Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 2, No. 15. July 26, 1939
To-day, even in New Zealand, the terms Fascism and Communism are being buried about by political parties and newspapers with such vehemence that the casual reader is apt to conclude that the ultimate solution or our problems lies in the acceptance of one of these systems. Little does he realise that these systems, separated so widely by personal enmity, are, in reality, basically connected and, like Liberalism, are obnoxious to a rational being.
Here permit me to parallel these systems from a political viewpoint:
- Fascism: Totalitarian.
- Communism: Totalitarian.
There are only two basic theories of Government to-day—Totalitarianism as underlying Communism and Fascism, and the theory of "Natural Rights," as seen at least in the structure, in a Democracy. The philosophy underlying Totalitarianism is simply that all rights have their origin in and, therefore, can be modified by, or destroyed, at the will of the omnipotent State. The individual exists for the State, not the State for the Individual. Thus personal rights as life and liberty; political rights, as freedom of speech, press, and assembly; economic rights, family rights, and religious rights, all have their origin in the State, which can abrogate them at will. If this be the logic which underlies these principles as seen by the ruthless European dictators, are we desirous of imitating these?
- Fascism: Dictatorship.
- Communism: Dictatorship.
Dictatorship is the very essence of these systems. The Totalitarian concept demands for its efficient functioning the centralisation of all power—executive, legislative, judicial—in one man, viz.: the Dictator. Communism blandly denies this assertion and insists that the working man governs himself. Such assertion even though held by Webb in "Soviet Communism," is an insult to an intelligent reader.
- Fascism: "End justifies the means."
- Communism: "End justifies the means."
This pernicious doctrine again has its logical deduction from the Totalitarian State, If all rights proceed from the State then the State cannot commit an unethical act. Thus, confiscation of property, forced labour, etc., are all ethical because the norm of morality is the will of the State. You may argue that this is not applicable to Russia, but let me quote you from "Problems of Leninism," by Stalin, page 26: "The scientific concept dictatorship means nothing more or less than power which directly rests on violence and is not limited by any law or any absolute rule. Dictatorship means unlimited power resting on violence, not law."
- Fascism: Essentially Undemocratic.
- Communism: Essentially Undemocratic.
Basically both Fascism and Communism are undemocratic. The for mer openly scoffs at Democracy, the latter diabolically boasts of it and has incorporated the term in its constitution. However, we must deal with facts, not propaganda. Common to Italy and Russia there is a one-party government, admitting of no others. This is contrary to the very essence of Democracy, which consists in the power of the people to turn the incumbent party out of office. Hence it logically follows that as Russia will not permit opposition, it denies the very essence of Democracy. Moreover, common to Fascism and Communism, we find as is logical in perpetuating a dictator, the complete suppression of liberties. In Russia, they are presumed to be granted to the people, who can discuss such things as gossip and their latest operation, but not the vitally important problem—Communism.
- Fascism: Exalts war to regain lost preeminence.
- Communism: Preaches peace but erects the world's greatest war machine for a world revolution.
Italy dreams and aspires to "Roma Renata"; her Ethiopian campaign, whether factually true or morally justifiable, is at least logical in her philosophical outlook. Hitler's rise was based on (1) the dangers of Communism; (2) the Jewish Influences; (3) the desperation of the people. But Nazism is national, and is the exaltation of the German people. Communism is international and has the desire for world revolution. Let Stalin speak in his book. "Problems of Leninism," page 9: "This is the greatest difficulty of the Russian Revolution, its greatest historical problem, the necessity of solve International problems, the necessity to call forth the world revolution."
Certainly she poses as the angel of peace—a fallen angel if she continues to build her world's greatest war machine.
In the above, I have attempted to crystallise the essence of Fascism and Communism from a political viewpoint. Scarcely a Communist will agree with the presentation, but the facts are still the same, and I think they have been presented with some rationality and not like the above systems of propaganda, with the emotion that warps analysis and befogs facts.