“CULTURAL MARXISM: The Corruption of America” (plus my thoughts)

This film might strike some as a piece of shameless propaganda:

In it’s own special way, it indeed is. Plenty of truths contained therein, so I would recommend it to others, but only if you promise to sit through the whole 90 minutes. Made me twitch with rebuttals and quibbles, but still I’m glad I watched that tonight because it got me thinking.

Said before and will keep saying that the term “cultural Marxis” has become a misnomer. And this matters because accuracy in language is especially needed on concepts of this magnitude. Previously wrote on here how I view Karl Marx being blamed for all modern problems due to this ideology that continues to bare the name “cultural Marxism” despite it having little to nothing to do with what Marx was actually about. Ok, there are a few points to be made here.

First off, economic class concerns in the 1880s during the rise of Industrialization coinciding with the rise of what we know of as capitalism, which in short order began paving the way toward corporatism. Karl Marx was a product of the 19th century when agrarianism was still common and factories were pretty new. Conditions within those factories hadn’t been regulated yet, so employees could be treated as relatively disposable, creating a situation arguably not a huge step up from slavery. He foresaw what that might develop into, so far as one reasonably could way back then, pre-20th century modernization. And he rightfully protested it, like any luddite worth his salt would. Hell, had I been in his shoes I’d likely have tried sounding the alarm too, and so did plenty of others. Not like Marx was the only one to ever express an opinion on this matter, nor that his teachings were the primary ones to prove super influential on the predecessors to those now known as SJWs. Lots of thinkers contributed to the ideology being referred to as “cultural marxism.”

It’s obvious what it is now is an ideology fashioned over the last century to suit the interests of globalists and power-seekers. Certainly not benefiting the people Marx ever had in mind. Complete reversal instead. That’s what’s so insidious and destructive and outright dishonest about continuing to refer to that ideology as “cultural marxism.” How can opposites both be forms of Marxism? Because it’s evolved, you say? Then why keep calling it by defunct language? Only confuses people, like the maker of that otherwise pretty interesting documentary. Or maybe for some people the term “cultural marxism” really just serves as politically-less-incorrect code for Jews. That’s what I’m starting to think this business of holding onto that term and warning people off of having anything to do with the Frankfurt School authors as though their books were possessed by the devil.

I’ve read number books by Erich Fromm, and guess what, folks! He’s on our side. Read him and see. He wrote against us becoming automatons and corporate and/or government slaves. Not on the side of the globalists. Which people might realize if they actually took time to read the authors they’re criticizing (or in Fromm’s case there, a title page merely flashed across the screen — deemed automatically guilty by association for being a member of the Frankfurt School — no one who studied Marx’s writings could possibly be nuanced and critical in his treatment of it, right? NOT IF THEY WERE IN THE FRANKFURT SCHOOL. Oy.  rolleyes_smilie  Yet another example of how we remain willfully blind.) Excerpts from a few of Fromm’s books I’ve transcribed onto this blog for anyone curious enough to take a glimpse into the sort of things he actually said.

So anyway, Marx wasn’t aiming to be some sort of malicious devil or usher for the rise of totalitarian states. Goes to show how much control we have over what’s done with our ideas once we’ve shared them. Can take on a life of their own. Or be co-opted. Maybe also inverted so that the public gets the message that being class conscious is no different than being race or sex/gender conscious. All are the same and all belong on the political Left. And that’s where there’s a serious problem, considering how much class consciousness really ought to matter to so many of us relative to the few who’ve become an enormously influential economic elite. That’s on a special level way above snowflake identity politics or even race relations seeing as how we’re all in the same societal basket headed in the same direction. That is key, and I don’t think it’s a mistake that the situation has been framed the way it was in that film in relation to so-called “cultural marxism.” Plenty of other sources do the same thing, I’ve seen.

All those dots connected around the 1-hour mark onward — valuable. Too bad they’re packaged in with”cultural marxism”-declaring propaganda. Reduces the whole film’s credibility, that along with the hokey voice-overs and lack of informative explanation on what was proposed by Marx and Frankfurt School authors. Basically just pointed to them and sneered, booing us away from paying too much mind to them other than aiming to avoid them at all cost. Not useful. Propagandist dick move there. Inaccurate for the sake of protecting some semblance of what capitalism was envisioned to be. We’re now post that, whether we like it or not.

