Today we will be going over the fundamental mythology of our liberal society. Starting this off we’ll use these three separate quotes in The Doctrine of Fascism, by Giovanni Gentile and Benito Mussolini:
“The State’s functions cannot therefore be limited to those of enforcing order and keeping the peace, as the liberal doctrine had it. It is no mere mechanical device for defining the sphere within which the individual may duly exercise his supposed rights.”
“Fascism, in short, is not only a law-giver and a founder of institutions, but an educator and a promoter of spiritual life. It aims at refashioning not only the forms of life but their content – man, his character, and his faith. To achieve this purpose it enforces discipline and uses authority, entering into the soul and ruling with undisputed sway. Therefore it has chosen as its emblem the Lictors rods, the symbol of unity, strength, and justice.”
“Fascism has restored to the State its sovereign functions by claiming its absolute ethical meaning, against the egotism of classes and categories; to the Government of the state, which was reduced to a mere instrument of electoral assemblies, it has restored dignity, as representing the personality of the state and its power of Empire.”
This conception of the state rejects the fundamental idea of political Liberalism, which is that the state exists in order to protect the rights of citizens from each other and otherwise act as a neutral force in disputes. It does not exist to promote or suppress values or a particular vision of the common good. Each citizen has an equal right to advance their own vision of what is good, provided they do not violate any other citizen’s right to do the same.
However, the Liberal state’s rejection of a common good has resulted in the eradication of a common good from society as a whole. Opposition to political enforcement of religious or social norms became opposition to so-called oppressive norms altogether. The continuing march of secular, “post-religious” values against Christianity in the religious sphere is merely one manifestation of the phenomenon. Large sections of the Right, even the dissident Right, take part in this march when they oppose Islam on the grounds that it attacks the Liberal tradition. They portray this tradition as being fundamental to Western civilization. When in fact, Islam’s opposition to liberalism is not its fundamental problem. While “migrants” constitute an opponent to Western nationalists, it is erroneous to head to the other extreme and back the spectre of progressive liberalism that has captivated the West.
In Gentile’s words:
“Liberalism denied the state in the name of the individual. Liberalism and Marxism are both individualistic insofar as they both deny a reality superior to that of material life which has its measure in the individual. Materialists are always Individualists.”
In reacting against Liberalism, Marxism restored the individual to a historic socio-economic class. Gentile sees this criticism as valid; in his eyes, Fascism in turn bested Marxism by restoring the various classes to a cohesive social and national entity with its sovereign political center in the state.
Gentile furthers this point;
“Of which liberalism does one wish to speak? I distinguish two principal forms of liberalism. For one…liberty is a right; for the other a duty. For one it is a gift; for the other a conquest… One liberalism conceives liberty rooted in the individual, and therefore opposes the individual to the State, a State understood as possessing no intrinsic value—but exclusively serving the well being and the improvement of the individual. The State is seen as a means, not an end. It limits itself to the maintenance of public order, excluding itself from the entirety of spiritual life—which, therefore, remains exclusively a sphere restricted to the individual conscience. That liberalism, historically, is classical liberalism—of English manufacture.”
Had Gentile lived in our day, he might have realized that it is possible to take his criticism of Liberalism much further. Gentile was writing at a time when various factions of the 19th century had only recently coalesced into the Progressive movement. These early Progressives had views that could be described as collectivist or morally repugnant in today’s world. In fact, his day saw crossover and mutual admiration between Progressivism and Fascism. In our time, Progressivism has unfortunately turned into a force for the absolute emancipation of the individual from social roles, duties, hierarchy, judgement, and differentiation.
All political currents within the modern Liberal state take part in this project. One faction champions muscular liberalism; another demands that educational institutions must firmly adhere to Progressive social doctrine; indeed, the very bishops of the remaining state churches do not want to be seen as favoring any one religion. If anyone doubts the success of this agenda, all of the post WW2 generations have decisively proved them wrong. They’re the most moralistic and puritanical generations since that of the puritans themselves. The morality of these generations so fanatically promoted is none other than that which has been inculcated into us by the superstructure and the base of the Liberal system: the media, the schools, the government, and even the corporate world.
The ideology of progressivism is the child of Liberalism. But whereas classical Liberalism left judgement of individual goods and desires to social institutions, such as the Church and family, Progressive ideology seeks an active state role in removing judgement of individual goods and desires altogether. The Liberal sees the violation of personal consent as the only justification for state intervention; the progressive sees these violations as the only thing to be judged at all. To this end, it harnesses public education, hate speech laws, social credit and so on. The promotion of mass immigration and the resulting multicultural ideology also aids this agenda by increasingly tainting ethical and social judgement with religious and ethnic tribalism. All of this to smash dissent in views.
