Here is the first in series of articles intended to define what political conservatism is.
Often we see Conservatives identified as Fascists. Is this accurate or fair? No. Let me explain why.
The modern conservative is focused upon individual rights and responsibilities. A Conservative believes that the individual person should be free to solve his or her own problems. They also believe that the individual will produce a much better solution to their own difficulties than the government or any other outside agency. Conservatives believe in innovation. They believe that private persons are the source of innovation. For example, a century and half ago, many immigrants found that the banks would not lend them money. In many cases it was because of their country of origin or their religion. Such immigrants innovated and created a solution - their own group credit unions.
In contrast, Fascism is a political philosophy based on the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche. Fascism sees individualism as a force which alienates people from one another. It is statist at its core. The government, which is seen as representing a particular people group, works to advance the interests of the members of that group, regardless of the damage it does to others or the society as a whole. Often Fascism becomes connected to racial purity. The individual is seen as a problem. Solutions to problems, for the Fascist, can only come from government. No other solution is considered possible.
The reason you cannot call modern American Conservatives Fascists is that Conservatives are about individual personal liberty while Fascists are about advancing people groups by the use of state power. Conservatives are in fact the opposite of Fascists. But we must ask, is there an organization on the American landscape that does seek to advance various people groups by the use of state power?
Want to know more? Try:
Modern Fascism: Liquidating the Judeo-Christian Worldview
Gene Edward Veith, Jr.
This is a real primer on Fascism as an intellectual idea.
Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning
I’ve heard the author interviewed and the book is on my must get list (along with fifty others, someday when I get money). He echoes Veith’s contention that Fascism is a left wing movement.