Today in the world it is difficult to find a term that has a more negative connotation both in educated circles and among ordinary people than “fascism”. The fascists, who seized power in almost all of Europe in the XNUMXth century, committed so many crimes that the world public consciousness recognizes fascism as the most misanthropic political and ideological trend in modern history. A huge role in this was played by the Nuremberg trials and newsreels of the mass destruction and torture of people.
The very same term "fascism" has turned into political insult. Only the most notorious marginal elements today proudly call themselves fascists, the rest, including ordinary fascists, prefer to define themselves in completely different, softer names.
Just as one cannot judge a person by what he says about himself, one cannot judge an objective social phenomenon - fascism - by how the fascists called themselves, called themselves, and what they wrote and write about themselves. Absolutely unscientific and even immorally popular in the circles of "specialists" literal "explanation" that the Nazis were in Italy, and in Germany - the National Socialists, in Spain - the Francoists and so on. Say, all these are heterogeneous political phenomena that Soviet propaganda deliberately mixed.
In the Russian Federation, we have a completely official legal definition of fascism, formulated by the Russian Academy of Sciences for the Presidential Administration back in 1995:
Fascism is an ideology and practice that affirms the superiority and exclusivity of a particular nation or race and aims to incite ethnic intolerance, justify discrimination against members of other peoples, deny democracy, establish a cult of the leader, use violence and terror to suppress political opponents and any form of dissent, justification of war as a means of solving interstate problems.
True, this definition cannot be called essential, it only describes the signs of the phenomenon, and in its specific historical form, the European fascism of Germany, Italy and their allies.
At one time, the Comintern, at the suggestion of the USSR, gave a canonical definition in Marxist circles to fascism as “an open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinistic and most imperialist elements of finance capital in order to carry out exclusively predatory measures against the working people, prepare a predatory imperialist war, attack the USSR, enslave and the partition of China and on the basis of all this prevention of revolution. "
However, it did not become generally accepted either in scientific or in political circles. The Comintern was a purely political body and had influence mainly only on the communists. Moreover, practice has shown that this influence was for the most part not ideological, but administrative. During the war years, the Comintern, in connection with the recognition that the centralized leadership of the communist movement had exhausted itself under the new conditions and that each party had to act independently in its own country, dissolved itself. His theoretical guidelines ceased to be binding on the Communist Parties, and natural confusion and vacillation began on many issues, including the essence of a particular political line. For example, after Stalin's death, the Chinese and Albanians put forward the theory of "social-imperialism" in relation to the USSR, clearly correlating its policy with the aggression of the fascist states, and in Soviet propaganda they hinted at the kinship of Maoism and Hitlerism. Even today in the CPC, the "Gang of Four" is sometimes officially called fascist. In short, the canonical definition of the Comintern, like all its other ideas, fell prey to the discord of the communists, who themselves pushed aside theoretical concepts and began to call fascism or insultingly hint at fascism even in relation to each other.
In addition, the definition of the Comintern is also very historical. According to him, fascism is a dictatorship against a revolution, and clearly pro-Soviet, therefore, where there is no such threat, logically, there is no place for fascism. But is it really so? Probably not.
At the same time, the West developed its ideas about fascism according to an even more sad logic. The fact is that after America's declaration of the Cold War on the USSR, a certain ideological incident arose, which consisted in the fact that, generally speaking, communism in the face of the USSR saved the "democratic world" from the threat of fascism. Then it was still impossible to falsify the story that the gallant American soldiers almost single-handedly defeated Hitler - people would simply laugh, including American and British veterans.
So, politicians urgently needed to somehow clearly and understandably substantiate that communism and the USSR are bad and must be fought against. For the most backward layers of Americans and Europeans, it was enough that the communists were against God and it didn't matter that there was freedom of religion in the USSR. "He who does not believe in a Christian God is the enemy of America!" - this slogan worked perfectly. Even the famous “In God we trust” was stamped on dollar banknotes. But people with education needed to be given something more weighty and interesting.
The architects of the Cold War raised the theoretical concept of American intellectuals on an ideological shield, which made it possible to easily and visually mix fascism and communism. It was included in all educational programs and replicated in the media as universally recognized. This is the concept of dividing all socio-political regimes into three types: democracy, totalitarianism and authoritarianism. The first is the correct, good Western countries. The second is the fascists and communists, and the third is everything else. Thus, from this point of view, fascism means right-wing, nationalist, racist totalitarianism.
