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LetterRip
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Just curious if anyone has archives prior to september 2002 of Ornery?

I was thinking of digging through all of my old postings and figured I'd see if there was anything from way back when that might be worth retrieving.

I did a partial save long ago (but apparently it didn't save as much as I'd thought), and a little bit is in the 'wayback machine' but mostly it appears to have been lost to the depths of time unless someone has been archiving.

LetterRip

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Redskullvw
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Yeah 2002 seems to be a remarkably barren archive. I noticed several threads slowly disappeared first on Ornery and then on the way back. Do you by chance have the Consitency thread archived? Would really like a copy of that.
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Everard
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I believe consistency is in the ornery archives
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LetterRip
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I'm reconstituting pages from the wayback machine. Wayback does by number so I'll only be able to state which threads are missing by number and not by name.

LetterRip

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Redskullvw
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Ev

last I checked the consitency link supplied by you no longer was valid.

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kelcimer
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http://www.ornery.org/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=16;t=000023;p=0&r=nfx

Thread in the Archives that provides links to some old old old threads.

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kelcimer
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One of the wierd things about Ornery's search engine is that threads that have been moved to the Archives show up in a General Comments search. If you clck the link provided it will tell you the thread does not exist, even though it exists in the Archives.

I did a search for "Consistency" in General Comments. There is a thread with that title that was began on December 09, 2001. Not that that is terribly relevent, but that's what will happen if you look for it in General Comments via the Search function.

I distinctly recall that thread being bumped several times and various calls for it to be Archived that lead up to it being Archived. I looked through the Archives and could not find it. If this thread was in the Archives and was lost it is a real shame. It also begs the questions of what other threads have been lost and how did Consistency get lost to begin with?

OM?

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LetterRip
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kelcimer,

it is probably using a 'cheapo' database which means random data loss is to be expected...

LetterRip

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OrneryMod
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I will see what I can find but I am just the janitor when it comes to the archives.

OrneryMod

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WmLambert
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Redskullvw, Everard, kelcimer, LetterRip, and OrneryMod, Hello from AI-Jane.org.

Here is the Consistency archived thread that I saved. I hope this helps: (Not placing in quote format for space savings.)

Consistency Everard             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Kentuckian- I concede stalemate on the mutter mutter thread. You've defended your view well, and while I still don't agree with you, I think further debate isn't going to get anywhere.

That said, I want to hear your views on a remark you made about consistency being the defense of a small mind, on that thread.


Kentuckian Member posted December 09, 2001 11:48 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Stalemate accepted.

About consistency... I thought this was a fairly obvious thing to say, but apparently Eddings disagrees: Consistency is necessary in a moral or ethical system, or else the system is simply arbitrary, at best an appeal to authority which is useless. Moral and ethical systems should flow logically from fundamental premises.

Do you disagree?


LetterRip Member posted December 10, 2001 09:50 AM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds." Emerson

LetterRip


leave Member posted December 10, 2001 10:09 AM          ------------------------------------------------------------------------ I think part of it is a persons ability to stay open to new ideas, or something that had not occured to them before.

and I totally forgot what I wanted to say, back later.


Leto Member posted December 10, 2001 10:34 AM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Consistency is a good thing- usually a pretty good measure of a mind that has gone over as many facets of the idea as possible, and come to a real conclusion. However, if one clings too tightly to this concrete, without allowing for the mind to later change then the consistency becomes a shackle, keeping one trapped in a cell of determined ignorance. Even when contradicting data is offered, it will always be taken lightly by a mind not allowing the supposed consistency to dictate the measure. Eventually, a mind caught up in its own 'consistency' will eventually either crumble under its own weight or stagnate the original ideal that established the consistency. So, consistency, like everything else, is always best in mindful moderation. Not bad in and of itself, but when excessively applied, it can hamper one's own personal outlook.

Is that what you were wondering about, Everard? Also, this is just my opinion of it, not kent's.


Kentuckian Member posted December 10, 2001 12:20 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ You guys (Emerson included, I think) are talking about a different kind of consistency than we were on the other thread.

Of course one's ideas need to change as new information becomes available. One must remain open to possible change. You don't have to be "consistent" your entire life.

No argument.

But that's not what I was talking about. A belief system, be it political, moral, or ethical, must have internal logical consistency. Why? Because if it does not, you quickly begin to accumulate paradox and doublethink, things were your belief system forces into conflict with yourself.

A belief system must start with one, maybe two fundamental premises, and from there reason does the rest. If you discover paradox or doublethink, then you must reconsider either your flawed premises, or your flawed logic.


Leto Member posted December 10, 2001 03:41 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Actually, kent, my idea for consistency applies to a belief system as well. If that system doesn't allow growth and expansion, as well as radical change, then it will, inevitably, crash in under its own wieght. It's something that can be maintained for many years (centuries, perhaps), but eventually all it will breed is violent upheaval.


msquared Member posted December 10, 2001 03:45 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ I guess my main question/point is that a belief system is fine if it is consistent. It is how it handles changes that is important. I mean if you change the ground rules that the belief system is based on the belief system needs to change as well. However, if the ground rules have not changed a belief system that is consistent would need a really good reason to change.

msquared


Kentuckian Member posted December 10, 2001 03:56 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ No offense, Leto, but I still don't think we're on the same page, here. Probably my fault.

I feely admit that a belief system may, and probably should, change over time. What I'm saying, however, is that at each stage along the way, it should maintain internal logical consistency. It should not contradict itself at any time.


msquared Member posted December 10, 2001 03:57 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Kent and Leto,

How about this, a belief systems should be consistent but not static?

msquared


Leto Member posted December 10, 2001 04:10 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ I'm still with ya, kent, but I think msquared may have put it better than I. The core ideals need to remain consistently "true", but that wouldn't mean that interpretation and understanding of them wasn't subject to revision and change. After all, how wise would it be to continue believing the way we did when we thought the earth was flat? Or how about before Copernican theory? These things changed a lot of religious and philosophical beliefs, but keeping the basic teaching the same, perhaps even augmenting and strengthening some. Or do I still seem to not be catching on? It's very possible, as I haven't read the thread you mentioned.


Redskullvw Member posted December 12, 2001 08:48 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ As far as consistency is concerned with me, well I have only expanded on my original assumptions of the world. I have a rather open ended view point on the world view I adopt. It is consistently changed by new information. I add information and drop into inactive But I try to arrange ideas into a logical spatial arrangement.

One of the things I have always found funny is my political affiliation. I know what I want out of a political party and philosophy and that has not changed.

What has changed is my outward and visible political ideological identification.

Might scare the pants off of you all but I was raised as a Dixiecrat, became a radical liberal democrat, then went on to become socialist, then i even went into extreme philosophical communism, before finally realizing that philosophicly I was actually most easily identified politicaly as a fascist.

When I look back I can see that I was consistent in my ideas about what political ideology should attempt to do and how policy is implemented.

So in essence I just needed enough facts and information to eventually be able to define what I already was.

anyway that ought to warp some people.


Daedalus Member posted December 12, 2001 10:29 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Fascist? You've always SEEMED intelligent, I'm curious why you believe fascism, the oppression and pampering of human beings by an all-powerful government, is good. I mean, yeah, some people need the discipline. But what sort of history could be made by such a useless people, living their lives in the same monotony, and always in fear of offending the government? Is that life?


Kentuckian Member posted December 13, 2001 11:22 AM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Oh boy... This could be amusing...


Everard Member posted December 13, 2001 11:25 AM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ *Sits in the peanut gallery with a bucket of popcorn, ready to throw kernals at the participants in upcoming rant*


msquared Member posted December 13, 2001 12:05 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Ev and Kent,

I was in my home office last night with the wife when I read Daed's post and I had the same reaction you guys did. Boy did the youngster ever put his foot in it now.

Red, while those of us who know you would like to jump to your defense, we all know that you are very capable of defending yourself, and elequently as well. We look forward to the show.

msquared(sitting back and getting comfortable)


Brian Member posted December 13, 2001 01:49 PM          ------------------------------------------------------------------------ I don't know. Daedelus seemed pretty sincere to me. Granted, it was a bit impolite, but at least he didn't start ranting about the evils of fascism. He asked some good questions, and I for one am eagerly anticipating the answers, because I have a rather large lack of knowledge about this subject.


msquared Member posted December 13, 2001 02:06 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Brian,

We really are not upset at what Daed said. It is just that we know how thorough Red can be when challanged. This is sort of like a new guy in a bar challanging one of the old timers. All the other old timers back up becuase they know what is coming. Not that Red will be mean or anything, he will just be thorough in his defense of fascism.

msquared

[This message has been edited by msquared (edited December 13, 2001).]


Redskullvw Member posted December 13, 2001 09:18 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ honest good question... ill be back


Redskullvw Member posted December 15, 2001 11:17 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ You know it is hard to be a fascist. For one, there is not a Fascist Party. Well there are radical parties that call themselves fascist, but they are about as attuned to what fascism is as I am attuned to the macroeconomics of Borneo. If anything, it is the assumptions of most people about what they think they understand that so often drives me crazy.

One of the most wonderful things about this site is that whatever your personal ideas are, you are welcome here. There are a few stipulations to this acceptance. The hardest for most new members to figure out is that whatever the idea is you must defend it and defend it with a well-constructed philosophical intent. Often we have scared off more than a few new members because we tend to be rather vicious.

One of my favorite new members is the infuriating Pete. Exasperation is defined by Pete. Actually, he nearly caused me to blow a gasket at one point. I was extremely close to disowning this site until I realized that Pete, who is philosophically closest to me among all the members, was a fascist.

What struck me as most insanely funny was that when I had finally pinned down what bugged me about Pete, it turned out to be the simple fact that we are ideologically living in the same neighborhood. Someone said it is easier to get along with your ideological polar opposites. Everard and I can not be farther separated on an ideological spectrum, but he and I get along famously. I am sure most of you have noticed Pete and I seldom agree on anything other than the basics.

The reason may be Pete’s perception of his ideology. Having spent a significant portion of my college career studying fascism, I have more than the average conception of fascism to go on when making observations. Things I recognize, as being fascist will not be seen the same way by someone who has not wasted as much time on fascism as I have. In fact, I am often amazed by comments made by people who would never even guess what they are proposing or believing is fascist ideals.

A great example of the many times that this happens on Ornery that occurred a few weeks ago on a thread started by Cedrios, I think. In short, a proposal was made by a leftwing member on how to change the Electoral College. What was amazing is that most people assumed the proposal was left wing in origins and would more likely lead to left wing liberalism. The fact remains, the proposal could have been taken from any of the fascist governments that were formed in the 20TH century.

I guess what I am trying to get at is that while almost none of the members of Ornery consider themselves to be fascist, many of you support some ideas and programs that are totally fascist. As time has gone by, many of you have come to realize that what you equate as fascism has radically changed. To the collective horror of many members, many of you have agreed with some of my posts. To agree with a fascist idea, may mean that what you think of, as fascism may not in fact be what fascism really is.

How does one become a supporter of fascism? That question is reasoned but beyond the scope of any explanation. No one can completely explain all of the reasons why he believes what he believes philosophically. I refuse to explain it all to anyone. I will try to explain why there is a philosophical integrity to fascism that is often obscured by the common perception of what fascism is.

First, you need to drop everything you ever thought you knew about fascism. Fascism is not Black Shirts or Peronist agitators. Fascism is not a Nuremberg Rally. Fascism is not anything you think it is. In fact, what it is may be similar to your perception of what you wish political and governmental operations could be.

Fascism is primarily an ideology that recognizes inequality. Fascism is inherently not politically correct. It does not require generalities like democracy. It does not require servitude of monarchial governments. It does not require uniformity of communist governments. It does not require plurality of socialism. What fascism requires of adherents is a recognition that there is and always will be differing levels of opportunities and capabilities in any human culture or society.

I live in the real world. I recognize that I am not the best looking guy in the world, so no matter what my qualifications otherwise may be, being a movie star is out of my league. I recognize that some people are just less smart than others are. I recognize that some people lack ethical controls in their day to day lives. I recognize that some people have through effort created lives far beyond the general scope of the average member of society. Fascism does not contradict the reality.

In a fascist system, excellence is rewarded, and failure is mitigated. What a concept! Have you ever wondered about the way your current government works? What is rewarded? What is penalized? I would like you to consider the “War on Poverty” and what its results have been. We have as a government decided that we would commit resources from economically successful members of our society and install self-perpetuating programs intended to remove poverty and raise the general economic health of those below an artificial income limit. The results are depressing. Trillions of dollars have been thrown at the problem, and none of it has managed to stick to the wall. We have the exact same level of poverty since LBJ launched the war. The reality is that under a fascist system the resources never would have been squandered the way they have been.

In a fascist system, one of the keys is corporate success. Unlike a communist or socialist system, the success is based on individual accomplishments being coupled with corporate support. A need or goal is recognized by the government. There is usually some form of incentive appropriate to the desired goal, and a leader is already evident, or is available for the execution of the tasks needed to reach the goal. The essential difference is that unlike other systems, corporate energy, whether industrial, governmental, public or private, is expected to contribute to a rapid attainment of the goal.

Would you like an American example of a fascist plan that worked? Why would I even expect to be able to find any fascist example in America to begin with? The greatest example of a fascist style task, which was executed by America, would be the rather spectacular Moon landings.

I am now sure there are people who are laughing, but let us look at it systematically. Remember the tenet of fascism we are currently investigating is twofold. The first is goal identification and the second is corporate mobilization to reach the goal. The best common example of American fascism is the NASA program that first got us into space, and then landed us on the Moon.

First, the head of the government recognized a goal. JFK said I want to be on the Moon by the end of the decade. Next, a certain ex-NAZI was asked to figure out how to do it. Remember when JFK made his challenge, NASA was a skeleton agency, and outside of some slightly modified German A-4 and A-6 rockets, American missile technology was not even close to our rival nations. JFK gave Von Braun whatever resources and technical expertise he needed to come up with a plan. To execute this plan, every single company with any part of the plan germane to its industry was asked to bid competitively on the contracts. It is a famous fact that we wound up going to the Moon on what amounted to a shoestring budget.

Then we got busy. General Mills came up with the food for the manned flights. Morton Salt came up with the fuel for the engines. Sperry Rand came up with the computers. General Dynamics and Hughes came up with the systems and protocols. Lockheed engineered the Saturn V. Every single company involved was the lowest bidder, and produced the best product it could. Excellence was demanded and results were expected to be positive.