This is where I deviate sharply from this film and others like it. Is there a conspiracy of Jews influenced by Marx and whomever else trying to run the world? Who cares? Would it really matter what ethnicity they happen to be? Followers of a globalist agenda obviously aren’t all Jewish (like the Clintons and Bushes and Obamas). Everybody like to form an elaborate theory about who’s angling for power and why and what all they may be tied into. Here’s all we need to know: totalitarianism is the ultimate threat. It’s anti-capitalist, anti-true socialism even, anti-individual, anti-social, anti-human. Whatever form it may take isn’t of particular importance, not in the big picture. At least not outside of comprehending the steps of that rise and consolidation of power.

Are certain relationships about power? Yes, they are. Probably not all, but when it comes to politics there’s most definitely always the threat of a power grab.

Now, in my own personal opinion, I don’t rightly care to nitpick anymore over what elements involved may have come about via intentional collusion and what might simply be the luck of the draw or mounting consequences of short-term opportunism or whatever else. Lots of moving parts at play in the 20th century. The convergence of a plethora of technologies inside growing nation-states and the rise of consumerism and a public education system and wars and exploring the sciences (including psychology) and corporatism and the explosion of our economy….on and on it goes. So much unprecedented shit happening all at once, coming in from every which way. Distractions galore. Looks to me to simply be a conspiracy of Life. So much culminated into the conditions we’re experiencing now, so much that couldn’t have been foreseen or predicted. And some people take advantage of the situation, as to be expected.

Tyranny lurks and seeks out opportunity. Why? Because power does matter to us humans, and to some a whole lot more than others. The will to play god will probably never go out of style. Something psychological within inclines us that way. And some succeed from time to time. Tragic when that happens.

Acknowledging all of that, the part in the film where they talk about our U.S. Constitution and the visions of our forefathers I am deeply in agreement with, BUT we nowadays face the conundrum of living in such complex societies that are indeed already globally connected through markets and military threats. The notion of doing away with our standing army at this point would strike nearly all as ludicrous and surely national suicide. Having a standing army (or in our case, a whole military-industrial complex) is deemed a necessity to at least remain sovereign. But then, of course, that’s never what a military remains limited to, especially not one as powerful as ours. Then there’s also the concern about how the U.S. military is essentially an employment sector by now, and a huge one at that. Employs over a million citizens, I believe. How would anyone wish to go about dismantling that mammoth? Would prove political suicide for a candidate to even suggest such a thing.

See, this is where we’re wrapped up in paradoxes of our own human creation. Not sure how we wriggle out of this mess. It’s become self-perpetuating. And, unfortunately, increasingly less transparent as well as less accessible by the average citizen. I completely agree with the documentary-makers’ sentiments expressed about state and local rights, but how do we check federal powers at this point? Sure, absolutely most of Congress deserves to be impeached. I’ve been saying that for over a decade. But how? We’ve become so divided and are firmly bogged down arguing over so many less important matters. Which propaganda aided in bringing about.

Sure, people should cancel their cable subscriptions and quit believing what’s put on by the mainstream media. Stop paying for pop culture garbage over intellectually-beneficial content. Easy to say, but no way to enforce it. Barely can entice those who aren’t already curious and seeking. Demonstrating how Americans got in this mess in the first place: we suck at remaining vigilant and principled.

Is pessimism also a feature of “cultural marxism”?  lol  He claimed so, but that’s ridiculous. One can recognize the present situation for what it is and still work toward protecting what we’re able. I won’t pretend to be optimist about what may lay in store. But we work with what we can. We start clarifying our values and living in accordance. Whether we ultimately triumph as a people in the end or not, it’s the journey that’s of most concern since that’s day by day. One foot in front of the other. Less overwhelming when we each try to take it on as that.

That’s enough to say on this for one evening.

