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Hold on.

Words either have meaning, or they do not.
And if they do not, how do you communicate ideas?

There's a REASON politicians play games with language.
Of course. Words have connotation, but sometimes the connotation interferes with the understanding of the denotation.

You were just talking about how Fascism isn’t just a specific historical phenomenon limited to Hitler, Franco, and Mussolini. Well, part of the reason nobody wants to talk about fascism in the current political context is that because Hitler committed genocide, calling someone a Fascist gets understood as an accusation of homicidal intent (at a minimum). But you lose the ability to identify Fascism if you think that only genocidal maniacs can be fascists.
 

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“Everything for the state” is still pretty diffuse and open to a lot of interpretation. China is a good example. Xi is all about “everything for the state.”

"Everything in the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State." is a pretty famous quote by Mussolini, whom I assure you, had a very specific meaning in mind. He left behind plenty of writings and a fairly deep historical record.


Most people distinguish “Communist” from “Fascist” but both can be authoritarian/fascist and I would argue Communists have a worse tendency towards that. The core problem is great economic power concentrated in a small number of actors. That can happen either with oligarchs or who own nominally private businesses (like in Russia today) or a party boss that gets to decide what gets produced (like Soviet commissars).

To be clear, Communism, Fascism, and Socialism are ALL Marxist.
I had to read Marx & Engles as an undergrad. Trust me when I say; that's not the kind of crap you curl up in front of the fire with.
I DID discover that Marx was an anthropologist, which was a surprise to me. As such, it's not surprising that he noticed that a Monarchy is the most natural social structure for our species. Problem was, he hated Monarchies, which he had in common with the American revolutionaries of the prior century. He just thought their solution preserved all the sins of Monarchy with none of the blessings. (My phrasing) What he hoped to do was gift the world all the benefits of Monarchy, with none of the flaws. I mean, he was INCREDIBLY wrong about practically everything, but he DID have good intentions; a sin he has in common with modern progressives. Unfortunately, all he did was help to accelerate the downfall of an inherited elite class, just to have it replaced by a bureaucratic elite.


Xi Jinping has been building a cult of personality up around himself. He’s not charismatic to an American, but school children sing songs to his greatness.

It is not obvious to me that Xi Jinping is any less a puppet than many people believe Joe Biden is. Also, I would argue that the REAL cult is Han Supremacy.
 

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I’ve read plenty of Marx. I was a philosophy major in undergrad. Marx was a political polemicist, but is more understood in the philosophy context as an evolution of Hegelian philosophy (which views history as working towards achieving some end).

I think it’s a bit sloppy to just say that “Fascism, Socialism and Communism” are all Marxist. His political writings advocated for a very specific political and economic system that bears little relation to mid-20th century Fascist states or modern European socialism. Even states that called themselves Communist, never really achieved the system Marx envisioned, although perhaps he might have envisioned the pre-Stalin Soviet Union as an intermediate state prior to the achievement of his utopia.
 

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There is a lot of revisionism here. Yes, the prior poster was using it as an epithet, but that's not how its best understood.
If he was using the term fascist as mere epithet then,

I think the problem is you are interpreting “fascism” and “fascist” as an epithet.
wasn't a fair comment on Eric's observation. It isn't a problem if the observation was true.

1) Saying "Fascism emerges from the leftist family tree" is a deep misunderstanding. I would maintain the political spectrum is best understood on two axes rather than one.
Your understanding of the axes of a political spectrum isn't pertinent to the origins of Mussilini and Hitler. You don't have to agree that fascists are of the left to admit the facts of their origin. An observation about their lineage isn't an assertion that they functioned as international leftists.

2) There's a big difference between national/regional pride and fascist nationalism. The former is a positive sentiment, the latter strikes in opposition to a real or perceived other. The Fascist nation must be elevated above all others, and national purity must be preserved. It's no accident that "America First" was a slogan used in the 1930s by pro-Fascist Americans.
You typically express yourself in a manner that is thoughtful and well informed. However, the idea that nationalism is oppositional and national pride is different is the sort of silliness served in grammar schools. Nationalism amongst americans, germans, scots and ukrainians will all have both positive and negative elements.

"America First" must certainly have been used by some pro-german americans. More widely, it was used by the substantial part of the american population who didn't like WWI, were pretty sure that europeans would be happy to fight to the last american, and didn't want to be part of their recurring blood bath. You can quibble with the wisdom of that conclusion, but to call it pro-fascism is facile.