The result was the task was defined. A system for reaching a goal was put in place. Excellence was expected from both the leadership and the corporate components of the endeavor. Moreover, the result was that we were on the moon by the close of the decade. Think about it from the standpoint of the abilities we had before the plan was started and what we were capable of after the plan was completed. 1963, the top of the line missile technology was barely advanced beyond German wartime technology. By the end of the plan we had assembled the largest most effective rocket, the world had ever seen. Yes the Soviets had the huge rockets, and the advantage of unlimited resources, but the fascist style program which we embarked upon got us there cheaper, faster, and safer than they could.

The Moonshot is a simple fascist example. Now stop and think about how you viewed the Moon program before you read this. Most of you would have thought it was a democratic plan. The only thing democratic about the plan was that the man who started it happened to be a Democrat. Fascist philosophy requires an optimization of leadership and corporate involvement. It also requires an optimization of available resources. I would hazard a guess that the budget available to the Soviets far outpaced the budget we used.

Therefore, fascism recognizes inequalities in ability and accomplishments. It is goal oriented and resource conservative. It is also timely in durations of tasks. Finally, it is based on results.

What could be better for a government that is able to do this? However, many of you correctly recognize that fascism also has a few pitfalls that it is prone to. The most obvious is dictatorship. Every fascist government has had this problem. Much of it has to do with the relative economics of the nations involved. To a lesser extent, education and social mobility has also been a factor in fascist dictatorships. After years of study I do not have an answer to why this is the eventual outcome of fascist governments. I think the best example of a successful fascist government is Spain. There was indeed a period where the fascist government took on all of the evils we commonly associate with public perceptions of fascism. The fact is though that Spain transformed from being a backwater, with uneducated peasants, and a rocky economy. By the time Juan Carlos took over in the peaceful transfer from fascism to democratic government, Spain was a modernized vibrant educated and cosmopolitan nation. Consider this carefully, Spain advanced into the modern Europe in less than 50 years.

Could America become a fascist government is a question I have been debating for the past 10 years of my life. When I was younger, the idea of my philosophy becoming the standard of the land was intoxicating. I felt that if a fascist government were to come to power, with its drive and its focus, it could solve the many problems we face. However, the idea seemed far off. During one college class discussion on this topic, my professor thought that the America of the 1990’s was far more vulnerable than many countries were before they adopted fascist governments. His point was that what made fascism so seductive was that it offered overnight fixes to problems that plague democracies. He stated that duration of 20 years might involve the emergence of a fascist government in this country.

Now imagine what I must have thought. A fascist government in America! All the problems we face would be handled. Poverty would be wiped out. Governmental red tape on entrepreneurs would vanish. Medical care would become universal and top of the line. As in all fascist governments, society would receive excellent education and social benefits. What my professor had offered was a vision of an almost utopian America.

However, I have aged. Moreover, every time I see our government adopt a fascist protocol I cringe. Every time I hear or read a comment that proposes a fascist idea, I cringe. If I were a fascist then why would I hate the furthering of my philosophy? The reason is education and diversity.

As I have gone on to think about why fascism fails in the real world, I have recognized the essential failure to it being able to avoid dictatorship and militancy. In every country where fascism has become the ruling government, the weakest part of the culture has been its education. Education is both the reasons why fascism develops, and why it terminates in dictatorship. Every country has had both limited and lacking education, or education based on lies and deceit sponsored by governmental agency. The second stage of the educational problem is that once a fascist government gets into power, it has universally installed a state directed education that corrupts and goes against classical education goals.

Then there is the problem of diversity. Fascism can not and will not tolerate diversity in a human culture. That means that no matter the intent of the fascist government originally, eventually a minority is singled out to provide the energy to keep up a perpetual “us” vs. “them” conflict. In short, fascism shares an Achilles’ heel with communism. It is a great idea on paper, but it will not and can not work outside the realm of political theory.

So am I a fascist? Yes I most emphatically am. Do I ever wish to see a fascist government in this country? I most emphatically do not. All the things that make fascism such a wonderful and powerful philosophy of political and governmental management does not outweigh that which makes actual fascism such a failure.

It can not be doubted that from the time fascism arises in a country until it either is peacefully replaced, or goes into a military conflict; the majority of the people ruled by a fascist system benefit greatly in all endeavors that are important to the day to day lives of citizens. However, the trains running on time, technological wonders, free healthcare, and social mobility do not make up for the concomitant militarism, persecution, and dictatorship which follows all fascist governments. Of all the fascist governments, only Spain’s was largely successful in avoiding most of the evils real world fascism encounters. Nevertheless, the level of evil was more than enough to tinge forever Spain’s history.

The reality is that human cultures have not evolved to a level to implement fascism or communism. In utopian worlds either would be a great system to live under, because on paper they both serve the human needs for cultural order and economic endeavor. Unfortunately, we still do not have the level of education needed to adopt either successfully. For either government to work, it would take a nation made up of theoreticians who are exclusively devoted to one political philosophy. To make matters worse it would have to be the only nation on the Earth.

I like the idea of encouraged capitalism. I like the idea of unlimited social gain. I like the idea of universal competency and education. I like the idea of government sponsored directives aimed at attaining previously impossible goals. I like the idea of racism and bigotry ceasing to exist. I like the idea of a government without a military industrial complex. I like the idea of commerce free from governmental artificial embargoes and trade penalties. I like the idea of social contracts that reward productive output. I like the idea of illegal activities being curtailed by prosecution and rehabilitation. I like the idea of technology being fostered and propagated by state sponsorship. I like the idea of effective elimination of poverty. I like the idea of streamlined laws with clear-cut reasons for existing and penalties that do not outweigh the offence.

Do you like some or all of those ideals above? If you do you may want to go have a stiff drink. Every one of those ideals has been part of every fascist government that has ever existed. And yes many of them were eventually changed in some way. It would be hard to argue that Germany did not have the world’s most powerful military industrial complex, but each fascist government has at least started with most of the above ideals. The true failure of fascism is that it is as applicable as utopia.

However, adopting fascism as a personal political philosophy is far from stupid or evil. If you can not understand the fascist process of implementation of policy, and the ideals that it uses as goals in political interaction, then you have a far darker view of human culture than I do. Go back and reread the ideals of fascism again. Ask yourself if you agree with these ideals or not. I think you will find, as most people who have done this at my urging have found, that fascism offers more to political philosophy and goals than might at first be expected.

It is my task to challenge your misconceptions. It is my task to make you rethink your own political theory. It is also my task to challenge your consistency. Would you like to live under a government with the ideals of fascism? If you were honest with yourself, you would probably have to think in the affirmative.

Now that is one heck of a rant…

QED

GDL


msquared Member posted December 16, 2001 08:47 AM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ We warned you Daed.

msquared


Everard Member posted December 16, 2001 03:48 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ *Throws popcorn at Daed* See what you got us? lol


LetterRip Member posted December 16, 2001 05:25 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ I feel like a bit o arguement with Red <grin>

I feel that this site gives a decent overview and comparision on fascism and socialism [edit- as Ev says below I had mistyped communism for socialism - doh!]. http://www.lawrence.edu/sorg/objectivism/socfasc.html


Socialism and Fascism ------------------------------------------------------------------------

In my recent article on Tony Kushner, I suggested that his socialist views were somehow akin to fascism. Predictably enough, the knee-jerk reaction to this statement was the reassertion of an old historical fallacy: the notion that socialism and fascism are somehow opposed to each other, that they have been historical rivals, that there is nothing but difference between the two -- and that I must have been ignorant of this historical fact. I did not, however, make this comparison glibly. Taken in full historical context, with full consideration of philosophic principle, socialism and fascism are essentially the same.

To know what socialism and fascism are, let us begin by examining some historical examples of each. Fascist states have included Hitler's Germany, Mussolini's Italy, Tojo's Japan, Franco's Spain, Pinochet's Chile, and possibly Peron's Argentina. If we were to focus on each of these concretes, we would observe numerous differences. For instance, Hitler's Fascism was racist. Mussolini's was not. Mussolini's fascism involved belligerent nationalism. Franco's did not. What unites each of these concretes into a group of similars can be seen in a common definition of fascism: "A governmental system with strong centralized power, permitting no opposition or criticism, controlling all affairs of the nation (industrial, commercial, etc.)" (American College Dictionary, New York: Random House, 1957).

Socialist states have included the USSR(1), Communist China, socialist Sweden, socialist England, Cuba, North Korea, and a handful of lesser regimes in Eastern Europe, East Africa, and Southeast Asia. Once again, there is a prima facie difficulty in determining what factor these various states held in common. After all, some socialist regimes (like Sweden's and England's) were elected democratically. Others, like the USSR's and the PRC's, were the result of popular violent revolutions. Still others were the product of either military coup (Cuba, Ethiopia, Vietnam) or foreign invasion (the Eastern Bloc). The trait common to all of these is provided, once again by the definition of socialism: "a theory or system of social organization which advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means or production, capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole" (American College Dictionary).

Now that we have these two concepts (socialism and fascism) squarely on the table, we can spell out their differences and similarities. It is obvious that there are numerous differences between socialism and fascism, the most obvious of which concerns their view of private property. Socialism abolishes the institution entirely; fascism does not. For instance, in the Soviet Union, citizens had to wait years for their names to come up on a list to receive a car from the government. At the same time, everyone is familiar with the existence of wealthy property owners like Oskar Schindler who lived under the Nazi regime. This difference in ideology did in fact manifest itself in actual historical practice. The communists and Social Democrats were, in fact, the main opponents of the rise of Nazi power in Weimar Germany; Nazi Germany and Socialist Russia were at each other's throats in World War II.

True enough: We can put socialism and fascism on a table and stare at them all we like, and all we may see will be differences. What is required to go beyond this is to widen our context of knowledge. For instance, let's say we draw two geometrical figures on the chalkboard: a scalene and an isosceles. If we focus merely on these two concretes, without widening our context, we will see nothing but difference. The two triangles have different angles, different side lengths, different locations, different sizes. Now imagine that we introduce a foil: We draw a square on the board. The difference between the first two triangles is still there, but is made insignificant by the even greater difference between the triangles, on the one hand, and the square on the other. This process of differentiation allows us to see the triangles as similar. If we are able to isolate an essential characteristic of the group (a difference bewteen the triangles and squares which explains all or most of the other differences between them), we can then integrate this group of similars into a single mental unit, uniting it by a common definition, i.e., forming a concept.(2)

We can treat social systems in the same way in which we treat geometical figures. As we observed before, there are probably innumerable differences between socialism and fascism. But what happens if we introduce a foil here, as well? Let's imagine that we introduce a third type of social system. Rather than having society control all property, and rather than having dictatorship in one form or another, we introduce a system in which individuals are free to follow the dictates of their own mind. Rather than having a system in which the choice is between the abridgment of political freedom or the abridgment of economic freedom, we introduce one in which no one's freedom is to be abridged. In short, we introduce capitalism : the social system in which all property is privately owned, and the government's function is restricted to the protection of individual rights.

Once we remember the possibility of the existence of such a system, the differences between socialism and fascism become trivial, superficial and, above all, non-essential. Differentiation of socialism and fascism from capitalism permits the recognition of their similarity. They do differ from each other, but only in the way in which the scalene and the isosceles differ from each other: in degree, but not in kind. Socialism and fascism are each forms of statism, forms of government in which the government is given complete or extensive control over the lives of its citizens.

This theoretical consideration has massive consequences in the practical realm: The differences we noted before turn out not to be as important as we once might have thought.

It is true that fascist systems permitted property ownership, while socialist ones did not. However, fascist "property rights" were only nominal: A businessman (such as Oskar Schindler) would retain legal title to his goods, but he would not retain any control over them. Because he was not politically free, the government could order him to use his property as it desired (such as by using it to produce war implements) -- even if it was _his_ property that was being used. Just as there can be no split between mind and body, there can be no split between political freedom and economic freedom. Man cannot exist without a mind and a body, and he cannot be free if someone else controls either.

It is true that the Nazis and socialists were rivals for power in Weimar Germany. On account of their similar political ideologies, however, this rivalry collapsed in the face of the defeat of their common enemy: capitalism. Forgive me for "quoting Ayn Rand", but the following is a matter of historical fact:


...in the German election of 1933, the Communist Party was ordered by its leaders to vote for the Nazis -- with the explanation that they could later fight the Nazis for power, but first they had to help destroy their common enemy: capitalism and its parliamentary form of government ("'Extremism,' or The Art of Smearing", September 1964, in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, pg. 180).


Dr. Leonard Peikoff reaffirms this point in his book, The Ominous Parallels:


The communists, too, wanted to use Hitler. Time after time their deputies voted with the Nazis in the Reichstag; they voted against legislation designed to cope with emergencies, against measures designed to curb violence, against attempts to maintain in office any kind of stable government. The Communists even agreed to cooperate with Nazi thugs. In November 1932, for instance, the two mortal enemies could be observed standing comfortably, shoulder to shoulder, on the streets of Berlin, collecting money to support a violent strike by the city's transportation workers.


When Hitler's fortunes seemed to be faltering for a time in 1932, a stream of anxious Nazis poured into the ranks of the Communists; the Germans watching said that a Nazi is like beefsteak: brown on the outside, red on the inside. Soon, however, the traffic was in the opposite direction. "[T]here is more that binds us to Bolshevism than separates us from it," said Hitler to Rauschning. "There is, above all, genuine revolutionary feeling, which is alive everywhere in Russia except where there are Jewish Marxists. I have always made allowance for this circumstance, and given orders that former Communists are to be admitted to the party at once. The petit bourgeois Social-Democrat and the trade-union boss will never make a National Socialist, but the Communist always will" (Quoting from Rauschning's The Voice of Destruction, pg. 131) (Peikoff, 221).


Peikoff continues:


In the final months the Communists viewed the growing Nazi strength with equanimity. The triumph of Nazism, they said, has been ordained by the dialectic process; such triumph will lead to the destruction of the republican form of government, which is a necessary stage in the achievement of communism. Afterward, they said, the Nazis will quickly fade and the party of Lenin can take over (222).


