THE DOCTRINE OF FASCISM BENITO MUSSOLINI (1932) or the America Which The @NRA Imagines

This is The American State Which The @NRA

Desires:

THE DOCTRINE OF FASCISM

BENITO MUSSOLINI (1932)


The @NRA Board of Directors: A Portrait of American Fascism
The @NRA Board of Directors: A Portrait of American Fascism

Like all sound political conceptions, Fascism is action and it is thought; action in which doctrine is immanent, and doctrine arising from a given system of historical forces in which it is inserted, and working on them from within (1). It has therefore a form correlated to contingencies of time and space; but it has also an ideal content which makes it an expression of truth in the higher region of the history of thought (2). There is no way of exercising a spiritual influence in the world as a human will dominating the will of others, unless one has a conception both of the transient and the specific reality on which that action is to be exercised, and of the permanent and universal reality in which the transient dwells and has its being. To know men one must know man; and to know man one must be acquainted with reality and its laws. There can be no conception of the State which is not fundamentally a conception of life: philosophy or intuition, system of ideas evolving within the framework of logic or concentrated in a vision or a faith, but always, at least potentially, an organic conception of the world.

Thus many of the practical expressions of Fascism such as party organization, system of education, and discipline can only be understood when considered in relation to its general attitude toward life. A spiritual attitude (3). Fascism sees in the world not only those superficial, material aspects in which man appears as an individual, standing by himself, self-centered, subject to natural law, which instinctively urges him toward a life of selfish momentary pleasure; it sees not only the individual but the nation and the country; individuals and generations bound together by a moral law, with common traditions and a mission which suppressing the instinct for life closed in a brief circle of pleasure, builds up a higher life, founded on duty, a life free from the limitations of time and space, in which the individual, by self-sacrifice, the renunciation of self-interest, by death itself, can achieve that purely spiritual existence in which his value as a man consists.

The conception is therefore a spiritual one, arising from the general reaction of the century against the materialistic positivism of the XIXth century. Anti-positivistic but positive; neither skeptical nor agnostic; neither pessimistic nor supinely optimistic as are, generally speaking, the doctrines (all negative) which place the center of life outside man; whereas, by the exercise of his free will, man can and must create his own world.

Fascism wants man to be active and to engage in action with all his energies; it wants him to be manfully aware of the difficulties besetting him and ready to face them. It conceives of life as a struggle in which it behooves a man to win for himself a really worthy place, first of all by fitting himself (physically, morally, intellectually) to become the implement required for winning it. As for the individual, so for the nation, and so for mankind (4). Hence the high value of culture in all its forms (artistic, religious, scientific) (5) and the outstanding importance of education. Hence also the essential value of work, by which man subjugates nature and creates the human world (economic, political, ethical, and intellectual).

This positive conception of life is obviously an ethical one. It invests the whole field of reality as well as the human activities which master it. No action is exempt from moral judgment; no activity can be despoiled of the value which a moral purpose confers on all things. Therefore life, as conceived of by the Fascist, is serious, austere, and religious; all its manifestations are poised in a world sustained by moral forces and subject to spiritual responsibilities. The Fascist disdains an “easy” life (6).

 The Fascist conception of life is a religious one (7), in which man is viewed in his immanent relation to a higher law, endowed with an objective will transcending the in­dividual and raising him to conscious membership of a spiritual society. “Those who perceive nothing beyond opportunistic considerations in the religious policy of the Fascist regime fail to realize that Fascism is not only a system of government but also and above all a system of thought.

In the Fascist conception of history, man is man only by virtue of the spiritual process to which he contributes as a member of the family, the social group, the nation, and in function of history to which all nations bring their contribution. Hence the great value of tradition in records, in language, in customs, in the rules of social life (8). Outside history man is a nonentity. Fascism is therefore opposed to all individualistic abstractions based on eighteenth century materialism; and it is opposed to all Jacobinistic utopias and innovations. It does not believe in the possibility of “happiness” on earth as conceived by theeconomistic literature of the XVIIIth century, and it therefore rejects the theological notion that at some future time the human family will secure a final settlement of all its difficulties. This notion runs counter to experience which teaches that life is in continual flux and in process of evolution. In politics Fascism aims at realism; in practice it desires to deal only with those problems which are the spontaneous product of historic conditions and which find or suggest their own solutions (9). Only by entering in to the process of reality and taking possession of the forces at work within it, can man act on man and on nature (10).

