Friday, December 30, 2005

Is Fascism Left Wing or Right Wing?

From time to time, the term "fascist" gets bandied about, but what is fascism? It's always been difficult to pin down a definition, with some claiming it's a right wing ideology and some claiming it's a left wing ideology--ultimately in hopes of tarring their partisan rivals. In attempting to get to the truth, I decided I needed a more objective test--I decided to use the politics match quiz and plug in the answers based upon what--to the best of my perhaps poor scholarship--I believe to be the fascist position. For comparison, I also plugged in the Democratic and Republican party platforms. Below are tables comparing the positions, with my notes explaining the reasons for the answers I provided for the fascist position.

[Note: the Republican and Democratic parties' platform answers used in the quiz are based upon's work. For an explanation of the Republican answers click HERE. For an explanation of the Democratic answers click HERE.]

Individual rightsRepublicansDemocratsFascists
Abortion is a woman’s rightStrongly OpposeStrongly SupportStrongly Oppose
Require Companies to Hire More Women/MinoritiesStrongly OpposeStrongly SupportOppose
Sexual Orientation Protected by Civil Rights LawsStrongly OpposeStrongly SupportOppose
Permit Prayer in Public SchoolsSupportOpposeSupport

Fascists ideology is anti-abortion since it is a strongly socially conservative and militant belief system--abortion being seen as a crime against the perpetuation of the state and race. While typical fascist ideology isn't wholly against the idea of women working--it helps with the national mobilization--it is clearly against minorities being integrated into society. Fascist ideology is anti-homosexual, since homosexuality is not a traditional value, ans has no value in perpetuating the state by creating new generations. Fascism isn't anti-religion--religion being a part of the tradition of the in group, as well as a useful tool for controlling the population--and can tolerate prayer in school, so long as it doesn't contradict the government's teachings.

Crime and gunsRepublicansDemocratsFascists
Death PenaltyStrongly SupportSupportStrongly Support
Mandatory “Three Strikes” Sentencing LawsStrongly SupportOpposeStrongly Support
Absolute Right to Gun OwnershipStrongly SupportSupportOppose

Since Fascism is a very authoritarian ideology, it is pro death penalty and "three strikes" style laws, as they are seen as strongly maintaining an orderly society. Fascism is anti-gun, because an unarmed populace is a more compliant populace.

Medical/social securityRepublicansDemocratsFascists
More Federal Funding For Health CoverageOpposeStrongly SupportStrongly Support
Privatize Social SecuritySupportOpposeStrongly Oppose

Fascism is a system that relies to a great degree on central planning and the primacy of the state above the individual. For this reason, they are for a nationalized health system and against privatizing social security.

Parents Choose Schools via VouchersSupportStrongly OpposeStrongly Oppose

School vouchers erode the government's central role in maintaining social order and planning the economy, fascists are against this.

Other domestic issuesRepublicansDemocratsFascists
Reduce use of Coal, Oil, & Nuclear EnergyOpposeStrongly SupportSupport
Drugs Damage Society: Enforce Laws against UseStrongly SupportSupportStrongly Support
Allow Churches to Provide Welfare ServicesStrongly SupportSupportOppose

Fascists have historically been surprisingly pre-environment, since the environment is an important part of the in group's heritage--thus they are against overusing polluting technologies like oil and coal. Drugs are seen as unproductive and socially damaging, so fascists are against their use. Since fascism insists on the central role of the government, it is mostly against churches filling a role that is rightfully the government's.

Decrease Overall Taxation of the WealthyStrongly SupportSupportStrongly Oppose
Immigration Helps Our Economy – Encourage ItOpposeSupportStrongly Oppose

Fascism has historically been for progressive taxation and government management of surplus wealth. Fascism is a based on the idea of an in group or race, and therefore is strongly against integrating outsiders.

Support and Expand Free TradeSupportSupportOppose

Fascism is a protectionist ideology, preferring instead to get resources by conquest and colonization.

More Spending on Armed ForcesStrongly SupportSupportStrongly Oppose
Reduce Spending on Missile Defense (“Star Wars”)Strongly OpposeOpposeStrongly Oppose

Fascism is a very militant ideology, and therefore is against any cuts in the military.

Foreign affairsRepublicansDemocratsFascists
Link Human Rights to Trade with ChinaOpposeSupportStrongly Oppose
Seek UN Approval for Military ActionSupportStrongly SupportStrongly Oppose

In any situation where trade with a foreign nation is necessary, fascists would not be beholden to considerations of human rights--since in the fascist world-view the state is superior to the individual. In fascism, the state is first and last, and would not allow its actions to be limited by other inferior organizations.

After plugging in all these answers to the politics match quiz, the answers are plotted out as follows:

Note: the term "populism" is somewhat misleading, for it really means is "authoritarianism"--a large degree of government intervention in both social and economic affairs.

As can be seen from the graph, there is a world of difference between Fascist, Democratic, and Republican ideologies. It would be fair to say that fascism takes the social stance of the right, and the economic program of the left and combines it with more than a splash of racism--to create something that we don't have in America, aren't even close to now, and hopefully will never see.


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