Communism and Fascism Similarities Essay.
Read/review the following resources for this activity:
Textbook: Chapter 4, 5, 6
Minimum of 1 scholarly source (in addition to the textbook)
Initial Post Instructions
For the initial post, select and address one of the following:Communism and Fascism Similarities Essay.
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Option 1: Examine Marx’s writings on communism and socialism and compare them to how they manifested in reality? What worked and what didn’t? What misconceptions do we have about his original intent based on what we see in past or current governments?
Option 2: Compare and contrast communism and fascism. Select one example for each to examine the origins of the governments, their accomplishments, and their failures. What accounts for the fact that the masses mobilized to support these movements? Elaborate.
Option 3: Examine Depression-Era social programs (select one or more to examine in detail). Were the fears of a communist take-over based on the implementation of these programs grounded in reality? Why or why not? How do they compare to social programs in place today?Communism and Fascism Similarities Essay.
Two 20th-century ideologies promised a utopian vision that would ensure infinite happiness. They both stemmed from a political, social, and cultural construct that erased traditional ideas regarding good and evil. Both believed in the destruction of the old world, to build a new international order; each deplored what they saw as the pathetic ennui of bourgeoisie existence; each ideology’s shared purpose was to recruit members of the new utopia.
Those ideologies happen to be communism and fascism, which together brought an orgy of violence, killed millions, and led humanity to its darkest hour, where the final destination was the deplorable Gulags and the gas chambers of Auschwitz.
Vladimir Tismaneanu, a professor of comparative politics at the University of Maryland, noticed how communism and fascism, despite coming from separate ends of the political spectrum—extreme left for the former and extreme right for the latter—surprisingly have much in common. To comprehend the barbarism that plagued the last century, Tismaneanu contends that we must fully come to grips with the thought process that inspired so much destruction. So he sets off to scrupulously examine the intellectual origins, crimes, and failures of these two radical movements in The Devil in History: Communism, Fascism and Some Lessons of the Twentieth Century.
Tismaneanu isn’t the first to explore this subject matter. In Fascism and Communism, historians Francois Furet and Ernst Nolte, one French and one German, debated the genealogy of the two movements. And in Fascism, Communism and the Consolidation of Democracy: A Comparison of European Dictatorships, Gerhard Besier edited a book of essays that explored the mutual influences both political movements clung to. While Tismaneanu’s effort shares certain similarities with both texts, his central argument focuses for the most part on ideology, and not specific historical events.Communism and Fascism Similarities Essay.
Tismaneanu’s book takes its title from the Polish philosopher Leszek Kolakowski’s observation that Bolshevism and fascism represent two incarnations of the disastrous presence of the devil in history. They were two sides of the same coin of totalitarianism—a political, social, and cultural construct that erased traditional ideas regarding good and evil. Tismaneanu’s lucid narrative walks us through an intellectual landscape that traces the trajectory of totalitarian thinking back to its origins.Communism and Fascism Similarities Essay.
This began in 1848, when Karl Marx, along with Fredrick Engels, wrote The Communist Manifesto, and ended, ostensibly, with the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Tismaneanu spends the majority of his time clearly defining Marxism, neglecting fascism a bit, but there is good reason why he would do this. Marxism as a political theory is over 160 years old. In that time it has gone through various phases, titles, and schisms, including critical, post, and anti-Marxism.
Marxism as a political idea was a failure from the beginning, Tismaneanu contends, because of “its lack of sensitivity to the psychological makeup of mankind,” and because it underestimated “the needs of many for deep spiritual or cultural sources of meaning, and thus the profound importance of the human right to privacy.” When Vladimir Lenin implemented Marx’s ideas into “a potent political weapon of ideological transformation of the world,” he put totalitarianism into action. Without Lenin’s dogmatic vision, which kickstarted the Russian Revolution in October 1917, there would be no totalitarianism, as we now know it. Thus the course of Western civilization, and indeed world history, would have been entirely different. The ideas that Lenin propagated—igniting the insurrection of the masses in politics, making the individual a mere particle in comparison to the absolute belief in the cause—paved the way for all forms of totalitarian thinking that shaped the 20th century.Communism and Fascism Similarities Essay.
In The Better Angels of Our Nature, the evolutionary psychologist and cognitive scientist Steven Pinker specifically equated communist ideology with violence and genocide. Yet he failed to account for how capitalist values also contributed to a significant amount of violence over the course of the 20th century. When I challenged him on this matter in an interview last year, Pinker responded by saying: “However much we might deplore the profit motive, or consumerist values, if everyone just wants iPods, we would probably be better off than if they wanted class revolution.” Tismaneanu, I believe, would agree.Communism and Fascism Similarities Essay.
