Many believe that Fascism is a creature of the political Right:
Opposed to liberalism, Marxism and anarchism, fascism is usually placed on the far-right within the traditional left–right spectrum. Wikipedia
In a historical context placing Fascism to the right of the political spectrum really gained momentum after World War II when the horrors of the Holocaust came fully to light. The Soviet Communists wanted to completely disassociate themselves and their policies from the horrors of the Nazi regime and its death camps, gas chambers, and crematoriums. An effective way of doing that was disseminating propaganda that Nazism and Fascism were a species of the political Right, the polar opposite of their position on the Left.
Many forgot that Nazi Germany (Fascism) and the Soviet Union (Communism) were once allies at the beginning of World War II. They also forget that the original name of Hitler’s Nazi party in German was Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei which translated means National Socialist German Workers’ Party. Richard Pipes, an American academic wrote that:
Bolshevism [Communism] and fascism were heresies of socialism. The Surprising Roots of Fascism, Arnold Beichman
Part of the problem of the approach taken by Wikipedia in the quote above is that it equates opposition – the Nazis opposed Communists – with having different and opposing political principles. But opposition does not necessarily equate to a difference in viewpoint. In the 1930s in Chicago you had different criminals gangs fighting each other for dominance. They literally “opposed” each other.
The Chicago gangs could all be said to favor “Gangsterism.” Their opposition and ruthless internecine warfare was not over any important principle. It was about power and dominance. The same could be said about the Communists and the Nazis. Both were ruthless gangs holding many of the same principles and fighting to control the same territory.
And what were some of the things they both held in common? Primary among them was the supremacy of the state over the individual. Both were totalitarian states where opponents and critics of the state often ended up in gulags or concentration camps. Both were led by strong leaders, Stalin in the Soviet Union and Hitler in Nazi Germany. Neither allowed any form of real democracy. Both murdered millions of people and few people were courageous enough to stand up and protest.
Returning to modern America, the reality of politics today is that the Left repeatedly smears their political opposition as Nazis and Fascists. How many times have you heard someone on the Left call President Trump, the GOP, or anyone on the Conservative side of politics a Fascist or a Nazi? If you have haven’t heard it ad nauseam then you must be blind and deaf!
That is the rally cry of the Anti-Fascist Action (Antifa) groups in America today. If you don’t agree with their extreme Left wing politics then you are a Fascist and they would be more than willing to silence you with threats of violence, or even actual violence. From Wikipedia’s page on Antifa:
The Antifa movement is a conglomeration of autonomous, self-styled anti-fascist groups in the United States. The principal feature of antifa groups is their opposition to fascism through the use of direct action. They engage in militant protest tactics, which has included property damage and physical violence. They tend to be anti-capitalist and they are predominantly far-left and militant left, which includes anarchists, communists and socialists. Their stated focus is on fighting far-right and white supremacist ideologies directly, rather than politically. -Wikipedia
“Direct action” in the above quote seems to be a euphemism for violence and the threats of violence typical of real thugs, real thugs like the real historical Nazis. Antifa members are totally oblivious to how closely their tactics imitate those of the German Sturmabteilung (SA), the paramilitary component of the Nazi Party that used these same tactics to silence opponents and critics. Perhaps not surprisingly the Nazis and Antifa use very similar colors in their flags:
Both flags are on a field of red, perhaps symbolizing the “blood” that both were, or are today willing to spill to gain their ends? One thing that is certain is that both historical Nazis and modern Anti-Fascist Action members don’t shy away from using violence for political ends.
A more accurate picture of what Fascism has meant historically is to first and foremost identify its primary principle which is the glorification of the state. Individuals had meaning only in their contribution to the state. Speaking out and opposing the state and its leaders was almost always at least a prison sentence, and often a death sentence. The glorification if not deification of the state was always coupled with a similar worship of its leaders. Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, and Mao were all made “larger than life” to the common people. Real news was replaced with daily bombardments of propaganda very much like was depicted in the dystopian novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four” by George Orwell.
The really important political spectrum is fairly simple to describe. On one side are those who are willing to tolerate people saying or believing any damn thing they want as long as they don’t initiate the use of force and violence against others. If you fall on that side you are in favor of arresting the people who physically attack people for saying and believing stupid shit. That doesn’t mean you agree with or even like those people saying stupid shit.
If you fall on that side you probably don’t want a government any bigger or more powerful than is absolutely necessary. Like the Founders you are skeptical of entrusting too much power in the hands or mortal men and women. You don’t worship the state and those who run it. There are a significant number of people on the political Right in America who fall into this category.
On the other side of the spectrum are those who feel they have seen a vision of paradise, the perfect Utopian society, and perfect justice, and they are willing to impose that vision by force if necessary (and force is always necessary). Communists thought they had that vision and millions of victims later we are no closer to paradise. The Nazis thought they that vision and again millions of victims later we are still debating who or what they were.
The common denominator is always the willingness, even the eagerness, to force other humans to fall into line with one’s vision. Someone once said something to the effect that some people are willing to let others “go to hell in their own way,” while other people are determined to make people “go to hell in their way.”
I am unashamedly in favor of letting people “go to hell in their own way” as long as they don’t force other people to go with them. I believe in letting individuals make the important choices in their life even though I know a lot of us will not always make the best decisions. The right to make the decision is sometimes more important than the outcome.
The Left does not feel the same way. They believe they have all the answers and in the end believe they have the right to force others to fall in line with their vision. That is why those on the Left are all inherently Fascists.