Edited. Feb. 2017.
There is great reason to believe, that the origins and philosophy that moulded and underlie Italian Fascism are not what education has taught thus far. The author holds the same for National Socialism.
This Marxist critiques the left’s hysteria, although I reject his agenda:
“Colonial empires found justification in racial theory. Romantic national history and social Darwinism bound masses of people at home to the imagined community of the state and reconciled them to the existing hierarchical social order. Nevertheless, though fascist leaders and their shrill publicists freely deployed such ruling class notions, they did so in an entirely demagogic fashion. There is with fascism no body of logically sustainable reasoning of the kind found in the catholic church or Marxism. Read Mein Kampf or Mussolini’s My autobiography. Hence frantic leftist attempts to locate Le Pen’s ‘fascism’ in some subtle anti-semitic code word or pouncing upon Jörg Haider’s ‘fascist’ admiration for the Third Reich’s autobahns and public works programme is entirely misplaced. There is no fascist theory systematically linking proposition to practice. Organisationally fascism has precursors in the anti-liberal and anti-socialist counterrevolutionary movements of the same late 19th to early 20th century period. A loose analogy can be drawn between Louis Napoleon Bonaparte’s movement and fascism.” (Origins of fascism and the New Right)
In this same manner, loose analogy is drawn between our subjects.
View this first, to get a sense of the complexity.
If we do not know these ideas rightly, we can be told anything.
The National Socialist Revolution
All far right parties, are now being tactically branded with the stigma of Nazi. Fascism has been subject to different definitions, since being coined by Italian politician, Benito Mussolini, but is mostly now used as an insult. The definition of fascism should be rooted in history, because if it is not, then, we cannot make proper distinctions. It also enables politicians, journalists, historians, and the masses to label any element with similarity to our caricature of fascism, as unworthy of consideration, except for scorn. The conflicting life of Benito Mussolini, as well as Adolf Hitler and their colleagues, betray the ideology they propagated. Il Duce was a casanova, suffering from psychological trauma. If we were to judge fascism, solely by film and propaganda, we get the image of a heroic icon, or adept-like figure.
Adolf Hitler also had problems, a sexual fetish, among other things. He was a drug addict of meth, ‘bulls semen,’ &c., which gave him that aggression. This is similar to the case of Osho Rajneesh, who actually praised Adolf Hitler’s Social Darwinist ideal, and was addicted to valium and nitrous oxide gas. This gave him that slurred, serpent-like speech, which his disciples took as a sign of his spiritual status.
So, the stance taken is not to excuse the National Socialists and Italian Fascism. It is certainly to be honest about its deficiencies and good ideas, but basically, they were counter-revolutionaries against the whole order, old and new. If there were to be a revival of the ideas we cherish also, we must be honest, and as accurate and logical as possible to avoid old mistakes. There are certain elements of both National Socialism and the doctrine of Fascism (Italian Philosophy) that are undeniably similar to the theosophical outlook; and then, there are elements that are not. You will see why, those similarities are also embedded in the cultures of Europe, and throughout the old world governing system, in their highest idealistic form. So, the accusations fall flat. Mussolini, like Giovanni Gentile and Guiseppi Mazzini, a colleague and contemporary of Helena P. Blavatsky alongside Garibaldi of the Risorgimento, all thought similar. This basis, was that philosophy should penetrate and govern life. It is the actual idealism of Giovanni Gentile, and a concept developed before him in Mazzinian thought; and this also included the combination of ‘politic’ and ‘action.’ The same ideal is inherent in the ‘Modern Theosophy’ of the nineteenth-century, but the troubles of extreme exemplars of this, might have discouraged modern theosophical idealogues. The modern Theosophical Movement wanted to embody this, through contemplative practice in daily life, as in modern Stoic influences and social actions, and in empowering the social classes. The latter is also similar to Mazzini’s “republicanism.” The theosophists were involved in South Asian nationalist, Védic and Buddhist revivalism, and demonstrated unity of Indian concepts.
There are those “crack-brained slanderers” who have scapegoated Theosophy for inspiring the movements of German Romanticism, Fascism, and Nationalism Socialism. Academic critiques of Theosophy are incapable in distinguishing whether it is Gnosticism, Freemasonry, Buddhism, Rosicrucianism, Neo-Hinduism, etc.; a mix; or c) all.
