The Progressive Roots of Fascism


The modern liberal has hijacked the term liberal and as such also attempted to redefine the political spectrum.  They have attempted to claim that totalitarianism belongs on both extremes leaving themselves as the political middle or moderates. On the right they claim are the fascist using some “Newspeak” to define their version of the political spectrum.  But if one even takes a look at fascism one sees that fascism is the end result of progressiveism and it’s roots are firmly rooted in the progressive movement.

Fascism was crafted by ex-socialist as a third way between socialism and “liberalism” aka free market capitalism and individualism. It is correctly labeled as a nationalist movement but then so was the progressive movement.

First a look at the progressive movement in it’s heyday.

Teddy Roosevelt gave his “New Nationalism” speech based on a book by New Republic co-founder Herbert Croly called “The Promise of American Life

The book is said to “offer a manifesto of Progressive beliefs” that “anticipated the transition from competitive to corporate capitalism and from limited government to the welfare state.”

For Croly, the individualistic, libertarian America of the agrarian 18th and 19th centuries was gone, swept away by the forces of the industrial revolution, urbanization, centralization and modernity. He advocated a new political consensus that included as its core nationalism, but with a sense of social responsibility and care for the less fortunate. Since the power of big business, trusts, interest groups and economic specialization had transformed the nation in the latter part of the 19th century, only the embracing of a counterbalance to this power would serve the society of the future. Croly pressed for the centralization of power in the Federal Government to ensure democracy, a “New Nationalism.”

Herbert Croly argued that America’s liberal promise could be redeemed only by syndicalist reforms.  Syndicalist is a form of socialism.  From Wikipedia;

Syndicalism is a type of economic system, a form of socialism, proposed as a replacement for capitalism. It is a proposal that industries be organised into confederations or syndicates . . .

Syndicalists state that society ought to be organised bottom-up based on direct democracy, confederation, workplace democracy and decentralised socialism.

In Teddy Roosevelt’s “New Nationalism” speech he said.

The true friend of property, the true conservative, is he who insists that property shall be the servant and not the master of the commonwealth; who insists that the creature of man’s making shall be the servant and not the master of the man who made it. The citizens of the United States must effectively control the mighty commercial forces which they have called into being. There can be no effective control of corporations while their political activity remains. To put an end to it will be neither a short nor an easy task, but it can be done.

Roosevelt were not anti-corporation in fact they were pro-corporation as long as long as the corporations served the “National interests”  His goal and, the progressive goal was to make corporations slaves to the state through regulations. He also didn’t have a problem with people getting rich as long as they used that wealth in the “national interest”  Again from his “New Nationalism” speech.

“We grudge no man a fortune in civil life if it is honorably obtained and well used. It is not even enough that it should have been gained without doing damage to the community. We should permit it to be gained only so long as the gaining represents benefit to the community. This, I know, implies a policy of a far more active governmental interference with social and economic conditions in this country than we have yet had, but I think we have got to face the fact that such an increase in governmental control is now necessary.”

Everything envisioned by the fascist movement.  The only thing that kept the early progressives from turning our country into full fledged fascist country were the restraints put on them by the Constitution.

From Wikipedia.

Fascism /fæʃɪzəm/ is a form of radical authoritarian nationalism[1][2] that came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe. Influenced by national syndicalism, fascism originated in Italy in the immediate aftermath of World War I,

L.K Samuels wrote an excellent piece called Hitler and Mussolini: History’s Dirty Little Secret

Here is an excerpt.

But how did fascism become anchored to Marxism? Historically, fascism arose in the 1890s out of a crisis in Marxist theory which was making Marxism archaic, obsolete and irrelevant. One of its major crises dealt with class conflict. The problem was, few workers were interested in class struggle. Instead, the populace was drawn to the flags of nationalism, especially with the unification of Italy in 1861 and of Germany in 1871. In an attempt to save Marxism, a number of notable Marxist intellectuals attempted to replace class struggle with revolutionary nationalism. In a well-documented article, “The Mysteries of Fascism,” David Ramsay Steele explained: “Fascism began as a revision of Marxism by Marxists…”[6]

That changed slightly in 1914, when Mussolini joined a splinter group of revolutionary syndicalists who supported Italy’s entrance into World War I.

