Straight from “The Horse’s Mouth”….
(This is long, but it needs to be to make the point clearly that “this isn’t about me” and it “isn’t about what I think something is, or isn’t”. This is what they said they were…)
THE DOCTRINE OF FASCISM
BENITO MUSSOLINI (1932)
(ONLY COMPLETE OFFICIAL TEXT ON THE INTERNET)
(This article, co-written by Giovanni Gentile, is considered to be the most complete articulation of Mussolini’s political views. This is the only complete official translation we know of on the web, copied directly from an official Fascist government publication of 1935, Fascism Doctrine and Institutions, by Benito Mussolini, Ardita Publishers, Rome, pages 7-42. This translation includes all the footnotes from the original.)
It points out that Fascism is both a political and economic system and includes many spiritual aspects as well. I’m not going to comment on the political / spiritual aspects here ( you can read them at the link should you wish) but instead will focus just on the “Third Way” economic system it created.
The political leanings of Fascism are the root, IMHO, of most of the “dirt” it (deservedly) gets. Folks conflate the Nationalist Racist and often Authoritarian and Militarist aspects of the political Fascist Doctrine with the economic form it adopted. ( Then again, politics and economics are often highly intertwined and there is even a specialty of “Political Economy”… so it’s not all that unusual a thing to do). But here I am looking at the economics of it. Was it a “right wing” (in the post 1990 era American sense of “Republican”) or a “left wing” (in the post 1990 era American sense of “Democrat” and “Social Liberal”… “Liberal” in the American sense of “Progressive” and not in the older and European sense of “Liberal” that is more of a Libertarian preservation of liberties…. See why I don’t like “left” and “right”? You need to define them with each use as to who, when, where… or they are meaningless.)
Obligatory Disclaimer: Just so it’s clear: I despise the evil done by both Fascist and fascist governments (Fascist with a capital “F” is the Italian original, with an “f” is the generic and applies to places like Spain and Germany at various times in their evolution). They were evil. Why say the obvious? Because some of their economic polices actually worked, and rather well. So when I say something like “And that works well”, some fool somewhere will assert I’m in favor of Fascism. I’m not. I’m admiring the mandibles on a destructive pest and saying “gee, they cut well!”…
OK, with that out of the way, some selected parts of the Fascist Doctrine as the Fascists wrote it:
Thus many of the practical expressions of Fascism such as party organization, system of education, and discipline can only be understood when considered in relation to its general attitude toward life. A spiritual attitude (3). Fascism sees in the world not only those superficial, material aspects in which man appears as an individual, standing by himself, self-centered, subject to natural law, which instinctively urges him toward a life of selfish momentary pleasure; it sees not only the individual but the nation and the country; individuals and generations bound together by a moral law, with common traditions and a mission which suppressing the instinct for life closed in a brief circle of pleasure, builds up a higher life, founded on duty, a life free from the limitations of time and space, in which the individual, by self-sacrifice, the renunciation of self-interest, by death itself, can achieve that purely spiritual existence in which his value as a man consists.
It includes public education.
It expects you to suppress your “material aspects” and “self-centered” aspects in service to society and to the State.
The conception is therefore a spiritual one, arising from the general reaction of the century against the materialistic positivism of the XIXth century
It is anti-materialistic. (Not sounding very capitalistic at the moment…)
In the Fascist conception of history, man is man only by virtue of the spiritual process to which he contributes as a member of the family, the social group, the nation, and in function of history to which all nations bring their contribution. Hence the great value of tradition in records, in language, in customs, in the rules of social life (8). Outside history man is a nonentity. Fascism is therefore opposed to all individualistic abstractions based on eighteenth century materialism; and it is opposed to all Jacobinistic utopias and innovations. It does not believe in the possibility of “happiness” on earth as conceived by the economistic literature of the XVIIIth century, and it therefore rejects the theological notion that at some future time the human family will secure a final settlement of all its difficulties. This notion runs counter to experience which teaches that life is in continual flux and in process of evolution. In politics Fascism aims at realism; in practice it desires to deal only with those problems which are the spontaneous product of historic conditions and which find or suggest their own solutions (9). Only by entering in to the process of reality and taking possession of the forces at work within it, can man act on man and on nature (10).
