Hi. Welcome to the site. Please check out the About Us, and if you have a question about crime and/or punishment, perhaps look at some previous questions along those lines first.
Welcome to Anarchy101 Q&A, where you can ask questions and receive answers about anarchism, from anarchists.

Why do anarchists hate fascists?

0 votes
Hi I consider myself a fascist who has been inspired by anarchism. I would like to learn and try to understand why anarchists have a problemand hate fascists?
asked Jun 7 by John G
Hi John, I would welcome you to this site, but I hate fascists. That said, I take this as a good faith question, and will endeavor to answer it regardless, because it is a worthwhile topic of discussion, and especially suited to a 101 site.

To better address it, can I ask what on earth it is that appeals to you about anarchy or anarchism (the two are different, though often used interchangably)?
Also, I would take issue with the idea that anarchists have a problem, we just hate fascists. No problem to be had there.
by any chance, would the "anarchism" that you were inspired by be what some bizarrely refer to as "national anarchism"?

if so, you have been horribly misled. if not, i would ask the same question ingrate did: what could you possibly see in anarchy/anarchism that would inspire you to a fascist perspective?

you could take a look at this question:


but you will probably find more useful information by querying the anarchist library for "fascism" and then checking the "critique" box on the left side:

i dont have anything new to say, i just came to be involved.  that said, i really dont understand how this question even came to be asked.  they're opposites in everyway, and neither really has a fundamental opposition to violent tactics.  shits gonna get messy.  mostly for anarchists;  fascists tend to be a lot better at mass violence.

so why does this anarchist hate fascists?  fascists are noisy, they come in packs -i dont like crowds-, and nowadays have fucking godawful dress sense.  theyre violent towards pretty much anyone who doesnt fall in line with their Master Plan for Making Everything Good, and i sure as hell dont like falling in line.  or just violent to people who were born wrong or whatever.  its fucking toxic garbage.

fascists have the same nightmarish massifying politics as all the other 'states' that i hate, but with exciting new ways to brutalise/murder me and those i care about.  theyre obsessed with purity and order, which are gross af.

i mean, there are lots of fucking fantastic reasons for fascists to hate fascists, like the night of the long knives, or just the entire organisation of the japanese army -i mean who doesnt like being handed a gun, starved and expected to die, or just put in a plane and told to kill yourself?-.

to a fascist the collective is more important than the individual.  fuck that trash, im super important to me.
i would like to understand why/how someone who considers themselves a fascist feels inspired by anarchism.....john g?

2 Answers

+3 votes
it's hard to imagine why someone who's a fascist would not understand why people hate fascists. hitler was a fascist. mussolini was a fascist. fascists have historically killed a lot of people for stupid reasons, like, that they were jewish, gypsies, queer, etc.

fascists believe in things that are antithetical to anarchists (a strong leader, nationalism, women being subservient to men, etc). we don't have to hate people who disagree with us theoretically; it is hard, however, not to hate people who want to kill us and our friends, either directly (through street violence, for example) or indirectly (through policies like concentration camps, immigration control, etc).
answered Jun 8 by dot (50,790 points)
Fascism is based on the promotion of so-called natural hierarchies: as dot mentioned, patriarchy and those based on race and nationalism. Fascists are wedded to the leadership principle (also based on a so-called natural hierarchy), which creates a cult similar to the ways Catholics idolize whichever pope happens to be sitting on the toilet of St Peter. Fascists are in favor of a strong, centralized, militarized imperialist state, which often includes militarized civilian auxiliaries in addition to cops. Fascists are bullies, relying on the threat and periodic use of lethal violence to create an atmosphere of public fear in order to impose/maintain so-called natural hierarchies. Fascists believe that the needs of the collective (however defined) are always more important than the needs of individuals. Fascists are in favor of capitalism; whatever aspects of it they don't like (unchecked expansion, excess profits, hyperexploitation of certain workers) are to be countered by the good intentions of the state; in this way the class struggle is tempered, and labor unions (if they still exist) are integrated into the functions of the state (by the way, this is the "corporatism" that Mussolini's gang promoted and implemented, and despite what plenty of shallow analysts say, has nothing to do with allowing corporations to have more official political power). Fascism is authoritarian AF, where all decision making is vertical.

Anarchists promote the opposites of all these. There should be nothing attractive or interesting or relevant in anarchism that can be adopted to a fascist perspective, and vice versa.
0 votes
It's not that surprising for fascists to take an interest in anarchism. Anarchists and fascists are not opposite in every way. There are troubling affinities between the two both historically and analytically. What the two approaches have often shared is a half-formed opposition to capitalist modernity. In both cases, that opposition tries to ground itself in the "reality" of certain features within capitalism that seems to justify the rejection of other elements as abstract.

From this point of view, it makes sense to think that what is real, substantial, and necessary, is a community of laborers working in common to produce the things they need - and what is unnecessary is the process of exchange and distribution that interferes with that labor process, generating inequality of both possessions and formal political power. Fascists blamed the Jewish people for this, while anarchists blamed the property relation imposed by the state. While the anarchists' conclusion was more humane, and a little closer to the truth, the mode of explanation was identical.

In short, it's not so strange that anarchists have frequently become fascists and vice versa, and it's also not strange that there were important anarchist theorists who were notorious anti-semites.
answered Jun 10 by asker (7,870 points)
edited Jun 11 by asker
asker, you only mention jews as victims of fascism, which seems overly ww2/nazi specific. explain?
I realize anti-semitism isnt the only characteristic of fascist movements, which are changeable and not very coherent.

