Fascism is a form of counter-revolutionary politics that first
arose in the early part of the twentieth-century in Europe. It was a
response to the rapid social upheaval, the devastation of World War I, and
the Bolshevik Revolution. Fascism is a philosophy or a system of
government the advocates or exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right,
typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together
with an ideology of aggressive nationalism. Celebrating the nation or the
race as an organic community surpassing all other loyalties. This right-
wing philosophy will even advocate violent action to maintain this loyalty
which is held in such high regards. Fascism approaches politics in two
central areas, populist and elitist. Populist in that it seeks to activate
“the people” as a whole against perceived oppressors or enemies and to
create a nation of unity. The elitist approach treats as putting the
people’s will on one select group, or most often one supreme leader called
El Duce, from whom all power proceeds downward. The two most recognized
names that go along with Fascism is Italy’s Benito Mussolini and Germany’s
The philosophy of Fascism can be traced to the philosophers who
argue that the will is prior to and superior to the intellect or reason.
George Sorel, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Georg Hegal are main philosophers
who’s beliefs and ideologies greatly influenced the shaping of Fascist
theory. Sorel (1847-1922) was a French social philosopher who had a major
influence on Mussolini. Sorel believed that societies naturally became
decadent and disorganized. This decay could only be slowed by the
leadership of idealists who were willing to use violence to obtain power.
Nietzsche (1844-1900) theorized that there were two moral codes: the
ruling class ( master morality) and the oppressed class (slave morality).
Nietzsche believed the ancient empires were developed from the master
majority and the religious ideas and views grew out the slave majority.
The idea of the “overman” or superman which symbolized man at his most
creative and highest intellectual capacity was brought about by Nietzsche
as well. Hegal believed people should sacrifice for the community. He
thought war was also necessary to unify the state, with peace bring
nothing but a weak society. Hegal also sustained that laws should be made
by the corporate organization of the state.
Fascism values human nature in a group for the benefit of the
community. The group as a whole is called the human will, which is ruled
by a select group or one leader, with the power being passed down from top
to bottom. Fascism seeks to organize an organization led mass movement in
an effort to capture the state power. When the power is in the firm grip
of the ruler, or IL Duce, the government will be used to control the
population and everything in it so the community will be benefited.
Fascism’s ideal government would be fashioned around the good of
the community or nation. Everyone would work for the benefit of the nation
and that is all. Regularly this would take place with the merging of the
state and business leadership, with concern only of the nation. In this
the nation will also take care of its members if the need should arise.
This could be money ,shelter, food, or any other need that might come
The ideology of Fascism has been identified with totalitarianism,
state terror, fanaticism, arranged violence, and blind obedience. Adolf
Hitler established his own personal ideology, Mein Kampf, which means My
Struggle. The book was written while Hitler was in prison and not yet in
power. Mussolini fashioned his ideology after he took control of Italy.
Despite their two different angles on the use of Fascism Hitler and
Mussolini both worked similarly on how they established their principles
in the same basic manner. Their principles came from basic responses to
various issues the leaders faced. Fascism is an authoritarian political
movement that developed in Italy and other European countries after 1919
as a reaction against the profound political and social changes brought
about from inflation, and declining social, economic, and political
conditions. Italy, which was ready for a new political aspect, was the
birthplace of fascist ideology. Benito Mussolini was the man who brought
this ideology to Italy. Mussolini had been looking for the perfect
opportunity to take complete control of the country and now was the time
to do so. Mussolini said “Fascism, which was not afraid to call itself
reactionary_does not hesitate to call itself illiberal and anti-liberal”
(Nazi Fascism and the Modern Totalitarian State) this statement can be
easily recognized in the steps that Mussolini took to gain control of
Italy. In 1919 Mussolini and his followers, mostly war veterans, were
organized along paramilitary lines and wore black shirts as uniforms.
After defeats at the polls Mussolini used his new financial backing
friends to clothe a gang of thugs who would attack other street gangs
supporting other ideologies that Mussolini disliked. These black shirts
also vandalized, terrorized, bullied, and on occasion took control of
self-governing governments by force. Paralyzed by these violent
occurrences, the government did little to combat the fascists. Mussolini
furthered his popularity by supporting eight hour days, elimination of
class privileges, universal suffrage, and tax advantages.
Adolf Hitler’s Nazi (National Socialist German Worker’s Party)
party is the most recognized example of fascism. Nazism is the ideology
and policies of Hitler and his party from 1921 to 1945. Nazism also
stressed the superiority of the Aryan race, calling for the unification of
all German-speaking peoples into one single empire. Unlike fascism, the
state was second in importance, behind only racial purity for the nation.
Hitler used his book Mein Kampf to establish a plan of action for creating
this racially pure state.
In January of 1933 Hitler was named Chancellor of Germany by
Hindenburg. By the end of the year Hitler had concentrated his power as a
fascist dictator and began a campaign for a racially pure nation that
eventually led to the Holocaust. In order for Hitler to maintain his
ability to control the German people he had to organize several militia
groups. Hitler even wrote down important points of the Nazi party that had
to be followed. These Twenty Five points of Hitler’s party were enforced
by these militia groups.