Tangled paradoxes

In each corridor I go in search of answers another paradox shows itself. Was just chatting last night with a buddy and this topic arose, since I can’t shut up about it. I’m always left frustrated by how all seemingly good ideas still wind us humans up in what appear to be unwinnable conundrums.

If we fight some other power to keep it from overtaking us (as in the cases of countries waging war), we risk our own society becoming damaged in the process. In the case of warfare: through maintaining standing armies and the risks (and empire-building) that go along with that; through attacking foreign nationals who very often are mere civilians not belonging to the extremist groups said to be presenting a direct threat to us (which then diminishes people’s respect for our nation’s military actions and gives rise to protests among our own citizens); through the exorbitant costs associated with waging war and how that impacts our economy overall, including how the military wound up transformed into a permanent employment sector in its own right; through soldiers potentially winding up psychologically or physically impacted as a result (and how that then impacts their families and the morale of the nation); through corporations finding ways to cash in on the war games via State contracts, which then provides them with an incentive to further lobby to keep us engaged in war where it can prove profitable; etc.

That’s just a cursory look at how ongoing warfare has led to negative consequences with lasting impact on a nation and its people and their way of life. And that’s not even going into how militarization has seeped into domestic police forces and influenced their tactics used.

See, the problem here for me is that I cannot figure out how we’re not ultimately going to wind up in a totalitarian setup eventually, somehow, some way. All roads appear to lead in that direction, regardless of people’s good intentions or what great ideas they might originally be operating with. Because technologies have changed the way the whole game of Life is played anymore, as have modern economics. The complexity is inescapable at this point, and yet history has taught us that the devil is in the details. What this might mean here is that the means employed determine the end outcome, unrealistic utopian fantasies set aside since they hold no real bearing. And it also means that any highly complex setup is vulnerable to corruption and ‘siphoning’ at various levels therein (as in the case of corporations getting into the mix and seeking ways to profit, even though through doing so they add greater complexity, which then further obscures the total reality of the situation, making it all the more cumbersome to apply necessary and effective checks and balances). Economic efficiency becomes a high priority, which comes with its own drawbacks in terms of how we humans are expected to mold ourselves to fit these demands. Before we know it, maintaining the system in question at all costs becomes a primary focus, because we’ve come to depend upon it and are accustomed to it and basically form an irrational attachment to it, even when it’s demonstrably creating more problems than it’s capable of solving.

The dog days are over…

If we minimized the size, scope and roles of our government, we’d potentially leave ourselves open and vulnerable to other nations that fortify and strengthen their own. And if we further strengthen and enlarge our own, this cycle of ramping up never ends — forward to totalitarianism. Can’t truly opt out or escape since the problem’s gone global and shows no signs of slowing anytime soon. This places us in the precarious situation of forcing all other nations to stand down against our demands, lest we wind up being made to stand down to theirs. MAD (mutually-assured destruction) is still with us — it never left and it likely never will.

If we don’t secure our borders, we risk being invaded, if only by an onslaught of immigrants who then wind up dramatically impacting our culture. But if we close our borders, we’re trapping ourselves inside every bit as much as we’re working to keep others out. And, realistically speaking, how does one truly and sufficiently go about securing a nation’s borders? The most determined will likely still find a way, especially along coastlines. This leads back to a massive top-down operation which is only possible under a powerful government. Which then, again, helps pave the way toward totalitarianism.

Another buddy and I were discussing the other day his concerns over climate change and what possible options people have at this point for reversing this trend (if one accepts climate change as a human-exacerbated phenomenon). He speaks of wind and solar power and people growing their own food and living simply. That all sounds well and good, BUT, again, climate change is only one concern among many that humans face today. We can’t put all of our energy toward addressing that, not when that’d leave us wide open in other areas. (See what I said above already about warfare and immigration.) Not to mention that the vast majority of people, here in the U.S. and elsewhere worldwide, don’t view this issue as being the numero uno concern to tackle. Plus, plenty of people are open to nuclear power because they’d rather that than accept drastic changes to their lifestyles and be forced to make sacrifices. Beyond that, these massive wind turbines and complex solar panels are sophisticated technologies requiring corporate manufacturing. Keeps us tied into the money game, which then keeps us supporting this global economic situation, whether we want to or not and likely to humanity’s detriment in the long-run. But it’s inescapable at this juncture.

