Featured Article: Definition of Freedom - What Freedom Means to Me
- Posts: 55
- Joined: October 12th, 2018, 11:10 am
Thank you for your kind reception. Let me start with this question and see what you think.Georgeanna wrote: ↑October 16th, 2018, 4:23 amcavacava - welcome to the forum. Already your are asking interesting questions.
Q; Do you think that men can be fundamentally evil?
A: I don't think that anyone is fundamentally evil. I think that behaviour can stretch from the extremes for humans and animals alike. Your thoughts?
Q: In r
In a short essay by Emmanuel Levinas, "Reflections on the Philosophy of Hitlerism" http://users.clas.ufl.edu/burt/Disappea ... lerism.pdf Written in 1934, Levinas suggests that National Socialism (which I take to mean Fascism or Hitlerism as Levinas uses it)
Fascism is described as the "awakening of elementary feelings" which harbor a philosophy, an attitude towards reality. Leo Strauss also talks about man's essential 'evil' in the introduction to his "The City and Man" he states...expresses the conviction that this source stems
from the essential possibility of elemental Evil into which we can be led
by logic and against which Western philosophy had not sufficiently
...no bloody or unbloody change of society can eradicate the evil in man: as long as there will be men, there will be malice, envy, and hatred, hand hence there cannot be a society which does not employ coercive restraint
Man's and Western Culture's attitude towards being in the world changed radically during the 19th and 20th centuries. Levinas pin points Marx as the axis point in a turn of thought. In Marx man's relationship to his being is reversed.
Levinas thought that the force of this turn was possible because it "was not added to him[man] but formed the very foundation of his being", man's body. Plato's Socrates in prison in chains, the body was an obstacle for Plato, until one breaks free. But the body is no mere object, it is not foreign, we identify with it, its on my driver's license, it is part of my history, my heredity, it is a "link that blood establishes".Marxism is opposed not just to Christianity, but to the whole of
idealist liberalism, wherein "being does not determine consciousness,"
but consciousness or reason determines being
Levinas asserts that this is a new conception of man, in which the biologic becomes more than an object of spiritual life, "It becomes its heart". "Man's essence no longer lies in freedom, but in a kind of bondage[enchainement]" Acceptance of this chaining takes the place of the self's freedom.The body is not only a happy or unhappy accident that relates us to
the implacable world of matter. Its adherence to the Self is of value in itself
It is an adherence that one does not escape and that no metaphor can
confuse with the presence of an external object; it is a union that does
not in any way alter the tragic character of finality.
Within man's new conception, "thought becomes a game", doubt becomes lack of conviction, and all sincerity becomes suspect. Truth and authenticity becomes the role the individual has to play in a society bound by blood. Levinas asks how if this truth is so particular can it clam any universality, and answers that "Universality must give way to the idea of expansion" as a kind of force. Unlike the ideal of freedom that makes all men masters of their will, all equal before the law, in Fascism each man retains their force individually, and society become a matter of masters and slaves, war and conquest and perhaps racism is " is the very humanity of man."A society based on consanguinity immediately ensues from this concretization
of the spirit. And then, if race does not exist, one has to invent it!
- Posts: 1521
- Joined: February 21st, 2014, 6:32 am
- Location: Germany
- Site Admin
- Posts: 7657
- Joined: December 16th, 2013, 9:05 pm
Once populations number in the hundreds of millions there appears to be a choice to be made between authoritarianism, chaos or secession. Nations like India and Indonesia let the chaos run while China and Russia quickly crack down on any emergent chaotic signals in their societies. The US's problems look to me to be most likely solved by secession, although that would mean sacrificing power and influence.
- Posts: 596
- Joined: February 16th, 2018, 11:28 am
Though it is also a style. IOW it has been pulled out of its particular ideology (the term that is) and is also applied to any dominating, hierarchical, controlling ideology. Deleuze and Guattari used it this way and I think other philosophers, but certainly also in semi-everyday speech. One could even argue that the style itself is an ideology, though at a higher level of abstraction. But it's not the specific ideology, in any case, that Fascsts had.
- Burning ghost
- Posts: 3037
- Joined: February 27th, 2016, 3:10 am
The I,and I believe others, were making was that although the far right is associated with fascism more often the far left does the same thing - the obvious diffrence being the left tends to use the sense of victimhood to cause predujice that needn’t rely on an agenda about ethnicity.
Was Stalin a fascist? My point being that once either the left or the right goes to the extreme the same thing happens. The fact that Stalin joined the anti-fascist movement only exposes his lies.
It quite clearly isn’t only an extreme right attitude.