As for the Social Democrats, Dr. Peikoff notes that


The Social Democrats, meanwhile, were being "tamed" in another way by Chancellor Franz von Papen. In July 1932, using only a token armed force, he ousted them illegally from the government of Prussia. The party leaders understood that this coup, if uncontested, would mean the loss of their last bastion of strength. But they observed the swelling ranks of the Nazis and Communists; the Prussian police and the German army brimming with nationalist militants; the millions of unemployed workers, which made the prospects for a general strike bleak -- and they decided to capitulate without a fight, lest they provoke a bloody civil war they had no heart to wage and little chance to win....There were not many Social Democrats who rose up in fury over 'the rape of Prussia.' The party had long since lost most of those who take ideas or causes seriously. there was not much youtful ardor to summon to the side of social democracy. "Republik, das ist nicht viel, Sozialismus is unser Ziel" ("A republic, that is not much, socialism is our goal") -- such were the signs carried in parades by young workers of the period (222).


The reason for which the Social Democrats were so passive was not a mere inability to practice their principles consistently. It was, instead, a matter of the logical import of their principles. As Dr. Peikoff notes: "The republicans in every political party and group were in the same position: more and more, the contradictions involved in their views were leaving these men lifeless, and even speechless. They could hardly praise freedom very eloquently, not while they themselves, like everyone else, were insisting on further statist measures to cope with the economic crisis" (222-223).

To the extent that any of these political groups did clash in Weimar Germany, the clashes were not over matters of principle. They were of the variety of conflict seen most often in inner city America, where rival gangs fight over turf, over such trivial difference as the color of clothing worn by the other gang. In the end, whoever happens to win is a pointless consideration. The result is the same: blood in the streets.

As for the conflict between the Nazis and the USSR, one need only recall the Hitler-Stalin pact of 1937, in which the two powers agreed to divide up Eastern Europe together. Hitler and Stalin apparently had no problem in principle with working together to exterminate freedom in peaceful nations.

In case anyone still doubts the fact that there was no difference in princple between the fascists and the socialists, consider the following revealing quotations from various infamous Nazis and other fascists:


We ask that the government undertake the obligation above all of providing citizens with adequate opportunities for employment and earning a living.

The activities of the individual must not be allowed to clash with the interests of the community, but must take place within its confines and for the good of all. Therefore, we demand:...an end to the power of the financial interests.

We demand profit sharing in big business.

We demand a broad extension of care for the aged.

We demand...the greatest possible consideration of small business in the purchases of the national, state and municipal governments.

In order to make possible to every capable and industrious [citizen] the attainment of higher education and thus the achievement of a post of leadership, the government must provide an all-around enlargement of our entire system of public education...We demand the education at government expense of gifted children of poor parents...

The government must undertake the improvement of public health -- by the greatest possible support for all clubs concerned with the physical education of youth.

[We] combat the...materialistic spirit withn and without us, and are convinced that a permanent recovery of our people can only proceed from within on the foundation of The Common Good Before the Individual Good .

(Nazi party platform adopted at Munich, February 24, 1920;Der Nationalsozialismus Dokumente 1933-1945, edited by Walther Hofer, Frankfurt am Main: Fischer Bucherei, 1957, pp. 29-31).

It is thus necessary that the individual should finally come to realize that his own ego is of no importance in comparison with the existence of his nation; that the position of the individual ego is conditioned solely by the interests of the nation as a whole...that above all the unity of a nation's spirit and will are worth far more than the freedom of the spirit and will of an individual....This state of mind, which subordinates the interests of the ego to the conservation of the community, is really the first premise for every truly human culture....The basic attitude form which such activity arises, we call -- to distinguish it from egoism and selfishness -- idealism. By this we understand only the individual's capacity to make sacrifices for the community, for his fellow men.

(Adolf Hitler speaking at Bueckeburg, Oct. 7, 1933; The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, 1922-39, ed. N.H. Baynes (2 vols., Oxford, 1942), I, 871-72; translation Professor George Reisman.)

[Fascism stresses] the necessity, for which the older doctrines make little allowance, of sacrifice, even up to the total immolation of individuals, in behalf of society...For Liberalism, the individual is the end and society the means; nor is it conceivable that the individual, considered in the dignity of an ulitmate finality, be lowered to mere instrumentality. For Fascism, society is the end, individuals the means, and its whole life consists in using individuals as instruments for its social ends.

(Alfredo Rocco, "The Political Doctrine of Fascism" (address delivered at Perugia, Aug. 30, 1925); reprinted in Readings on Fascism and National Socialism, pp. 34-35.)

[T]he higher interests involved in the life of the whole...must set the limits an lay down the duties of the interests of the individual.

(Adolf Hitler at Bueckeburg, op cit pg. 872.)


Unless the political implications of this ethical doctrine of collectivism are not apparent to everyone, the Nazis make them strikingly clear. The Nazis were opposed to authentic private property, and as a result, to capitalism:


"Private property" as conceived under liberalistic economic order was a reversal of the true concept of property. This "private proprerty" represented the right of the individual to manage and to speculate with inherited or acquired property as he pleased, without regard to the general interests...German socialism had to overcome this "private", that is, unrestrained and irresponsible view of property. All property is common property. The owner is bound by the people and the Reich to the responsible management of his goods. His legal position is only justified when he satisfies this responsibility to the community.

(Ernst Huber, Nazi party spokesman; National Socialism, prepared by Raymond E. Murphy, et al; quoting Huber, Verfassungsrecht des grossdeutschen Reiches (Hamburg, 1939))

To be a socialist is to submit the I to the thou; socialism is sacrificing the individual to the whole.

(Nazi head of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels; In Erich Fromm, Escape from Freedom (New York: Farrar, 1941), pg. 233.)


Finally,


I have learned a great deal from Marxism, as I do not hesitate to admit. The difference between them and myself is that I have really put into practice what these peddlers and penpushers have timidly begun...I had only to develop logically what Social Democracy repeatedly failed in because of its attempt to realize its evolution within the framework of democracy. National Socialism is what Marxism might have been if it could have broken its absurd and artificial ties with the democratic order.

(Hitler to Rauschning, The Voice of Destruction, pg. 186).


I hope by now that it should be obvious that the philosophical difference between the fascists and the socialists was minor, if existent at all. Each of these schools reject the efficacy of reason, affirm the principle of altruism, and uphold some form of collectivism. The inevitable result of these views is the destruction of freedom, which is exactly what happened in Nazi Germany and in Soviet Russia.

This leads me to reiterate a point I made in my original article on Tony Kushner. Kushner may believe that he can argue for gay rights, he may reject the conclusions of fascism, he may have even openly condemn Nazism in his many works on the holocaust. This, however, is what makes his overall position so utterly contradictory -- and saddening. In my article, I listed each of his positions in epistemology and ethics. These positions were precisely the same as those held by the Nazis. He cannot escape his premises, and their logical conclusions -- no matter how much he wishes to reject the holocaust and affirm gay rights. ------------------------------------------------------------------------

(1) That the Soviet Union was actually a socialist state is surprisingly another point of contention. Modern socialists typically charge that the USSR was not socialist, but Stalinist, and that the attrocities associated with that regime were entirely attributable to Stalin's adulteration of communist doctrine. The fallacies in this view are multifaceted, but I cannot write another essay explaining this as well. For the moment, I will merely argue that the USSR (and Communist China, as well) were in fact the living embodiments of socialist ideas. There is not a plank in Marx's Manifesto which was not implemented in the Soviet Union, save for Marx's arbitrary prescription that the state should "wither away". That such was not the case in the USSR was not a mere failure to practice socialist principles, but a consequence of the fact that socialist principles were inconsistent in theory. It is not possible to argue that each individual should sacrifice for the whole of society, and yet expect each individual to know what "society's good" consists of, without having a dictator to tell them.

(2) The way in which I have explained the process of concept-formation is consistent with Ayn Rand's solution to the problem of universals in Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Revised: 2. November, 1997 a.D. Comments: lu_objectivism@yahoo.com ------------------------------------------------------------------------

Return to Essays Page ------------------------------------------------------------------------


(I was hoping to find a site that had a nice comparison matrix for different political philosophys but had no luck...)

If you feel the author is in error, I would be interested in your corrections.

Now, as to the example of the moonshot - you claim it was 'fascist' because it was "[G]oal oriented and resource conservative. It is [...] timely in durations of tasks [... and] based on results."

That is nearly an exact definition of healthy capitalism. I don't see how the above definition you give could be in any way construed to be specific only to fascism as a political or economic philosophy.

Also, in capitalism, the market could have refused to bid upon the project, or bid higher than the government was willing to pay. From the above article, the fascist government could force the individual to use their property for the government. For capitalism, the only recourse would be to purchase the property from the fellow capitilist, or build ones own property to produce the item.

"I like the idea of encouraged capitalism. I like the idea of unlimited social gain. I like the idea of universal competency and education. I like the idea of government sponsored directives aimed at attaining previously impossible goals. I like the idea of racism and bigotry ceasing to exist. I like the idea of a government without a military industrial complex. I like the idea of commerce free from governmental artificial embargoes and trade penalties. I like the idea of social contracts that reward productive output. I like the idea of illegal activities being curtailed by prosecution and rehabilitation. I like the idea of technology being fostered and propagated by state sponsorship. I like the idea of effective elimination of poverty. I like the idea of streamlined laws with clear-cut reasons for existing and penalties that do not outweigh the offence.

Do you like some or all of those ideals above? If you do you may want to go have a stiff drink. Every one of those ideals has been part of every fascist government that has ever existed. And yes many of them were eventually changed in some way. It would be hard to argue that Germany did not have the world’s most powerful military industrial complex, but each fascist government has at least started with most of the above ideals. The true failure of fascism is that it is as applicable as utopia. "

Well, those ideas have arguably been a part of the promises of nearly every government in existance. It appears that the scandanavian countries are doing extremely well on nearly every front without the apparent intolerance that is aquired by fascist states.

I don't see how you can claim them a fascist state is particularly better idealogically suited to accomplish those goals than say capatilism or utilitarianism.

LetterRip

[This message has been edited by LetterRip (edited December 17, 2001).]


Everard Member posted December 16, 2001 07:56 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ *Points out that Letterrip meant a comparison between socialism and facism, as even the author of the site he linked too recognizes. Assumes letterrip either made a typo or wasn't really thinking. If assumption is wrong, is prepared to attack vigouously statement of comparison*


Redskullvw Member posted December 16, 2001 08:07 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ man dont tell me i have to have a point by point defense.

Here is a nice little blanket definition... fascism is capitalism on steroids.

thats the real difference. And to be even more blunt fascism boarders on utilitarianism.


Redskullvw Member posted December 16, 2001 08:13 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ohhh please the guy on that link is being moronic and sophomoric at best...

look he uses oskar schindler as an example of not having control of his property.... im forgive me if I am wrong but he was free enough to spend millions of RM's to save his people. Give me a break. Lol I now want to track that idiot down and give him a lecture.


Daedalus Member posted December 16, 2001 08:24 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ I'm recovering from a bad flu, so my reply won't be ready for a while yet. But, while reviewing that link you gave, LetterRip, I found a mention of socialist ENGLAND? Snowden suggested something about Cromwell, but I'm posting this to find out more (preferably from Tom Davidson). I never knew England had ever come close to socialism.


Everard Member posted December 16, 2001 08:54 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Ok, on a more interesting, rather then technical note.

The author starts with some premises that no good radical, be he a radical or facist or socialist bent, will accept. The first assumption he makes is that the state, and the community, are the same thing. They are not. A community, which socialist thought embraces, is independant of the state, and exists with or without it. A state, on the other hand, can only exist by the good graces of the community it has authority over. "A governmental system with strong centralized power, permitting no opposition or criticism, controlling all affairs of the nation (industrial, commercial, etc.)" Facism. "a theory or system of social organization which advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means or production, capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole." Socialism. The second assumption, similar to the first, is that society, and government, are the same thing. Again, they are not. Government is, almost totally, dominated by society. Society, on the other hand, is only dominated by government in a fascist worldview, whereas in a socialist worldview, the two are maintained seperately. The third assumption is that capitalism is equivalent to freedom. This is untrue, but I've been over that ground.


Daedalus Member posted December 16, 2001 09:07 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ "Society, on the other hand, is only dominated by government in a fascist worldview, whereas in a socialist worldview, the two are maintained seperately."

I know you're the resident Communist, but I don't think that's correct. In Communism (not quite pure socialism, I know), the government had complete control of the people. Society was completely dominated, and had no control over their government.


msquared Member posted December 16, 2001 09:32 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Daed,

You have confused Communism with communism. In true communism the state withers away since there is no use for it, the community takes care of all. In Communism, what actually forms in communist countries, the state wants to controll all.

msquared


Everard Member posted December 16, 2001 09:40 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Exactly.

communism is for the people. fascism is for the state. if you see the difference. if not, I can expound


Everard Member posted December 16, 2001 09:50 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ I must state here, for the record, that redskull has asked me to tear that link to shreds. I must also state here, for the record, that its just too easy. Once you remove the wrong assumptions, there isn't much left there worth attacking. As redskull said "I was expecting the hood, not the pinafore."


Redskullvw Member posted December 16, 2001 09:59 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ here is something that might really freak you... The UK came very close to becomeing Fascist were it not for a certain american divorce'


Kentuckian Member posted December 17, 2001 01:58 AM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Red-

In order to get a better handle on your definition of fascism, I have a question: would you regard Meiji era Japan as a fascist state? I am thinking particularly of the relationship between the state and industry.


LetterRip Member posted December 17, 2001 10:08 AM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Ok,

I admit, my choice of link was poor, I'll find one that works better. Basically I was looking for a useful outside definition of fascism to argue with. 'Capitalism on Steroids' certainly does not sound like any description of fascism as a philosophy that I've heard outside of arguements by Red.

Okay, here is the definition of fascism by Mussolini. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/mussolini-fascism.html

And here is a good discussion on a couple of different meanings for fascism.

"The three popular definitions of fascism I've seen are (1) authoritarian capitalism in general (from Pinochet to Thatcher); (2) the corporate state, where business, labor, and government meet in tripartite bodies, with labor as a subordinate in the trio, having lost its right to go on strike; and (3) a fascist or authoritarian mind-set, as in the Frankfurt school's "F scale" (which measures degrees of fascist mentality). I prefer #2, but I also feel it's best to avoid the term unless I make it clear exactly what I mean. Like Naziism, the term "fascism" has been overused, including by the New Left, which used a version of definition #3. "

from http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:WIQU5c3vgpg:nuance.dhs.org/lbo-talk/9810/0275.html+Fascism+definition&hl=en

So apparently 'capitalism on steroids' isn't to far different from the first usage (authoritarian capitalism). Unfortunately, in common usage it is almost universally the third usage (which is why people flip out when you claim to subscribe to fascism...).