OK, that’s a mouthful… The bits of interest to me: It clearly sees the individual as a “nonentity” other than through their expression in a collective of some degree: “which he contributes as a member of the family, the social group, the nation”. Then we get a repeat of the “anti-materialist” theme a couple of times and an assertion that by “taking possession of the forces at work”, (and here I make a leap… to me the “it” in question is “society”) ~within society, “can man act on man”… Gee, sounds like a central control urge. The first step to “central planning”. A key feature of Socialism.
Anti-individualistic, the Fascist conception of life stresses the importance of the State and accepts the individual only in so far as his interests coincide with those of the State, which stands for the conscience and the universal, will of man as a historic entity (11). It is opposed to classical liberalism which arose as a reaction to absolutism and exhausted its historical function when the State became the expression of the conscience and will of the people.
Well, that makes it pretty clear. No ClassiLiberal “Libertarian” and “right wing Capitalist” point of view to be allowed in here. Free markets ala “classical liberalism” have “exhausted its historical function”.
At this point it is helpful to remember that Mussolini was raised in a Socialist home and steeped in Socialist doctrine. (In this era, Socialism had yet to mutate into it’s many more recent “softer” forms and was substantially Marxist-Leninist doctrine. That point become very important later when folks assert “fascists killed all the Socialists”. You must be careful of the slippery nature of terms, here. What they did-in were the Marxist-Leninist clans of Classical Socialism as they wanted to invent the new “Third Way”…) In that context, the Marxists doctrine was that Capitalism had a ‘historical role to play’ of preparing the world for the inevitable “class struggle” from which would arise The People and their Socialist Utopia. So here we have a clear statement (at least, clear when you know your Marx and history) of a Marxists root. That the State would arise on the ashes of Classical Liberal market economies as they filled out their “historical function”.
Liberalism denied the State in the name of the individual; Fascism reasserts
The rights of the State as expressing the real essence of the individual (12). And if liberty is to he the attribute of living men and not of abstract dummies invented by individualistic liberalism, then Fascism stands for liberty, and for the only liberty worth having, the liberty of the State and of the individual within the State (13). The Fascist conception of the State is all embracing; outside of it no human or spiritual values can exist, much less have value. Thus understood, Fascism, is totalitarian, and the Fascist State – a synthesis and a unit inclusive of all values – interprets, develops, and potentates the whole life of a people (14).
I suspect a ‘scanning artifact’ and that “liberty is to he the” ought to be “liberty is to be the”… but I’ve left it as posted.
Here we have the classic “Left Spin” of redefining inconvenient words. “Liberty” is now bondage to the State. As long as you are a good little worker in the party and the State, then you are free. Just follow orders exactly… Typical. But they do go on to note that “the State is all embracing”. Remember that prior to Mussolini the word “Totalitarian” had not been invented. At this point we are seeing it be born. The individual is only of worth as part of the collectivist State.
Somehow I’m not feeling the love for that individualist capitalist free market libertarian ideal… and I’m reading a whole lot more collectivist State central plan and control.
No individuals or groups (political parties, cultural associations, economic unions, social classes) outside the State (15). Fascism is therefore opposed to Socialism to which unity within the State (which amalgamates classes into a single economic and ethical reality) is unknown, and which sees in history nothing but the class struggle.
Remember, here, that at this point in history Socialism IS Marxism-Leninism. What we would today call “Communism”. What they are saying here is again best understood in the context of that M-L doctrine of the class struggle. M-L Socialism saw the world as a ‘class struggle’ where labor and labor unions would be pitted against capitalists and capital in a grand battle. They are saying, instead, we can pull them both into the government and eliminate the “struggle” aspect. This, of course, was heresy of the worst kind to M-L Socialists who had their whole world view tied up in “class struggle”… Thus Stalin accusing fascists of being “right wing” as they denied the “class struggle” center of Communism.