Capitalism, despite being an imperfect system with many problems, understands what Marx failed to grasp: if you socialize the means of production, you undermine the incentives to work and produce poverty instead of wealth. Furthermore, anyone in the communist system unlucky enough to be born in the wrong class or ethnic group were branded enemies of the regime, becoming helpless victims in the mass killings that so often took place in the name of ideology.Communism and Fascism Similarities Essay.
As an ideology, Marxism is open to more interpretation than fascism, which arose in Italy in 1919, and died, as a dominant political movement in Europe, along with two of its most famous prophets: Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. It favors actions over intellectual reason, so it’s a harder concept for an academic to dissect with the same scrutiny as Marxism. The closest Tismaneanu reaches in defining fascism is to quote Mussolini, who wrote in 1932, in the Enciclopedia Italiana:Communism and Fascism Similarities Essay.
“Fascism is a religious conception in which man is seen in his immanent relationship with a superior law and with an objective Will [sic] that transcends the particular individual and raises him to a conscious membership in a spiritual society.”
For a more thorough definition, it might be better to turn to political scientist Robert Paxton:
“A form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a massed-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.”Communism and Fascism Similarities Essay.
Tismaneau notes that all fascists shared a common bond in the idea of leadership, their abhorrence of liberalism, and a belief in ultranationalism. But he fails to note exactly what German and Italian fascism shared in common, or how different their worldviews actually were. For example, it’s worth mentioning that Mussolini had little interest in the racial theory that became central to the Nazis’ distorted ideology. Neither was anti-Semitism as widespread in Italy as it was in Germany.
What Tismaneau is clear on is how Bolshevism and Nazism both desired a scapegoat to achieve their end goals. In communism this was defined by class, and in National Socialism by race. Each movement subsequently believed this would lead to a triumphant historical epoch: in Nazism, the vision was the thousand-year Reich, while in communism, history would disappear completely, and the proletariat would rule forever.Communism and Fascism Similarities Essay.
If communism and fascism merged into “a baroque synthesis,” as Tismaneanu puts it, there were, nevertheless, key distinctions between the two. While Bolshevism was a dictatorship of the proletariat, Nazism was a dictatorship with a voting consensus behind it. In communism, totalitarian thinking was completely enthralled to the party line, whereas in fascism, all ideas stemmed from the magnetic personality of the infallible leader.
The underlying problem with both political movements, however, was their absolute commitment to ideology, which the late Czech president and writer Václav Havel once described as offering “human beings the illusion of identity, of dignity, and of morality while making it easier for them to part with them.”Communism and Fascism Similarities Essay.
Tismaneanu’s book is a chilling analysis of a century in which mankind aimed to reach the promised land through the power of ideas. It shows that thinking of politics as a simple scientific formula that could be solved, once it was followed to its logical conclusion, seriously underestimates the complexities of the human condition. This was the greatest ideological mistake of the 20th century, paradoxically leading to a frenzy of genocide, thought control, and a complete annihilation of the concept of the individual.Communism and Fascism Similarities Essay.
Lev Parnas: Mike Pence Canceled Ukraine Trip Over Biden Probe
‘ARE YOU KIDDING ME?’
“It was never about corruption,” Parnas told Rachel Maddow. “It was strictly about Burisma, which includes Hunter Biden and Joe Biden.”Communism and Fascism Similarities Essay.
Updated Jan. 15, 2020 10:25PM ET Published Jan. 15, 2020 8:25PM ET
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast
Lev Parnas, an indicted ex-associate of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, accused President Donald Trump of lying about their relationship Wednesday night. And he said Giuliani told Ukrainian officials that Parnas spoke on behalf of the president.
In an interview with Rachel Maddow for her MSNBC show, Parnas said that when he met with Ukrainian government officials, he would call Giuliani and put him on speaker. Giuliani would then tell the officials that Parnas was there on Trump’s behalf, he said. Communism and Fascism Similarities Essay.
“It was never about corruption,” Parnas said. “It was strictly about Burisma, which includes Hunter Biden and Joe Biden.”
The Justice Department charged Parnas last year with a number of election-related crimes. He has maintained his innocence and is in the process of sharing materials with congressional investigators about Trump World’s efforts to secure political favors from Kyiv.