LetterRip


LetterRip Member posted December 17, 2001 10:13 AM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Two other defining characteristics suggested by other authors are

"destruction of reason", http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:b0fkf6drm00:nuance.dhs.org/lbo-talk/9810/0743.html+Fascism+definition&hl=en

and "racist", http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:WIQU5c3vgpg:nuance.dhs.org/lbo-talk/9810/0275.html+Fascism+definition&hl=en

as defining characteristics.

So, 'Authoritarian capitalism, that is intolerant of dissent and difference, that frequently results in the destruction of reason and formation of racist policys.'

How is that for a suscint definition Red?

LetterRip


Kyle French Member posted December 17, 2001 11:41 AM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Resident word freak here--

Anybody got a definition of the word based on etymology? Did somebody just make the darn word up?


LetterRip Member posted December 17, 2001 12:36 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Etymology: Italian fascismo, from fascio bundle, fasces, group, from Latin fascis bundle & fasces fasces Date: 1921

http://www.free-market.net/forums/main0008b/messages/147530858.html

LetterRip

[This message has been edited by LetterRip (edited December 17, 2001).]


Kyle French Member posted December 17, 2001 01:24 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ So, in the original sense, Fascism is simply the classic "us against the world" viewpoint, as opposed the the Capitalistic "me against the world" viewpoint, or the communistic "we are the world" viewpoint. Just based on those loose definitions, Fascism would want to conquer the world, Communism would want to convert the world, and Capitalism would want the world to get out of the way. Then, when you convert those motives into economic ideologies, Fascism becomes a superefficient war machine--each nation it's own little hive, Capitalism becomes an unchecked, semi-imperialistic Free-market economy, and Communism becomes a group-thinking national (or universal even) social worker.

I could see a really good compromise between those three...


Timothy Member posted December 17, 2001 04:22 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Red...I found your explanation of fascism interesting and instructive...

I am left with a question, however. In my view of the world, how a theory operates in practice is perhaps the most important measure of its utility. We all have fantasies of what the world "should" be, but we need to learn to work with what the world is (and what "humans" are). I can understand the mental process of "wishing for something better" and believe that such mental exercises serve an important function. But, once your "theory" has been placed into action, and has proven itself a failure time and time again, isn't it time to leave that theory behind and move onto new, better theories? In short, how can you still support a theory that even you admit has not and likely will not work? I found your explanation of this wanting.

It seems, to an extent, that you still hold hope that the right mix of timing and environment will produce a "good" fascist state at some point in the future. As with many communists, you seem to hold to the notion that pure fascism is "ahead" of us, and not "behind" us; I submit that we as a people should keep those two ideaologies firmly in the rear-view mirror.


[This message has been edited by Timothy (edited December 17, 2001).]

Everard Member posted December 17, 2001 04:39 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Problem is, both are utopian ideologies. That is, they may have produced bad results in this century, but the ideas behind the two philosophies are, in the minds of those who follow them, better then anything else we've got, or CAN have. A utopian vision is that of the ideal world. Hence, if you believe a political philosophy can bring about that ideal world, you'll never abandon it.

In my opinion, a world in which the philosophy of communism is followed, we're going to have teh least amount of human suffering and misery, with the least cost to human rights. It would, ideally, maximize both collectivism, and individualism. Hence, I'm always going to strive for communism, because I believe the most important aspect of a governmental and economic system is to provide a foundation for stability in interactions between people, in which no person has an advantage over others that isn't due to direct personal merit. I think the ONLY way to achieve this is through communism.

The idea of holding facism to be an good political system isn't one I can explain adequately, but the gist is similar. It would ideally provide something better then what we've got.


Redskullvw Member posted December 17, 2001 06:46 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ok guys too many questions at once and too little time to do a point by point.

I will respond as time permits. and in order of questions.

Btw the origin of the term fascism was correctly given...however the definitions of the word leave a lot to be desired.

I feel like the bismark surrounded by the english navy... I promise i'll blow a few boats out of the water before I am forced to skuttle the ship.


Kentuckian Member posted December 17, 2001 09:34 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ I understand what you mean, I think, Ev. My libertarianism is rather like Red's fascism. I don't really think that we'll ever achieve the libertarian ideal, but I feel that libertarian philosophy can and should inform the political system we do have. My utopia won't happen, but that doesn't stop me from thinking it would be utopia.

I'm sort of a theoretical libertarian. In real life I'm a Rational Anarchist.


Redskullvw Member posted December 18, 2001 10:04 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ kent as for late japan ending in imperial japan yes... in fact id say the system may go further back ..in all it was more militaristic. Interested to hear your take.

not my knowledge of japan is cursory at best. Never took any. But professor haag once made the same exact comment.

as for ill duce's definition.. its important to note he was preparing his country for an invasion of ethiopia via eritria when that famous monolouge was written. And whats more you have an edited version with the sections most likely to inflame domocratic republicans.

will debate more asap on the above, but one thing i do want more comment on is why we follow the philosophy we follow, as was said mine didnt work. Well actually mine did rather well but it has a few major flaws which makes me wonder about it in the real world.

here in a nutshell is my question and it applies to all of you. Most of you never have to defend your political philosophy on here. If you do its usually a pissing contest between republicans and democrats. No one ever makes the comment that "you always SEEMED intelligent" < its up there somewhere just too lazy to get the exact quote but you get the idea>

Ev Kent and myself consistently have to defend our individual philosophies. Ev always has to do the "C" vs "c" rant, kent always has to explain his libertarianism. And then every 3 or four months you see what i get to do.

question is since we are constantly having to prove our philosophies by comparrison to yours, turn about seems fair.

I would aurgue that democracy has failed miserably as well.


now that ought to get the ball rolling.


PS did I mention that for real world governments I happen to be a Royalist?


Timothy Member posted December 19, 2001 01:23 AM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------

quote: ------------------------------------------------------------------------ I would aurgue that democracy has failed miserably as well. ------------------------------------------------------------------------

Of course...this is all relative to that which you want government to do. So, what do you want your government to do?

Who was it who said "Democracy is the worst form of government...except for all the rest?" I tend to agree with that sentiment.

We run the risk of arguing straw-men unless we can begin to pin down specifics of what we want government to do, and we each put forward our ideas of how best to accomplish those specific goals. I'll start by answering my own question.

I value the individual over the community. Communities should exist to serve the needs of the individual. Absent individuals, communities are meaningless. Individuals maintain meaning absent communities.

Therefore, in my opinion, government, should exist to ensure the greatest possible freedoms for the individual.

[This message has been edited by Timothy (edited December 19, 2001).]


Kyle French Member posted December 19, 2001 02:13 AM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Well, for one thing, I'm probably more a republican than a Democrat (in the classical sense)--I have this sneaking suspicion that Senators ought to be elected by state governments instead of by direct vote--or at least that states ought to decide that detail. Dern amendments.

Pure Democracies have an incredible capacity to inspire devotion of a people group because they know that they are the system--minus the slaves of course. However, special interests (the individuals themselves, sometimes) inevitably sabotoge the whole system. The whole system falls apart in a direct democracy when the underpriveledged masses realize they can vote as much equality on themselves as they want. "I want all of his money!" Well, just get a simple majority and vote it in. Two generations, tops, before the whole thing collapses.

But a classic Roman senatorial republic...now there's a system! It's got a half-life of what... a thousand years? You've got your hereditary senators who feel a personal responsibility for the state, and you've got the mass of people who vote on everything, but the senate always outweighs them. Voting becomes a kind of primative poll-taking machine. Distribute a little bread and all the masses are happy, and you have a ballanced power at the top because the few still have to bicker with each other before they decide what they'll do with the many. It takes 500 years before the old families die out or get corrupted as a whole to the point where they don't care a whip about the masses, and then it all starts to fall apart.

But if you found the right balance of long-term stability and public interest power over the decision making process... a kind of democratic-republic, say--well that structure would last! And it'd be fairly even handed too, I bet.


BillyB Member posted December 19, 2001 12:25 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ I am proud to say that I have no politico-philosophical allegiance. There is no perfect government, and different types of societies require different types of governments. Only liberal arts majors would think otherwise. :-)

Billy


Kentuckian Member posted December 19, 2001 01:20 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Timothy-

Guess what you are, my friend? Hint: starts with an "L" and kind of looks like "librarian."

Billy B-

No absolutes? Really? So you have no problem with how folks are treated in China right now? That's their system, it suits their needs... Really?


Timothy Member posted December 19, 2001 02:39 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Kentuckian...

I know...I use the "libertarian" philosophy as a guidepost for my political beliefs, in perhaps the same manner in which you described above...

That doesn't mean that I call myself a libertarian, or even vote for libertarian candidates.

;-)


BillyB Member posted December 20, 2001 01:38 AM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Who says it suits their needs? I think a lot of Chinese would disagree with that. You're right, though. I do have one absolute: a government has to maximize freedom. In a given situation, however, a certain government may or may not maximize freedom, and the most important types of freedoms are very much open to debate. I have found all political philosophies to be lacking in one respect or another, and so I remain unaffiliated.

Billy


RedVW on a Laptop Member posted January 01, 2002 11:09 AM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ You know there have been several comments, which raised my interest on this thread. I like the holidays better than typing on Ornery. If you are human you better have the same type response. There are so many people on this site that consistently make me think. There are times when I sit back and wonder where all of you have come from. It has been said before, but I am immensely appreciative and proud of all of the people who make Ornery work.

Occasionally my friends and family come to Ornery. Yes shock of shock they have not disowned me yet. Over the holidays, I made a comment about my father’s political leanings. For those who have avoided my family history, my father happens to be one of those communists like Ev. He had made one of his more communist comments and I had called him on it. One thing leads to another and he eventually gave up the argument and settled for calling me the fascist of the family. What was interesting about the course of the argument was that my stepmother also chimed in at the start of the debate. When I called him a communist my stepmother was shocked that I would even say that. I think what was even more shocking was that my father eventually admitted as much and that ended the debate. The significant part is that my otherwise extremely intelligent stepmother had absolutely no idea that her husband was in fact a communist.

Another interesting thing happened while I went home for what turned out to be one of my better Christmas holidays in several years. My brother and I are separated by seven years age difference. I tend to be the one who blazes the trail into disaster. He tends to avoid those errors. Yes I would be the older sibling. There is actually an even larger rift between us. To be honest I have had almost zero contact with him since he was ten years old. It’s a long story, but there has been some progress on the relations between family members. Which presented me with an opportunity. My brother and I were tinkering with my stepmother’s computers. I decided to show him my fascism rant. Which he promptly decided to be symptomatic of my life.

Hard to put into words, but my brother spends his life as a public defender and seems to revel in getting people out of punishments they so richly deserve. For example, I read the trial transcripts of his first murder trial. When all was said and done, my opinion of lawyers had sunk even lower than I had thought possible. I waited for my brother to come back with some sort of reasoned argument. What I was eventually wondering was whether or not he even comprehended my rant in the first place.

About this time last year we had a few threads that touched on topics that seemed to me to be rather self-evident. Constitutional powers, The Federalist Papers, Common Sense, the three traditional Estates and other items were subjects of inquirery. But what we understand as members of this site is that the level of political knowledge we have is beyond your everyday American. The interactions between my family and myself drove that lesson home.

For the record my father knows more about politics and political philosophy than any other person I have ever met.

What gets me is that there was no one thread which attempts to explain the various political philosophies on a basic level. Think about it. There is a significant amount of page hits on this site. How many of those people are actually engaged at a presumed level of knowledge capable of understanding the basic terms we are debating? We constantly assume we know what the heck we are even debating. After this last weekend I have a serious level of doubt.

Most of the time I do not give much consideration to how people perceive my views or me. All I generally ask is that someone respect me. One of the things, which have consistently bugged me, is that people say things that do not make sense. When I say that they don’t make sense I mean that comments do not make sense in terms of political philosophies.

So how the heck do we correct this minor problem? I have no clue.

Well I actually have a couple of ideas but they will take some time to figure out. The first is the idea of defining particular philosophies in such a way that everyone has at least a chance to debate it wisely. Seeing as I am the resident fascist I guess I need to completely define Fascism so that anyone can understand the basic ideals it uses as a framework.

OK fascism in a nutshell is best described as capitalism in a western democratic nation on steroids. Here are a few preliminary things you need to have to create a fascist government. First you need a free market economy, which is of sufficient health and diversity to gainfully employee the vast majority of the citizens. Second you need one heck of a tradition of nationalism and national identity. You also need a heaping amount of educated people for it to even have a chance.

Fascism exists as a means of constructing and regulating human activity in such a way that uniformity of productivity and happiness is assured. Uniformity is a nice way of saying government beauracrcy. But unlike some types of government there is a demand of performance placed on leadership and general cadres, which make up a beauracracy. Leadership may be based on political favor, political clout, or personal ambition. The key is that even if the leader has no predilection to understanding or running the particular bureaucracy, he is expected to produce results. No positive results or goal attainment means no longer occupying the leadership position.

As we go along in this paper I think it would be helpful to use historical and real life examples. Since most of you are familiar in a passing way with Nazi Germany, I will primarily use that country as a reference. For effectiveness of leadership of bureaucracy I will refer you to Albert Speer and his take over as leader of economic wartime production. Remember this man was by training an architect. However he was given control of German wartime production. Considering the conditions of the German economy during the war it is amazing to note that the economy increased the output in unreal ways. For example, the aircraft industry in Germany produced more aircraft in the few short months of 1945 than it did in the pervious full year of 1944. The system Speer had put in place was highly effective. It is highly likely that if Germany had actually gone to a wartime economy in 1939, instead of in late 1943, they probably would have won.

