Been to a college campus lately? If you haven’t you should know that the two favorite terms being used to describe anyone with whom the students don’t agree are Fascist and Racist. Recently a number of polls have reported that more than third of current college students (undergraduate and graduate) look favorably upon Socialism and Communism. The historic enemies of Socialism and Communism, we are told, are the Fascists. So, if you’re not a Socialist or a Communist you must be a Fascist. It is amazing how black and white the theories of the collegians have become. See, right there, we have a racist expression, so perhaps we should use dark and light, although it doesn’t carry the same connotation as the previous. With us or against us is probably a better description.
Interestingly the three most famous Fascist governments, Italy, 1922-45; Germany, 1933-45; and Spain, 1936-1975 were little different than the Socialist/Communist governments of the Soviet Union, 1918-1991; East Germany, 1949-1990; Cuba, 1956- ; Venezuela,1999-. The difference between the two governments is primarily that Fascist governments historically projected a strongman as the leader; Italy, Mussolini; Germany, Hitler; and Spain, Franco. Yet, in the Soviet Union there was Lenin then Stalin; in East Germany, Walter Ulbricht; Cuba, Fidel and now Raul ; Venezuela; Chavez and now Maduro. Whether Fascist or S/C these are all totalitarian governments possessing secret police to enforce the rule of one individual who has sway over all governmental decisions regardless of what other institutions may have been created to give the impression of communal or societal input into the governmental process.
The Socialist/Communist governments claimed egalitarianism but were anything but, stratifying their societies with an elite oligarchy at the top, followed by party members and then the general population. Fascists government never claimed egalitarianism publicly displaying their societal hierarchies. Like the Socialist/Communist governments, party membership separated the “chosen” from the general population and institutions within the party separated the elite from the rest. Both types of government have another trait in common; they tolerate no dissent. Dissenters are dealt with severely, suffering at the very least being shunned, then exile, imprisonment and or simply disappearing. When they tried to speak they were shouted down by party members, sometimes they were dragged from their dais and beaten.
Both government types also share the traits of engaging in revision of history and censorship of words and ideas. The very best examples of this characteristic were, heretofore, found in Orwell’s “1984.” Now, they can be found on the majority of college campuses in the U.S. and U.K. Each student body comprises the “Party” and they will determine what is permissible. They brook no dissent. Dissenters are shouted down, shunned and cursed at. They are subjected to ad hominem attacks in student publications and fora.
So, whether the students are members of the Socialists, Communists, or Fascist party, they are the brown shirts and red banner shock troops of their generation. Remember, it doesn’t matter whether you turn left or right, when you reach 180 degrees from democracy, you are a totalitarian, whether you wear a brown shirt or a red neckerchief. If they call you a Fascist they are probably sporting a figurative red neckerchief. But the next time someone calls you a Fascist ask them to explain the difference between Socialism/Communism and Fascism. I’ll bet you a dollar they can’t, because there are no real differences.