A few of the points made by Hitler are as follows: immigration of
non-Germans must be prevented, no individual shall do any work that would
I any way hurt the interest of the community for the benefit of all, a
creation of a national (folk) army, all editors and their assistants on
newspapers published in German must be a citizen, and all material to be
published must go through the government for approval. To keep control of
the population and maintain the law, Hitler setup he set up militia groups
to see that everything was in order. Hitler began to organize the SA, his
Nazi storm troopers, which in Mein Kampf he referred to as “_an instrument
for the conduct and reinforcement of the movement’s struggle for its
philosophy of life.” (The Rise of Hitler: A New Beginning) Realizing the
liking of uniforms by the German man the SA adopted a brown-shirt outfit,
with boots, swastika armband, badges and caps. The accessories on the
outfit would become important because of the visual tools providing easy
recognition and visibility, allowing for an increase of notoriety in and
out of the Nazi party. Hitler then created a special unit that would only
answer to him and be his personal body guards. The elite groups was known
as Schutzstaffel, the staff guard or SS for short. The SS took a black
uniform, modeled after the Italian Fascists. Josef Berchtold, a former
stationary salesman, was the groups first leader. The Gestapo,
established in 1933, was a secret state police. All these groups were used
to carry out mass murders of anyone or any groups that posed a threat to
Hitler and the party’s beliefs. They would also create, destroy, and
falsify any record that would benefit the party and the nation. Hitler,
using modern technology, furthered his power. He used the microphone,
radio, and newspaper to create any appearance that fascism will be the new
political power in the twentieth century. Hitler once said that “The great
masses of people_ will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a
small one.” (Nazi Fascism and the Modern Totalitarian State) He
accomplished this feat by use of the microphone, speaking to thousands at
one time he was able to rally support for his cause. He used the power of
the airwaves and print to setup a vial hatred of Jews, blacks, and the
physical handicaps, calling them all imperfections of society and they
must be destroyed. With the Jews being the main scapegoat of the Nazi
party. Hitler could have held to his be belief that the dehumanization and
scapegoating of the enemy as an inferior race could have aided in the plot
to justify genocide. Hitler used the media in the sense that he and his
leaders had to approve anything that was being published. Allowing for
selective material to be let about the party and other world events.
Mussolini’s Brown Shirts and Hitler’s Nazi’s are not the only
right wing element to have an influence in today’s society. There are
numerous other groups who have their own agenda to deal with. Even though
these groups have differences generally they do agree on certain main
issues. With their core administration dealing with issues centering on
anti-government. The issues are gun control, taxes, Constitution liberties,
and federal regulations. These militia groups believe that the government
is tyrannical, and there is a secret elite conspiracy on controlling the
government, the economy, the culture, or all three.
Just as Hitler used the Jews as his scapegoat these militia
groups havethere own victims that the use. Federal officials and law
enforcement officers, minority groups, gay and lesbian right activists,
and people of color or immigrants are just a few of the escape whole the
right-wing militia use. One of the most famous right wing militia
movements in the United States is the Ku Klux Klan, or KKK as it is even
better known as. The KKK is a militia group that got started during the
disorder of the Reconstruction era. Now the Klan’s political agenda are a
number of things. They believe the United States government should protect
the jobs and welfare of American’s first, not just anyone in the third
world countries. The Klan does not want to continue seeing America sell
itself to foreigners such as the Japanese, America should be owned by
Americans. Closing American borders to immigrants also is a project that
the KKK thinks should handled by putting American troops at the border
The idea that the end of the world is coming is rapidly growing in
right wing religious groups. Leading the way is Pat Robertson and the
Christian Coalition. Robertson and his Christian Coalition is credited in
helping many of the Republican Senators and Congressmen attain their
current standings. Robertson even believes by reading Revelation 13 that
if America were to change its money by putting codes on it that it have in
it the mark of the beast.
Some of the states even have their own militia groups. The
Michigan Militia is just one of the many individual groups. The Michigan
Militia believes that the American government is undermining the
individual freedoms that American’s posses, and even selling out to
international organizations. The drug problem is one of the major areas
the group centralizes on. Even though the CIA has taken Noriega out of the
drug cartel in Panama the business is still running just as strong due to
other members of drug families were put back into power. Most of the
people who choose to become part of these groups have several factors
influencing their decision. Desperation generally is the main reason. They
are people who barley are hanging on to their finanical and social status.
Wanting to protect themselves and their children from a life of poverty
and hardship they join a group that will offer a family atmosphere of
love and support.
One idea shared by all fascist movements is the evident lack of a
consistent political standard behind the ideology. Each individual leader
would handle every situation a little differently with no sense of
tradition or law. However, one very commonplace aspect about fascism would
be its unsympathetic drive to achieve and maintain state power and
sovereignty. On that road to conquest though fascists are willing to
abandon any principle to adopt an issue more in acceptance and more likely
to gain converts.
Fascism and its right wing counterparts have been influencing
twentieth century politics in every area. Hitler and Mussolini are perhaps
the two most noted people to bring fascism to the forefront of government.
Regardless of the power and force fascism has established in the past the
same conclusion happens every time, it fails. Leading a person to
question the vitality of this type of government.
Baradat, Leon. Political Ideologies. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1994.
Berlet, Chip. Armed Wing Populism, and Scapegoating. http://paul.spu.edu/~
Merkel, Peter. The Making of a Stormtrooper. New Jersey: Princeton
University Press, 1980.
Nazi Fascism and the Modern Totalitarian State.
Payne, Stanley. Fascism. Wisconsin: The University of Wisconsin Press,
Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Http://members.iglou.com/kkk/belief.html
The History Place: The 25 Points of Hitler’s Nazi Party.
The History Place: The Rise of Hitler, A New Beginning.
The History Place: The Rise of Adolf Hitler, Nazi Party is Formed.