3) I was remiss in failing to distinguish "national socialism" from "socialism". In Marxism, the state owns the means of production. In FDR-style socialism, the private enterprise is permissible but the state acts as an economic guarantor. In national socialism, free enterprise is also allowable, but rather than acting as an individual economic guarantor- it is required to serve the aims of the state (in practice, the leader).
Socialists don't require state ownership. You need only look to self-identified euro socialists to see that they've figured out that telling owners what they can't do and keeping a share of the profit is better for them. Your distinction between "FDR-style socialism" and other command economies isn't one. The National Recovery Act, his plainly unconstitutional first run at federalization, set thousands of prices. Industrial policy during WWII didn't outlaw private ownership of industry, but the state was used to bring them around to serve the state.

4) I'm not going to argue about the source of political appeal, but any inroads to minority groups were still pretty minimal and overstated. Going from winning 7% of the African-American vote to 10% over a term isn't exactly a mass conversion.
It doesn't have to be mass conversion to note that members of those groups don't see themselves as distrusted or disdained by the movement.

5) What various political figures said about Donald Trump, his legitimacy, or his voters, is irrelevant to whether his political philosophy can be described as fascism. We could spend 1,000 pages reciting the sins of every politician in the country of all political stripes.
It's relevant to whether your standard can be applied to so much of modern politics that to designate only one of them as fascists is merely polemic.

6) I'm sorry to say you have internalized a lot of the misinformation, and I've given up on trying to disabuse people of it. It's not about the factual truth, but how it makes you feel. You feel like the liberals ganged up and invented Russia's involvement in the 2016 election,...
I'm sorry you couldn't take the time to read what I had written for you before misstating it, then calling your misstatement misinformation. You identified use of conspiracy theory and misinformation as a trait of fascists. If you don't think that your standard applied beyond DJT, it isn't a real standard.

If you can't read even recent events dispassionately, you will misread discussion of it as you have above.
 
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No, not connotation. MEANING

That's literally what they were created for.

That's not reductive, it's fundamental.
If words are ephemeral, if they have no fixed meaning, then neither does the language.
Denotation is relatively fixed, connotation shifts. Fascist wasn’t used as an epithet in 1922 when Mussolini took power. It took a world war and a genocide before people associated it with mass murder.
 

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Fascism was a specific movement tied to place and time in a way that marxism isn't.
Unless I misunderstand what you mean, that statement is not correct.
Italy had a fascist party. Fascism has some writers who articulate ideas about it, but it comes to us as a couple of historical examples rather than abstraction. In contrast, communism is a parade of thugs inspired by an idea of thuggery. Sometimes when people discuss communism, they are also talking about marxism because communists so often take Marx's writings as true or helpful, even where their barbarism could rest on something as basic as jacobin hatred. Fascism has writers, but the significant historical movements may more fairly be said to be about the men than the perpetuation of an idea.

We've all had marxist professors and friends. They are animated by a set of ideas about what man is and how he develops that is quite broad. If you had a "fascist" professor, would he be animated by a need to recapture roman greatness? Or would he be obsessed with finally beating Ethiopia?

Moreover, the vitriol fascism earned from the international left is so tied to their defeats in the interwar period, then soviet efforts thereafter, that detaching an academic meaning from leftist tribalism is nearly impossible.
 

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I'm fairly certain most people don't really know what fascism, socialism and communism really are. I mean, you expect people to actually learn history, remember it and be able to apply it to their lives? Something about being doomed to repeat it...

This is America, where we burn books we don't like and ban them because "they" are bad. Nevermind not knowing why. Nevermind making such decisions on a flimsy reading of the bible, that they have never actually read. The education system has been systematically destroyed, all the main stream media is owned by oligarch conglomerates pushing their agendas and spoon feeding people hate and shock and driving them to make decisions with polarizing views, and they eat it up.
 

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I think it’s a bit sloppy to just say that “Fascism, Socialism and Communism” are all Marxist.

No more than it is to observe that Wolves, Labradoodles, and Great Danes are all canines.
It's about the basic blueprint.


His political writings advocated for a very specific political and economic system that bears little relation to mid-20th century Fascist states or modern European socialism.

Given that he died in 1883, that's certainly not surprising. Fascism was an adaptation of Marx's ideas, just as was 20th Century Communism and Socialism. The primary idea that they kept was the completely managerial nature of Marxism.


Even states that called themselves Communist, never really achieved the system Marx envisioned, although perhaps he might have envisioned the pre-Stalin Soviet Union as an intermediate state prior to the achievement of his utopia.