In essence, they are saying “We’re a new kind of collectivism that abolishes the class struggle”.
Fascism is likewise opposed to trade unionism as a class weapon. But when brought within the orbit of the State, Fascism recognizes the real needs which gave rise to socialism and trade unionism, giving them due weight in the guild or corporative system in which divergent interests are coordinated and harmonized in the unity of the State (16).
At this point the “Fascism as right-wing” folks like to blow long and hard about “They ABOLISHED the UNIONS.!!!” as though that made them Old School Capitalist Cronies. But that’s not how this plays out. Notice it says “as a class weapon”? That’s straight out of M-L doctrine. Unions were to engage in a grand battle against capitalists. These folks are saying “Um, no. We’ve got a better way to win”. Key point is they have the same objective…
Notice that next sentence? Under the guidance of the State, the “real need” (i.e. that “class struggle”) will be met via the “guild” or “corporative system”. More on that corporative bit later. For now, just notice that the “union” is transformed into a state sponsored “guild”. Not exactly abolishing unions for the free run of Capitalist Running Dogs… and the purpose? “divergent interests are coordinated and harmonized in the unity of the State”. Not sounding all that different from M-L Communism to me.
I know I said I’d stay away from the Political aspects, but this one quote has a very important point.
When in the now distant March of 1919, speaking through the columns of the Popolo d’Italia I summoned to Milan the surviving interventionists who had intervened, and who had followed me ever since the foundation of the Fascist of revolutionary action in January 1915, I had in mind no specific doctrinal program. The only doctrine of which I had practical experience was that of socialism, from until the winter of 1914 – nearly a decade. My experience was that both of a follower and a leader but it was not doctrinal experience. My doctrine during that period had been the doctrine of action. A uniform, universally accepted doctrine of Socialism had not existed since 1905, when the revisionist movement, headed by Bernstein, arose in Germany, countered by the formation, in the see-saw of tendencies, of a left revolutionary movement which in Italy never quitted the field of phrases, whereas, in the case of Russian socialism, it became the prelude to Bolshevism.
There are some very important points here to note.
1) Mussolini (he is the “I” here) clearly states he was a Socialist, through and through.
2) He demonstrates understanding and knowledge of the history of Socialism.
3) He distinguishes it from the Bolshevism that took over in Russia.
So his whole “doctrine of which I had practical experience” as he put it, “was that of socialism” (which at that point was Marxist-Leninist doctrine).
What happened in 1905? That whole Russia / Lenin thing:
where Socialism stopped being pure Marxist doctrine and got the first of many “revisions” of scope and style…
Now, pause for just a moment.
Here we have a foundational document being written. Does it reference capitalist and market theory? Does it build on a tradition of libertarian thought? Or does it spend time carefully delineating the small ways in which it diverges from Marxism and Leninism? Proudly proclaiming, in Marxist inspired language, how it avoids the “class struggle”? While still achieving those anti-capitalist and anti-Classical-Liberal goals?
So, walks like a Goose, talks like a Goose… I think it’s a Goose Stepper…
Reformism, revolutionism, centrism, the very echo of that terminology is dead, while in the great river of Fascism one can trace currents which had their source in Sorel, Peguy, Lagardelle of the Movement Socialists, and in the cohort of Italian syndicalist who from 1904 to 1914 brought a new note into the Italian socialist environment – previously emasculated and chloroformed by fornicating with Giolitti’s party – a note sounded in Olivetti’s Pagine Libere, Orano’s Lupa, Enrico Leone’s Divenirs Socials
And by golly, even the founder himself sees it as an outgrowth of Socialism (of the Marxist sort)…
Some reference points for folks who might not recognize some of those names:
Georges Eugène Sorel (2 November 1847 in Cherbourg – 29 August 1922 in Boulogne-sur-Seine) was a French philosopher and theorist of revolutionary syndicalism. His notion of the power of myth in people’s lives inspired Marxists and Fascists.
