slavery, CSA was started explicitly to maintain slavery. They're both about maintaining systems of racial oppression/subjugation and segregation.

The post Civil War South looks quite a bit like Apartheid SA to me.

Fritz the Horse fucked around with this message at 20:51 on May 8, 2021

Minenfeld!
Aug 21, 2012





FLIPADELPHIA posted:

Several people have repeatedly said "well you need to define fascism". Ok let's do that. The 14 features that constitute fascism, by Eco

As stated previously, not all 14 points are milled to perfection fits, but if we accept Eco's theory of what constitutes eternal fascism, there is very strong evidence that the CSA was the first true fascist state, as it was explicitly founded for the primary reason of preserving a racial hierarchy. Slavery wasn't a feature of the CSA, it was its raison d'etre.

So, your entire framework for defining fascism is based on Eco's work? I do not believe that he is credible on this topic. While perhaps he offers insight, he was a semiotician, not a historian or political scientist. Academics like Robert Paxton are where you want to look for some background on fascism and a thoughtful discussion of what its salient features are.

Several of your points above rely on redefining words or using them outside of their historical context in order to anachronistically label the CSA fascist. Some of the key enabling features of fascism are modernity and mass-media politics--things that did not apply to the time period.

Vasukhani
Jan 13, 2019


again, if the CSA had airplanes the definiton would fit lol

Demon Semen
Apr 3, 2021



The best definition of fascism by Georgi Dimitrov:

”Fascism is not a form of state power "standing above both classes – the proletariat and the bourgeoisie," as Otto Bauer, for instance, has asserted. It is not "the revolt of the petty bourgeoisie which has captured the machinery of the state," as the British Socialist Brailsford declares. No, fascism is not a power standing above class, nor government of the petty bourgeoisie or the lumpen-proletariat over finance capital. Fascism is the power of finance capital itself. It is the organization of terrorist vengeance against the working class and the revolutionary section of the peasantry and intelligentsia. In foreign policy, fascism is jingoism in its most brutal form, fomenting bestial hatred of other nations.... The development of fascism, and the fascist dictatorship itself, assume different forms in different countries, according to historical, social and economic conditions and to the national peculiarities, and the international position of the given country."

Everyone should read his book, published in 1935, “The Fascist Offensive and the Tasks of the Communist International in the Struggle of the Working Class against Fascism.” He was imprisoned by the Nazis (falsely accused of torching the Reichstag), and then released after he humiliated Goebbels himself in Court.

Epicurius
Apr 10, 2010


College Slice

Didn't Communists blame everything on the forces of finance capital oppressing the working class, though? I don't know that it's a particularly helpful definition, and it doesn't tend to fit well with the actual rhetoric or actions of fascist movements.

BrutalistMcDonalds
Oct 4, 2012




Lipstick Apathy

Vasukhani posted:

In a sense, I think fascism is something very unique to the 20th century. Many fascists today would be better defined as like, post-modern racists, if you really dissect their hate-ideology.
The fringe right today is influenced by Julius Evola who constructed an aristocratic ideology in which the ancien regime = always better. This makes every revolution bad including the Italian fascist "revolution," which means Evola had a different ideology. This has influenced the European New Right (ENR) and also the American far right such as the publishing outfit Counter Currents headed by a guy named Greg Johnson.

This also leads to a pretty apolitical kind of "fascism," since if the West is living in an interregnum, then one should withdraw from the world, retreat inwards and become an "aristocrat of the soul," which will somewhere down the line lead to a revival once the decadence characteristic of modernity leads to society's collapse. This doesn't rule out participating in politics, but it eschews mass politics, and also gives license to terrorism on the other side of the coin -- since if modernity is doomed to collapse anyways, then why not speed it up? I think this is why some of the more extreme and esoteric neo-Nazi terror cults adopt a kind of accelerationist lingo while borrowing terms from Evola like "ride the tiger" and "kali yuga."

Sanguinia
Jan 1, 2012

#RXT REVOLUTION~!
2000





Demon Semen posted:

The best definition of fascism by Georgi Dimitrov:

”Fascism is not a form of state power "standing above both classes – the proletariat and the bourgeoisie," as Otto Bauer, for instance, has asserted. It is not "the revolt of the petty bourgeoisie which has captured the machinery of the state," as the British Socialist Brailsford declares. No, fascism is not a power standing above class, nor government of the petty bourgeoisie or the lumpen-proletariat over finance capital. Fascism is the power of finance capital itself. It is the organization of terrorist vengeance against the working class and the revolutionary section of the peasantry and intelligentsia. In foreign policy, fascism is jingoism in its most brutal form, fomenting bestial hatred of other nations.... The development of fascism, and the fascist dictatorship itself, assume different forms in different countries, according to historical, social and economic conditions and to the national peculiarities, and the international position of the given country."

Everyone should read his book, published in 1935, “The Fascist Offensive and the Tasks of the Communist International in the Struggle of the Working Class against Fascism.” He was imprisoned by the Nazis (falsely accused of torching the Reichstag), and then released after he humiliated Goebbels himself in Court.

Communist definitions of fascism that focus on its anti-communist and class elements to the exclusion of its racial components don't sit well with me. Race may be made up, and from a Marxist view just another tool to divide the working class, but this definition doesn't even mention it when the most famous example of fascism in history, and the one this guy is pretty explicitly talking about, is so predicated on race that they tried to make their target races literal synonyms for communist so they would be inseparable concepts in the minds of their people. The definition of fascism cannot fail to include, if not race specifically, some mention of creating an enemy population through otherizing.

