Fascism is not merely dictatorship

Friday, October 7th, 2011

Fascism is not merely dictatorship, William S. Lind explains:

The core idea of fascism is will as the highest virtue. Fascism sought to drop the whole Judeo-Christian content of Western culture and return to the values of the classical world, where power was the greatest good. (What astonished Greeks and Romans about Christianity was not that it had a Savior who died and rose from the dead; many eastern mystery cults claimed the same. What astonished them was that these Christians’ God said, “I came not to be served, but to serve.”) To fascists, the exercise of power, will, was the supreme moral act.

This was a serious error, because it turned an instrumental value, will, into a substantive value. In reality, will is good or evil depending upon what is willed. By attempting to turn will into a substantive value, fascism destroyed itself: will led to Mussolini’s entry into World War II (had he remained neural, like Franco, he would probably have survived Hitler’s defeat), to Hitler’s offhand declaration of war on America (even after Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt would have had trouble getting an offensive declaration of war on Germany through Congress) and, ultimately, to the Holocaust: when the Nazis’ original aim of expelling the Jews from Europe became impossible because there was no place to send them, will demanded a Final Solution.


  1. BC says:

    Interesting typo there with “had he remained neural”. It works just as well as the intended “neutral”.

  2. Bruce Charlton says:

    The Lind piece seems wildly wrong in several places — does he really think the US is in danger of being gripped by ‘abstract nationalism’?

    Or that nationalism died in WWI? In some places, yes — but what about Ireland, Italy, Germany… (then jumping ahead) What about the post-Soviet fragmentation?

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