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On fascism, Trump, Mussolini, and personal power

The 25th of April in Italy is the celebration of the fall of fascism ("liberazione").

Fascism is in direct contrast to what this website promotes.
This website promotes critical thinking, personal empowerment, self-development, and win-win relationships.

Fascism is the opposite of that.
It's about following a strong leader, merging one's own individuality with the group, abandoning logic and rationality, and setting up dangerous and destructive "us VS them" frames.

In that sense, Donald Trump is a fascist leader.
Duterte in the Philippines is also a fascist leader.

trump in mussolini clothes

And their staunchest supporters are also fascists.
They don't necessarily agree with all that Trump says, but they do enjoy the strong and charismatic leader.

Why do people even follow fascist leaders?

In good part, it's because the strong and charismatic leader provides fascists with a sense of belonging.
Fascism is the loss of healthy individualism to merge one's own ego and personality with that of the crowd. Most of all, with that of the leader of that crowd: the fascist leader.

From a power dynamics and personal empowerment perspective, fascism is giving away all your personal power to the fascist leader.
You are relinquishing your own thoughts, your logic, and your critical thinking to join the group. And you are relinquishing your own fate, to someone else.
No need to think and come up with your own answers... The great leader and father figure will do for you.

This is why in the "start here" page of this website I write that "ideologies is where weak egos go to hide".

Fascist leaders love people who are willing to give their power away to them, because they love power.
The fascist leader is not necessarily evil. And they can also do good things. But fascist leaders do make for poor leaders.
That's because fascist leaders tend to be sociopaths, narcissists, and Machiavellians. Those types of people rarely want the best for you.
Those personalities crave power and control only for very selfish reasons and never to support and serve.

Fascists' craving for power also makes them leaders who, generally, are all about the repression of individual liberties, concentration of power, and, generally, limiting people's freedom.
War is the ultimate power trip for the fascist leader. The war economy gives him unprecedented powers t control people's lives. And he gets to directly control all able-bodied men including control over their life and death.

Fascist leaders are the perfect embodiment of the maxim "those who crave power are the least worthy of holding it".

The Fascists Opposing Fascism

So, in theory, the 25th of April should also be my liberation and celebration.

Democracy over fascism, freedom over a petty despot?
Count me in any time!
Those are some of the few core values for which I'd put my life on the line.

Unluckily, the celebration has been appropriated by the extremists of the left-wing.

That's often the case, unluckily.

The people opposing fascism the hardest are not the free thinkers, the humanists, and the personal empowerment and freedom-lovers like us. We see shades of grey. We can even acknowledge a fascist leader is doing some good things.

Not the extremists, though. The fascist leader is always wrong for the extremists, and he deserves the worst death possible.
That's why the people opposing fascism the hardest are other fascists of their own.

I can see this dynamic going on in  Italy every single year.
Some people say Mussolini "wasn't that bad", and the fasci-communists fire up with the same violence and anger worthy of the worst fascists.

Here is an all too common, sad example:

Disgusting picture. I didn't resist chiming in to let him know how he wasn't being any better than the fascists he proclaimed to oppose

These fake anti-fascists don't realize they are helping fascists leaders.

Moderates and humanists like us abhor people who celebrate other people's suffering.
That picture is disgusting. If my worst enemy was in that picture, I'd still think it's disgusting.

And since the fascist leaders rarely go these extremes themselves -at least in public-, the extreme antifascists end up pushing the moderates closer to the fascist leaders, not farther away.

The result is that the loud minority of extreme anti-fascist end up supporting the fascist leaders.

You can see it in the US as well.
When the extremist anti-Trumps are being the vocal minority that tears down statues, assault policemen, or disrupts civic functions, they are actually helping Trump.

We don't need that for a better world.

The Moderate Humanists Are Losing the Marketing Battle

I agree with Steven Pinker here.

The moderates are not doing enough of a good job to trumpet the benefits of humanism, which include:

  1. Reason
  2. Science
  3. Humanism (including democracy, respect for others, basic rights for all, individuals above groups)

The issue moderates and humanists need to overcome is that moderation doesn't sell nearly as well.
Science, progress, reason... They all lead to well-being and to progress and justice for all.

But they are not sexy.
Or, at least, they are not as incendiary as extremism can be.

Charismatic leaders have a natural advantage.
They are more hungry for power.
And they have an easier time persuading via extremism, enemies, and fear-mongering.

That's why, today more than ever, we need you to join the camp of humanists and moderates.
Learning persuasion and power dynamics will help us, because fascists of all stripes have a natural affinity for power -and a natural advantage for persuading the weak-.

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?