April 11, 2024
Zork (The) Hun

This post is part of a series born out of my frustration over the sloppiness of our political discourse, a world where words mean not just what the speaker choses them to mean, but whatever meaning and implied intent is projected into them by the listener/reader.

Sidebar: you may have noticed that when I use the words ‘socialist’ and ‘communist’ as adjectives, describing ideas and policies, I tend to use them almost interchangeably.

The official doctrine (vision) of communism in the Soviet world came from two sources, Marx on communism:

“From each according to his ability, to each according to his need”;

and Saint-Simon on socialism:

“From each according to his ability, to each according to his contribution”

The difference was understood to be only a degree, a phase on the road to the ultimate goal set by Lenin:

“The goal of socialism is communism.”

Most so-called communist countries, even the USSR, had ‘socialist’ in their official name. That did NOT make them any less communist.

The understanding of the difference in the West is different:

Communism is totalitarian and socialism is democratic – as if THAT made a difference.

According to Ayn Rand:

“There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialism – by vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide.”

What does this all have to do with fascism? Quite a bit. Fascism is just another form of totalitarian socialism – the nationalist kind. Jonah Goldberg wrote a whole book about it:

Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Change A highly recommend reading.

Fascism is just a renegade branch of communism. The appendix of Liberal fascism is the platform of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party written by Adolf Hitler and Anton Drexler.

Mussolini started out as a communist. When he left the movement as a self-declared renegade, Lenin was bemoaning his loss to the international communist movement.

The birth of fascism was the repudiation of the international nature of communism which was based on the Marxist assumption that class-interest will trump national interest. WWI shattered the illusion and created a major crisis in the international communist movement. WWII irreparably tarnished fascism.