The modern progressive would have you believe that fascism is the corporate takeover of government when history shows that quite the opposite is true.  Modern progressives as the fascist of old would also deny these industrialist their voice.  This country was founded on the principles of no taxation without representation and on the principles that that taxation should be equally applied to all.  You hear the modern progressive scream at the top of their lungs “Corporations aren’t people” while they tax them as one while demanding that they have no political voice in relationship to the amount of taxes paid.  Thomas Jefferson wrote on this abuse.

To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, “the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, and the fruits acquired by it.

I take it a step further, the progressive tax amounts to bribery, it allows the progressives a means of expanding the power and scope of the federal government by promising a free ride to a segment of the population if they are kept in power. Thomas DiLorenzo wrote in “The Founding Fathers of Participatory Fascism

The interventionists eventually won out, so that today’s political/economic system (in the U.S. and in many other copycat countries) can be described as “participatory fascism,” to borrow a phrase used by Robert Higgs. It is a system of crony capitalism financed by a central bank, government borrowing, and pervasive taxation. It is a system that is of plutocratic elites, for plutocratic elites, and by plutocratic elites (to paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, the true founding father of this system). The massive welfare state is merely used to buy enough votes to maintain the “legitimacy” of the system.

Of course the modern progressives ignore two truisms.

1. Daniel Webster’s quote “ An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, the power to destroy

When taxation is not uniformly applied to all or used by the government as a tool to modify behavior or society, freedom is lost and the “Constitutional Republic is Destroyed” The only fair tax would be a national sales tax or a flat income tax that only applies to individuals.  Then and only then will all of the people have a stake in holding the government accountable.

Corporations

2. Lord Acton Quote “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority; still more when you superadd the tendency of the certainty of corruption by authority.”

The modern progressive repeatedly calls for more and more regulation on corporations while denying them a political voice.  They cite the corruption of crony capitalism while ignoring the fact that it was the “progressive movement” that created this unholy alliance in the first place.  It was one of the leaders of the movement Teddy Roosevelt who decided that he alone had the power to decide who was a good trust and who was a bad.  And the bad where to be destroyed.  This created the political necessity for business to throw loads of money at the “political class” in order to have a favorable standing and to insure that the regulations favored them.  Of course this put the small business owner at a distinct disadvantage.  The problem is the regulatory climate.  The cure is not more regulation but to take that power away from the politician and to punish the corrupt politicians. Thomas Sowell wrote about the advantages of the modern fascist state.

What President Obama has been pushing for, and moving toward, is more insidious: government control of the economy, while leaving ownership in private hands. That way, politicians get to call the shots but, when their bright ideas lead to disaster, they can always blame those who own businesses in the private sector. Politically, it is heads-I-win when things go right, and tails-you-lose when things go wrong. This is far preferable, from Obama’s point of view, since it gives him a variety of scapegoats for all his failed policies,

It’s time to wake up America, take your country back and restore individual rights and reject this modern form of collectivism.

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About Marshall Keith

Broadcast Engineer Scuba Diver Photographer Fisherman Hunter Libertarian
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5 Responses to The Progressive Roots of Fascism

  1. Fascism was crafted by ex-socialist as a third way between socialism and “liberalism” aka free market capitalism and individualism. It is correctly labeled as a nationalist movement but then so was the progressive movement.

    If you mean Mussolini, and that he was one of the modern day archetypes then yes, but, and there is a BUT, he created it to be a COUNTER ideology to socialism. He had nothing but distain for socialism after the Italian socialist kicked him out.

