Monday, January 30, 2006

DeLong on Franco

Odd that we should be thinking of Francesco Franco these days. DeLong ends a posting on Spain's tyrant with a guide to spotting fascism:
Brad DeLong's Semi-Daily Journal

German philospher Ernst Nolte's classic Fascism in Its Epoch set out six key characteristics of fascism:

1. Strong belief that--through social darwinism--morality is ultimately tied to blood and race, understood as descent and genetic relationship.

2. Strong rejection of the classical "liberal" belief that individuals have rights that any legitimate state is bound to respect

3. In its place, an assertion that individuals have duties to the state, seen as the decision-making organ of the collectivity.

4. A rejection of parliamentary democracy and other bottom-up institutions to assess the general will.

5. The assertion that the general will is formed by the decrees of the leader.

6. A strong fear of twentieth-century Communism, and an eagerness to adapt and use its weapons--suspension of parliaments, mass propaganda, rallies, street violence, and so forth--to fight it.
In China, it is common to criticize the regime by allusions to historical figures. DeLong was posting on Chinese New Years. Coincidence or subtlety?

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