I'll offer my thought on the following comment as revealed in your current (#21) newsletter: "I am always dismayed by expressions of fascist romanticism. How it can be argued that fascism was an essential factor for European liberation and salvation (what's that?) when it failed so miserably, in plain sight, everywhere, is beyond me. Big ideas, big plans, big programs, big blustering speeches, and it all came to nothing. Nothing. Disaster piled on disaster."
Saying that fascism failed because the government structure was a disaster is like saying a Mercedes-Benz was of poor quality because it was crushed by a tractor trailer in a collision. The car, left to itself and without a collision, may very well have lasted twenty or thirty years, providing the driver with numerous years of hassle-free driving satisfaction.
Fascism is the same. Obviously, it didn't collapse due to some internal mechanism or innate flaw that brought it to its knees. It collapsed because of the collision. In the sense of WWII, quality (fascism) was defeated by quantity (democracy, republics and communism).
To test the sustainability of an idea, system of government, health of a body, etc., there can be no external sources to contribute to its collapse. If external sources are created that cause its collapse, we can't, in all good faith, point to an internal mechanism for the blame. We must attribute the cause of the collapse to its rightful owner, the external source.
Take the human body. A body may be perfectly healthy and have all the necessary requirements to fight off disease and other harmful organisms. The body is a BIG complex internal structure. But, if this healthy body was burned in a house fire, we can't say that the body was unhealthy naturally, because the body (internal) had nothing to do with it. We would not say "AH-HA! See! The body is left in a pile of ashes! What a disaster! Now you see where a healthy body will get you! Nothing, but disaster!" That would be non-sense.
We really don't know how well fascism could have sustained itself. Perhaps, it would have collapsed of a flawed internal structure, but maybe it would have lasted millennia. We'll never know if the flaws existed, or how well it would have worked.
But, we do know what it did well prior to the war. (I would rather use the words National Socialism instead of fascism to describe the German political environment, but for the sake of argument.) Fascism, with its inherent use of autarky (self-sufficient economy), all but eliminated unemployment in Germany. It restored national pride to a people who were decimated by the Treaty of Versailles and from the results of the Weimar Republic. The German people, ridiculed and scorned, did what any healthy national body would do when feeling the degrading effects of universalism and internationalism, it turned inwards. It rediscovered its national and racial identity. They once again knew who they were, and they were content to be left alone. However, a certain group picked a fight, and for awhile that agitating group took it on the chin, and came very close to losing the war.
Now, because of the Holocaust myth, rational debate over fascism as an effective form of government is non-existent. It's become the modern day boogieman, with Democrats and Republicans alike referring to fascism as the ultimate evil. Their argument goes "Hey, you know where fascism leads? To the gas chambers at Auschwitz." As long as the mythology of an alleged Jewish Holocaust exists, with all the trappings of gas chambers, lampshades made of skin, bars of soap made of Jewish fat (all mythologies that have since been disproved) there will never be rational debate on the potential successes of fascism as a form of government.
All the best,
I will only note here that, while I observed that fascism failed, I did not say "why." I do recall opening one of David Irving's books at random one evening. I read one paragraph. Hitler and the German General Staff were meeting. The decision before them was whether they should order a preemptive war against Poland. Goering was there. According to Irving, Hitler was struggling with the decision. He was getting mixed messages from his staff. After awhile Goering (I wonder if I am spelling "Goering" right), seeing how Hitler was inwardly uncertain of the right move to make, said (I am paraphrasing from memory): "You do not have to do it. Do you understand? You do not have to do it."
Nevertheless, he did it. It occurs to me that that may have been the moment that marked the beginning of the end of the fasicst experiment in Europe. Hitler bit off more than, in the end, he could chew. It is often said that Jews have bitten off more than they can chew in the Middle East. If so, it will mean the end of Zionism. I suppose.
And then there is the question of a free press. The right to exchange ideas freely is a strength, not a weakness. No fascist government, no tyrant on either the left or the right, encourages the ideal of intellectual freedom. The fascists failed, the communists failed, the "democracies" with their vulgar, compromised, but rather free press are still around.
One irony here is that in Israel there is a free press (nothing's perfect), while in the Arab nations, across the board, the press is controlled by the State, and intellectual freedom is for some, not all. Zionism in Israel has survived for close to a century. The German National Socialist government, with its refusal of intellectual freedom to its people, lasted a dozen years. Maybe there's no connection. On the other hand, there may be some food for thought there.
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|Title:||Outlaw History #22, Fascism and a Rational Debate|
|First posted on CODOH:||July 7, 2012, 7 p.m.|