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View Diary: It's time we stopped mincing words... (Updated) (269 comments)

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  •  You left out a singular distinguishing (8+ / 0-)

    feature: the ability to mobilize a mass base of popular support.

    That ability is why Fascism is describable as a movement and distinguishes it from other reactionary, authoritarian regimes that base themselves on existing social and political structures.

    Fascism, as a historical and material reality, is more than simple corporate rule. In its most extreme form, National Socialism, it largely negated the power of the corporatists.

    Nothing human is alien to me.

    by WB Reeves on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 02:13:41 PM PDT

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    •  Germany isn't the best example (6+ / 0-)

      because the corporatists in fact maintained lots of power.  In fact, the state provided slave labor to the likes of IG Farben.

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 02:18:29 PM PDT

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      •  Why would you attribute the use of slave labor (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, FG, Words In Action, marsanges

        to the power of the corporatists as opposed to that of the totalitarian state? The use of slave labor was a function of the the state's control of the economy for it's own purposes. Corporations, as with every other aspect of German society, were "coordinated" under the central authority of the Fuhrer principle.

        The corporatists proved no more capable of resisting this principle than the General Staff of the Wehrmacht.

        Nothing human is alien to me.

        by WB Reeves on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 02:41:03 PM PDT

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        •  Except of course (6+ / 0-)

          that Hitler wiped out the socialist wing of the party entirely as a favor to the corporatists.  He certainly wasn't in hurry to nationalize their interests.  It was in fact a very cooperative relationship he had with them.

          Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

          by corvo on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 03:10:23 PM PDT

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          •  I should've added to the second sentence (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            shaharazade, Words In Action

            something to the effect of "let alone Long Knive them."

            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

            by corvo on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 03:12:45 PM PDT

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            •  While the corporatist disliked Roehm and the SA (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AoT, claude, Words In Action

              most historians take the view that Hitler was acting to shore up his fragile alliance with the Reichswehr. It was Rohm's insistence that the army be absorbed into the SA to form a so-called "peoples army" under his personal control that led to his murder and that of his supporters.

              While Rohm was given to "left wing" rhetoric, whether this was more than a means of achieving personal power is problematic. Certainly Rohm raised no objection earlier when Gregor Strasser was forced to resign all his NSDAP offices and his supporters were expelled from their posts.

              Yes Hitler took the opportunity afforded by the so-called "Rohm Putsch" to eliminate Strasser but he also eliminated numerous other political enemies and potential rivals, such as the former Chancellor Kurt Von Schleicher, who could hardly be described as left wing and whose deaths in no way served the interests of the corporatists.

              Nothing human is alien to me.

              by WB Reeves on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 04:15:45 PM PDT

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          •  You can control the corporations (3+ / 0-)

            and kill the socialists. Those aren't mutually exclusive.

            If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

            by AoT on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 04:36:39 PM PDT

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    •  What are you basing this on? The large (5+ / 0-)

      German industrial firms (like Bayer, IG Farben, Krupp, Benz, and so on) did quite well under Hitler and the Nazis. I don't know as you can say that National Socialism 'negated' their power, so much as say that National Socialism 'merged' the interests of the state with their interests. (That may mean 'negation,' but not as the term is commonly used or understood.)

      Capital did just fine during the pre-19e9 Nazi regime (and even thereafter). Labor, um, not so much.

      •  But they were controlled by the government (5+ / 0-)

        not controlling the government. That is a fundamental difference between Fascism and what we have now.

        If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

        by AoT on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 03:21:52 PM PDT

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      •  I didn't speak to their profitability (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, claude, Words In Action, marsanges

        and I don't think that profitability is necessarily a measure of political power or autonomy. Not in a society based on a totalitarian conception of the state.

        After the fall of Hjalmar Schacht, the Corporatist had little to no influence over politics or policy and complete control of German economic policy passed into the hands of Herman Goring as Plenipotentiary for the Four Year Plan. It would remain there until Goring was super-ceded by Albert Speer during WWII.

        As with the German military's General Staff, Corporate interests were rendered politically impotent by their subjugation to the principle of the  totalitarian state as personified in the absolute dictatorship of Adolph Hitler.

        I know this contradicts the theoretical construct of fascism as nothing more than an extension of Capital but that construct is factually wrong.  

           

        Nothing human is alien to me.

        by WB Reeves on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 03:39:59 PM PDT

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        •  Yeah, I get hung up on the word 'Corporatist'. It (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          WB Reeves

          beats the shit out of me what it means and, despite spending many hours at Occupy Los Angeles listening to folks rant about corporatists, I'll be damned if I know any more now than I did before.

          I think we can both agree that Hitler did little to antagonize Germany's captains of industry (unless his declasse habit of flatulence while hobnobbing at soirees held by Germany's pre-war 1% could be construed as antagonism :). Hitler needed the industrialists to accomplish the rearmament of Germany and they needed him to smash labor and keep it smashed. Hence my preference for 'merged' over 'negated.'

          Excellent points you raise though and a great discussion. Re-reading Paxton's The Anatomy of Fascism now, so definitely picked up on your reference to 'popular movmeent.'

    •  Correct, Reeves... (5+ / 0-)

      Fascism is distinct from a number of other authoritarian, dictatorial regime types because fascists are popular and can mobilize lots of popular support.  This was done partly by full-employment programs (provided you supported the regime, naturally) and big public works projects.  Heck, Hitler ordered Autobahns constructed.

      What we are seeing is a corrupt, authoritarian style of government, but it lacks the benefits of fascism and therefore lacks its popularity.  It is more akin to the pre-revolutionary absolute monarchies in Russia and France -- which were tied in tight with many of the "big business" operations of their day, by the way.  Those governments ended up on the wrong side of revolution largely because they angered both the poor and the middle class (small businessmen, professionals, intellectuals) simultaneously.

      •  Denial fascism is in fashion. (0+ / 0-)

        Denial of Climate Change, denial of the Class War, denial of the use of the War on Terror to consolidate power, denial of fascism itself...

        Add the median effective tax rate, healthcare costs (20%?), education costs, and other things guaranteed in Denmark & Sweden, we pay MORE for LESS. Somebody's gotta pay the billionaires. They don't grow on trees. ☮ ♥ ☺

        by Words In Action on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 11:36:45 PM PDT

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      •  Good point (0+ / 0-)

        It's worth remembering that Roosevelt was attacked by some as an incipient fascist because of his New Deal policies to relieve unemployment, not despite them.

        Nothing human is alien to me.

        by WB Reeves on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 01:20:00 AM PDT

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