Multi-colored (green, blue, purple) human hands reach upwards behind barbed wire

Although in common usage fascism has often been used simply as a synonym for “bully,” it is a political and social ideology with a history. Fascism is authoritarian nationalism of the far right, opposed to democracy, socialism, and anarchism. Fascism includes a concept of racial purity or superiority, strongly opposing ideas of equality of all people. Fascism generally accepts violence as a tactic to gain or maintain power, or to rid society of those it find inferior. The state, under fascism, uses its power to support corporate power and existing economic elites. Policies range from economic and social protectionism to genocide. Fascism emerged in the early 20th century in Europe, motivated Nazi regimes to expand power leading to World War II, and continues to motivate many political movements today, where it is often labeled “neo-fascism.”

The following quotes describe or define what fascism is.

Goto page: 1 2

And, indeed, as he listened to the cries of joy rising from the town, Rieux remembered that such joy is always imperiled. He knew what those jubilant crowds did not know but could have learned from books: that the plague bacillus never dies or disappears for good . . . and that perhaps the day would come when, for the bane and the enlightening of men, it would rouse up its rats again and send them forth to die in a happy city.

— Albert Camus, The Plague

Nationalism is an infantile thing. It is the measles of mankind.

— Albert Einstein

Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.

— Benito Mussolini

Thank you for your letter and for your enclosures. I have given some thought to our recent correspondence. It is always difficult to decide on how to respond to people whose ethos is so alien and, in fact, repellent to one’s own. It is not that I take exception to the general points made by you but that every ounce of my energy has been devoted to an active opposition to cruel bigotry, compulsive violence, and the sadistic persecution which has characterised the philosophy and practice of fascism. I feel obliged to say that the emotional universes we inhabit are so distinct, and in deepest ways opposed, that nothing fruitful or sincere could ever emerge from association between us.

— Bertrand Russell, letter to a fascist

The split in America, rather than simply economic, is between those who embrace reason, who function in the real world of cause and effect, and those who, numbed by isolation and despair, now seek meaning in a mythical world of intuition, a world that is no longer reality-based, a world of magic.

— Chris Hedges, American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On America

I do not fight fascists because I will win. I fight fascists because they are fascists.

— Chris Hedges

Atheism by itself is, of course, not a moral position or a political one of any kind; it simply is the refusal to believe in a supernatural dimension. For you to say of Nazism that it was the implementation of the work of Charles Darwin is a filthy slander, undeserving of you and an insult to this audience. Darwin’s thought was not taught in Germany; Darwinism was so derided in Germany along with every other form of unbelief that all the great modern atheists, Darwin, Einstein and Freud were alike despised by the National Socialist regime.

— Christopher Hitchens

When Fascism came into power, most people were unprepared, both theoretically and practically. They were unable to believe that man could exhibit such propensities for evil, such lust for power, such disregard for the rights of the weak, or such yearning for submission. Only a few had been aware of the rumbling of the volcano preceding the outbreak.

— Erich Fromm, Escape from Freedom

Nazism is a psychological problem, but the psychological factors themselves have to be understood as being molded by socio-economic factors; Nazism is an economic and political problem, but the hold it has over a whole people has to be understood on psychological grounds.

— Erich Fromm, Escape from Freedom

They are told again and again: the individual is nothing and does not count. The individual should accept this personal insignificance, dissolve himself in a higher power, and then feel proud in participating in the strength and glory of this higher power.

— Erich Fromm

“Are you a communist?”
“No I am an anti-fascist”
“For a long time?”
“Since I have understood fascism.”

— Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls

Countermovements among racists and sexists and nazifiers are just as relentless as dirt on a coffee table. . . . Every housewife knows that if you don’t sooner or later dust . . . the whole place will be dirty again

— Florynce Kennedy

Control the coinage and the courts — let the rabble have the rest.

— Frank Herbert, Dune

The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerated the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism: ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power.

— Franklin D. Roosevelt

Fascism is the stage reached after communism has proved an illusion.

— Friedrich von Hayek

When one thinks of all the people who support or have supported Fascism, one stands amazed at their diversity. What a crew! Think of a programme which at any rate for a while could bring Hitler, Petain, Montagu Norman, Pavelitch, William Randolph Hearst, Streicher, Buchman, Ezra Pound, Juan March, Cocteau, Thyssen, Father Coughlin, the Mufti of Jerusalem, Arnold Lunn, Antonescu, Spengler, Beverley Nichols, Lady Houston, and Marinetti all into the same boat! But the clue is really very simple. They are all people with something to lose, or people who long for a hierarchical society and dread the prospect of a world of free and equal human beings. Behind all the ballyhoo that is talked about ‘godless’ Russia and the ‘materialism’ of the working class lies the simple intention of those with money or privileges to cling to them. Ditto, though it contains a partial truth, with all the talk about the worthlessness of social reconstruction not accompanied by a ‘change of heart’. The pious ones, from the Pope to the yogis of California, are great on the ‘change of heart’, much more reassuring from their point of view than a change in the economic system.

— George Orwell, England Your England and Other Essays

Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such, for in their opinion fact depends entirely on the power of man who can fabricate it.

— Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism

A fascist is one whose lust for money or power is combined with such an intensity of intolerance toward those of other races, parties, classes, religions, cultures, regions or nations as to make him ruthless in his use of deceit or violence to attain his ends.

— Henry A. Wallace

The obvious types of American fascists are dealt with on the air and in the press. These demagogues and stooges are fronts for others. Dangerous as these people may be, they are not so significant as thousands of other people who have never been mentioned.

The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information.

With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power.

— Henry A. Wallace

If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful.

— Henry A. Wallace

The myth of fascist efficiency has deluded many people.

— Henry A. Wallace

It is no coincidence that the growth of modern tyrants has in every case been heralded by the growth of prejudice

— Henry A. Wallace

Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection.

— Henry A. Wallace

American fascism will not be really dangerous until there is a purposeful coalition among the cartelists, the deliberate poisoners of public information, and those who stand for the K.K.K. type of demagoguery.

— Henry A. Wallace

The symptoms of fascist thinking are colored by environment and adapted to immediate circumstances. But always and everywhere they can be identified by their appeal to prejudice and by the desire to play upon the fears and vanities of different groups in order to gain power.

— Henry A. Wallace

With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power.

— Henry A. Wallace

When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.

— James Waterman Wise, frequently misattributed to Upton Sinclair

There is an America which needs fascism…. it may come wrapped in a flag or a Hearst newspaper …

— James Waterman Wise, 1936

Fascism, in the beginning, is nothing but the acceptance of order through violence – plus propaganda. After that, it becomes a matter of habit.”

— Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber

I’m afraid, based on my own experience, that fascism will come to America in the name of national security.

— Jim Garrison
Goto page: 1 2
, , ,
Related
Latest Posts from Wisdom Quotes