The Many Faces Of Fascism

September 19, 2020 Category: Domestic Politics, Foreign Policy

Fascism–in its myriad incarnations–has a long history.  While tyranny goes back to Sargon of Akkad (arguably the first bona fide EMPIRE), the phenomenon-in-question goes back to Classical Antiquity.  In ancient Greece, Alcibiades of Athens was an avaricious plutocrat who pioneered right-wing populism–replete with militarism.  He exhibited all the hallmark traits of a megalomaniac–from neuroses about subversive activity to pathological narcissism.  A kind of fascism could also be found in the draconian policies instituted by Cleon of Mytilene.

That was all in the 5th century B.C.  But human nature has not changed much since.  A brief recap of what constitutes fascism in the broadest sense.  It is militant hyper-nationalism characterized by highly-concentrated power and top-down control.  In other words, it is oligarchic and authoritarian.  Demands for compliance and conformity are de rigueur.  Behold a society of jingoism and spectacle (a.k.a. “super-patriotism”), wherein pageantry trumps substance.  (Here, mass appeal is mis-construed as merit.)

The attendant cult activity may be that of a traditional religion (as with, say Salafi or Roman Catholic theocracy) or some cult of personality (as with Nazism, Juche, Stalinism, and Maoism)  Either way, there is some sort of demagogy, accompanied by some sacred creed (a sanctified dogmatic system) that demands unwavering fealty.  The marriage of nationalism and religionism entails that there is no distinction between treason and heresy.  Cultic thinking–replete with groupthink, idolatry, and invocations of (divine) Providence–is a hallmark feature of any fascistic regime.  

All this could be in the form of a CONVENTIONALLY fascistic regime (like Germany’s Third Reich) or a Soviet-style “communist” regime (like present-day China); or it could involve any scenario wherein corporate power holds sway in the affairs of men.

A fascistic regime is not merely tribalistic in terms of nationality, it is–invariably–ethno-centric in some way (involving a brand of X-Supremacy).  Ethno-nationalism invariably involves:

  • Some sort of cultic thinking (that is: a delusive, tribalistic, hyper-dogmatic mindset), informed by a sacred creed.
  • Some sort of (illusory) Providentialism; predicated on a (manufactured) gilded legacy and a “Manifest Destiny”.

Here, (circumscribed) hegemonic designs are often involved (that is: “lebensraum” in the perceived homeland of the anointed in-group).  This could take the form of anything from Christian Dominionism to Revisionist Zionism.

The result is a militaristic, theocratic ethno-State.

Police states and plutocracy are not what happen when society becomes uber-Progressive.  When Progressivism prevails, gulags and oligarchs are not the result.  Highly-concentrated power and top-down control are the signature traits of fascism.  Systems of domination / exploitation / marginalization are the hallmarks of RIGHT-WING regimes.  Thus fascism is right-wing BY DEFINITION.

Populations experiencing economic distress and/or the perception of an exogenous threat often turn to authoritarian leaders who promise certainty, security, and stability.   Those who are resentful–or just existentially beleaguered–are especially susceptible to demagogy.  Existential disorientation–or just existential despondency–makes people more prone to become beguiled by a charismatic leader.

It is common to condemn all forms of fascism except for one’s own, and then fashion oneself as anti-fascist.  It should go without saying that one is not genuinely anti-fascist unless one denounces ALL forms of fascism (just as one is not genuinely anti-racist lest one denounce ALL forms of racism).  It helps to survey fascism in all its manifestations (dare I say, BRANDS) to elucidate its essential nature.  In doing so, we notice an unmistakable pattern.  Fascism is NEVER secular.

Fascistic regimes are Reactionary through and through–replete with mandates for sycophancy and super-patriotism.  (See lots of jingoism, flag-waving, and saluting by glassy-eyed mobs, and you’re likely dealing with some strain of fascism.)  Mass-mania / -hysteria is a tell-tale sign of fascism.  And authoritarianism is a hallmark feature. Other red flags include Puritanical thinking, anti-intellectualism, anti-free speech, demagogy, ethno-centricity, vilification of the other, and all the other trappings of illiberal regimes.

This explains why countries that have succumbed to the trappings of fascism–in any of its guises–are not known for an efflorescence of free-thought.  Fascist regimes are VEHEMENTLY anti-intellectual; and tend to be extremely hostile towards scholars, dissident thinkers, civil activists, investigative journalists.

Right-wing movements routinely emerge in a flurry of flag-waving bluster.  Super-patriotism is faux patriotism; as it is predicated not on civic-mindedness, but on mawkish displays of fealty–replete with paeans to the anointed Volk.  It is, in other words, a pathology.  The demagogic machinery that drives it is born of a peculiar nexus of sycophancy and very shallow thinking.  

