If Ex-Army had written just one post about fascism, I would have had enough time to respond to him in a reasonably prompt fashion.
But after his notes on Pinochet at:
and his clarification at:
Ex-Army posted some additional branches at:
And before the discussion goes too far afield, I have to underscore the important fact that everyone dances around but no one wants to confront:
Fascism is sexy.
Many fascists take up the fascist way of life because they get sex when they act fascist.
Histrionic condemnations of fascism tend to portray fascists either as inhuman monsters, whose evil deeds are beyond forgiveness, or as human sinners, whose sins might be forgiven by God, even if they cannot be forgiven by other humans.
A human sinner is scarier than an inhuman monster. If Smaug the dragon is cruel in his excessive incineration of buildings, I can fear death, but I need not fear that I will become as cruel as Smaug, because I cannot breathe fire. Every viewer is too weak to burn cities as Smaug does.
However, an antihero such as the criminals in Battles Without Honor And Humanity are very scary. They are not criminals because they are inherently vicious; they want to eat and drink and enjoy human comforts. They are weak men. Their cruelty is terrifying because it reminds the viewer that no one is too weak to commit cruel sins against fellow human beings. They have numerous redeeming qualities, notably self-sacrifice and loyalty.
Objective examination of fascism is difficult, because if the examiner is sexy enough to get sex by acting fascist, the examiner won’t be objective due to the allure of sex, and if the examiner is not sexy enough to get sex by acting fascist, the examiner won’t be objective due to the shame of sexual unpopularity.
An excellent fictional introduction to this situation is presented in El Laberinto del Fauno.
In that movie, an ignorant young girl and an innocent young woman must confront various monsters, some of which are human.
But they are only in that world because the miracles of fascism.
At the very beginning of the movie, a widow decides that she must re-marry, and that the most suitable man is Capitán Vidal, a very sexy fascist in a very fascist town.
The ignorant young girl asks her not-very-innocent mother why she must re-marry. The widow, soon to be a bride again, replies, “I couldn’t be without him,” or words to that effect. The widow wants a fascist to be the stepfather to her little girl. While he would be a strict father, it’s not clear that del Toro is presenting him as an abusive father.
The fascist, Capitán Vidal, certainly does give his stepdaughter rules and commands. For example, she is forbidden to flirt with danger by leaving her safe little house and running around the forest at night. (Spoiler: she totally flirts with danger anyway.)
When Capitán Vidal forbids his daughter from going out at night – is that even a sin? Or is it a generally good idea to forbid ten-year-old girls from running around a spooky forest all alone at night?
Later in the movie, Capitán Vidal certainly does some cruel things that most people would describe as evil. But it is not clear whether they are supposed to be unthinkable, unforgivable shocks, or whether they are supposed to inspire the audience to think, “I am morally weak enough to commit the same cruelties as Capitán Vidal, if I were in his place.”
If you had to raise a stepdaughter, would you be a better parent than Capitán Vidal?
Fascist movements start with sex. Fascist men don’t just attract any old type; fascist men attract the type of women who have the potential to start families. Fascist families can come together in a fascist nation. This is deeply subversive to modern, deracinated, globalist consumerism.
Sex leads to life (unless the organisms having sex are terribly unhealthy). Fascism is pervaded by sex, and it can be diverted into sexual hedonism; however, the objective of fascism is not hedonism, but rather collective life.
Why do so many women regard fascist men as sexy? I believe El Laberinto del Fauno answers this question.
The primary heroine of the film is a young girl, probably pre-pubescent. However, she is probably at least ten years old. Even if her mother conceived the girl when the mother was eighteen, the mother must be at least twenty-eight years old when the movie starts.
The secondary heroine is a vivacious, attractive servant-girl who appears to be about nineteen.
The fascist, Capitán Vidal, never shows any kind of familiarity to the servant-girl. She prances around right under his nose, and he never seduces her, never gropes her, never makes an insinuating comment about her buttocks. The fascist is a man of wealth and status. He could have the servant-girl, or an equally young and nubile concubine. Instead, he chooses to get married, in the church, to a woman who will soon be too old to have more children. The fascist is not a hedonist; he is a man of well-balanced behaviors who puts the needs of the community first.
I don’t think the fascists are the primary villains of that movie. Probably Guillermo del Toro hates fascists and wants them to be considered evil. If he wanted to make an anti-fascist movie, however, he failed. The movie ends up portraying fascists as warriors – brutal and violent, but desirable husband material.
Watch the movie all the way to the end, and you will get the idea that del Toro does not approve of the fascist period of Spain’s history. Perhaps he wanted to portray fascists as monsters – in which case, the widowed mother of the primary heroine was at fault when she decided to marry a monster, and the widow is the true villain. Or perhaps he wanted to portray fascists as sinners – in which case, let he who is without sin cast the first actor.