Source:Democratic Marxist– Communists vs Lady Conservative Margaret Thatcher.
Source:The New Democrat
“Classical Liberalism and Fascism”
From Democratic Marxist
According to Wikipedia: “Fascism 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. The first fascist movements emerged in Italy during World War I before it spread to other European countries. Opposed to liberalism, Marxism and anarchism, fascism is usually placed on the far-right within the traditional left–right spectrum.”
To put it simply: Fascists believe that their beliefs and values are so superior to anyone else’s, that people who disagree with them, their beliefs and values are not worthy of being considered and perhaps those people don’t have a right to even exist.
Fascists believe that any opposition to what they believe should not be allowed to exist. Generally one of the first things that authoritarians do when they come to power in a country is attempt to completely shut down the political opposition and put them in prison, if not just murder the opposition. And then they shut down any private media organizations that disagree with their regime and report negative information about the authoritarian regime. Noticed, I haven’t labeled Fascists as right-wing or left-wing.
The only governing philosophy that fascism is about is complete destruction of any possible opposition to what the party in power believes in. And for Fascists who aren’t in power but would like to come to power, they believe opposition movements to what they believe in and advocate, don’t have the same rights to exists, speak, and believe, that they do.
Communism is a governing philosophy.
Democratic socialism/social democracy, is a governing philosophy.
Libertarianism is a governing philosophy.
Religious theocracy or religious nationalism (whether its Christian or Muslim) are governing philosophies.
And then go to the Center-Left with progressivism which is a governing philosophy.
Liberalism is a governing philosophy.
Conservatism/conservative-libertarianism, is a governing philosophy.
But Fascists, similar to Nationalists who are also Fascists, are on both the Far-Left and Far-Right, both in North America and Europe.
Communists who are on the Far-Left, don’t believe political opposition to what they believe and advocate, have a right to even exist let alone speak out.
Right-wing Nationalists who are cultural Marxists and Christian-Nationalists on the Far-Right and ethno-Nationalists like the KKK and Neo-Nazis, on the extreme Far-Right, believe that opposition to what they believe don’t have a right to even exist, let alone speak out.
Now, liberalism according to Wikipedia:
“Liberalism is a political philosophy or worldview founded on ideas of liberty and equality. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally they support ideas and programs such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, free markets, civil rights, democratic societies, secular governments, gender equality and international cooperation.
Liberalism first became a distinct political movement during the Age of Enlightenment, when it became popular among philosophers and economists in the Western world. Liberalism rejected the prevailing social and political norms of hereditary privilege, state religion, absolute monarchy and the divine right of kings. The 17th-century philosopher John Locke is often credited with founding liberalism as a distinct philosophical tradition. Locke argued that each man has a natural right to life, liberty and property, while adding that governments must not violate these rights based on the social contract. Liberals opposed traditional conservatism and sought to replace absolutism in government with representative democracy and the rule of law.”
In other word: Liberals believe in individual rights, as well as liberty and equality. Some of those individual rights are obviously Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion, as well as Freedom of Assembly. Property rights and the Right to Privacy.
Communists and even Democratic Socialists, tend to oppose most if not all of these liberal values which are reasons why they’re not Liberals, but Communists and Socialists.
Communists don’t believe in democracy because they see it as a threat to their regime and absolute power over society, even to serve the people.
Democratic Socialists believe in democracy and even in the right for non-Socialists and even right-wingers to exist. But promote the human welfare and total economic equality, over property rights and individual freedom, both economic as well as personal freedom.
This is an important debate and discussion and debate especially in a time like now and in a country like America where political literacy (for lack of a better term) meaning knowledge of different political philosophies, are so low. Where people get labeled as Liberals by the media and by themselves even though they don’t believe in Freedom of Speech (at least for people who disagree with them) don’t believe in property rights, and in many cases don’t even believe in personal freedom. And yet they get labeled as Liberals even though consistently promote illiberal values over liberal values and have illiberal tendencies instead of liberal tendencies.
Fascism, according to Jonah Goldberg, is also a “religion of the state”. Additionally to the authoritarian element that you stress, it is important to note that a key component of fascism, is the “totality” of the state – hence totalitarianism, which was termed by Mussolini. Everything is political, everything is subject to the state.
Further, Fascism has a collectivist element and rejects individualism, as well as individual rights as long as they do not further the cause of the collective state.
I completely agree that people often use terms such as Fascist or Liberal in ways that are simply incorrect.
Often, a fascist opinion is enough to label someone a Fascist. By that logic, any nationalist would automatically a fascist, which would render at least one of these terminologies useless.
However, Fascism includes a multitude of characteristics beyond mere nationalism. Very important, as you mention, is the control of industry and commerce by the state.