Fascism, as understood by many is abominable because of its brutal outpour of hatred against a particular community identified as inferior because of the self-believed ideology that the men united within a confined national boundary are the dominant and hence superior over the other, or simply because of racial purity. But this hatred alone is not Fascism, but only a division and there is more to it.
This article will try and analyze if any traces of fascism can be found in the realist ideology of international relations. In order to do so, let us understand realism through the eyes of Fascism.
There are no concrete definitions offered to explain the term Fascism that was coined by the Italian Benito Mussolini in 1919 and is completely different from Adolf Hitler’s fascism (lower case f) and hence cannot be contained with the characteristics of a unified philosophy.
By the way, Hitler’s fascism is termed Nazism and because of his popularity we are prone to relate Fascism with hatred of a particular race and their mass murdering.
There have been lesser-known fascists in the world including Francisco Franco of Spain, Augusto Pinochet of Chile, and Juan Peron of Argentina, yet they were not so popular and different from the beliefs of Mussolini and Hitler. Hence, the definition is abstract.
Despite there are some common traits shared by Fascists.
In a nutshell, the state is everything and is the absolute, ultimate entity that comes before the personal interests of every subject in the statehood. Any contrary belief is the eligibility for victimhood. There is authoritative control and scrutiny over everything everyone does, to keep a check whether they comply with the interest of the statehood.
This absolutism could take the shape of hatred towards a particular race that happened in the case of Hitler and hence his philosophy of racial superiority (Nazism) is a kind of Fascism.
One more common tenet of Fascism is Charles Darwin’s idea of survival of the fittest- in Fascism the survival is, as a group and not as individuals. This is where realism shows some signs of, if not holistically, being a progeny of Fascist ideology.
Aggression is very much the necessity of Fascism for it to threaten and survive over the weakest. In other words, Fascism believes in the power of being strong and more importantly defies the ability of the weak to survive. This is where realism stands as well.
Realists believe in order within their own state whereas when it comes to transnational boundaries, there exists anarchy and the most powerful has the right to subdue the weaker by any means. Realism bases its philosophy on the very nature of egoistic human beings over the idea of morality and a fair world where everyone, the strong and the weak, the rich and the poor, is treated equal.
Both of these ideologies believe in what they strongly perceive as reality as they see superficially the world around them. Their assumption that they are special is flawed as they fail to contemplate and realize that the very ability to think is the special status gifted to us, all. The power to think makes us special; human beings. The power to think about oneself alone is a bane; the bane of a sans-sixth sense animal.
By failing to think about others, both realists and fascists fall under the same category, may be the virulence could be sensed lesser in case of realism, but it could be the dangerous beginning of a very unkind world.
But realism has understood the nature of human being very well, yet it failed to realize the very nature as the biggest challenge in front of us. Letting us flow along with the unrealistic reality around us without any self-realization is the worst crime one can do to her home.
On a concluding note, if our thoughts and actions are based on what we realize as reality, we should learn to respect and value one another, let alone love. The relationship that we endure among ourselves is the only proof of life, which is the reality.
If the first human being was all alone by herself we wouldn’t have been a global community today. She was here to love.
Related video: Charlie Chaplin’s speech in The Great Dictator