An abiding obsession with the in-group amounts to the fetishization of one’s own nation (thus propounding some version of national Exceptionalism).  Such hyper-nationalism is a form of conceit–characterized by maudlin pageantry and bombast (rather than by anything done out of a sense of civic duty).

Though it may proffer superficially “democratic” window-dressing, fascism is right-wing to its very core.  This explains why fascism–in ANY of its various incarnations–is antithetical to (genuine) liberal democracy.  Civil rights are inimical to the mandate for “law and order”.  It comes as no surprise, then, that palpably fascistic regimes are often not categorized as (explicitly) fascistic.  Since its heyday in the 1930’s, it tends to operate under the auspices of various ideologies–from “communism” (and its myriad reified brands) to ”democracy” (as with the theocratic ethno-State that is modern-day Israel).

In the late 15th and early 16th century, the Spanish Inquisition set the precedent for (Castilian) Roman Catholic fascism–as epitomized by Thomas of Torquemada in Spain.  During the 16th century, England under Queen “Bloody” Mary was unabashedly fascistic–again: oriented around the Roman Catholic model.  In the early 17th century, the Count of Tilly, Johann Tserclaes, led the Catholic League on behalf of Duke Maximilian of Bavaria–modeled on the Catholic “Holy League” of France (est. by Duke Henry of Guise) from the late 16th century.  Then, in the late 19th century, Belgian King Leopold II ruled a (Roman Catholic) fascist regime in the Congo–during which time 10 to 15 million natives perished.

Between the 1930’s and 1980’s alone, the list of Roman Catholic cynosures is long–virtually all of them fascists.  The trend of Catholicism-based fascism was impossible not to notice.  Behold FORTY countries that saw a Roman Catholic panjandrum who could be categorized as fascistic:

  • Ante Pavelic; Franjo Tudjman (Croatia) {1}
  • Andrej Hlinka; Jozef Tiso (Slovakia)
  • Emil Hacha (Bohemia)
  • Boleslaw Piasecki (Poland) {2}
  • Augustyn Ivanovych Voloshyn; Yaroslav Stetsko; Stepan Andriyovych Bandera (Ukraine)
  • Eoin O’Duffy of the Blueshirts; “Na Léinte Gorma” (Ireland)
  • Léon Degrelle; Staf de Clercq (Belgium) {3}
  • Anton Adriaan Mussert; Meinoud Rost van Tonningen (Netherlands)
  • Carl Schmitt (Prussia); Franz von Papen (Germany) {4}
  • Alois Hudal; Karl Lueger, Engelbert Dollfuss, and Kurt Schuschnigg (Austria)
  • Ferenc Szalasi (Hungary) {5}
  • James Schwarzenbach (Switzerland) {6}
  • Victor Emmanuel III (Italy)
  • Charles Maurras; Philippe Pétain (France)
  • Miguel Primo de Rivera; then Francisco Franco (Spain) {7}
  • Antonio de Oliveira Salazar (Portugal)
  • Pierre Gemayel [the Maronite “Kataeb” Party; a.k.a. “Phalanges”] (Lebanon)
  • Ferdinand Marcos (Philippines)
  • Ngo Dinh Diem; then Nguyen Van Thieu; then “Pierre Martin” Ngo Dinh Thuc (Vietnam)
  • Fulgencio Batista (Cuba)
  • Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina [a.k.a. “El Jefe”] (Dominican Republic)
  • Jean-Claude “Bebe Doc” Duvalier; Raoul Cédras (Haiti)
  • Eric Mathew Gairy (Grenada)
  • Jorge Gonzalez von Marées; Augusto Pinochet (Chile)
  • Juan Manuel de Rosas; Jorge Rafael Videla (Argentina)
  • Getulio Vargas in his earlier period: then Emilio Medici; then Plinio Salgado (Brasil)
  • Juan Maria Bordaberry; Gregorio Conrado Alvarez (Uruguay)
  • Alfredo Stroessner (Paraguay)
  • Oscar Unzaga de la Vega (Bolivia)
  • Carlos Castillo Armas; Vinicio Cerezo Arevalo (Guatemala)
  • Anastasio Somoza Garcia (Nicaragua)
  • Policarpo Juan Paz Garcia (Honduras)
  • Roberto D’Aubuisson Arrieta (El Salvador)
  • Arnulfo Arias; Manuel Noriega (Panama)
  • Salvador Abascal (following the precedent set by Porfirio Diaz at the beginning of the 20th century) (Mexico)
  • Juvenal Habyarimana; Hassan Ngeze (Rwanda)
  • Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe)
  • Julius Nyerere (Tanzania)
  • Jean-Bedel Bokassa (Central African Republic)
  • Mobutu Sese Seko (Congo)

In every case, we find militant Roman Catholic hyper-nationalism.