Anti-individualistic, the Fascist conception of life stresses the importance of the State and accepts the individual only in so far as his interests coincide with those of the State, which stands for the conscience and the universal, will of man as a historic entity (11). It is opposed to classical liberalism which arose as a reaction to absolutism and exhausted its historical function when the State became the expression of the conscience and will of the people. Liberalism denied the State in the name of the individual; Fascism reasserts

The rights of the State as expressing the real essence of the individual (12). And if liberty is to he the attribute of living men and not of abstract dummies invented by individualistic liberalism, then Fascism stands for liberty, and for the only liberty worth having, the liberty of the State and of the individual within the State (13). The Fascist conception of the State is all embracing; outside of it no human or spiritual values can exist, much less have value. Thus understood, Fascism, is totalitarian, and the Fascist State – a synthesis and a unit inclusive of all values – interprets, develops, and potentates the whole life of a people (14).

No individuals or groups (political parties, cultural associations, economic unions, social classes) outside the State (15). Fascism is therefore opposed to Socialism to which unity within the State (which amalgamates classes into a single economic and ethical reality) is unknown, and which sees in history nothing but the class struggle. Fascism is likewise opposed to trade unionism as a class weapon. But when brought within the orbit of the State, Fascism recognizes the real needs which gave rise to socialism and trade unionism, giving them due weight in the guild or corporative system in which divergent interests are coordinated and harmonized in the unity of the State (16).

Grouped according to their several interests, individuals form classes; they form trade-unions when organized according to their several economic activities; but first and foremost they form the State, which is no mere matter of numbers, the suns of the individuals forming the majority. Fascism is therefore opposed to that form of democracy which equates a nation to the majority, lowering it to the level of the largest number (17); but it is the purest form of  democracy if the nation be considered as it should be from the point of view of quality rather than quantity, as an idea, the mightiest because the most ethical, the most coherent, the truest, expressing itself in a people as the conscience and will of the few, if not, indeed, of one, and ending to express itself in the conscience and the will of the mass, of the whole group ethnically molded by natural and historical conditions into a nation, advancing, as one conscience and one will, along the self same line of development and spiritual formation (18). Not a race, nor a geographically defined region, but a people, historically perpetuating itself; a multitude unified by an idea and imbued with the will to live, the will to power, self-consciousness, personality (19).

In so far as it is embodied in a State, this higher personality becomes a nation. It is not the nation which generates the State; that is an antiquated naturalistic concept which afforded a basis for XIXth century publicity in favor of national governments. Rather is it the State which creates the nation, conferring volition and therefore real life on a people made aware of their moral unity.

The right to national independence does not arise from any merely literary and idealistic form of self-consciousness; still less from a more or less passive and unconscious de facto situation, but from an active, self-conscious, political will expressing itself in action and ready to prove its rights. It arises, in short, from the existence, at least in fieri, of a State. Indeed, it is the State which, as the expression of a universal ethical will, creates the right to national independence (20).

A nation, as expressed in the State, is a living, ethical entity only in so far as it is progressive. Inactivity is death. Therefore the State is not only Authority which governs and confers legal form and spiritual value on individual wills, but it is also Power which makes its will felt and respected beyond its own frontiers, thus affording practical proof of the universal character of the decisions necessary to ensure its development. This implies organization and expansion, potential if not actual. Thus the State equates itself to the will of man, whose development cannot he checked by obstacles and which, by achieving self-expression, demonstrates its infinity (21).

The Fascist State , as a higher and more powerful expression of personality, is a force, but a spiritual one. It sums up all the manifestations of the moral and intellectual life of man. Its 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. The Fascist State is an inwardly accepted standard and rule of conduct, a discipline of the whole person; it permeates the will no less than the intellect. It stands for a principle which becomes the central motive of man as a member of civilized society, sinking deep down into his personality; it dwells in the heart of the man of action and of the thinker, of the artist and of the man of science: soul of the soul (22).