What is the possible drawback to having single leaders making decisions for entire sectors of beauracrac? A classic case in point would be the take over of the autocratic and nobility laced German High Command ( O.K.W.) by Hitler. It can be argued in both directions that Hitler’s take over of the O.K.W. was either positive or negative in outcome. For the purpose of discussion in the terms of this paper I submit that his take over of O.K.W. was an unmitigated disaster. The reason Hitler failed the army so badly was that the normal check for incompetency, i.e. replacement of non-performing leadership was not available. No Staff officer was willing or able to remove Hitler from his leadership position. It is ironic but if it had not been for the leadership concept in fascism which prevented Hitler’s removal` O.K.W. probably could have won the war.

So one of the basic facts of a fascist system is the adoption of leadership of bureaucracy to attain goals. The goal attainment is also constrained by the expectation of timely execution. All fascist governments base their various programs and projects on defined goals with undefined means of reaching those goals. The government asks those in leadership to attain the goal, seeks expertise from the beauracry, which determines the methods to meet the goals. This is where education comes in. If the population has a low or uneven education level, then there is no way for the beauracrcy to cope with the demands placed upon it.

It is interesting to understand that the education level is key to successful fascist government. Without knowledgeable and technically skilled people, the likelihood that any government goal will be reached is low. To combat this problem, every fascist government has to have a system of education in place, which not only meets the classical goals of education, but also encourages the strange concept of individual freedom to think for the welfare of the whole community. This means that a person must have the understanding of classical Western education, with the concomitant creativity and critical thinking that such education brings. The person must also take the classical base and think in terms of his individual efforts as it relates to the greater concept of community goals.

To illustrate this let us use an example from another super state ideology. In the Communist governments that have existed, the education system has similarities with the above fascist education program. There is a difference though. No matter how educated a Communist Citizen is, his avenue of inquiry to a problem is programmed explicitly by the State. A Communist beaurocrat is given a goal to reach, but is also given the policy he must use to attain that goal. In the fascist system, the goal is asked for, but the steps taken to reach it are left up to the bureaucrat. It is only after the goal has been reached that the fascist government establishes the on going system of policies to maintain the goal. W ithout adequately educated citizens, no goal attainment is possible because there is a low likelihood that anyone assigned a goal could ever figure out an efficient way to reach and maintain the goal. In fascism, permanent policy is established only after the results have been reached. Which are both strength and a weakness. If the policy has become long-standing then there is the risk that declining effectiveness may not be recognized quickly. In fact to over turn the policy it will often take a unilateral directive from leadership on a higher level.

The problem with real world fascist education systems is that the two goals it has often compete to the point that a myopic education based on results but not free critical thinking is the eventual outcome. The true danger to the citizens of a fascist state is the development of a “group-think” mentality. Instead of creating creative critical thinkers, the education produces people who think along solidified party ideological lines. That is most often the result of the leadership concepts of fascism.

Leadership is seen in Darwinian terms in fascist philosophies. Under a fascist system, leadership is predominately based on ability. Fascism is largely effective in that leadership is constantly added to. For example, a low-level government official is limited only by his ability to exercise leadership. With each success he moves up in scope of power and ability to exert more policy and decision-making. Eventually he finds himself in the position of originating goals and leaving others below him to figure out how to implement the policy. The check and balance to his leadership is failure. In fascism failure results in a diminishing of powers. Even for the really high leadership the effect of failure leads to a lack of real power or influence. A classic example of this is in Peronist Argentina. Eventually the old leadership only had the power to officially rubber-stamp all government policies, the lower levels of government were making all the decisions. Unfortunately for Argentina, the people making the decisions happened to be members of the military.

Fascism and military forces do not mix well. It seems the only fascist government which ever figured that out was Spain. One of the bad things about fascism is that the military already has a nacessent form of fascism. It is not without just cause that military forces have been derided by the left as fascist institutions. When the concept of goal attainment is considered, no other part of any government is more focused on successful attainment of goals. If the military fails in attaining a goal, civilian governments automatically minimalize the leaders responsible for the failure. However if the military succeeds then the awards and additional powers granted to them flow like water from waterfalls. Under a fascist system the military is very likely to take all the power it can manage to take. Unfortunately for the civilian component of the fascist governments, as soon as the military exercises the power internationally the government falls apart.

Even in extreme cases of fascist failures, the government proves to be incredibly resilient. Partly this is because of the education of the population and the reliance on leadership judgment. To augment this resiliency, all fascist governments have beefed up domestic police powers. This insures that during periods of peace, domestic criminal activity is kept at an absolute minimum. In theory, the police powers should be no more ornery than those in any other system. But there is the tendency for the police powers to be standardized and streamlined in such a way that personal freedoms can be put at risk. To be fair, the average citizen in a fascist state will have nothing more than routine contact with police powers. But because of the efficiency of police forces, a citizen runs the risk of interference for unusual and mercurial offenses.

I suppose all that is needed to be said here is the word GESTAPO. Unfortunately for fascism this is the public perception of this philosophy. To be fair to fascism as a philosophy, the necessity of such an outcome must be discounted. There is no reason why a police power of a fascist state would have to be so abusive. Unfortunately there has yet to be a real life fascist government that has avoided this.

Under a successful fascist system you would have goal-oriented government. The population would be educated to use critical problem solving. Domestic policing ensures a safe and orderly society. But what would the physical structure of the government be? I suppose any system based on a western democracy would work. There is nothing in our Constitution, which would preclude a fascist government. Surprisingly, our Constitution may be ideal for the creation of a fascist government.

The nuts and bolts of our federal system mesh well with fascism. Governmental powers are extremely limited. Our federal government actually exerts most of its power through taxation and redistribution of funds to the several states. Under a fascist system this would probably become much more effective.

Fascism is a governmental philosophy of benign neglect. This means that if there is no need for a program or function, it will not be funded. The determination of governmental action on any specific item is based on need. Until someone recognizes that a need is apparent, the government just will not spend the money. In essence this means the dreaded political disease of “pork” simply does not exist.

Examples of this style of neglect date to the Great Depression. Prior to fascist assumption of power in Spain, Italy, and Germany each of those countries was experiencing massive budgetary problems, fiscal collapse, and gross unemployment. Once the governments were in place fiscal policy and governmental programs were gutted. Each program and policy adopted was based on results. Unlike the rest of the world, the only economies, which pulled themselves out of the Great Depression without outside aid, were the fascist nations. Think about it. All three of these countries were in states of complete collapse in all fundamental ways, but in short duration each became stable economically, politically, and socially. No other competing philosophy of government can make the same claim. In spite of Germany’s massive rearmament for a war, it is only fair to say that each of these countries was more focused on becoming economic powerhouses first, and combatants second. Unlike the United States, which needed to wartime economy to finally shake free of the Depression, Germany did not even adopt a state controlled wartime economy on a comparative scale until 1943.

How does the economy work under a fascist system? Policy is determined by need and goals. Innovation is encouraged and supported. For example, a fascist policy would seek efficiency of production and maximization of profits. This can, and has been taken to extremes. The economic output of slave labor in Germany is possibly the most dehumanizing instance of efficiency. There can also be excesses which are economically justified, but of limited value. An example of this would be the Zeppelin Fleet. Yes they made a profit, but it is only because of national prestige that these wonderful airships ever came into being. Another danger to the extreme capitalism which fascism employs is duplication of parallel efforts. The best example of this is again the German air force. It is amazing just how many different aircraft were produced. The government would issue the capabilities of the aircraft it wished to have available. Then every aircraft company would race to produce the craft. The upside to this was that aircraft were available almost overnight. The downside was that several competing aircraft wound up having to be evaluated at once, and were continually refined. The case of one such plane was the famous Stuka. Throughout the war, many new ground attack aircraft were produced for replacing the Stuka. After each evaluation the replacement aircraft were refined to the point that no aircraft was substantially better than the other aircraft.

The eventual result was that Stukas were produced right up until the end of the war. The replacement aircraft tied up resources for years. And finally, until Speer put a stop to the research, the Stuka was not improved by the Junkers Aircraft Company, but instead by ad hoc improvements in the field. The fact remains however that the superiority of each replacement aircraft was assured and was available in a faster time than otherwise would have been possible.

Under fascism entrepreneurs are supremely supported. If you have an idea or a service, you have the blessing of government non-interference. One of the stranger aspects of fascism has been the taxation of its civil and corporate members. In general taxation was specific. When a goal was defined, and taxation to support it was determined to be part of the policy implementation, the tax was specific. The concept of percentage tax was not as it is under our taxation system. Each tax you paid was almost a fee for services type. If you did not use the service then you did not pay the fee. A common gripe among homeowners in the United States is being taxed for schools, when they have no children. Under fascism such taxation simply does not occur.

It is interesting to compare social services under fascism to what we have. For example, healthcare has always been superior under fascism. There was a professional medical system, which had complete control over the fees for services. Because medical insurance was un-needed and care was compulsory, every citizen had healthcare, the government simply set standards of care, and the doctors made a profit and were free to innovate. Compare our system to either Italy’s or Germany’s system. By comparison ours is rather lacking. Another thing, which was superior to ours, was the benefits available to German workers. It is true that collective bargaining was lost as a right, but in exchange the workers received job security based on ability and competency. They enjoyed a workweek with hours, which we would find most desirable. Vacations were available to exotic locations for almost nothing. Imagine going to Disney World for the cost of one days pay and staying there for two weeks. In short the life of the worker meant job stability, advancement based on merit, world-class benefits, and a retirement to the same living standard. Compare that to our system where superior ability can land you in the unemployment line, where vacations are practically non-existent for the common worker, and a retirement, which often means a steep decline in standards of living. One more thing, which is obviously superior to ours, is that everyone was employed.

Entrepreneurs received as many benefits as workers. Imagine if Bill Gates did not have to spend huge amounts of money on lawyers. Well that is the reality that fascists exist in. Monopolistic policies are part of a fascist system. It is not the type of monopoly we are familiar with. In a fascist monopoly the entrepreneur does not constantly have to defend his products and services. The government only intervenes if innovation is lax or the entrepreneur is profiteering excessively. Using Bill Gates as an example, if he began charging two hundred percent markups on his products he would soon find himself either paying substantial penalties to the government, or find himself having to meet new product standards issued by the government. On the other hand, Bill Gates would benefit from protectionist policies from international competitions, and more than likely highly beneficial incentives from the government.

Steve Jobs would also love fascism. One of the basic laws of fascist philosophy is the continuation of competing economic activities. Just because Jobs does not have a monopoly like Gates would, does not mean that he would cease to exist. In fact, because of the governmental practices of support through funds granted for economic expenditure of capital, Jobs would be able to overnight achieve monopoly by exceeding the products made by Gates. In short, the best mousetrap enjoys the monopoly only until the government wishes to create a better one, or someone creates it on their own.

The concept I am trying to get across to the reader is that no matter what your position is in a fascist economy, you would benefit from a better economic outcome under fascism. In the economic portion of the government you would expect little interference. The government would be after standardizing and protecting both workers and innovators. If there is one universal success story when it comes to fascist governments, it is and always has been superior economies maximized to the highest potential.

Unfortunately the weakness of this maximizing is due to the fact that it all depends on the base economic activity available. A classic example of this would be the production of wine in Germany. Wine has been grown in Germany since Roman times, but in keeping with fascist principles, the government decide that the country had the capacity to become self sufficient in wine making. The base level of this sector of German economics was rather low when compared to other wine producing countries. However the government supported the effort. While the eventual outcome was economically justified, the resources used to do this were astronomical. My professor used this example one time to expose the excesses of fascist economics. By his determination, the money invested by the Nazis was not recouped until the mid 1960’s, even though the wine industry had been profitable immediately after the government intervention. What this means is that a fascist government can turn a profit for its investors, but may not make back its initial expenditure of finances for many years.

Like education, the economic capacity of a country largely determines how successful a government will be. Because of the style of taxation under a fascist system, the less activity the economy has, the less influence the government has upon the economy. Even with large industrial concerns available, being successful is not guaranteed.

Argentina is a great example of this. Cattle ranching used to account for most of the economic output of Argentina. The cattle ranches amounted to huge land owning companies, which exchanged profits for government support. The government used the taxes from the export of the cattle products it supported to create new industrial activities. These activities in turn supported a modernization of the industrial methods and capacities of the country. However, the United States launched an embargo against Argentine beef. All of a sudden the cash flow the fascist government was used to dried up. Finally because of internal domestic frustration and civilian failures caused by the collapsed of the cattle industry, the military launches its ill-conceived Falklands Campaign.

Remember, when a fascist nation goes to war it soon ceases to be a fascist state. And irrespective of the fact that Argentina had a Peronist President for twenty-four hours last week, the Peronists collapsed. The size of the industrial capacity and economic output available determines whether or not a fascist government survives because the basic underlying strength of fascism is capitalism. Without available capacity, no fascist government can survive. Perhaps most interestingly, Spain again proves to be the exceptional fascist power. Spain was able to take a non-existent economy with largely agrarian capacity, and over an incredibly long period of time managed to create a successful diversified self-supporting economy. In fact the Spanish economy became so successful that the government could not control it. Spain transitioned into a democratic representative Monarchy largely because fascism had been so successful.

Without a good base economy fascism will not exist. Without educated people fascism cannot exist. Without an adherence to exemplary efforts to reach goals, or the innovations needed to even recognize the goals, fascism will not exist. As you can see the odds of a fascist government working are very long. The most troubling ingredient for successful fascist governments is nationalism.

Nationalism is a Pandora’s box. The failures of fascism can be caused by corrupt education, economic collapse or even successive failure to implement policy. Nationalism only makes these problems more probable. Nationalism creates so many problems that the implications of negative effects are clear. If the government is not delivering on its promises, nationalism can be used to create blame. The economy is damaged and people are unemployed, so the government appeals to nationalism and singles out someone to blame. The government cannot overcome domestic problems so it appeals to nationalistic forces and launches a war against its neighbors. The list is endless. What is even more troubling is that nationalism can lead to the deification of the national leaders. With this deification, the ability to punish ineffective policy with the removal of power vanishes. Such is the dangers nationalism brings.

But for fascism to work there has to be some sort of nationalism. Without it, the underlying sense of commitment to community could not likely exist. Imagine the response to a government call for action, if the people’s first thought was that it did not include or require their attention because they felt the lack of national identity. Without nationalism, the sense of community and commitment to the greater good simple would not exist. I have often wondered if there could be a type of fascism based not on nationalism, but instead upon religious affiliation. Again that is something to consider, but if it did exist I am not sure it would really be fascism.

