We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

What is happening in USA is indeed socialist but not Marxist socialism by any reasonable definition. Moreover, the establishment embracing radical identitarianism, the hysterical obsession with race, and using huge corporations as a vector for their ideology makes this far, far more like some lunatic strain of gonzo fascism really.

The Woke anti-fascists really truly are far closer to fascism than 99% of the people they call fascist (which is pretty much everyone who is not them).

Perry de Havilland

38 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Exasperated

    Der Staat, Der Staat Uber Alles, but it’s the Regulierung Staat. (Maybe someone knows the proper translation.) It’s government from the top down by regulation, implemented by unaccountable and remote, self serving, careerist bureaucrats to the benefit of crony capitalists, multinationals, Wall Street and vocal special interests, at the expense of everyone else. Academia, media are just their hand maidens. When a policy isn’t designed to line the pockets of the connected, it is based on shuffling through checklists, spreadsheets, GIGO models and not on concrete in the trenches knowledge and experience. These bureaucracies are dominated by the kowtowing and networking children of the Kleptocracy. Their primary skill sets are engineering cost shifting scams, as they shuffle through the revolving doors of government agencies, charities, foundations, NGOs, corporate and private boards.
    I guess you could apply an educated sounding, political science label on it, but really it’s just a pimped up form of nepotism/racketeering. It’s most current manifestation is the vaccine boondoggle. There is vaccine hesitancy because millions do not trust the CDC/FDA and for good reason.
    However you want to label it, it’s deeply entrenched in the USA. The lesson here is that many millions were willing to commit economic suicide and to become China’s bitch, as well as put the two dimmest bulbs evah into the presidency. These bureaucrats are all about protecting their own sinecures and do not wish Middle America, working America well, in any way.

  • Jacob

    A classic Marxist revolution has the following characteristics:
    1. It is planned and directed by one absolute supreme Leader – Lenin, Castro, Mao, Ho Chi Minh … etc. (With the help of a “party”)
    2. It loots systematically all private property (“nationalization of the means of production”).
    3. It arrests deports and murders a big mass of people – many millions. It calls them “counter-revolutionaries, enemies of the people, subject to proletarian “justice”.

    A classic Fascist revolution is somewhat similar – but still very different.
    1. It also is run by a Supreme Leader. Mussolini or Hitler.
    2. It does not loot all property. It leaves most of it alone. Lootings are sporadic and arbitrary, but not big scale.
    3. It uses paramilitary forces to murder opponents and terrorize the population and adversaries. The scale of murders and persecution is a fraction of the Marxist scale. (Except Hitler’s murder of Jews which is a special kind of madness).

    What happened in the US in 2020 is different.
    1. They have no leader at all…. (Supreme or otherwise).
    2. A lot of looting took place… but rather localized and unorganized with no slogans to justify it.(and denied by all).
    3. There were no killings. The “Cancel” method is used instead. (Fired from work and ostracized).
    4. The violence was (and is) plainly obvious and intimidating – but it stops (for now) just short of murder.
    5. The underlying “ideology” – if it may be called so – wokism, racism, genderism – is much more incoherent and crazy that the other ideologies.

    But, in 2020, a revolution took place in the US. No doubt about that.

  • TDK

    2. It loots systematically all private property (“nationalization of the means of production”).

    2. It does not loot all property. It leaves most of it alone. Lootings are sporadic and arbitrary, but not big scale.

    In both cases they immediately looted the outgroup. For private industry in Germany, the notional ownership remained with the German owners but the business had to follow Nazi plans. Over time that became much more extensive and controlling. Boiling a frog comes to mind. Consequently, I don’t think there is much difference.

  • TDK

    In other words, as regards private ownership, I don’t think there is any meaningful distinction between “Everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state” and “Nationalisation of the means of production” – they amount to the same thing.

