Fascism is a relative latecomer onto the scene of political ideologies, and according to a few a rather short lived one. The creator of fascism is without a question Benito Mussolini. Although he never wrote a definitive doctrine on what fascism is, he did explain the main concepts of his ideology, Absolutism, Organicism, and Irrationality. There was another man who picked up the banner of fascism shortly after Mussolini. Although Adolf Hitler is more commonly associated with fascism than Mussolini, he had a rather different projection of what fascism should be.
Fascism is the truest ideology as far as what an ideology is supposed to do. It s three components, absolutism, organicism, and irrationality, do just about a perfect job of simplifying, calling to action, and justifying the ideology. This is why fascism is such a potent ideology, it does not involve thinking and questioning the status quo, it only asks for action that is felt to be right to be started. Irrationality is probably the most intriguing facet of fascism, it is not guiding by the people either already having understanding of what is right or gaining consciousness, but instead requires people to follow their emotions and act on that. This is why fascism usually has a large propaganda machine to go with it, by stirring up the emotions people don t even have the chance to think or rationalize what is happening it just is, and as long as what is happening for the nation-state is good then everyone is happy. Without this ability of fascism, it would be no where near as strong as it is. Organicism is another part of fascism that is unique to fascist thought. In fascism society is a living breathing entity that must be fed and nurtured. To have a thriving society one must realize he is not an individual but a part of the entire collective of people. An example of this thinking is of someone getting a finger cut off, the body will continue to live but the finger will die rather quickly. This is because according to fascism man is a social creature and when taken from society cannot exist. This creates a very important bond between all people in a fascist organic society, which makes it possible for all to act together. The final necessary component of fascism is absolutism. In fascism there must be an absolute ruler, all power must reside in one sovereign entity. This is the only way to a good society, so in most fascist societies they probably couldn t have existed without the leader they had. The absolutist control works rather well for the nation state since it gives one person the ability to control all part of life without question, such as economics, military strategy, laws, health care etc., because of this fascist governments can do a great deal of good for their nation-state. The three components of fascism are all necessary to have a good fascist society, without all of them it is impossible to deem a government fascist.
With these basic necessary components of fascism, Mussolini created what is now termed generic fascism. Mussolini s generic fascism had six main attributes to it, the concept of a nation-state, anti-liberalism, anti-bolshevism, anti-intellectualism, absolutism, and corporativism. Hitler also used these six attributes in his German National Socialism, but used different justifications. The first attribute of generic fascism is the concept of the nation-state. This is where all of fascism must stem from, for Mussolini this was his Italy. All people who lived inside of the recognized boundaries of Italy were Italians. This is the fundamental analysis of generic fascism, either people are of the state or not, and one can only realize their potential through the state. Hitler used this concept of a nation-state in a completely different fashion. His nation-state consisted of the Aryan race. Hitler used this historical race that traversed into India and the Arabian Peninsula to epitomize his perfect people. His focus was on a people instead of a state, so anyone who was part of this race was part of the nation, which had no true territorial boundaries. The next attribute of generic fascism is anti-liberalism. Anti-liberalism is very self evident to a fascist because liberalism to them is absurd. In liberalism the attempt is to be free, but to attain this freedom one must give up some natural rights (freedom)? This does not seem to make sense, and also by focusing on the individual, you are denying what is best for the nation-state. This is the reasoning behind Mussolini s dislike of liberalism. Although Hitler also was anti-liberalism, his justification was rather different. His distaste with liberalism stems from his belief in anti-Semitism. He did not like liberalism because it gave Jewish people the ability to have power in politics, and to him this was totally wrong. The only way for Hitler to have a good society was to deny Jews of power. The next attribute of generic fascism is anti-bolshevism. Anti-bolshevism is very important in fascist doctrine. Bolshevism, from the fascist standpoint preaches disunity of the state, in the name of a global power. Because of this bolshevism could not be allowed to exist in the fascist state. Hitler also did not agree with Bolshevik doctrine. Hitler was afraid of Russia, seeing them as the only group who could stop the Aryan nation’s rise to power; also he blamed the Bolsheviks in Russia for Germany s loss in World War I. Hitler had one other reason for being anti-Bolshevik and this came from its creator Karl Marx. Hitler completely ignored Marxism and bolshevism just because Karl Marx was a non-practicing half-Jew, and this tainted everything he wrote. Another attribute of fascism is anti-intellectualism. Both Mussolini and Hitler had similar justifications for being anti-intellectual, and being absolutists. Intellectualism took away from emotion and action, so it did not help the nation-state. By thinking about why things are happening and rationalizing action, one is taking away from doing action. For these reasons Mussolini and Hitler disliked intellectualism. They also agreed absolutism was necessary for a good society. Without an absolute ruler who can control all of society, society cannot flourish to it s greatest potential. This ties directly into the last concept of Generic fascism, corporativism. Corporativism is the attempt of the fascists to remove all conflict from the economic sector. In corporativism management and workers will work together to create the greatest productivity. This will be because instead of individual companies there will be industries which control everything inside of that field. The industry will control production, wages, etc. within their sector. Hitler also believed in this concept, and in fact was much more successful in instating corporativism in Germany than Mussolini ever was in Italy. Mussolini and Hitler used the same concepts but rather different justifications.
When considering whether Hitler and his political system German National Socialism was fascist, one must look at whether his society fit the characteristics of fascism, and what he justified his means by. GNS surely has all three components necessary to have a fascist government, it is absolutist, does promote irrationality, and has an organic nature. But when one looks at Hitler s justifications (previous paragraph), there is one idea that comes up over and over again, racism. This is the key to Hitler s beliefs. Without his Aryan race, or his disdain of the Jewish race he does not have a political system. Therefore I consider German National Socialism to be a racism that uses fascism, as it s primary ideology, not GNS as part of the ideology.