|Fascism is socialism: Franco was not a Fascist, a supplement to socialist religions, is one of a series of documents analysing dysfunctional social, or group, behaviour in modern society.|
|For more on socialism and sociology :
|sociology - the structure of analysing belief systems|
socialism and the Catholic Church 1
socialism and statism
Hitler Mussolini Franco
the Catholic Church and socialism 2
factors encouraging dictatorship
geography, history and dictatorship
justifications of dictators, and of their followers
some consequences of the socialist dream
Socialism is ‘soul-less’ – the worship of the group/state/Mammon. The socialist religion espouses pie tomorrow, in place of pie in the sky. It is godless, anti-individualist.
Rome is about individualism – individual responsibility and the vast value of the individual.
But both have been the intractable enemies of liberalism, and so have often found themselves as political bed partners.
A great deal of modern ‘history’ has been written by socialist-leaning ‘academics’, and a great deal of it is whitewash, rhetoric etc. There is other material which also has the taint of Rome. It is necessary always to examine the background of the sources; this matters. What is presented as ‘history’ is nowhere near to being the innocent, supposedly ‘academic’ activity that the authors and their promoters would have you believe.
Fascism is essentially socialist, and there is a graduated scale from, say, statism to anarchism.
Statist: rhetoric of 'nation' and ethnicity
rather than class-based struggle
All socialism leads ‘inevitably’ to statism in my view; and in that of Hayek.You start with the premises, and you are pretty well driven automatically towards dictatorship and megadeaths. It is perhaps a slippery slope; but more than that; the dictatorial nature is built in. The only way out is to give up the socialist religion, or perhaps parts of it (if the religion ever evolves). After all, socialism has all the religious trimmings: holy books, endless angels on a pin theological disputes, high priests and would-be high priests, etc.
However, all statism is not socialist by any means.
Franco was, of course, a statist. Any dictator or arbitrary power must be, but it is then a matter of degree. Franco recognised a higher power (sort of)—‘god’. The difference may be a bit arbitrary from a pragmatic point of view. Franco recognised, as a subscribing member of the Church, individual sacredness. The socialist dream is inchoate and recognises no afterworld, other than the wonderful socialist state that will exist in some notional future.
Hitler was a socialist to the core....Mussolini was also a socialist, with a party machine called fascist. But Mussolini was generally incompetent, often referring to himself, with some justification, as “the most disobeyed man in Italy”. Thus fascism, as it played out, was rather incoherent despite regular claims that it was a strong, systematic philosophy. This makes fascism useful as a vague boo word among socialists, without any inconvenient requirement to provide a clear definition.
Both statism and socialism lead to foolishness and various forms of chaos. The combination is deadly.
Mussolini was on the edge of being excommunicated, but made concessions in order to receive corrupt papal support. Remember that the Pope was (trapped) on Italian soil!
Franco was Catholic. Adolf and Mussolini, of course, were nurtured in the womb of Rome, but were apostates. They were socialists, marxists, but Franco – never! Neither was Salazar, then ruler of Portugal, for that matter. These last two were serving, committed Papists.
The socialists lost out in Spain and today, still, they are smarting badly. Even now, the feuds go on: family against family, faction against faction. In Spain during the 1930s, it was bloody and nasty on both sides (recall also the period during Allende’s ‘reign’ in Chile). Moscow poured in weapons to one side, Adolf and, more so, Mussolini to the other side. Mussolini got suckered and sucked in, Adolf was much more careful.
One of the most famous volunteers to fight for the Communists was George Orwell. He eventually published a useful account of his experiences in Homage to Catalonia. His experiences turned Orwell into a dangerous opponent of socialism (see Animal Farm and 1984).
In an essay on Charles Dickens (?1946) Orwell writes of Dickens:
This is a view that I suspect is correct.
Mussolini was a frivolous clown, and a very great trouble-maker. He finished shot, then strung up by the feet; while National Socialist Adolf also went down in flames. In contrast, that nasty Mister Franco, after flattening the socialists/commies, went on to the end.