  • Jacob

    “they amount to the same thing.”
    Philosophically – yes they amount to the same thing.
    Practically – all private property was immediately “nationalized” – i.e. looted and destroyed by the goons (under Marxism), with tens of millions of people destroyed instantly as they lost their livelihood, and many also their homes. It was a sharp and immediate chaos and mass destruction and disruption.
    Under the Nazis – people continued their lives more or less normally, at least the disruption was not so widespread and total. Of course, tens of thousands were murdered or sent to concentration camps – but, as noted, the numbers of these were much smaller than in the Marxist revolution. The great mass of people continued a more or less normal life – or not very far from it.
    There was no total, absolute, universal and immediate uprooting and chaos.

  • TDK

    I’m not sure you are correct in stating that “ALL” private property was nationalised. First of all we can set aside personal possessions. Second the state did not take over individual or family enterprises. If you were a window cleaner or a small market holder you were not dispossessed. Having stated that, they would not have hesitated for certain individuals regarded as enemies of the state. The total number of bourgeoisie is estimated at only 2.3 million in Russia and I would concur they were target and they were dispossessed. Where does your 10 million figure originate?

    And where they were nationalised they were not “destroyed”. Certainly in the heat of the revolution “goons” will have destroyed whatever they could lay their hands on, but in the medium term the Soviets intended to run them for the benefit of the workers. Now, don’t misunderstand me – the collective farms were effectively inefficient and the factories cheated on the five year plans. So they were rendered useless to varying degrees, but that’s not the issue here. Unless you meant “destroyed” to mean run inefficiently.

    You are right that the German society initially ran on much like before but you are forgetting that the Nazis were elected and initially relied on being in a coalition. Only gradually did they shut down opposition and move against their opponents. I’m sure if they had come to power via an armed coup, things would have moved quicker.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    The government mandates forcing private businesses to require all their customers to show vaccine passports documenting they have taken the vaccine expand from SF, NYC, and New Orleans….

    To the State of CA…

    https://californiaglobe.com/section-2/california-legislature-guts-transportation-bill-to-create-vaccine-mandate-on-private-industry/

  • Paul Marks

    What Perry says here was first, in part, said by Joseph Stalin – and I mean no insult to Perry by saying that (it just happens to be true).

    “Stalin” (of course not his real name) denounced Frankfurt School Marxism, its obsession with race, gender, sexuality (and so on) as not Marxist at all – as rejecting the basic forms of analysis of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels.

    I think Stalin missed something (and Perry does as well) – the desire for total Collectivism in Karl Marx goes back to his early years, long BEFORE his “economic class analysis” and “material laws of history”.

    Karl Marx presented Class Conflict and Material Laws of History based upon the “forces of production” and the “relations of production” as justifications for WHAT HE WANTED ANYWAY.

    And the Frankfurt School Marxists obsess the “exploitation” and “oppression” (Marxist) of various races, and women, and homosexuals, and “trans sexuals” (ever four year old children – as the monsters who now control Scotland now proclaim – as if Joseph Biden was too moderate with his desire for the sexual mutilation of eight years old children) – also as an EXCUSE for WHAT THEY WANT ANYWAY.

    The justification is never the real reason.

    Let us say, for example, that black people in the United States suddenly had an average income the same as white people (or even the same as Asian people – who have a higher average income than white people) – the Frankfurt School Marxists (the “Woke”) would NOT be pleased – on the contrary, they would be upset.

    They would be upset because now they would have to find a different excuse (“justification”) for WHAT THEY WANT anyway – Collectivism.

    This is why people such as Jeff Bezos are “clever fools” – they think that giving the Frankfurt School Marxists (the “Woke”) what they say they want will “get them off our backs”.

    It will not “get them off our backs” – because what the “Woke” (the Frankfurt School Marxists) really want is total Collectivism (with people such as Mr Bezos used for soap – robbed and murdered).

    The “Woke” (the Frankfurt School Marxists) do not really care about George Floyd and black people, or about women, or about homosexuals, or about trans sexuals, or about “Islamophobia” (or any of this stuff) – what they care about is total Collectivism, all this other stuff is just a series of excuses for it.

    Dr Karl Marx did not really care about economics or history.

    If someone had explained to Dr Marx that his stage theory of history did not fit the facts of (say) the history of Norway, or the history of the English country of Kent – he would NOT have cared.

