Friday, June 24, 2016

Unjustified Claims Regarding "Islamism" and "Fascism"

Equivocation on 'fascism' has been exploited by both "left" and "right": On the left, what is called "corporate fascism" is taken to represent fascism in general, and on the right, every stripe of undesirables is fused with fascism: "feminazis," "ecofascists" and "Islamofascists," to name a few. The Islamofascist trope has been exploited for years, and since the end of the Cold War has increased in use. All of these reflect warped historical views.

Trotsky was among the first to exploit equivocation on 'fascism': a fascist regime emerges in a society, he argued, when its capitalist class succeeds in insulating itself from revolutionary ferment in the working class. The idea of "corporate fascism," as a marriage of big business, police, and military interests, persists on the left. Recently, for example, Jewish media pundit Rachel Maddow argued on one of her shows that fascism is autocratic capitalism, claiming that Sir Mosley's British Union sought to protect business interests above all.

The "right" has been more amorphous in its use of "fascism": "ecofascists," "feminazis" and "Islamofascists" represent fusions of lifestyles or political and social beliefs with "fascism." The Neoconservative right has reserved its greatest animus for "Islamofascism" or "Islamic fascism." Rooted in admixtures of the "Good War" myth and US Middle East foreign policy, it increased in use as the Cold War was ending and the only remaining resistance to Zionist policies in the Middle East was secular Muslim nations, like Saddam Hussein's.

Neoconservatism is as Jewish in its origin as it is in its aims. Its godfather, Irving Krisol, is a Jew. The Wolfowitz Doctrine that it spawned was also parented by a Jew, Paul Wolfowitz. It led to the historical completion the Jewification of Anglo-American world policy.

The Bush Doctrine grew directly out of the Wolfowitz Doctrine. At the core of both is the idea of preemptive military intervention, nominally to prevent terrorism. Its real aim is to secure and expand Jewish interests in the Middle East and to sustain the economic enrichment of an international Jewish and banking elite. As the Cold War ended, Jews like Charles Krauthammer attacked US white "nativism," "isolationism," and "anti-Semitism". Meanwhile, Jewish-themed films, like Schindler's List, subtly encouraged Zionist interests.

Both the Gulf War of 1990-91 and the 2003 Iraq war were partly justified by analogies of Saddam Hussein with Adolf Hitler. The invasion of Iraq was a war for Israel. After 2003, the Bush Administration increasingly tried justifying this defenseless and costly invasion. From 2006, the "Islamofascist" trope was frequently used. Donald Rumsfeld accused critics of the Iraq war with appeasement of a "new type of fascism." Those who opposed this war, he had argued, were like Neville Chamberlain, who had tried to appease Adolf Hitler.

"Islamofascism" was part of a context of promoting "democracy" and justifying Middle East "regime changes." In fact, it was part of a plan to reorder the Middle East to serve the local interests of Israel and open up limitless resources for a Jewish economic elite.

The conflation of "fascism" with "Islam," however either are crudely conceived, also serves the rhetorical and ideological aims of certain European nationalist leaders. French National Front leader Marine Le Pen went on trial in 2015 for comparing Muslims praying in French cities with German occupiers. The analogy was historical and its intended effect rhetorical, but it rests on a more substantive view of alignments of interests. Like US Neoconservatism, this sibling tendency in Europe is also motivated by a desire to appease Jews.

In an interview with Jewish News One, for example, Marine Le Pen remarked:
I think a lot of our Jewish compatriots realize that we are the only ones capable of defending them passionately against the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. No one in French politics dares to do that. Maybe because they are afraid to be treated as Islamophobes. We say things as they are. We are known for that. We have the courage to tell the truth and to propose the necessary solutions.
It is unlikely that all of Marine Le Pen's supporters agree with her that "anti-Semitism" in Europe results solely from Islamification, and that the presence of Muslims in Europe is not correlated with the influence of Jews. Liberalized immigration policies, in the US and in Europe, the historical fundamental reshaping of immigration policy in order to undermine the racial homogeneity of white countries, and the Islamification of Europe and legitimizing of multiracialism are partly the outcome of Jewish influence and pandering to Jews.

The tendency to draw historical analogies between "fascism" or fascist regimes and Islamic regimes is pervasive, and not just an American or European tendency. In late 2015, Russia began targeting Islamic State forces in Syria, and after sustained criticism, justified its aims by comparisons with past Soviet attempts to undermine Hitler's Germany and to turn Western nations against fascism. Comparisons between Hitler's Germany and Islamic State had already proliferated, including analogies with Western support for fascism.

