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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Why Fascists Are Leftists

Fascists are leftists.

To clarify that statement I will define my terms.


a political/economic system characterised by heavily centralised political power presiding over a mixed private/state economy.

While much property is nominally in private hands, its usage is controlled and dictated by the state.

Fascist systems believe the individual is the servant of the state. All man's efforts must be directed towards to "good" of the state, the collective, the leader.

Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuhrer-One people, One State, One Leader-is the ultimate fascist motto.

Many, but not all, fascist states use racism as a unifying social force.

The Political Left

Collectivism, in all its forms.

Imagine a political continuum running from left to right.

On the far left you have extreme collectivism-Stalinism, North Korean socialism, Spartanism, Pharoahism, the Incan state, Plato's beehive, left wing anarchy.

A little closer to the centre-but not much-you have East German Socialism, Nazism, Italian Fascism, modern Chinese communism, Cuban socialism, Iranian theocracy, Putin's Russia, most of Africa.

Further towards the centre you have the European Union, Sweden, modern South Africa, most of Asia and Latin America.

In the centre you have the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, the UK.

To the right, you once had Thomas Jefferson's USA, Disraeli's Britain and 1980's Hong Kong.

On the far right you would have right anarchy-a stable society with no government at all. A dream, but a very unrealistic one, at least for the next few aeons.

That is my definition of left and right.

Where I Stand

On the far left is the total state or total collectivism. The individual is nothing. The collective is all.

On the far right you have no state. The individual is all.

By this definition it is easy to see why I class the National Front and other fascists as leftists.

While the fascists are always fighting the socialists and left anarchists, their differences are only superficially political. They are all collectivists fighting each other for power.

The Yakuza fights the Triads, the Italian mafia fights the Russian mob, Hitler fought Stalin. Can any of them claim they are morally superior to their opponents?

Furthermore, 20th century Fascism invariably came from the traditionally defined political left.

Hitler was a National Socialist who recruited thousands of ex-communists to the Nazi Party. "Beefsteak Nazis" they called them-brown on the outside, red in the middle.

Mussolini was a Marxist who edited the newspaper of the Italian Socialist Party.

British Union of Fascists leader, Oswald Mosley, started out as a Conservative MP, moved to Labour, then even further left to the Independent Labour Party and the British Fabian Society, before adopting fascism.

South African Apartheid came from the union movement, particularly the miner's unions, who didn't want to see white miners competing with black workers for jobs.

Modern Chinese fascism came out of Mao's Communist Party.

My position is with Jefferson, Disraeli and once free Hong Kong.

I believe in the bare minimum of government. I believe the tiny state should be controlled in the strictest possible manner by a written constitution. I believe in free markets and individual liberty.

I am not a right anarchist, but I am as close as you can get without crossing the line.

So sorry dear left anarchists and socialists, but the fascists you so rightly despise are far more like you than they are like me.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post Trevor!

I would add that fascist regimes are generally run by charismatic strong leaders. They tend to be collectives run by an individual. I consider Cuba and North Korea to be fascist but China and Vietnam not. Cuba and North Korea are run an individual iron fist while post-Mao China and Vietnam are more collectively governed

The left tends to label anyone they disagree with as being fascist or racist. These words have lost their meaning.

1:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spot on!

For a great example of fascism alive and well in England have a look at

2:39 AM  
Blogger Libertyscott said...

excellent post, it has become clear from plenty on the left in recent months how sympathetic they are towards violent politics.

9:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trevor, let me first say that I admire your courage and am appalled by the treatment you are receiving from some quarters.

However, I have to disagree with your claim that fascism, especially Nazism, is the politics of the left. I’ll specifically reference Nazism, because that’s what I’m most familiar with. It has to be noted that the National Socialists were utterly pragmatic. They both supported and rejected big business as electoral expediency required. Capitalism was initially viewed as synonymous with Judaism and reviled - as communism was consistently. But after Hitler decided to take a legitimate path after his release from Landsberg, he toned down his anti-capitalist rhetoric and there is certainly evidence of close ties between big business and the Nazi party from 1927. Note also that after the Night of Long Knives in 1934, the majority of the “beefsteak Nazis” (an epithet that was also used within the party) were purged with the SA.