How did Liberal neutrality become a normative, state-enforced political agenda? Gentile provides us with an answer in two quotes:
“The authority of the State is absolute. It does not compromise, it does not bargain, it does not surrender any portion of its field to other moral or religious principles which may interfere with the individual conscience. On the other hand, the State becomes a reality only in the consciousness of its individuals.”
“The authority of the State was not a product, but a presupposition. It could not depend on the people, in fact, the people depended on the State.”
When Gentile outlines this view, he presents it as the Fascist answer to the “paradox of liberty and authority.” The evolution of Liberalism into the ideology of Social Progress proves that this lack of compromise, this refusal to “surrender any portion of its field,” is in fact a characteristic of the state per se. The statement which Gentile presents as normative is in fact positive. It’s the natural conclusion of power to formalize.
Moreover all schools of Liberalism rest on the idea of limited government. Note the intrinsic absurdity of this concept. If some government is limited by its own volition, it can abandon these limits at any time. Historical experience suggests that the “sacred-document” trick is of extremely limited utility in preventing it from doing so. In fact the 2020 American presidential election is proof enough that documents do not matter at all. If the government is limited by some external power, it is not a government in the usual sense of the word, and we should direct our attention to the limiting power. The perfect example of this is in fact Japan. They cannot declare war or have a standing army, the limiting power is America.
It is at this point that the Liberal typically reveals his inner anarchist, and suggests that the sovereign power of the people will preserve liberty. The liberal understanding of liberty is just negative liberty. A “freedom” from something rooted in familial bonds. It is concerned with the “empirical self”, the self as it actually appears to us. It tends towards individualism. By contrast, positive liberty is “freedom” that focuses on the real self, like the Uomo Fascista i.e. the Fascist New Man. Positive liberty is the concept of a potential or ideal of a person which must be realised, and that the realization of this potential is to possess true liberty. Liberty, as we now know it in the west unfortunately is this negative liberty. It’s seen as unquestionable as owed to all citizens: the right to peaceable assembly, the right to free speech, the right to a free press, and so on. The problem with these “rights” is that they are very enticing ideas that exist in the minds of Americans as a bundle of entitlements, as things that they are owed, rather than things that they must earn.
The greatest problem with this notion of liberty as an entitlement is that once citizens start declaring rights as “universal” and “God-given” there is no mechanism to stop them from continually inventing new ones. The “right to pick your gender” or the “right to universal suffrage” are muddled ideas that our founding fathers in America never anticipated. The founding fathers almost certainly would not have approved of this, but they are ideas that have as much legitimacy as America’s own Bill of Rights: if liberals can conjure up new rights with a few quill strokes there is likewise nothing to stop liberals from doing the same thing later on. And so the list of entitlements owed to Americans steadily grows longer as its list of responsibilities dwindles.
The ancient Roman, much to his credit, would sneer at our notion of liberty as a barbaric perversion. Imagine how, with his mediterranean temper, he would look in frustration listening to modern liberals explain liberty. In Roman minds, liberty had to be tempered with civitas, which is defined roughly as a body of citizens living under one common law; that is to say, citizenship provided liberties but it also conferred collective responsibilities. Liberty was not a wish-list filled with entitlements, it was a reward to those who served society and upheld the law. It is not hard to see why Rome built an empire on this definition of liberty; and it is ironic how modern liberals would condemn this notion of liberty. Fascism understands this as the essence of a positive liberty in a national community. NewRuins09 explains this in his video called The Fascist Conception of Liberty.
Liberalism on the other hand destroys this potential and instead what you have is a sterile narcissistic culture motivated by desire. This is the key to the liberals materialistic common market, the consumer society of desires. All of this is as Edward Bernays understood it in his book on Propaganda. In reality the liberals view of liberty hasn’t exactly worked in practice, as it assumes masses will autonomously and rationally struggle to preserve their conception of liberty. They won’t when it’s predicated on the illusion of desires. The State can also escape these so-called checks quite easily, because it can indoctrinate its subjects with motherly care and it’s soft totalitarian power in institutions, economy, media, ect.