Comparisons have also been made on internal Islamic State policies, including its policies toward youth. Inevitably, of course, comparisons were made with the Holocaust. These were so pervasive and numerous that it even began to draw skepticism on the left.

Russia's perception of World War II is as mythologized as that of the West. It is grounded in the same unchecked lies about Hitler's prewar aims. In reality, Hitler's underlying, prewar foreign policy was fundamentally confined to mapping out German dominance in the East, forging an alliance with Italy and Britain, and building a land empire extending into a defunct USSR and gaining from its soil a new lease on national life through living space. Russian claims that fascism was a monstrous global threat are self-serving and ludicrous.

The comparison of Islamic State with Hitler's Germany in particular and fascism in general is not confined to Russia. In an article titled, "Umberto Eco's Lessons on Ur-Fascism," John Allen Gay remarks that IS-style Islamism and "fascism" draw comparable minds:
... nobody wants to bring back the fascism of old (save for a few oddballs drawn to the taboo: becoming a fascist is the Stuff White People Like version of joining ISIS)...
There are several claims that underlie this identification. One of them is the belief that Hitler occupies a place in history and had aims comparable to al-Baghdadi. In his 2014 sermon in Mosul, al-Baghdadi proclaimed a "worldwide Caliphate," with the aim not only of conquering the Muslim world but also eventually dominating the rest of the world. Hitler, by contrast, had sought to reunify the German people and secure their existence. The latter led to the war in the East, which Hitler really intended to be a one front war not involving the West.

The comparison also rests on the belief that a propensity to engage in terrorism underlies both. Many books have been put out, especially in the last two decades, attempting to lay out an historical connection between Hitler's regime and radical Islam. But the comparison also ignores certain historical particulars. Hitler wanted to avoid civilian bombing, and tried to get the British government to agree to this. It was Churchill that started the practice, and allowed the RAF to terrorize and decimate German civilian targets early in the war.

There is another analogy that underlies the comparison, and it is the rejection of liberalism, globalism, and humanism that underlies radical Islam and fascism. Neither the fascist nor the radical Islamist wants to live in a society that is dominated by these values. This analogy is sound, but it hardly forms the basis of a claim that identifies Islamism as fascism.


Marine Le Pen's comparison of German occupying forces with Muslim immigrants in France is as shallow as Russia's comparison of Hitler's Germany with Islamic State. It was France and Britain that had threatened Germany with war and then declared war. Moreover, it was Britain and France that rejected peace offers from Hitler after war had been declared. If the comparison insists on being made, then one can legitimately ask if Muslim immigrants in France offered to stay home before being invited, 
or to return home after arriving.

More fundamental analogies of "Islamism" and "fascism" have been made, and it these that represent more critical comparisons. Martin Kramer, in "Islamism and Fascism: Dare to Compare," quotes Manfred Halpern, who defends the concept of "Islamic fascism":
They concentrate on mobilizing passion and violence to enlarge the power of their charismatic leader and the solidarity of the movement. They view material progress primarily as a means for accumulating strength for political expansion, and entirely deny individual and social freedom. They champion the values and emotions of a heroic past, but repress all free critical analysis...
Kramer continues quoting Halpern:
... the institutionalization of struggle, tension, and violence. ... the movement is forced by its own logic and dynamics to pursue its vision through nihilistic terror, cunning, and passion. An efficient state administration is seen only as an additional powerful tool for controlling the community. The locus of power and the focus of devotion rest in the movement itself.... so organized as to make neo-Islamic totalitarianism the whole life of its members.
Kramer also quotes the Jewish and Marxist historian, Maxime Rodinson, who described the Iranian Revolution as an "Islamic fascist" coup. Rodinson is quoted in saying:
But the dominant trend is a certain type of archaic fascism (type de fascisme archaïque). By this I mean a wish to establish an authoritarian and totalitarian state whose political police would brutally enforce the moral and social order. It would at the same time impose conformity to religious tradition as interpreted in the most conservative light.
Halpern and Rodinson's claims are more substantial, because they comprise ideological comparisons, while surface level analogies rest on to justifying domestic and foreign policy. But their basic flaw is that they mark comparisons emptied out of form and substance, concentrating solely on function and process. Fascism is not just a process of national and societal transformation. It is also a worldview that encompasses an embrace of narratives of form and structure: Nations, peoples, and families are central to this narrative.