The concepts of left- and right-wing are a little bit nebulous and are generally only useful in a specific political context. If you look at the 1933 elections, we have the “left-wing” NSDAP with 43.9%, the Nationalists (the NSDAP’s allies, so presumably left-wing themselves) with 8%, the Social Democrats (left-wing) with 18.3%, the Communists (left-wing) with 12.3%, and the Catholic Centre party with 11.2%. What you’re saying is that somewhere between 74% and 82% of the electorate voted “left-wing” and that the traditional middle-class supporters of the right were now suddenly supporters of the left.

Now, fascism is certainly collectivist in nature. And it’s true that many individual fascists were former socialists. And it’s also true that the overwhelming majority of left-wing ideologies are collectivist in nature. But it doesn’t follow that all collectivist ideologies are left-wing ideologies (e.g. “compassionate conservatism.”)

Rather than continuums, I think it’s more useful to talk in terms of quadrants ala The World’s Smallest Political Quiz (I’m sure you’re familiar with it) where you have left and right on the horizontal axis and collectivist and individualist on the vertical. (i.e. the continuum you describe.) Fascism and Communism certainly sit at the collectivist end, but quite distinct from leftist social democrats and liberals.

I personally am a classic liberal and generally oppose left-wing ideologies. But as much as I disagree with them, I don’t think it’s helpful to put them into bed with Hitler. If one is intellectually casual enough to equate collectivism with leftism, one is intellectually casual enough to make sloppy transitions from “the Nazis were left-wing” to “left-wingers are Nazis”. It’s a little Godwinesque.

10:03 AM  
Blogger Oliver Woods said...

Hi Trevor,

You said yourself that you "supported anti-revolutionary movements" (i.e. logically speaking pro-apartheid movements) in South Africa in the 1980s, and that quote above is straight from one of your own blog posts.

Hilarious really, that you attack the people (left anarchists) who have very close views to your own while trying to label your opponents as one homogeneous enemy. It's what Fascism tried to do, and what you're continuing it's glorious tradition of today :).

Kindest regards,

12:42 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

For those of you who don't get what Trev is on about the thing that is common among all the 'isms' mentioned is compulsion forced on the individual by a centralised, authoritarian state.
Enter stage 'left' Helen Clark's Nanny State Labour Government

3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clement Blair Peach (25 March 1946 - April 23, 1979) was a New Zealand-born teacher who became a symbol of resistance when he died as a result of alleged police brutality during a demonstration in London, England. At the time he was teaching at a special needs school in London. He was also known as a left wing activist and a member of the Socialist Workers' Party.

Blair Peach was an active member of the Socialist Teachers' Association within the National Union of Teachers

A campaigner and agitator against far right wing and neo-Nazi organisations, Peach was killed in a clash with officers from the Metropolitan Police's Special Patrol Group in Southall, in April 1979, during a demonstration by the Anti-Nazi League against a National Front election meeting taking place in the town hall. He was knocked unconscious and died the day after in hospital.

An inquest jury in May 1980 later returned a verdict of death by misadventure, prompting Mr. Peach's girlfriend Celia Stubbs to claim the police constable who administered the fatal blows to his head had got off 'scot free'. She continues to campaign for a public inquiry into his death.

A primary school in Southall was later named after Blair Peach.[1]

"Reggae Fi Peach", a song on Linton Kwesi Johnson's album Bass Culture, chronicles the death of Blair Peach in the form of Dub Poetry, representing a position of defiance to the attitudes of the UK government at that time. The Ruts also commemorated the death in the tune "Jah War".

8:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BLAIR Peach was killed on 23 April 1979 by members of the Metropolitan Police’s Special Patrol Group while he was attending an anti-Nazi demonstration in Southall in West London. The National Front had decided to hold a public meeting during the election campaign. 3,000 protesters, including members of the Southall Youth Movement, the Indian Workers’ Association and the Anti Nazi League, protested about the presence of fascists in a mainly Asian community. The police deployed 2,756 officers, and the demonstration was characterised by extreme police violence. According to Dilip Hiro, in his book Black Britain, White Britain, ‘Among those who were shocked were the reporters of the conservative Daily Telegraph. Describing how the police ‘cornered’ 50 demonstrators, and how ‘several dozen crying, screaming demonstrators were dragged ... to the police station and waiting coaches,’ they stated: ‘Nearly every demonstrator we saw had blood flowing from some injury’.’ Despite a strong campaign, no public inquiry was ever held, and no member of the Special Patrol Group has ever been brought to justice.

Blair Peach (1946-1979) was a teacher at Phoenix Special School in East London, where he had taught since his arrival in England from New Zealand in 1969. He was a member of the Socialist Workers Party and of the Anti Nazi League, and was an active member of the NUT in East London, of which he was past President. He was involved in many trade union and political struggles, including campaigning against apartheid in South Africa, and he became increasingly involved in anti-fascist and anti-racist struggles. He was committed to his pupils, and to giving all his students a good, anti-racist education. One of his students wrote about him after his death:

‘He was a different kind of teacher. His interest in his pupils was not confined to the schoolroom but extended into their homes, where he would visit and give advice and practical help whenever he could.

‘He did this because he cared about these children and wanted them to be free thinking adults who would not be pushed about by the system.’

As a mark of respect a school in Southall is now called Blair Peach School.

8:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is Fascism? The view from Socialist Worker.

FASCISTS ARE not just right wing, repulsive racists who scapegoat immigrants. Fascists aim to smash democracy and break all forms of working class organisation. Their aim is to control every aspect of society. The last time fascists took control of an advanced industrial country it led to the unequalled barbarity of the Nazi Holocaust. It led to the death camps such as Auschwitz where six million Jews were slaughtered.

Fascism is not just an assault on minorities or socialists. It is a full scale attack on the freedoms of the vast majority of society. Fascists want to end elections. They believe that trade unionists are, as a BNP leader in Britain said, "people whose freedoms need to be curbed". They would target working class activists and even prominent members of the Labour Party.

As the Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky put it, "The historic function of fascism is to smash the working class, destroy its organisations, and stifle political liberties when the capitalists find themselves unable to govern and dominate with the help of democratic machinery."


Some people argue that the bulk of those who followed the Nazis, or who support the National Front in France or the BNP in Britain, are working class. It is true that fascism can appeal to some workers, in particular to those workers who are the least organised and the most marginalised. But fascism has never penetrated the organised working class movement.

Two years before they came to power, in 1931, the Nazis fought a campaign around elections to factory committees. They won just 5 percent of the votes. Some 83.6 percent voted for candidates linked to the SPD, the German equivalent of the Labour Party. In similar elections in 1933, which took place after Hitler came to power, the Nazis won just 3 percent.

The main support for fascism has always come from the middle class-the people whose lives are torn up by the effects of the system, but who have no collective organisations to fight back. This class-small businessmen, farmers and shopkeepers, managers, lawyers and other non-unionised professionals-do not have the collective power of workers or the economic power of the bosses.

Their lives can be ruined in times of economic crisis and mass unemployment. Trotsky pointed out how these people hate the big capitalists, but they also detest the workers. He wrote, "At big business the small man shakes his fist as if he were a socialist, against the worker he shrills his bourgeois respectability, his horror of class struggle, his rabid nationalist pride."

The fascists try to give the little man a banner to express his despair, and to turn his bitterness against scapegoats. Hitler said, "Mass demonstrations must burn into the little man's soul the conviction that though a little worm he is part of a great dragon."