In continuing our conversation on the matter, I told this buddy that if it came down to jumping on board with a top-down scheme that claims to be capable of handling administering such an undertaking as retooling our energy infrastructure, I’ll personally have to side with not. Not that I don’t care about the environment and not that I don’t think renewable energy is something worth striving toward (or getting back to), but the top-down scheme is yet another avenue toward totalitarianism. It helps pave that road to hell, all good intentions aside. This depresses him to think about, understandably so. But consider how China behaves as if its manufacturing base doesn’t care and how our nation cannot do much to change that. Even if we boycott their products, at this point they’re too powerful and it’s already too late (Thanks WALMART and other big-box stores). Probably shouldn’t have shipped so much of our manufacturing infrastructure to that country in the first place. But what’s done is done — our lack of foresight has screwed us once again.

This all ties in with conversations on how “Leftists” talk the talk when it comes to “green living,” but in reality they’re as tied in and dependent on the current status quo as the rest of us. Driving a Prius doesn’t really change a thing. Small drops in the bucket might make us feel better, like we’re at least doing our part to try to improve environmental conditions, but very often it’s just another illusion. Why? Because we live in a massive infrastructure, a concrete jungle, powered by heavy dependence on oil and coal, and even if we switched over to nuclear power that wouldn’t imply our biggest worries are behind us. Possibly Chernobyl-izing more arable land sounds every bit as folly as anything else humanity has managed to step in thus far.

Sound pessimistic? Yeah, I know. Yet another reason for why I’m not having kids.

Any and all attempts to reverse these trends or to take an alternative path is fraught with equally bad, if not much worse, consequences. We have a massive global population and must contend with the competition that arises over resources as a result. And the complexity of the technologies we in developed nations rely most on are fueled by the big money game. One way or another, major corporations are here to stay (unless we manage to across-the-board knock ourselves back into the Stone Age somehow). Government can either attempt to regulate them or become enmeshed and intertwined with them, the latter already being the case. So big government’s here and big business is here and neither are going anywhere. Any ideas we come up with to try to overhaul life as we know it will depend on these entities aiding us. Because asking them to stand aside and not obstruct us just isn’t realistic anymore. All possible solutions will be handled by some sort of centralized power, top-down system. These entities indeed intend to maintain the power they have already and to expand it where possible. That is their driving goal, for better or worse.

And this is where someone like me can’t sufficiently adapt. Have to so long as I’m here, but really resenting where it all appears to be heading. What other alternatives are feasible? Split this country into several sovereign communities (as it once was intended to be) where each does as it wishes and no centralized power can dictate, and we’ll probably wind up invaded by both Mexico and Canada by next week. Simply because then they could. We’d be rendered defenseless. So the “traditional” dream is dead, folks. I too like the idea of people living on the land and staying out of the muck so long as they’re able. Best of luck to them! I don’t begrudge people for doing what they think is best during what time remains that they can get away with it. But I see limits on the horizon. Eventually the old ways won’t be allowed to fly any longer, and they won’t prove sustainable or practical for most. Not in this setup.

Welcome to modern life.

I don’t know what to say to us right about now. Feels like nearly all advice is pointless. People are going to do what people are going to do. And I suspect some of those unable or unwilling to adjust will turn destructive as a result. That’s to be expected from obstructed people whose lives feel devoid of meaning, made to compete with machines that grow more sophisticated by the year, made to play a game that not everybody can win at (or even nominally succeed at). Such is modern life. Some will give up before even leaving the starting line. And I won’t be surprised if a growing number of people choose not to have children as well…kind of like caged animals in a zoo reacting to being kept in captivity. Won’t surprise me a bit. And there’s where we get into another arm of what will pave the way toward totalitarianism. The trend is already being labeled as “domestic terrorism,” though I prefer to simplify it by calling it what it is at root: insanity.