Therefore, to focus on tokens and emblems of process, with tropes and terms from 'mobility' to 'solidarity,' 'expansion,' 'heroism,' 'state' and 'order,' is to misconstrue the real nature of fascism. "Fascism" is not only a set of functions, but an orderly concept of form. It focuses on the narrative of concrete peoples. The history of humanity is the history of struggles between and among types of people. The history of life on Earth is the history of struggles between and among types of organisms. This is contrary to that of "Islamism."


"Radical Islam" or "Islamism" views the history of humanity as the history of struggle among religious worldviews and between "believers" and "nonbelievers." The "nation" enters into this drama as a deviation at best, a distraction from core faith at the very worst.

Christopher Hitchens has taken notice of the disanalogies that I observe, and he has drawn comparisons of his own between "radical Islam" and "fascism." He observes:
Historically, fascism laid great emphasis on glorifying the nation-state and the corporate structure. There isn't much corporate structure in the Muslim world, where the conditions often approximate more nearly to feudalism than to capitalism, but Bin Laden's own business conglomerate is, among other things, a rogue multinational corporation with some links to finance-capital. As to the nation-state, al-Qaida's demand is that countries like Iraq and Saudi Arabia be dissolved into one great revived caliphate, but doesn't this have points of resemblance with the mad scheme of a "Greater Germany" or with Mussolini's fantasy of a revived Roman empire?
Hitchens recognizes that the fascist emphasis on "nation" contrasts with Islamist rejection of nation, but then he turns to a weak analogy between fascist love of "empire" and an Islamic nostalgia for a "Caliphate." In other words, just to rescue his already weak analogy between fascism and Islamism, Hitchens resorts to a last ditch comparison of these ideas. It is weak and desperate, apart from being historically disingenuous and extremely simplistic.

Hitchens ignores something very important about the concepts he ridicules: The crude fact of their historical reality and the prominence in recent history. The idea of Greater Germany that was so important for Hitler encompassed territories and land that was in the possession of Germany while Hitler was still young. At the end of World War I, right before Hitler got involved in politics, Germany ruled the lands that Hitler would later seek: Poland, Ukraine, the Baltic States, and other territories quickly stripped from Germany at Versailles.

Hitler and Mussolini might have been hyperbolic in talking about "empire," but empires were commonplace in their time. The fact that Hitler and Mussolini both desires empires made them men of their time. There was nothing "mad" or "fantastical" about Germany and Italy wanting something that, at the time, was something that Britain, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Portugal also had. Each of these nations had great empires.

Sir Oswald Mosley of the British Union of Fascists, in fact, had as a cornerstone of his policy the preservation of the British Empire. Sir Mosley wanted to preserve an Empire that already existed. By emphasizing the rhetorical dimension of Hitler and Mussolini's desire for empire, he exaggerates the concept of empire itself, while also ignoring the fact that fascist leaders elsewhere in Europe were struggling to conserve empires that already existed and were all taken for granted as basic aspects of recent European history. Hitchens is wrong.

Hitchens also seems to imply that the concept of empire was somehow unique to fascism, anymore than the concept of race and folk originated in National-Socialism. Hitler took an idea that had been taken for granted in Europe and made it the core of his policies.


In the same way that Hitchens does not understand the fascist idea of empire, he also does not grasp the concept of a Caliphate. The Ottoman Caliphate had endured for hundreds of years, surviving but diminishing in its territorial holdings. Turkey had allied with Germany and Austria-Hungary, and after World War I the Ottoman Caliphate was forcibly dissolved by the Allies. The point is that the idea of a Caliphate is not some ludicrous idea, but a recent reality. Just because Al-Qaeda or IS want seek one does not relegate it to a fringe.

Hitchens goes on to conclude that the West is obliged to "oppose and destroy" fascist and all other "totalitarian movements." These are, one and all, "threats to civilization and civilized values." This is overreaching. Was Franco's Spain, which survived the war through 1975, a "threat to civilization"? Was Hitler's Germany a threat to Britain and France for having been a threat to the Soviet Union? Would a Mosleyite Britain have been a "threat to civilization," or in fact, in his disavowal of war, a solid pillar in the very support of civilization?