Today fascists like Le Pen in France and try to present themselves as respectable electoral politicians. But behind the suited fascist leaders stand the street thugs.

Across Europe it is urgent to expose and campaign against the Nazis. Fascism has never "crept up" bit by bit on society. It has only been successful in taking power during periods of deep and brutal social crisis.

Fascism grew before the Second World War when the system was facing the most savage economic crisis in the history of capitalism. The fascist Mussolini came to power in Italy in 1922 at a time when the major banks, steel and engineering firms, and mining and shipping companies had gone bust.

Hundreds of thousands of people had been thrown out of work, and countless small businessmen and farmers found their lives ruined. In Germany Hitler's Nazis grew at a time of an even bigger economic slump. Unemployment grew to 1.3 million in 1929, soared to three million the next year, and stood at 4.3 million in 1931. In 1933, the year Hitler came to power, it stood at six million.


The Nazis presented themselves as the people who could save Germany from the abyss.

Their victory involved persuading important sections of the ruling class that they could deliver what the bosses wanted. For most of the time only a tiny number of big capitalists support Nazis. But when society is gripped by deep social and economic crisis, such as in the 1930s, the bosses find that their usual methods of rule no longer work. They can then take the gamble of embracing the fascists as a way of crushing workers' resistance and restoring profits.
Today there is not a slump like in the 1930s. But there is growing insecurity about jobs, welfare and housing. The sense of crisis in society is enough for the Nazis to get a foothold — but only if we let them.

8:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why did hitler kill unionists if he was left? he would of used them to gain him power and control of industry if he was leftist aii trev?

im sorry but calling hitler leftist so you can try grandstand and get some moral highground wont cut it.

your revisionism doesn't work

9:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mussolini was once a marxists, u make it seem although he always was. you are geting the facts wrong as per usual.

here is an article for you to read -

Myth: Hitler was a leftist.

Fact: Nearly all of Hitler's beliefs placed him on the far right.


To most people, Hitler's beliefs belong to the extreme far right. For example, most conservatives believe in patriotism and a strong military; carry these beliefs far enough, and you arrive at Hitler's warring nationalism. This association has long been something of an embarrassment to the far right. To deflect such criticism, conservatives have recently launched a counter-attack, claiming that Hitler was a socialist, and therefore belongs to the political left, not the right.

The primary basis for this claim is that Hitler was a National Socialist. The word "National" evokes the state, and the word "Socialist" openly identifies itself as such.

However, there is no academic controversy over the status of this term: it was a misnomer. Misnomers are quite common in the history of political labels. Examples include the German Democratic Republic (which was neither) and Vladimir Zhirinovsky's "Liberal Democrat" party (which was also neither). The true question is not whether Hitler called his party "socialist," but whether or not it actually was..........

9:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stalin's murder of eight million in the gulags and 15 million in the induced Ukraine famine was followed by the death of probably 40 million in Mao's Great Leap Forward, and six million by Pol Pot in Cambodia.

The Leftists have outmurdered the Right.

If the Lefties are so peaceful what were they up to in the Ureweras???

10:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the 1930's the left was divided over whether Stalin or Hitler was more progressive. The left is guilty of historical revisionism.

John Ray the prodigious Brisbane blogger has lots to say about the leftist love affair with the Nazism in the 1930's. Read and learn.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party".

4:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"In politics, right-wing, the political right, and the right are terms used in the spectrum of left-right politics, and much like the opposite appellation of left-wing, it has a broad variety of definitions. However, it is generally used to refer to the segments of the political spectrum often associated with any of several strains of Conservatism, Traditionalism, Fascism, Far right, Monarchism, Right-libertarianism, Corporatism, the Religious Right, Nationalism, Militarism, National Socialism, Jingoism, Producerism, Nativism, or Reactionism."