Insanity, as I prefer to refer to it as, can (and will) take many forms. People today sure do love to diagnose one another with various psychiatric labels, but in truth we’re all struggling to various degrees, pseudo-scientific explanations aside. Some cope better than others, but it’s mostly a matter of putting on an acceptable facade. We really have no idea what goes on behind the masks others show to the world, much as we love to speculate. Some insanity plays out in rather benign ways and is being catered to and exploited by Big Pharma. More severe cases warrant lock-up in mental institutions or prisons (which are fast becoming the same thing). All of that already plays into the power-structure-that-be. And when someone flips out and decides to go psycho on some random group of people, this reinforces the necessity of expanding domestic police forces and is then also used to justify them beefing up their security measures. Which corporations exploit by peddling wares to law enforcement agencies that allow for greater surveillance of the citizenry. This paranoid panic drummed up among the citizens through the popular media encourages us to turn on one another and to snitch to authorities, seeing as how we’re not all on the same team and regard one another more often than not as strangers worthy of suspicion. So we feed the beast, through our own actions or through alerting authorities to “questionable suspects,” and around and around it all spirals.

Where it ends, nobody knows…

Sound like a happy and productive future? Sound like something worth celebrating? Sound like a cause for optimism?

People say that we somehow need to regain the reins of this System, to figure out a way to subdue it and overhaul it, but time for that has passed. We’re now committed to it. We necessarily depend on it while simultaneously fearing its scope and power. The System is entrenched, and we’re entrenched within it, both as employees and citizens dependent on everything it offers in order to maintain our livelihoods. And what alternative is there?

Fight it how? Lobby to change a few laws? ha  Go for it, folks. Try that. As was brought up in a recent conversation, the moderate people do indeed wind up making concessions and compromises that inevitably just dig them deeper into this mess. The so-called “radicals” on the fringes, misguided as they may seem and indeed be, are the only ones willing to make a big stink, and how many do you imagine will wind up imprisoned for their troubles? But, then again, what alternative can the radicals bring to the table either? Thousands of communities going their own ways apparently won’t work anymore. A break in law and order would just result in opposing groups taking advantage of one another and seizing key resources for themselves. Because that’s where we stand today — saturated with several decades of easy living, forever seeking the easy way out, competing and pushing boundaries where we think we can get away with it — yet still up against other powers-that-be.

That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of good people in the world. But it only takes a calloused, self-serving, social-contract-dismissing minority interest to fuck it up for everybody else.

So there we have it. Where can we as individuals go from here when this is the outlook? Is this merely a problem in my own perception? What is still worth looking forward to and striving toward?

Anyway, my break is over and I need to head back to work.

[Lightly edited since for punctuation and greater clarification.]

“Fascism” and “Communism” aren’t opposites but rather analogous parallels (part 1 of my inquiry into “Leftists” vs. “Rightists”)

Finally have a free evening with no work obligations early in the morning. Woohoo!  So there’s time now to delve into a topic that’s been bugging me for years and has been revived recently due to conversations with an online buddy who likes to talk about “left vs. right” politics. I take the stance that this isn’t altogether a useful way to frame the issue, at least not anymore, not since “Left” and “Right” have become so watered down in meaning and casually bandied about to where the terms ring hollow.

I understand that people tend to get attached to their favorite terms and mental frameworks, BUT if it winds up causing more confusion than it’s worth and doesn’t aid us in communicating effectively on these matters, then what’s the real benefit?

So, to kick off what will likely require a few posts to address this topic, I’ll begin by posting up portions of a blog entry that was originally submitted on my old blog back in mid-2008:

totalitarian_extremesI said in a previous post that fascism and communism (as they’ve been put into practice) are basically twins sharing more in common than not.  Nevermind their varying ideological/philosophical justifications and underpinnings, fascism and communism/”socialism” (as these labels have been applied, leaving aside theoretical framework initially paid lip service to) have resulted in similar fates for their societies: single political party dominance and excessive, invasive control and manipulation of the citizenry.

