We have a conception of what capitalism and (usually) a misconception of what communism is, but fascism is a bit more slippery. Perhaps that is because we are used to thinking of opposing economic systems and fascism is very eclectic about economic systems-whatever works is fine.
Works to accomplish what, exactly? That it the question you must ask to pin fascism down, because the fascists from Germany, Japan and Italy did have a few glaring things in common. Particularly Germany and Japan were extremely racist, extremely nationalistic and extremely aggressive.
As early as 1948 Albert Einstein, a Jew who had to flee Nazi Germany, wrote to the New York Times warning of the rise of fascism in Israel: “Today they speak of freedom, democracy and anti-imperialism, whereas until recently they openly preached the doctrine of the Fascist state. It is in its actions that the terrorist party betrays its real character; from its past actions we can judge what it may be expected to do in the future.”
We are much more familiar with Germany’s racist, nationalist aggression than Japan’s, which has been glossed over, not because they were less racist, aggressive or brutal than Nazi Germany but because they sort of became U.S. puppy dogs after the war.
Germany “the Aryan alone is the founder of the higher type of humanity, and further that he represents the prototype of what we understand by the word: MAN.”
Japan “the application of ancient folklore and imagery had a strong social acceptance in Japan…Emperor was direct descendant of god…depicted the enemy as demons and outsiders.” “Japan is the only “pure” race…”
Zionism: “One million Arabs are not worth one Jewish fingernail.” Rabbi Yaacov Perrin, 1974 “It is forbidden to have pity on them. We must give them missiles with relish, annihilate them. Evil ones, damnable ones.” Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, 2001
Germany: “We believe in our nation and its eternal values…(all) must unite to contribute the bricks wherewith to build the new Reich…respect of our great past and pride in our traditions.” Hitler speech, 1933
Japan “Japan’s status among the empires of the world has risen until today she ranks as one of the three Great Powers and from this eminence she can support other Asiatic nations.” (pre WWII)
Israel “They carry Israeli flags and signs and shout, “Mavet la aravim “(Death to Arabs.) They flag down taxi drivers, so they can check if they are Jews or Palestinians.
Germany: Liebensraum, living space! The Germans felt encircled, hemmed in, and surrounded by enemies. They needed the “courage to gather our people …for an advance along the road that will lead this people from its present restricted living space to new land and soil, and hence also free it from the danger of vanishing…and serving others as a slave nation.”
Israel: To establish “Greater Israel” they need to get rid of the “Arabs” (except for a few hewers of wood and haulers of water) and gobble up chunks of all the nations that surround them. Like Nazi Germany, they feel hemmed in, surrounded by enemies and claim they must expand for self-defense; this has resulted in a long list of military aggressions.
Recipe for Fascism
Racism, extreme nationalism and aggression; a potent and deadly stew. Israel is currently right in the thick of it and while I abhor their violence and aggression, part of me is worried about Israel. Why? Because racism, extreme nationalism and aggression are unsustainable; they burn up the society that embraces them. “Can a man take fire to his bosom and his clothes not be burned?” (Proverbs 6:27)
Fascism, in the end, is both homicidal and suicidal. Consider these photos of Germany and Japan, 1945