“The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it comes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism - ownership of government by an individual, by a group,”
Franklin D. Roosevelt
I saw that quote, a long time ago, on sites opposing the imposition of Industrial Wind Turbines on unwelcoming communities; an action seen as deliberately facilitated by Ontario’s Green Energy and Green Economy Act (GEGEA). I explored the quote, and FDR, and soon realized the quote not only wasn’t a great definition of fascism, but FDR was considered a fascist, an opponent of fascists, a facilitator of fascist … Opinions of FDR appear to communicate more about the opiner than FDR. Strangely, or not, the speech the quote kicks off deals with corporatism, and the distribution of income – both might be more relevant (and almost totally ignored) issues today, and both are only tangentially connected to the European Fascism generally associated with the term.
Fascism is not very well defined. Recently I read an essay titled, “The Five Stages of Fascism,” by Robert O. Paxton of Columbia University. I’m going to build this blog entry around my understanding of Paxton’s essay. I’m going to attribute characteristics of Fascists to many people - vitriol which generally disqualifies people from being heeded where I come from, but a couple of things have pushed me to explore this.
My favourite texts in university were existential texts – the same ones Fascists tended to have read. Awkward.
I’ve got a German name – which I didn’t really consider often until being required to read Gunter Grass’ work as he tried to come to terms with the horrifying period of the Nazis. The Nazis were people from the area my ancestors had left, over a century before - but still, stikes me as very similar genetic material.... Awkward.[i]
[i] Luft is German for ‘air’. I reside in the village of Coldwater ... the moniker ‘Cold Air’ is a play on that. I guess it might be more accurate to refer to myself, air in cold water, as ‘bubbles’, but ....