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Essay/Term paper: Facism

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Sociology Term Papers

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Fascism is a form of counter-revolutionary politics that first arose in
the early part of the twentieth-century in Europe. It was a response
to the rapid social upheaval, the devastation of World War I, and the
Bolshevik Revolution. Fascism is a philosophy or a system of
government the advocates or exercises a dictatorship of the extreme
right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership,
together with an ideology of aggressive nationalism. Celebrating the
nation or the race as an organic community surpassing all other
loyalties. This right-wing philosophy will even advocate violent
action to maintain this loyalty which is held in such high regards.
Fascism approaches politics in two central areas, populist and
elitist. Populist in that it seeks to activate "the people" as a whole
against perceived oppressors or enemies and to create a nation of
unity. The elitist approach treats as putting the people"s will on one
select group, or most often one supreme leader called El Duce, from whom
all power proceeds downward. The two most recognized names that go
along with Fascism is Italy"s Benito Mussolini and Germany"s Adolf
Hitler.
The philosophy of Fascism can be traced to the philosophers who argue
that the will is prior to and superior to the intellect or reason.
George Sorel, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Georg Hegal are main
philosophers who"s beliefs and ideologies greatly influenced the shaping
of Fascist theory. Sorel (1847-1922) was a French social philosopher
who had a major influence on Mussolini. Sorel believed that societies
naturally became decadent and disorganized. This decay could only be
slowed by the leadership of idealists who were willing to use violence
to obtain power. Nietzsche (1844-1900) theorized that there were two
moral codes: the ruling class ( master morality) and the oppressed
class (slave morality). Nietzsche believed the ancient empires were
developed from the master majority and the religious ideas and views
grew out the slave majority. The idea of the "overman" or superman
which symbolized man at his most creative and highest intellectual
capacity was brought about by Nietzsche as well. Hegal believed people
should sacrifice for the community. He thought war was also necessary
to unify the state, with peace bring nothing but a weak society. Hegal
also sustained that laws should be made by the corporate organization of
the state.
Fascism values human nature in a group for the benefit of the
community. The group as a whole is called the human will, which is
ruled by a select group or one leader, with the power being passed down
from top to bottom. Fascism seeks to organize an organization led mass
movement in an effort to capture the state power. When the power is in
the firm grip of the ruler, or IL Duce, the government will be used to
control the population and everything in it so the community will be
benefited.
Fascism"s ideal government would be fashioned around the good of the
community or nation. Everyone would work for the benefit of the nation
and that is all. Regularly this would take place with the merging of
the state and business leadership, with concern only of the nation. In
this the nation will also take care of its members if the need should
arise. This could be money ,shelter, food, or any other need that might
come about.
The ideology of Fascism has been identified with totalitarianism, state
terror, fanaticism, arranged violence, and blind obedience. Adolf
Hitler established his own personal ideology, Mein Kampf, which means
My Struggle. The book was written while Hitler was in prison and not
yet in power. Mussolini fashioned his ideology after he took control of
Italy. Despite their two different angles on the use of Fascism Hitler
and Mussolini both worked similarly on how they established their
principles in the same basic manner. Their principles came from basic
responses to various issues the leaders faced.
Fascism is an authoritarian political movement that developed in Italy
and other European countries after 1919 as a reaction against the
profound political and social changes brought about from inflation, and
declining social, economic, and political conditions. Italy, which was
ready for a new political aspect, was the birthplace of fascist
ideology. Benito Mussolini was the man who brought this ideology to
Italy. Mussolini had been looking for the perfect opportunity to take
complete control of the country and now was the time to do so. Mussolini
said "Fascism, which was not afraid to call itself reactionary…does not
hesitate to call itself illiberal and anti-liberal" (Nazi Fascism and
the Modern Totalitarian State) this statement can be easily recognized
in the steps that Mussolini took to gain control of Italy. In 1919
Mussolini and his followers, mostly war veterans, were organized along
paramilitary lines and wore black shirts as uniforms. After defeats at
the polls Mussolini used his new financial backing friends to clothe a
gang of thugs who would attack other street gangs supporting other
ideologies that Mussolini disliked. These black shirts also vandalized,
terrorized, bullied, and on occasion took control of self-governing
governments by force. Paralyzed by these violent occurrences, the
government did little to combat the fascists. Mussolini furthered his
popularity by supporting eight hour days, elimination of class
privileges, universal suffrage, and tax advantages.
Adolf Hitler"s Nazi (National Socialist German Worker"s Party) party is
the most recognized example of fascism. Nazism is the ideology and
policies of Hitler and his party from 1921 to 1945. Nazism also stressed
the superiority of the Aryan race, calling for the unification of all
German-speaking peoples into one single empire. Unlike fascism, the
state was second in importance, behind only racial purity for the
nation. Hitler used his book Mein Kampf to establish a plan of action
for creating this racially pure state.
In January of 1933 Hitler was named Chancellor of Germany by
Hindenburg. By the end of the year Hitler had concentrated his power as
a fascist dictator and began a campaign for a racially pure nation that
eventually led to the Holocaust. In order for Hitler to maintain his
ability to control the German people he had to organize several militia
groups. Hitler even wrote down important points of the Nazi party that
had to be followed. These Twenty Five points of Hitler"s party were
enforced by these militia groups.
A few of the points made by Hitler are as follows: immigration of
non-Germans must be prevented, no individual shall do any work that
would I any way hurt the interest of the community for the benefit of
all, a creation of a national (folk) army, all editors and their
assistants on newspapers published in German must be a citizen, and all
material to be published must go through the government for approval.
To keep control of the population and maintain the law, Hitler setup
he set up militia groups to see that everything was in order. Hitler
