by Antony Mueller
A ghastly phantom has descended upon America: the specter of anti-capitalism. Young people march behind the socialist bandwagon and some activists block free speech as members of a group called “Antifa”.
This “anti-fascist” movement engages in militant protests and does not shrink from using violence. As a part of the extreme left, the members of the “antifa-movement” are self-proclaimed “anti-capitalists” and declared “enemies of the right”. They call themselves “anti-fascist”, when, in fact, more than any other ideology, fascism characterizes their own movement.
Yet what is fascism and what is the content of this ideology?
The “Fascist Manifesto”
The Fascist Manifesto was proclaimed in 1919 by Alceste De Ambris and Filippo Tommaso Marienetti. In their pamphlet, the authors called for an eight-hour workday and a minimum wage; it demanded worker representation in industrial management and equal standing of trade unions, industrial executives, and public servants.
The Manifesto demanded the confiscation of the property of all religious institutions.
The authors of the Fascist Manifesto demanded progressive taxation, invalidity insurance, and other types of social benefits, along with reducing the retirement age. The Manifesto demanded the confiscation of the property of all religious institutions and to nationalize the armament industry.
The authors of the Fascist Manifesto called for establishing a corporatist system of ‘National Councils’ formed by experts to be elected by their professional organizations who should hold legislative power in their respective areas.
De Ambris and Marienetti demanded a strong progressive tax on capital to expropriate a portion of all wealth and the seizure of all the possessions of the religious congregations together with the nationalization of the arms industry.
In 1922, the socialist Benito Mussolini came to power in Italy under the banner of fascism and put most of the fascist program into practice as it was proclaimed in the Manifesto some years earlier.
Compared with the Communist Manifesto
A comparison with the Manifesto of the Communist Party, written by Marx and Engels and published in 1848, reveals the kinship of fascism and Communism.
The Communist Manifesto of 170 years ago demanded:
- Strongly progressive taxes
- Centralization of credit in the hands of the state by a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly
- Centralization of the transport system in the hands of the state
- Unification of the farmlands of agriculture and industry with the aim of gradually eliminating the contrast between town and country
- Public free education of all children, elimination of factory work of children in its present form, union of education with material production.
According to the Communist Decalogue, the items left to achieve full-blown socialism were:
- Requirement 1 – Expropriation of the landed property and use of the basic rent for state expenditure
- Requirement 4 – Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels
- Requirement 8 – Equal obligation to work for all; establishment of an industrial army including in agriculture.
Both the Communist and the Fascist Manifestos are echoed in the official Party Program of the Nazis, which was launched in 1920.
Nazi Party Demands
Adolf Hitler himself was present when the 25 points of the program of the Nazi Party were announced on February 24, 1920. The name Nazism itself says it all: it is the abbreviation of NSDAP which stands for Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (National Socialist German Workers Party).
In 1925, The General Assembly of the NSDAP declared the program of 1920 as “immutable”, and in 1941 Adolf Hitler determined that all future leaders of the Reich must be sworn in on the 25 points.
The Program of the Nazi Party includes demands such as:
- Socialization of monopoly companies
- Municipalization of large department stores
- Expropriation of land for charitable purposes
- Prevention of real estate speculation
- Expansion of the entire education system
- A comprehensive system of free public schools and generous study stipends and grants
- A clean environment along with promoting the health and the fitness of the people.
In particular, the Nazi party program demanded
- the abolition of easy income without work (item 11)
- confiscation of war profits (item 12)
- the nationalization of all trust enterprises (item 13)
- profit sharing in large companies (item 14)
- generous expansion of retirement provision (item 15)
- the creation of a healthy middle class (item 16)
- a land reform adapted to national needs, creating a law for the free expropriation of land for charitable purposes. Abolition of land consumption and prevention of any land speculation (item 17).
In plank 20 the party program required that ‘the state must ensure that our entire national education system gets thoroughly expanded’ with an ample system of subsidies for education.
In plank 21, the program demanded that ‘the state has the duty to help raise the standard of national health by providing maternity welfare centers, by prohibiting juvenile labor, by increasing physical fitness through the introduction of compulsory games and gymnastics, and by the greatest possible encouragement of associations concerned with the physical education of the young.”
This selection of demands shows the high degree of similarity of these three ideologies.
The Nazis called for the creation of a “People’s Army”—not different from what later the Communists in Eastern Europe and Asia promoted.
This selection of demands from the Communist, fascist, and Nazi catalogs shows the high degree of similarity between the lines of thought of these three ideologies. What the communists express in the slogan ‘from each according to his abilities, to each according to his need’ is equal to the Nazi dictum that the ‘common good comes before the private good’ (‘Gemeinnutz vor Eigennutz’) and the fascist motto of ‘all within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state’. It comes as no surprise that the communist, fascist, and national-socialist governments have acted as repressive regimes that brought neither prosperity nor equality or peace but misery, suppression, and war.
After the left has pocketed the concept of liberalism and turned the word into the opposite of its original meaning, the Antifa-movement uses a false terminology to hide its true agenda. While calling themselves “antifascist” and declaring fascism as the enemy, the Antifa itself is a foremost fascist movement.
The members of Antifa are not opponents to fascism but themselves its genuine representatives. Communism, Socialism, Fascism are united by the common band of anti-capitalism and anti-liberalism.
The Antifa movement is a fascist movement. The enemy of this movement is not fascism but liberty, peace, and prosperity.
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Antony Mueller is a German professor of economics who currently teaches in Brazil. He is the author of “Beyond the State and Politics. Capitalism for the New Millennium” (2018).
Reprinted with permission from FEE.org