    But how did fascism become anchored to Marxism? Historically, fascism arose in the 1890s out of a crisis in Marxist theory which was making Marxism archaic, obsolete and irrelevant. One of its major crises dealt with class conflict. The problem was, few workers were interested in class struggle. Instead, the populace was drawn to the flags of nationalism, especially with the unification of Italy in 1861 and of Germany in 1871. In an attempt to save Marxism, a number of notable Marxist intellectuals attempted to replace class struggle with revolutionary nationalism. In a well-documented article, “The Mysteries of Fascism,” David Ramsay Steele explained: “Fascism began as a revision of Marxism by Marxists…”

    What a crock of crap. Of course Hitler hated Marx, so did Mussolini, how can you print this knowing what a crock of lies it is? Marx did want a dictatorship of the proletariat But, after a time the state would wither away and then there would be no state, or class. Workers would own the society and the economy.

    It’s time to wake up America, take your country back and restore individual rights and reject this modern form of collectivism.

    Individual rights for who? The workers have none under capitalism, and do not give me that, ‘DER go work for yourself or someone else” crap. Not everyone is going to be a business owner, but everyone can own a product, and they should be able to keep that product. Not everyone has the money or capital to own a business. Now, the ownership is something Marx wanted to see end. he wanted the worker to own what they make. Not some boss who takes it and then sells it. They make the profit and the worker

    • It’s not a Crock. Mussolini was a Syndicalist Socialist as was his father until they kicked him out for supporting using WWI as a means of advancing socialism. Maybe if you didn’t flunk history you would have known that.

      “As a youth, Benito Mussolini showed much intelligence, but was boisterous and disobedient. His father instilled in him a passion for socialist politics and a defiance against authority. Though he was expelled from several schools for bullying and defying school authorities, he eventually obtained a teaching certificate in 1901 and, for a brief time, worked as a schoolmaster.

      Impassioned Socialist

      In 1902, Benito Mussolini moved to Switzerland to promote socialism, and quickly gained a reputation for his magnetism and remarkable rhetorical talents. While engaging in political demonstrations, he caught the attention of Swiss authorities and was eventually expelled from the country. In 1904, Mussolini returned to Italy and continued promoting a socialist agenda. He was briefly imprisoned and, upon release, became editor of the organization’s newspaper, Avanti (meaning “Forward”), which gave him a larger megaphone and expanded his influence.

      The Break with Socialism and Rise to Power

      Mussolini initially condemned Italy’s entry into World War I, but soon saw the war as an opportunity for his country to become a great power. His change in attitude broke ties with fellow socialists, however, and he was expelled from the organization. He joined the Italian army in 1915 and fought on the front lines, reaching the rank of corporal before being wounded and discharged from the military.”

      http://www.biography.com/people/benito-mussolini-9419443#impassioned-socialist

      • Continue to the nest paragraph Marshall.

        Gradually dismantled all democratic institutions. made himself dictator.

        Socialism or fascist dictator? you are trying very hard to morph and stretch the word socialism in today’s context to fit a different context in history.

        Capitalizing on public discontent, Mussolini organized a para-military unit known as the “Black Shirts,” who terrorized political opponents and helped increase Fascist influence. By 1922, as Italy slipped into political chaos, Mussolini declared that only he could restore order and was given the authority. He gradually dismantled all democratic institutions, and by 1925, had made himself dictator, taking the title “Il Duce” (“the Leader”). To his credit, Mussolini carried out an extensive public works program and reduced unemployment, making him very popular with the people.

  2. Pingback: Rebuttal Daily Kos “Socialism, fascism, and other philosophies conservatives don’t understand” | Veritas Vincit Pro Libertate

  3. Concerned Dell Customer,

    I morphed nothing. Does not the same thing happen in all socialist/Communist countries? The lust for power consumes all who try it. Every socialist/communist country eventually winds up a dictatorship. As Lord Acton said “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” Milton Friedman puts into perspective.

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