Monday, January 30, 2006

Fascism

Ernst Nolte's classic Fascism in Its Epoch set out six key characteristics of fascism:

1. Strong belief that--through social darwinism--morality is ultimately tied to blood and race, understood as descent and genetic relationship.
2. Strong rejection of the classical "liberal" belief that individuals have rights that any legitimate state is bound to respect
3. In its place, an assertion that individuals have duties to the state, seen as the decision-making organ of the collectivity.
4. A rejection of parliamentary democracy and other bottom-up institutions to assess the general will.
5. The assertion that the general will is formed by the decrees of the leader.
6. A strong fear of twentieth-century Communism, and an eagerness to adapt and use its weapons--suspension of parliaments, mass propaganda, rallies, street violence, and so forth--to fight it.

And exactly how many do the NeoCons get? I think they would argue 2,3 and 5 but publically but privately they openly support the concept of 5. As for 2 & 3 I don't know that they privately articulate these beliefs but that's semantics... for example they would argue that individuals only give up their rights if the are, for example, talking to terrorists. But then the convince themselves that every anti-war demonstrator is a potential terrorist and boom all of a sudden you sound like you are limting your spying program but really you aren't (see Isakoff's investigative reporting).

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