In 1893, he publicly affirmed his position as a Marxist and a socialist. His social and political philosophy owed much to his reading of Proudhon, Karl Marx, Giambattista Vico, Henri Bergson (whose lectures at the Collège de France he attended), and later William James. Sorel’s engagement in the political world was accompanied by a correspondence with Benedetto Croce, and later with Vilfredo Pareto. Sorel worked on the first French Marxist journals, L’Ère nouvelle and Le Devenir social, and then participated at the turn of the century in the revisionist debate and crisis within Marxism. He took the side of Eduard Bernstein against Karl Kautsky. Sorel supported acquittal during the Dreyfus affair, although, like his friend Charles Péguy, he later felt betrayed by what he took to be the opportunism of the Dreyfusards. Through his contributions to Enrico Leone’s Il Divenire sociale and Hubert Lagardelle’s Mouvement socialiste, he contributed around 1905 to the theoretical elaboration of revolutionary syndicalism. In 1906, his most famous text, Reflections on Violence, appeared in this last journal. It was published in book form in 1908, and was followed the same year by Illusions du progrès.
Charles Péguy (January 7, 1873 – September 4, 1914) was a noted French poet, essayist, and editor. His two main philosophies were socialism and nationalism,
From his earliest years, he was influenced by socialism. From 1900 to his death in 1914, he was the main contributor and the editor of the literary magazine Les Cahiers de la Quinzaine, which first supported the Socialist Party director Jean Jaurès.
And “what are syndicalists?” I can hear someone mutter:
syndicalism, also called Anarcho-syndicalism, or Revolutionary Syndicalism, a movement that advocates direct action by the working class to abolish the capitalist order, including the state, and to establish in its place a social order based on workers organized in production units. The syndicalist movement flourished in France chiefly between 1900 and 1914 and had a considerable impact in Spain, Italy, England, the Latin-American countries, and elsewhere. It had ceased to be a strong, dynamic force by the end of World War I, but it remained a residual force in Europe until World War II.
Not exactly the “pedigree” of a Capitalist Market Libertarian…
But back to Fascist Doctrine. There is a fairly long section extolling the virtues of a militaristic stance, then a bit that tries to define Fascism as distinct from Socialism (which, remember, is Marxist-Leninist at this point):
That the vicissitudes of economic life – discoveries of raw materials, new technical processes, and scientific inventions – have their importance, no one denies; but that they suffice to explain human history to the exclusion of other factors is absurd. Fascism believes now and always in sanctity and heroism, that is to say in acts in which no economic motive – remote or immediate – is at work. Having denied historic materialism, which sees in men mere puppets on the surface of history, appearing and disappearing on the crest of the waves while in the depths the real directing forces move and work, Fascism also denies the immutable and irreparable character of the class struggle which is the natural outcome of this economic conception of history; above all it denies that the class struggle is the preponderating agent in social transformations. Having thus struck a blow at socialism in the two main points of its doctrine, all that remains of it is the sentimental aspiration-old as humanity itself-toward social relations in which the sufferings and sorrows of the humbler folk will be alleviated. But here again Fascism rejects the economic interpretation of felicity as something to be secured socialistically, almost automatically, at a given stage of economic evolution when all will be assured a maximum of material comfort. Fascism denies the materialistic conception of happiness as a possibility, and abandons it to the economists of the mid-eighteenth century. This means that Fascism denies the equation: well-being = happiness, which sees in men mere animals, content when they can feed and fatten, thus reducing them to a vegetative existence pure and simple.
This section blends a lot of threads. Near religious zeal along with economic and political threads.
The key points, though, are fairly easy to pick out. In essence: ~”We’re not Capitalists, and we don’t believe in the Class Struggle as essential to gaining social goals; besides, life’s a bitch and then you die. So we’re going to have a Third Way form of the Social Agenda.”
