Fascism is more than its reputation suggests
By Idrian Burgos, Contributor
“Fascism” and its more familiar variant, “fascist,” are two of the most overused words in political English today. That is, if you want to shut down another person’s arguments without actually addressing them. “Fascist” has been applied to everyone from liberals to conservatives, and even communists. George Orwell was right when he said, “Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies ‘something not desirable.’” Given the excess negativity the word has accumulated over the decades since the end of the Second World War, “fascist” has become a word from which persons and organizations are active in distancing themselves. No one in their sane mind wants to be labelled “fascist.”
Yet there are still those who choose to identify with the fascist tag, and it is easy to recognize them. They are the ones regularly called “racist” on and off media. “Skinheads” seemingly on the prowl looking for non-white people’s heads to bash with steel pipes. “White power enthusiasts” are frequently the number-one suspects in racially motivated attacks. Even with such people, there are still normal people who identify as fascists. Such a thing might shock us, for there appears to be no other reason for such dangerous and foolish identification. But it is still important—and becoming all the more so—to discover the reasons behind identification by ordinary people with fascism. The fascism discussed here is not of the Hitlerian, racial type, but of the statist type associated with Mussolini and claimed by its adherents to be “non-racist.” A capital F would be used here to differentiate this statist Fascism from the more common, small-f “fascism.”
To be Fascist is to be different. A Fascist can claim correctly to differ ideologically from the rest of society, the excuse being that the usually anti-establishment ideologies of socialism, communism, and anarchism have become mostly acceptable; no one considers them to be as heinous as Fascism. Unanimous condemnation of Fascism by all other ideologies—perhaps their sole common trait—helps to underline this difference. Everything Fascist, from economic solutions to aesthetics, differs from and is soundly rejected by the rest of society—including the ones considered the fringes, thus making Fascists the “fringe of the fringes.” This combination of internal distinctions and external condemnation helps to highlight the Fascist as fully and truly different in society.
To be Fascist is the ultimate rebellion. Given the Fascist’s total difference in society, they constitute the ultimate rebel. They are against current society, and desire to improve it. They are against all other ideologies which have dominated political discussion for a long time, while at the same time adopting some of their ideas. They might be accused of having double standards concerning the latter, but this can be interpreted as a complete rebellion against all conventional moral norms, including those about double standards.
To be Fascist is to be strong and dominant. To be different is to be dominant. Given the strong and varied differences Fascists possess from the rest of politics and society, they are capable of triumphing and imposing their principles over their enemies—or to at least promote them fearlessly. This is connected to the Nietzschean concept of the “superman” who follows solely their self-made rules. Bound only by their own principles that are antithetical to wider society, themselves repelled at the concepts held by both establishment society and its “anti-establishment” critics, and confident of the correctness of their convictions since they come from themselves. The Fascist isn’t shy to challenge the social rules they aren’t bound to, and to influence society in accordance to what they think is right.
The most probable reason for an ordinary person to adopt Fascism as a creed is that it is truly radical, against all ideologies that are acceptable or okay in society and have pushed Fascism to the ultimate margins. Its attraction comes from its fully “anti-“ nature and the potential to be reshaped according to individual desire with only key concepts remaining constant.