Fascists are the Tools of the State : Peter Gelderloos


  • Fascists are the Tools of the State: Peter Gelderloos

    An essay published in 2007 about the relationship of Fascism (in broad strokes, nationalistic movement terms) and the State.

    [1]Fascism is widespread in many industrial and postcolonial countries, existing as extreme nationalism, neo-Nazism, or some other extreme authoritarianism. In nearly all cases, the rank-and-file of the fascist movements tend to be dispossessed members of a privileged group in society (e.g. poor whites). In pre-WWII Germany, most working-class Germans were impoverished by the Depression, in contrast to their self-image as a wealthy, powerful nation. In modern Germany, neo-Nazi political parties win the most votes, often more than 10% of the total, in states where unemployment is highest. In the US, poor southern whites who do not enjoy the wealth promised to white people of the richest nation on earth often join the Ku Klux Klan. In Rwanda the Hutus, impoverished and in great need of land, expressed their desire for more wealth and power by identifying with the majority ethnicity, joining the fascist Hutu parties responsible for the genocide. There has been a similar fascist movement among Hindus in India, asserting their power as the majority ethnicity. Thus, fascism can be seen as a response to disempowerment and broken promises of privilege.

    [2]Fascism can also be seen as an elite phenomenon, a gentleman’s movement. The German Nazi party included many of the richest industrialists, the Spanish fascists behind Franco were an alliance of generals, landowning aristocracy, and church leaders, while Mussolini said fascism should better be called “corporatism” because it is the blending of state and corporate power. In the US, the KKK was originally a gentleman’s club, and before WWII, the richest industrialists (Hearst, Rockefeller, Ford, DuPont, Morgan) supported the fascists in Europe. Currently in the US, many elite conservatives support the anti-immigrant group Minutemen and other crypto-fascist groups. Fascism is especially connected to conservative segments of the elite who are afraid the expansive strategies of the progressive elite will backfire and destabilize the whole system. In these manifestations, fascism is a way the elite preserve traditional morality, strengthen social hierarchy, and defend against revolutionary activity among the lower classes.