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 propose it enforces discipline and uses authority, entering into the soul and ruling with undisputed sway. Therefore it has chosen as its emblem the Lictor’s rods, the symbol of unity, strength, and justice.

 POLITICAL AND SOCIAL DOCTRINE

When in the now distant March of  1919, speaking through the columns of the Popolo d’Italia I summoned to Milan the surviving interventionists who had intervened, and who had followed me ever since the foundation of the Fascist of revolutionary action in January 1915, I had in mind no specific doctrinal program. The only doctrine of which I had practical experience was that of socialism, from until the winter of 1914 – nearly a decade. My experience was that both of a follower and a leader but it was not doctrinal experience. My doctrine during that period had been the doctrine of action. A uniform, universally accepted doctrine of Socialism had not existed since 1905, when the revisionist movement, headed by Bernstein, arose in Germany, countered by the formation, in the see-saw of tendencies, of a left revolutionary movement which in Italy never quitted the field of phrases, whereas, in the case of Russian socialism, it became the prelude to Bolshevism.

Reformism, revolutionism, centrism, the very echo of that terminology is dead, while in the great river of Fascism one can trace currents which had their source in Sorel, Peguy, Lagardelle of the Movement Socialists, and in the cohort of Italian syndicalist who from 1904 to 1914 brought a new note into the Italian socialist environment – previously emasculated and chloroformed by fornicating with Giolitti’s party – a note sounded in Olivetti’s Pagine Libere, Orano’s LupaEnrico Leone’s Divenirs Socials.

 When the war ended in 1919 Socialism, as a doctrine, was already dead; it continued to exist only as a grudge, especially in Italy where its only chance lay in inciting to reprisals against the men who had willed the war and who were to be made to pay for it.

The Popolo d’Italia described itself in its subtitle as the daily organ of fighters and producers. The word producer was already the expression of a mental trend. Fascism was not the nursling of a doctrine previously drafted at a desk; it was born of the need of action, and was action; it was not a party but, in the first two years, an anti-party and a movement. The name I gave the organization fixed its character.

 Yet if anyone cares to reread the now crumpled sheets of those days giving an account of the meeting at which the Italian Fasci di combattimento were founded, he will find not a doctrine but a series of pointers, forecasts, hints which, when freed from the inevitable matrix of contingencies, were to develop in a few years time into a series of doctrinal positions entitling Fascism to rank as a political doctrine differing from all others, past or present.

 “If the bourgeoisie – I then said – believe that they have found in us their lightening-conductors, they arc mistaken. We must go towards the people… We wish the working classes to accustom themselves to the responsibilities of management so that they may realize that it is no easy matter to run a business… We will fight both technical and spiritual rear-guirdism… Now that the succession of the re­gime is open we must not be fainthearted. We must rush forward; if the present regime is to be superseded we must take its place. The right of succession is ours, for we urged the country to enter the war and we led it to victory… The existing forms of political representation cannot satisfy us; we want direst representation of the several interests… It may be objected that this program implies a return to the guilds (corporazioni). No matter!. I therefore hope this assembly will accept the economic claims advanced by national syndicalism …

 Is it not strange that from the very first day, at Piazza San Sepolcro, the word “guild” (corporazione) was pronounced, a word which, as the Revolution developed, was to express one of the basic legislative and social creations of the regime?

