Fascism, American Style?

April 12, 2005

When I saw this confluence of religion and nationalism, all I could think of was a few lines from Mussolini

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 (11). It is opposed to classical liberalism which arose as a reaction to absolutism and exhausted its historical function when the State became the expression of the conscience and will of the people. Liberalism denied the State in the name of the individual; Fascism reasserts the rights of the State as expressing the real essence of the individual (12). And if liberty is to he the attribute of living men and not of abstract dummies invented by individualistic liberalism, then Fascism stands for liberty, and for the only liberty worth having, the liberty of the State and of the individual within the State (13). The Fascist conception of the State is all embracing; outside of it no human or spiritual values can exist, much less have value. Thus understood, Fascism, is totalitarian, and the Fascist State - a synthesis and a unit inclusive of all values - interprets, develops, and potentates the whole life of a people (14).
But, I fear that the comparison is unfair . . . to Mussolini.

Ah well, there is always the fuck yeah remake.

Hat tips to Atrios and, feh, I forgot who linked me to Atrios.

Posted by Red Ted at April 12, 2005 04:14 PM | TrackBack

GAHHH! The chick at the tombstone was Pat Tallman! (Lyta Alexander of B5.) She must really be hard up for work, or must owe this clown a heck of a favor. (The guy who made this, according to the site, was stunt coordinator on ST:TNG and Voyager, and she worked on both shows.)

As for the video itself...it's sappy but I didn't see anything overly "confluent" about it. It's religious, of course, but pretty non-denominational (even beyond the usual conservative definintion of "non-demoninational" which is "freedom to choose the evangelical Protestant church you like".)

Posted by: Venture at April 12, 2005 09:04 PM

The confluence is the use of religious cues - music, spirits - in order to encourage the viewer to look to national symbols as a source of belonging and identity, with the suggestion that transcendent meaning is provided by the nation. I read the video as civil religion raised to the level of idolatry.

Posted by: Ted K at April 13, 2005 04:06 AM

(Apologies for the necroposting but your comments weren't working for a long time.)

Eh. I didn't see it as anything more than the usual attachment of religion to whatever is currently going on. As an atheist, it looked like par for the course to me.

As for identifying with national symbols...if people aren't going to think of themselves as Americans -- not African-Americans, or Italian-Americans, or Asian-Americans, or anything else with a hyphen in it -- then this isn't a nation. It's 270 million people living on the same piece of rock, and it hasn't got a snowball's chance in hell.

Posted by: Venture at April 29, 2005 10:19 PM
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