The Deadly Isms | Episode 5: Fascism, the Dirtiest Word in Politics

The Deadly Isms | Episode 5: Fascism, the Dirtiest Word in Politics

(intense music) – It’s the F-bomb of politics, the rhetorical nuclear option. Succeed in attaching this
label to your opponent, and it’ll cast instant doubt
on their very humanity. – Fascism. – You’re a fascist for believing that. – He’s a fascist. – F*&%ing fascist! – But what is fascism? What separates it from
the other deadly isms? And is there a new growth
of fascism happening in this new century? (crowd yelling) (intense music) (explosion) (fast electronic music) Seems like the concept of
fascism is everywhere these days. In Europe, fledgling nationalist
movements are on the rise. And in America, radical groups like Antifa have sprung up to combat
what they consider to be fascist tendencies on the political right. Both sides display a
tendency towards violence and authoritarianism
to advance their ends. But when the word fascism
gets thrown around so much, it’s hard to know what it really means. – You keep using that word. I do not think it means
what you think it means. – George Orwell made this
point in 1944, writing that, “The word fascism is almost
entirely meaningless. Almost any English person
would accept ‘bully’ as a synonym for fascism.” Defining fascism precisely
is a tricky thing. Because of its populist nature, it differs in every country where it’s applied. Here’s how the Italian fascist
dictator, Benito Mussolini, described his vision of the fascist state. “The citizen in the
fascist state is no longer a selfish individual who
has the anti-social right of rebelling against any
law of the collectivity.” In contrast, the Nazi tyrant
Adolf Hilter’s definition put more emphasis on the state’s control of private property. “The state should retain supervision and each property owner
should consider himself appointed by the state. It is his duty not to use his property against the interest of
others among his own people. This is the crucial matter. The Third Reich will
always retain its right to control the owners of property.” Unlike the other isms, fascism sprang not from a consistent ideology, but rather as an opportunistic play on
the emotions of the people, and this explains why it’s
so difficult to pin down. Alluding to this,
Mussolini was known to quip that he himself was the
definition of fascism. – So one key thing about
Mussolini was the fact that he was a mastermind of the language. He could talk in the same
language people talk. He could make an impression upon them by speaking in a simple, accessible way. He knew which chords he needed to play in order to get into the
collective mind, so to say. – Is the resurgence of fascism a threat we should take seriously, or is it just a relic of the twentieth century, only applicable to textbooks
and history lessons? To answer this question, we need to look at what exactly fascism
is and where it came from. (dramatic electronic music) Today, Europe is rife
with fascist movements stretching across a dozen countries. What unites these movements
under a single term is the way they appeal
to populist impulse, using the idea of national
mythology and the creation of an enemy against which
to rally popular unrest. For example, in Italy,
the birthplace of fascism, Mussolini tapped into popular
support by hearkening back to the glory days of the Roman Empire. – Nationalism is always
about a mythical past, and Mussolini’s mythical
past was the Roman Empire. So the empire he established,
the empire he tried to establish was to be some
sort of a Roman Empire reloaded. It was preposterous. Italy was never going to rule
the world, but it was enough to keep up with the fantasy of the people. – By promising a return
to a mythologized past, he was able to rally his people, direct corporate activity
towards the national interest, and set up non-Italians as a scapegoat for all of the country’s
domestic problems. Yet, for all of his talk about
strength and national pride, Mussolini was at times
chillingly frank about his goals. “The fascist state organizes the nation, but leaves a sufficient margin
of liberty to the individual. The latter is deprived of all useless and possibly harmful freedom,
but retains what is essential. The deciding power in this
question cannot be the individual but the state alone.” In Germany, Adolf Hitler took
these ideas even further, implementing fascism in
its most extreme form. (music intensifies) (speaking in German) (crowd cheering) Hitler was obsessed with
the myth of the Aryan race, and the strength and militarism
of Teutonic Mythology. For a scapegoat, he
chose the Jewish people, with horrific consequences. The problem with manufacturing
an enemy to consolidate power is that you have to keep
coming up with new bogeymen. Mussolini initially targeted
his politic opponents, but as Italy’s economic and
military problems worsened, he was forced to export
violence to Africa, killing hundreds of thousands of people, and eventually even
turning on his own people, adopting the German
version of anti-semitism under pressure from his ally, Hitler. This need to keep the
masses afraid and motivated stems from the fact that fascism is a fundamentally reactionary movement. Before the twentieth century,
most of Europe was ruled by unelected monarchs who could
govern however they pleased. With democracy, however,
it became necessary to exploit popular sentiment
in order to gain power, and since fascism’s economic
nationalism inevitably leads to negative consequences
for those under its rule, leaders have to resort to
greater and greater extremes. Mussolini drove Italy’s
economy into the ground, indulged in mass murder abroad, and got Italy into a losing war, all in a desperate attempt
to remain in control. (yelling in Italian) When he was finally deposed,
the citizens of Italy strung him upside down and
kicked and beat him to death. The charismatic leader who had
promised them eternal glory was reduced to an unrecognizable pulp at the hands of those he had duped. (xylophone music) (orchestral music) Socialism and nationalism
are traditionally viewed as opposites, but in reality,
much of the difference comes from the way they
try to divide society. Socialism divides society
horizontally, by class and wealth. Fascism does it vertically, by nationality, race, or ethnicity. In other words, the fascists
were more interested in where you came from, rather