 The years preceding the March on Rome cover a period during which the need of action forbade delay and careful doctrinal elaborations. Fighting was going on in the towns and villages. There were discussions but… there was some­thing more sacred and more important… death… Fascists knew how to die. A doctrine – fully elaborated, divided up into chapters and paragraphs with annotations, may have been lacking, but it was replaced by something far m 🙂 re decisive, – by a faith. All the same, if with the help of books, articles, resolutions passed at congresses, major and minor speeches, anyone should care to revive the memory of those days, he will find, provided he knows how to seek and select, that the doctrinal foundations were laid while the battle was still raging. Indeed, it was during those years that Fascist thought armed, refined itself, and proceeded ahead with its organization. The problems of the individual and the State; the problems of authority and liberty; political, social, and more especially national problems were discussed; the conflict with liberal, democratic, socialistic, Masonic doctrines and with those of the Partito Popolare, was carried on at the same time as the punitive expeditions. Nevertheless, the lack of a formal system was used by disingenuous adversaries as an argument for proclaiming Fascism incapable of elaborating a doctrine at the very time when that doctrine was being formulated – no matter how tumultuously, – first, as is the case with all new ideas, in the guise of violent dogmatic negations; then in the more positive guise of constructive theories, subsequently incorporated, in 1926, 1927, and 1928, in the laws and institutions of the regime.

Fascism is now clearly defined not only as a regime but as a doctrine. This means that Fascism, exercising its critical faculties on itself and on others, has studied from its own special standpoint and judged by its own standards all the problems affecting the material and intellectual interests now causing such grave anxiety to the nations of the world, and is ready to deal with them by its own policies.

First of all, as regards the future development of mankind, and quite apart from all present political considerations. Fascism does not, generally speaking, believe in the possibility or utility of perpetual peace. It therefore discards pacifism as a cloak for cowardly supine renuncia­tion in contradistinction to self-sacrifice. War alone keys up all human energies to their maximum tension and sets the seal of nobility on those peoples who have the courage to face it. All other tests are substitutes which never place a man face to face with himself before the alternative of life or death.Therefore all doctrines which postulate peace at all costs are incompatible with Fascism. Equally foreign to the spirit of Fascism, even if accepted as useful in meeting special political situations — are all internationalistic or League superstructures which, as history shows, crumble to the ground whenever the heart of nations is deeply stirred by sentimental, idealistic or practical considerations. Fascism carries this anti-pacifistic attitude into the life of the individual. ” I don’t care a damn „ (me ne frego) – the proud motto of the fighting squads scrawled by a wounded man on his bandages, is not only an act of philosophic stoicism, it sums up a doctrine which is not merely poli­tical: it is evidence of a fighting spirit which accepts all risks. It signifies new style of Italian life. The Fascist accepts and loves life; he rejects and despises suicide as cowardly. Life as he understands it means duty, elevation,conquest; life must be lofty and full, it must be lived for oneself but above all for others, both near bye and far off, present and future.

The population policy of the regime is the consequence of these premises. The Fascist loves his neighbor, but the word neighbor “does not stand for some vague and unseizable conception. Love of one’s neighbor does not exclude necessary educational severity; still less does it exclude differentiation and rank. Fascism will have nothing to do with universal embraces; as a member of the community of nations it looks other peoples straight in the eyes; it is vigilant and on its guard; it follows others in all their manifestations and notes any changes in their interests; and it does not allow itself to be deceived by mutable and fallacious appearances.

Such a conception of life makes Fascism the resolute negation of the doctrine underlying so-called scientific and Marxian socialism, the doctrine of historic materialism which would explain the history of mankind in terms of the class struggle and by changes in the processes and instruments of production, to the exclusion of all else.

That the vicissitudes of economic life – discoveries of raw materials, new technical processes, and scientific inventions – have their importance, no one denies; but that they suffice to explain human history to the exclusion of other factors is absurd. Fascism believes now and always in sanctity and heroism, that is to say in acts in which no economic motive – remote or immediate – is at work. Having denied historic materialism, which sees in men mere puppets on the surface of history, appearing and disappearing on the crest of the waves while in the depths the real directing forces move and work, Fascism also denies the immutable and irreparable character of the class struggle which is the natural outcome of this economic conception of history; above all it denies that the class struggle is the preponderating agent in social transformations. Having thus struck a blow at socialism in the two main points of its doctrine, all that remains of it is the sentimental aspiration-old as humanity itself-toward social relations in which the sufferings and sorrows of the humbler folk will be alleviated. But here again Fascism rejects the economic interpretation of felicity as something to be secured socialistically, almost automatically, at a given stage of economic evolution when all will be assured a maximum of material comfort. Fascism denies the materialistic conception of happiness as a possibility, and abandons it to the economists of the mid-eighteenth century. This means that Fascism denies the equation: well-being = happiness, which sees in men mere animals, content when they can feed and fatten, thus reducing them to a vegetative existence pure and simple.

