Ur-Fascism in its Depths
Ur-fascism in contrast to universal nationalism, and remarks on the New Right; I address some criticisms of fascist politics and defend its methods.
by Organon tou Ontos
“Caesarism and science together could evolve Faustian man; a civilisation which could renew its youth in a persisting dynamism…”
– Sir Oswald Mosley, ‘My Life’
1. Ur-fascism rejects universal nationalism and accepts inequality between peoples.
2. Ur-fascism unfolds a variety of methods to effect a people’s existence and persistence.
3. Ur-fascism reveals proximity between nationalism and fascism or National-Socialism.
Below, I expand on each of the above three positions and develop contrast and context.
(1) Ur-fascism agrees with universal nationalism that the intrinsic diversity of peoples is best expressed between, and not within, a nation. It differs from universal nationalism in that:
A. All peoples assert ethnic identity, but are entitled only to what they can take and assert.
B. All peoples want self-rule, but are unequal and this inequality will always express itself.
The universal nationalist position differs from the above two views in key ways. In his article, “A Brief Case for Universal Nationalism,” Guillaume Durocher argues that every people is a distinct historical, ethnic and racial entity and requires its own country and national identity. He argues that the failure of multiculturalism arises from the fact that peoples always act on impulses that originate from their ethnic and racial constitutions. In societies where there are multiple ethnicities and races, strife and tension are inevitable. Durocher goes on to argue that while diversity is valuable and natural, it is how it is exhibited that is paramount.
Ethnic and racial diversity is only legitimately expressed as a reality between nations, not within nations, and so the solution to the problem rests in different peoples having distinct nations of their own. I agree with Durocher on this point, but disagree in how this should be brought about and the assumptions that drive the solution. Durocher argues that not only do peoples want their own country, but that every people deserves and should have their own country. In addition, he argues that every people also not only wants its own country and national identity, but also seeks self-rule, and should not be ruled by other peoples.
The New Right embraces the universal nationalist position, while explicitly rejecting what it claims is the imperialism advocated by fascism. Rather than imposing rule on others, using forced expulsions or engaging in violent suppression of populations, a New Right advocate and the universal nationalist argues, we should engage in peaceful transfers of populations and nonviolent exchanges of individuals. While universal nationalists will accept a degree of interference, they reject on principle the subjugation of one people by another people. The practices of the Old Right are discredited and we require new political approaches.
The New Right commits the fallacy of oversimplification, however. Imperialism, colonialism, and expansionist irredentism long predated fascism and certainly have survived it. Recently, for example, Russia annexed the Crimea and is asserting itself in the “Near Abroad” of the former Soviet Republics. China is also increasingly imposing itself, economically, politically, and culturally on the smaller nations of the Pacific. Imperialism is not an abstract position advocated by fascism. It is an inevitable tendency of nations that are waxing or else gaining in strength. “Moral” objections to imperialism ring hollow in the face of crude reality.
A second and more relevant point is imperialism and colonialism were accepted by some fascist regimes but not by others. The NSDAP in Germany sought “living space” from the East and the Italian Fascist Party conceived of primarily cultural and historical “vital space” in the Mediterranean. The British Union of Fascists rejected further expansion, focusing on preserving the British Empire as it was. Norway’s National Gathering, Romania’s Iron Guard and other fascist parties rejected any desire for Empire. Ur-fascism reveals to us a myriad of policies, and in so doing, that a fascist regime is free to accept or reject imperialism.
What is integral to fascistic politics, rather, is the view that peoples and nations are unequal and that this inequality will be reflected in their relationships. A people will always seek its own national identity but this will rise or fall on its own strength and propensities, and every people may aspire to self-rule but the reality is that stronger nations will almost always seek to assert themselves over weaker peoples. Any question of practicing imperialism should be tied the vital interests of a people, not a prior abstract position. Understanding imperialism in this way helps us to view it in proper historical light, and relations between peoples.