than your social station. And although the fascists
remained opposed to the forces of communism and socialism,
many of their leaders started out as committed socialists, sharing that ideology’s fondness for authoritarianism
and distrust of markets. These seemingly
contradictory positions led to some confusion among the
early supporters of fascism. Distressed by the fast
growing and aggressive communist movements across the continent, some of Europe’s traditional
right wing, conservatives, and even some classical
liberals were tempted to side with the fascists. They overlooked that the enemy of their enemy was not their friend. Fascists didn’t think of themselves as on the political left or right. Their appeal to national
traditions, patriotism, and a strong military
allowed them to gain support among European Conservatives. This is why most people consider fascism a right-wing movement today. It was also around this
time that Antifa first arose in opposition to European fascism. But then, as now, it was an
explicitly communist movement that viewed fascism as a
natural outgrowth of capitalism. Just because a movement opposes fascism, doesn’t mean they value liberty. Once again, the enemy of
our enemy is not our friend. (dramatic music) Fascism has never been a
uniquely European phenomenon. At the end of the 1920s, the
Great Depression had left the American economy in ruins. Citing the need to pull
the country together, President Franklin Delano
Roosevelt greatly increased government’s control of private business. – “In the working out of
a great national program that seeks the primary
good of the greater number, it is true that the toes of
some people are being stepped on and are going to be stepped on.” The National Recovery
Act was a sweeping plan that imposed fixed prices, minimum wages, and production quotas from the top down. While business nominally
remained in private hands, all of the key decisions
on how to run the economy came from the government. – It wasn’t capitalism because the owners of private property could not engage in real market competition
and use it as they saw fit, but it wasn’t socialism either
because, the argument was, it wasn’t totally planning the economy. It was this kind cartel
controlled command system, right, that was an attempt to
capture what they thought was the best of both systems, not unlike, I mean the lighter version
of that, is some things that we saw in the New Deal, certainly the first New
Deal in the United States, which was in many ways
sort of consciously seen as another third way between
capitalism and socialism. Because the perception of course was capitalism had caused
the Great Depression. – Roosevelt led the
charge to buy American, repeating the persuasive
lie that foreign trade is bad for the economy. This kind of economic
nationalism contributed towards the fascist influenced
demonization of the other and convinced the public
that government control of the economy was protecting them while at the same time
promoting national greatness. The newspaper of the Nazi
party was enthusiastic about Roosevelt’s adoption
of National Socialist strains of thought in his economic
and social policies. Mussolini was also vocal in
his praise of the New Deal, calling it, “boldly
interventionist in the field of economics,” and saying
that “Roosevelt understood the principle that the
state no longer leaves the economy to its own devices.” Mussolini’s admiration
for FDR wasn’t one-sided. The president said that he was envious of the Italian government at the time, calling it “the most efficiently operating piece of social machinery I’ve ever seen.” In hindsight, the only thing
efficient about fascism is the brutality with
which it was implemented. (droning music) It’s tempting to view fascism
as a historical relic, a twentieth century dinosaur that we no longer have to worry about. Sadly, that’s not the case. (crowd chanting) The sense that national
identities are slipping away under a tide of globalism has led to a rash of new nationalist
movements all across the globe. Neo-Nazis are being
spotted all across Europe, and in Russia, Vladimir
Putin’s government bears a marked similarity to
twentieth century fascism. Even the USA is not immune. – The rise of fascism on
American college campuses. – A rise of extreme fascist nationalism. (yelling) – Demagoguery on the
evils of foreign trade has led many people
towards the mistaken view that isolating our economy
from the rest of the world can somehow make us richer. – That American workers should
not be forced to compete against people in Mexico
or people in China who are making pennies an hour. That’s unfair. – We must protect our
borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies,
and destroying our jobs. – When in fact, protectionism
only impoverishes American consumers, while
handing over more control of private business to the government. Meanwhile, endless foreign
wars with no clear objective and no timeline for
victory are reminiscent of fascism’s need for a
scapegoat to distract voters from problems at home,
as well as to justify the creeping surrender
of our civil liberties. Activist groups on both the
left and the right are becoming increasingly intolerant of one another (crowd chanting) and willing to use violence to advance their respective causes. (people yelling) Mark Twain supposedly
once quipped that history doesn’t repeat itself,
but it often rhymes. The echos we are now seeing,
both from the explicit fascism of Neo-Nazi movements, and
the more subtle variety of economic nationalism
that is gaining popularity, should be concerning to anyone familiar with the events of the last century. (music fades) (foot steps) (door creaking) (dramatic music)

27 thoughts on “The Deadly Isms | Episode 5: Fascism, the Dirtiest Word in Politics

  1. Those white nationalists may lean towards fascism, but it isn't necessarily the same as neo-nazi ideology. It is misguided at best to accept far leftist accusations and name calling without question, and deliberate misrepresentation at worst. If you believe in freedom of association, you have to allow everyone whether black or white to act in what they believe is their own best interest, even if that means segregation.
    I find it interesting that only white people are demonized for supporting segregation, but not black people supporting safe spaces in college, and not majority Asian or black nations that control their immigration.