After socialism, Fascism trains its guns on the whole block of democratic ideologies, and rejects both their premises and their practical applications and implements. Fascism denies that numbers, as such, can be the determining factor in human society; it denies the right of numbers togovern by means of periodical consultations; it asserts the irremediable and fertile and beneficent inequality of men who cannot be leveled by any such mechanical and extrinsic device as universal suffrage. Democratic regimes may be described as those under which the people are, from time to time, deluded into the belief that they exercise sovereignty, while all the time real sovereignty resides in and is exercised by other and sometimes irresponsible and secret forces. Democracy is a kingless regime infested by many kings who are sometimes more exclusive, tyrannical, and destructive than one, even if he be a tyrant. This explains why Fascism – although, for contingent reasons, it was republican in tendency prior to 1922 – abandoned that stand before the March on Rome, convinced that the form of government is no longer a matter of preeminent importance, and because the study of past and present monarchies and past and present republics shows that neither monarchy nor republic can be judged sub specie aeternitatis, but that each stands for a form of government expressing the political evolution, the history, the traditions, and the psychology of a given country.

Fascism has outgrown the dilemma: monarchy v. republic, over which democratic regimes too long dallied, attributing all insufficiencies to the former and proning the latter as a regime of perfection, whereas experience teaches that some republics are inherently reactionary and absolut­ist while some monarchies accept the most daring political and social experiments.

In one of his philosophic Meditations Renan – who had prefascist intuitions remarks, “Reason and science are the products of mankind, but it is chimerical to seek reason directly for the people and through the people. It is not essential to the existence of reason that all should be familiar with it; and even if all had to be initiated, this could not be achieved through democracy which seems fated to lead to the extinction of all arduous forms of culture and all highest forms of learning. The maxim that society exists only for the well-being and freedom of the individuals composing it does not seem to be in conformity with nature’s plans, which care only for the species and seem ready to sacrifice the individual. It is much to be feared that the last word of democracy thus understood (and let me hasten to add that it is susceptible of a different interpretation) would be a form of society in which a degenerate mass would have no thought beyond that of enjoying the ignoble pleasures of the vulgar “.

        In rejecting democracy Fascism rejects the absurd conventional lie of political equalitarianism, the habit of collective irresponsibility, the myth of felicity and indefinite progress. But if democracy be understood as meaning a regime in which the masses are not driven back to the margin of the State, and then the writer of these pages has already defined Fascism as an organized, centralized, authoritarian democracy.

 Fascism is definitely and absolutely opposed to the doctrines of liberalism, both in the political and the economic sphere. The importance of liberalism in the XIXth century should not be exaggerated for present day polemical purposes, nor should we make of one of the many doctrines which flourished in that century a religion for mankind for the present and for all time to come. Liberalism really flourished for fifteen years only. It arose in 1830 as a reaction to the Holy Alliance which tried to force Europe to recede further back than 1789; it touched its zenith in 1848 when even Pius IXth was a liberal. Its decline began immediately after that year. If 1848 was a year of light and poetry, 1849 was a year of darkness and tragedy. The Roman Republic was killed by a sister republic, that of France . In that same year Marx, in his famous Communist Manifesto, launched the gospel of socialism.

