Framework for Fascism USA: An Altered State of Mind, Heart…and Soul
“It is the theory of this book that it is of vital importance;
that an existing danger will be more easily averted if recognized as what it is—
a native phenomenon based on certain definitely American traits…
To recognize the validity of Fascism for others—
And to realize and emphasize and strengthen the distinctions which make it unsuitable for us—is our only chance to offset the proselytizing effect of future Fascist success.”
E.B. Ashton, The Fascist: His State and His Mind 1937
To label something, to recognize an object or a form of governing, one must know the essential characteristics or attributes that “define” that entity. If we’re finding squares we must acknowledge the four sides of equal length and the four 90 degree angles….or else we might erroneously generalize and label rectangles, diamonds and rhomboids as “squares.”
Back in the 1930’s many thoughtful Americans were raising concerns over increased economic controls, expanding government agencies, expanding social programs, government work programs, Keynesian monetary policies, protectionism, gold/ silver money mischief and a host of central planning government expansionist New Deals.
Italy and Germany had clearly gone “Fascist”. In the eyes of the 1930’s American public, such regimentation appeared disgustingly distasteful. Thus, the label “Fascism” was used to sound an alarm as to the collectivist nature of increasing government bureaucracy. Fascism was tweeted like social media trending today by those who lacked the essential facts of what they were chirping. Like today, this media propagation had the potential of fomenting a fruition of the very thing it abhorred: Fascism. Ashton wrote his book in 1937 to clarify terms and provide the framework by which to recognize the varied faces of Fascism, what it is not, and why it is not suited for a people that cherish individuals and liberty via self-government under God.
Unfortunately, aside from Friedrich Hayak and Albert Jay Nock, few self-governing citizens seem to have read Ashton’s 1937 treatise; even fewer grandfathers entertained grandchildren with it and it certainly isn’t on the Fed Ed reading list of today. Thus, as history repeats due to ignorance, and Fascism flourishes in America, it is time for a review of Fascism to recognize the State and the Mind in our midst.
- Fascism works because the mindset of the people is such that they want it.
In his March 1938 interviews of over 350 European leaders, Herbert Hoover summates this truth. The people of the European nations that had fallen to socialism, communism, totalitarianism, fascism, collectivism, were not capable, at that time, of a representational form of constitutional government such as the United States had. https://dawnkazmierzak.net/2015/01/15/recognizing-statisms-sources-the-patterns-of-collectivisms-cronies/
Fascism is embraced because the people are accustomed to a sense of communal oneness, group thought, surrender, obedient service, and allegiance to a higher power, a “leader”, and a cause beyond themselves; the many various cells assuming their rightful duty to the larger organism. Feudal Absolutism had long engendered itself in these nations. (War, chaos, destruction, hunger and exhaustion had provided ample impetus for regimented leadership in peoples who were not individualistic by habit, conditioning, or by nature.) https://dawnkazmierzak.net/2014/04/03/hoosiers-harvested-when-research-reigns-over-the-lives-of-men/
- Fascism is death to the Individual
“According to its anti-individualist attitude the idea of Fascism is for the state, and for the individual insofar as he coincides with the state….It is against classical Liberalism which had its origin in the force of reaction against Absolutism, and which has reached the end of its historical function, since the state has changed in the consciousness and will of the people.
Liberalism negates the state in the interest of the single individual; Fascism affirms the state as the true reality of the individual. It is the only freedom which can seriously be considered—the freedom of the state, and of the individual within the state—because, for the Fascist, everything is in the state, and outside of the state nothing legal or spiritual can exist, or still less be of value. In this sense Fascism is totalitarian, and the Fascist state is unity and synthesis of all values and gives to the whole life of the people its meaning, development, and forcefulness.”
Benito Mussolini, Encyclopedia Italiana 1937 under “Fascism.”*
On the surface Mussolini’s description is not much different from the Communist catechism; both being anti-individualist. The differentiation precipitates with the question of what do we do with all these self-submerging serfs?
Who will set the purpose, goals, and the “objective will” of this “higher order” which is the Fascist state?
If left to Communist form of supposed civil liberty via majority vote of elected representatives, majorities leaning toward Socialist ideologies would undermine the second pillar of the Fascist system—the capitalist element (also under the will of the state, of course).