“Year after year, and day after day had our officers and members to interrupt people speaking of the theosophical movement by putting in more or less emphatic protests against Theosophy being referred to as a “religion,” and the Theosophical Society as a kind of church or religious body. Still worse, it is as often spoken of as a “new sect”! Is it a stubborn prejudice, an error, or both? The latter, most likely. The most narrow-minded and even notoriously unfair people are still in need of a plausible pretext, of a peg on which to hang their little uncharitable remarks and innocently-uttered slanders. And what peg is more solid for that purpose, more convenient than an “ism” or a “sect.” The great majority would be very sorry to be disabused and finally forced to accept the fact that Theosophy is neither. The name suits them, and they pretend to be unaware of its falseness. But there are others, also, many more or less friendly people, who labour sincerely under the same delusion.” (Helena P. Blavatsky, Is Theosophy a Religion, Theosophical Articles, Vol. 1, Theosophy Co., L.A. 1981, pg. 56 and Lucifer, November 1888.)
To then be seen as an element to the construction of fascism is ignorant of the Italian philosophy, already embedded in the culture surrounding Mussolini and Giovanni Gentile. Besides the political element, there was a Metaphysics of Fascism. Benito Mussolini, on his doctrine about Fascism, aided by Giovanni Gentile, who became Minister of Education in Mussolini’s government, states, that it is a spiritual philosophy. This spiritual philosophy embodies not merely the soul of the European, or specifically of the old Roman-Germanic world, but the Gnosi through objective idealism. It bears similarity, in the strength of its spiritual philosophy, to theosophy, because of the Roman masculine virtues. So, the precursors to fascism’s intellectual origins lie in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Before the first world war, sentiment among the ruling class was a distrust of internationalism (capitalists and socialists), romantic nationalism, state worship, pseudo-science on race, and Social Darwinism.
What is so condemnable today, are journalists and political analysts describing the right, and even libertarians now, as fascist, when according to their use, even monarchy can be considered fascist. Aspects of monarchism are in the American-branded republicanism of its framers and founders. They inject into its ideal, the same nobility in the ideal of the truest of monarchists. In the old orders, in monarchy, the people were said to respect the police force in the same manner as the priest, and it was conceived to be the highest and best form of governance, like Karl Marx believes Communism is the inevitable state of governance. Monarchy was a sign, a people reached their nobility, and ruled by hereditary line. What then of monarchy, when our views are but shaped merely on the incompetence of King George III and that Louis XVI of France. The left must always be revolutionary, resistance, and subversion. The Americans should not use the term of fascism as a stigma or broad insult, given the fasces (bundle of sticks. for Roman state power and unity) is also embedded into the United States American symbolism. Non-hereditary government, such as that of republicanism and democracy, including ours, adopts socialist programmes. It is a system that cannot figure what it is, and neither can the political analysts, and academics, who say it has transitioned into an Oligarchy. Now, Former Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) suggests, there’s an Aristocracy in American Politics, and the Democrats have moved very far to the left (Sen. Jim Webb, Democratic Party has moved ‘very far to the left’). The Atlantic laments about ways the present system can lead to Autocracy and fascism, while men like Dr. Richard Wolff and Bernie Sanders seek out fresh virgin land to encourage the youth, in socialist ideas. Yet, we are complaining about fascism, which according to its main architects, is a totalitarian, spiritual doctrine.
Totalitarianism, in this doctrine, meaning a combining of the individual with the state’s identity, imposed by the national romantic history. It is an extreme intemperament, contrary to what nations already try to inculcate as to collective identity. If that wasn’t the case, e pluribus unum would not had been the Confederacy and U.S. motto.
If we were to articulate either Theosophy or United States government further, the people would according to the historical slant taught to them about the German Third Reich and Italian Fascist government, destroy their own government, for socialism.
The idea that the National Socialists were right-wing extremist, or liberal socialist is too simplistic. What Adolf Hitler proposed, and what the government actually practiced are two different things. As, how would the liberal-left deal with the fact, Adolf Hitler defined everything about Nationalism Socialism, as a show of mastery of labour, i.e., the power of the working class versus capitalism, aristocracy, monarchy, and industrialism. How does the American liberal-right, explain Adolf Hitler’s appraisal of ‘free enterprise?’
The national socialist movement defined itself as opposed to Russian Bolshevism, and competed against other socialists. Its nationalist and social philosophy is socialist; but the philosophy of Adolf Hitler in his Mein Kampf, resembles the spiritual philosophy in il Duce’s fascism.