    Just as if someone had explained to Dr Marx that the Labour Theory of Value he got from David Ricardo and James and J.S. Mill was total NONSENSE – he would NOT have really cared.

    The “justification” is never the real reason.

    Karl Marx trotted out economics and history – but he wanted total Collectivism long before this.

    And the Frankfurt School (“Woke”) Marxists, trot out stuff about black people, and woman, and homosexuals, and transexuals (and on and on), but they do not really care about any of it. It is just an excuse for what they want – which is tyranny, total collectivism.

    A boot stamping down on a human face – for ever.

    Once one grasps what they want, everything they do makes perfect sense.

  • Paul Marks

    Still Perry is correct (and Stalin was correct before him) – Frankfurt School Marxism (what we now call “Woke” – the stuff that dominates the American military and the Corporations) is NOT Classical Marxism – it does not accord with the “scientific laws” that Karl Marx claimed to have discovered (I do not think that Dr Marx himself really cared about his “scientific laws” of economics and history, which were a load of tosh, but that is a discussion for another day).

    However, the vast majority of Marxists are now Frankfurt School Marxists – at least in the West, Classical Marxists (who abide by the “scientific laws” and are not interested in black people, or women, or homosexuals, or in sexually mutilating young children to make them “Trans”) are not common.

    “Woke” (Frankfurt School) Marxism, not Classical Marxism, is the norm now.

    As for the Corporations and government officials….

    Most likely they want a sort of Saint-Simon style totalitarianism – socialism that does not involve the execution of the Big Business types, but socialism where the Big Business types (led by the Credit Bubble bankers) are actually in charge – and all in the name of “science”.

    Sir Francis “New Atlantis” Bacon did not need Karl Marx to instruct him – and he did not Klaus Schwab either (or even Saint-Simon).

    But the “Woke” (Frankfurt School Marxists) are liable to get annoyed with this – and (at some point) tear the high government officials and the Corporate Managers to pieces.

    “You are rich and we are starving” will be the only justification they need.

    And totalitarianism (even on the Saint-Simon rather than Karl Marx basis) will lead to starvation.

    “Eat the rich!” (the high officials and corporate managers) will become the demand.

    Of course it would be nice if the totalitarianism was prevented – then the rest of it would not come to pass.

  • I think Stalin missed something (and Perry does as well) – the desire for total Collectivism in Karl Marx goes back to his early years, long BEFORE his “economic class analysis” and “material laws of history”.

    No, both Stalin & I are not missing anything regarding this. The underpinning ideas of Marxism (the creed rather than Marx-the-person), Fascism, Juche etc. are indeed all (objectively absurd) justifications for absolutist totalitarianism. But words have meanings. Not all socialism is Marxist socialism (i.e. derived from the published formulae concocted by Marx and Engels), that is just a definitional fact. Marxism and Saint-Simonism are both paths to tyranny, just as chairs and tables are both furniture, but they are not synonyms for the same thing even if you can technically sit on a table and eat off a chair.

    What Marx himself cared about… I really don’t give a damn, because it doesn’t matter. Ditto neo-Hegelian Giovanni Gentile. The way they wanted to get to their ideal tyranny-of-choice was not the same, just as the ways Lenin and Mussolini actually tried to implement those ideas differed.

    So by all means call them all tyranny, totalitarian, socialist, subjectivist idiocy, whatever… but don’t call the correct crop of totalitarianism Marxist socialism, because it ain’t. As I suggested, it is closer to some mutant form of Fascism owning more to Gentile than Marx and Engles (though I doubt Gentile would have been flattered by the comparison if he could see the preposterous wokesters of today 😋).

  • Paul Marks

    Good point Perry – but most Marxist academics in the West are Frankfurt School Marxists.

    “Woke” stuff is Frankfurt School Marxism. The essentially features of Marxism (the claims of “exploitation” and “oppression”) remain – as does the objective (totalitarianism), but the “scientific” stuff was dropped from the 1920s onwards – it had to be dropped because it is (as Perry says) totally false – the economics and history of Karl Marx is clear and false. That is no good for a modern movement – so modern Marxists make lots of unclear false claims instead.

