I am far from having come, as yet, to a complete understanding of the roots of fascism. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle and I have only connected a part of it. But there are certain things about fascism that I have, nonetheless, come to understand, which we would all do well to be aware of and to recognize if we do not want to be led like sheep to the slaughter.
One of the things I have discovered lately (to my great joy in fact) as I continue my study of the history and the dogmas of fascism and Nazism — this whole reactionary period — is how one core or root principle informs other “democratic” ideologies that is absolutely and categorically denied in the practice and ideology of fascism, and which exists in the current so-called “democratic” ideologies mainly as a contradiction to their actual practice. For they seem to have forgotten it themselves.
That value or ideal is “the free development of the personality”, and it exists as the original common ideal that informs conservatism, liberalism, and socialism equally. What they really dispute amongst themselves is the means to effectuate the social conditions and institutions necessary for that ideal to be realised and made concrete.
I remain, for the time being, immersed in my study of the history of European fascism and the mass psychology of fascism. I have learned a good many surprising things of great value since delving more deeply into the subject. One of these things is having come to a better understanding of the much abused term “democracy” — its authentic roots, value, and meaning — as well as the threat posed to democracy today by the residual legacies of fascism.
For, absurd as it may seem, the allied nations that were victorious in war over the pernicious doctrines and mythologies of fascism have, nonetheless, self-defeatingly appropriated a good part of those doctrines and mythologies as their own. There are clear fascistic and totalitarian tendencies in the ostensible democratic political ideas of the day — in the so-called “neos” of neo-conservatism, neo-liberalism, and neo-socialism which are coincident with the more general problem of the “democratic deficit“.