Parnas detailed a conversation with Serhiy Shefir, an aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which Parnas said Vice President Mike Pence would cancel his planned attendance at Zelensky’s inauguration unless the incoming Ukrainian government announced it would investigate the Bidens. Parnas said that when he learned the Ukrainians wouldn’t announce a Biden probe, he told Giuliani.
“I remember Rudy going, ‘OK, they’ll see,’” Parnas said.
Pence’s trip was canceled the next day.
“Attorney General Barr was basically on the team.”
— Lev Parnas
Parnas also said that he saw Attorney General Bill Barr—who met with associates of Giuliani about indicted oligarch Dmitryo Firtash—as a fellow traveler in the scheme. “Attorney General Barr was basically on the team,” Parnas said. A Justice Department spokesperson, meanwhile, told Maddow the claim was “100 percent false.”
Parnas also said he set up Skype interviews with Ukrainian officials for Derek Harvey, a senior aide to Rep. Devin Nunes. Parnas said Nunes and his team were helping with their scrutiny of the Bidens—claims Nunes has denied. Communism and Fascism Similarities Essay.
“It’s hard to see them lie like that, when you know it’s like that,” Parnas said. “It’s scary.”
“He knows who I am,” Parnas added of Nunes.
Asked for comment as Parnas was speaking on MSNBC on Wednesday evening, Giuliani responded at first, “Are you kidding?” When asked for further elaboration, the Trump attorney messaged, “Very sad situation,” and “He’s desperate and badly represented.” When pressed if Parnas was lying regarding recent allegations and produced documents, Giuliani only responded, “I’m not paying attention to him.”
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The Parnas comments came on the heels of another big interview. In a much-bleeped conversation with Trump ally Eric Bolling, the newest figure in the Trump impeachment saga tried to defend his ominous-sounding texts with Lev Parnas. Communism and Fascism Similarities Essay.
That person, Republican congressional candidate Robert Hyde, went on Bolling’s Sinclair show to answer questions about texts in which he claimed to know the physical location of American’s then-ambassador to Ukraine and to have information about her cellphone use. But he didn’t offer much of an explanation.Communism and Fascism Similarities Essay.
“We sent some colorful texts,” he said. “You know, it’s kind of unfortunate that the left had to get their panties in a bunch.”
Then Bolling asked if Hyde “had eyes on Marie Yovanovitch,” the former ambassador.
“Absolutely not,” he replied. “Are you kidding me? I’m a little nasty [BLEEP], excuse my language. Come on, you know me, Eric.”
Bolling expressed incredulity about the texts, triggering a rant from Hyde about “the left,” saying they were more offended by his texts than by the opioid crisis.
He also made odd comments intimating that people warned him against talking to Parnas.
“Listen, I was told a long time ago who Lev was by a lot of people down in communities throughout this country who would pull me aside, have meetings with me, and tell me to stay away from the guy,” he said. “Honestly, I was never a close associate with Lev Parnas. Did I like his character and did we have laughs and joke a bit? Of course. But to try to throw me under a bus somehow for joking around on WhatsApp? I’d love to see Adam Schiff’s texts on WhatsApp.”
The texts in question, between Hyde and ex-Giuliani associate Lev Parnas, indicated he was surveilling Yovanovitch.
“They know she’s a political puppet,” Hyde wrote to Parnas in the newly released texts. “They will let me know when she’s on the move… They are willing to help if you/we would like a price.”
“Guess you can do anything in Ukraine with money,” Hyde added.
—With reporting from Asawin Suebsaeng
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ABC Execs Try to Get Abby Huntsman to Cover for Toxic Culture at ‘The View’
‘UNDER THE BUS’
Network brass wanted Huntsman to publicly deny reporting of internal strife at the talk show. The outgoing co-host refused to do so, sources said.Communism and Fascism Similarities Essay.
Editor At Large
Updated Jan. 15, 2020 12:36PM ET Published Jan. 14, 2020 8:45PM ET
The behind-he-scenes melodrama at ABC’s The View amped up Tuesday when departing co-host Abby Huntsman didn’t comply with network executives’ urgent entreaty to contradict a CNN story and the New York Post’s Page Six, among others, describing the show’s “toxic culture,” at the same moment that she was being trashed by nasty leaks and a hatchet job on The Daily Mail’s website.Communism and Fascism Similarities Essay.