    I can refute, for example, Classical Marxist history in relation to Norway or Kent (or just about anywhere), but how do I go about refuting the claim that eight year old children (Mr Biden’s position) or four year old children (the SNP position) should be made “Trans”.

    Any counter argument is itself countered by screams of “Transphobe” and the person objecting to (say) the sexualisation of four year old children being “cancelled”.

    “Woke” (Frankfurt School) Marxism is perfect – precisely because there is nothing scientific (in the broad sense of that word) there to refute.

    It is perfect for “Kill! Kill! Kill!” which is what it is for – witness the behaviour of Antifa, BLM and other Frankfurt School “Woke” groups.

  • Paul Marks

    As for Fascism – it is itself, a mutant form of Marxism. Created by Mussolini (the leading Marxist of Italy) who remained an ardent admirer of Karl Marx to the very end – when he was executed by Orthodox Marxists who considered him a heretic.

    The Corporations tend to love Fascism (which they call “Stakeholder Capitalism”, “public-private partnership” or “Sustainable Development”) partly because Corporate Managers believe they will keep their very comfortable lifestyles – without the burden of free market competition.

    Regulations will prevent such “harmful” or “cutthroat” competition and enable everyone to work for the common good (see Klaus Schwab and other Corporate State Fascist thinkers).

    Of course there are some people in the world who question WHY high government officials and Corporate Managers should have very high incomes and much better lives than other people.

    The President of Mexico is an obvious example of such person (which the reason the Economist magazine hates him – bureaucrats and corporate managers being its readers) – he is not a good person (to put the matter lightly) – but he has a point.

    If there is going to be Collectivism – why should bureaucrats, Credit Bubble bankers, and Corporate Managers have better lives than other people?

    This Saint-Simon and his followers (at their formal dinners listening to Lizt and so on) never really answered.

  • Paul Marks

    By the way a Marxist would support the Covid lockdowns and the policies (in New York, California) that DE FACTO allow theft from small business enterprises (farms, corner stores, and so on).

    According to Marxism the economy is concentrated into a few enterprises.

    The market does not do that itself (contrary to Marxism) – so it must be MADE to do that, via such things as the above policies (close small business enterprises with lockdowns – or have them looted by criminals) and, perhaps most importantly, by the Cantillon Effect.

    By increasing Credit Money (the function of the Credit Bubble bankers – and the Central Banks they depend on) the Cantillon Effect will produce a small elite of ultra wealthy people – at the expense of reducing everyone else to great poverty.

    Exactly what Marxism predicts – except ARTIFICALLY CREATED.

    Destroy all independent small businesses, and concentrate income and wealth into a few hands (Google, Amazon, Microsoft….) and then you just have a few enterprises – and the Credit Bubble banks themselves.

    Then COMPLAIN (bitterly complain) about the concentration of income and wealth into a few hands.

    Just leave out the bit about how one deliberately created it.

    Pretend it is the natural consequence of “capitalism”.

    Is this not precisely the Marxist claim?

  • pete

    The old 1920s/30s fascism sprang from mass deprivation.

    The new woke fascism doesn’t.

    It’s the product of a comfortably off class who feel entitled to influence but don’t have it.

    An irritation rather than a real danger.

  • lucklucky

    “So by all means call them all tyranny, totalitarian, socialist, subjectivist idiocy, whatever… but don’t call the correct crop of totalitarianism Marxist socialism, because it ain’t. As I suggested, it is closer to some mutant form of Fascism owning more to Gentile than Marx and Engles (though I doubt Gentile would have been flattered by the comparison if he could see the preposterous wokesters of today 😋).”

    Disagree, Gentile did not cared about “equality” in a way that Marxists and todays neo-marxists care.
    The EXPANSION of mechanism Oppressor-Victim made by todays Neo-Marxists was necessary after Capitalism pretty much ended endemic poverty and Marxist inspired countries failed to even be competitive. Oppressor-Victim always have been central to the Marxist outlook and not as central to a Fascist one.
    So the traditional capitalist exploiter-worker went to sex, race and religion always with hate against Western Civilisation behind. If they can find it is useful to that outlook to say that people in 4th floor are oppressing people in 1st they will. They had to find new markets for the oppressor-victim complex.
    In Fascism you don’t have hate against Western Civilisation per se. While ambivalent about religion that helped build it did not regarded Western world guilt of sin despite its Marxist influenced roots. A constant of the Marxists is the hate against West.
    Fascism was also not Totalitarian it was Authoritarian.

