Marxism May Be Dead, But Fascism is Alive and Well
by Tom Donelson on December 31, 2010 at 10:37 AM
Marxism is dead and has been since the Berlin Wall came crashing down. In today’s world, there are leaders who view themselves as Marxist-Leninists (like Hugo Chavez) or even communist (Yes, there is still a communist Party in China.). In Latin America, we are not seeing a revival of Marxism, but a rebirth of fascism with Hugo Chavez playing the role of Benito Mussolini, complete with braggadocio.
Fidel Castro is the original Marxist-Leninist in the hemisphere, but the reality is that no one really believes in Marxism. Nor is there any international communist movement for communism died with the demise of the Soviet Empire. Castro, like many of his Marxist buddies, has morphed into a fascist dictator, a cult of personality. North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela are led by personality cults, Cubans by the Castros, Venezuela by Chavez, and North Korea have been ruled by the Kim dynasty for the past six decades.
A friend of mine once observed, after the fall of the Soviet Empire, that he simply observed we were witnessing the replacement of communism with various forms of National Socialism, a Russian version or a Chinese version. Most people equate fascism with Hitler and his Nazis regime or Mussolini but fascism existed before Hitler took power. In 1946, George Orwell observed, “The word fascism has now no meaning except so far as it signifies something not desirable.” A scholar, Stanley Payne, added, “Fascism remains probably the vaguest of the major political terms.” What must be understood is that fascism is not, nor ever was, a “Right wing.” National Review’s Jonah Goldberg stated, “From the beginning, fascism was dubbed as right-wing not because it necessarily was right wing but because the communist left thought this was the best way to punish apostasy.” Goldberg went to note that Nazism and Fascism was right-wing socialism, and further stated, “What I am mainly trying to do is to dismantle the granite like assumption in our political culture that American conservatism is an offshoot or cousin of fascism…Many of the ideas and impulses that inform what we call liberalism come to us through an intellectual tradition that led directly to fascism.”
When thinking about fascism, we need to understand fascism. While not as easy to define as communism or Nazism, fascism does have a distinguishing feature; the state controls all. If any private companies exist as it does in China or in Venezuela (for the moment), it does so because the government allows it. There are no natural rights for humans for a right only exists if the government allows it.
Through Central and South America, we are seeing an alliance of fascist states, dubbed Marxist by its leaders but socialism is only a name applied to fool supporters and the international community. In the Miami herald, Carlos Montaner wrote, “Twenty-first-century socialism in Latin America actually consists of five socialisms, as many as the countries that constitute that caudillo-led, anti-republican, chaotic and authoritarian little world. They unite in anti-Americanism, in the conviction that individuals must be at the service of the State, not the opposite, in their contempt for the market and in the superstition that the caudillo knows exactly what benefits or hurts all citizens, but they're very different.”
I will propose that what Montaner is describing are five different forms of fascism, not the least because all of these governments are led by caudillo anti-Republicans who lead authoritarian or totalitarian governments. In Bolivia, caudillo Evo Morales hates modernity and worships Pachamama (the world Goddess) and if he could, he would return the world to a barter state of some distant pre-Columbus day whereas Hugo Chavez wants to lead an anti-American front in our backyard. Chavez has been eroding Venezuela constitutional rights over the past decade and is now ruling by decree. Montaner observed that Chavez “seeks the creation of a bloc united by the rejection of the political model wrought by the West during the Enlightenment.” In Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega has simply morphed into modern day Somoza, the former dictator overthrown by the Sandinistas.
We are not seeing a true consistent socialistic view of society but economic theories that often mixed ancient beliefs with the modern state technology. Morales is similar to jihadist who want to see an Islamic Medieval society since he too is attempting to move his country into a backward vision of a mythical society.
The biggest fascist state today is China where its communist beliefs are hardly accepted by anyone in China, including Communist Party leaders. The Chinese have introduced “Socialism with Chinese characteristics” by combining central planning with a market economy, but an economy still controlled by the party leaders.
Mark Lillia writing in the NewRepublic observed that many Chinese students are reading pro-Nazi philosopher and jurist Carl Schmitt. One student told Mr. Lillia, “I think it very important we study Romans, not just Greeks. Romans built an empire over many centuries. We must learn from them.” For the past decade, the Chinese are making it clear that they consider the United States a rival as oppose to being a partner and there is no doubt that Chinese are not looking to liberalize their political process anytime soon. While the Chinese have allowed markets to work, this was out of necessity as the economy was floundering with massive poverty in the 1970’s not out of ideology. The Chinese are not free market adherents, but pragmatists who realize that economic freedom is a necessity for growth but not out of conviction. Economic freedom is not a human right but right provided by the government to serve the state - which explains why freedom of religion or political rights are not a reality. What the Chinese have accomplished is to establish fascism with a Chinese face. The Chinese are serious about their place in the world. There are no goose steps or strutting Mussolinis but the Party runs the state with leaders in business suits while it attempts to be a dominant power in the world.
This is a follow up to a previous blog about my own view that we are seeing a rise in fascism - an ideology that allows the state to control all but allows its leader to tailor their ideology to their local needs. The Chinese have established a crony capitalism with businesses allowed to prosper but always understanding that their existence is only blessed by the state whereas Chavez pretends to be the second coming of Simon Bolivar, fighting the new imperialist power, the United States. In Bolivia, Eva Morales wants to turn back the clock to some pre-Columbian civilization in which local population merely live off the land. He is a Jihadist who wants to establish an empire guided by Medieval thoughts. All of these governments have one thing in common, the state rules all and any rights are mere gifts provided by the state.