Not suggesting that Wiki is always correct, however you may want to redo that article Trevor, and rewrite history books while youre at it, uh something that is called Revisionism.

5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

article on Eurofascism from SW member Joe Carolan at

12:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great, this was getting interesting then along comes someone with a Wikipedia reference.

Nice one Anon @ 5.49 - get real mate.

8:15 PM  
Blogger Libertyscott said...

The fundamental point is that the so called far right and the far left both believe people's lives are owned by a collective- whether it be the state representing race or class.

Just because the racist "far right" has been more discredited academically than the bigoted reality evading "far left" does not mean they are both of the same school of thought - anti-individualism.

10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post reached new heights of rabid anti-leftism, even for you Trev.

But why don't we get the semantics out of the way first? The terms "left" and "right" originate out of the French Parliament. The monarchists, clergy and conservatives sat on the right, the revolutionaries, liberals and republicans sat on the left. That would include the forerunners of your beloved libertarians. If I re-defined these labels as I saw fit, I could prove just about anything myself.

Oh yes, and the Spanish Civil War was a very convincing exercise in the left "distancing themselves from their Nazi soul-mates", as you eloquently put it. I think you'll have to dig up proof of CNT/FAI-run extermination camps or give Holocaust revisionism a go if it's all much of a muchness to you.

I doubt there are too many folks out there that see the US or Israel as "centrist" (this is coming from a Jew, before you run with the "anti-Semitism" argument).

To my mind, you share the common libertarian (and Marxist, ironically) fixation on the economy as the determining factor in shaping the society. Yet, there are social and psychological factors that can be more potent than any economic factors. If you have a family, you'd realise that some people would give up their last bit of food to their child during a time of famine. The social instinct in humans (and many other successful species) is at the heart of what you lump into "collectivism".

Trying to explain something as complex as human society in left-versus-right terms is simplifying things beyond the sublimely ridiculous all the way through to clueless. Your essay would be given a "D" at best if it was submitted to for marking in a first-year political science class.

I might recommend to you as a starting point. You might be surprised to learn that there are substantial differences between Nazism and Cuban socialism, anarchism and Stalinism, theocracy and Putin's autocracy. Hope you're open to a learning experience today. ;-)

12:29 PM  
Blogger Col. B. Bunny said...

STF you're having a hard time grasping what Mr. Loudon just wrote.

Fascists are right wing by definition in your view so therefore if a left winger, e.g., fascist, does something you don't like it's therefore something done by the "right" wing.

Let me help you.

Here's the deal. Spread your arms wide and at the tips of your left fingers are the really loopy, homicidal types like the maoists and pol pottyists, the kind who'll cut off their right foot to ensure victory over right deviationism. These people love governmental power and seek out its purest, most unrestricted forms in order to carry out really deranged schemes. If there's bean patch to be cultivated, they want to plant ever seed and harvest every bean.

Further up around your left wrist are the Chicoms who were similarly deranged who also didn't fancy restrictions on government power but had sporadic semi-lucid moments wherein they did some stuff to sorta kinda industrialize China.

About an inch further up your arm there were the Soviets who weren't quite as good as mobilizing mass hysteria but still loved state power in its purest forms, maintaining the illusion of constitutionalism and the labor "movement" but all the while controlling every aspect of the economy, suffocating labor, and killing off whomever they decided was a bourgeois monster or other kind of class enemy. Think rule by peasants and psychopaths.

Then, about the thickness of a bayonet further away from your left wrist, imagine the Nazis. They too loved state power but had the sense not to try to run the economy themselves while they carried out their particular plan. That’s pretty much the essence of fascism right there. It’s not about being a meanie (or a bully as Orwell observed), it’s about the particular means by which totalitarian power is exercised and maintained. I don’t have to take over your factory and find some bureaucratic schlep to run it for my government. I can simply use you to do it for me with the explicit understanding that all will not be well with you and your wife and children if you don’t run “your” factory the way I prefer. In what way is this significantly different from state ownership of the means of production? Ergo, control over military, secret police, and all other government yields exact SAME KIND of government whether government ownership of the means of production is direct or indirect.

