Machiavelli’s Discourses on Livy (4/5): The Utility of Religion

Machiavelli was not a religious believer but believed in the social utility of religion. The question of God, salvation, and the immortality of the soul did not matter to him. What mattered to him was the reality of religion in life and how religion is useful for nations and why a nation’s vitality is tied … Continue reading Machiavelli’s Discourses on Livy (4/5): The Utility of Religion

Machiavelli’s Discourses on Livy (3/5): Libido Dominandi, Individualism, and Greatness

One of the peculiar twists of Machiavelli is how he inverts the Augustinian worldview. Saint Augustine of Hippo famously said that man, in his fallenness, lusted for domination. Man, in his estrangement and depravity, lusted to control others. Fallen man lives in conflict. Machiavelli inherits this anthropological truth but turns it on its head. It … Continue reading Machiavelli’s Discourses on Livy (3/5): Libido Dominandi, Individualism, and Greatness

Machiavelli’s Discourses on Livy (2/5): Political Conflict and Historicism

The central theme of book one is how the best form of political governance, or how the Roman republic became a more perfect republic, is through conflict. Machiavelli does not believe in the “from heaven” concept of constitutions. Nor does he agree with the classical political philosophers (Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, etc.) that the best political … Continue reading Machiavelli’s Discourses on Livy (2/5): Political Conflict and Historicism

The Anatomy and Specters of Fascism, VII: Islamism

In concluding our series in examining fascism, its roots, its concrete manifestations, and its legacies, we have noted what is fascism and what is not fascism.  The common threads of fascist thought include: the synthesis of the people with the state for militaristic and warring ends (since conflict defines life through and through), that fascism’s … Continue reading The Anatomy and Specters of Fascism, VII: Islamism

The Anatomy and Specters of Fascism, VI: White Nationalism and the “Alt-Right”

Having explored the historical, and actual, roots of fascism, it is time to transition to the specters of fascism and understand why those groups often labelled “fascist” today – while certainly having some affinity and commonality with fascism, are not fascist.  In this post where will examine the “Alt-Right,” “Identitarianism,” and “Pan-Europeanism,” as three of … Continue reading The Anatomy and Specters of Fascism, VI: White Nationalism and the “Alt-Right”

The Anatomy and Specters of Fascism, V: Spain, Vichy, and the Nazi Allies

As we complete our tour and analysis of “historical fascism,” or what German scholar Ernst Nolte called “fascism in its epoch” (Der Faschismus in seiner Epoche, 1963), we turn to the more contentious historical movements that have sometimes been associated with fascism but scholars have generally regarded as not having been fascist (though certainly benefiting … Continue reading The Anatomy and Specters of Fascism, V: Spain, Vichy, and the Nazi Allies

The Anatomy and Specters of Fascism, IV: Nazism

Of all the fascist movements, German fascism (or “National Socialism”) is probably the most famous and least understood.  Fascism in Germany was the epicenter of the brief life of fascism, produced a number of intellectuals – serious and forgotten – from which we are able to derive a lineage of fascist philosophy.  While antecedent roots … Continue reading The Anatomy and Specters of Fascism, IV: Nazism

The Anatomy and Specters of Fascism, III: Italian Fascism and Julius Evola

To understand fascism, it was necessary to begin with the Romantic Movement, otherwise one will not have a solid familiarity with the ideas that fascism sought to emulate, restore, and implement, as well as distort.  In the history of fascism, especially in the 20th century, there are three key specters to examine: Italian fascism, German fascism, … Continue reading The Anatomy and Specters of Fascism, III: Italian Fascism and Julius Evola

The Anatomy and Specters of Fascism, II: Romantic Antecedents

In-of-itself, Romanticism is not a fascist movement or philosophy.  But fascism drew upon the rich intellectual traditions of Romanticism, even if it distorted it some very important and meaningful ways.  So what is Romanticism? Philosophical Romanticism was a counterrevolutionary intellectual and artistic movement that arose in the late Enlightenment.  It was starkly opposed to Enlightenment … Continue reading The Anatomy and Specters of Fascism, II: Romantic Antecedents