When I refer to them as on “opposing sides” of the economic model spectrum, it might actually be better expressed as a full circle than a straight line, with (real?) democratic systems falling between these totalitarian extremes.u_shaped_commie_fascism

Or perhaps it would be best expressed as a “U-shaped” model where “fascism” and “communism” are represented as belonging on one side of the spectrum, opposing all democratic systems of governance. We know that communist and fascist governments (as labeled and practiced) have conveniently joined forces with one another in attempts to stamp out dissidence, as well as to expand their scope of influence out in the world, so this model makes the most sense to me [or at least it did by 2008].  Aside from their differing theoretical framework and economic arrangements, history shows that their activities and authoritarian tactics become virtually indistinguishable (e.g., compare WWII-era Germany with Italy and Russia).

So what do they consist of and in what ways do they differ? More importantly, in what ways are they similar?  And what exactly do we mean by “democratic systems”?  We’ll try to clarify our terms as we go.

First, both communism and fascism are types of authoritarian rule, where the interests and freedoms of the individual are subordinated to those of the state, and quite frequently a powerful leader.

Let me stop there for a reminder that authoritarian styles of governance are not always unwanted or undemocratic.   Sometimes, it is argued, a touch of authoritarianism is needed or even desirable.   But where do we draw the line, ensuring authority does not become too oppressive?

Quoting from a WikiAnswers page that no longer exists:

Secondly, in many cases both fascist and communist rule are bolstered by a highly powerful military apparatus, as a way to stifle opposition. Thirdly, both types of government are statist, in that the central government has some degree of control over the economic means of production (as opposed to, say a free market, or laissez-faire economy as in the US), and also oftentimes social policy.

Misleading text — the U.S. is most certainly not a true laissez-faire economy anymore and hasn’t been for a long, long time.

However, there are also notable differences.

Fascism tends to be driven by nationalistic or ethnic divisions. For example, Hitler’s NAZI party used populist appeals to ethnic divisions in Germany—especially hatred towards Jews—as a way to gain popular support.

Secondly, fascism has strong corporatist elements, where the government has significant control over private enterprise, but does not entirely co-opt it (as in, say, communism). The NAZIs, for example, considered themselves a “Third Way” between laissez-faire capitalism and socialism, in that rather than completely nationalizing industry and taking over the means of production, the government had a very powerful influence.

According to a post on Strike the Root (from 2005):

[…] The difference between fascism and communism is that in communism, the state owns everything outright; in fascism, a thin veneer of private ownership is maintained while the state exercises absolute control over industry. So the biggest difference between communism and fascism, which are both state socialistic governments, is that communism is complete state ownership, while fascism is complete state control. In economic and political effect, both are remarkably similar, and both oppose true free markets. Both communism and fascism value collectivism over individualism, and see the state as the ultimate expression of good, with the individual only existing to serve the state. Both communism and fascism have given rise to totalitarian police states, where the freedoms of individuals were sacrificed for the good of the state. In both communism and fascism, the state is everything, the individual is nothing. It is interesting to note that though both communism and fascism claim to be ideological enemies and complete opposites, for someone who values individual freedom and free markets, there is really no difference.

Now, let’s turn our attention for a moment to systems labeled as “democratic.”  Strike the Root goes on to say:

In Milton Friedman Unraveled, Murray Rothbard shows that there can be quite a difference between those who claim to support free markets and what they actually support. The section on Friedman’s Chicagoite Egalitarianism is especially illuminating, and contains the following insights: “The idea is that there are two sharply separated and independent worlds of economics. On the one hand, there is the ‘micro’ sphere, the world of individual prices determined by the forces of supply and demand. Here, the Chicagoans concede, the economy is best left to the unhampered play of the free market. But, they assert, there is also a separate and distinct sphere of ‘macro’ economics, of economic aggregates of government budget and monetary policy, where there is no possibility or even desirability of a free market . . . . In common with their Keynesian colleagues, the Friedmanites wish to give to the central government absolute control over these macro areas, in order to manipulate the economy for social ends, while maintaining that the micro world can still remain free. In short, Friedmanites as well as Keynesians concede the vital macro sphere to statism as the supposedly necessary framework for the micro-freedom of the free market.”  This is currently how democratic “free market” nation-states operate, and is very close or identical to the economic model of fascist state control. In truth, democratic socialist nation-states have mostly shunned state ownership of industries (communism), and have increasingly turned to privatization of state assets, while maintaining and increasing strict control of industries through legislation (fascism).