Fascism is definitely and absolutely opposed to the doctrines of liberalism, both in the political and the economic sphere. The importance of liberalism in the XIXth century should not be exaggerated for present day polemical purposes, nor should we make of one of the many doctrines which flourished in that century a religion for mankind for the present and for all time to come. Liberalism really flourished for fifteen years only. It arose in 1830 as a reaction to the Holy Alliance which tried to force Europe to recede further back than 1789; it touched its zenith in 1848 when even Pius IXth was a liberal. Its decline began immediately after that year. If 1848 was a year of light and poetry, 1849 was a year of darkness and tragedy. The Roman Republic was killed by a sister republic, that of France . In that same year Marx, in his famous Communist Manifesto, launched the gospel of socialism.
For Americans, remember that this is the Classical Liberal definition, rather close to our Jeffersonian Libertarian principles. And I think that’s a pretty clear rejection of libertarian and Classi-Liberal beliefs…
Gospel? Well, yes…
He then basically claims a bit of a buffet approach to design, a bit of various things:
A party governing a nation “totalitarianly” is a new departure in history. There are no points of reference nor of comparison. From beneath the ruins of liberal, socialist, and democratic doctrines, Fascism extracts those elements which are still vital. It preserves what may be described as “the acquired facts” of history; it rejects all else.
If the XIXth century was the century of the individual (liberalism implies individualism) we are free to believe that this is the “collective” century, and therefore the century of the State.
Here we clearly see stated that this is a “collective” State. Where do we here about the virtues of The Collective? Oh yeah, from the Socialists (both the old Marxist-Leninist form and the more modern forms right on down to Lange Type Socialism).
. The State educates the citizens to civism, makes them aware of their mission, urges them to unity; its justice harmonizes their divergent interests; it transmits to future generations the conquests of the mind in the fields of science, art, law, human solidarity; it leads men up from primitive tribal life to that highest manifestation of human power, imperial rule.
We also get the mechanism of State Education as a control vehicle for the masses. Shades of Communist “re-education camps”…
Next up, we get a large dose of “State collectivism good; individual capital and free markets bad”:
Since 1929 economic and political development have everywhere emphasized these truths. The importance of the State is rapidly growing. The so-called crisis can only be settled by State action and within the orbit of the State. Where are the shades of the Jules Simons who, in the early days of liberalism proclaimed that the “State should endeavor to render itself useless and prepare to hand in its resignation “? Or of the MacCullochs who, in the second half of last century, urged that the State should desist from governing too much? And what of the English Bentham who considered that all industry asked of government was to be left alone, and of the German Humbolt who expressed the opinion that the best government was a lazy ” one? What would they say now to the unceasing, inevitable, and urgently requested interventions of government in business? It is true that the second generation of economists was less uncompromising in this respect than the first, and that even Adam Smith left the door ajar – however cautiously – for government intervention in business.
If liberalism spells individualism, Fascism spells government. The Fascist State is, however, a unique and original creation. It is not reactionary but revolutionary, for it anticipates the solution of certain universal problems which have been raised elsewhere, in the political field by the splitting up of parties, the usurpation of power by parliaments, the irresponsibility of assemblies; in the economic field by the increasingly numerous and important functions discharged by trade unions and trade associations with their disputes and ententes, affecting both capital and labor; in the ethical field by the need felt for order, discipline, obedience to the moral dictates of patriotism.
So government ought to be doing intervention in business, and trade unions are important to decisions about capital and labor. What we today would call “Market Socialism”… I have trouble with the notion that a Classi-Liberal free market capitalist would be in favor of “government intervention in business” and “trade unions and trade associations” deciding what to do with capital…
Fascism desires the State to be strong and organic, based on broad foundations of popular support. The Fascist State lays claim to rule in the economic field no less than in others; it makes its action felt throughout the length and breadth of the country by means of its corporative, social, and educational institutions, and all the political, economic, and spiritual forces of the nation, organized in their respective associations, circulate within the State.