It has taken me several days to try to put down in text what fascism is. All in all, I still feel that I have poorly identified and described my particular philosophy. I began this because I realized that almost no one here, or anywhere else for that matter even has a clue what fascism is. In a way, it is easier to point out what fascism is by elimination of what it is not. What I am trying to convey is that fascism may not be as alien as you assume it to be prior to reading this. What is hard to get across is that in a very large measure, fascism my indeed be the most successful governmental system devised for governing a people, as long as two conditions are met. The first condition is that no fascist government can engage in military combat. This is not a bad condition. Fascist governments have proven themselves to be extremely fragile once the military is sent abroad. The second condition is the limitation of nationalism by means of education, which instills a respect of community without perversion into exclusionary tactics aimed at minorities.

The above paragraph used to be the end of this essay. But even after sitting on this for several days, I still feel I have not explained it well. There are so many factors involved in figuring out a philosophy. My attempt to boil it down into a couple of pages of text is essentially a task better suited to Tantalus. When I think that I have hit one part on the head, another idea seems to slip away. It is never going to be complete as long as people still do not understand. The best I can hope for is that people will maintain an open mind and ask critical questions.

We have much to do to educate ourselves. None of us have been able to completely adhere to the classic versions of our philosophies. You may be a Republican, but you support abortion. You may be a Democrat who thinks gays do not deserve special protection. You may be a communist who thinks personal wealth is good. Heck you may even be a Libertarian who thinks we should adopt expansionist international policy, None of us will ever exactly fit the philosophy we identify ourselves with.

I guess the best possible outcome would be if several proponents of the various philosophies tried to put down in text descriptions about their political beliefs. If everyone did this eventually some of the more neutral members might come to understand more completely where they fit on the political spectrum.

Anyway I look forward to attempting to expand the definitions I began. I hope I will have some company and some competing philosophies championed by others. Man I hate when I feel like I failed to put something down on paper, but that appears to be what has happened here. Enjoy it.

[This message has been edited by RedVW on a Laptop (edited January 01, 2002).]


Kyle French Member posted January 01, 2002 01:14 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Red, you get the award for the longest winded writer on Ornery. Fortunately, you're a good writer, and I enjoy it. I may take up your challenge to explain our philosophies, unfortunately, mine is a religious philosophy and not a political one, which makes it more difficult, I think. It may be many moons in coming.

However, do you think John Calvin's theocratic cities could be considered a kind of fascism based on religious identity instead of national identity?


msquared Member posted January 01, 2002 02:41 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Actually Kyle there was a guy from London who used to post here who was as long winded but not nearly as consise(?) Red has two types of post. The first are those he does on line and they are just like the rest of our post with spelling errors and all. The second type are the post he does in Word and then cuts and paste here. Those are long but informative and have been know to be thread killers.

Have a great New Year all.

msquared


Kyle French Member posted January 01, 2002 05:30 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ hey, I remember that guy. He did his best to undermine Ev's arguments for communism by being a communist himself.


Timothy Member posted January 01, 2002 08:13 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Red...thanks for spending the time to put your ideas to paper. I've enjoyed reading your thoughts.

I think what you are attempting to accomplish, however, is easier done through brevity, which can later be expanded, then through volume, which is tough to digest. ;-)

Earlier, I asked a basic question: what is it that you want government to do?

You seemed to hint at an answer...you've stated that you want government to be "successful." Which, is only a circular answer: successful at what?

You've made a case that seems to support that idea that fascism has a chance at being successful if you value the achievement of basic and limited "goals." However, as you acknowledge, fascism seems to perform poorly when pluralism is valued.

You asked for some critical questions...here are some that I'd like to hear your answer on:

1) What do you want government to do?

2) What do you value more, the community or the individual?

3) Given your views, would you change the U.S. Constitution? How?

Let's start there. I look forward to your answers.

Tim


RedVW on a Laptop Member posted January 03, 2002 10:40 AM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1/2/02

Tim

My prefered government? Weimar Republic, or Confederate States of America Constitution.

My view on individual vs community? Should be obvious individual thinking independent of the group in true fascist style.

Kyle

Not sure about Calvin, but as far as religion goes wouldnt a fascism based on religion almost automaticly lead to a dictatorship and a corruption of education?

Here is something which just occurred to me, is the Vatican fascist in its style of government?

Ok on a more interesting note...

Argentina has finally elected by legislative fiat, a politition described as a populist in the Knight Ridder News feed. It goes on to state that he was an ex governor of Buenos Aires and was known for massive government programs which put people to work and doubled the economy and infrastructure, before being elected to the Argentine Senate after loosing the presidential election in 1999. It also says that he is against United States style free market economics. And finally it says the man is a member of the following political party, Justicialista Party.

Ok so whats so important about that? Well you and I know his party by the name of the Peronist Party. Yep ladies and Gentelmen, Argentina has finally returned to the fascist fold. Let us hope they are able to avoid a military coupe this time and rebuild whats left of this country. A positive side to his assumed economic policys have been announced as being rather fascist. First it is expected that he will devalue the peso. Second he has announced that he is going to establish government credits to industry, ie he is going to use the reliable “rentenmark” scheme used by all fascist counties.

Look for a painful but relatively quick turn around. It has been a long period of decline for Argentina since the Falklands War, but maybe this time the Peronists will get fascism right. I hope they can. Watch Argentina closely, it may change your mind about Fascism Or we may find that no system can save Argentina and we will be dealing with yet another collapsed economy and another IMF fiasco.

HEHEH 1 country down hundreds to go...VIVA Del Revoloutione

And yeah so my spanish sucks.. my english is corrupted by german, and my german aint too good either.


Kyle French Member posted January 03, 2002 12:33 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ I can think of only 3 instances of bona-fide theocracies. The first is ancient israel, the second are the Calvanist city-states that he suppored, and the third is Oliver Cromwell's English Protectorate. And yes, as far as Christian theocracies go, they inevitably lead to dictatorship by the religious leader and pretty thick indoctrination in the education department. The theocracy in ancient Israel seems to have done much better. This is probably because of the main difference between the Jewish and Christian religions, as Everard has already pointed out somewhere or other: Christianity is based primarily on faith, that is belief, whereas Judaism is based primarily on law.

So, to establish a Jewish theocracy, all you need to do is establish Kosher laws as the basic law of the land. That and the rest of the Pentateuch. Since those laws are pretty much set in stone and unalterable, they can't get a good deal better or worse. But to establish a Christian Theocracy, you would basically have to legally control people's thoughts. Not only is this process unpleasant and generally impossible, but since what you absolutely have to believe is so open to debate in most religions, the whole thing keeps changing and redefining who 'our' group is. Which is why most Christian Theocracies last, at most, for 10 years, and Jewish theocracy, in some form or another, may have lasted as long as a thousand years.

If I were Jewish, I'd be all for theocracy, but as a Christian, i deplore it.


Timothy Member posted January 03, 2002 12:49 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Red...not to be a stickler...but I don't think you really answered my questions.


quote: ------------------------------------------------------------------------ My prefered government? Weimar Republic, or Confederate States of America Constitution. ------------------------------------------------------------------------

I keep asking...what do you want Government to do...not what style of government do you want. It is an important distinction. For example...if you say you want government to ensure technological advancement as efficiently as possible, to the detriment of personal freedoms, then that is what you want government "to do."

You keep answering what you want government to be, not what you want it to do. I could certainly attempt to deduce an answer from what you say, but I think having you actually tell us would be an important step at understanding your philosophy.


quote: ------------------------------------------------------------------------ My view on individual vs community? Should be obvious individual thinking independent of the group in true fascist style. ------------------------------------------------------------------------

I don't agree that such is an obvious conclusion from your stated philosophy. I don't agree that the individual is valued over the community in fascism. I think that may be your stated goal, but in the end, the individual who thinks differently than the stated goal of the government will be punished...not rewarded.

If you really think that fascism leads to the exaltation of the individual as you seem to suggest, then I will simply disagree with your conclusion, and ask for further support from history that such is the case in actual implementations of fascism.

Everard...I'd like your answer to the same questions I posed above. You state that you support communism. Why? What is it that you want government to do? For example...do you want government to "even" the playing field?


Everard Member posted January 03, 2002 12:58 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Timothy- What I think government should do is protect its citizens. Now, I take a broad view of that statement. Protecting citizens means protecting all citizens, and making sure all its citizens have a good shot at living a decent life. Hence, I think government should redistribute wealth, regulate industry and business (as those are not citizens) support a military, and protect the freedoms of its people, while making sure that people don't use those freedoms to infringe on other people's rights (the right to life, the right to liberty).


RedVW on a Laptop Member posted January 05, 2002 10:57 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Timothy...

To get a fuller wish list of what I want my government to be, please refer back to the Utopian Government thread. I had a bit of fun in doing that. I think you will find that the perceptions that people had about the wishes I have for a government to be surprising. To be frank, the constitution of the Wiemar Republic may be the best government on paper ever created. As for individuality concerning fascism. I think you are making an erroneous supposition about fascism philosophically vs. Historical fascism. The rank and file civilian in fascist countries, especially those who are educated by fascist schools is grossly unaware of their personal education outcome.

It is often the case that this lack of not being aware of the outcome manifests itself in the opinions the civilians hold. A great example is the judiciary of Nazi Germany. Once considered one of the most technical, and fair systems in Europe, eventually they became nothing but ministers and administrators in kangaroo courts. Instead of trying cases based on fact and based on judging criminal action, they instead began issuing party line judgments. However if you went back and asked most of these judges after the war what their perceptions were, they would almost universally claim they were simply judging the law as it was set in place by the Nazi government.

To any outside observer the facts prove otherwise. This is a danger in fascism. Remember how I said fascist governments tend to create a myopic view? Well this is a great case in point. The judges have absolutely no internal belief that they have done anything wrong. Individually they perceive no personal deception what they have done. They exonerate themselves as individuals, but willingly admit that the entire judicial system as a whole was rather corrupt. And that is the problem. As individuals of a fascist system they exerted actions as individuals, but do not admit to personal responsibility. It is the myopic result of education and propaganda that results in this outcome.

Fascism is most concerned with individual excellence , but often the application of this excellence to the society at large results in objectively defined failure. Here is a popular example of this type of failure. Oscar Schindler was a personal success, but part of an un holy system. The man was able to become fabulously wealthy as a Nazi party member. He was largely apolitical. His enrolling in the party was simply a business decision. But there is the single fact that no matter what his motivations were, he benefited from the society and how the society had chosen to run itself. Oscar was most assuredly a good person in total, but his individual excellence contributed to both the German war effort and the saving of his handful of Jews.

In Oscar you can find the dichotomy I am trying to express fully. He was successful in fascist terms because he was the model Nazi. Despite his occasional run ins with the Gestapo, even the Nazis could not find anything wrong with his life in fascist terms. But in the scope of working for evil by supporting the German Army he is totally guilty. As an individual he is one of excellence, but as a member of a fascist system he also committed fantastic errors in simply being part of the system.

So the problem fascism faces, is that when applied to the real world it has to find a way to set up an education system and avoid the myopic focus. I do not know how this can be done. How do you create critical thinkers without creating the seeds of the governments own undoing? I you have a free system of education in place, how do you deal with people who turn out to be against the government? The only way you do that is to control what they learn in the first place. If you control what they learn then you are not creating the individuals who have the critical thinking ability that fascism needs to work.

I guess you will just have to take my word that individual excellence is part of what makes up a successful fascist government. You will also have to understand that so far no fascist government has ever found a way to avoid this problem. Maybe the Peronists will do better in Argentina this time. I have my fingers crossed

Tim please keep in mind I have been unable to read ornery for the last couple of days so I may have skipped something. A it is I will get around to answering all your questions, As far as I know these were the big ones you had..


Daedalus Member posted January 31, 2002 08:04 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Redskull,

I realize my response is over a month late, and hardly enough to meet that dissertation you posted; but I hope you'll still consider it worth your time. And, since I haven't made it public yet, I would like to formally apologize for my earlier comment on your intelligence. I have nothing for respect for you, even if your views disagree with mine.


quote: ------------------------------------------------------------------------ In a fascist system, one of the keys is corporate success. Unlike a communist or socialist system, the success is based on individual accomplishments being coupled with corporate support. A need or goal is recognized by the government. There is usually some form of incentive appropriate to the desired goal, and a leader is already evident, or is available for the execution of the tasks needed to reach the goal. The essential difference is that unlike other systems, corporate energy, whether industrial, governmental, public or private, is expected to contribute to a rapid attainment of the goal. ------------------------------------------------------------------------

We have two goals, at opposite ends of a spectrum. One end is individual attainment of happiness - religion lies there, for example. The other end is achievement by a nation, by a people. This end is characterized by such peoples as the Germans, under Hitler, or the Japanese today. Solely dedicated to work, to achievement, to education. The Japanese work for many hours a day, then come home to their matchbox apartments and order their wives to cook for them. The society is rigid; there is little or no comedy, little or no deviation from the lines set for them. But few can argue that Japan is not one of the most successful technological countries in the world, because of how their people work.

You argue that achievement is more important than happiness. I don't entirely disagree, though I think every individual must have the right to an opportunity for happiness. Churning out the latest cappuccino machine, or the newest, most powerful nuclear weapon is an empty existence.


I, though a fervent Democrat, am a closet republican. I believe democracy to be too ideal - there will always be the apathetic, the stupid, the malicious among the population, who have far too much power in their majority vote. The majority is not always, and rarely at that, morally right, and to give them that kind of power is frightening. If it weren't for leaders that went against the majority, slavery would still be practiced in the South, women would still be considered useless shadows of men.

The only way to make democracy work, the ONLY way, is to have excellent education available to (and practiced by) each citizen. Forums are only worthwhile if the people within know what they're talking about. In today's country, on a federal scale, a forum would be impractical and useless, as each intelligent voice would be outshouted by hundreds more uninformed or rabid voices. Several smaller forums - per metropolis, for example - would be useful to find out what the people want and need. But this is all assuming that the people are informed, intelligent, and care about the issues (as opposed to the latest scandalous dress Britney Spears wore to the Grammys).