  • Jacob

    “Second the state did not take over individual or family enterprises. If you were a window cleaner or a small market holder you were not dispossessed.”
    Totally wrong.
    In Marxist revolutions (USSR, Cuba, China etc.) ALL businesses were immediately and totally nationalized. Most were taken over by the goons and run to ruin within very short time. Very few were left under the management of the previous owners, who were now employees of the state receiving a minuscule salary, and obeying orders from above.
    A communist takeover is a total disruption and destruction of all production and distribution (commerce) activities, i.e. – a total and sudden standstill of the whole economy.
    Of course – black market (illegal) activities continued and kept people alive, somehow.

    As to the total number of people murdered by Communist revolutions – it was maybe 60 million in the USSR (Solzhenitsyn’s number) and some 100 million in China, though these are total numbers for the whole duration of the regime. I don’t know exactly how many of these were murdered in the first months or years of the revolution. Many millions were murdered, many more incarcerated or sent to Siberia.

  • Disagree, Gentile did not cared about “equality” in a way that Marxists and todays neo-marxists care.

    The Wokesters could not care less about equality, quite the contrary, they loudly reject it and seek a hierarchy of group privileges based on race and imagined identities.

    Fascism was also not Totalitarian it was Authoritarian

    LOL.

    “Everything in the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State”
    – Benito Mussolini

  • Jacob

    What both the Marxist-communist model of the revolution and the Fascist model had in common is suppression of free speech, banning of books, banning, incarcerating and murdering people for expressing ideas contrary to the official doctrine. They were called “totalitarian” regimes because they were not content with submission and obedience by the population – they wanted to reeducate the population and control their ideas. They considered any different idea a threat to the regime.
    Autocratic or dictatorial regimes usually leave the people alone as long as they don’t threaten the physical power of the ruler.
    Totalitarian regimes insist (by force) that people conform to the IDEAS (or doctrine) of the regime. They aim to create a “new Soviet Man”. The want to transform your way of thinking, transform you into another type of man, by force.
    In this respect – the USA revolution of 2020 is totalitarian (and not authoritarian – like say Putin’s regime). The don’t tolerate ideas.
    Crude ceremonies like book burning were not yet observed in the US, but book banning is done. And statue toppling, and cancelling people.

  • I agree with Jacob, what we are seeing is very totalitarian, seeking to create New Man (sorry, New Person) with an entirely subjectivist world view. Mathematics is racist.

  • lucklucky

    “The Wokesters could not care less about equality, quite the contrary, they loudly reject it and seek a hierarchy of group privileges based on race and imagined identities.”

    You know very well that equality of results is the Marxist equality, not the equality before the state and law.

    “Fascism was also not Totalitarian it was Authoritarian
    LOL.
    “Everything in the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State”
    – Benito Mussolini”

    Really? In what Fascist Italy was different to other authoritarian dictatorships?

  • lucklucky

    “What both the Marxist-communist model of the revolution and the Fascist model had in common is suppression of free speech, banning of books, banning, incarcerating and murdering people for expressing ideas contrary to the official doctrine. They were called “totalitarian” regimes because they were not content with submission and obedience by the population – they wanted to reeducate the population and control their ideas. They considered any different idea a threat to the regime.
    Autocratic or dictatorial regimes usually leave the people alone as long as they don’t threaten the physical power of the ruler.”

    Since when autocratic regime accepts free speech and officially publishing books against Government? only when they are in way out and very weakened. Otherwise you get punished.

    How many people got the death penalty and was issued in Italy due to political reasons -note that this includes political violence including attempts into Mussolini life – from 1926 to 1940, so until war? : less than 30 . That is not a Totalitarian level. Unless we start using same word to compare that to regimes that murdered thousands to millions.

    https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tribunale_speciale_per_la_difesa_dello_Stato_(1926-1943)

    Statistics in the article.

