Western distinctiveness V: fascists

I’ve quoted this before, but it’s so insightful, I’d like to do so again.  Here’s historian David Levering Lewis lamenting the victory of Charles Martel at Tours:

Had [Muslim general] ‘Abd al-Rahman’s men prevailed that October day, the post-Roman Occident would probably have been incorporated into a cosmopolitan, Muslim regnum unobstructed by borders … one devoid of a priestly caste, animated by the dogma of equality of the faithful, and respectful of all religious faiths … [T]he victory of Charles the Hammer must be seen as greatly contributing to the creation of an economically retarded, balkanized, fratricidal Europe that, in defining itself in opposition to Islam, made virtues out of religious persecution, cultural particularism, and hereditary aristocracy.

But what if religious persecution, cultural particularism, and hereditary aristocracy really are virtues?  Would it not then be best that some people cultivate them?  We have dealt with the first and third; what about the second?

Most people have been attached to their nations and folkways, but the West is distinctively conscious in its particularism.  We know that our ways are not the only ones, and we have lived most of our existence adjacent to powerful rival empires:  the Persian Empire for the Greeks and Romans, the Islamic Caliphate for Christendom.  Dante imagined the center of the world to be Jerusalem, which was not even part of Christendom.  Even amongst ourselves, we have usually been organized around warring city-states or nations.  It has made us acutely conscious that the continued existence of our people is secured not by natural or positive law, but by the fortunes of war.  We are a uniquely violent people, as all our enemies say.  But are there not virtues proper to a warrior people?

Hence, other peoples call us fascists.  As Francisco Franco, the savior of Spain, put it

Fascism, since that is the word that is used, fascism presents, wherever it manifests itself, characteristics which are varied to the extent that countries and national temperaments vary. It is essentially a defensive reaction of the organism, a manifestation of the desire to live, of the desire not to die, which at certain times seizes a whole people. So each people reacts in its own way, according to its conception of life.

Fascism is inherently defensive, and since nations like people are mortal, ultimately doomed to failure, as its adherents well know.  Franco himself could save Spain for only a generation, but this didn’t mean it wasn’t worth doing.  Communism/progressivism, the ideology of the anti-West, is always on the offense, as implied by its very name, that it always expects to be progressing deeper into enemy territory.  Aggression is the defining feature of the progressive.  Odd that everyone should think that gives him the moral high ground.

 

I have hoped that someday particularism will become one of the West’s gifts to the world.  Since everyone seems to find our culture the most unloveable, who better to teach that great lesson about love, that it doesn’t need, and cannot have, a reason?

18 thoughts on “Western distinctiveness V: fascists

  1. @Bonald – That’s very insightful; and makes sense of the fact that historically fascism arose in response to the Russian revolution: fascism is literally a *reaction*. Without the USSR there would not have been any fascist states: Lenin’s victory was *directly* responsible for Mussolini then Hitler.

    Mainstream communism/ socialism/ liberalism/ leftism is essentially anti-Christian; fascism is essentially anti- mainstream leftism. However, fascism is intrinsically secular (no matter its expedient alliances), hence of-the-left and subject to the same self-destruction, hence necessarily short-lived (as we observe).

    Franco’s quote was new to me and seems correct – but its implication is that there is no sustainable positive ideology in fascism – since mere survival (‘life’) is at most a very temporary motivation for any culture – being incrementally fissile. The imperative of group-survival soon breaks down and is rapidly overwhelmed by clan survival, then family, then mere individual survival – and all the time there is less and less worth surviving-for.

    • And a “reaction” is, inherently, a redundancy. So if “fascism” is anything, “it” is a redundant phenomenon. I assert that “fascism” is a “symbiotic regression” where govcorp entity collude in the eventual annihilation of its founding race. The messmadia’s attempt to paint everything “fascist” is part half-truth and other part reverse-psychology. The half-truth is that “we” truly do operate under and within the “symbiotic regression” of the govcorp entity. “We” live in a “fascist” state altready and only “diversity” skews one’s understanding. Hence, “fascism” at its greatest extrapolation is a “white” thing. And it is in the messmadia’s manufactured attempt at creating a mass perception of anti-fascism = anti-white that the craving for fascism = whiteness shall arise as though a demonic father was withholding the truth of salvation from his son with nothing but cruel intention. The reality is that the fascist redundancy will continuously appear here and there wherever white man is coerced to react and neither an ethnostate nor a multicultural “nation” will thwart this tendency triggered by the modern truth.