All of the above governments got to do exactly what they wanted because they had the same thing: absolute control of the government. What they chose to do with that power varied from one fevered cranium to another but in every case, there was no intrusion of law, custom, common sense or decency to stop them, let alone slow them down.

Now, as you reach your elbow and pass over your bicep and approach your sternum and then head on over to the tips of your RIGHT hands, STF, you begin to encounter political arrangements involve progressively less power being exclusively in the hands of the government and more SHARING and LIMITING of real power by non-government types. Plus, you get private people making more and more economic decisions without government input, supervision or control. Things are settled more and more by resort to legal, customary, religious, and ethical rules and precepts and it’s much, much harder (though not impossible) over on that side for some harebrained scheme (e.g., like importing massive numbers of foreigners, trashing the economy, and borrowing huge amounts of money from foreigners) to be implemented. Think hysteria and hideous self delusion if you've got a bipolar plan in mind. Want to eradicate the bourgeoisie over on that side? Too bad. It’s DIY project for you and your neighbors and no help at all from the town council.

That’s the RIGHT WING, STF -- circumscribed government power, laws, custom, freedom, lots of churches and voluntary associations, a free press, and few barriers to economic ingenuity and initiative, inter alia.


2:38 PM  
Blogger Col. B. Bunny said...

Agitating against "neo-Nazis" these days has little to do with any kind of moral credentialing. More likely, it's a symptom of something likely to be the opposite of political reasonableness and decency. Even the Nazis and the reds in 1930s Germany saw each other, correctly, as the only major obstacle to their acquiring power and if the reds “demonstrated” against the Nazis it wasn’t to vindicate some noble purpose, just their own totalitarian goals.

Whatever was the cause of Mr. Peach’s death, I’d like to know more about how well behaved he and his socialist and anti-Nazi comrades were at that demonstration. Whatever diminished view I now have of the British police, I especially doubt that they then were given to unprovoked and excessive violence against the lambs and pussy cats who showed up that day. Consider the Antifa scum of our time, STF, and then consider that being “anti-fascist” isn’t necessarily proof of any superior moral approach. On the contrary, the putative Antifa(scists) serve the ends of . . . are you with me? . . . fascism.

What you and several other commenters envision of the left-right spectrum isn’t a spectrum at all. You start out at the left side with massive state power and idiotic and criminal objectives; see some idyllic area in the middle peopled by school teachers, nursing mums, and the proper sort of people who are compassionate and want to “give back” to their community; and then hurtle again into territory again where there is massive state power marshaled in service to anti-immigrant and anti-working man objectives.

If you put an ice cube in a saucepan and apply lots of heat it doesn't melt and then freeze up again. But . . . that's they way you and your pals here analyze politics. It says something about you. It really does.

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see that you are a fan of Glen Beck!

Do you really think that Glen Beck and his fellow psychotic raving looneys at Fox "news" have anything really positive to say about anything at all. Except for the negative politics of resentment and anger.

Or are they the leading edge of fascist America?

What exactly is Beck appealing to?

Deeply informed and considered discriminative intelligence, or the psychology of the mob and its search for scapegoats or someone to blame?

If only the USA body politic can be "cleansed" of the "cancer" of "liberalism" then everything will be hunky-dory again in the USA.

The inherently dreadful, with mountains of (necessary) corpses, applied politics of mass scapegoatism.

Funny how the USA used to be promoted as the champion and exemplar of LIBERAL Democracy!

By the way fascism is applied patriarchal politics--no sissies or softies allowed.

Might equals right, and nothing more.

Those with the guns win.

We are right--bang bang and you are dead---end of argument.

Have you ever noticed how loudly those on the right of the culture celebrate the "culture" of guns--think the NRA.

5:25 PM  

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