began to organize the SA, his Nazi storm troopers, which in Mein Kampf
he referred to as "…an instrument for the conduct and reinforcement of
the movement"s struggle for its philosophy of life." (The Rise of
Hitler: A New Beginning) Realizing the liking of uniforms by the German
man the SA adopted a brown-shirt outfit, with boots, swastika armband,
badges and caps. The accessories on the outfit would become important
because of the visual tools providing easy recognition and visibility,
allowing for an increase of notoriety in and out of the Nazi party.
Hitler then created a special unit that would only answer to him and be
his personal body guards. The elite groups was known as Schutzstaffel,
the staff guard or SS for short. The SS took a black uniform , modeled
after the Italian Fascists. Josef Berchtold, a former stationary
salesman, was the groups first leader. The Gestapo, established in
1933, was a secret state police. All these groups were used to carry
out mass murders of anyone or any groups that posed a threat to Hitler
and the party"s beliefs. They would also create, destroy, and falsify
any record that would benefit the party and the nation.
Hitler, using modern technology, furthered his power. He used the
microphone, radio, and newspaper to create any appearance that fascism
will be the new political power in the twentieth century. Hitler once
said that "The great masses of people… will more easily fall victim to a
big lie than to a small one." (Nazi Fascism and the Modern Totalitarian
State) He accomplished this feat by use of the microphone, speaking to
thousands at one time he was able to rally support for his cause. He
used the power of the airwaves and print to setup a vial hatred of Jews,
blacks, and the physical handicaps, calling them all imperfections of
society and they must be destroyed. With the Jews being the main
scapegoat of the Nazi party. Hitler could have held to his belief that
the dehumanization and scapegoating of the enemy as an inferior race
could have aided in the plot to justify genocide. Hitler used the media
in the sense that he and his leaders had to approve anything that was
being published. Allowing for selective material to be let about the
party and other world events.
Mussolini"s Brown Shirts and Hitler"s Nazi"s are not the only right
wing element to have an influence in today"s society. There are
numerous other groups who have their own agenda to deal with. Even
though these groups have differences generally they do agree on certain
main issues. With their core administration dealing with issues
centering on anti-government. The issues are gun control, taxes,
Constitution liberties, and federal regulations. These militia groups
believe that the government is tyrannical, and there is a secret elite
conspiracy on controlling the government, the economy, the culture, or
all three.
Just as Hitler used the Jews as his scapegoat these militia groups have
there own victims that the use. Federal officials and law enforcement
officers, minority groups, gay and lesbian right activists, and people
of color or immigrants are just a few of the escape whole the right-wing
militia use.
One of the most famous right wing militia movements in the United
States is the Ku Klux Klan, or KKK as it is even better known as. The
KKK is a militia group that got started during the disorder of the
Reconstruction era. Now the Klan"s political agenda are a number of
things. They believe the United States government should protect the
jobs and welfare of American"s first, not just anyone in the third world
countries. The Klan does not want to continue seeing America sell
itself to foreigners such as the Japanese, America should be owned by
Americans. Closing American borders to immigrants also is a project
that the KKK thinks should handled by putting American troops at the
border of Mexico.
The idea that the end of the world is coming is rapidly growing in
right wing religious groups. Leading the way is Pat Robertson and the
Christian Coalition. Robertson and his Christian Coalition is credited
in helping many of the Republican Senators and Congressmen attain their
current standings. Robertson even believes by reading Revelation 13
that if America were to change its money by putting codes on it that it
have in it the mark of the beast.
Some of the states even have their own militia groups. The Michigan
Militia is just one of the many individual groups. The Michigan Militia
believes that the American government is undermining the individual
freedoms that American"s posses, and even selling out to international
organizations. The drug problem is one of the major areas the group
centralizes on. Even though the CIA has taken Noriega out of the drug
cartel in Panama the business is still running just as strong due to
other members of drug families were put back into power.
Most of the people who choose to become part of these groups have
several factors influencing their decision. Desperation generally is
the main reason. They are people who barley are hanging on to their
finical and social status. Wanting to protect themselves and their
children from a life of poverty and hardship they join a group that will
offer a family atmosphere of love and support.
One idea shared by all fascist movements is the evident lack of a
consistent political standard behind the ideology. Each individual
leader would handle every situation a little differently with no sense
of tradition or law. However, one very commonplace aspect about fascism
would be its unsympathetic drive to achieve and maintain state power and
sovereignty. On that road to conquest though fascists are willing to
abandon any principle to adopt an issue more in acceptance and more
likely to gain converts.
Fascism and its right wing counterparts have been influencing twentieth
century politics in every area. Hitler and Mussolini are perhaps the
two most noted people to bring fascism to the forefront of government.
Regardless of the power and force fascism has established in the past
the same conclusion happens every time, it fails. Leading a person to
question the vitality of this type of government.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

Baradat, Leon. Political Ideologies. New Jersey:
Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1994.

Berlet, Chip. Armed Wing Populism, and Scapegoating.
http://paul.spu.edu/~sinnfein/berlet.html.

Merkel, Peter. The Making of a Stormtrooper. New Jersey:
Princeton University Press, 1980.

Nazi Fascism and the Modern Totalitarian State.


Payne, Stanley. Fascism. Wisconsin:
The University of Wisconsin Press, 1980.

Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
Http://members.iglou.com/kkk/belief.html

The History Place: The 25 Points of Hitler"s Nazi Party.
http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/riseofhitler?25points.htm.

The History Place: The Rise of Hitler, A New Beginning.
http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/riseofhitler/new.htm.

The History Place: The Rise of Adolf Hitler, Nazi Party is Formed.
http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/riseofhitler/party.htm.
 

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