  2. You may remember that Oswald Spengler wrote that a Muslim victory at Tours would have converted western Europe into “Frankenstan.” I suppose that DLL thinks that would have been a good thing because European civilization would have died in the womb. I think your description of fascism is correct, and that any society with a will to survive will grow more fascist under pressure. Thus the irony that Leftists see signs of resurgent fascism when Leftism is winning.

  3. David Levering Lewis also unmasked, at a stroke, why the leftists practically worship the Muslims despite all the suppression of women, killing of homosexuals, etc. They have embraced a delusional version of Islam:

    “a cosmopolitan, Muslim regnum unobstructed by borders … one devoid of a priestly caste, animated by the dogma of equality of the faithful, and respectful of all religious faiths”

    — in which all Leftist wet dreams are fulfilled and total equality is achieved. Overlooking, of course, the continuous large-scale mayhem between different branches of Islam, the pervasive slavery and brutality, the relentless socio-economo-sexual hierarchy imposed by polygamy, and so on.

    Just like they have convinced themselves that the Indians in the New World were in utter harmony with nature, when in fact the Paleoindians carried out a massive “megafauna genocide” that wiped out hundreds of spectacular species from North, Central, and South America, leaving the sparse and incomplete faunal assemblage we have today. .

  4. Bonald, I believe that you are right, but some qualifications and specifications might be in order. Franco’s own party was not, in fact, the Fascist Party of Spain. There was a Fascist Party in Spain, and Franco dealt with it by giving it nifty blue uniforms and rifles and sending it to Russia to fight with the Germans, where it perished. Franco himself was a Nationalist, a Monarchist, and a Catholic. The short name of his political movement was “The Falange” (“The Phalanx”), but it also had the adjective “Syndicalist” in its formula. Franco, in effect, stood as regent until the restoration of the Spanish Crown.* Admiral Horthy in Hungary, who shared with Franco a commitment to Catholicism, also stood as regent, but unsuccessfully. Ironically, before the Anschluss, Austria was a Clerical-Authoritarian State, led by the Horthy-analogue Kurt Schussnigg, whose party called itself the Fatherland Front. (Believe it or not, Schussnigg ended up teaching at Saint Louis University, a Catholic private university in Missouri.) Mussolini’s three successive Italian Fascist parties were stridently secular and as anti-clerical as they could be in a pro-clerical nation. The first one named itself the Fascist Revolutionary Party, if my memory serves, and it was doctrinaire in its socialism. Romania and Bulgaria were also Clerical-Authoritarian, like Austria and Hungary, but with an Orthodox twist.

    Clerical-Authoritarian Austria although officially anti-Semitic left its Jewish citizens mainly unmolested, as did Horthy’s regime in Hungary. The disaster for the Jews in those two countries came with the triumph of the National Socialists. Bulgaria was the only Axis-nation to refuse to surrender its Jewish population to the Hitlerian exterminators.

    Mussolini and Hitler offered themselves, it seems to me, as alternatives to or rivals of the Russian variety of socialism, but both were ardent socialists of their own species and extremely hostile to Christianity.

    One tentative conclusion that we might draw is that, in the mid-Twentieth Century, Catholic societies were more likely to militate themselves against revolution (or as Burke liked to say, “The Revolution”) and democracy than were Protestant societies.**

    As far as I can glean there has never been anything like genuine Fascism in the U.S.A., despite the fantasies of Sinclair Lewis and the SJWs.

    *The restoration of the Spanish Crown seems not to have done much good.

    **Denmark, a Protestant country, succeeded in a conspiracy to ship its Jewish citizens across the straits to Sweden. The risk was great. Denmark must rank with Bulgaria. Today, however, Jews are fleeing Sweden.

