The distortion of 'fascism'
Perhaps the most invaluable weapon of choice the Marxist left harnesses today is the transfiguration of language, expanding the literal definition of a word to the subjective. As was once articulated by Race Marxism author James Lindsay, while Marxists might advertise the same words, they are wielding an antithetical dictionary that flies in the face of logic. Two of the modern Marxist left's most preferred offerings include "fascist" and "fascism."
The prevailing narrative is that fascism is indistinguishable from conservatism, as well as conservative and Trump voters. The obvious intent is to castigate any individual or group who dares to oppose progressive doctrine. This equivalence is inaccurate, to put it mildly, and demonstrates a purposeful contortion of history.
George Orwell recognized in the 20th century that the word "fascist" became an "almost entirely meaningless" term attributed to the endless overuse by the Marxist left. The term was, and remains, detached from its historical context, used solely as a means to shame and humiliate anyone who dares disagree with the Marxist transformation of society.
Fascism itself — both the term and its governing principles — is traditionally associated with Benito Mussolini, who was a fourteen-year member of the Italian Socialist Party before conceiving the Fasci Italiani di Combattimento (Italian Fascist Party) in 1921. Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises described Mussolini as "an intransigent champion of the pure creed, the unyielding defender of the rights of the exploited proletarians, and the eloquent prophet of the socialist bliss to come." The late Harvard University professor Richard Pipes likened Mussolini to Vladimir Lenin: "[n]o prominent European socialist before World War I resembled Lenin more closely than Benito Mussolini. Like Lenin, he headed the anti-revisionist wing of the country's Socialist Party; like him, he believed that the worker was not by nature a revolutionary and had to be prodded to radical align by an intellectual elite."
Prior to his death in 1945, Mussolini openly called for "the socialization of the economy," while proclaiming, "There can be no doubt; we are the working class in struggle for life and death, against capitalism."
Mussolini hardly sounds like a modern-day conservative.
Giovanni Gentile is also a name worth mentioning as we uncover the roots of fascism. A Hegelian philosopher, Gentile is often credited with being the intellectual author of The Doctrine of Fascism, on which he drew inspiration from thinkers including Hegel, Nietzsche, and Karl Marx. Gentile's rhetoric and vision for society in many ways plagiarize core socialists and Marxists. At one point, Gentile asserted that "[f]ascism is a form of socialism; in fact, it is its most viable form." Similar to Marx and the devout socialists who came before him, Gentile opposed individualism and stood firm on the notion that all private property should be repurposed to serve society. He asserted that no distinction could be made between private and public interest. Further, he preferred planned economies and assiduously supported the State, classifying liberal democracy as too harmful due to its unfettered focus on the individual.
Similar to Mussolini, Gentile hardly sounds like a modern-day conservative.
The late Angelo M. Codevilla once observed that "today, the adjective 'fascist' is an epithet — often mixed promiscuously with 'white supremacist,' 'sexist,' etc. — that the ruling class uses to besmirch whoever challenges them, and to provide emotional fuel for cowering, marginalizing, and disempowering conservatives." He would add, "Fascism had fathered the modern administrative state's omnicompetent bureaucracy. The state had a monopoly on a variety of goods, including salt, tobacco, saffron and telecommunications. Fascism had invented public-private partnerships and 'para-state corporations' in all manner of enterprise."
Fascist Italy would become the first nation where elected legislatures relinquished their powers to the executive. Such actions serve as a complete repudiation of the type of government conservative voters cherish, whereby a free citizenry is governed through laws made by elected representatives.
Progressive Marxists who denigrate their opponents as fascists are never tasked with explaining the historical context behind their famed slight. It is therefore beyond ironic that even the most conservative free-market capitalist is not spared the slur of "fascist" upon daring to challenge the absolute authority of the ruling class.
J.B. Cohle is a graduate student.
Image: The All-night Images.