 In 1851 Napoleon III made his illiberal coup d’etat and ruled France until 1870 when he was turned out by a popular rising following one of the severest military defeats known to history. The victor was Bismarck who never even knew the whereabouts of liberalism and its prophets. It is symptomatic that throughout the XIXth century the religion of liberalism was completely unknown to so highly civilized a people as the Germans but for one parenthesis which has been described as the “ridiculous parliament of Frankfort ” which lasted just one season. Germany attained her national unity outside liberalism and in opposition to liberalism, a doctrine which seems foreign to the German temperament, essentially monarchical, whereas liberalism is the historic and logical anteroom to anarchy. The three stages in the making of German unity were the three wars of 1864, 1866, and 1870, led by such  “liberals” as Moltke and Bismarck. And in the upbuilding of Italian unity liberalism played a very minor part when compared to the contribution made by Mazzini and Garibaldi who were not liberals. But for the intervention of the illiberal Napoleon III we should not have had Lombardy, and without that of the illiberal Bismarck at Sadowa and at Sedan very probably we should not have had Venetia in 1866 and in 1870 we should not have entered Rome. The years going from 1870 to 1915 cover a period which marked, even in the opinion of the high priests of the new creed, the twilight of their religion, attacked by decadentism in literature and by activism in practice. Activism: that is to say nationalism, futurism, fascism.

   The liberal century, after piling up innumerable Gordian Knots, tried to cut them with the sword of the world war. Never has any religion claimed so cruel a sacrifice. Were the Gods of liberalism thirsting for blood?

        Now liberalism is preparing to close the doors of its temples, deserted by the peoples who feel that the agnosticism it professed in the sphere of economics and the indifferentism of which it has given proof in the sphere of politics and morals, would lead the world to ruin in thefuture as they have done in the past.

This explains why all the political experiments of our day are anti-liberal, and it is supremely ridiculous to endeavor on this account to put them outside the pale of history, as though history were a preserve set aside for liberalism and its adepts; as though liberalism were the last word in civilization beyond which no one can go.

The Fascist negation of socialism, democracy, liberalism, should not, however, be interpreted as implying a desire to drive the world backwards to positions occupied prior to 1789, a year commonly referred to as that which opened the demo-liberal century. History does not travelbackwards. The Fascist doctrine has not taken De Maistre as its prophet. Monarchical absolutism is of the past, and so is ecclesiolatry. Dead and done for are feudal privileges and the division of society into closed, uncommunicating castes. Neither has the Fascist conception of authority anything in common with that of a police ridden State.

A party governing a nation “totalitarianly” is a new departure in history. There are no points of reference nor of comparison. From beneath the ruins of liberal, socialist, and democratic doctrines, Fascism extracts those elements which are still vital. It preserves what may be described as “the acquired facts” of history; it rejects all else. That is to say, it rejects the idea of a doctrine suited to all times and to all people. Granted that the XIXth century was the century of socialism, liberalism, democracy, this does not mean that the XXth century must also be the century of socialism, liberalism, democracy. Political doctrines pass; nations remain. We are free to believe that this is the century of authority, a century tending to the ” right “, a Fascist century. If the XIXth century was the century of the individual (liberalism implies individualism) we are free to believe that this is the “collective” century, and therefore the century of the State. It is quite logical for a new doctrine to make use of the still vital elements of other doctrines. No doctrine was ever born quite new and bright and unheard of. No doctrine can boast absolute originality. It is always connected, it only historically, with those which preceded it and those which will follow it. Thus the scientific socialism of Marx links up to the utopian socialism of the Fouriers, the Owens, the Saint-Simons ; thus the liberalism of the XIXth century traces its origin back to the illuministic movement of the XVIIIth, and the doctrines of democracy to those of the Encyclopaedists. All doctrines aim at directing the activities of men towards a given objective; but these activities in their turn react on the doctrine, modifying and adjusting it to new needs, or outstripping it. A doctrine must therefore be a vital act and not a verbal display. Hence the pragmatic strain in Fascism, it’s will to power, its will to live, its attitude toward violence, and its value.

The keystone of the Fascist doctrine is its conception of the State, of its essence, its functions, and its aims. For Fascism the State is absolute, individuals and groups relative. Individuals and groups are admissible in so far as they come within the State. Instead of directing the game and guiding the material and moral progress of the community, the liberal State restricts its activities to recording results. The Fascist State is wide awake and has a will of its own. For this reason it can be described as ” ethical “.

