Video: What fascism is...and isn't


of course, corporate interests refers to

and not necessarily to Società per azion




“the merger of state and corporate interests” is quite different from “the state controlling the means of production”. The state exists (essentially) to mediate public and private interests. A fascist state is one where the state interests (meaning the interests of the ruling circle) are considered to be the only interests of the society. Corporate interests are literally the governing principle of a fascist state. And not general capitalist interests, but the private interests of the specific people running the show.

The ‘any means necessary’ that you mention is an important tool of this lens, and part of where the idea comes from that fascists can be socialist. They say whatever it takes to get into power. The same way modern Republicans often claim to adhere to Christian morals.


This whole debate is quibbling over linguistic definitions of meaning. So I’ll be a grammar Nazi and assert that the correct adjectival form of Fascism is Fascistic. Anyone who disagrees is a Fascist.


The state steering corporate interests is not what most people would consider a merger of the interests of the two.


It means what ever WE agree it to mean. That is, if you are trying to communicate. I see too many people who think they can refute an argument by redefining a key word in it away from what the writer meant. That’s disingenuous.


Fascism is counterrevolutionary, inherently reactionary, not revolutionary nor interested in any sort of intellectual progress of any sort- the truth as it pertains to the fascist is already known, not a thing to be looking for.


Did anyone else have problems when he got to the puppets?


Thanks for noting this very specific definition of corporatism. At the very least it will make our Libertarians a little less uncomfortable with the implication suggested by @Tim_Carpenter’s defintion that their precious for-profit corporations are the only non-state organisations complicit in fascist regimes (although historically they’re usually very co-operative).

Really, though, what it illustrates is how totalising fascism is. Every organisation, from the auto club to hunting association to a trade union to an arms manufacturer, gets a swastika or other symbol of the fascist state branded on it in one way or another if it wants to survive under such a regime.


Then I say the noun is Fascisticism. And anyone who disagrees is a Fascisticismist.


Well just look at the term “nazi”, short for “national socialist”.

So nationalism (our country is great) + socialism (the third reich actually had some pretty progressive policies when they weren’t brutually oppressing people).

Now take those to the extreme. We’re nationalists - so we love our country. We need to provide for it, even at the expense of other countries (why hello poland!). And if things aren’t going well, that’s not dear leader’s fault, it’s, uh… the jews!

Personally I hesitate to throw labels around. If pressed I’d self describe as “left libertarian”, but I’m not opposed to a well run government like some in Scandanavia. I’ve been accused of being a “crypto-anarchist” but just because I believe in encryption doesn;'t mean I want to live in an anarcho-syndicalistic commune.

(I’m also a big believer in the Median Voted Theorem - sadly some of the best political philosophies simply aren’t appealing to lower IQ people and thus won’t gain traction in America)


Except both Nazis and Fascists were in direct opposition to Socialists, they simply spawned from recruiting in Socialist circles. Their rise in both influence in power came by buddying up to industrialists afraid of communism and socialism, and their political power came from capitalists joining forces with them to outnumber the communists and socialists.

Their history is not complicated, it’s just that people tend to take Fascist (a political group founded on ignore what I do and listen to what I say) at their word and not through their actions. On paper, they proposed a method of helping the working man very similar to self-help experts saying things like “clean your room.” Then they would make sure the wealth of the economy went to them and their buddies while saying it didn’t.


In two important respects, the communists might feel threatened by fascism, on a purely ideological level.

First, the path to communist revolution is that of class struggle. The proletariat is exploited by the bourgeoisie; there is very little to be gained by cooperation. The fascist seeks to quash labor strife by making the subjugator and the subjugated work together for the betterment of society.

Second, the doctrine of internationalism is conscious of the artificiality of national boundaries. Solidarity between workers of every nation is to be encouraged. The fascist seeks to reinforce these divisions in order to thwart the destiny of Homo Sovieticus.

On a purely practical level, socialists were rounded up and shot by Fascists.


TBH Hitlet played both sides - then massacred the left leaning elements during the night of the long knives


It’s almost like I said exactly that and you avoided quoting a complete sentence in order to prove my point. White Nationalism is a broader umbrella than Fascism, and Fascism is founded by taking scattered racists and Italy-first nationalists out of populist movements (like the socialists at the time) and uniting them under a “strong” leader - using the demand of compliance to their party’s superior ways as the cost of being a member of that nation. This will always involve a quickening of party influencers to create a more unified coalition, and then they do whatever for power (again actions, not words).

That’s basically the entire point behind fascism and why it’s really ignorant to tie it to socialism - Nazis and Fascists both used them to springboard their political power, but outright rejected and murdered the shot out of socialists and communists because they were in no way socialists or communists.


Sorry if I gave the impression I was implying they’re the same, or some other horseshoe theory nonsense.

I think we’re on the same page - I too think they “used them to springboard their political power, but outright rejected and murdered the shot out of socialists and communists because they were in no way socialists or communists.”

TBH I self medicated a bit tonight so I probably did a bad job converying and a bad job fully parsing. I’m going to throw on planet earth on netflix rather than discuss complex politics.


Seconding the Eco piece - it’s pretty singular in capturing the certain ideological fluidity that seems to give so many would be analysts, (including the above youtuber) - some trouble in pinning down the essential qualities in rationally explicable terms.

Mr. Beat did touch on one point of the historical philosophical background that feels very relevant currently. Specifically reactions against enlightenment notions of universality and egalitarian accessibility to truth.

Note the current vehemence of todays crop of proto-fascists, today towards the work of George Soros; student of Karl Popper, (and who also named his foundation after his The Open Society and Its Enemies). Popper, of course gave the modern accepted definition of the scientific method (i.e. falsifiability) and what qualifies as scientific knowledge generally, and was pointedly grappling with the issues around knowledge and it’s role in society that gave rise to the conditions that allowed fascism to take power.


Accepted amongst layfolk, but very much not accepted by modern philosophers.

Popper is an important early thinker, but the field of the Philosophy of Science has moved on quite a bit since then. You typical Phil O’Sci 101 course will begin with Popper, but then move through Kuhn, Lakatos, Feyerabend and Longino, amongst others.


Fascism is forcing other people to live the way you decided they must. It is at the root of all war.

It is horrible seeing how people do not understand what fascism is and people are trying to redefine it to serve their own fascist interests.


how about by scientists? (honest question, wasn’t exposed to the ideas outside of philosphy courses either, not sure if it’s in science curricula or not)

Will admit to having only passing familiarity with the philosophers cited, (of them only read Kuhn, ages ago).
From what I’ve picked up from friends more familiar with recent philosophical tendencies, it strikes me that there might be some blurriness in areas of (edited for: clarity) the philosophy world as to a distinction between science: the methodology (in some ideal sense), and science: the institution (in it’s temporal/human-social realization), (and that definitely seems to be a point of confusion in the popular sphere, vis a vis WTH is science).

(edited for: continuing-the-thought)
Have been trying to get into Bruno Latour’s stuff a bit lately, re. science/society and definitely found his criticism of the present state of criticism kind of fascinating.