Therefore the Fascist system replaces representative government and majority rule with the famous trio of Fascist principles:
- Hierarchy: government by appointment
- Authority: decisions by command
- Discipline: voluntary surrender of individual consciousness to the group
Hierarchy: In contrast to a representative democracy, wherein the individuals elect many representatives, who elect fewer and bigger representatives who elect and control the top office holders who run the country, and make every representative responsible to the folks who elected him; the Fascist system is simply an inversion of this process.
The Fascist “put up a single supreme head of the state; he appoints a few big officials, each of whom appoints a great many smaller ones, and so down to the mayor, judge and county clerk of the remotest village, and every official is responsible not to the people whose affairs he administers but to the official who appointed him.”
Authority: Governmental decisions are made by command. No voting. The desire of those affected carries no weight against the orders from above. Likewise, in theory, no unanimous agreement of subordinates may hold out against the decisions of their immediate superior. Regardless of panels of experts, and advisory bodies, the decision is the superior official’s and so is the responsibility.
Discipline: Control of positions by appointment and decisions by command insure ready obedience. But the Fascist idea of discipline is ubiquitous.
“It involves an unswerving purpose of mental coordination, of surrender of individual consciousness, and of devotion, without reserve, of every activity of body and mind to the collective will.
Fascist discipline means: the complete voluntary adjustment of an individual to a group, the change from an independent human mind to an intellect capable of working in a group and through a group, and towards a goal not chosen individually but always common to the whole community.
It comes perilously close to the conception of the Robot—but there is a difference, thought it may be hard for a non-Fascist to perceive. The coordination is really not only natural, but voluntary; by some miraculous process the order does become not only the collective will of the community, but the real individual will of every particular member. (Consider e-learning in the United States today, Behavioral Scientist B.F. Skinner’s teaching machines and The Scientific and Technological Revolution and the Revolution in Education, by Vladimir Turchenko, http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2015/04/08/welcome-your-new-factory-school , CASEL, Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning http://www.casel.org/
For the Fascist the function of making up his mind has simply been removed from his brain. He has to wait until he gets his mind made up from above, and then he keeps right on going and concentrates all his energy and intelligence on carrying out this will – his will.
Which, as is easy to see, he will do much better and more efficiently than a democratic individual could in his place—first because he has nothing else to worry about, and second, because the ready-made-up mind is of course made up much straighter and more decisively than if he had done the job himself.
Naturally, this degree of coordination cannot be achieved at once. Neither in months, nor in years. To make it completely genuine would take generations of careful breeding, selection, elimination—exactly what the Germans, with their usual resourcefulness in long range planning, now seem to be considering in earnest. For the present, it requires continuous organization and propaganda, and, moreover, constant supervision, control, correction. It is important that any heretic, dissenting voice, should be segregated from the flock of the faithful. The Germans find concentration camps useful for that purpose.” https://dawnkazmierzak.net/2014/04/24/ww-iii-deweys-holocaust-americas-concentration-camps/
Continuing to quote Ashton,
“The issue of individualism versus collectivism is: whether a communal organization shall function through the people making the state do what they want, or through the state making the people do what it wants….
A democratic system can “fail” in two ways. It can fail to express a conception of the communal relationship that prevails among the people. This is the case of the formally democratic nations who went Fascist. Or it can fail to function according to its own theory – this is the danger which now faces so many other democracies. Democracy can fail in a country because its people are not democratic at heart.”
Will the patient flat-line?
You’re the doctor.
Do you recognize the pathognomonic signs and symptoms of heart attack, transplant and cardiac arrest?
….to be continued. We hope.
E.B. Ashton, The Fascist: His Mind and His State
The Crusade Years 1933-1955, Herbert Hoover’s Lost Memoirs of the New Deal Era and Its Aftermath. Edited with an Introduction by George H. Nash
*Benito Mussolini, Encyclopedia Italiana 1937 under “Fascism.”
The Scientific and Technological Revolution and the Revolution in Education, by Vladimir Turchenko
CASEL, Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning http://www.casel.org/
Chamber of Commerce and support for Common Core
Ludwig Von Mises, Capitalism and Anti-Capitalism
Friedrich Hayak, The Road to Serfdom
C.S. Lewis , The Abolition of Man