    It is a fact that white majority nations are being infiltrated and white birth rates are dropping while radical leftists rejoice over it.
    The assumption that non-white replacements will gladly take up the reins of western culture and fight for liberty and freedom against gov't abuse is delusional and certainly not supported by the facts that we have so far.

    I would love for all races and cultures to have the same IQ and the same love of freedom. But that just isn't the case, not by a long shot.

  2. Every time I watch one of these excellent videos I'm grateful that they're being produced with such clarity and superb production standards but I'm dismayed that they don't have thousands of times more views. If I was on a panel to determine curriculum for a local high school these would be must-see TV.

  3. That svoboda outfit in Ukraine was exposed as a Kremlin asset and did not make the parliamentary threshold last elections

  4. Oh hey look! tone def pro-globalist propaganda, I especially like how you just ignore that our nation is on the losing end of almost every trade deal we have signed in the last 20 some years. But noooo we are being protectionist just ignore the massive economy bump.

  5. Fascism is NOT on the right, never will be, never could be. The extreme of the "right" is the crazy anarchist capitalist who think no borders, no rule or law chaos is the way to go. Extreme left INCLUDES fascism… Just because some people were tricked into fascism by the people PRETENDING it was patriotic… Doesn't make it so… Patriotism means different things in different countries…

  6. Fascism is just another version of socialism. However I disagree with the idea that there is a difference between them, because communists also engage in nationalist rhetoric.

  7. I know it's a small point, but Trump isn't a protectionist. His use of tariffs is as a tool to get China to lower it's tariffs on US products and play fair.

  8. I'm sorry, I respectfully disagree: the movements in Central/Eastern Europe are not fascistic! They are populistic and pragmatic. That's certainly the case with Orbán and Duda.

    I love your vids tho, eh! 👌👍💪✌🇺🇸

  9. Hmm… Trump's Nationalism harkens back to the 50's and 80's… Those aren't a myth!!
    Proving he's NOT a fascist!

  10. A Q for the 🌎 (No right or wrong answer..): If you had to put "Americanism" on the graph at 7:54, do you think an intersecting line at about a 60° would be accurate?? 👌✌

  11. No/yes, (but, it has NOTHING to do with Trump, or Sanders{?})
    The dems and the corporate technocracy in silicon valley, along with the Fake News Industrial Complex; THOSE ARE THE REAL FASCISTS!

  12. Dude, 99 times out of 100, the political violence is coming from the LEFT!
    I know you want to remain neutral, but come on mate!

  13. Hmm… Does he really believe that?? Russia and European fascist movements are a loony conspiracy theory cooked up by Fake News!

  14. Well done except for the misinformed connection between rising nationalism and neo-nazism. if globalism and the loss of sovereignty is a problem, then a dose or admixture of nationalism is a healthy by-product of it to keep it in check and avoid globalist totalitarianism. And across Europe the nationalism varies in its intensity and goals. That is also good as no one ideology can take over. I see nothing wrong with the current rise of nationalism, but as in all things, it needs to be watched so that it too does not go too far. We only make it worse if we mis-characterize it and refuse to understand it.

  15. I see more of the left being fascist. Neo Nazis are not right as much as they want to be and I don't know one conservative that claims or supports neonazi. I call bullshit and its proven that the unite the right was fabricated from a democrat to make the right look bad.

  16. Although I agree with much of what is said, i dont believe that a country like Poland not allowing radical islamic asylum seekers to come in and murder, rape all while taking welfare is anything like nationalism of the 20th century! Also, with regard to what President Trump has been talking about with regard to protecting the American worker, I think all he is doing is leveling the playing field, but i can see how this can turn into protectionism. All I know is that as long as there are human beings on earth there will be isms!

  17. Thank you for speaking the truth about FDR. Most people praise him, but he is a Socialist through and through. I encourage those to read "New Deal or Raw Deal". It gives you insight on who FDR really was and the consequences of The New Deal.

  18. The leftist's allegations fascism by the right is fake in current times. it gives the antifa excuse to use violence against people who supported Donald Trump. Conservative groups defended themselves from these attacks. This is where I disagree with what Matt said about violence by both groups. The conservatives never aggressed any opposition. The leftist made up fake news of bigotry and violence against minorities.

  19. "The fascists were more interested in where you came from, rather than from your social status." Sounds like identity politics.

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