Sociology and Explanations

Charles Jannuzi jannuzi at
Mon Oct 1 22:25:39 PDT 2001

CB berates me thusly:

begin quote>Thank you for your patronizing response. I am not aware of anyone on this list in the last three years taking the position that fascism is any form of force to achieve political ends. I asked you for an explanation, not a snide response.<end quote

Well, I was thinking of the Hitchens piece, since my impression of it was: this use of force, if directed by OBL with links to the Taliban, equals fascism with an Islamic face, or something like that. That was, to quite an extent, the backdrop for the discussion as I read it. In fact, the whole Hitchens vs. Chomsky thing mesmerized the list for a day.

Of course you can reject my 'non-fascist' analysis of OBL and his organization(s). However, til he takes over a state and rules as a fascist or runs on a fascist platform (in what democracy could he get started?) or something, I do not need to attribute fascism to him. I don't see how it will help me to understand him.

For one thing, his transnational, transethnic aspirations go counter to your definition. One of his appeals seems to be he is looking for a few good men of ANY background.

I'm not sure what to think of the Taliban. I will say that they seemed to have gunned and whipped their way to the top of a failed nation state that is set to give new meaning to the term 'failed nation state'.

Check out Camus, The Rebel, 'State Terrorism and Irrational Terror'. Camus is dead and does not maintain a homepage the last time I looked, but I'm sure some of his texts are out there.

"But the difference between [Hitler and Mussolini] and the classic revolutionary movement is that, of the nihilist inheritance, they chose to deify the irrational, and the irrational alone, instead of deifying reason. In this way they renounced their claim to universality. And yet Mussolini makes use of Hegel, and Hitler of Nietzsche; and both illustrate, historically, some of the prophecies of German ideology. In this respect they belong to the history of rebellion and of nihilism. They were the first to construct a State on the the concept that everything is meaningless and that history is only written in terms of the hazards of force. The consequences were not long in appearing.

"Men of action, when they are without faith, have never believed in anything but action. Hitler's untenable paradox lay precisely in wanting to found a stable order on perpertual change and no negation. Rauschning, in his 'Revolution of Nihilism', was right in saying that the Hitlerian revolution represented unadulterated dynamism...."

Charles Jannuzi

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