In the interest of transparency and the purposes of full disclosure, I want to start by admitting this post was written in reaction to a comment made by a reader. This reader told me that a word can have a ‘mathematical‘ definition, but that, ‘in the real world,’ that definition does not apply. I reject this line of reasoning as totally fallacious, and I explain why in a previous post. What I would like to do now is address the specifics of this reader’s accusation: namely, that I do not understand the ‘real world‘ definitions of ‘Communism‘ or ‘Fascism.’ Furthermore, I intend to show how, when properly understood and applied to ‘the real world,’ dictionary definitions can actually help us understand what otherwise may appear too complex to comprehend (Seriously, you should stick with me. This will be good 🙂 ).
I know that, for many, this is like watching paint dry, but, since we are dealing with definitions, we need to start with those definitions. So, let’s start with this one:
1 a : a theory advocating elimination of private property b : a system in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed
2 capitalized a : a doctrine based on revolutionary Marxian socialism and Marxism-Leninism that was the official ideology of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics b : a totalitarian system of government in which a single authoritarian party controls state-owned means of production c : a final stage of society in Marxist theory in which the state has withered away and economic goods are distributed equitably d : communist systems collectively
OK, this is where things start to go sideways on us. Notice that the first definition states that it is a ‘theory.’ Now, contrary to what many would like to believe, ‘theories’ are not ‘fact.’ If they were, they would not be ‘theories,’ they would be ‘facts.’ Delightfully enough for the purpose of our discussion, this is ‘by definition.’ So, because the first definition describes something that does not and — given the current state of human nature — cannot exist, we can safely conclude that the world has never seen an example of this form of Communism. This then leaves us with the second definition: that of a totalitarian State in which the government owns the means of production. Prime examples of this form of Communism today would be China, Cuba and North Korea.
Now let’s look at the next definition:
1 often capitalized : a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition
2 : a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control <early instances of army fascism and brutality — J. W. Aldridge>
First, notice that this definition says ‘often.’ This means it usually but does not have to apply. This leaves us with autocratic government with a focus on nationalism (patriotism). But notice what is not part of the definition: there is nothing said about who owns the means of production. All that is said is the government controls it. This means that a Fascist government can leave the means of production in the hands of private ownership. In fact, if it did not, then the definition of Fascism would be nearly identical to that of Communism. The only difference would be the tendency toward nationalism.
On the surface, this may lead us to believe there is no difference between Communism and Fascism, but this is not the case. The definition of Communism does not mention race or nationalism, but it does stress State ownership of the means of production. Whereas, the definition of Fascism does not mention the ownership of the means of production, but is tied to nationalism and race. These are not insignificant differences. They are the difference between NAZI Germany, which allowed private ownership, and Communist Russia, which did not.
Now let’s consider some additional aspects of our definitions that — if we do not understand them — could easily lead us to make incorrect conclusions. Consider this definition:
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 propertyb : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
The definition of Communism as seen in reality stresses government ownership. The definition of Fascism stresses government control. Both are designed to serve the State, but one leaves ownership in the hands of private individuals, the other does not. Therefore, both Communism and Fascism meet the definition of ‘Socialism.’ This means both are forms of socialism. In fact, NAZI is an abbreviation for ‘National Socialism.’ So the fact that Fascism is also socialism is admitted in the very name of the world’s most famous example of Fascism. However, try as they might, the Communists cannot escape the fact that their system — as it can exist — is also socialism. Furthermore, it does not matter whether that form is democratic socialism or not: it is still socialism.
Now that we have raised the notion that calling something ‘democratic’ can change its nature, let’s consider this next definition:
1 : the office of dictator
2 : autocratic rule, control, or leadership
3 a : a form of government in which absolute power is concentrated in a dictator or a small clique b : a government organization or group in which absolute power is so concentrated c : a despotic state
Fascism is connected to the notion of a dictator or dictatorship. But notice, the definition of ‘dictator’ merely demands autocratic rule. It does not require an individual. A dictatorship can be by a person, group of people or even a Party. In fact, if you will refer back to them, you will find the definitions of both Communism and Fascism imply dictatorship through a Party or regime (i.e. through a political system). Notice: there is nothing in these definitions that speaks to how the leader, leaders or Party is picked or comes to power. This means a monarchy could be a dictatorship, as could a democratic system which elects a dictator (which is exactly what Woodrow Wilson wanted for America). From this, we can conclude — correctly — that Communism and Fascism can both be connected to the notion of democracy while still meeting the definition of ‘dictatorship.’