  • lucklucky

    It also should be noted that Fascist regime in Italy was not only Fascist, it was also a Monarchy. Soldiers did not only make allegiance to Mussolini made it to the King. That would be intolerable to Nazis or Communists.

    Now we could argue was this due to Mussolini mood, due to the Ideology itself, due to Italian people nature/culture.

  • That is not a Totalitarian level. Unless we start using same word to compare that to regimes that murdered thousands to millions.

    Absurd. You do not need to be mass murderous to be totalitarian. That said, the two things certainly go well together. A hallmark of a total state is when all aspects of civil society are ‘nationalised’. We are well on the way there as it is now hard to name an activity free from extensive state regulation or outright licencing these days. Swimming at the beach perhaps, at least some places, well, other than over the last 18 months. We have transitioned from a rights based society to a permission based one.

    It also should be noted that Fascist regime in Italy was not only Fascist, it was also a Monarchy. Soldiers did not only make allegiance to Mussolini made it to the King. That would be intolerable to Nazis or Communists.

    So what?

  • Snorri Godhi

    “Everything in the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State”
    – Benito Mussolini

    Yeah, try implementing that in Italy 🙂

    More seriously: lucklucky makes some good points. For one thing, Mussolini remained theoretically subordinate to the King. And actually that was more than just theoretical, as demonstrated late in the war. So there was a residual system of checks+balances. That was a significant difference wrt Germany — even though the Italian King was little better than Biden.

    —-As for the issues raised in the SQotD:
    I find it convenient to think of Marxism in this way:
    Orthodox Marxism died in the late xix century, but at least 5 distinct ‘heresies’ of Marxism survived. In rough chronological order:

    * Social Democracy (by far, the least disastrous heresy);

    * Leninism (perhaps the least heretical; and itself had several offshoots);

    * Italian Fascism;

    * German National Socialism (although there is disagreement about the extent of Marxist influence);

    * Frankfurt Marxism.

    NB: i do not claim that this classification is an objective truth: it is little more than a way for me to make sense of things.

    —-WRT the last heresy, Perry is correct in at least one respect: the Woke could not care less about the working class — and are honest about it. Paul Marks might counter that Marx privately did not care about the working class, either; but i do not much care about what Marx, or anybody else for that matter, care about: I am more interested in what people pay lip service to.

  • bobby b

    I’m afraid that, if we define down “totalitarianism”, we won’t have any terms to use when things get much worse than they are today.

    (“We’ve never tried Real Totalitarianism.”)

  • lucklucky

    “Absurd. You do not need to be mass murderous to be totalitarian. That said, the two things certainly go well together. A hallmark of a total state is when all aspects of civil society are ‘nationalised’. We are well on the way there as it is now hard to name an activity free from extensive state regulation or outright licencing these days. Swimming at the beach perhaps, at least some places, well, other than over the last 18 months. We have transitioned from a rights based society to a permission based one.”

    Well when you get into the act of having the power to be a totalitarian it certainly helps to show your bonafides, unless by miracle almost everybody agrees in a 40 million million people country with your laws and rules that make you a totalitarian.

    Where is the evidence that in Fascist Italy all aspects of civil society were “nationalised”? You could open your store without belonging to Fascist party. You could teach in Universities idem. There were still many private companies and a big chunk of them that went to IRI was due to 1929 collapse. Fiat for example remained private and the Agnelli family was pro western and remained in control and in war refused/managed to not build in their factories aircraft that were not their projects. Try that with Stalin or Hitler.

  • lucklucky

    bobby b indeed

    I have tentatively 3 levels.

    Genocidal
    Totalitarian
    Authoritarian

  • lucklucky

    Snorri Godhi

    And i forgot. There was not just the King. There was also the Pope. Now imagine a Vatican intact in Bolchevique Moscow or Nazi Berlin?

    Or something like San Marino…it remained neutral in II War . Repeating myself, try that with Nazis or Bolcheviques.