“They threw Abby under the bus,” a View insider told The Daily Beast, the day after Huntsman announced on the popular daytime show that this Friday will be her last day—nearly eight months short of her contract that runs through the end of the current (23rd) season—and that she will decamp to Utah to help run the 2020 gubernatorial campaign of her father, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.
Before Tuesday’s live show, according to multiple sources, Senior Executive Producer Hilary Estey McLoughlin and Barbara Fedida, ABC News’ senior vice president for talent, editorial strategy, and business affairs, asked Huntsman to go on-camera and counter reports of internal strife by putting a positive spin on The View’s supposedly collegial workplace instead of the scorpions-in-a-bottle ambiance that is frequently portrayed in the tabloids.
But Huntsman, in her second year on The View, instead took the advice of the talk show’s moderator Whoopi Goldberg, whom the 33-year-old mother of three young children considers a mentor; Goldberg, 64, told her not to do it, sources said, because she had already said her warm goodbyes and praised her co-workers on Monday’s episode “as the smartest women I’ve ever worked with,” adding, “I love all of you here”—and why fuel tabloid gossip by being defensive?
Abby Huntsman Confronts Bloomberg Over ‘Sexist’ Comments
‘THAT’S THE WAY I GREW UP’
Indeed, The View has a rich and colorful history of intrigues, fights, and explosions among the on-air co-hosts involving the show’s creator, Barbara Walters, and co-hosts Star Jones, Rosie O’Donnell, Goldberg, and others—all chronicled in ferocious detail by Ramin Setoodeh’s recent book Ladies Who Punch.
Huntsman—who declined an interview request for this article—had complained in the past to Fedida and others about poisonous leaks in the tabloids that, accurately or not, recounted (and occasionally heightened) internal squabbling among The View’s on-air talent, especially in recent months between Huntsman and her fellow Republican panelist and longtime friend Meghan McCain.Communism and Fascism Similarities Essay.
The two had a backstage blowup after the Dec. 12 show, when Huntsman, Joy Behar, and Sunny Hostin—all mothers—engaged in an extended “Hot Topics” discussion about parenting and breastfeeding. McCain, who wrote painfully last July about a recent miscarriage in The New York Times, bristled: “I’ve never breast-fed anything, I’m sorry. I always feel like there’s this moment on the show where I have so much to say about politics, I have so much to say about the election, so much to say about the candidates! Breast-feeding? I got nothing for you guys.”Communism and Fascism Similarities Essay.
As the show was going off the air, Behar quipped, “I say nurse the cactus!” and then chuckled as McCain, daughter of the late Arizona Sen. John McCain, looked like she’d been smacked in the face. (“Joy’s comment was a quip that went wrong,” an ABC insider told The Daily Beast.)
Off-camera, McCain—who also declined an interview request—then laced into her pal Huntsman, accusing her of never saying anything in her defense on the air; Huntsman emotionally rejected McCain’s charge, claiming that she had always supported her friend and “had her back,” according to a person familiar with the details of the argument.Communism and Fascism Similarities Essay.
“It’s unsustainable,” said a View insider, who claimed reports of the show’s “toxic culture” are accurate.
McCain and Huntsman stopped speaking for a while, sources said, but recently patched things up, and the two women hugged each other after Huntsman’s announcement. “Meghan, we’ll be friends forever,” Huntsman told her on camera. “I’m heartbroken you’re leaving,” McCain responded.
Huntsman’s warm feelings about the show came to an abrupt end, however, with The Daily Mail’s “exclusive” that claimed that she “left her co-hosting job on The View because her future at the popular talk show was hanging on by a thread,” that “network executives had been considering phasing her out of her coveted seat,” and that “show research revealed viewers found Abby ‘bland’ and didn’t feel that she had a clear point of view.”Communism and Fascism Similarities Essay.
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The story continued: “Now with Abby out the door, ABC is trying to find a way to convince Friday co-host Ana Navarro to commit more time to the show, as bosses rave about the Republican… The proud never-Trumper has become a fan-favorite on the show, especially for her ability to keep Meghan McCain in check.”Communism and Fascism Similarities Essay.
Amid rampant internal speculation about who trashed Huntsman to The Daily Mail—including all the obvious suspects—Senior Executive Producer McLoughlin told The Daily Beast: “The story is categorically untrue,” and that Huntsman has been a highly-valued co-host.Communism and Fascism Similarities Essay.
As for recruiting Navarro for a regular co-hosting gig, “We’re not focused on replacing Abby right now,” McLoughlin said.Communism and Fascism Similarities Essay.