“When the fountains of government [borrowing] abundance began to dry up, when through lack of funds and the impossibility of negotiating fresh loans the state was forced to check the extension of bureaucracy and to put a stop to public works, then and then only did the Italians realize what it meant to have allowed themselves to be made one of the most heavily taxed nations in the world.”
“The commonly accepted theory that fascism originated in the conspiracy of the great industrialists to capture the state will not hold. It originated on the Left. Primarily it gets its first impulses in the decadent or corrupt forms of socialism—from among those erstwhile socialists who, wearying of that struggle, have turned first to syndicalism and then to becoming saviors of capitalism, by adapting the devices of socialism and syndicalism to the capitalist state. The industrialists and nationalists joined up only when the fascist squadrons had produced that disorder and confusion in which they found themselves lost.”
“In different countries the basis of resistance takes different forms, but it comes chiefly from the conservative groups. Hence it becomes increasingly difficult to go on spending in the presence of persisting deficits and rising debt. Some form of spending must be found that will command the support of the conservative groups. Political leaders, embarrassed by their subsidies to the poor, soon learned that one of the easiest ways to spend money is on military establishments and armaments, because it commands the support of the groups most opposed to spending.”
“But alas, the most terrifying aspect of the whole fascist episode is the dark fact that most of its poisons are generated not by evil men or evil peoples, but by quite ordinary men in search of an answer to the baffling problems that beset every society. Nothing could have been further from the minds of most of them than the final brutish and obscene result. The gangster comes upon the stage only when the scene has been made ready for him by his blundering precursors.”
“Embarked, as we seem to be, upon a career of militarism, we shall, like every other country, have to find the means when the war [World War 2] ends of obtaining the consent of the people to the burdens that go along with the blessings it confers upon its favored groups and regions. Powerful resistance to it will always be active, and the effective means of combating this resistance will have to be found. Inevitably, having surrendered to militarism as an economic device, we will do what other countries have done: we will keep alive the fears of our people of the aggressive ambitions of other countries and we will ourselves embark upon imperialistic enterprises of our own. ” …
“Imperialism, too, has come to describe a kind of internationalism, so that one who opposes it is scornfully called an isolationist. Imperialism is an institution under which one nation asserts the right to seize the land or at least to control the government or resources of another people.”
“We are now prepared to examine some of the forces that are at work here, some of the streams of thought and desires that run in our own society, and to appraise them in the light of what we have seen in Italy and Germany. Before we do this, however, it is well to be clear upon the central point of the foregoing chapter and to be warned about another danger that stands before us.
First let us restate our definition of fascism. It is, put briefly, a system of social organization in which the political state is a dictatorship supported by a political elite and in which the economic society is an autarchial capitalism, enclosed and planned, in which the government assumes responsibility for creating adequate purchasing power through the instrumentality of national debt and in which militarism is adopted as a great economic project for creating work as well as a great romantic project in the service of the imperialist state.
Broken down, it includes these devices: