Simon Webb Asks ‘What’s Wrong with Fascism?’

Well, it looks like Simon Webb of History Debunked has finally gone full Mosley. And you never go full Mosley. He’s put up a piece today asking, ‘what’s wrong with fascism?’ He argues that fascism is viewed negatively because it’s confusion with Nazism. But socialism has also committed horrible atrocities and run death camps. In contrast to this, he points to the Portugal of the dictator Salazar in the 1960s, which was prosperous and had kept out of the Second World War. And fascism, he explains, is neither communist nor capitalist.

No, I’m not going to put the video up here. Because he’s arguing for fascism after all. Now he’s got a point in that some political scientists and historians do make a distinction between Nazism and Fascism. Nazism is at its heart a form of biological racism and has its own origins unique to Germany, while Italian Fascism was a form of militaristic nationalism which included elements of both socialism and capitalism. However, Italian Fascism was also imperialistic, calling Italy a ‘proletarian nation’ that had been unjustly deprived of colonies by the great powers of Britain and France. It invaded Greece, Albania and Yugoslavia, as well as Tripolitania in north Africa and Ethiopia. In nearly all these countries the Fascists committed horrendous atrocities. They also developed racial policies similar, but not as harsh as the Nazis, defining Italians as Aryans as contrasted with the Jews, who were expelled from various professions. Both Nazism and Fascism supported and protected private industry, but the economy was centrally planned by the state. Germany was a complete dictatorship under Hitler, in which the Reichstag was only called once a year to sign the act stating that Germany was still in a state of emergency and so Hitler’s dictatorship could legally continue, In Italy Mussolini let the Italian parliament continue for a few years until he replaced it with a chamber of Fasces and corporations. A corporation in this case was an industrial organisation, one for each industry, that contained both management and the unions. By the 1930s there were 27 of these. They were supposed to run the various industries, but in practice they served just to rubber stamp the decisions Mussolini had already taken.

I’ve read some of the comments that have been left on the video. Some of them are rants against Tony Blair’s period in office and complaints that it was supported by a biased media. Well, one paper stood against him – the Daily Heil. And you can wonder who had the real power in Blair’s relationship with the media, as he was always worrying whether his policies would meet the approval of one Rupert Murdoch. And Blair was a Tory in all but name. Thatcher, remember, regarded him as her greatest achievement. I’ve also notice that several of the commenters can’t spell Nazism. They’ve spelled it ‘Natzim’.

Of course, it hasn’t just been the association with the Nazis that has tarnished Italian Fascism. It’s also the various brutal dictatorships that have appeared across the world that committed horrendous atrocities, like the various military dictatorships in Latin America, the most famous of which is General Pinochet’s in Chile, as well as Greece under the Colonels. You can also attack his argument by pointing out he deliberately confuses socialism with communism. Communism is a form of socialism, but it is not the definitive form. For most British Labour supporters and politicians before Blair and his stupid, Thatcherite ‘Third Way’, socialism meant democratic socialism, which supported and included parliamentary democracy, and a mixed economy. This was the type of socialism practised by the reformist socialist parties of western Europe, like the German Social Democrats. And this form of socialism was keen to support human rights and democracy to a greater or lesser extent, as shown in the various people who joined anti-apartheid and anti-racism movement and gave Khrushchev a hard time when he visited the country about the imprisonment of socialist dissidents in the USSR.

I’ve left this comment on Webb’s video. I wonder if anyone will reply.

‘Salazar is probably best viewed as a reactionary Catholic like General Franco, rather than a pure Fascist. His books apparently are pretty much about Roman Catholic dogma, rather the secular ideas which informed Italian Fascism. And Fascism wasn’t just nationalism or dictatorship. Would your readers want definitive features of fascism like a state-directed economy, even if it is done through private industry and the corporate state, in which parliament is replaced by a chamber representing industries, each corporation including management and unions, which is charged with running the economy?’

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6 Responses to “Simon Webb Asks ‘What’s Wrong with Fascism?’”

  1. Mark Pattie Says:

    Dear God! I did watch his recent video on the Swedish election result where he said “Why can’t we have a similar party here?”- and the anti-immigration party he mentioned? Ukip, 2015? No, he mentioned the bloody National Front getting 5% of the vote in 1974. Makes me think he would vote for Britain First in the next GE.

    • beastrabban Says:

      At least UKIP made a pretence of clearing out the racists and Islamophobes. The National Front in 1974! Was this when they were goose stepping around in Nazi uniforms? I haven’t seen that video, but I’ll have to check it out because no-one should admire the NF.

      • Mark Pattie Says:

        Ukip did generally clean out the racists, at least until Batten completely ran that party to the ground! Re Franco and Salazar, they were certainly Christian fascists, in much the same vein as Lukaszenko, Orban and Putin are seen now. I get the feeling that SW would quite like to see a right-wing military dictatorship take hold in Britain! Certainly his solutions to the Channel migrant crisis would be considered batshit crazy by most of us!

  2. trev Says:

    What’s wrong with Fascism? Everything! What’s right about it? Nothing! Is Webb an imbecile?

  3. Brian Burden Says:

    Fascism always has racism – notions of racial superiority – as part of its creed, and frequently anti-Semitism too. Mosley’s blackshirts were looked down on by the nazis in the early days because they allowed Jews to become members, and were sneered at as “kosher fascists”. This soon changed, and when war broke out Mosley announced, “This is a Jewish war.”

  4. Mark Pattie Says:

    I think the video that alerted me to SW’s true political sympathies was the one where he questioned how “British” the then Tory cabinet was- implying that Priti “Heartless”, Javid and James Cleverley were basically foreigners. I’m pretty sure James Cleverley will be particularly offended by that, given that he served in the Army for years! Arguably, you could say he is more of a “patriot” than SW!

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