(2) In challenging fascism and National-Socialism, the New Right objects to “totalitarianism,” political violence, violent revolution, police state “terrorism,” and imperialism. The reality is that the New Right is uncomfortable with anything that evokes moral dubiousness or explicit social disapproval. It seeks a moral high ground and a higher appraisal of the public. Having benefited from popular rejection of fascism, racism, and “Holocaust denial,” it refrains from challenging public views on any of these things while presenting itself as a mora advance over them. But it does so by adding several new layers of distortion and obfuscation.
Totalitarianism, as a concepts, personifies the reach of the fascist state. Mussolini used it to convey that all aspects of life would be touched by it. In reality, fascist regimes exhibited a wide range in degrees of authoritarianism. Within the kindred of adversity of decline arises a great degree of diversity. This reflected variability of local conditions, unique ethnic realities, and the scope and scale of societal rot and national decline that was being confronted. The core of fascism in practice is rejection of democracy in spirit, violent surface recovery of life in its innermost depths, and radical elevation of community over fleeting individual.
Political violence, violent revolution, or police state terrorism are also often denounced in the New Right. Their repudiation is often claimed to be grounded in “morality.” If pressed, the particular ethical system supposedly at its heart will likely not be specified: Kant, Mill, or else Biblical divine command, and more besides. It is more likely that they float terms like “moral” because they quickly resonate with a sensitive public. Rather than striving to desensitize the masses in view distortions about the past used to fuel our decline, the New Right capitalizes on it and juxtaposes itself to fascism by touching shallow passion in emotive masses.
The depth of the criticism of these methods depend on the author. One writer has criticized their relevance due to our technological level of sophistication, which supposedly makes the prospect of violent revolution unlikely or even unnecessary. The reality is that technological levels have nothing to do with the prospect of overthrowing a state. This argument could have been made one hundred years ago. If anything, technology has only brought the fact of immigrant rape and crime closer to us, making radical action even more urgent. But then, rejecting political violence is more about outward demonstrations of moral superiority.
The New Right casts fascism as a form of compulsory violence. What is integral to fascism is not political violence as a goal in itself, but a willingness to countenance as a means to a definite end. That end is the biological preservation of a people and its future existence and persistence. Every people and nation is unique, and its local context requires that a variety of methods be considered. If countenancing political violence or violent revolution reveals a clear path to political power, then morality is irrelevant and feasibility can be assessed. But to reject political violence is to indulge a moral pretense our enemies will not return.
The question of police state “terrorism” arises in relation to the question of retaining power. The New Right rejects this on moral grounds, just as it rejects political violence and violent revolution. If we managed to gain political power in a country, then there should be no issue or question of countenancing violent means to retain that power. This means that organized opposition and political enemies should be subject to torture and execution. Consider the overt and covert means of keeping us in line and on the track of decline, at present. The survival of our peoples and our race is at stake, and all other factors are subordinate.
(3) The New Right holds that “whiteness” is integral to European identity, and on this basis, that “white nationalism” follows. But they reject fascism or National-Socialism as necessary extensions of white nationalism. Supplementing their argument, they claim that to ground our politics in fascism or National-Socialism is to undertake an inauthentic rehearsal of past culture, importing into our unique societies in the present past societies whose politics were historically situated, and that we fail to get to the root of our racial and ethnic identity in so doing. I will argue that these claims fail to address what is vital or integral to fascism.
First, it is a mistake to even assume “white nationalism” follows from whiteness as the basis of European identity, precisely because the white race is internally, ethnically, so distinct and diverse. It is ironic that the New Right objects to fascism and National-Socialism because adopting either would constrain or suffocate the racial and ethnic identity of white peoples, today. But European peoples are indeed ethnically diverse. “White nationalism” must in all cases be supplement by “ethnic nationalism”: An immigrant to Britain should be ethnically “Germanic” and not just “white.” A Britain filled with Poles is “white,” but not “British.”
Second, fascism and National-Socialism can be distilled to their essential ideals, policies, or methods. This is because they represent political systems whose implementation aims at a preservation of a particular people and its nation. Sir Mosley of the British Union of Fascists did not seek to rehearse German or Italian culture and government. He sought to identify the vital structures of National-Socialism and Italian Fascism and use them to prevent any further decline in the British people and its Empire. Adopting fascism, today, does not entail every Italian or German symbol, salute, greeting, uniform or institution be duplicated.