 At the first quinquennial assembly of the regime, in 1929, I said  “The Fascist State is not a night watchman, solicitous only of the personal safety of the citizens; not is it organized exclusively for the purpose of guarantying a certain degree of material prosperity and relatively peaceful conditions of life, a board of directors would do as much. Neither is it exclusively political, divorced from practical realities and holding itself aloof from the multifarious activities of the citizens and the nation. The State, as conceived and realized by Fascism, is a spiritual and ethical entity for securing the political, juridical, and economic organization of the nation, an organization which in its origin and growth is a manifestation of the spirit. The State guarantees the internal and external safety of the country, but it also safeguards and transmits the spirit of the people, elaborated down the ages in its language, its customs, its faith. The State is not only the present; it is also the past and above all the future. Transcending the individual’s brief spell of life, the State stands for the immanent conscience of the nation. The forms in which it finds expression change, but the need for it remains. The State educates the citizens to civism, makes them aware of their mission, urges them to unity; its justice harmonizes their divergent interests; it transmits to future generations the conquests of the mind in the fields of science, art, law, human solidarity; it leads men up from primitive tribal life to that highest manifes­tation of human power, imperial rule. The State hands down to future generations the memory of those who laid down their lives to ensure its safety or to obey its laws; it sets up as examples and records for future ages the names of the captains who enlarged its territory and of the men of genius who have made it famous. Whenever respect for the State declines and the disintegrating and centrifugal tendencies of individuals and groups prevail, nations are headed for decay”.

    Since 1929 economic and political development have everywhere emphasized these truths. The importance of the State is rapidly growing. The so-called crisis can only be settled by State action and within the orbit of the State. Where are the shades of the Jules Simons who, in the early days of liberalism proclaimed that the “State should endeavor to render itself useless and prepare to hand in its resignation “? Or of the MacCullochs who, in the second half of last century, urged that the State should desist from governing too much? And what of the English Bentham who considered that all industry asked of govern­ment was to be left alone, and of the German Humbolt who expressed the opinion that the best government was a lazy ” one? What would they say now to the unceasing, inevitable, and urgently requested interventions of government in business? It is true that the second generation of economists was less uncompromising in this respect than the first, and that even Adam Smith left the door ajar – however cautiously – for government intervention in business.

If liberalism spells individualism, Fascism spells government. The Fascist State is, however, a unique and original creation. It is not reactionary but revolutionary, for it anticipates the solution of certain universal problems which have been raised elsewhere, in the political field by the splittingup of parties, the usurpation of power by parliaments, the irresponsibility of assemblies; in the economic field by the increasingly numerous and important functions discharged by trade unions and trade associations with their disputes and ententes, affecting both capital and labor; in the ethical field by the need felt for order, discipline, obedience to the moral dictates of patriotism.

Fascism desires the State to be strong and organic, based on broad foundations of popular support. The Fascist State lays claim to rule in the economic field no less than in others; it makes its action felt throughout the length and breadth of the country by means of its corporative, social, and educational institutions, and all the political, economic, and spiritual forces of the nation, organized in their res­pective associations, circulate within the State.  A State based on millions of individuals who recognize its authority, feel its action, and are ready to serve its ends is not the tyrannical state of a mediaeval lordling. It has nothing in common with the despotic States existing prior to or subsequent to 1789. Far from crushing the individual, the Fascist State multiplies his energies, just as in a regiment a soldier is not diminished but multiplied by the number of his fellow soldiers.

    The Fascist State organizes the nation, but it leaves the individual adequate elbow room. It has curtailed useless or harmful liberties while preserving those which are essential. In such matters the individual cannot be the judge, but the State only.

 The Fascist State is not indifferent to religious phenomena in general nor does it maintain an attitude of indif­ference to Roman Catholicism, the special, positive religion of Italians. The State has not got a theology but it has a moral code. The Fascist State sees in religion one of the deepest of spiritual manifestations and for this reason it not only respects religion but defends and protects it. The Fascist State does not attempt, as did Robespierre at the height of the revolutionary delirium of the Convention, to set up a “god” of its own; nor does it vainly seek, as does Bolshevism, to efface God from the soul of man. Fascism respects the God of ascetics, saints, and heroes, and it also respects God as conceived by the ingenuous and primitive heart of the people, the God to whom their prayers are raised.

