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The Lockean Project

Weighing in on what exactly is fascism

“Weighing in on what exactly is fascism,” Monterey Herald—September 10, 2022

I feel obligated to weigh in on the issue of what is fascism since I have been writing about it for over forty years. Both the German National Socialists and Italian Fascists were authoritarian socialists on the “Left.” I’m not saying that—Mussolini said it in 1919 and 1933, and Joseph Goebbels said it in 1931, declaring that the “Nazi party is the German left.” Goebbels was the only Chancellor of Nazi Germany, besides Hitler.

In the early 1930s, two liberal parties—the German People’s Party (DVP) and the German State Party (DSP)—warned the public that the National Socialists represented “a party of the radical left.”

The conservative German National People’s Party DNVP argued that Nazism “appeared leftist,” denouncing Hitler’s ideology as “bolshevism in nationalist wrapping.”

The New York Times editorialized on Sept.18, 1939, that “Hitlerism is brown communism, Stalinism is red fascism.” Winston Churchill agreed, writing, “Fascism was the shadow or ugly child of communism.”

Twice-winning Pulitzer Prize journalist Walter Lippmann said it best: “totalitarian states, whether of the fascist or the communist persuasion,… are profoundly alike.”

I hope this provides some clarity to a rather complex topic.

— Lawrence Samuels, Carmel