What is a fascist?
How many fascists have we?
How dangerous are they?
A fascist is one whose lust for money or power is combined with such an intensity of intolerance toward those of other races, parties, classes, religions, cultures,regions or nations as to make him ruthless in his use of deceit or violence to attain his ends.
The supreme god of a fascist, to which his ends are directed, may be money or power; may be a race or a class; may be a military, clique or an economic group; or may be a culture, religion, or a political party.
The perfect type of fascist throughout recent centuries has been
the Prussian Junker, who developed such hatred for other races and
such allegiance to a military clique as to make him willing at all
times to engage in any degree of deceit and violence necessary to
place his culture and race astride the world. In every big nation of
the world are at least a few people who have the fascist temperament.
Every Jew-baiter, every Catholic hater, is a fascist at heart. The
hoodlums who have been desecrating churches, cathedrals and
synagogues in some of our larger cities are ripe material for fascist
The obvious types of American fascists are dealt with on the air
and in the press. These demagogues and stooges are fronts for others.
Dangerous as these people may be, they are not so significant as
thousands of other people who have never been mentioned. The really
dangerous American fascists are not those who are hooked up directly
or indirectly with the Axis. The FBI has its finger on those. The
dangerous American fascist is the man who wants to do in the United
States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian
way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His
method is to poison the channels of public information. With a
fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the
public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving
the fascist and his group more money or more power.
If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict
puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are
undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are
probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to
include only those who in their search for money and power are
ruthless and deceitful. Most American fascists are enthusiastically
supporting the war effort. They are doing this even in those cases
where they hope to have profitable connections with German chemical
firms after the war ends. They are patriotic in time of war because
it is to their interest to be so, but in time of peace they follow
power and the dollar wherever they may lead.
American fascism will not be really dangerous until there is a
purposeful coalition among the cartelists, the deliberate poisoners
of public information, and those who stand for the K.K.K. type of
The European brand of fascism will probably present its most
serious postwar threat to us via Latin America. The effect of the war
has been to raise the cost of living in most Latin American countries
much faster than the wages of labor. The fascists in most Latin
American countries tell the people that the reason their wages will
not buy as much in the way of goods is because of Yankee imperialism.
The fascists in Latin America learn to speak and act like natives.
Our chemical and other manufacturing concerns are all too often ready
to let the Germans have Latin American markets, provided the American
companies can work out an arrangement which will enable them to
charge high prices to the consumer inside the United States.
Following this war, technology will have reached such a point that it
will be possible for Germans, using South America as a base, to cause
us much more difficulty in World War III than they did in World War
II. The military and landowning cliques in many South American
countries will find it attractive financially to work with German
fascist concerns as well as expedient from the standpoint of
temporary power politics.
Fascism is a worldwide disease. Its greatest threat to the United
States will come after the war, either via Latin America or within
the United States itself.
Still another danger is represented by those who, paying lip
service to democracy and the common welfare, in their insatiable
greed for money and the power which money gives, do not hesitate
surreptitiously to evade the laws designed to safeguard the public
from monopolistic extortion. American fascists of this stamp were
clandestinely aligned with their German counterparts before the war,
and are even now preparing to resume where they left off, after "the
present unpleasantness" ceases:
The symptoms of fascist thinking are colored by environment and
adapted to immediate circumstances. But always and everywhere they
can be identified by their appeal to prejudice and by the desire to
play upon the fears and vanities of different groups in order to gain
power. It is no coincidence that the growth of modern tyrants has in
every case been heralded by the growth of prejudice. It may be
shocking to some people in this country to realize that, without
meaning to do so, they hold views in common with Hitler when they
preach discrimination against other religious, racial or economic
groups. Likewise, many people whose patriotism is their proudest
boast play Hitler's game by retailing distrust of our Allies and by
giving currency to snide suspicions without foundation in fact.
