CON has forfit the round.
My argument today is that Socialism and Fascism are essentially the same. Specifically, that Socialism(or Communism/Marxism) and Fascism are both derived from the same intellectual root, both hold the essential moral belief that the collective is superior to the individual and that self-sacrifice to the collective is the highest moral ideal, both reject individual rights and property rights, both require the concentration of power in the state, and the differences between Socialism and Fascism are of a non-essential nature.
In order to make this view I must establish what it means to have essential similarities, and what Socialism and Fascism are essentially are.
Definitions & Essential Characteristics:
"absolutely necessary; indispensable:
Discipline is essential in an army."
A definition must identify the nature of the units, i.e., the essential characteristics without which the units would not be the kind of existents they are.
Socialist states have included:
Soviet Russia, Communist China, socialist Sweden, socialist England, Cuba, North Korea, and a handful of lesser regimes.
Some socialist regimes (like Sweden's and England's) were elected democratically.
Some(Soviet Russia, Communist China) were the result of violent revolutions.
Some were established by military coup (Cuba, Ethiopia, Vietnam) or foreign invasion (the Eastern Bloc).
Some were ran by a dictator, others were not.
Some were able to implement all of their goals, others were not.
Some forcibly suppressed opposition and criticism, others did not.
They all however have one thing essentially in common, thus the appropriate definition, (2) "any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods"
(2) Full Definition of SOCIALISM
"1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
2a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property
b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state"
The essential characteristic of socialism is the denial of individual property rights; under socialism, the right to property (which is the right of use and disposal) is vested in “society as a whole,” i.e., in the collective, with production and distribution controlled by the state, i.e., by the government.
While the definitions above are relatively consistent no matter where you look, some of the definitions ascribed to Fascism fail to capture the essence of what it is, for example:
(3)"An authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization."
(4) "A governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism."
The misinformation and misrepresentation of political definitions have been muddied over the last century by various pressure groups. The only non-contestable for the following are "Essential" & "Socialism." Unfortunately, no two definitions of Fascism are alike. Those offered do not concretized the principals involved with the nature of Fascism. Therefore, in order to define fascism, we must examine the particulars of the ideology and determine rediscover it's essence.
Fascist states have included:
- Hitler's Germany,
- Mussolini's Italy,
- Peron's Argentina,
- Tojo's Japan,
- Franco's Spain,
- Pinochet's Chile.
If we were to focus on each of these Fascist countries, we would observe that Mussolini's fascism involved belligerent nationalism. Franco's did not. Hitler's Fascism was racist. Mussolini's was not. Nationalism and racism are non-essential to fascism. Most(not all) socialist systems forcibly suppressed opposition and criticism, and while it is more consistent with fascism, fascism could exist within a country without censorship and thus is not essential to the system.
What unites each of these countries into a group can be seen in a shortened definition of: "A governmental system with strong central powers, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc."
The main characteristic of socialism (and of communism) is public ownership of the means of production, and, therefore, the abolition of private property. The right to property is the right of use and disposal.
Under fascism, men retain the semblance or pretense of private property, but the government holds total power over its use and disposal.
This is their Primary difference in theory.
However, in practice and principle they are one and the same. "Both “socialism” and “fascism” involve the issue of property rights. Under socialism, there is collective ownership of property de jure. Under fascism, there is the same collective ownership de facto. The right to property is the right of use and disposal. Ownership without control is a contradiction in terms: it means “property,” without the right to use it or to dispose of it. If a person does not have the right to dispose of his property, he does not have a right to property.
In practice both “socialism” and “fascism” take communal ownership of an individual's property.
The Intellectual Root & Essential Similarities:
Socialism/Communism emerged as a political doctrine following Rousseau, the upheaval of the French Revolution, and later French thinkers with it's major philosophical influences being from Immanuel Kant, and Hegel, both of which heavily influenced Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels.
The effect of the philosophical and political beliefs of Rousseau emerged into the slogan "Liberté, égalité, fraternité" which culminated Robespierre's reign of terror, and the chaos that lead to Napoléon Bonaparte's bleeding of Europe, while the "self-abnegation, self-sacrifice, and duty" that emerged from the German philosophers added the moral backing to the later formulations of socialism/communism, and fascism alike.
Sorelianism is considered to be a precursor to fascism. (5) Sorelianism refers to the advocacy or support of the ideology and thinking of French revolutionary syndicalist Georges Sorel. His social and political philosophy owed much to his reading of French Proudhon("Property is theft")& German Karl Marx, and he went on to influence fascism, most notably, Benito Mussolini.
The Philosophies of Kant, Hegel, Rousseau, Marx, Engels, and other notable European(primarily German) thinkers infiltrated all of the cultures of Europe and are the intellectual root of both Socialism and Fascism.
This culminated into a number of absolutely essential similar concepts without which Socialism and Fascism would not exist:
Collectivism, "Collectivism is the moral stance, political philosophy, ideology, or social outlook that emphasizes the significance of groups—their identities, goals, rights, outcomes, etc.—and tends to analyze issues in those terms. Collectivism is a basic cultural element that exists as the reverse of individualism " -wiki. Or... "Collectivism means the subjugation of the individual to a group—whether to a race, class or state does not matter. Collectivism holds that man must be chained to collective action and collective thought for the sake of what is called “the common good.”- Ayn Rand
Altruism/Self Sacrifice,(6) "the principle or practice of unselfish concern for or devotion to the welfare of others (opposed to egoism )." Or more accurately…. "The basic principle of altruism is that man has no right to exist for his own sake, that service to others is the only justification of his existence, and that self-sacrifice is his highest moral duty, virtue and value."
In political practice:
Statism: "a political system in which the state has substantial centralized control over social and economic affairs." or… "The political expression of altruism is collectivism or statism, which holds that man’s life and work belong to the state—to society, to the group, the gang, the race, the nation—and that the state may dispose of him in any way it pleases for the sake of whatever it deems to be its own tribal, collective good."- Rand
And as stated above, The elimination of property rights/private property.
A wider view:
Socialism and Fascism are diffrence, however they have all of the important, esstatial traits in common. Compare those ideologies to the alturative, Capitalism a social system based on the recognition of individual rights, including property rights, in which all property is privately owned. Capitalism emerged as a political doctrine in the US and England, during the time of the American revolution, and the end of Mercantilism, with it's major philosophical influences being from Adam Smith(economic thought), John Stuart Mill(Utilitarian thought), & John Locke(Natural Rights thought), which were picked up by later British thinkers and the American founding fathers.
The effect of the philosophical and political beliefs of the "Rights of Man"(individual rights) that emerged from the English philosophers and the right to one's "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" show a very stark contrast between these worlds. In contrast, the differences between socialism and fascism become trivial, and superficial.
Without Collectivism, Altruism/Self Sacrifice, an all powerful state, and the abrigation of property rights-neither Socialism or Fascism could exist, and thus are ideological brothers.
GAT forfeited this round.