It’s surprising to me how ignorant Republican voters are regarding the meaning of the words “fascism”, “nationalism” and “oligarchy”. More importantly, they are totally convinced that these political ideologies are somehow inherent and exclusive to “liberalism” and “socialism”. This lack of knowledge has led to the fall of American democracy this past election cycle, and is the result of years of brain-drain at the hands of Right Wing purveyors of putrid, polarizing, propaganda. So, even though I’m officially a cynic of monumental proportions, and suffer from bitterness and disdain amid the ruins of what’s left of our country’s conscience… It’s time for a last-ditch effort at educating the willfully, or otherwise, ignorant.
Fascism – It’s Elected
Let’s start with the definition of the word. And before those of you on the Right throw a hissy fit over the use of Wikipedia, let me assure you that you will find the same definition everywhere you look. I understand that facts don’t matter to you, but at least consider this just once.
“Fascism is a form of radical authoritarian nationalism that came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe, influenced by national syndicalism. Fascism originated in Italy during World War I and spread to other European countries. Fascism opposes liberalism, Marxism and anarchism and is usually placed on the far-right within the traditional left–right spectrum.” (Emphasis is mine)
“Fascists saw World War I as a revolution that brought massive changes in the nature of war, society, the state, and technology. The advent of total war and total mass mobilization of society had broken down the distinction between civilian and combatant. A “military citizenship” arose in which all citizens were involved with the military in some manner during the war. The war had resulted in the rise of a powerful state capable of mobilizing millions of people to serve on the front lines and providing economic production and logistics to support them, as well as having unprecedented authority to intervene in the lives of citizens.” (Emphasis is mine)
The interesting thing about fascism is that it doesn’t announce itself by showing up at your door to “take your guns” away. In fact, it wants you to keep your guns as a means of defending itself. A strong militia, straight away, is the goal of fascism and it wants to draw from those, the “patriots”, the people, that are willing to sacrifice for the cause. Initially, fascism convinces the populace that they hold the power by appealing to the authoritarians in the fold. More importantly, the authoritarians are the key to fascism’s success as a means of getting elected on a wave of extreme authoritarian nationalism. The citizens of Germany and Italy didn’t wake up one morning to find thugs at their doors demanding their guns and taking away their freedoms. They were slowly coerced, rallied, and then convinced that they were superior.
Nationalism – Potential to Become an Infectious Disease
“Nationalism is a complex, multidimensional concept involving a shared communal identification with one’s nation. It is expressed as a political ideology oriented towards achieving and maintaining communal autonomy, and sometimes sovereignty, over a territory of historical significance to the group. Additionally, it is further oriented towards the development and maintenance of a common communal identity based on shared characteristics typically including culture, language, religion, political goals and/or a belief in a common ancestry. Individuals’ membership within a nation, and their support of the associated nationalism, is illustrated by their concomitant national identity.”
Nationalism in its simplest form is relatively benign. However, it has the potential to exceed simple patriotic fervor. In the worst case, it can be driven by racism, xenophobia, with a very focused discriminatory bent.
“There are various definitions for what constitutes a nation, however, which leads to several different strands of nationalism. It can be a belief that citizenship in a state should be limited to one ethnic, cultural, religious, or identity group, or that multinationality in a single state should necessarily comprise the right to express and exercise national identity even by minorities.” (Emphasis is mine)
Oligarchy – Trump Anyone?
The 2016 presidential election of Donald Trump is a great example of what an “Oligarchy/Plutocracy” is.
“Oligarchy (from Greek ὀλιγαρχία (oligarkhía); from ὀλίγος (olígos), meaning “few”, and ἄρχω (arkho), meaning “to rule or to command”) is a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with a small number of people. These people might be distinguished by nobility, wealth, family ties, education or corporate, religious or military control. Such states are often controlled by a few prominent families who typically pass their influence from one generation to the next, but inheritance is not a necessary condition for the application of this term.” (Emphasis is mine)
“Throughout history, oligarchies have often been tyrannical, relying on public obedience or oppression to exist. Aristotle pioneered the use of the term as a synonym for rule by the rich, for which another term commonly used today is plutocracy.” (Emphasis is mine)
Consider Yourself Educated
Assuming you read through the above and paid attention to the reality of these definitions, consider yourself educated. What you do with that education is up to you. In my estimation, it’s too late to change what has already been done. My only advice is to get used to saying “Heil Der Pumpkin Fuhrer!” and kiss the Democratic Republic of the United States goodbye.