The American fascists are most easily recognized by their
deliberate perversion of truth and fact. Their newspapers and
propaganda carefully cultivate every fissure of disunity, every crack
in the common front against fascism. They use every opportunity to
impugn democracy. They use isolationism as a slogan to conceal their
own selfish imperialism. They cultivate hate and distrust of both
Britain and Russia. They claim to be super-patriots, but they would
destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand
free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested
interest. Their final objective toward which all their deceit is
directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of
the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep
the common man in eternal subjection.
Several leaders of industry in this country who have gained a new
vision of the meaning of opportunity through co-operation with
government have warned the public openly that there are some selfish
groups in industry who are willing to jeopardize the structure of
American liberty to gain some temporary advantage. We all know the
part that the cartels played in bringing Hitler to power, and the
rule the giant German trusts have played in Nazi conquests.
Monopolists who fear competition and who distrust democracy because
it stands for equal opportunity would like to secure their position
against small and energetic enterprise. In an effort to eliminate the
possibility of any rival growing up, some monopolists would sacrifice
It has been claimed at times that our modern age of technology
facilitates dictatorship. What we must understand is that the
industries, processes, and inventions created by modern science can
be used either to subjugate or liberate. The choice is up to us. The
myth of fascist efficiency has deluded many people. It was
Mussolini's vaunted claim that he "made the trains run on time." In
the end, however, he brought to the Italian people impoverishment and
defeat. It was Hitler's claim that he eliminated all unemployment in
Germany. Neither is there unemployment in a prison camp.
Democracy to crush fascism internally must demonstrate its capacity
to "make the trains run on time." It must develop the ability to keep
people fully employed and at the same time balance the budget. It
must put human beings first and dollars second. It must appeal to
reason and decency and not to violence and deceit. We must not
tolerate oppressive government or industrial oligarchy in the form of
monopolies and cartels. As long as scientific research and inventive
ingenuity outran our ability to devise social mechanisms to raise the
living standards of the people, we may expect the liberal potential
of the United States to increase. If this liberal potential is
properly channeled, we may expect the area of freedom of the United
States to increase. The problem is to spend up our rate of social
invention in the service of the welfare of all the people.
The worldwide, agelong struggle between fascism and democracy will
not stop when the fighting ends in Germany and Japan. Democracy can
win the peace only if it does two things:
Speeds up the rate of political and economic inventions so that
both production and, especially, distribution can match in their
power and practical effect on the daily life of the common man the
immense and growing volume of scientific research, mechanical
invention and management technique. Vivifies with the greatest
intensity the spiritual processes which are both the foundation and
the very essence of democracy.
The moral and spiritual aspects of both personal and international
relationships have a practical bearing which so-called practical men
deny. This dullness of vision regarding the importance of the general
welfare to the individual is the measure of the failure of our
schools and churches to teach the spiritual significance of genuine
democracy. Until democracy in effective enthusiastic action fills the
vacuum created by the power of modern inventions, we may expect the
fascists to increase in power after the war both in the United States
and in the world.
Fascism in the postwar inevitably will push steadily for Anglo-
Saxon imperialism and eventually for war with Russia. Already
American fascists are talking and writing about this conflict and
using it as an excuse for their internal hatreds and intolerances
toward certain races, creeds and classes.
It should also be evident that exhibitions of the native brand of
fascism are not confined to any single section, class or religion.
Happily, it can be said that as yet fascism has not captured a
predominant place in the outlook of any American section, class or
religion. It may be encountered in Wall Street, Main Street or
Tobacco Road. Some even suspect that they can detect incipient traces
of it along the Potomac. It is an infectious disease, and we must all
be on our guard against intolerance, bigotry and the pretension of
invidious distinction. But if we put our trust in the common sense of
common men and "with malice toward none and charity for all" go
forward on the great adventure of making political, economic and
social democracy a practical reality, we shall not fail.
Continue: Watergate II
Mediocre times produce the very worst that the world has to offer:
Laden, Bush, Hussein, Sharon, and Blair. None but the feeble minded
inspiration from such a ghastly lineup of "leaders".
Turn Off TV and Turn On Quantum
Humanity's most valuable possessions are Clean Water, Clean air, and Trees