Sovereignty Is Formalized
The conclusion is simple: the nature of the state is that sovereignty is conserved. Due to its role as the central sovereign power, the state – or rather, the people who make it up – must develop a common set of normative values in order to operate. Because the state cannot brook opposition to its legitimacy to rule, it must therefore promote and inculcate these values in the population. Liberalism’s distinguishing feature – that it imposes no common good on its citizens – this is revealed as a sham. Secularism cannot be ‘neutral’ because it must defend itself from its competitors, power cannot be neutral by default and so secularized subjectivity must be manufactured and competitor worldviews deconstructed. Secularism however is a *negative* ideology, it is predicated upon not being rather than being, and so it can never be achieved but must always be progressing away from non-secularity. Secularism then must invent, project, provoke and hype non-secularities to sacrifice and scapegoat in order to maintain legitimacy (evangelical christianity, nazis, fascists, homophobia, radical islam, white supremacy, etc..)” This is precisely why Gentile was very concerned with religious education, for instance. The former is materialist and the latter is idealist, and Gentile covers these implications in *The Reform of Education* in a profound way.
All of this only validates Gentile more;
“The authority of the State is not subject to negotiation, or compromise, or to divide its terrain with other moral or religious principles that might interfere in consciousness. The authority of the State has force and is true authority if, within consciousness, it is entirely unconditioned.”
Alfredo Rocco another Fascist intellectual adds more context to Gentile in the The Political Doctrine of Fascism;
“For liberalism, the individual is the end and society the means… For fascism, society is the end, individuals the means, and its whole life consists in using individuals as instruments for its social ends. The state, therefore, guards and protects the welfare and development of individuals not for their exclusive interest but because of the identity of the needs of individuals with those of society as a whole.”
Note also that Social Progress cannot be measured, weighed, or mathematically described. It’s a phenomenon unfolding almost theologically as a dialectical process through human history. It is no less mystical and unempirical than the Hindu Yugas.
The Liberal would reply that this is proof of the fundamentally oppressive nature of the state, and that it should therefore be done away with. Yet liberalism must use a state against the state and therefore justifies the state by denying the justification, in other words liberalism only tolerates a mystified covert state.
Furthermore the idea that the state arises due to a social contract and conscious decision-making can therefore simply be abolished. It should be stressed that the mere rejection of the fiction of “limited government” doesn’t imply total state domination. It is not only possible but prudent and necessary for rulers to exercise restraint.
Singapore is an excellent modern example of a state which is often called authoritarian but in practice allows a large measure of personal liberty. What it does not allow is the liberty to subvert the state’s legitimacy and the social order; in this spirit, it differs not a whit from our own democratic politics, where any serious criticism of progressive morality falls on a spectrum from “fired from your job” to “being jailed for hate speech by Feds.”
Gentile furthers this point;
“For Fascism…the State and the individual are one, or better, perhaps, “State” and “individual” are terms that are inseparable in a necessary synthesis.”
Mussolini even puts this in more context;
“The citizen in the Fascist State is no longer a selfish individual who has the anti-social right of rebelling against any law of the Collectivity.”
For us who accept the state as a social and historical necessity – an emergent phenomenon in all large human societies. An embodiment of the national collective will – we must also come to terms with the power of the state to shape public morality and worldviews. Regardless of how liberal and above-the-fray its rulers would like to be, the state must and will promote some vision of a common good by logical necessity.
The question is not whether a state should actively promote a conception of the common good, but rather what conception of the common good that state will promote. Liberalism is nihilistic statism, a state that denies that the state should have values. And we wonder why we’re ruled by sociopathic financier elites from the shadows.
In order to overcome the political schizophrenia which birthed the ideology of Social Progress, a different and greater vision of the common good must be advanced. The vision of the common good does not simply promote a set of abstract values, but determines the whole mission, order, and life of a society and the people who comprise it. It unites the social order and gives it purpose. Mussolini explains this perfectly;
“It is the State which educates its citizens in civic virtue, gives them a consciousness of their mission and welds them into unity.”
Rocco echos Mussolini here;
“Fascism discovers sovereignty to be inherent in society when it is juridically organized as a state. Democracy, therefore, turns over the government of the state to the multitude of living men that they may use it to further their own interests; fascism insists that the government be entrusted to men capable of rising above their own private interests and of realizing the aspirations of the social collectivity, considered in its unity and in its relation to the past and future. Fascism, therefore, not only rejects the dogma of popular sovereignty and substitutes for it that of state sovereignty, but it also proclaims that the great mass of citizens is not a suitable advocate of social interests for the reason that the capacity to ignore individual private interests in favor of the higher demands of society and of history is a very rare gift and of the privileged of the chosen few.”
A state bound to this worldview which recognizes this rejects the fiction of a neutral, liberal state and embraces the active and formative ethical state. It may be made eloquent in writing and thought, but it is made real and manifest through philosophy as praxis in daily life. This is why democracy may appear beautiful in theory but it’s actually just a fallacy in practice.