Even today, in America's much-applauded "democracy," the money works behind the scenes, giving the power to the rich and satisfying the middle classes with bribes of a few hundred dollars in tax cuts (tax money which could have gone to expand that highway, clean up that neighborhood, put more policemen on the streets). Distracting the middle class' attention with football, with scandalous celebrity stories, with non-issues like homosexual rights to marriage, the power-hungry and elite make more and more of a profit off of the American citizen's ignorance. Apathy is an impossible thing to combat - if a person would rather shut his eyes to controls the country than face the possibility that problems can exist in the world, there's no way to make him care.

I support a republic for, I suspect, quite a few of the same reasons you support fascism, Redskull. A group of our finest - our finest philosophers, our finest minds, our finest humanitarians - leading the country, would be ideal. Unfortunately, as evidenced by the Republican party, few politicians can resist corruption and greed, and, in time, would cease to represent the best interests of the people in return for monetary favors or promises of more power. If this 'ideal politician' was to become corrupt, instead of elite thinkers leading the country, we would have an elite class ruling over it. No monarchy, no despotism, no fascism is acceptable when it prevents the lower classes from ascending the social ladder based on their own merit.

What else is there? Oligarchy, plutocracy, aristocracy - these are all completely unacceptable, for the same reason why monarchy and fascism would be unacceptable. Giving a minority the ultimate power over a majority (or the other way around, for that matter) violates basic human rights, and defies the centuries that have gone into the making of civilization. Every government must incorporate the basic control of the government to the people, and there must be a free social ladder, where each man may ascend or descend according to his own merits. There must be freedom of speech and of press - censorship is an evil thing, and silencing a voice only hurts society at large. Above all, there MUST be room for dissent, a point where I think you would disagree vehemently. Dissent is crucial to a person fulfilling his happiness, is crucial for the greater good, and, above all, is crucial to keep leaders in check.

If I could take utter control of the government for, say, three generations, I would:


* Implement education in schools (while sizably enlarging the education budget) emphasizing US government - with more emphasis on current events rather than history - and which parties are out to help which classes of people. Instead of spending weeks covering Washington's crossing the Delaware, I would implement current issues, and reward scholarships for those who can make the best defense for their viewpoints. * Make the payrolls for government officials lower, around $50,000. Cancel any and all corporate contributions. No individual may make any contribution over $1000. To avoid loopholes, personal gifts from corporations cannot exceed $60,000 in total per every five years. * A friend made the argument that "intelligent people wouldn't go into politics, as they could make more money elsewhere." To avoid second-class government officials, put up difficult tests for them to pass, keep high standards and maintain a great deal of respect - but not money - among the people for the prestige that comes with the office. * Open the vote to multi-candidate voting. You can vote for as many candidates as you want, but only once. * Divide the power of the executive branch between two people, rather than one, thus allowing the commanders-in-chief to still retain the power to make quick decisions, but preventing one man from assuming the power of the US government. * Stop this practice allowing US Supreme Court Justices to remain in power until they die. You may be a Justice once in your career, for a fifteen-year stint. There will be no running for Supreme Court Justice - instead, the Senate will choose the most accomplished judges from the judicial branch. Their selections will be up to a veto by the President.

With these in place, I would move on to downsizing the military, spreading foreign aid, and reinforcing the UN to battle countries with oppressive government, demanding that they either reform or remove themselves from power.

Democracy is too vulnerable to apathy, fascism stifles its people, communism is a dream, a republic is prone to corruption. Ideally, people would care about the issues, and seek education, thus becoming informed and vote well, and thus creating a working democracy. Ideally, the elite would seek to empower the lower classes, and distribute the wealth equally - sadly, people turn to corruption far too easily, thus lowering the chances of a republic. Ideally, in your fascist view, the elite would control the corporations, but allowing leeway within the corporations for people to ascend or descend the corporate ladder - however, you make no allowances for personal freedoms, or dissent, and thus individual happiness is removed.


Redskullvw Member posted February 08, 2002 12:45 AM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Always worth my time and apology accepted but not needed. I am used to new members making that type of comment every three or four months. Now let me see what I can do with your response.

The fact is that individual success is mandatory in a fascist system for the corporate happiness or success to even have a chance to work. Unlike the communist system, where personal success is judged in terms of the corporate success; or in a democracy where individual success is often totally excluded from either corporate success or failure; fascism depends completely on the well being of the individual. There is an inconsistency in historical and theoretical fascism on that ground however.

Especially in Italian fascism, the success of the individual was still considered necessary, but the primacy was shifted towards the corporate whole. When you consider that as fascism matured, the dictatorship was seen as the sole criteria of judging success and often-required personal sacrifice of individual happiness was justified for the greater good. Ironically this sacrifice seems to be more communist than fascist. It is not without truth that many historians have noted that the only difference between an Italian fascist and communist was the color of their armbands.

The lowest denominator of success in fascism still depends completely on the overall success of the individual. The one factor you have missed is the standard applied to judging that success. Not all people can be assumed to have the same ability or the same desire for success. If an individual wishes for more success, he will be able to find it. A good example of this is comparing a fascist worker to a socialist worker. In France labor laws limit the absolute amount of time one can spend working. No matter what drives a person, when the workday is done it is done. No matter how successful he wishes to be he cannot effectively increase his output even if it would make him happy. In the fascist system, if it makes him happy to work sixty hours a week he can. As a result, he is better off, and most likely the corporate body is better off.

I also do not think the achievement alone brings happiness. It is because achievement is possible that happiness and success for the individual is increasingly likely. Because each individual is free to do his best, the government as a whole can expect a progression of accomplishments. The reason for the successful attainment of accomplishments is that it is driven by people individually seeking to augment their own success. Communism seeks to be the political expression of altruistic motives for the benefit of all members equally. Fascism is the expression of human greed, which creates corporate success as a byproduct of the greed.

You have correctly repeated the failings of democracy. We are swamped with apathy. Just how many people skipped voting in the last election? In addition, lets not even concern us with the stupid and malicious sectors of the voting public. The problem is that democracy wholly depends on the good will and legality of the majority when it concerns the fate of the minority. It is not without cause that democracy has been termed the tyranny of the majority.

Historically our democracy has relied on an almost religious philosophy that shames the majority into sometimes supporting the rights of the minority. You use slavery as an example and I will use civil rights. Had it not been for President Johnson’s huge exertion of political coercion and back-room politics we would still have separate and unequal divisions along racial lines in this country. Nevertheless, the fact remains that Johnson was more concerned over augmenting his political power vs. the Dixiecrats, than he was in promoting the minority agenda. The minority agenda was simply a tool, which Johnson used to increase the overall power of his political party.

Our President did the right thing in light of our common political philosophical religion, but he did not do it for the motivations we now ascribe to the actions. That is why democracy is dangerous. Nothing is accomplished unless political power is invested or augmented. If you doubt me watch the budget go through Congress. The pork is there for a reason.

However, we thankfully have a federal democracy. This tends to localize political power. No matter how corrupt the political process gets it never allows for the creation of truly regional or national political cells. Well we did have a Civil War based primarily on divergent political goals, but that was rather exceptional when it happened. In addition, when that happened the federal government was still in early development and did not have the fiscal influence it enjoys today. Today’s political stability depends entirely on the fiscal power of the government. Take away the power to grant pork to the local level and I have a feeling the tyranny of the democratic majority would soon reveal itself.

It would seem however that all political systems depend on the education of its people. Apparently, governments no matter the political spectrum, depend on a public educated in the tenants of the political system. I would argue that democracy is the most vulnerable form of government where education is concerned. Democracy depends on the majority of its population being educated enough to keep the governmental system functioning. When the education falls apart is when democracy falls apart.

Right now, our system depends on the goodwill of its educated public. No wonder we are so concerned over it. But what if I could offer a different system where general apathy could be mitigated? In a fascist system, the educational system presumes that most people plainly do not care about the political process, but it encourages those who are. The vast majority of people educated in a fascist system will never make the jump to the exertion of political office. However, because in a fascist system those seeking office will tend to be self-motivated and successful individuals, the population in general can hardly make a poor choice. And yes, it is a fact that Germans elected Hitler. It just goes to show that even my political philosophy can commit error.

The Achilles heel in fascist education has been stated already on this thread. I still have no answer to removing from the educational process the seeds of fascism’s undoing. To create critical thinkers is a goal that makes the fascist state both work and destroy itself. What does a fascist system do if its education produces a communist? I do not have the answer, but the average citizen in a fascist system is usually better educated in classical terms.

Yet, you also nail down the problem of taxation and money. Unfortunately, you misinterpret the issue. You deride the tax refund. You think that more money would mean cleaner streets for example. I would argue that the streets are not clean because the government at the federal level has taken over that responsibility. Yet, your streets are not clean and you erroneously assume that just a few more dollars would correct the problem. Democratic Republics are as successful as the monetary and political influence that backs them up. In a fascist system, the streets are clean because someone came up with a program that worked. If he was not able to make a program that worked, he was eventually and rapidly replaced by someone who could.

You even admit to liking the ideal of the best and brightest leading a country. Yet, you miss the fact that that is what fascism brings to the playground. For some reason you single out the republican part for corruption, but I believe corruption is strangely apparent especially in democracy where money determine political power. In fascism, political power is only the result of your last accomplished task. Fail in your assigned roles and tasks and you will soon be without power. In fascism, the cream rises to the top, and when it curdles it sinks to the bottom. One thing that might surprise you is that in historical fascist states, corruption was nearly eliminated in all cases. Of course, there are exceptions, but the fact that Italy and Spain have zero institutional corruption is a direct result of the lasting influence of the fascist actions against corruption. In a supreme irony, more than one German death camp commander was put in jail for graft.

Any political system necessitates a minority leading a majority. The system you skirt around but do not name is called anarchy. I would also argue that the making of the bulk of human civilization has depended on such minorities being in power. Remember in all scales of judgment only Monarchy has been a champion of civilization historically. Also, remember that most of the ideals and forms of western culture are the direct results of governments based on monarchies. To take it even further it might scare you to know that the historical record of accomplishment of democracy is still weighted heavily towards expressions of international tyranny. Democracy under the modern western powers still has a way to go before it outweighs the excesses of Athens.

Under fascism, we have the freest form of social mobility. Theoretically in fascism not only does the individual’s social stature improve but also the stature of the entire state. As far as dissent, there is more than enough room for it in fascism. The only problem I have is when implemented fascism has universally adopted a dictatorship model. The fact that Spain and Argentine fascists successfully voted themselves out of office is an exception to the more general pattern of adopting a strict party line. What is unseen by you is that if a leader fails in fascism, he looses all political power. The leader’s own failure keeps him in check.

That pretty much covers your preamble. I hope that my comments serve to compare and contrast my views with the stipulations you have raised. However now it is my turn to attempt to reveal fallacies in your proposed political experiment. You choose three generations that is roughly seventy-five years. I propose to you that the nation you would crate would devolve into a tyrannical government. While I do not think anyone’s political beliefs can be contained in only six points, your philosophy scars the hell out of me.

The first item on your list deals with education. In addition, of all your items proposed this one is the scariest. On philosophical grounds, I disagree with sizably increasing education budgets. The reason I disagree with this is that for the past twenty-five years all we have done is increase the real dollar amount on a per student basis. Instead of resulting in huge increases in educational outcome, it has resulted either in a bare maintaining of achievement or in some cases a sharp decline. When you say increase funding, I say East St. Louis. Money alone will not and cannot lead to improved education.

While I do not take issue with an increase in the level of study about how our government works or augmenting civics instruction, I totally cringe at the focus of current events. Any society that removes its history from its education soon finds itself repeating previous mistakes. What you propose is a politicizing of the public classroom. You would reward the best defenders of their views. How could you ensure that when you also intend to introduce political indoctrination? The Democrats help the poor and unemployed and finance your schools. The Republicans look out for big corporations and increase only military spending. Do not worry about what the Democrats have done in the past; concern yourself only with the future.

You would remove the historical realities that our leaders have faced in the past. By not explaining just what is important about Washington Crossing the Delaware, you leave students without the means of formulating sound critical judgments about their government. Such systems have existed in other countries. Orwell has written about such systems. You have proposed Stalinism and Nazism in the educational process. In fact, the system you proposed made up the Nazi system of education during the years between 1939 and 1945.

Another item you propose is government payroll expenditure. In any system where what you have proposed has happened, corruption and political favoritism has been the result. The legitimate salary is usurped by payoffs and graft. You also seek to remove political contributions by corporations. I am not in favor of such contributions, but the reason they must continue is that the government has decided that it has the right to regulate and tax economic activities of corporations. Our country is based on the principle that taxation must be balanced by the right to representation. If you are going to eliminate the political contributions of corporations then you must by default also support the repeal of corporate income taxes and production-based tariffs.

Then you seek to level the playing field for personal contributions as well. Frankly any individual should have the right to spend his personal income in any way he sees fit. If he wishes to give $1,000,000.00 to an individual, he should be able to do so. My family gives money to campaigns. If you told my communist father that he was not allowed to give out more than $1000.00 in an election cycle he would be rather upset. In addition, I can imagine PACs turning to block grants. Like-minded individuals could form associations during the political cycle and each could provide the maximum contribution and pledge it to one candidate. If fifty members of the PAC agree, suddenly a check for $50,000.00 is in the candidate’s war chest. Since these associations exists for only one cycle of the election process, they would never have to worry about your five year maximum contribution level.

The system you propose would soon have titular head candidates representing political parties. To become a candidate you would most certainly have to be a committed party functionary. In addition no law exists that would prevent an individual for giving to the party. Party direct funding would be limited to $1,000.00, but I am sure that exchange of service and other consideration types of payoffs would continue the ever-increasing costs of being elected. Instead of electing independent people with party affiliations, we would be electing party representatives beholden to the party.

You seek to prevent this by your next point. The professionalization of political office holders has been attempted before. It might interest you to know that in most American political jurisdictions, you do not have to be a lawyer to be a judge. If this is so then why are almost all judges usually lawyers? The reason is that Bar associations have a vested interest in their control of the professional standards that they have imposed on the legal system. They have created arbitrarily dogmatic and doctrine heavy systems of insuring that most people cannot become lawyers. It also insulates competition and innovation. Look in your yellow pages and see just how few single practitioning lawyers there are. The entire profession has hyper-specialized and requires teams of lawyers working in partnerships to be sufficiently profitable. What you propose is such hyper-specialization across all elected positions.

