fascism and nonsense

Jon Beasley-Murray jpb8 at acpub.duke.edu
Sun Nov 12 01:10:30 MST 1995

On Sun, 12 Nov 1995 owner-marxism-digest at jefferson.village.virginia.edu wrote:

> From: iwp.ilo at ix.netcom.com (CEP )
> Date: Sat, 11 Nov 1995 20:00:22 -0800
> Subject: Re: fascism and nonsense
>     Carlos Replies:
>     Wilhem Reich, a closetet fascist himself, did not give us any clues
>     about naziism and fascism.  

This really is nonsense.  I tremble to encourage it, but I will anyhow: 
what is a closet fascist, and in what way(s) was Reich one?

>     Marxism is an economical annalisis or a theory just for the most
>     vulgar of all characterization of Marxism.  

I think Reich would absolutely agree with this, and that his whole point 
is that a purely economicist version of marxism completely failed to 
understand the attraction of fascism.

>     Fascism/Nazism is the     
>     response of sectors of the ruling class in times of crisis and
>     working class upheavals to guarantee is permanence in power through
>     the physical destruction of the organized resistance by the         
>     oppressed classes.  

Simply not true.  Fascism is not simply a repressive movement.  Reich 
himself, crazy as he may have been at a later point of his life, goes 
into some sociological detail concerning exactly who voted for German 
national socialism.

>     Please, don't use Stalinism to demonstrate how much marxism is
>     similar to fascism.  

I don't believe I ever mentioned Stalinism, or that I (or anyone else I 
quoted) was suggesting marxism was similar to fascism.  This argument is 
the argument of cold war apologist theorists of "totalitarianism" (cf. 
the recent "joint" biography of Stalin and Hitler, as if there were two 
sides of the same coin; now who's that by again?).

>     Wilhem Reich attempts to cover up
>     fascism was never a serious annalisis of fascism.

Nonsense, again.

>     Comparing and making analogies between fascism and marxism because
>     both movements used to talk about "poverty" or because the had,
>     aparently, some similar technicques of mass propaganda is like
>     comparing camels with whales.

Well, actually I don't see any problem with comparing camels and 
whales--so long as one remembers that it is camels and whales one is 
talking about.  Both are mammals, thus breathing oxygen etc.  One lives in 
the sea, the other not.  This will determine the different ways in which 
they try to gain access to oxygen.

Fascism and marxism were to a large extent appealing to a very similar 
constituency between c. 1920 and 1945.  In Germany, Italy, France and 
Spain (say) fascism was markedly more successful.
>     Carlos.

Love and all.  Louis, please--it's much more interesting to be the 
subject of *your* attacks.


Jon Beasley-Murray
Literature Program
Duke University
jpb8 at acpub.duke.edu

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