Army Bob: The definition of fascism a matter of debate

What exactly is National Socialism?

“Fascism /ˈfæʃɪzəm/ is a form of radical authoritarian nationalism, characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and control of industry and commerce that came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe.” Wikipedia.

What made the various forms of fascism so efficient and popular, with approval rates any American elected official would die for? You take a horrible economy, unemployment, inflation, political violence and overall instability, add a strong dictatorial leader with socialist programs to redistribute wealth and control the production and distribution of everything, and fascism/national socialism is born.

A nation, indeed most nations, are groups of varied people who come together for a series of goals. Defense is the most common, social and economic goals are next. So, why the extreme form of government control we find in national socialism?

Take a person who has the socialist appeal of Senator Bernie Sanders and the nationalism of a Senator Ted Cruz blended together, and we have Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini, the father of the fascist system. Mussolini was praised by the progressive Americans of the day; President Franklin Roosevelt and many others were early fans. Talk of Mussolini and the thing you hear most is that he made the Italian trains run on time.

Mussolini was born into a family of socialists. His father was a well-regarded Italian socialist leader who instilled a love of socialism in his son. Benito became a school teacher and a newspaper editor. Later he became a newspaper owner while staying active in the socialist movement. World War I changed his thinking; he enlisted, fought in the war, and became an Italian nationalist.

The rub here is that pure socialism has no room for nationalism, so he broke with the hardcore socialists; most popularly accepted socialists are a hybrid of political thinking, not purists.

Senator Sanders is condemned by the pure socialist groups in our nation for praising parts of President Trump’s trade policies and his support for liberal immigration policies. A “true” socialist is a champion of the worker, and bringing in cheap labor from Mexico and other Central American nations is perceived as a betrayal of the American working class. Cheap labor only aids the corporate class and condemns the working class to poverty and deprivation in the eyes of a confirmed believer.

Kevin D. Williamson, Aug. 23, 2015, writes that Sanders is seen basically as a capitalist and puppet of the billionaire class. Mr. Williams will cite Senator Sanders’ taking money from the uber-rich. To be fair, he took a small percentage (in the single digits) compared to Secretary Hillary Clinton and President Donald Trump.

For the fascists to take over a nation they must first destroy the current government in the eyes of the people and instill a belief in the common people of being an oppressed victim class. The people in the richest large nation in the world are in poverty and victims of an unjust system that only rewards the rich and persecutes the poor and middle class. The homily of the American socialist is that we all are victims of something.

Every time I read the socialist left saying that the President is a fascist it brings a smile to my face, because President Trump is a capitalist, the direct opposite and sworn enemy of a pure socialist. The problem with the title of fascist is that it has become whatever groups wish it to be, and not what it originally was.

The Nazis, the National Socialists, were socialists; they allowed religion and nationalism because they had to. German and Italian socialism never appealed to the majority, as most folks love their country and are proud of their church. The socialists never amounted to much more than eight percent of the seats in the governing bodies until they allowed nationalism and religion.

The politically correct history will tell us that the socialists were against the fascists, correct statement as far as it goes; the pure socialists are against darn near everyone. Hitler had approval ratings in Germany in the high 90 percent range; to get there he needed most of the socialists’ approval.

Referring to President Trump as a fascist only shows an ignorance of history and government.





  • Trump is most certainly not a fascist, though he is an authoritarian protectionist.

    For a longer discussion of Fascism’s origins see:

    • Mr. Hershberger,
      Thanks for the comment. The modern definition of a Fascist is anyone who disagrees with them.

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