    • Dr. Bertonneau, very interesting and informative comment. Thanks for that! You wrote:

      One tentative conclusion that we might draw is that, in the mid-Twentieth Century, Catholic societies were more likely to militate themselves against revolution (or as Burke liked to say, “The Revolution”) and democracy than were Protestant societies.

      Yeah, I think we see evidence to support that conclusion (even in the U.S.) in e.g. such organizations as the Catholic Legion of Decency, established to control the production and distribution of Hollywood smut. Ultimately it was a losing battle of course, but had the U.S. been more Catholic and less Protestant at the time, it might have had a more lasting and positive effect.

      • Catholic America in the 1930s when the Legion was founded was not yet denatured, as it is, sadly, today.

    • Yes, informative comment. This computes with what I’ve read elsewhere about Franco, for example, in Modern Times by Paul Johnson, who writes that Franco hated the Fascists.

      Clerical-Authoritarian Austria although officially anti-Semitic left its Jewish citizens mainly unmolested, as did Horthy’s regime in Hungary. The disaster for the Jews in those two countries came with the triumph of the National Socialists. Bulgaria was the only Axis-nation to refuse to surrender its Jewish population to the Hitlerian exterminators.

      In addition, according to an article I read recently, Franco saved more Jews than any other political leader during World War II:

      Perhaps the most surprising Catholic who aided the Jews was General Francisco Franco. This right-wing military dictator, aided by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy during the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939, likely saved more Jews than any other political leader during World War II. The devoutly Catholic Spanish dictator refused to hand over Jews who had sought refuge in neutral Spain. Franco instructed Spanish diplomats in Nazi-occupied Europe to aid Jews. He also helped Jews obtain Spanish passports and flee to Latin America. In total, General Franco is credited with saving about 40,000 Jews.

      • In fairness to our Protestant brethren, I should add Finland to the list of Revolution-resistant nations and its leader during the crisis of 1939 – 44 General Mannerheim to the list of noble anti-Revolutionaries. There was a small Jewish community in Finland, many of whose combat-age men served in the Finnish Army during the Winter War and the Continuation War. By a supreme irony, some of those Jewish soldiers must have been on the front lines side by side with the German soldiers whom Hitler sent to aid the Finns against the Russians. Mannerheim was from the Swedish-speaking and Swedish-descended cultural elite of Finland, but we should not forget that his early military service was as an officer in the Czarist Army.

      • There are many rumors about Franco. One of those rumors remarks that his surname was common among the medieval Jews of Galicia and other regions of Northern Spain. Journalism often identified Franco as Galician, making of him a kind of liminal Spaniard, but perhaps his ancestry was more complicated than that, and he knew it. The same rumor hovers about Kemal Ataturk, Thessaloniki-born.

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  6. “Communism/progressivism, the ideology of the anti-West, is always on the offense, as implied by its very name, that it always expects to be progressing deeper into enemy territory”

    Begs the question why it should have any more success than Scientology or the gold standard? The mechanism that causes this should be addressed. Start with Moldbug.

    • It progresses because it hitches its wagon to the seven deadly sins. The emphasis changes from phase to phase, but at one time or another it has promised to remove the shackles from pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth. Pride (prizes for everyone), greed (pay raises all round), lust (speaks for itself), envy (tax the rich), gluttony (see lust), wrath (ever heard a Leftist rant?), and sloth (reduce working hours). People want to believe this stuff.

      • Pride (prizes for everyone), greed (pay raises all round), lust (speaks for itself), envy (tax the rich), gluttony (see lust), wrath (ever heard a Leftist rant?), and sloth (reduce working hours). People want to believe this stuff.

        Surely one of the reasons progressive modernity has been so successful is because certain traditionalists decide defend earlier iterations of liberalism like capitalism. But it was liberal capitalism not communism that destroyed traditonal societies.

      • From the point of view of traditionalism, capitalism and communism have a lot in common. Both are revolutionary, secular, and economistic ideologies. Both are way Carlyle called “pig philosophies.”

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