Latin America has seen a plethora of military dictatorships in which the potentate happened to be Roman Catholic; yet the church did not always play an integral role in the regime.  (Peru, Ecuador, Columbia, and Venezuela have had their fair share of despots; but the figures’ Catholicism was not a salient element of their despotism.) Also note the existence of Benedictine fascism–as with Balthasar von Dernbach of Fulda.

Traces remain today–as illustrated by the abiding existence of the Knights Of Columbus.  Note Timothy Busch’s Napa Institute (which exercises political influence) as well as America’s Catholic Information Center. The latter is a hub for quasi-fascists in the U.S.; and is led by C. John McCloskey and Leonard Leo (the former, a member of Opus Dei, is known for having stated that “liberal Catholic” is an oxymoron).

Even when fascism was not explicitly Roman Catholic, the Vatican was often complicit in its operations–as with the anti-clerical Mussolini in Italy (who was ostensibly atheistic).  Fascism comes in many different guises; but at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how plush the velvet glove happens to be when it is on an iron fist.

The residue of Roman Catholic fascism lingers even today–as with the “Freedom Party” in Austria (ref. Jörg Haider), “Jobbik” in Hungary, “Law and Justice” and the “National Radical Camp” in Poland, Oleh Tyahnybok’s “Svoboda” in Ukraine (which incorporates fealty to the Eastern Orthodox Church), “Forza Nuova” in Italy, and the Catholic Bishops of Tanzania.

The above list should make clear that–even as it may incorporate one or another ethno-centricity in certain cases–fascism qua fascism transcends culture.  In other words, that such variegated instances have occurred around the world shows that different cultures can succumb to (or, as the case may be, be hijacked by) fascistic thinking.  It should come as little surprise, then, that Roman Catholicism has not been the only strain of Christianity to serve as a substrate for fascism.  Cynosures exhibiting palpably fascistic tendencies have also been:

  • French-Swiss Protestant (John Calvin in Geneva)
  • Puritan (Oliver Cromwell in England)
  • Anglican (Oswald Mosley in England) {8}
  • Dutch Reform (Daniel François Malan in South Africa) {16}
  • Presbyterian (Hastings Kamuzu Banda in Malawi)
  • Hellenic Eastern Orthodox (Ioannis Metaxas and Georgios Papadopoulos in Greece)
  • Slavic Eastern Orthodox (Ivan IV Vailyevich in Russia; a.k.a. “Ivan the Terrible”)
  • Romanian Eastern Orthodox (Nae Ionescu, Corneliu Zelea Codreanu, and Ion Antonescu in Romania) {9}
  • Serbian Eastern Orthodox (Radola Gajda in Dalmatia)
  • Pentecostal messianic (Jose Efrain Rios Montt in Guatemala)
  • Evangelical messianic (Charles Taylor in Liberia)
  • Coptic (Isaias Afwerki in Eritrea)

…to list a dozen different kinds.  In the 1930’s, the “Christian American Association” worked to uphold Jim Crow laws, while derogating Roosevelt’s New Deal as a Jewish plot to take over the country.  The CAA was against organized labor, not only because it threatened corporate power, but because it would undermine segregationist precedents (by bringing black and white workers together).  Its proponents would later stoke Cold War paranoia–stirring the sort of anti-Communist hysteria that led to McCarthyism.  (Yes, Joseph McCarthy was a zealous Catholic.)  Much of this involved “states‘ rights” rhetoric–as with Leonard Leo of the Catholic Information Center (and the Federalist Society).

In America, the nexus of Christian fundamentalists, segregationists, anti-Communist crusaders was represented by the likes of William Potter Gale.  This is a reminder that religionism, racism, and hyper-nationalism tend to go hand in hand.

We might also note the elements of “Dominionist” (Christian) fascism found across the United States.  This is a toxic cocktail of American Exceptionalism (replete with “Manifest Destiny” and super-patriotism) and Christian fundamentalism–as exemplified by Richard Girnt Butler, Gerald Burton Winrod, and Gerald L. K. Smith.  The Roman Catholic counterpart was exemplified by Al Smith’s American Liberty League and the odious radio broadcasts of “Father” Charles E. Coughlin.  Also note American clerics like Clarence Kelly (who founded the “Society of Saint Pius V” cult) and Earl “Lucian” Pulvermacher (who founded the “True Catholic Church” cult). The pattern continues today, with the likes of Cardinal Raymond Burke…as well as the Eternal Word Television Network.

It is no coincidence that the most fascistic Americans have tended to be Christian fundamentalists–be it Roman Catholic or Protestant.

Echoes of (non-Catholic) Christian fascism reverberate in Eastern Europe to the present day–as with “Golden Dawn” in Greece and “Svoboda” in Ukraine–both which are affiliated with Eastern Orthodox Christianity.