 Im saying anti-Semitism was and is a very significant feature of fascist politics, and that anti-semitism and theories cognate with it were also a significant feature of 19c and 20c anarchism. I think that helps explain some of the most famous cases of overlap (like Mussolini, Makhno, Proudhon).

i have always heard fascism equated with "state capitalism/corporatism" (as opposed to free market capitalism). i don't think fascists are anti-capitalist or anti-state. so i guess i disagree with the crux of this answer.

also, "... a little closer to the truth" (my emphasis). what truth is that, exactly?

i personally just like to use the word "fascist" to refer to confrontational authorities and douschebags/bullies, it seems like the majority of anarchists just call anyone who seems to represent "white privilege" a fascist.

i don't see any similarities between anarchism and fascism, even thought there are some people who barrow from both categories. Fascism politically is what you get when you put the state on hyper-drive, and for that reason it doesn't last very long.
Maybe I can answer by re-explaining: My thought here is basically that fascism is anticapitalist insofar as it is anti-semitic.

Anti-semitism I take to be a unique kind of race prejudice, because unlike most forms of race prejudice it doesn't argue its object to be inferior, exactly. It argues that the "international Jewry" possesses an unearned superiority. That superiority is derived from international solidarity among bankers and finance capitalists. Anti-semitism is a bad (I said half-formed) critique of capitalism, in that it proposes to eliminate this by eliminating the Jewish people.

In the anti-semitic version of this argument, the Jewish people are a figure for the abstract characteristics of capitalist exchange. There is another version of the same argument, which proposes to get rid of - for example - money, property, bosses, etc. We know that anarchists, including some very important "canonical" ones, have made both versions of this argument.

I don't think that's because they had terrible judgment, I think it's an affinity at the level of method between classical anarchism and anti-semitic theory.
This is really paraphrasing Moishe Postone's I think very convincing essay --- > https://libcom.org/library/anti-semitism-national-socialism-moishe-postone
so your point is that at some level, anti-semitism == anti-capitalism. "the Jewish people are a figure for the abstract characteristics of capitalist exchange"

that simply makes no sense to me. i mean, i understand that bigotry can cause all kinds of bizarre interpretations of the world.  but conflating bigotry against jews with anti-capitalist thought....? no, not meaningful in any discussion of anarchist ideas that i am interested in.

Not that they "= = " each other, but that anti-semitism is an instance of anti-capitalism. And that like most anti-capitalisms it's incomplete because it thinks it's identified the "source" of the problem with capitalism, but hasn't really. 

In other words, it's almost the opposite if how you're putting it. The bigotry seems to me to derive from the bizarre interpretation of the world.

I think you are making some incredibly good points here asker...anarchism, like fascism, has appeal to people who feel that they've been screwed over by society, unfortunately fascists will blame Jews etc. For it

I read a little bit of me in kampf a while ago and much of what Hitler said was similar to anti-civ critique

" anti-semitism is an instance of anti-capitalism."

i'm having a hard time wrapping my head around that. maybe just my own ignorance.

so to the fascists you are talking about, jews are responsible for capitalism, and that is where the bigotry comes from...  interesting.

that would seem to presume that those fascists were against capitalism to begin with (prior to hating jews), and that doesn't jibe with my - obviously limited - understanding. 

well, i appreciate the exposure to new perspectives.

It's kind of a subtle argument that I'm paraphrasing. Postone thinks (and I agree) that with modern antisemitism the Jew represents figuratively those aspects of capitalism that fascism wishes to denounce. Crucially, not all aspects of capitalism are being criticized! It's essential to this argument that national socialism criticizes only capital's mediating features, the way it illicitly crosses national boundaries, the way it magically multiplies itself, etc. What is not criticized are sturdy and dependable things like industrial capital, factories that produce heavy machines and weaponry.

Here is Postone explaining it pretty clearly in the essay I linked:

"What characterizes the power imputed to, the Jews in modern anti-Semitism is that it is mysteriously intangible, abstract, and universal. It is considered to be a form of power that does not manifest itself directly, but must find another mode of expression. It seeks a concrete carrier, whether political, social, or cultural, through which it can work. Because the power of the Jews, as conceived by the modern anti-Semitic imagination, is not bound concretely, is not “rooted,” it is presumed to be of staggering immensity and extremely difficult to check. It is considered to stand behind phenomena, but not to be identical with them. Its source is therefore deemed hidden—conspiratorial. The Jews represent an immensely powerful, intangible, international conspiracy. A graphic example of this vision is provided by a Nazi poster depicting Germany—represented as a strong, honest worker—threatened in the West by a fat, plutocratic John Bull and in the East by a brutal, barbaric Bolshevic Commissar. Yet, these two hostile forces are mere puppets. Peering over the edge of the globe, with the puppet strings firmly in his hands, is the Jew. Such a vision was by no means a monopoly of the Nazis. It is characteristic of modern anti-Semitism that the Jews are considered to be the force behind those “apparent” opposites: plutocratic capitalism and socialism. “International Jewry” is, moreover, perceived to be centered in the “asphalt jungles” of the newly emergent urban megalopoli, to be behind “vulgar, materialist, modern culture” and, in general, all forces contributing to the decline of traditional social groupings, values, and institutions. The Jews represent a foreign, dangerous, destructive force undermining the social “health” of the nation."


"When one examines the specific characteristics of the power attributed to the Jews by modern anti-Semitism—abstractness, intangibility, universality, mobility—it is striking that they are all characteristics of the value dimension of the social forms analyzed by Marx. Moreover, this dimension, like the supposed power of the Jews, does not appear as such, but always in the form of a material carrier, the commodity."

I should also clarify, he's not arguing that this misdiagnosis of capitalism is the origin of anti-semitism as such. He's arguing that anti-semitism (which obviously has a very long history in Europe) took on a new form in modern capitalism.