The emphasis on process and method, as well as the pursuit of empire, do not get to the heart of what fascism is. Fascism is not an aggregation of processes. It arises as a native impulse that springs within a unique people, forming in response to the realities of national decline that threaten the future of that people and nation. It does not arise in a void, floating up as an abstraction intent on nullifying "civilized values" or "civilization." In the nations were it arose, it did so as a direct result of peoples intent on averting national decline.

"Civilized values" are irrelevant if they lack bodies and minds to perpetuate them, and the British and French decision to threaten and declare war on Germany was the death knell of a now dying West. Europeans are being replaced by racial aliens with other values.

Fascism does not place values over the priority of the existence of a people or its nation. In extracting process, function, and method from fascist regimes or movements and comparing that to "Islamism," what is fascistic disappears in the outcome. Fascism assumes a world of nations and peoples, who rise and fall on the basis of action. Fascism is the authoritarian recovery of life in its depths, the institutionalization of the survival instinct and the use of the state as an organ to effect the persistence of a people and the nation housing it.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Letter to Mussolini from Publisher of AVIATION in 1927

I came across the following interesting letter to Benito Mussolini, apparently left with envoys of Il Duce and translated for his pleasure; it is from the publisher of AVIATION. It serves as a reminder that fascism in general and Mussolini's government in particular had enjoyed a noncontroversial status in the eyes of world leaders, successful businessmen, scientific minds, and other figures the world over prior to the Second World War.


To view a .pdf of a publication of the letter to Mussolini, click here.
Excellency: 
I have the honor to convey to your Excellency an expression of the deepest admiration from innumerable Americans who are interested in aeronautical problems. By them, you are considered as a unique leader of the world in aero. nautical progress. Your determination to make Italy impregnable from air attack has been shown in the manner in which you have organized and encouraged Italian aviation. A strong air defense renders aggression through the air an impossibility. 
Americans have observed with the greatest interest the development of the Italian Air Force, and admire greatly the magnificent organ. ization created by you to give wings to the new and glorious Italy. All nations can learn from the progress you are making, which will be a shining example of the advantages that come from a strong and independent aerial arm. 
Excellency, through your efforts, Italy is now a united country, not only politically but in spirit from the peaks of the Alps to the plains of Cyrenaica. The great admiration which you receive from all parts of the world is due, we like to feel, not only to the statesmanship which you have shown but also because you have demonstrated such great belief in aeronautics. Thanks to the extreme courtesy of the Societa Anonima Navigazione Aera, I have been privileged to view the wonders and beauties of your marvelous country from Genoa to Palermo. You deserve the unstinted praise of every traveler for the creation of the Italian air lines and the splendid facilities that you have made available for fol. lowing the most picturesque air route in the world along the Italian coast. 
After traveling over many air lines, I can say without hesitation that I believe aerial travel in Italy has before it an immense future and will bring great advantages to your Commerce and Industry. 
Excellency, I shall be greatly honored to con. vey to your admirers in America a greeting from you, and if I am not asking too much would greatly appreciate receiving your opinion as to the future of aeronautics.
The Leader of Fascist Italy responded in kind to the warm and respectful letter:
Signor Gardner, 
I greatly appreciate the opinion which you expressed with regard to the Italian aeronautical progress. 
I am well aware that the magazine "Aviation" which you edit is the champion in your country of the broadest and most rapid developments of the wings of peace and of war, and so I ask you to convey my greetings to those Americans whose hearts rally around your flag. 
The United States of America are certainly among the most alert vanguards of the development of aviation. 
Your scientists and experts, uniting with a high intelligence the benefit of material means, bring every day to this development an admirable contribution. 
Your pilots are among the first in the world in daring and skill; your leaders of aeronautical enterprises bring also to this latest undertaking, which employs human flight, the positive spirit and breadth of view which distinguish every American organization. 
Thus our aviators and aeronautical experts take pride in competing with yours because the aeroplanes produced by your industry rank high in the excellence of performance, and because your military aviation has attained a remarkable efficiency which is evident to all. 
Thus, from coast to coast and between the busy cities of your vast continent civil aviation has already begun to stretch a met of aerial transport lines, working day and night, and greatly admired all over the world. 
The future of civil aviation is clearly indicated by its brief but vigorous past, by this new means probably the Atlantic will become like a Mediterranean Sea; by it the most impenetrable continents will be opened to the knowledge of man, to the throb, bing fervour of his traffic and to the intellectual and material exchange among the peoples.
MUSSOLINI. 
Rome–February 1927. 
Anno. Vo.
To view a .pdf of the response of Il Duce to the generous letter, click here.