Thursday 26 November 2020

A spectre is haunting Europe


A spectre is haunting Europe — the spectre of communism. So begins the Communist Manifesto and Marx was right - Communism was a spectre, in the sense of being non existent but causing fear. I stole this idea from AJP Taylor.

Now the spectre that hunts the developed world is Nazism, which is an even less real danger than Communism was in 1848.

Yet this fear is being like the Nazis, in some way or another, is remaking the world.

Of course nonexistent dangers can become real one day - as happened in Russia almost 70 years after Marx wrote, thanks to the cunning of Lenin. Mussolini's fascism or Nazism won't come back, but some extremist ideology might somehow rise from the dead. The liberals of all parties who rule the developed world seem to be doing everything they can to make this possible.


  1. Was communism an unreal spectre in 1848? Tocqueville and others noticed that the revolutionary impulse was becoming social as much as political. In France, 1848 brought in the national workshops. I don't know how many French socialists bothered to call themselves communists, but still Louis Napoleon thought it worthwhile to ship some number off to penal colonies, didn't he?

    The recent revelations of far-right chat groups among the German police suggest that sympathies for Nazism are not as dead as one might hope.

    1. Was communism an unreal spectre in 1848? Yes. Far right can mean many things - AfD is called far right.

  2. Today, the adjective “fascist” is an epithet—often mixed promiscuously with “white supremacist,” “sexist,” etc.—that the ruling class uses to besmirch whoever challenges them, and to provide emotional fuel for cowering, marginalizing, and disempowering conservatives.

    This maneuver consists of defining fascism in terms of unpopular ideas, political practices, and personality traits observable in many times and places; then, having cited Hitler’s Nazi movement as fascism’s quintessence, of pinning those deplorable characteristics on the intended targets. This reductio ad Hitlerum aims at no less than to outlaw conservatives. As the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin exclaimed: “these people are not fit for polite society…. I think it’s absolutely abhorrent that any institution of higher learning, any news organization, or any entertainment organization that has a news outlet would hire these people.” And the New Republic explains “why fascist rhetoric needs to be excluded from public discourse.” The establishment doesn’t seem to realize that they are preaching some of fascism’s practices.

    This essay looks behind fighting words to fascism’s reality. Although Benito Mussolini, fascism’s artificer and personifier, died discredited in 1945, fascism’s socio-political paradigm, the administrative state, is well-nigh universal in our time. And as the European and American ruling class adopted Communism’s intellectual categories and political language, the adjective “fascist” became a weapon in its arsenal.

    We begin with how fascism developed in Mussolini’s mind and praxis from 1915 to 1935, how it was hardly out of tune with what was happening in the rest of the Western world, as well as how it then changed and died. After considering how fascism fit in the 20th century’s political warfare doctrines, we explore its place in contemporary political struggles.

    The Original Fascist

    From movement to epithet
    by Angelo M. Codevilla