Socialist romantics came to Spain from all over Europe to ensure the triumph of socialism. Socialists do not forgive lightly. In Spain, the socialists worked to flatten the anarchists, directed by instructions and advice from Red Square. Many idealists with different notions also came to fight for Franco. One must not let the propaganda from the various players distract from the real acts.
There was only ever one fascist state – Italy. Mussolini tried to fund anyone in Europe who would cause trouble/revolution/statism (he was the first socialist to capture a state outside Russia). He helped fund Adolf, and he is strongly believed to have helped fund Mosley in Britain.
A fair, if simple, summary is that Franco was essentially a reactionary traditionalist, whereas both Mussolini and Hitler (in different ways) wanted to overthrow the old order and build something new. The fact that Franco and the socialists chose somewhat similar methods is secondary.
So in terms of the language above, Franco was a statist traditionalist, and Mussolini was a statist revolutionary, as were Stalin and Hitler. All these people were from a Roman Catholic tradition, a tradition that is both authoritarian and ‘idealistic’. Apparently, Stalin spent time in an Orthodox seminary.
Franco was an autocrat and reactionary.
It is more complicated than the synopsis above, most socialists appear wholly ignorant of these roots and conflicts, socialism remains a religion of the shallow and ignorant. It is even designed to confuse and ‘incite to revolt’ (revolutionise) the untutored masses.
The great prize that Hitler wanted was to capture the
fortress stronghold of Gibraltar. From there, Hitler could
cut off the Mediterranean. Franco had other ideas.
Of course in the nineteen thirties, everyone knew that National Socialism was just one variety of socialism. After the war, socialists worked overtime attempting to distance themselves from fascism/national-socialism by propaganda and mis-information.
Various Papal encyclicals from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries pace the growth of Marxist and socialist writings and doctrine. You may find précis and extracts in the background documents indexed in papal encyclicals and marxism – extracts:
(Encyclicals, including two of the above, are intemperate tirades against liberalism.)
Leo XIII’s Rerum novarum – On Capital and Labour (1891) :
Catholic theologians reasonably refer to socialism with terms like ‘soul-less’ or ‘materialist’.
It is quite wrong to suggest Italian Fascism was Catholic, or that Mussolini was religious. He was obviously, in my view, a Marxist. He was an enemy of the Church, who could never gain enough power to ignore or to flatten the Church, although he often returned to such themes.
Hitler was, in my view, essentially ‘religious’; Mussolini was never. Hitler was much more complex (and effective) than Mussolini. Hitler was a ‘mystic’: a dreamer, and had a complex personality. By comparison, Mussolini was, in general, a swaggering oaf and gangster with little sensitivity.
Note on defining ‘religious’:
Someone rising from the lower orders is unlikely to look to blood, in the manner of the aristocracy, to justify their claim to power. Mussolini referred to his own children as “princes of the blood” p. 310. It is interesting that such tendency to try to set up dynasties is common, even in socialists: look to Saddam, Kim Il Sung. This process, by which leaders from low beginnings attempt to set up a nepotistic aristocracy can be seen in just about any polity. The Shah of Iran was also no aristocrat but the son of his upstart father, who captured Persia; the USA is generating families of politicians, and the families of Soviet Russia incline to perpetuate their class. Even in the supposedly idealistic kibbutz, leading roles tend to be monopolised by founder families.
My focus is the madness of societies running as herds, which includes what was going through the minds of the rather shallow people who sat at the front waving the flags.
Mussolini, Franco and Hitler were all, of course, dictators. As such, eventually they surrounded themselves with sycophants. This is an endemic problem for ‘leaders’ and, with any but the most firmly anchored, this tends to lead them away from contact with reality. (I propose Gandhi or Mandela or Churchill as ones who stayed anchored). This detachment leads to effective hallucination. In my opinion, there is little doubt the dullard, Mussolini, lost all grip of reality—some seem even to call being in that state, ‘religious’!
One general guide is that someone has to be reasonably intelligent to become seriously mad; I do not think that Mussolini comes close. Mussolini never generated the power for real revolution.
Geography has defined attitudes of rulers in various countries.
Italy was locked into the Mediterranean.