- Posts: 435
- Joined: October 29th, 2017, 1:17 pm
Yes. Your quote is from the final section 'Fascism today' which considers whether fascism is on the rise in America. Robert Paxton thinks not ( must check when this was written ). What there is is an oligarchy with 'learned manoeuvres to win popular support with rhetorical devices that resemble fascism'.Fooloso4 wrote: ↑October 16th, 2018, 10:22 amGeorgeanna:
From the article:In the meantime, some more thoughts on what fascism is.
This is an interesting point. One problem is that the term “businesspeople” covers both the individual who starts a business and powerful monopolistic corporations with government backing that gobble up individual businesses. Corporate globalism might seem to offset nationalism but many were given huge tax breaks, allegedly to bring back jobs, but conferring much greater benefit to the corporations and the politicians who made it happen."What I think we have in this country is much more traditional conservatism," he said. "The basic social political program is individualism, not for everyone, but [for] entrepreneurs. It supports the right of businesspeople to seek maximum profit without rules of regulations.
This is an excellent article well presented with sections on definitions, core elements, economics, the difficulties in definition even for experts.
The part which interested me:
Core Elements - based more on feelings than philosophical ideas. Paxton defines 7 which motivate fascist regimes.
1. The primacy of the group. Supporting the group feels more important than maintaining either individual or universal rights.
2. Believing that one's group is a victim. This justifies any behavior against the group's enemies.
3. The belief that individualism and liberalism enable dangerous decadence and have a negative effect on the group.
4. A strong sense of community or brotherhood. This brotherhood's "unity and purity are forged by common conviction, if possible, or by exclusionary violence if necessary."
5. Individual self-esteem is tied up in the grandeur of the group. Paxton called this an "enhanced sense of identity and belonging."
6. Extreme support of a "natural" leader, who is always male. This results in one man taking on the role of national savior.
7. "The beauty of violence and of will, when they are devoted to the group's success in a Darwinian struggle," Paxton wrote. The idea of a naturally superior group or, especially in Hitler's case, biological racism, fits into a fascist interpretation of Darwinism.
- Posts: 435
- Joined: October 29th, 2017, 1:17 pm
Paraphrased. From the article 'What is Fascism ?'
'It's a complex ideology - a type of political action, a mass movement with most agreeing that it is authoritarian, promoting nationalism at all costs.
The basic characteristics are debatable. The difficulties being that fascist regimes differ depending on country; the role of religion would be higher in America than in the more secular Europe. Some non- fascist governments mimic fascist elements.
Fascism used as an insult in common vernacular - this dilutes the meaning and the evil nature the word carries.
There is no set philosophy.'
- Posts: 435
- Joined: October 29th, 2017, 1:17 pm
' What is fascism? (Live Science). Fascism belongs in the history and political science departments, not “live science.” In this not-so-subtle salvo against the Trump administration, Jessie Szalay pretends to offer a balanced presentation of the political history and nature of fascism, citing history experts. The opening photo shows Mussolini and Hitler. The timing of this article, however, is highly suspect, coming right after Democrats have accused Trump of fascism and ‘Hitlerian’ statements. That could be OK, shedding light on history, if Szalay also included some balance to defend Trump against the slander, but Szalay misrepresents conservatism as a stepping stone to fascism. Any mention of the anti-Trump protestors sporting blatantly communist slogans and resorting to violence? Crickets.'
- Posts: 1521
- Joined: February 21st, 2014, 6:32 am
- Location: Germany
"[T]he one-sentence definition originally formulated in my The Nature of Fascism will hopefully make sense, despite the highly condensed way in which 'concrete individual phenomena' have been 'arranged into a unified analytical construct' or 'thought-picture' consistent with Max Weber's original ideal type theory (…): 'Fascism is a genus of political ideology whose mythic core in its various permutations is a palingenetic form of populist ultranationalism' (Griffin 1991 [The Nature of Fascism]: 26). Unpacked, this formulation offers the following solution to the 'conundrum' posed by fascism as a political concept to newcomers to the field or fellow researchers not pre-armed with their own theory:
a) generic fascism should be treated on a par with other political ideologies which refer to thinkers, movements, regimes, policies or actions motivated by the prospect of realizing a particular vision of ideal society and set of political and cultural values on which it is based;
b) as with other generic political ideologies, fascism manifests itself in a wide variety of forms, some extremely diverse, and can be imagined as forming a vast extended family of related permutations of the same ideal type;
c) the inner coherence of fascism as a generic concept emerges once these different permutations are interpreted in relation to a core utopian myth of an ideal state of society and civilization and the practical consequences of attempting to translate that myth into practice in a particular historical context;
d) the core myth, ideal-typically constructed, is that an organic 'people' forming an 'ultra-nation' is in crisis and needs to be saved from its present state of disintegration and decadence through the agency of a vanguard made up of those who are keenly aware of the current forces that threaten it and are prepared to fight to combat them (though, especially in the postwar period, this 'fight' may not necessarily be physical or violent);
e) the definitional minimum of generic fascism is thus that it embraces an ideology, and its related policies and practices, centred on the need to mobilize populist energies of renewal (palingenesis) to bring about the rebirth of the ultra-nation, thereby inaugurating a new, revolutionary national or civilizational order."
