March 29, 2023

OPINION: DeSantis’s preferred brand of Fascism is Italian, not German

OPINION: DeSantis's preferred brand of Fascism is Italian, not German

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Some of today’s scapegoating Republicans looking to decry the media, attempting to curb the freedoms and liberties of others remind us of other dark figures in world history, leading us to insinuate that they are bordering on Fascism if they have not landed there already.

Then we make the Hitler comparisons.

And that would be wrong.

I want to make this crystal clear: no one is making a comparison of these American politicians to Hitler’s atrocities.

The comparison borders more on the zest for power, the circling of the wagons with similarly minded people, and ultra-nationalism.

More accurately, however, are comparisons laying with a nexus to Il Duce.

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One need look no further than Benito Mussolini and Giovanni Gentile’s 1932 The Doctrine of Fascism to recognize the similarities.

Keep in mind also, that throughout the 1920s, Hitler idolized Mussolini, copying much of his political beliefs and views with him.

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Hitler especially honed in on this passage from The Doctrine of Fascism:

“…it sees not only the individual but the nation and the country; individuals and generations bound together by a moral law, with common traditions and a mission which suppressing the instinct for life closed in a brief circle of pleasure, builds up a higher life, founded on duty, a life free from the limitations of time and space, in which the individual, by self-sacrifice, the renunciation of self-interest, by death itself, can achieve that purely spiritual existence in which his value as a man consists..”

Self-sacrifice and the renunciation of self-interest, by death itself?

To be anything else would seem to be “WOKE.”

Certainly, the MAGA crowd (those who continued to hang on after the 2020 election and more so, the January 6th coup attempt) understand this concept.

Again, The Doctrine of Fascism lays it all out:

Fascism wants man to be active and to engage in action with all his energies; it wants him to be manfully aware of the difficulties besetting him and ready to face them. It conceives of life as a struggle in which it behooves a man to win for himself a really worthy place, first of all by fitting himself (physically, morally, intellectually) to become the implement required for winning it. As for the individual, so for the nation, and so for mankind. Hence the high value of culture in all its forms (artistic, religious, scientific) and the outstanding importance of education. Hence also the essential value of work, by which man subjugates nature and creates the human world (economic, political, ethical, and intellectual).

Seems to be touching on every aspect of the “anti-woke” Florida agenda, does it not?

One has to wonder if Governor Ron DeSantis has a copy of this by his bedside, ingesting passages like the following:

Anti-individualistic, the Fascist conception of life stresses the importance of the State and accepts the individual only in so far as his interests coincide with those of the State, which stands for the conscience and the universal, will of man as a historic entity .

This is the direction in which the “Free-State of Florida is heading.”

The individual gets accepted “only in so far as his interests coincide.”

In the United States of America, where, despite political differences, all fifty states are free, one must have been reading il Duce’s words when someone came up with the tag line “Free State of Florida.”

The Doctrine doesn’t mince words like DeSantis does: “then Fascism stands for liberty, and for the only liberty worth having, the liberty of the State and of the individual within the State.”

Pretty damn uncanny, huh?

I throw this in here for the rabid, “Communista Communista” politicians of South Florida who have found a Marxist hidden under every Castro Convertible, who in their correct, yes correct, concerns with Socialism, have turned a blind eye to the right-wing extremism right in their faces.

Here’s what Mussolini had to say about Socialism in terms of his preferred Fascism:

Fascism is therefore opposed to Socialism to which unity within the State (which amalgamates classes into a single economic and ethical reality) is unknown, and which sees in history nothing but the class struggle. Fascism is likewise opposed to trade unionism as a class weapon. But when brought within the orbit of the State, Fascism recognizes the real needs which gave rise to socialism and trade unionism, giving them due weight in the guild or corporative system in which divergent interests are coordinated and harmonized in the unity of the State.

Tough talk is usually the moniker of the MAGA saturated politicians.

Many, if not most are chicken hawks.

But some have served, and my respect is genuine.

Though, I digress in thinking, didn’t Lee Harvey Oswald and Timothy McVeigh also serve?

Hence, you know what?

The best warrior is the one who knows how to preserve peace and not talk shit.

No wolf Trump horse shit wolf tickets.

Mr. Eisenhower comes to mind as a man who did it right.

Ironically, Max Blumenthal, best known today for spreading conspiracy theories and denying the atrocities of dictatorial regimes, wrote in the New York Times in 2009, it was Eisenhower’s “experience as supreme commander of Allied forces in Europe that taught him that the rise of extreme movements and authoritarianism could take root anywhere–even in a democracy.”

But back to that doctrine on Fascism:

Fascism does not, generally speaking, believe in the possibility or utility of perpetual peace. It therefore discards pacifism as a cloak for cowardly supine renunciation in contradistinction to self-sacrifice. War alone keys up all human energies to their maximum tension and sets the seal of nobility on those peoples who have the courage to face it. All other tests are substitutes which never place a man face to face with himself before the alternative of life or death. Therefore all doctrines which postulate peace at all costs are incompatible with Fascism.

Holy crap, how WOKE would you be to think differently?

The population policy of the regime is the consequence of these premises. The Fascist loves his neighbor, but the word neighbor “does not stand for some vague and unseizable conception. Love of one’s neighbor does not exclude necessary educational severity

Oh, ok.

But wait, I gotta throw this one in for shits and giggles: “The Fascist State organizes the nation, but it leaves the individual adequate elbow room. It has curtailed useless or harmful liberties while preserving those which are essential. In such matters the individual cannot be the judge, but the State only,” il Duce prophesized.

So enough of trying to convince you.

I stated it at the beginning.

Do not compare Trump and DeSantis, among others, to Hitler’s Fascism.

It is easy enough to do but it is wrong.

And again, I am NOT talking of Hitler’s atrocities or making those comparisons.

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I am however, alleging that someone, not sure who, but someone in their inner circle have read, have taken notes, have done a PowerPoint on Mein Kampf and on The House that Hitler Built by Stephen H. Roberts (1935).

But in reading, dissecting, highlighting, and underlining Mussolini and Gentile’s The Doctrine of Fascism, there is absolutely no way in hell this made the Florida banned reading list.

David Magnusson is a retired police chief with 36 ½ years of law enforcement experience having spent 30 of these years with the Miami Police Department retiring as an assistant chief. He was chief of the Havelock Police Department in the Marine Corps City of Havelock, North Carolina, home to Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station. He returned to South Florida as chief of the El Portal Police Department.

He chaired the COVID and Domestic Violent Extremism Committees for the Association of Miami Dade County Chiefs of police. He teaches about Hate Crimes, Violent Extremism, and Inclusive Policing to law enforcement agencies.

A historian, Magnusson has written on military and presidential history topics. He is a diehard baseball (St. Louis Cardinals) and boxing fan. Magnusson resides in South Florida with his wife. Their children and grandchildren are never too far away.

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