OK, so we have “State lays claim to rule in the economic field”… Sounds a whole lot more “communist / socialist” to me than it does “free market capitalist”…
I note in passing that it sidesteps the Communist demand to abolish religion. Kind of an “issue” in a devoutly Catholic place and time. Another thing that caused Stalin to define them as “right wing”…
The Fascist State is not indifferent to religious phenomena in general nor does it maintain an attitude of indifference to Roman Catholicism, the special, positive religion of Italians. The State has not got a theology but it has a moral code. The Fascist State sees in religion one of the deepest of spiritual manifestations and for this reason it not only respects religion but defends and protects it. The Fascist State does not attempt, as did Robespierre at the height of the revolutionary delirium of the Convention, to set up a “god” of its own; nor does it vainly seek, as does Bolshevism, to efface God from the soul of man. Fascism respects the God of ascetics, saints, and heroes, and it also respects God as conceived by the ingenuous and primitive heart of the people, the God to whom their prayers are raised.
And for that, along with denial of the central nature of the Marxist “Class Struggle” as the only path to Socialism, they are “right wing”, per Stalin. To me, there’s a whole lot more bird to get through before you are off of the “left wing”…
Then, from down in the Appendix, some words about their use of Corporations. These are not like our corporations, where you just raise some capital and run off to make a new gizmo, electing to your Board of Directors whomever you wish, no….
The Ministry of Corporations is not a bureaucratic organ, nor does it wish to exercise the functions of syndical organizations which are necessarily independent, since they aim at organizing, selecting and improving the members of syndicates. The Ministry of Corporations is an institution in virtue of which, in the centre and outside, integral corporation becomes an accomplished fact, where balance is achieved between interests and forces of the economic world. Such a glance is only possible within the sphere of the state, because the state alone transcends the contrasting interests of groups and individuals, in view of co-coordinating them to achieve higher aims. The achievement of these aims is speeded up by the fact that all economic organizations, acknowledged, safeguarded and supported by the Corporative State, exist within the orbit of Fascism; in other terms they accept the conception of Fascism in theory and in practice. (speech at the opening of the Ministry of Corporations, July 31, 1926, in Discorsi del 1926, Milano, Alpes, 1927, p. 250).
We have constituted a Corporative and Fascist state, the state of national society, a State which concentrates, controls, harmonizes and tempers the interests of all social classes, which are thereby protected in equal measure. Whereas, during the years of demo-liberal regime, labour looked with diffidence upon the state, was, in fact, outside the State and against the state, and considered the state an enemy of every day and every hour, there is not one working Italian today who does not seek a place in his Corporation or federation, who does not wish to be a living atom of that great, immense, living organization which is the national Corporate State of Fascism. (On the Fourth Anniversary of the March on Rome, October 28, 1926, in Discorsi del 1926, Milano, Alpes, 1927, p. 340).
Clearly the “corporation” is seen as an arm of the State. A subdivision with limited autonomy, guided by the central authority. Rather like Fanny Mae, Freddy Mac, The Federal Reserve, Amtrak, and:
Florida Virtual School (Florida)
National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak)
Tennessee Valley Authority
Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Federal Crop Insurance Corporation
Millennium Challenge Corporation
St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
Corporation for National and Community Service (Americorps)
Overseas Private Investment Corporation
Legal Services Corporation
Resolution Trust Corporation (former)
Panama Canal Commission (former)
those listed here:
For the “government acquired”. Their description sounds rather a lot like the “soft budget” category of “avoid bankruptcy” defined as one of the traits of “Market Socialism”:
The second category is government-acquired corporations, which are corporations whose stock or assets have been purchased by the Federal Government as a result of the corporation being adjudged too big to fail, that is, their liquidation would present too much of a systemic risk to the total economy of the United States to allow the corporation to be liquidated, bankrupted, or otherwise wound up.