(Griffin, Roger. Fascism. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2018. pp. 45-6)
"The definitional components of the 'empathetic' ideal type of fascism: Since the 1990s the empirical validation of the usefulness of this ideal type, the range of movements and primary sources embraced by the sub-discipline, and the number of scholars from different countries applying the empathetic paradigm has been constantly growing. The 'ideal type' is formulated in as many ways as there are experts prepared to define it, but the constant, 'definitional' elements of the so-called fascist minimum in the light of this book can be summarized as follows:
* Ultranationalism: ‘Fascism’ is a particular form of extreme nationalism based on a utopian concept of the nation as a healthy, powerful and heroic organic entity (termed in this book an ‘ultra-nation’) which a self-appointed vanguard of militant ultranationalists attempts to turn into reality, in the ﬁrst instance with or without populist support, though in the long term an entire ‘national community’ is to be mobilized as a result of the fascist revolution, whether violent or cultural. The ultra-nation is a particular form of the ‘imagined community’ (Anderson 1983) which is not necessarily seen as coterminous with a historical nation or nation-state – as in the case of the ‘white race’ posited by Aryanism, white supremacism and Universal Nazism. Interwar Nazism, for example, already developed the vision of a national community which merged elements both of the historic German nation-state and of the supranational Nordic and Aryan race. Nor does the ultra-nation necessarily embrace such common interwar components as negative eugenics, biological racism, the terror state, corporatism or imperialism. Even the leader cult, uniformed paramilitarism and elaborate displays of political religion, so characteristic of interwar fascism, are not treated by the empathetic paradigm as deﬁnitional traits of fascism and can in any case be found in a wide variety of illiberal politics.
The ultranationalism based on the project of the reborn ultra-nation rejects liberal ideas of citizenship, multiculturalism, individualism and the equality of human rights as the basis of society, along with forms of nationalism derived from liberal ideas of citizenship, residence and acculturation (ius soli). Instead it promotes the concept of an affective belonging to an organic national community, whether contained within a nation-state, an imagined global ethnicity, a race or ethnically based culture, a mystic membership made possible through such anthropological ties as mythicized history, ancestry, place, language, culture and blood (ius sanguinis). Some fascisms see the removal or physical purging of alien or decadent elements from society as the precondition for the ultra-nation to come into being, while many do not. But all are committed to an ideology of revolutionary (palingenetic) ultranationalism tailored to the crisis conditions in which the imagined ‘ultra-nation’ ﬁnds itself.
* The belief in a crisis threatening the uItra-nation: The latent organic ultra-nation to be achieved through the fascist revolution is perceived as exposed to an urgent or sustained existential threat. This threat can be attributed to a wide range of factors determined by the prevailing historical circumstances, but it typically expresses itself in a sense of ‘crisis’, ‘decadence’ or ‘degeneration’: for example, military, industrial, demographic, moral or cultural decline, the production of ‘degenerate’ or meaningless art, anonymous townscapes and architecture, national humiliation, whether economic or military, loss of national essence and virility, loss of identity, erosion of communal cohesion, collective amnesia about a heroic past, miscegenation with racial, ideological, dysgenic or moral 'enemies', and contamination by decadent ideologies, (e.g pacifism, communism, cosmopolitanism, globalization, multiculturalism, political correctness), by alien cultures (e.g. African-American, Jewish, Slav, Islamic, experimentation, abstraction and unintelligibility in art) or by unhealthy social practices and movements (e.g. consumerism, homosexuality, feminism, mixed marriage, social media, materialism, communism). In the fascist mindset, unique combinations of such factors work together to undermine the cohesion of the national community, the heroic conception of the ultra-nation, and the possibility of achieving transcendence through national belonging.