As we have seen, though, the most prominent kind of fascism has been Roman Catholic; but it can come in even the most obscure forms–as with, say, Biswamohan Debbarma’s “National Liberation Front of Tripura”.  In the United States, the likes of Charles Coughlin and Fulton Sheen represented the on-going ethos of Roman Catholicism-based fascism…as it subsists in America to the present day.  As evidence, look no further than Bill Donohue of the Catholic League. {11}

It is important to bear in mind that fascism is not limited to Christianity.  It can be couched in Norse paganism–as with Vidkun Quisling (the “Nasjonal Samling”) in Norway; or the Odin-ism of White Nationalists in the United States.  Fascism can be made manifest in virtually any religious idiom; as it is–at root–animated by cult activity of one kind or another.  Virtually ANY religion with authoritarian strains can be put in the service of fascistic thinking.  And so there has also been…

  • quasi-Jacobin fascism (Maximilien Robespierre in France)
  • Wahhabi fascism (the House of Saud in Arabia) {12}
  • Deobandi fascism (Mutahida Majlis-i Amal in Pakistan; the Taliban in Afghanistan) {13}
  • Brailvi fascism (Mutahida Din-i Mahaz in Pakistan)
  • Ottoman / Turkish fascism (Talaat Pasha: the CUP; Committee For Union And Progress)
  • Salafi fascism (the Freedom & Justice Party in Egypt)
  • Shia fascism (Mohammad-Taqi Misbah of Yazd; Khomeinism in Iran)
  • Hindu fascism (the V.H.P. arm of K.B. Hed-gewar’s Rashtriya Swayam-sevak Sangh) {14}
  • pseudo-Buddhist fascism (Ne Win and Than Shwe in Burma)
  • Chinese fascism (Guo-min-dang; largely based on Han-Supremacy) {15}
  • Japanese / Shinto fascism (Kiichiro Hiranuma’s “Kokuhon-sha”; Kingoro Hashimoto’s “Sakura-kai”; Hideki Tojo’s Imperial Japan; and most recently: Seigo Nakano’s “Toho-kai”)
  • Judeo-fascism (Likud in Israel; see the Appendix) {12}

…to mention a dozen different kinds.  Fascism can be based on an entirely novel cult–as with Kim Il-Sung in North Korea (Juche, under the aegis of Soviet-style “communism”), Etienne “Gnassingbe” Eyadema in Togo, and Mez-m “Francisco Macias” Nguema in Equatorial Guinea.

There have even been ostensibly “secular” brands of fascism.  Ten of the most flagrant examples:

  • Adolph Hitler in Germany (with Nazism)
  • Joseph Stalin in Russia (with Soviet-style “communism”)
  • Erich Honecker in the German Democratic Republic
  • Josip Broz Tito in Yugoslavia
  • Slobodan Molosevic in Serbia (though tacitly affiliated with the Eastern Orthodox Church)
  • Enver Hoxha in Albania
  • Nicolae Ceausescu in Romania
  • Mengistu Haile Mariam in Ethiopia
  • Mao Tse-Tung in China (with Maoism) {15}
  • Pol Pot in Cambodia (with the “Khmer Rouge”)

As with Kim Il-Sung in North Korea, virtually all these men operated under the “communist” aegis–a pretense designed to bolster the appeal of their tyrannical agendas (and ingratiate themselves with Moscow). {20}  They key lesson here is that fascism can be based on ANY ethno-centric mindset–be it the Grey Wolves (Turkish fascism) or Neo-Nazism (Teutonic fascism).  Whether Turks or WASPs, the underlying logic is the same.

Indeed, discerning the difference between the above regimes and regimes conventionally labeled “fascist” poses problems of taxonomy, as–while the packaging changes from case to case–their underlying features are almost indistinguishable.  Recall that another term for fascism is “corporatism”, which defines itself along almost the same terms as Soviet-style “communism”: an authoritarian regime in which all interests are subordinated to the interests of the State (read: the oligarchy).  The People exist to serve the State rather than a State existing to empower the People.  In other words: the antithesis of Marxian ideals.  To illustrate this fact: Giovanni Gentile’s “Dottrina de Fascismo” (1932) reads exactly as any charter for Soviet-style “communism” would.  In the final analysis, right-wing is right-wing.

We might also note the oppressive (quasi-secular) dictators throughout the Muslim world over the course of the past century, each of whom exhibited fascistic tendencies:

  • Idi Amin in Uganda
  • Muamar Qaddafi in Libya
  • Bashir Assad in Syria
  • Saddam Hussein in Iraq
  • Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan
  • Suharto in Indonesia

In every case enumerated thus far, we find militant hyper-nationalism, animated by Providentialism–as demonstrated by the original fascist movement in Italy, “fascista” (which gave “fascism[o]” its moniker).  This is invariably informed by an ethno-centric worldview (whereby a lionized in-group is pitted against, well, everyone else).  Reference the 1938 “Manifesto della Razza” [Manifesto of Race], which posited an exalted “Romanitas” [Roman-ness] that must be upheld.  It is not a long jump from ethno-centricism to racial Supremacism; especially when claims of divine ordinance are involved.  Today, this is most flagrantly demonstrated by Revisionist Zionism.

The theocratic element of fascism was explicitly captured by Franco’s “Nacional-catolicismo” in Spain and “Wielka Polska Katolicka” in Poland (both Roman Catholic).  This feature is always present, even when it mutates into novel forms.  In Spain, Catholic extremists (e.g. Juan Vazquez de Mella) pined for a return to a medieval society, in which authoritarian guilds operated under the auspices of the church.  Indeed, supporting fascist regimes was held as a sacred Catholic duty.

Three case-studies of fascism involving non-traditional cultic movements:

  • Nazism was an especially virulent (German) strain of the Catholic-Teutonic-based fascism, with a distinctly Volk-ish pedigree, which mutated into a cult-of-personality that incorporated a Nordic mythos.
  • Japanese imperialism (effectively: Nihon-Supremacy) exploited elements of religiosity from Zen Buddhism and Shinto–as with the explicitly theocratic doctrines of “Saisei itchi” and “Koku-gaku”.
  • Juche is a virulent (Korean) strain of quasi-Soviet fascism that makes claims amounting to Choson-Supremacy, and exhibits all the trappings of a full-fledged cult. {20}

In terms of invocation of blood and sand (where ethno-centricity mixes with the consecration of real estate), the former asserted “lebensraum” while the latter asserted “hakko ichiu”.  The obsession with blood and soil is not unfamiliar.  Again, the instance of Revisionist Zionism (Judeo-fascism) is the most blatant case-study of “lebensraum” in the post-War era. {12}

The question becomes: At what point–and in what ways–does garden-variety dictatorship become full-blown fascism?  Both are totalitarian.  Both fetishize law and order.  Both involve palpable elements of cult activity.  From the Roman “capitellum” to the Spanish “caudillo” to the African “strongman”, dictators are prone to creating a cult of personality around themselves.  For propagandistic purposes, casuistry is invariably at play.

Totalitarianism with hyper-nationalist fervor and theocratic bent has been par for the course when it comes to dictatorial governments.  Fascism, it turns out, occurs in gradations.  But at the end of the day, tyranny is tyranny.  One might say that what makes a society illiberal “is what it is” irrespective of the strain of illiberalism.  In this sense, illiberalism is like cancer: it comes in various forms, but the underlying phenomenon is the same.

Another point worth noting: Fascism is not necessarily GLOBALLY hegemonic–as was made clear by Spain’s Francisco Franco, who was more than happy to limit his tyranny to the Iberian peninsula.  He had no designs beyond what he saw as the Castilian homeland.  The same went for Mao vis a vis China, Kim Il-Sung vis a vis the Korean peninsula, and Revisionist Zionism vis a vis Palestine.  Pol Pot was not interested in conquering land beyond “Campuchia”.  And Guatemalan despot, Jose Efrain Rios Montt did not exactly have his sights on Nebraska.  In fact, MANY dictators have territorial ambitions that are circumscribed.  China’s current despot, Xi Jin-ping has delimited hegemonic designs–focused primarily on Tibet, Xin-jiang, Hong Kong, Tai-wan, and the South China Sea.  Putin is primarily concerned with asserting Russian power in the former bloc countries–as a countermeasure against NATO.  Recep Erdogan is obsessed with annexing Kurdistan.

One might think of it as follows: Hitler was at war with the world in the name of his own people.  The likes of Franco and Mao and Kim Il-Sung and Pol Pot were at war with their own people.  (The paranoiac Stalin seems to have been at war with EVERYONE.)

Paranoia is, of course, a hallmark trait of any demagogue.  But insecurity is not limited to only the rulers; the rabble must also be made to feel insecure…and resentful.  For it is a short leap from frustration to angst.  As Christ Hedges put it, “A paralyzed government, unable and unwilling to address the rudimentary needs of its citizens, as I saw in the former Yugoslavia and as was true in the Weimar Republic an czarist Russia, empowers extremis[m].” {10}

Another hallmark of fascist regimes is a State police–as they are, if nothing else, police states (wherein “law and order” are fetishized; and strict compliance is prized).  The Ottoman sultan had his own precursor to modern gendarmeries: the “yeñiçeri” (a.k.a. “Janissaries”).  The Janissaries were themselves a variation on the Roman “Praetorian” guard and the Slavic / Kievan “Varangian” guard (alt. the “Spatharioi”; i.e. Norsemen serving as mercenaries).  The Byzantines had the “Hetaeria” corps.

Generally-speaking, the phenomenon dates to the elite guard of Eurasia known as the “comitatus” (variously dubbed the “kesig”, “nöker”, and “chakar”) and the (Mongol) “kheshig”.  A later version of these was Khwarezmian “Ursiyya” [alt. “Larsiyya”; “Lariciyeh”], an elite guard charged with protecting the [k]Hazar Kagans.  Other versions are invariably fascistic, and typically based on some conception of ethno-centrism, as with the Persian “Gard-e Javidan”.  Contemporary examples are numerous. {17}  They have included:

  • the German “Schutz-Staffel” (the SS) and “Geheime Staatspolizei” (a.k.a. the “Gestapo”; operating under the aegis of “Staatssicherheit”)
  • the Italian “OVRA” (alt. “Carabinieri”; “Arditi”; “squadristi”; “milizia”: tasked with hunting down socialists and other liberals)
  • the Lebanese (Maronite) “Phalangists”
  • the Israeli “Irgun [Zvai Leumi]”; now the domestic arm of the IDF
  • the Hungarian “Magyar Garda” (of the Arrow Cross)
  • the Ukrainian “Berkut”
  • the Russian “Okhrana” (alt. “VCheKa”, a reincarnation of Ivan the Terrible’s notorious “oprichnyina”, now effectively operating as the “OMON”); also note the “Stasi” of the GDR
  • the Albanian “Sigurimi”
  • the Japanese “Shinsen-gumi”
  • the Chinese “Hong Wei-bing” [“Red Guard”]

Islamic equivalents (invariably fascist) now exist as the Saudi “Mutawa” in Arabia, the Khomeinist “Basij” (“Quds force” and Islamic Revolutionary Guard corps) in Iran, and the “JAWI” in Malaysia–each of which act as religious police. {18}  Note that any distinction between an elite guard and a police force tends to blur–as both involve both secrecy and militarism, serving a central authority in despotic ways.  The Kanuri (Nigerian) despot, Sani Abacha was Muslim–though he did not seem to be concerned with sharia so much as unadulterated fascism.  Such was also the case with African strong-men like Idi Amin (Uganda) and Muammar Gaddafi (Libya).

The fascist tradition in Dar al-Islam harkens back to the “Haras” of the Umayyads and Abbasids.  Typically, inner circles–especially when based on militancy–are reserved exclusively for men.  Their mission usually involves some notion of security as it relates to blood and sand (via divine Providence).  The singular exception to this–for reasons that may never fully be known–was Libya’s “al-Rahibat al-Thawriyyat” under Muammar Qaddafi; which was more a personal retinue that it was a paramilitary unit, the “Liwa Haris al-Jamahiriyya”.

In the United States today, there are many cases of quasi-fascist organizations / groups masquerading as forces for good–from Christian Dominionist sects to Policemen’s Benevolent Associations. {19}

We should note that most fascists (that is: those who support one or another brand of fascism) tend to be against most–if not all–brands of fascism other than their own.  That one speaks out against all versions of fascism that are different from the version one espouses does not make one any less fascist.  Disliking most kinds of meat yet routinely consuming other kinds meat–or even ONE kind–does not make one non-carnivorous.  Imagine someone claiming to be against carnivorous diets as he feasts on his favored meat, pointing to all the kinds of meat he doesn’t eat.  (He may as well say: “I may be racist against THIS group, but look at all the instances of racism I’m against!”)  We encounter this perfidious gambit with Revisionist Zionists who elide their Judeo-fascism by flaunting the fact that they are adamantly opposed to, well, ANY OTHER manifestation of fascism.

One is only entitled to claim to be against X if one is against ALL forms of X.


{1  Note especially the “Ustashi” / “Ustasha” / “Ustashe”, who funneled hundreds of millions of dollars in Nazi loot through the Vatican, even after the conclusion of the second World War.  The notorious Croatian war-criminal, Ratko Mladic, is a reminder that fascism and Soviet-style “communism” are essentially the same thing.  Before becoming affiliated with the “Ustashi”, he had spent his career as a loadstar in the Yugoslav “League of Communists”; which was in keeping with the overtly fascistic “Chetniks”.}

{2  In Poland, the sine qua non of “Falanga” was Catholic totalitarianism.  Also note Roman Dmowski (founder of “Endecja”), who was active up until the 1930’s. Today, there is the “Law And Justice” Party.}

{3  The Walloon “Rexists” were led by Degrelle.  The Flemish “Rexists” were led by De Clercq.  (The latter was in league with the Dutch fascism of Anton Mussert.)  Both were an illustration of how fascism is hyper-nationalist, authoritarian, ethno-centric, and–typically–ultra-Catholic.  These baleful men were actually following a pattern first established by King Leopold II of Belgium–yet another Roman Catholic tyrant.}

