One of the reasons I do not compare Trump to Hitler is that Trump is nothing like Hitler. Hitler was, in spite of common belief, NOT a fascist. Hitler was a NAZI.
A.F.K. Organski, Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan argues that historical attempts to reconcile Fascism with the differences between Italy’s Mussolini and Germany’s Hitler are always doomed to failure because of this very issue. Organski concluded that Nazism, was not fascism.
“Hitler,” he wrote, “was an authoritarian dictator, a nationalist, an aggressor, a represser (.sic), and a madman, but he was not a fascist.” (This is also, I believe the main reason that Germany could not remain a true ally to Italy for the long-run, but instead became an occupier – Fascism & Nazism are incompatible, at least as incompatible as Nazism, true socialism, and communism).
Thus the reason I compare Trump to Mussolini, NOT Adolf Hitler (and I find comparisons to Hitler to be scholastically and historically disingenuous or dishonest).
But Trump IS a Fascist. To be specific, Trump is a Corpo-Fascist, one who would elevate the Corporate State above all else.
The man has already said that he would violate our civil rights, that disabled veterans are a nuisance, that he would commit war crimes… he is for lack of a better term, a Regressive, an anti-modernist, and an anti-populist (in the sense that his policies would harm the average American).
We’ve seen his type before, in 1934, General Hugh Johnson, the chief of the National Recovery Administration was forced from office because of his support of Italian practices in general and Benito Mussolini in particular. In fact, the NRA was largely an exercise in federal corporatism (another name for Corpo-Fascism) – a fact not lost on the Supreme Court which struck down the NRA over the course of two decisions in 1935-1936 (Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, 295 U.S. 495 (1935) & United States v. Butler, 297 U.S. 1 (1936).
Note: historians who compare the behavior of New Deal with those of Fascist Italy abound – that is a very complex topic way beyond the scope of this essay. Suffice to say, that since the Reagan era, this nation has been in a resurgence of the neo-Corporatist movement – that is, the protection, and nurturing of corporations by the government.
Well, crap…this actually creates an even greater dilemma for me as an anti-fascist…this information means that the problem doesn’t just lie with the current presumed GOP nominee for president in 2016… it means that now, there is a link between the Reaganite Neo-Cons, their leader Ronald Reagan, a man who was a traitor to his country, and Corpo-Fascism. It implies that there is a greater subversive movement afoot by the Neo-Cons of the Reagan era (and possibly – probably before), to destroy liberal democracy in the United States by inches.
Can the Fascist propaganda of Mussolini and General Johnson be directly linked to the pro-Corpo-state- policies of the right wing Neo-Cons? Can it the admiration of Corpo-Fascism in the United States in the early 20th Century be directly followed to the nomination of a Corpo-Fascist today? It is a question that will require significant research to know for sure, and to follow the path of its origins… crap, I hate it when I make more work for myself…..
But make no mistake, the presumed nominee, Donald J. Trump, is the very definition of a Corpo-Fascist. Just as a reminder, there are seven mobilizing passions of the fascist.
- The primacy of the group, toward which one has duties is superior to every right, whether universal or individual.
- The belief that one’s group is a victim, a sentiment which justiﬁes any action against the group’s enemies, internal as well as external. This is the most glaring characteristic of those who support demagogues, VICTIMHOOD – so you see, VICTIMS vote for people like Trump because he makes them feel powerful. It’s NOT strength, nor is it courage; it is weakness – their own weakness – that attracts people to monsters like Trump.
- Dread of the group’s decadence under the corrosive effect of individualistic and cosmopolitan liberalism.
- Closer integration of the community within a brotherhood (fascio) whose unity and purity are forged by common conviction, if possible, or by exclusionary violence if necessary.
- An enhanced sense of identity and belonging, in which the grandeur of the group reinforces individual self-esteem.
- Authority of natural leaders throughout a fascist society, culminate in a national chieftain who alone is capable of incarnating the group’s destiny. These leaders are always male (the term Fem-Nazi is a complete misnomer that only exists in the genre of exploitation fiction), they are also always visibly heterosexual (though behind closed doors, who knows – how does one explain a baby-blue general’s uniform?) always of the “correct” religion. There is also generally a strong-female auxiliary with corresponding characteristics.
- The beauty of violence and of will, when they are devoted to the group’s success in a Darwinian struggle
Trump has expressed and exhibited every single one of these in spades. I have said it before, and I will say it again until people listen; there is no such thing as a good Fascist.