The Roman and Italian Context of Fascism
German National Socialists and Italian Fascism allied politically, as countermeasures against the capitalists and communists. Antisemitism was not intrinsic to Fascism and Italian life at the time. With a few quotes taken out of context, some have even highlighted passages in The Secret Doctrine (1888), to link it with Anti-Semitism, and the symbolism of the hakenkreuz. Fascism was a political and economic system, but it also had a metaphysics to it. Fascism is Roman. Yet, it failed miserably, because of incompetency. It is the Italian people who felt betrayed, especially since Benito Mussolini began by walking amongst the working class and agriculturalists, and seducing the Monarchy. Despite whatever Mussolini and Giovanni Gentile wrote philosophically, what this Fascism in Italy turned out to become is another story. Giovanni Gentile, unlike Mussolini, focused also on morality, and tried to influence the fascist doctrine. The result of Italian fascism however was not built on the philosophical precepts of European sages. Benito Mussolini preferred fascism to be pragmatic and flexible. Fascism is focused on manliness, or particular cultural understanding of manliness as unstoppable force. The Italian Fascist government willed Italy into beating its heart to the drums of war and conquest, despite the weariness of the Italian people.
While, there are certain similarities in thought, that could be compared with Roman, or Italian Fascist Thought, and particularly the Philosophy of Giovanni Gentile, ‘Theosophy’ is not Fascism. What The Mahatma Letters, e.g., state about modern mystics, must die or fight for what they want, this is like the fervour in the fascist.
Except, they were fighting for India’s independence from the British.
So, in honesty there is similar tone in spirit, in the ideal these systems attempt to manifest, but which historically demonstrate a hypocrisy, that could not embody the Occult Philosophy, and the restrictions it demands for the individual. This would be for any system any man is governed under. To say theosophy is fascist is idiotic. If that is so, we could say, theosophy is monarchist, democracy, republican, et cetera.
“Universal brotherhood” is our celebrated principle. Fascio and fasces, meaning “strength through unity” is the origin of the word fascism, and is its celebrated principle. Our principle of unity is not bound up with a state, but in chiefly a metaphysical principle of Nature.
Just as a monarchist can argue that God is a monarch, but isn’t, this idea does not lend to fascism, merely because it accepts a higher principle above all and through all. This is in all spiritual thought.
It appears, any kind of thought that attempts to uplift the soul of man, and to arouse a movement around it, especially of the virile man, ruling over the lower self, is a threat. It seems a threat, since our whole society seems to keep us through its culture and propaganda, in that lower self, and that is what was intrinsic to the spiritual philosophy in fascism. This same idea is upheld within monarchism as well. Will we now treat monarchical government the same?
Is democracy always the only way forward, with endless discontent of subversives and resistance? Do conservatives not see their alternative?
The Italian theosophists would had never compromised with the Fascist government of Italy. The Duce of the National Fascist Party and Camicie Nere, dragged the Italians with him, encouraging his people to support the conquest of Ethiopia and Albania; then joining the unfavourable war. Even that history is taught to us wrongly, being that it was in interest of the National Socialists in truth, to become an ally of the British. Many blame this on the financiers, the industrialists, and Winston Churchill, ruled by Israel. Unfortunately, to his regret he expressed to his wife, Benito Mussolini became to be seen as the second arm in Fascism and lackey of Adolf Hitler.
These were extremely conflicted and hypocritical men in power.
All the romanticism of the propaganda filmography is great, but to be true to the actual history, they did many things, that make it impossible to compare to theosophy. Their political ambitions and public image do not match their private lives. Too many idolise their romanticised public images. They pass on their pathology like memes to would-be heirs. So, certain elements that grew onto it, thus not intrinsic to it, should be questioned. People were attracted to the actualised ideas they generated through will, as demonstrated above.
There is a holy and worldly wisdom. Theosophy teaches that the occult knowledge is a philosophy about self-conquest. It is a philosophy of will-power, or forzi di volontà, but it is most vitally, a philosophy of grande saggezza, centred on the “heart.” It is a wisdom of love and compassion; and this divine love being the cohesive force and nōetic fire of Life, is the fount and origin of that true spiritualized will-power, or iron-will. Men call it God, and say ‘by the will of God,’ similar to the Daoists and Buddhists in another significant sense. It is not the mere animal brute, but that will to subdue the lower self; and it must be still guided by principle and ethic. The vivida vis animi, Lucretius spoke of, or the amatory desire from the libido of Sigmund Freud, is but a lower manifestation of this force. The theosophist sacrifices this, and turns God-ward, and acts through this potentia.
In the end, I’m allied against the modern left and socialists to be frank, but I also do not see the issue of fascism in black-and-white. I argue for a rearticulation of American republican philosophy, and reject subversive revolutionary change in favor of new renaissance.
“They cannot understand as yet that we are not fighting a political party but a sect of murderers of all contemporary spiritual culture.” (Baron Roman Nikolai Maximilian von Ungern-Sternberg. See Ferdinand Ossendowski, Beasts, Men, and Gods, 1922.)