Charlz Guybon
Nov 16, 2010


Madkal posted:

I guess looking back at history you can see different things throughout time that fall into the rules but because these rules never existed before it is hard to call them "fascism" just like it would be hard to call any group living in in a commune style arrangement pre-1800s communistic/marxist.
The neo-Summerian empire was a theocratic communist state.

Antifa Turkeesian
Aug 20, 2006



I’ve never read them myself, but a lot of people consider radical groups that emerged in the 17th century like the levellers to be on a continuum with communism despite being from a completely different time and place.

Is that reasonable?

Beelzebufo
Mar 5, 2015

Frog puns are toadally awesome




I mean, I guess the Diggers could be if you consider any movement advocating for equality and common ownership of property as akin to communism, but that's a broad brush.

Antifa Turkeesian
Aug 20, 2006



Yeah, I wouldn’t really label the utopian colonies of the 19th century like Oneida and Amana communist even though they had no private property, because they were also authoritarian and organized around weird sex poo poo as much as anything.

fart_man_69
May 18, 2009


Epicurius posted:

Didn't Communists blame everything on the forces of finance capital oppressing the working class, though? I don't know that it's a particularly helpful definition, and it doesn't tend to fit well with the actual rhetoric or actions of fascist movements.

That definition accurately gets at the core of fascism - it is the reason for its being. The basis of the fascist critique of "degenerate" liberals was that the latter had, out of misplaced compassion and weakness, over time conceded political rights to the masses, who now had real power and were dangerously close to taking control of the state and enacting socialism. Hitler and Mussolini both believed in the supremacy of the strongest individual, and the inherent value of ruthless - capitalist - competition, which they saw as the manifestation of natural selection. They saw the facilitation of the process of competition and domination, unfettered by any moral considerations, as the ultimate goal of a People. They despised the communists, who wanted to do away with such competition and ensure a decent life for everyone regardless of natural fitness or whatever. Fascism was fundamentally a reaction against the danger of socialism.

The interests of financial capital were also well served by fascist economic policy, which resulted in dramatically worsening living standards for the average person even before the war: longer working hours, less pay, less rights, etc. Not to mention every kind of legal and illegal (but condoned) repression and harassment of the workers. All while the business and political elite plundered the property of their enemies (the Jews and the leftists) and hoarded the national wealth. The power base of fascism were, unsurprisingly, the capitalist elite and the middle classes. The higher you went on the social ladder, the more support there was for the Nazis.

Opposing the ascension of the fascist Overman were the political organizations of the working class. The destruction of these organizations, through violence and political suppression, was the immediate primary goal of the fascist movements, and in this they succeeded all too well, so I don't know what you mean when you say the definition doesn't fit with their actions.

As for rhetoric, I really wouldn't put too much stock in what fascists claim to stand for publicly, in propaganda directed at the masses. In any case, that rhetoric was proved entirely false by the actual policies enacted by the fascist regimes.

^
I would agree that Dimitrov's definition is incomplete. It doesn't really get into the ideological motivation of fascism as much as the material reality of it. It seems to me that the racial aspect of fascism is inseparably integrated with its class aspect. The oppression of the "lower races" was justified by the same principle as the oppression of the worker; someone lower on the class hierarchy, or racial hierarchy, deserved to be abused by their superiors, as was natural. Race was indicative of a constitutional weakness in the same way that the poverty of a worker was. It's telling that the Western eugenics movement, which was embraced by the elites of liberal nations as well, conflated class and race in a similar way.

Beelzebufo
Mar 5, 2015

Frog puns are toadally awesome




Both fascism and communism are products of human social structures and human culture, so it's not like they need to be seen as entirely seperate from earlier social orders. That's sort of the issue I have with broad definitions of fascism that would encoporate something like the CSA. If you are casting that broad a brush, then is Israel a fascist state? Was the Reagan and Clinton US, through voter suppression and the war on drugs/crime, a protofascist state? You have people in this thread insinuating that China is a fascist state, which, whatever else it might be, would seem to reduce the label to almost meaninglessness if we accept that. At least as useful as "what is fascist", is "what is not fascist?", and a lot of these definitions feel like you could put almost any modern nation state into the structure with a little bit of fudging.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Discendo Vox
Mar 21, 2013


Beelzebufo posted:

Both fascism and communism are products of human social structures and human culture, so it's not like they need to be seen as entirely seperate from earlier social orders. That's sort of the issue I have with broad definitions of fascism that would encoporate something like the CSA. If you are casting that broad a brush, then is Israel a fascist state? Was the Reagan and Clinton US, through voter suppression and the war on drugs/crime, a protofascist state? You have people in this thread insinuating that China is a fascist state, which, whatever else it might be, would seem to reduce the label to almost meaninglessness if we accept that. At least as useful as "what is fascist", is "what is not fascist?", and a lot of these definitions feel like you could put almost any modern nation state into the structure with a little bit of fudging.

a) What "people in this thread" are "insinuating that China is a fascist state"?

b) How does referring to China as a fascist state "reduce the label to almost meaninglessness"?

Discendo Vox fucked around with this message at 02:59 on May 9, 2021

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply