[Marxism] Re: The Anatomy of Fascism

DLVinvest at cs.com DLVinvest at cs.com
Wed May 5 13:09:59 MDT 2004

In a message dated 5/5/04 9:09:44 AM Mountain Daylight Time, 
edgeorge at usuarios.retecal.es writes: 

> Insofar as I follow your argument, I don't agree. You raise, for
> example, the idea of 'corporatist regimes', without qualifications; this
> is the problem.

The term "corporatist" was raised by you (or someone you quoted) in trying to 
sort out the differences between "nationalist" movements and among variants 
of regimes too loosely described as "fascist". I only repeated the terms with 
reference to Argentina, Spain and Italy ironically to suggest precisely the 
point that the mechanical application of labels is often an evasion of analysis 
and argument. It's a polemical technique that dictates a pre-determined 
political course according to the syllogistic formula you recount. Perhaps had I put 
the labels between commas my point would have been clearer: a compilation of 
the specific attributes of a political movement or regime -- say the movement 
led by or embodied in Peron in the 40s, with all its contradictory elements --  
and a comparison of similarties and differences (vis a vis Italian "fascism" 
under Mussolini or Franco's Spain or even Hitler and the Nazis)  -- is 
necessary but not sufficient, and no subsitute for an analysis of its class 
composition and content. And we also agree that the superficial similarities that 
allowed Arendt to label very different societies with the shared epithet 
"totalitarian" masks essential differences. Unfortunately, you turned this into a 
polemical cocked hat with your own labelling and formula at the end, roughly: 
Argentine nationalism = progressive=means for developing revolutionary 
class-conscious movement.... rather than the formula you impute (incorrectly) to me: 
Argentine nationalism = fascism, etc.  

But I think we agree that there is no substitute for "concrete analysis of 
concrete conditions" in order to develop a political strategy, anywhere anytime. 
And we agree that that's what was lacking on the Argentine left (and 
elsewhere), as was dramatically illustrated when Peron returned, and the right-wing 
Peronists attacked the left at the airport, triggering a conflict within 
"Peronism" and between political formations claiming as well as rejecting that label. 
Instead, the debate on the left, broadly speaking, reduced to simplistic and 
mechanical application of formulae and polemics derived from the 30s in 
Europe, none of which was sufficient to prevent a defeat.

I will consult Proyect's work, thanks. 

Douglas L. Vaughan, Jr.
for Print, Film & Electronic Media
3140 W. 32nd Ave. 
Denver CO 80211

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