The relationship between the state and corporations that support the state is often termed “state capitalism.” Though there are other terms, like corporatism, that are also used, state capitalism fully denotes the illegal use of the state to fund capitalism. In state capitalism, the power of the state is used to create favorable legislation that rewards the politically well connected with legal plunder by eliminating or reducing competition and requiring that certain products be purchased or funded. State capitalism is the antithesis to free market capitalism. As Murray Rothbard denotes in A Future of Peace and Capitalism, “The difference between free-market capitalism and state capitalism is precisely the difference between, on the one hand, peaceful, voluntary exchange, and on the other, violent expropriation.” Mr. Rothbard shows that claims that capitalism is always the result of free market activity are not necessarily true, and any claims that any capitalistic activity is the result of free market policies needs to be judged solely on objective criteria of the free market itself.

It is clear that what we typically think of as “democratic societies” are actually sliding toward fascism/corporatism, even my own country — the U.S.A. (to be discussed in a future post).

Few can agree on a definition of “communism,” plus what Karl Marx envisioned was never (and likely can never be) put into practice.  We know what came to be known as “communism” were brutal, authoritarian regimes and most certainly not classless societies.

“Fascism” is equally confusing when we hear German Nazism and Mussolini’s Italian regime as well as Soviet Stalinism conflated under the same term.  We can agree though that all of these regimes proved to be brutal and authoritarian.  In other words, what all of these forms of governance have in common, regardless of their attached labels, is that they’re extremely oppressive toward people. They stifled dissent. They reduced or eliminated civil liberties as it suited the leaders’ interests. Their governments, in one way or another, exerted tremendous influence, if not outright control, over the economic sector, or vice versa. Examples provided by history demonstrate all can be considered Big Government models, and each used military might to reach its objectives, both domestically (think paramilitary or secret police forces) and against foreign entities/nations.

The real differences appear to be the means in which the end is reached, but once the end is realized those appear to be little more than nuances since the outcome is virtually identical.  If not exactly identical, they’re perceived as being as much by freedom-loving individuals since all possible ends involve brutal, authoritarian forms of government and result in mass oppression. What’s the real difference in that?  The government oppresses you directly or conspires with Big Business to do so.

Trivialities, if you ask me.

I would argue that all that has ever been put into practice turn out to be essentially fascist systems and that communism and socialism, as originally ideally envisioned, never truly came to be.  Misleading labels have been applied to confuse and manipulate publics.  Fascism occurs when major corporations and governments essentially merge; in this analysis it matters little which one dominates the other when the outcome is lousy either way.

Perhaps confusion would be lessened if we simply called oppressive forms of government what they truly are: totalitarian forms of government.

Wikipedia described Totalitarianism this way (at least it did back in 2008, though the page has since been updated):

Totalitarianism (or totalitarian rule) is a concept used to describe political systems where a state regulates nearly every aspect of public and private life. The term is usually applied to Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany or communist states, such as Stalinist Russia, Democratic Kampuchea, Vietnam, Mao-ere China, Cuba and North Korea. Totalitarian regimes or movements maintain themselves in political power by means of an official all-embracing ideology and propaganda disseminated through the state-controlled mass media, a single party that controls the state, personality cults, central state-controlled economy, regulation and restriction of free discussion and criticism, the use of mass surveillance, and widespread use of terror tactics.

That wikipedia page has since changed a bit, but I’m not interested in delving into more from there when better sources could shed more light on the topic.

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Just wanted to post all of the above on here as an opener to this conversation and to use this piece as a segue into the topic of “Rightists” and “Leftists” in the U.S. I hope this upcoming week allows more time to devote to this inquiry and that I can make a case for why the “Left vs. Right” framework obscures a deeper reality which is that most “Leftists” AND so-called “Rightists” both wind up supporting fascist and/or totalitarian schemes regardless of what they may claim as their political ideals.