Fascism - The Tensile Permanence

Written by Sam Vaknin

Nazism - and, by extension, fascism (thoughrepparttar two are by no means identical) - amounted to permanent revolutionary civil wars. Fascist movements were founded, inter alia, on negations and onrepparttar 126016 militarization of politics. Their raison d'etre and vigor were derived from their rabid opposition to liberalism, communism, conservatism, rationalism, and individualism and from exclusionary racism. It was a symbiotic relationship - self-definition and continued survival by opposition.

Yet, all fascist movements suffered from fatal - though largely preconcerted - ideological tensions. In their drive to become broad, pluralistic, churches (a hallmark of totalitarian movements) - these secular religions often offered contradictory doctrinal fare.

I. Renewal vs. Destruction

The first axis of tension was between renewal and destruction. Fascist parties invariably presented themselves as concerned withrepparttar 126017 pursuit and realization of a utopian program based onrepparttar 126018 emergence of a "new man" (in Germany it was a mutation of Nietzsche's Superman). "New", "young", "vital", and "ideal" were pivotal keywords. Destruction was both inevitable (i.e.,repparttar 126019 removal ofrepparttar 126020 old and corrupt) and desirable (i.e., cathartic, purifying, unifying, and ennobling).

Yet fascism was also nihilistic. It was bipolar: either utopia or death. Hitler instructed Speer to demolish Germany when his dream of a thousand-years Reich crumbled. This mental splitting mechanism (all bad or all good, black or white) is typical of all utopian movements. Similarly, Stalin (not a fascist) embarked on orgies of death and devastation every time he faced an obstacle.

This ever-present tension between construction, renewal, vitalism, andrepparttar 126021 adoration of nature - and destruction, annihilation, murder, and chaos - was detrimental torepparttar 126022 longevity and cohesion of fascist fronts.

II. Individualism vs. Collectivism

A second, more all-pervasive, tension was between self-assertion and what Griffin and Payne call "self transcendence". Fascism was a cult ofrepparttar 126023 Promethean will, ofrepparttar 126024 super-man, above morality, andrepparttar 126025 shackles ofrepparttar 126026 pernicious materialism, egalitarianism, and rationalism. It was demanded ofrepparttar 126027 New Man to be willful, assertive, determined, self-motivating, a law unto himself. The New Man, in other words, was supposed to be contemptuously a-social (though not anti-social).

But here, precisely, aroserepparttar 126028 contradiction. It was society which demanded fromrepparttar 126029 New Man certain traits andrepparttar 126030 selfless fulfillment of certain obligations and observance of certain duties. The New Man was supposed to transcend egotism and sacrifice himself forrepparttar 126031 greater, collective, good. In Germany, it was Hitler who embodied this intolerable inconsistency. Onrepparttar 126032 one hand, he was considered to berepparttar 126033 reification ofrepparttar 126034 will ofrepparttar 126035 nation and its destiny. Onrepparttar 126036 other hand, he was described as self-denying, self-less, inhumanly altruistic, and a temporal saint martyred onrepparttar 126037 altar ofrepparttar 126038 German nation.

This doctrinal tension manifested itself also inrepparttar 126039 economic ideology of fascist movements.

Fascism was often corporatist or syndicalist (and always collectivist). At times, it sounded suspiciously like Leninism-Stalinism. Payne has this to say:

"What fascist movements had in common wasrepparttar 126040 aim of a new functional relationship forrepparttar 126041 functional and economic systems, eliminatingrepparttar 126042 autonomy (or, in some proposals,repparttar 126043 existence) of large-scale capitalism and modern industry, alteringrepparttar 126044 nature of social status, and creating a new communal or reciprocal productive relationship through new priorities, ideals, and extensive governmental control and regulation. The goal of accelerated economic modernization was often espoused ..."

(Stanley G. Payne - A History of Fascism 1914-1945 - University of Wisconsin Press, 1995 - p. 10)

Still, private property was carefully preserved and property rights meticulously enforced. Ownership of assets was considered to be a mode of individualistic expression (and, thus, "self-assertion") not to be tampered with.

Redefining Insurance Fraud: On Managed Care

Written by Robert Levin

Want to hear MY definitions of "insurance fraud”? I'll tell you anyway.

Insurance fraud is when an HMO sells you a policy at an exorbitant rate and then finds all manner of ways to frustrate your pursuit of benefits. Insurance fraud is when an HMO impedes access to procedures and specialists by requiring further "review" or "investigation.”

Insurance fraud is when an HMO denies coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Insurance fraud is when, to demolish any chance one might have of effectively communicating requests or complaints, an HMO deliberately hires morons to staff its customer service department.

Finally, insurance fraud is when an HMO not only plays these games but also joins with other HMOs to mount lobbying and advertising campaigns againstrepparttar development of alternative health insurance systems.

A subversive I may be, but I've never been ofrepparttar 126015 militant variety. Whenrepparttar 126016 SDS was blowing up banks inrepparttar 126017 early '70s, I was expressing my displeasure withrepparttar 126018 establishment by intentionally omitting zip codes—THAT'LL jam their gears!

And, however grudgingly, I‘ve come over time to accept capitalism as a permanent reality. A given.

But this managed care business, which is to say, capitalism of a blatantly predatory stripe, is making me ponder actions way off my normal spectrum.

I’m finding it increasingly difficult, that is, to sit still for a category of capitalism in which people demonstrably unqualified to participate in a free market system—who get much too giddy when they use it— routinely commit what amount to acts of violence against their customers. (Jesus. Messing as they do with other people's very lives, you have to wonder how these HMO creeps were brought up, what kind of parents they had.)

Of course, much as I'd like to respond with actual violence I could never dispatch each and every HMO administrator to his local ICU all by myself. I'd need help, and on a broad scale. Butrepparttar 126019 prospect of getting such help is dim. The vast majority of us, after all, are reluctant to so much as question, let alone rise against, evenrepparttar 126020 ugliest manifestations of a broader system that promises every American a piece ofrepparttar 126021 serious action—and this despite how false that promise is for all but a relatively few, or how destructive may berepparttar 126022 indignities our belief in it obliges us to suffer. Most of us remain willfully stupid in this regard (which in another context is one ofrepparttar 126023 reasonsrepparttar 126024 Enron dirt bags who truncated their employees' futures are still alive).

Cont'd on page 2 ==>
ImproveHomeLife.com © 2005
Terms of Use