As I remember it, Marx saw his ideas as applicable to the Capitalist States of the west, not Russia.
I'm going strictly on memory at this point, so I may misstate this, but IIRC, his thought was that Capitalists would build the industrial society that would lift the peasants out of their poverty and serfdom, and then the Proletariat would rise up to claim the means of production. After a transition, the State would eventually wither away. He glossed over the whole bureaucratic/managerial part of course.
 

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Denotation is relatively fixed, connotation shifts. Fascist wasn’t used as an epithet in 1922 when Mussolini took power. It took a world war and a genocide before people associated it with mass murder.
OK, for the record, I don't use "Fascist" as an epithet.

I do sometimes say "OK, Commie" or "OK, Fascist" as a variation on "OK, Boomer"; when I have just heard someone say something so profoundly stupid that I can't be bothered with a real response. However, I do not do that in the course of an actual discussion.

If I say something is Fascist, I am doing so because it follows the blueprint laid out by Gentile & Mussolini.

Also, I do NOT use it as a synonym for Authoritarian, Nazi, or "XXX Supremacist".
For example, though the Chinese Communist Party runs China on Fascist principals, they do not do so because they are Han Supremacists, they do it because it's effective.
Another example would be East Germany, which ostensibly had a Communist government, was really just straight-up authoritarian.
 

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Italy had a fascist party. Fascism has some writers who articulate ideas about it, but it comes to us as a couple of historical examples rather than abstraction. In contrast, communism is a parade of thugs inspired by an idea of thuggery. Sometimes when people discuss communism, they are also talking about marxism because communists so often take Marx's writings as true or helpful, even where their barbarism could rest on something as basic as jacobin hatred. Fascism has writers, but the significant historical movements may more fairly be said to be about the men than the perpetuation of an idea.

I have a tendency to use those terms interchangeably when making a casual reference, but when actually discussing them I prefer to refer to them simply as Marxist, unless there is a reason to specify a particular flavor of it.


We've all had marxist professors and friends. They are animated by a set of ideas about what man is and how he develops that is quite broad. If you had a "fascist" professor, would he be animated by a need to recapture roman greatness? Or would he be obsessed with finally beating Ethiopia?

I wouldn't have a Fascist professor, because if I had ever accidentally found myself in a class with one, I would insist on calling him a Marxist, until he annoyed me enough to start calling him a Commie, at which point I would presumably be so far into character that I would be asked to leave and not return.

Regarding that Roman Greatness things...
That always struck me as superficial, and more of propaganda thing to sell the idea.


Moreover, the vitriol fascism earned from the international left is so tied to their defeats in the interwar period, then soviet efforts thereafter, that detaching an academic meaning from leftist tribalism is nearly impossible.

Until you say "Frak 'Em" and call them out for trying to hide their historic connection to Marxism, for political reasons.

I'll "detach" an academic meaning from those yahoos, even if it means metaphorically reaching into their pants and yanking it out with my bare hands.
 

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ETB said:
Until you say "Frak 'Em" and call them out for trying to hide their historic connection to Marxism, for political reasons.
"Connected with Marxism" isn't the same as "Marxism".

Like people, almost all ideas are related to some degree. Having Aristotle and Hegel as common ancestors shouldn't keep us from making distinctions amongst claimed descendants.

Lenin, Stalin and Mao didn't disavow Marx's writing or caste themselves as opponents of his fans. That socialists in Italy and Germany figured out that identifying the developments of their own young nations wasn't a good electoral strategy is a significant departure from the development of communists who saw liquidation of actual and potential class and party competitors as necessary.

ETB said:
Regarding that Roman Greatness things...
That always struck me as superficial, and more of propaganda thing to sell the idea.
Certainly. So is the business about runic letters and an allegedly pure german past as living german history, ideas as synthetic as Qwanzaa.

The english have that odd notion of England as Israel that isn't obviously well thought through, and russian have the whole third Rome idea.

Even fairly silly ideas can animate people.

ETB said:
I have a tendency to use those terms interchangeably when making a casual reference, but when actually discussing them I prefer to refer to them simply as Marxist, unless there is a reason to specify a particular flavor of it.
I think the differences amongst them are not trivial. A fan of marxist economic analysis may not even be a communist politically, but can still be drawn by the power and simplicity of the analysis. A Madame Defarge consumed with class antipathy will be a completely different, and more common, problem. A merely academic marxist is unlikely to be the fellow who places the bomb that kills your family, and can even be an earnest optimist of a sort, the difference between Yuri and Evgraf Zhivago. These differences in view and temperament multiply in a euro context where you've people who see themselves as having only two choices, and the english tradition of stable, individual rights isn't a project at which they excel.
 
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