Sunday, April 06, 2003

A note on fascism

Apropos of the last post, but also as a footnote of sorts to the series on fascism:

The hallmark of fascist bullying is the willingness of those devoted to violence to use it upon those unwilling or reluctant to revert to it. "Our contempt for weakness" was a Hitler catchphrase. One expects to hear a form of it pop up any day now.

One of the thinkers on fascism who explored this facet of it in depth was the Norwegian Harald Ofstad. Here's his quick summary:
Anti-semitism is not at the core of nazism. Its core is that the strong shall rule over the weak, and that the weak are contemptible because they let themselves be ruled. Nazism did not emerge in Germany in the 1930's and it did not disappear in 1945. It is an expression of deeply set emotions which are still there, within ourselves and in our environment.

[Note: I also recently obtained the Robert O. Paxton essay on fascism which Christopher Skinner recommended. I've given it a quick scan and it's brilliant. I'll be digesting it further over the next few days and will report back; it certainly will be an addition to the "Rush" series.]

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