Sunday, March 3, 2013

A Post-Script to my Recent Post on Fascism and Socialism

By Tom Kando

As I re-read my post “Are Fascism and Socialism the same?”I realize an important omission, which I now wish to remedy.

I almost entirely forgot to mention what may be the single most important difference between Fascism and Socialism:

Fascism wants to return to the past, which it glorifies, whereas Socialism is geared to the future, sometimes a utopian future. Mussolini wanted to build a second Roman Empire. Hitler, a great admirer of Wagner, glorified Teutonic mythology. Fascism is in some ways a perversion of German Romanticism - a longing for a return to nature, to tribalism and to the noble savage. Fascism is anti-modern and anti-science. It appeals to emotion. Its aim is to destroy modern society and to return to a glorious (and mythical) past, when men were real men (warriors, and the like) and women were true damsels (or at least breeders). Fascism is, literally, reactionary: It is a reaction against modernity.

Socialism, on the other hand, embraces modernity. It claims (with some hubris) to be scientific. Marxism is sometimes called “scientific socialism.” Socialism appeals to reason. It is not romantic. Socialism believes in the possibility of building a better future society (which may be naively utopian). In the age-old nature-nurture controversy, it is on the side of nurture, believing in man’s improvability (through education).

Thus, when it comes to this last item on my list of contrasts between Fascism and Socialism, once again the right-wingers who accuse their opponents most recklessly of “fascism” are THEMSELVES the ones who exhibit this fascistoid tendency the most: Folks like the Tea Party and other right-wing gun-toting flag wavers wish to restore America's alleged past glory days. To them, it’s all about going BACK, “taking the country BACK,” remaking America the way it WAS. After all, the very word “conservative” means attachment to the past, does it not? leave comment here