{4  Adolf Hitler lived and died an official member of the Roman Catholic Church.  In 1941, he told Gerhard Engel, one of his generals: “I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so.”  It was the Roman Catholic Church that gave free passage to many Nazis after the war, providing refuge in places like Argentina.  The Vatican commemorated Hitler’s birthday until 1945.}

{5  This does not include Nazi lackeys, such as Laszlo Endre and Miklos Horthy von Nagybanya.  (Also of note was fascist cynosure, Gyula Gömbös de Jakfa, who was Protestant Christian.)  The primary fascist organization in Hungary was the “Nyilaskeresztes” [Arrow Cross] Party.}

{6  People like Franz Riedweg, Arthur Fonjallaz, Eugen Bircher, Rolf Henne, and Franz Burri were Nazi patsies.}

{7  Franco embodied a Castilian fascism, which claimed to represent the Eternal (Roman Catholic) Spain.}

{8  He represented an ultra-conservative version of Anglicanism (a.k.a. “High Anglican”)–which was essentially the Roman Catholic Church without the Vatican…and infused with a hefty dose of British Exceptionalism.}

{9  Also note the ideologue, Alexandru C. Cuza; and military leader, Alexandru Averescu.  Romanian fascism operating under the aegis of “The Legion of the Archangel Gabriel” (a.k.a. the “Iron Guard”).}

{10 “America: The Farewell Tour”, p. 197.}

{11  The examples of proto-fascist Catholics in America are too numerous to mention.  Upon looking, we find a confederacy of dunces: Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, Sam Brownback, Paul Ryan, Rick Santorum, Marco Rubio, Mick Mulvaney, etc.  This is the case whether we are looking at the worst Supreme Court Justices (Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas) or the most objectionable political pundits (Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly).  There’s the hysterical anti-communist, Joseph McCarthy. There’s unscrupulous media mogul, Rupert Murdoch.  There’s Trump’s shameless Attorney General, William Barr.  And there has been a grotesque pantheon of political operatives–from Phyllis Schlafley, William F. Buckley Jr., and Lee Atwater to Larry Kudlow, Michael Novak, and Steve Bannon.  The list is long when it comes to imbeciles and fanatics who have risen to prominence in America–a list that exhibits an unmistakable Catholic trend.  Try to name a SINGLE figure in recent history who was both a great intellectual and an ardent Catholic.  Not one exists.  This is no coincidence.  In the modern age, it is impossible to be both a hidebound Catholic and a genuine scholar; as the two are mutually exclusive.  Looking for intellectual activity within the walls of Vatican City would be like searching for a vegan in a steak house.}

{12  In a reminder that fascisms tend to be symbiotic, the Likud government of Israel (Judeo-fascism) has opted to ally itself with the House of Saud (Sunni fascism)…both as a counterpoint to the Iranian theocracy (Shia fascism).  This is no coincidence.  The Revisionist Zionism now prevailing in the Levant is the most malignant form of fascism of the past half-century.  This is not a matter of fascistic figures who just happen to be Jewish (as ethnicity is an independent variable, barring the degree to which the figure HIMSELF makes ethnicity a factor).  To qualify as bona fide fascism, theocratic Judaism must be operative at the government level–exhibiting all the features of fascism-in-general (e.g. militant, ethno-centric hyper-nationalism). For more on Revisionist Zionism, see the Appendix.}

{13  If one looks especially at the shura council of Quetta, Balochistan or at the Tehrik-i Taliban of Pakistan, one will see examples of textbook fascism.  Such regimes demonstrate that the difference between totalitarian theocracy and what might be considered the more secular aspects of fascism go hand-in-hand.}

{14  The RSS is a movement that is essentially “Hindutva” gone haywire.  Its leader from 1940 to 1973, M.S. Golwalkar, openly admired Adolph Hitler for calling for the ethnic purity of the country.}

{15  The current regime under Xi Jin-ping is unabashedly fascistic–expressing contempt for the very concept of human rights. It is the very definition of authoritarian ethno-nationalism.}

{16 The Koch brothers come from a Dutch Reform background. While sacred doctrine doesn’t inform their right-wing libertarianism, they are a reminder that corporatism is perfectly compatible with religionism.}

{17  Note here that I am referring to official organizations–an elite (imperial) guard [alt. security force]; not to hired government thugs (as with Sudan’s “Janjaweed”, Syria’s “Shabiha”, or Egypt’s “Baltageya”).  The overall concept of State-enforced compliance with religious rules (that is: a religious police) is known as “hisbah” in the Arab tradition.  Virtually every imperium has some form of “elite guard” corps.}