Hitler was caught up in this hubris. Mussolini wanted empire and glory, and ‘revolution’. Franco wanted stability and the old order. Franco did not involve himself in overseas adventures; as far as I can see, all the socialist fiefs tried to build empires. However, modern advanced states have come to the conclusion that trade is more profitable than empire, and that empire mainly drains wealth.
During the nineteenth century and at the beginning of the twentieth century, society was under great change. Marx suggested revolution in order to sort social inequalities. The roots go back far. Poor people were driven into the towns in search of a better life (remember the story of Dick Whittington and “streets paved with gold”. In this context, Keynes is very important. He pointed out there is no natural level of unemployment—there is no clear reason why unemployment should not stick at 20, or 30, or 50%. You will be able to see the more humane response of Rome to the socialist appetite for ‘smash the place up’ revolution in Rerum Novarum and Quadragesimo. It was these two documents that, quintessentially, defined the ‘reactionary’ justification, or ‘philosophy’, of dictators like Franco and Salazar, and many in South America. I will be providing précis of these documents in the supporting resource focusing on Papal encyclicals. If you are up for the hard work, go read Quadragesimo.
“'Liberal democracy does not work, anyway it is untidy.”
Killing off millions has a different meaning for the socialist. The millions are “in the way”— this is a psychopath’s response. But Franco, in some sense, was “doing god’s work”, he was sending the hundreds of thousands on, specifically the ones who oppose god. However, Hitler also convinced himself that murdering Jews was “god’s work”, just as Islamists now convince themselves that blowing themselves with as many infidels as they can find is “god’s work”, while the mass-murderer Sutcliffe convinced himself that in killing prostitutes, he was an instrument of god.
In socialism, the ‘leader’ or the dogma replaces ‘god’.
Socialism is godless. In my view, this matters to the real world actions and outcomes. I am looking at different sorts of human confusion. My central thesis is that socialism is much more dangerous to life and limb on the grand scale. It is also much more ‘dull’, but then pagan/christianism has thousands of years to develop. Socialism attempts to be ‘new’, which also makes it empty of experience. You will see Pius XI, by 1931, already claiming that socialism was learning from the Church and, thus, becoming less evil. However, Hayek would take the view that the slippery slope to hell remains, and my view is not much different. It is interesting to note that Pius XI does not comment on how much the Church position, by this time, is being modified by socialism.
Our current governments are statist, but they are not very far down the statist slope yet. In northern Europe, governments also tend to be ‘godless’, but the christianist tradition remains. Tony Bliar [former UK Prime minister] is contaminated with both socialism and christianism. He is a good boy, a boy scout; maybe (former US President) George Bush has more of the christianism.
Christianism could be regarded as a moderator of the empty beastliness of socialism. Man without religion, and without a great deal of sophisticated ‘philosophy’ as in the case of socialism, is an animal adrift in a mindless herd. More individualist views on the world can find roots in zen and stoicism, but most societies still tend to inculcate a herd mentality for country, for family, for dogma, according to taste and circumstance.
To stop the worst excesses, man must understand his animal drives and control them, that is what much of religion does. For sanity, I think man must also discover himself (his REALITY); for instance, be psychologically more removed or intellectually independent from the herd, to be more of an island. Gain a better idea of what is meant here by reading laying the foundations for sound education.
|Related further reading|
|authoritarianism and liberty||citizen's wage|
|socialist religions||power, ownership and freedom|
|papal encyclicals and marx - extracts||corporate corruption, politics and the law|
|islamic authoritarianism||British establishment interference with civil liberties during the 20th century—the example of Diana and Oswald Mosley|
1982, Random House Inc, 0394505944, out of print
|Mussolini’s Roman Empire|| 1976, Longman, 0582502667, out of print
1979, Penguin Books, 0140038493, out of print
|Franco||Paul Preston||Details of this book, together a review and commentary by abelard.|
|Hugh Kay||Salazar and modern Portugal||1970, Hawthorn Books Inc
1970, Eyre & Spottiswoode, 0413267008, out of print
email abelard at abelard.org
© abelard, 2004, 15 june
the address for this document is http://www.abelard.org/briefings/fascism-is-socialism.php