Then you suggest that because of the professionalization of the political office seekers we would enjoy the best and brightest. I suggest that such a system would result in further corruption. Napoleon installed such systems on his rampage across Europe. While good on paper, it leads to schools and colleges devoted to producing students who can pass Byzantine tests. Passing the Civil Exam is still big business in European countries to this day. What is even more ironic is that often the schools that teach the students are also the same agents who are contracted to produce the tests. Consider the fact the College Board makes test like the SAT, but makes little money off the actual tests. It makes its money by teaching people how to take the test. Moreover, this is the type system you wish to emplace to weed out the less than qualified.

You seek to promote several political parties by installing the multi-vote. I.e. you allow a person to vote for all some or none of the office seekers. I have no idea what you seek to accomplish other than creating statistically anomalous vote outcomes. The fact is such a system may result in repeated run off elections. It may even make election impossible if neither candidate can get a clear majority as is required in some jurisdictions. After nine months of campaigning, neither candidate is approved, resulting in a new election cycle with new candidates and potentially empty offices as terms expire. In any case, that is not something that tends to lead to stability. Republics tend to fail if politically unstable.

The division of commander in chief roles has been tried many times in history. Moreover, while I can think of many instances where such an arrangement leads to failure and dictatorship, I can think of no instance where this lead to stability. The elegance of our current system is that no matter what happens, the military is always under civilian control and is already held in check by both the executive and legislative branches. What is even more important is that only one person has the responsibility of committing military force. I think that in an age where military actions may need to be decided in the time, it takes an ICBM to hit, having to consult two executives and getting them to agree could be disastrous. Finally, for one man to take over the government under our current system would require that Congress, the Judicial Branch, and the Executive office functionaries all submit. I do not think that could happen.

I am also disturbed about your proposal to expose the Supreme Court to electoral review. The beauty of the system is that the longevity of service removes to large degree political concerns about the cases it hears. For example if in the last presidential election, if all the members of the court had been replaced during the Bush presidency, I seriously doubt Gore would have bothered taking it to court. In fact, the longevity of service tends to ensure that court judgments are consistently middle of the stream choices. The average person almost universally concedes that the political judgments of the court are fair because of the non-extreme views.

Finally, there are three historical absolutes. They have no exception and yet you propose them. When a country seeks to drastically reduce its military expenditures, increase foreign aid, and seek outside agency to address geopolitical issues, it has always s ceased to be an effective country. The final part of your 75 years experiment would be the dissolution of the republic.

I am not sure what your personal political philosophy is. I have a feeling though that you innocently support tyranny or anarchy without realizing the fundamental flaws. While my political philosophy is far from perfect, it is the most realistic when compared to the current geopolitical environment and the underlying facts of human nature. Communism has never worked because it relies on the human capacity to give selflessly. Democracy works only as long as the threat of the majority is sufficient to cause various minorities to submit. Socialism works only as long as the economic output persists above the needs of the state. Fascism works because it appeals to individuality and the basic human fact called greed.


Joe B Frank New Member posted February 09, 2002 12:35 AM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Red-

Just wanted to let you know, how much, I've enjoyed reading your stuff.

I'm a libertarian, so I disagree with you issue by issue. But, I have been suprised at how similar your values and your perception of the world are to mine (your a Fascist for Pete's sake!). I have also been impressed with your logical consistency, something which I tend to think of as THE virtue of the libertarian political philosophy.

These "rants" of yours, are the type of thing, I want to show, to all those semi-socialists folks, out there. See? this is what your beliefs lead to if consistently applied (after throwing out the Marxists unrealistic view of human nature of course

I certaintly don't want to end on what could be seen as a patronizing tone. Your well-written posts do put a little nagging voice inside of my mind-- Is he giving too much credit to how well government can organize the people, or am I giving people too much credit on how much government they can live without?

Thanks, Joe B Frank

PS- Hey Kent, I've been offline for a long time, but I plan on eventually restarting that education discusion we were having.


Everard Member posted February 09, 2002 02:52 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ My post is coming soon... I'm working on it fairly hard


Redskullvw Member posted February 09, 2002 03:45 PM             ------------------------------------------------------------------------ lol i wish i could bother to figure out how to make a smiley holding its breath until it turns blue.

[ February 28, 2006, 01:08 PM: Message edited by: WmLambert ]

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I don't know if this is all of it. I only have additionally one reply to it that I made contemporaneously which no longer shows up (This was before the eight of us were banned and started AI-Jane to have a place to post):

The best Quote from Redsullvw:
quote:
One of the most wonderful things about this site is that whatever your personal ideas are, you are welcome here. There are a few stipulations to this acceptance. The hardest for most new members to figure out is that whatever the idea is you must defend it and defend it with a well-constructed philosophical intent. Often we have scared off more than a few new members because we tend to be rather vicious.
I will try to maintain a civil tone.

Redskullvw posted in the Consistency thread:
quote:
It is the assumptions of most people about what they think they understand that so often drives me crazy. ... I am often amazed by comments made by people who would never even guess what they are proposing or believing is fascist ideals. ... while almost none of the members of Ornery consider themselves to be fascist, many of you support some ideas and programs that are totally fascist.
Are the ideas onlyFascist, or can they belong to a set of ideas that encompass more than one political order? Afterall - claiming that changing the electoral college originated from the left wing Democrats (from Cedrios' forum topic) begs understanding of how distraught Gore's followers were after losing the election, not that it was a plank of their platform. Likewise, to attribute it as a Fascist ideal, it needs to be associated with Fascism's own version of a platform plank. To partially answer this, Redskullvw went on to say:
quote:
Fascism is primarily an ideology that recognizes inequality. Fascism is inherently not politically correct. It does not require generalities like democracy. It does not require servitude of monarchial governments. It does not require uniformity of communist governments. It does not require plurality of socialism. What fascism requires of adherents is a recognition that there is and always will be differing levels of opportunities and capabilities in any human culture or society.
So far, this depiction of Fascism is much better ascribed to the Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism. Redskullvw coherently states some alleged aspects of Fascism, but I have yet to see the specific connectivity. (BTW, Red, I worded that statement precisely, because you said you spent a significant portion of your college career studying Fascism. Which means you either studied it on the basis of personal studies directed at available histories, or gotten it second hand from faculty who often teach agenda more than curricula. If you worked it out yourself, well and good. If most of it came second-hand then I am skeptical.)

Redskullvw posted :
quote:
In a fascist system, one of the keys is corporate success. Unlike a communist or socialist system, the success is based on individual accomplishments being coupled with corporate support. A need or goal is recognized by the government. There is usually some form of incentive appropriate to the desired goal, and a leader is already evident, or is available for the execution of the tasks needed to reach the goal. The essential difference is that unlike other systems, corporate energy, whether industrial, governmental, public or private, is expected to contribute to a rapid attainment of the goal. ... The greatest example of a fascist style task, which was executed by America, would be the rather spectacular Moon landings. ... JFK gave Von Braun whatever resources and technical expertise he needed to come up with a plan. To execute this plan, every single company with any part of the plan germane to its industry was asked to bid competitively on the contracts. It is a famous fact that we wound up going to the Moon on what amounted to a shoestring budget. ... Yes the Soviets had the huge rockets, and the advantage of unlimited resources, but the fascist style program which we embarked upon got us there cheaper, faster, and safer than they could.
There is nothing inconsistent with the Soviet system compared to ours other than the economic system behind the politics. Wasn't every five year program identical to your definition of a Fascist effort? Didn't their goals in space coincide with ours? I submit the difference was economic - not political.

I do agree with your assessment on education. It destroys Fascism. Not because it forces Fascism to be replaced peacefully or militarily - but because the trains never did run on time. What the Italians learned was that the Facist govenment subborned the media to say the trains ran on time. If the media said it - it must be true. Until enough individuals got together - comparing how late they always were when travelling by train - to educate themselves.

Redskullvw posted:
quote:
I like the idea of encouraged capitalism ...of unlimited social gain ...of universal competency and education ...of government sponsored directives aimed at attaining previously impossible goals ...of racism and bigotry ceasing to exist ...of a government without a military industrial complex ...of commerce free from governmental artificial embargoes and trade penalties ...of social contracts that reward productive output ...of illegal activities being curtailed by prosecution and rehabilitation ...of technology being fostered and propagated by state sponsorship ...of effective elimination of poverty ...of streamlined laws with clear-cut reasons for existing and penalties that do not outweigh the offence.

Do you like some or all of those ideals above? If you do you may want to go have a stiff drink. Every one of those ideals has been part of every fascist government that has ever existed.

I dunno. If we are speaking historically, then it is definitely untrue. These things were not accomplished by any Fascist government. If they were the goal of Fascist governments, then likewise were they goals of others. Saying they are unique to Fascism does not make them so.

Redskullvw posted:
quote:
Yep ladies and Gentelmen, Argentina has finally returned to the fascist fold. ... maybe this time the Peronists will get fascism right. I hope they can. Watch Argentina closely, it may change your mind about Fascism Or we may find that no system can save Argentina and we will be dealing with yet another collapsed economy and another IMF fiasco.
Well, way to hedge your bets. Argentina is in the economic pits. They used to lord it over the other South American peoples, and lived like kings and queens on vacation because of their superior exchange rate. All of South America is very volatile right now. Who knows which way things will occur?

Redskullvw posted in response to Daedalus:
quote:
I have a feeling though that you innocently support tyranny or anarchy without realizing the fundamental flaws. While my political philosophy is far from perfect, it is the most realistic when compared to the current geopolitical environment and the underlying facts of human nature. Communism has never worked because it relies on the human capacity to give selflessly. Democracy works only as long as the threat of the majority is sufficient to cause various minorities to submit. Socialism works only as long as the economic output persists above the needs of the state. Fascism works because it appeals to individuality and the basic human fact called greed.
Nothing wrong with anarchy in this instance - if it is pure anarchy, wherein the members submit to individual contracts and arbitration inlieu of government edict. In fact it sounds more honorable than any other system discussed so far. The only flaw is that it must be voluntary or it is useless - if government tries to enforce its demands, it is no longer anarchical.

I believe the difference between Baldar and Red consists primarily of trying to pin absolute definitions on subjective terms. The problem is Academe. Both Baldar and Red have cited Ivory Tower pronouncements of the way things are, coming from our centers of higher learning and from mostly pompous historians and professors who don't know the truth when it hits them squarely in their professional papers. Never has been and never will be a perfect case of anything in politics or economics. LetterRip's citation from Peikoff a lá Ayn Rand comes closest to framing a workable model.
quote:
To the extent that any of these political groups did clash in Weimar Germany, the clashes were not over matters of principle. They were of the variety of conflict seen most often in inner city America, where rival gangs fight over turf, over such trivial difference as the color of clothing worn by the other gang. In the end, whoever happens to win is a pointless consideration. The result is the same: blood in the streets.
The principles of Socialism, Communism, Fascism, Democracy, or even Anarchy are not the driving force behind these systems, but rather the circumstances and opportunities that present themselves, and the principals with the power to influence the reaction to these things.

When a student at a University studies Econ or History - it is at the altar of the Holy Academician. If the Professor believes what he hears from other Professors, he teaches Keynesian Economics and revisionist history. However, if he actually lived in the times he teaches about, and brings that personal experience to his field, then he may venture afield and let his students study higher truths. If the student is able to have independant study - then so much the better.

The diversion of "Pure Socalism and Fascism" is a no-go. ...Nonsense to imagine it actually ocurring in the Real World. More like six-of-one, half-dozen of the other. Politicans do what they can get away with. Baldar was incisive when he brought John Dewey's name into the discussion. A Marxist devotee from the halcyon days before there was any data on the social studies being purposefully indoctrinated into our educational system. Any mention of social systems is filtered through a Dewey/Marxist prism that leads to certain benchmark truths that are moot in themselves, but never argued.

I enjoyed Red's argument for Fascism, and all the insight others brought to the mix. There may be no ultimate truth embraceable by all, but we are better for the exercise.


Economist Frank Taussig, in a thorough examination of those tariffs, found that they did nothing to promote domestic industry. "Little, if anything, was gained by the protection which the United States maintained" in the first part of the 19th century, he concluded. That finding considerably questioned the validity of the infant industry argument. "The intrinsic soundness of the argument for protection to young industries therefore may not be touched by the conclusions drawn from the history of its trial in the United States, which shows only that the intentional protection of the tariffs of 1816, 1824, and 1828 had little effect," Taussig said. – F. W. Taussig, The Tariff History of the United States, 8th ed. (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1931), pp. 61, 63.


Thus, the early experience of the United States confirms the weakness of the idea that protection can aid infant industries. In practice, so-called infant industries never grow competitive behind trade barriers, but, instead, remain perpetually underdeveloped, thus requiring protection to be extended indefinitely. As Gottfried von Haberler put it:

Nearly every industrial tariff was first imposed as an infant-industry tariff under the promise that in a few years, when the industry had grown sufficiently to face foreign competition, it would be removed. But, in fact, this moment never arrives. The interested parties are never willing to have the duty removed. Thus temporary infant-industry duties are transformed into permanent duties to preserve the industries they protect. – Gottfried von Haberler, The Theory of International Trade (London: William Hodge, 1936), p. 281. More recent studies confirm the failure of infant industry protection. See Robert E. Baldwin, "The Case against Infant-Industry Tariff Protection," Journal of Political Economy 77, no. 3 (May/June 1969): 295-305; Anne O. Krueger and Baran Tuncer, "An Empirical Test of the Infant Industry Argument," American Economic Review 72, no. 5 (December 1982): 1142-52.

[ February 28, 2006, 01:20 PM: Message edited by: WmLambert ]

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kelcimer
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Woot! [Big Grin]

Props to WmLambert!

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LetterRip
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WmLambert,

those parts on 'infant industry' are those yours?

LetterRip

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Redskullvw
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Danka WL
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WmLambert
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LetterRip, Looking back on my sources from a long time ago, I believe much of the quotes from Economist Frank Taussig may have come from Bruce Bennett from the Cato Industry, but the only dated source I can find now is from 2012, which postdates my post. Either he lifted it from this 2006 post, or it has circularly resurfaced.

The concept is not unique, I think. "Infant Industry" is easily understood and fits nicely in an overall package that defines the evolution of national business management.

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hobsen
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Nice to have you back. I have been missing your posts, as they were civil and thought-provoking.
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RedVW on a Laptop
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Blast from past
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G3
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Consider my past blasted. [Wink]
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