Now, one last definition:
1 : government by the few
2 : a government in which a small group exercises control especially for corrupt and selfish purposes; also : a group exercising such control
3 : an organization under oligarchic control
I added this one just to show you that an ‘oligarchy‘ meets the definition of a ‘dictatorship.’ When we look at the definition of ‘dictatorship,’ all we need is a ‘system‘ of control. If that system is controlled by a small group of people, such as the Politburo, then it is both a dictatorship and an oligarchy. It does not have to be one or the others, it can and often is both.
In the same way, an oligarchy can be dictatorial or democratic, either within itself or outside itself. Meaning, it may control itself through autocratic or democratic means, or it may allow the people to control it. All that matters is that, once the leadership is set, it exercises unconditional control. If this condition is met, it can be a dictatorship and an oligarchy at the same time. It can even be a Monarchy on top of a dictatorship and oligarchy, where the royalty share in the decision making. So, it is possible to have a democratically elected Party controlling a Communist form of socialist government. it is equally possible to have a birth-right monarchy which is also a dictatorship over a Fascistic socialist government. It all depends on meeting the characteristics of the government in question.
Now for a little practical application.
In the U.S., the people ‘vote,’ but they vote for candidates who are picked by one of two privately owned and operated political Parties. These Parties are controlled by a relatively small number of people who operate for their own interests. Whichever member of these two Parties is elected, once in office, history has shown they will follow the same general policies as their predecessor. These policies are often in direct opposition to the will or and best interests of the people. When examined closely, and at a macro level, they will show themselves to serve this small ruling class. Furthermore, the ‘real world’ has shown that the laws no longer matter. They are made by the President, the regulatory bodies he controls and the Courts as much as by Congress. Often times, Congress defers to the President or Courts to make law. All of this serves to concentrate power in the hands of a small number of people who — by in large — are not elected nor accountable. Since these people control the apparatus of the government, are not accountable (unless they fall afoul of political enemies within their own circles) and pursue their own agendas, they meet the definition of a dictatorial oligarchy.
Now, in this country, the means of production is still allowed to be owned by private individuals. However, it is still under the control of this dictatorial oligarchy. If a person wants to start a company, they need the oligarchy’s permission (i.e.a ‘license’). They must the pay extortion in the form of ‘regulations,’ all of which feeds the apparatus of the State. If a business does not obey, they get fined or, if things are bad enough, it loses its license. Now, it is true, these businesses can also get favors from the oligarchy, but this usually requires political payment of some form to the members of that oligarchy. However, in recent times, we have seen many examples that demonstrate the government — and not the business owners — are the more powerful of the symbiotic relationship. BP was forced to pay a fine in excess of what was legally required and without trial or judgment. The ownership of GM and Chrysler was stolen and redistributed to people friendly to the oligarchy. Our banks were forced to take money so the oligarchy could then claim control over their operations. The list is long and growing, but quite definitive.
Look at it however you wish: the conclusion is the same. The United States, as it is today, meets the definition of a Fascist State. Whether oligarchy or not, we have a dictatorship. Many do not see this, but that is only because we have been imprisoned in a gilded cage. But now that people are losing their Constitutionally protected rights at an alarming rate, that gilding is starting to tarnish and more people are slowly starting to see the reality. The rule of law is dead. What is left to take its place but the rule of men, and what is the rule of men if not a dictatorship? So, what is a dictatorship that allows private ownership of the means of production, but only under the ultimate control of the State? Check the definition again and you will find that this meets the requirements of ‘Fascism.’ No amount of pleading ‘in the real world‘ is going to change the fact that my entire argument is based on how things are ‘in the real world‘ as held up to the dictionary definition of the words we have been using. In the end, it is what it is, and it is Fascism — period!
[NOTE: I no longer think of my voice as anything special. There was a time when I believed I had something important to say, but not so much these days. I write now because I feel driven to do so. Something inside me will not let me rest until I post the pages you just read. I’d just as soon not bother anymore. It all seems like no one is listening and I do more harm than good. So I have come to trust that whatever it is driving me has all this under control. Personally, I believe it is God, but others may not. All I ask is that, if anything I write helps you, or you think it might help others in any way, please, share this page. Re-blog it, share it on FB or send the link to your friends. So long as you feel it will do more good than harm, then please, use this page however you wish. Thank you.]