  • There were still many private companies and a big chunk of them that went to IRI was due to 1929 collapse. Fiat for example remained private and the Agnelli family was pro western and remained in control and in war refused/managed to not build in their factories aircraft that were not their projects

    The fundamental difference between Marxism & Fascism when it comes to their modes of centrally planned economics is in a Marxist system, the state (sorry, ‘The People’) own the means of production. In a Fascism system, a person can at least nominally ‘own’ some of the means of production, provided they use them in ways that are in accordance with state objectives. As an Italian once phrased it to me “In Fascism, you get to profit from doing what the state wants you to do.” A fascist state plans the economy, a communist state owns the economy from top to bottom. So fascism is perhaps a more pragmatic implementation of central planning.

    Try that with Stalin or Hitler.

    Stalin had design bureaus not real companies and just shot people who crossed him even at the top. In Nazi Germany on the other hand, big business shenanigans happened all the time without fatal consequences for Willy Messerschmitt or Ferdinand Porsche et al.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Lucklucky:

    I have tentatively 3 levels.

    Genocidal
    Totalitarian
    Authoritarian

    By contrast, i have 2 orthogonal concepts:
    absolutist and totalitarian.
    (NB: it was Samuel Finer who gave me the idea; and also Quentin Skinner.)

    Absolutist rule is when there is arbitrary rule by a person or an oligarchy or a ‘democratic’ majority; but it is not necessarily totalitarian because they might decide, arbitrarily, to leave you alone.

    Totalitarian rule is when they control every aspect of your life — but it is not necessarily absolutist, because it is not necessarily arbitrary: it could be based on Scripture, for instance. Or on well-established law, as in Sparta.

    Needless to say, the worst is a system that is both absolutist and totalitarian.

    And of course, there are degrees of absolutism and totalitarianism.

  • lucklucky

    Perry there was no central planning like Soviet Union of the economy in Fascist Italy. It did not differed from social democratic/socialist interventionism.
    Before Tony Blair third way, Fascism was presented too as the third way. Fascists are essentially social democrats without the democratic part. That said by 1943 several fascists were advocating for elections into Fascist regime. I am of opinion that most Western Democracies are moving to an even more strict regime that today the best example is Iranian Islamic Republic: You have the elections but the policy choices are just nudges inside a very strict “Social, Green” Regime.

    Snorri Godhi
    Those are useful too.

    Except obviously the extreme Genocidal which is self evident. I measure by this:

    Scope – how many human actions the existing laws it affects.
    Depth – depth that law/rule goes into private decisions that humans made individually. Example what to eat, what wear, etc.
    Strictness – how heavy is the punishment. How much the Regime prevents reform/change itself.

  • Perry there was no central planning like Soviet Union of the economy in Fascist Italy.

    Of course there was, it was just shambolic & did not look anything like a Soviet “5 year plan” because fascist economies actually do have big businesses and all that commercial infrastructure. Also true for Nazi Germany. Truth is Britain & USA were better at ‘war socialism’ than the Axis totalitarians.

  • lucklucky

    Inform yourself instead of showing your lack of knowledge.

    On same vein:

    James Madison University students shred ‘racist’ campus training labeling Whites, Christians as ‘oppressors’
    https://www.foxnews.com/media/james-madison-university-students-racist-training

    For you these are fascists instead of neo-marxists.

  • APL

    PdH: As an Italian once phrased it to me “In Fascism, you get to profit from doing what the state wants you to do.”

    Welcome to the United Kingdom 2020.

    Further up this comment section, the phrase ‘angels dancing on the head of a pin’ passed across my mind. Honestly, wtf cares what strain of totalitarianism we are currently afflicted by?

    We all know it’s totalitarianism, how the fuck to we get rid of it, before it gets rid of us? That is the question.

  • The corporatism of Mussolini’s fascism had obvious similarities to ‘modern’ stakeholder capitalism.