To demonstrate this point, here is a simplified list of Eco’s fourteen traits. I briefly note the particular element and indicate an example of its role in a fascist movement or regime.
1. Syncretic traditions; “Caesarism and science” or Greco-Romanism and pan-Germanism.
2. Rejection of modernism; ‘Blood and Soil’ in NSDAP or regard for ancient world.
3. Action for action’s sake; co-opting of education for fascist ends, ex. Heidegger.
4. Treason of disagreement; social role of Brownshirts or Blackshorts, mass rallies.
5. Rejection of difference; BUF’s British-only government policy or NSDAP racial policy.
6. Appeal to class interests; NSDAP appeal to German working class as Germans.
7. Reality of enemy plots; constant Jewish involvement in US foreign policy.
8. Inconstancy in enemies; Jews as weak and strong, “liberal” and “conservative.”
9. Life as perpetual struggle; NSDAP emphasis on the need for perpetual readiness.
10. Popular elitism; appeals to a people as that people, privilege of membership in it.
11. Regard for death; inculcation of heroism, Falangist motto (“Long Live Death!”).
12. Traditional roles; implicit commitment to the traditional family and gender roles.
13. Selective populism; fascist stress on rights of peoples, “society as theater.”
14. Mobilizing language; militarization of words (ex., Heidegger’s use of “struggle”).
Identifying with fascism does not entail that we are rehearsing the past or instantiating some single amalgam. Only a subset of the above elements is necessary to establish a nucleus of a fascist movement or regime, and only a subset of elements from the list below is required to form a distinct domestic and foreign policy. In doing so, the unique conditions of a distinct people are embodied, rather than those of a past people rehearsed. If a movement accepts and practices imperialism, for example, it does so not because fascism universally compels it but because it is a propensity otherein and that particular movement does accept it.
The fourteen policies below are representative of some concrete aims and goals, and they show how vital elements of fascism or National-Socialism can be isolated and applied.
1. An agrarian policy that gives incentives to rural families and encourages healthy living.
2. A policy that balances labor and business, forbids usury, and prevents job exports.
3. A social policy that penalizes excessive individualism, isolationism, and delinquency.
4. An economic and social policy that reduces class identity and curtails labor unrest.
5. A policy of autarky that enshrines agricultural, economic, and material independence.
6. A domestic policy that attempts to engage all citizens and mobilize them for vital goals.
7. A policy that bridges people to their land and makes environment part of a community.
8. An imperialist policy aiming to increase access to vital resources and land, or irredentist policy that seeks to restore lost peoples or lands that were previously taken away.
9. A practical familial domestic policy that gives economic incentives to traditional families.
10. A policy that seeks to unify peoples through works projects, public roads or buildings.
11. A policy that stresses the unique racial makeup of a people and seeks to improve it.
12. A bold domestic policy that seeks to enrich lives by providing social ritual and symbols.
13. A policy that aspires to connect people with long term goals and excite their interests.
14. Exalting youth and casting it as the forefront of the regime through youth movements.
The ur-fascistic rejection of universal nationalism is therefore also a repudiation of universal narratives and amalgams. Every people of our race is unique and requires its own distinct representation in form and function of a conspicuous government. The fundamental flaw of the New Right, and potentially of the entirety of the Alt-Right, lies in its fatally deceptive view that it has progressed beyond fascist politics and its movements of old by appealing to the aspirations of all peoples and placing all European peoples on equal footing. In so doing, it turns their soul outward when a people should be its own lens so as to see the world.
The New Right claims that it represents progress over fascism, because it rejects methods and politics advocated by past fascist movements and regimes that are repudiated by history. In this article, I have posited ur-fascism in opposition to the concept of universal nationalism, and in so doing rejected the implicit universal appeal of the latter. The universal nationalist claims to reject the extremities embedded in fascist politics while the New Right claims to repudiate fascistic methods. Even in linking fascist methods to Bolshevism, the New Right falters; Sir Mosley’s incitement of science and Caesarism gets to the heart of it. Fascistic politics relate as much to modern reality as to the archaic and primordial.
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Source: Ur-Fascist Analytics