Moreover, the very idea of such a division was based on quite objective facts. Indeed, in Western countries there were democratic freedoms in the classical understanding of the French and American revolutions (multi-party parliament, freedom of speech, movement and other civil rights), while under fascism they were violated or absent. In communist countries, these freedoms were also partly present, but in the West they were considered incorrect and incomplete. In fairness, it should be noted that the communists, in turn, considered Western freedoms and civil rights to be purely formal and also actively criticized them.
Thus, the Marxist definition of fascism was given through the economy, through the power of financial capital, while in the West an understanding of fascism was formed through the sphere of politics - if the state controls all spheres of society, then this is totalitarianism, which can be right - fascism and left - communism.
On the essence of fascism
Of course, it is much more scientific to determine the political regime through economic factors than through politics itself, because the economy is objectively primary in relation to politics, ideology and culture. Moreover, there is not a single phenomenon in society that would not appear as a result of an inextricable historical chain of cause-and-effect relationships and would not be directly or indirectly associated with certain economic laws and laws. This is precisely the flaw in the definition of the Comintern, since it is not clear where the "most chauvinist and most imperialist elements of finance capital" came from and why they became chauvinist and imperialist. This was usually explained by the threat of communism, but this, as mentioned above, is a very weak argument.
Since the emergence of fascism is not associated with the peculiarities of the development of individual peoples, but is natural for any country, the above methodological setting means that the entire set of economic relations of mankind predetermined the inevitability of the emergence of fascist ideology and created the danger of the emergence of a fascist political regime.
And here I want to express three thoughts for the judgment of readers in order to come closer to the conclusion about the essence of fascism, which should determine it.
First. What is the main tendency of the system of objective economic laws of the one that is becoming obsolete according to V.V. Putin's model of capitalism? The economies of the largest dominant countries are already monopolized as much as possible, all the most capital-intensive segments of the markets are controlled by groups of the largest financial and industrial corporations, which forces business captains and politicians under their control to admit that continued growth in profitability is possible only by suppressing competitors on a global scale.
It's just that they do not always express this recognition, especially in public, but cover it up with arguments about "national security", "protection of Western values", "concern for civil rights" and the messianic salvation of peoples from authoritarianism and totalitarianism. They talked about the threats posed by Saddam's regime, and laid a paw on Iraqi oil. They talked about the horrors of the Gadhaffi regime, and took over the Libyan bowels. They talked about the inhumanity of the Assad regime, and stretched out their hands to the Syrian oil. We talked about the last dictator of Europe, but our hands are itching about the Belarusian industry and gas infrastructure. Especially the American beacons of democracy irritate countries with a strong public sector and rich natural resources.
Second. And what, in fact, is the essential difference between Hitlerism and the colonial policy of the old European empires of the XIX, XVIII, XVII ... centuries? Didn't they strive, like Hitler, for world domination and did not apply genocide on racial and ethnic lines? Racism was not invented in Germany at all, it was quite a respectable imperial ideology in Europe long before Hitler and the Nazis. And, by the way, colonial fascism was not hindered by the formation and development of democratic institutions within the metropolises.
Didn't the politicians who unleashed the First World War say essentially the same thing as the Nazis with their "living space" for the Germans? Generally speaking, German and Italian fascism gained popularity largely on the basis of revanchist sentiments after the Versailles system.
Third. If in terms of methods and means the aggressive policy of globalization with the imposition of "free trade" and Western ideology is very different from Hitler's militarism with its total war and the extermination of peoples, then in terms of their ultimate goals they are identical. Moreover, colonialism, Hitlerism, and globalization in the American-European sense are a policy of establishing world domination of one ethnic group of tycoons.
Thus, there is every reason to believe that, in essence, fascism is not at all swastikas or even death camps, but a system of ideology and politics serving the aspiration of the most powerful and large private corporations (slaveholding, feudal, market) to completely suppress competitors in the world. scale. This view of fascism is dictated by consideration of the material historical reason for its occurrence, and there is no reason to single out European fascism during the Second World War into a separate concept due to the debunking of its criminal means and methods. Firstly, some British Empire acted by the same means and methods, although no one was condemned, and, secondly, innocent victims from the age-old policy of war and terror of the same democratic USA, which openly do not use ethnic cleansing, no death camps, maybe more.
Based on the foregoing, it is easy to understand, for example, who are the fascist gangs in Donbas serving, whose claims to world domination they defend. But the question can be posed broader than how these gangs of Ukrainian Natsiks differ from the Ukrainian government itself after 2014 ...