{18  Though fascistic, the Baathist “Mukhabarat” was secular.  The Mexican “guardas blancas” were secular–as have been most government-based death squads in Latin America, who–while typically serving Roman Catholic regimes–were not galvanized by religious fervor.}

{19  New York City’s P.B.A. is perhaps the most notorious: essentially a proto-fascist organization–nay, hate group–masquerading as a labor union. Suggesting that a police state “benevolence” is nothing short of preposterous; though it is standard operating procedure for police states. Ingratiating pretense is commonplace for fascists.  Supporters of Revisionist Zionism, for example, fancy passing themselves off as proponents of “human rights”. Orwellian labels are commonplace–as with, say, the “Association Of American Physicians And Surgeons”: a right-wing lobby that is rabidly anti-science.  And the “American Liberty League”: a fascist lobby that promoted corporatism and (Roman Catholic) theocracy in the 1930’s and 40’s.}

{20  North Korea is a textbook case of totalitarian theocracy–with “Juche” as its religion.  These regimes operated under the auspices of “communism”–an utterly vacuous label that emulated ultra-right-wing ideology (with “Marxist” pretexts).  The trend began with the “Bolshevik Turn” that inaugurated Leninism c. 1917 (which was followed by Stalinism).  This obscene inversion of “socialist” ideals was analogous to the “Jacobin Turn” under the tutelage of Maximilien Robespierre in Paris c. 1791.  Soviet-style “communism” is the antithesis of everything Karl Marx stood for.  Indeed, Marx was against all systems of domination / oppression / exploitation / marginalization.  He was anti-authoritarian who was adamant about the importance of grass-roots, bottom-up control of society.  He advocated for a distribution of (socio-economic) power.  Fascism is authoritarian (top-down control of society) and based on highly-concentrated socio-economic power.  It is ENTIRELY ABOUT domination by one group, and the oppression / marginalization of another.}


Revisionist Zionism has often been referred to as “Kahanism” after one of its patriarchs: Meir David Kahane of Brooklyn, New York.  Also of note are:

  • Ze’ev Jabotinsky 
  • Abraham Isaac “ha-Kohen” Kook
  • Gush Emunim
  • Zvi Hirsch Kalischer
  • Samuel Klein
  • Judah ben Solomon Chai Alkalai
  • Moses Leib Lilienblum
  • Ben-Zion Dinur
  • Abba Ahimeir
  • Zvi Yehuda Kook
  • Avraham Shapira

Currently in power in Israel is “Likud” [In-gathering], which began as an ostensibly secular political party. A dozen more of the most fascistic organizations:

  • Kach [derived from the Irgun motto, “rak kach”]: “only thus”
  • B’rith Ha-Birionim: “Strongman Alliance” (alt. “Thugs of the Covenant”)
  • B’nai B’rith (alt. “Bene Brith”): “Sons of the Covenant”
  • B’nai Akiva: “Sons of Akiva” (the youth movement of Agudat Yisrael)
  • Agudat[h] Yisrael: “Union of Israel” (a.k.a. “Aguda”)
  • Herut: “Liberty” / “Freedom”
  • Gush Emunim: “Bloc of the Faithful”
  • Ha-Makhteret Ha-Yehudi[t]: “The Jewish Underground”
  • Otzma Yehudi[t]: “Jewish Power”
  • Ha-Beit Ha-Yehudi[t]: “The Jewish Home” (formerly the National Religious Front; and has recently spawning another fascist off-shoot: “Ha-Yamin He-Hadash”)
  • Yisrael Beiteinu: “Israel Our Home” (which, preposterously, fashions itself as “secular”)
  • Yisrael Sheli: “My Israel”

“Tnu’at Ha-Moshavim” [Moshavim Movement] is a radicalized version of what was originally the (secular / socialist) Labor Zionist movement.  Judeo-fascist organizations focused on hegemony in Jerusalem include the “Ir David Foundation” (a.k.a. “El-Ad”) and “Ateret Kohenim” [Crown of Priests].  A jurisprudential arm of the ideology is “Shurat Ha-Din” [Strict Judgement].  There is no better illustration of the emphasis on ethnic purity in Revisionist Zionism than “Le-Meniat Hitbolelut B’Eretz Ha-Kodesh” (a.k.a. “Lehava”), which means “The Prevention of Assimilation in the Holy Land”.  The “Herzl Institute” is nothing but a propaganda (“Hasbara”) promulgation apparatus–oddly named after the secular / socialist founder of the original Zionist movement.

The difference between Judaism and, say, Roman Catholicism and Islam is that the former is not INHERENTLY theocratic; whereas the latter were FOUNDED AS theocracies.  For more on the sources of Revisionist Zionism (read: Judaic ethno-nationalism), see my essay, “The History Of Sacred Texts”.

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