So yes, “Market Socialism” in America…
General Motors (and others)
AIG (American International Group) (and others)
Bank of America
GMAC Financial Services
There are a whole lot more listed on the link under those state owned corporations at the State level, as we have two levels of Sovereign in the USA. When folks say “Fascist America”, they usually have no idea how right they are, and for all the wrong reasons…
Under Fascism, ALL corporations were like The Corporation for Public Broadcasting and GM. (Though his Train Company was better at being on time than our Amtrak…)
And, just as a fun little note to show I’m not the only one who sees these Fascist Corporations as more of a ‘gift to the guilds’ than a capitalists dream, from a progressive site:
Who’s standard says “Researching the Right for Progressive Changemakers”…
It is unlikely that Mussolini ever made this statement because it contradicts most of the other writing he did on the subject of corporatism and corporations. When Mussolini wrote about corporatism, he was not writing about modern commercial corporations. He was writing about a form of vertical syndicalist corporatism based on early guilds.
Remember that definition of “syndicalist”? Unions in charge? “Management” would meet with the Government and the Guild. Collectively, they would decide what to do, then labor and the government would tell management to make sure it got done…
So, there you have it, in their own words. Central government planning. Labor in charge over capital. Managed markets. Corporations, but for the syndicalist not for the capitalist. Government directing every aspect of the society.
Yes, it is different from the Socialism of 1905. That we would call Marxism or Leninism or even Communism today.
Yes, it said there was a “Third Way” using the “cooperation” of the corporation with labor, under government guidance, and that one could avoid the “Class Struggle” if you just put government in charge of everything instead of the workers directly. (And for that, Stalin called them “right wing”.)
But hardly what one would call a Market Capitalist society, nor even a Classical Liberal one.
However, it DOES fit into the category we today call “Market Socialism” and even under the “Third Way” of Clinton and Blair.
(Yes, it’s the wiki, but I’m deliberately using them as they are clearly “left wing” biased, so if they say it, it must be accurate… though note that they DO managed to redefine “Third Way” as “centrism” even though it historically was the name for Fascism during the time of FDR…)
The term “Third Way” has been used to explain a variety of political policies and ideology in the last few centuries. These ideas were implemented by progressives in the early 20th century. The Third Way philosophy was extended in the 1950s by German ordoliberal economists such as Wilhelm Röpke, resulting in the development of the concept of the social market economy. Most significantly, Harold Macmillan, British Prime Minister from 1957 to 1963, based his philosophy of government on what he entitled in a book, The Middle Way (1938). The phrase also figures in the early thought of Mussolini, looking as he was to define a Fascist path between the two alternatives of liberalism and bolshevism in post-Great war Italy.
So just repackage, relabel, and call your fascist version of socialism “market socialism”…
In the United States, Third Way adherents reject fiscal conservatism, and advocate some replacement of welfare with workfare, and sometimes have a stronger preference for market solutions to traditional problems (as in pollution markets), while rejecting pure laissez-faire economics and other libertarian positions. The Third Way style of governing was firmly adopted and partly redefined during the administration of President Bill Clinton.
After Tony Blair came to power in the UK, Clinton, Blair and other leading Third Way adherents organized conferences to promote the Third Way philosophy in 1997 at Chequers in England. The Third Way (think tank) and the Democratic Leadership Council are adherents of Third Way politics.
In 2004, several veteran U.S. Democrats founded a new Washington, DC organization entitled Third Way (think tank), which bills itself as a “strategy center for progressives.”
While failing to outline a coherent program, fascism evolved into a new political and economic system that combined totalitarianism, nationalism, anti-communism and anti-liberalism in a state designed to bind all classes together under a corporatist system (The “Third Way”). This was a new system in which the state seized control of the organization of vital industries. Under the banners of nationalism and state power, Fascism seemed to synthesize the glorious Roman past with a futuristic utopia.
While they then go on into the usual “left wing” name calling of “right wing” at Fascism, they at least did recognize the long and honorable history of “The Third Way” as a Market Socialism root first cultivated by Mussolini in the soil of Fascist Italy…
And that it works well does not change what it is.