Unlike Communism, which was the love child of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Fascism had no real solid parentage, just a mishmash of European social thinking.
Americans are ordinary people, created on the principle that ordinary people have the sense to know how to pursue “life, liberty and happiness” without the help (or permission) of government, and with the ability to make and distribute things (which we call “business” here in America) better than government. Thus, it only stands to reason that ordinary people know best what a government should be able do for the people, and also what it should not be allowed to do, and told to stay away from…
…and that is the contract the People created with the Government it created in 1787.
A lot of people today don’t know this is how America got started in the first place, or that this had remained the rule until only fairly recently.
Or that it always worked.
But for the past century, starting with Woodrow Wilson, the government class had starting to chip away at that simple rule, believing government could do things better in all sorts of pursuits….beyond ordinary people’s ability to understand. In order to do this it first needed to move power away from the states, where the US Constitution said those powers resided exclusively (10th Amendment) unless “specifically delegated” to the government, and move them to Washington.
In the beginning this process was slow, in part because America was so huge. The “process” went by several names over the years, 1897-1960, from Progressivism to various varieties of Liberalism. But each modification added the additional odor of “socialism” to the recipe, which had become a favorite among the European democracies even before World War I, and certainly after, once their royal king-system finally died. Management of state affairs was finally handed over directly “to the people” of those countries…only through an assembly system much like that found in Britain’s Parliament and America’s Congress, only not dissimilar to the type of top-down government the people had always known under the royals. In short, the people lived under a ruling assembly of elected officials, instead of nobility, but with the key word still being “ruling”. Rank and power just came in pin-striped suits.
America had no part in this, especially since the late 19th Century, since it had far out-distanced the Europeans in just about every economic and industrial endeavor. But a kind of penis-envy arose from both sides; first, the Europeans, of America’s wealth, which was often built by the trash they had swept out from their gutters to come to America, and from America who was a little embarrassed by its low-born wealthy, especially at the way the Europeans mocked them for being without real class when they came abroad.
It was in this late 19th Century that these ultra-rich “robber barons” (as they were called) began sending their children to Europe to study under the notion that America was no fit place to educate a child of true class. And those children brought back from Oxford, Cambridge, the Sorbonne, and Berlin a bucket-load of condescending attitudes for their lessers, which has continued unabated, as well as learning a potful of swear words in foreign languages that no one in America knew were being sworn at them.
By the end of World War I, the American academy had sitting professorships in several soft-science departments at major American universities, steeped in the process of spitting (or pissing, you choice) on the shoulders they stood on.
(You don’t have to look far to see where it has ended up over the past century, four generations, approximately, later.)
Those kids in the 1880s also got a smattering of Marxism as well as “socialism”. In England, the Victorian era just ending, and the most of the rest of Europe favored a softer, gentler form of socialism, compared with Karl Marx’s version. Marx was an angry, insufferable man.
But Marx called for the state to own all the means of production, while socialism only called for government to control it. This is why Russia, the last feudal monarchy, got first try at Marx. (And China next.) And each European country had their own variant. And since most countries had long royal histories, most of those socialist governments retained the royal prerogatives for themselves, such as the House of Lords in England’s Parliament did.
Germany, always the most warlike of the Europeans going back to the Third Crusade and the rise of Frederick Barbarossa and the Hohenstaufens dynasty, came out of World War I with the greatest ass-whooping, and since it was the French who whipped them (“to the last drop of English” and American blood, as the old cliche said), the Germans bore the largest portion of punishment from the Versailles Treaty…
…thus causing that most savage little bastard, Adolf Hitler, to be unleashed upon Germany in the 1920s and 30s, to seize power there and then move onto the world in 1938-1945.
Hitler called his the Nazi party, “National Socialist”, including a heavy dose of racial xenophobia that set them apart from the rest of socialist Europe. But not just about the hated Jews and gypsies and black races, but also about the special place the Germanic peoples placed themselves in the halls of Valhalla. (They even considered Christians to be weaklings even though Hitler and his closest staff, once their curtain began to fall, chose to take pills to avoid even a smattering of the pain Christ endured on the Cross.)
But Nazi fascists, like all socialists, believed government could best be managed by controlling the means of production rather owning it. So, being a mad dog, Hitler killed out of hatred, versus Stalin, who indifferently killed out of doctrinaire and bureaucratic necessity. I leave it to you to decide which is worse, but Hitler’s Reich never had the opportunity to prove what it could do in a market-driven society. (China is in the process of proving the failing of state-ownership Communism is absolute and complete, also on a 70-year track.)
Americans didn’t naturally take to either Communism or Fascism. Simple enough. But those spoiled little rich kids did for it highlighted their “specialness” and “apartness” from the mob. This is a discussion for another time, but we have to begin with these First Principles, and a nation where the private pursuit of life, liberty and happiness is paramount, let’s just say that Communism and Fascism stand for the basically the same things and both evolve into complete and total absolutist totalitarians, which, as History repeats over and over again…is doomed by Nature, to fail…and often with great pain to the innocent.
Where we’ll take this up next time.
Nicely done sir, as always!
Who’s the guy with the kid in the photo?
Why me of course, many years ago, with my son:-) One of my better stretches of life…
I wish you’s call us the United States.