Fascist Socio-Economics

It’s a simple fact that most Americans have a very poor grasp of the socio-economic platform of fascism. Typically, fascism uniquely combines state organization of society with capitalist power structures to build powerful and oppressive authoritarian regimes. As an example let’s examine National Socialism, the political platform and societal template of Hitler’s Third Reich, as it was was one of the most fully developed and realized fascist states of the 20th century.

Volksgemeinschaft

The Nazis promised harmony among the classes through state intervention

As I explain in my article on National Socialism, Hitler and the Nazis believed that the issues and needs of the working class should be handled and dealt with by the state.

To this end, Nazis organized German labor into “Volksgemeinschaft” – “Peoples’ Communities.” These were essentially labor organizations that were run and controlled by the state.

Fascists believe that state intervention along these lines will reduce hostility between workers and capitalists, and that nationalism will lead to class harmony. In the Third Reich, this translated into a classically fascist organization of society built from the ground up to preserve capitalist power structures. The state ensured that capitalists would continue owning and commanding the means of production (with “guidance” from the state), and forcing workers into state-run labor organizations ensures labor will be unable to form their own unions and thus precludes the working class from having any actual power.

Nationalism and labor propaganda were also vital aspects of National Socialism. By building an emotional attachment to Aryan racial purity and German exceptionalism, the Nazis could have tremendous, almost mystical sway over German workers. In a similar fashion, Hitler and the Nazi Party expended tremendous resources and energies into glorifying German workers, making the concept of hard work and sacrifice seem noble, well encapsulated in Hitler’s famous proclamation:

National Socialist labor propaganda

Nazi propaganda aggrandized the worker as a means of social control.

“I only acknowledge one nobility—that of labor.”

It’s especially important to understand the ways fascists use their economic platforms to seize power. Fascist movements are essentially parasitic, and they feed on liberation movements. Whenever and wherever oppressed workers begin to foment and rise up, fascists will always pop up and use violent streetfighting tactics to brawl with leftists.

This street violence, along with the prospect of a leftist overthrow of capitalism, makes the comfortable centrist middle class as well as wealthy capitalists extremely nervous. The middle class abhors violence just as the capitalists are terrified of losing their positions of supreme power over society.

In this situation, fascists present themselves as useful “tools” for quelling leftist uprisings. By provoking violent encounters in the streets, they are able to paint leftists as violently aggressive. They are thus able to coax centrists into coming down on the side of the fascists, which would preserve capitalist wealth and power while simultaneously suppressing street violence to ease the anxieties of the centrist middle class.

Fascists then use the power parlay these street confrontations into political power, seeing to it that “emergency powers” are granted to them by the nervous middle and capitalist classes to install their regime and swiftly enact severe, authoritarian policies. This is a tried and true pattern that has repeated itself throughout the 20th century and will continue repeating itself for as long as there is class struggle.

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