Fascism ReBorn

This article is currently posted over at Extreme Theology:

Sixty-seven years ago, the combined blood, treasure and matériel of the free nations of Western Civilization defeated the most horrifically evil regime to ever arise in the known history of the sons of men, Nazi Germany.

Since the defeat of Hitler and the Axis powers, scholars have been looking for an answer—an answer to a vexing and perplexing question, “How does a society comprised of reasonably well educated citizens, modern technology and an affluent culture turn into a collective pack of murderous thugs devoid of a moral compass or conscience?”

The standard schoolbook answer put forward by historians talks about the political and economic hardship and unrest in Germany in the wake of her defeat in World War I and the humiliating terms of the Treaty of Versailles as the primary reasons for the rise of the Nazi party.

On the surface this answer seems reasonable enough but when you study the writings of those who fled Nazi Germany shortly after the rise of Adolf Hitler you discover that economics and wounded national pride are not considered to be the core explanations given for the rise of the Nazis. Those who lived through those turbulent years instead point to the spiritual break down of Europe and the rise of irrational philosophy as the primary forces that breathed life into the Fascist regimes of Franco, Mussolini and Hitler.

Many people today have a woefully limited understanding of the philosophical and political ideas that gave rise to Hitler. Most give little or no thought to the subject. It’s as if Hitler fell out of the sky or was a fluke of nature. Many simply dismiss the subject and think that Hitler was “just a madman” who hated Jews and thought the Aryan race was superior to every other race on the planet and he was tragically in a position that allowed him to act on those beliefs. But, few understand or remember that Hitler was a Fascist and that in the 1930’s, prior to World War II and the establishment of the concentration camps, the word “Fascism” had a definition and a meaning. Rather than being a fluke, Hitler was instead a true product of his time and his political ideas were the direct result of the philosophical, political, religious and economic ideas of the Völkish period.[2]

Said Mussolini, “If each age has its doctrine, the innumerable symptoms indicated that the doctrine of our age is the Fascist one.”[3] When Mussolini penned this sentence he did not have in mind the currently popular and historically ignorant definitions of Fascism that most people possess today, definitions like:

Fascism = Arizona’s 2010 immigration bill.[4]
Fascism = The Conservative Political Platform of Ronald Reagan.
Fascism = Anti-Semitism

The phrase “Epic Fail” comes to mind when I read such ignorant and uninformed definitions of Fascism. Anyone who truly understands Fascism understands that it is notoriously difficult to define precisely because it CANNOT be primarily defined by means of a positive ideology.

Here is how the late Peter Drucker, who grew up within the philosophical conversation of the Völkish milieu of Austria and Germany and who later fled the Third Reich in 1934, described Fascism:

“Fascist totalitarianism has no positive theology, but confines itself to refuting, fighting and denying all traditional ideas and ideologies…Fascism not only refutes all old ideas but denies, for the first time in European history, the foundation on which all former political and social systems had been built…”[5]

A good illustration would be to liken Fascism to antimatter. Physicists tell us that matter has an evil twin called antimatter and when matter and antimatter come in contact with each other they are both destroyed. Antimatter is difficult for us to comprehend because of the fact that we have only experienced matter. Its difficult to imagine a substance that is the exact opposite of matter. Fascism is equally difficult to understand because its hallmark is NOT that it affirms anything but that it denies practically everything.

To read the entire article at Extreme Theology (it’s worth it!) click HERE.

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