* Calls or plans for the total conquest of (political or cultural) power: Some committed fascists are convinced that the catastrophic situation or the creeping decadence presently threatening the organic cohesion and strength of the nation, and hence the emergence of the ultra-nation, can eventually be reversed by a violent military putsch or an electoral victory reinforced by a powerful populist movement, while the New Right works towards a gradual cultural revolution winning hegemony for ultranationalist values and the rejection of multiculturalism, which will in turn bring about a political transformation. All these processes are supposed to lead in time to a national 'reawakening' and totalizing rebirth in all spheres. In practice, the fascist conquest of the state in Italy and Germany was the result of a democratic process backed up by the intimidating use of paramilitary power. As for Croatia's seizure of power in order to carry out an ethnic revolution, this was possible only because of an exceptional situation created temporarily by the Axis occupation of the Balkans.
Since the war, when political space for fascist movements shrank and the critical social mass to produce charismatic leaders or carry out a successful coup failed to materialize, fascism has changed radically to adapt. The resulting 'neo-fascism' has assumed many forms and deployed a number of different strategies to gain power, ranging from carrying out a military coup, to winning democratic elections, to changing cultural hegemony in favour of fascist ideals, to the use of terrorist violence to spark a race war or awaken the ultra-nation, to simply using cyberspace to keep alive the fascist dream and maintain the faith until, at some point in the future, historical conditions favour the emergence of a new national or civilizational order. With the decline of the nation-state and the globalization of so many phenomena, it is increasingly frequent for the fascist 'new order' and the regeneration of the ultra-nation to be conceived in international and transnational terms of European and Western renewal as a whole and to resort to worldwide cyberfascism and metapolitical, supranational cultural initiatives.
* The goal of creating a fascist (and neo-fascist) new order: In the interwar period, the reversal of decadence is generally conceived in archetypal mythic terms as a total and imminent phoenix-like rebirth, a process of renewal, regeneration, a new dawn, a new beginning. This palingenesis will usher in a new phase of national greatness drawing on the hidden resources of what is conceived as an immortal and invisible ultra-nation founded on primordial, eternal values, and in some cases (though not all) on the ‘purity’ of a superior race (which geographically may or not be coterminous with a nation-state). In other words, where possible fascists instinctively operate what theorists of nationalism call a ‘primordialist’ concept of the nation, as epitomized in the Nazi concept of the Germans as an ‘Aryan race’, the Fascist cult of romanità, and the Turanian myth of the origins of the Magyar cultivated by Hungarism. The world was forced to witness the catastrophic results of fascist attempts to realize their organic new order.
In the postwar era, though palingenetic myth is still deﬁnitional within our ideal type, the timetable for the rebirth and the entity to be reborn, what constitutes the ultra-nation, has become far more nebulous and ill-deﬁned for many fascists. The rebirth of the ultra-nation from within the nation-state is still generally assumed to be integral to a process of regeneration affecting Western civilization as a whole and ushering in a sea-change in world history. But neo-fascism is characterized by so many palingenetic visions and schemes that it is impossible to generalize about how this rebirth will occur, especially now that, for many fascists, the rebirth has been indefinitely postponed and must wait for the collapse of liberal civilization from within – what Julius Evola (1961) calls 'riding the tiger'. The process of society’s renewal is hence rarely described in any detail. Thus, the account of the racial apocalypse at the end of The Turner Diaries (Pearce  2013) refers to a ‘cleansing hurricane’ which will purge the world of dysgenic human life, but the new Aryan world that will arise is not portrayed, any more than what will occur after the ‘Conservative Revolution’ longed for by Armin Mohler (1950). For most neo-fascists, notably the several thousand militant Universal
Nazis in the world and a handful of terrorists determined to rid the country of multiculturalism, Islamization and mass migration, the struggle against the decadence of the system in the name of higher ultranationalist values has become an end in itself. It is pursued using very different analyses and tactics, but – in stark contrast to the interwar Europe when the threat of revolutionary violence was very real – most fascist imagining is cut off from reality, and even the fantasies of attacks on the system in which neo-fascists indulge mostly remain virtual.
* A modernist vision of the fascist new order which embraces elements of a mythicized past: The new order, however and whenever conceived, even in the case of futurist Fascism in Italy, draws its vital (mythic) strength from the ‘usable past’ of the ultra-nation (nation, civilization or race). It is thus a misconception to assume the fascist quest for rootedness and concern with the past is somehow reactionary or anti-modern. On the contrary, fascism is a dynamic, future-oriented and (would-be) future-conquering ideology, which sees itself as constituting an alternative and viable modernity to a decadent present. It strives for a 'rooted modernity' and can even be conceived as a form of modernism in itself."
(Griffin, Roger. Fascism. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2018. pp. 129-133)