What is Fascism?

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As some well-known “anti-jihad” writers and bloggers continue to defend the Belgian Vlaams Belang party against a mountain of well-documented charges that they are a fascist group, it’s very revealing to read the definition of “fascism” that concludes Robert Paxton’s comprehensive scholarly work, The Anatomy of Fascism.

The correlation between these points, the tactics and positions of the Vlaams Belang, and the rationalizations of the “anti-Islamization” groups who are making alliances with them, is simply stunning.

* a sense of overwhelming crisis beyond the reach of any traditional solutions;

* the primacy of the group, toward which one has duties superior to every right, whether individual or universal, and the subordination of the individual to it;

* the belief that one’s group is a victim, a sentiment that justifies any action, without legal or moral limits, against its enemies, both internal and external;

* dread of the group’s decline under the corrosive effects of individualistic liberalism, class conflict, and alien influences;

* the need for closer integration of a purer community, by consent if possible, or by exclusionary violence if necessary;

* the need for authority by natural chiefs (always male), culminating in a national chieftain who alone is capable of incarnating the group’s historical destiny;

* the superiority of the leader’s instincts over abstract and universal reason;

* the beauty of violence and efficacy of will, when they are devoted to the group’s success

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