Lidt historie om fascisme

Jeg er i færd med at læse Niall Fergusons The War of the World. Det er altid værd at læse om mellemkrigsårene, hvis man vil forstå lidt om fascismens dragning. Den geopolitiske virkelighed, de kulturelle og nationale dynamikker er selvfølgelig centrale, men det er som bekendt også vigtigt at se de politiske strømninger i lyset af depressionen. Fra indtrædelsestalen 4. marts 1933, hvor temaet var en fordømmelse af den umiddelbare fortid og en opfordring til national genfødsel:

“Values have shrunken til fantastic levels; taxes have risen; our ability to pay has fallen; government of all kinds is faced by serious curtailment of income; the means of exchange are frozen in the currents of trade; the withering leaves of industrial enterprise lie on every side; farmers find no markets for their; the savings of many years in thousands of families are gone. More important, a host of unemployed citizens face the grim problem of existence, and an equally great number toil with little in return,”

Skylden lagde han på “the rulers of mankind’s goods… through their own stubbornness and their own incometence” men “[the] practices of the unscrupulous moneychangers” stod nu “indicted in the court of public opinion” og var “rejected in by the hearts and minds of men”

“Faced with failure of credit, they have proposed only the lending of more money. Stripped of the lure of profit by wich to induce our people to follow their false leadership, they have resorted to exhortations, pleading tearfully for restored confidence. They know only the rules of a generation of self-seekers. they have no vision, and when there is no vision the people perish. The money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilisation. We may now restore that temple to the ancient truths. [klapsalver] The measure of restoration lies in the extend to wich we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit”

Han fortsatte med at modsætte “the falsity of material wealth” med “the joy and moral stimulation of work”, modsatte sig “the standards of pride of place and personal profit” og “[the] the callous and selfish wrongdoing” der havde kendetegnet både det finansielle som det politiske liv. “this nation asks for action and action now!”

Og det var friske, enda revolutionerende tiltag, hvor jobs skulle skabes “by direct recruitment by the government itself, treating the task as we would treat the emergency of a war”. Arbejdskraften skulle begynde på “greatly need projects to stimulate and reorganize our natural resources” samtidigt med at man skulle korrigere “the overbalance of population in our industrial centres” og der ville komme en “redistribution” af arbejdskraften “to provide a better use of the land for those fitted for the land”. Han ville indtroducere et system af “national planning for and supervision of all forms of transportation and of communications and other utilities” og “a strict supervision of all banking and credits and investments” for at gøre en ende på “speculation with other peoples money”, hvilket vakte vild jubel blandt tilhørerne. Landets internationale handelsrelationer måtte træde i baggrunden for “the establishment of a sound national economy”. Og med sin stemme på vej mod sit klimaks:

“We must move as a trained an loyal army willing to sacrifice for the good of a common discipline, because without such discipline no progress is made, no leadership becomes effective. We are, I know, ready and willing to submit our lives and property to such discipline, because it makes possible a leadership which aims at a larger good. This I propose to offer, pledging that the larger purposes will bind upon us all as a sacred obligation with a unity of duty hitherto evoked only in time of armed strife. With this pledge taken, I assume unhesitatingly the leadership of this great army of our people dedicated to a disciplined attack upon our common problems.”

Ikke helt tilfreds med en militariseret nation endte han med en krads advarsel til de nyvalgte lovgiere “An unpresedented demand an need for undelayed action may call from temporary departure form… the normal balance of executive and legislative authority” forstået at hvis ikke hans planer blev vedtaget “the only remaining instrument to meet the crisis - broad executive power to wage a war against the emergency, as great as the power that would be given to me if we where in fact invaded by a foreign foe”. Denne sidste line vandt ham det sørste bifald.

Heldigvis var USA ikke Tyskland for hvem ved hvilke ulykker Franklin Delano Roosevelt ville have bragt med sig, hvis han havde magt som han havde agt. Hitler holdt en bemærkelsesværdig lignende tale da han indtrådte i sit embede et par uger senere.

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