    – Industrial control was vested in boards in which the ‘owners’ had 25% of the votes, the ‘workers’ (i.e. their permitted representatives) had 25% of the votes, the ‘customers’ (in fact, their state-appointed representatives) had 25% of the votes and the state had 25% of the votes. In practice, since the state merely appointed the customers’ representatives, it explicitly controlled 50%, and the workers freedom to choose their representatives was within constraints, so perhaps the most independent element was that of the former owners, a significant proportion of whom were inherited from the pre-fascist regime or otherwise not directly chosen by it.

    – In practise, the full scheme was slow to set up – only in late 30s Italy was it fully in place – and (as Perry remarks) actual operation was inept, chaotic and much affected by bribery.

    The scheme obviously resembles a form of modern stakeholder/crony capitalism: the state transforms the owners into just one set of stakeholders, their interest in profitability being treated as a quarter of the set of interests that are to guide direction of enterprises.

  • Jacob

    “I’m afraid that, if we define down “totalitarianism”, we won’t have any terms to use when things get much worse than they are today.”
    You have, in the US, indeed, a strange form of totalitarianism: 1. No supreme leader. 2. No supreme ruling party … just an amorphic mass of “elites”. 3. No murders or concentration camps (yet). 4. An official ideology even more nonsensical that the original fascist one.
    You have many characteristics of a totalitarian regime, but not all of them.
    That’s why Perry needed a special name for it: “Lunatic gonzo fascism”

  • The word “totalitarian” (totalitario) was first used against Fascism by a liberal opponent, Giovanni Amendola. It was then taken up proudly by Fascists to characterize their own form of state. Later the term was widely employed to refer to the common features of the Fascist, Soviet, and Nazi dictatorships or to denote an ideal type of unlimited government. In this sense, the word was in common use among Anglophone intellectuals by 1935, and in the popular media by 1941. Ironically, Fascist Italy was in practice much less “totalitarian” than the Soviet Union or the Third Reich, though the regime was methodically moving toward totalitarianism.

    (from ‘The Mystery of Fascism’ by David Ramsay Steele)

  • Paul Marks

    The central principle of Marxism is that inequality is proof of “exploitation” and “oppression”.

    This Frankfurt School Marxism in the United States keeps – indeed it is the foundation of the “Equity” doctrine of the Biden/Harris Administration (not that Mr Biden knows this – or knows anything else).

    What Frankfurt School Marxism (like French Post Modernism) has done – is separate this core, from the “laws of history” and “laws of economics” of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels.

    They HAD TO do that – because the Marxist “laws of history” can be shown to be false, and the warmed over nonsense of David Ricardo and James and J.S. Mill that Karl Marx uses as the basis of his economics is nonsense (by the way – presenting Marx and Mill as “alternatives”, as the universities used to do, is a squalid con trick).

    Frankfurt School Marxism takes the core of Marxism (the claim that inequality goes against equity – the claim that it is proof of exploitation and oppression) away from the historical and economics dressing-up.

    “But how is the Frankfurt School Marxism of the United States, and other Western nations, compatible with the very high income and wealth of certain people?”

    It is NOT compatible with the very high income and wealth of certain people.

    This is the contradiction at the heart of the “Woke” (Frankfurt School Marxist) government and corporate elite.

    And most certainly not just in the United States.

    Why, for example, should Mr Jeff Bezos have more income and wealth than the late Mr George Floyd? According to the Frankfurt School Marxist “Equity” philosophy of the Biden/Harris Administration, there is no reason for Mr Bezos to have more income and wealth than the late Mr Floyd.

    There is a fatal contradiction at the heart of the ultra wealthy elite who hare pushing Frankfurt School Marxist “Equity” doctrine.

    In the case of Mr Bezos he knows this – in private he does NOT believe in the Marxist “Equity” stuff that his “Amazon” Corporation and “Washington Post” push.

    Mr Bezos is not making some innocent intellectual error – he is guilty of moral cowardice on a truly vast scale. He KNOWS the Marxist “Equity” stuff is crack-brained-nonsense – but his enterprises push it anyway, because he thinks that means the left will let-him-off-the-hook.

    I suspect that the same is true of many other very rich people in the Western world.

    They know this Marxist stuff is rubbish – but they push it anyway, hoping that the left will let them off the hook because of how cooperative they have been.

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