The Fascist State expresses the will to exercise power and to command. Here the Roman tradition is embodied in a conception of strength. Imperial power, as understood by the Fascist doctrine, is not only territorial, or military, or commercial; it is also spiritual and ethical. An imperialnation, that is to say a nation a which directly or indirectly is a leader of others, can exist without the need of conquering a single square mile of territory. Fascism sees in the imperialistic spirit — i.e. in the tendency of nations to expand – a manifestation of their vitality. In the op­posite tendency, which would limit their interests to the home country, it sees a symptom of decadence. Peoples who rise or rearise are imperialistic; renunciation is characteristic of dying peoples. The Fascist doctrine is that best suited to the tendencies and feelings of a people which, like the Italian, after lying fallow during centuries of foreign servitude, are now reasserting itself in the world.

    But imperialism implies discipline, the coordination of efforts, a deep sense of duty and a spirit of self-sacrifice. This explains many aspects of the practical activity of the regime, and the direction taken by many of the forces of the State, as also the severity which has to be exercised towards those who would oppose this spontaneous and inevitable movement of XXth century Italy by agitating outgrown ideologies of the XIXth century, ideologies rejected wherever great experiments in political and social transfor­mations are being dared.

    Never before have the peoples thirsted for authority, direction, order, as they do now. If each age has its doctrine, then innumerable symptoms indicate that the doctrine of our age is the Fascist. That it is vital is shown by the fact that it has aroused a faith; that this faith has conquered souls is shown by the fact that Fascism can point to its fallen heroes and its martyrs.

Fascism has now acquired throughout the world that universally which belongs to all doctrines which by achieving self-expression represent a moment in the history of human thought.

APPENDIX

1.  Philosophic conception

 (1) If Fascism does not wish to die or, worse still, commit suicide, it must now provide itself with a doctrine. Yet this shall not and must not be a robe of Nessus clinging to us for all eternity, for tomorrow is some thing mysterious and unforeseen. This doctrine shall be a norm to guide political and individual action in our daily life.

I who have I dictated this doctrine, am the first to realize that the modest tables of our laws and program the theoretical and practical guidance of Fascism should be revised, corrected, enlarged, developed, because already in parts they have suffered injury at the hand of time. I believe the essence and fundamentals of the doctrine are still to be found in the postulates which throughout two years have acted as a call to arms for the recruits of Italian Fascism. However, in taking those first fundamental assumptions for a starting point, we must proceed to carry our program into a vaster field.

Italian Fascists, one and all, should cooperate in this task, one of vital importance to Fascism, and more especially those who belong to regions where with and without agreement peaceful coexistence has been achieved between two antagonistic movements.

The word I am about to use is a great one, but indeed I do wish that during the two months which are still to elapse before our National Assembly meets, the philosophy of Fascism could be created. Milan is already contributing with the first Fascist school of propaganda.

    It is not merely a question of gathering elements for a program, to be used as a solid foundation for the constitution of a party which must inevitably arise from the Fascist movement; it is also a question of denying the silly tale that Fascism is all made up of violent men. In point of fact among Fascists there are many men who belong to the restless but meditative class.

 The new course taken by Fascist activity will in no way diminish the fighting spirit typical of Fascism. To furnish the mind with doctrines and creeds does not mean to disarm, rather it signifies to strength­en our power of action, and make us ever more conscious of our work. Soldiers who fight fully conscious of the cause make the best of warriors. Fascism takes for its own the twofold device of Mazzini : Thought and Action u. (Letter to Michele Bianchi, written on August 27, 1921, for the opening of the School of Fascist Culture and Propaganda in Milan, in Messaggi e Proclami, Milano, Libreria d’Italia, 1929, P. 39).

 Fascists must be placed in contact with one another; their activity must be an activity of doctrine, an activity of the spirit and of thought

 Had our adversaries been present at our meeting, they would have been convinced that Fascism is not only action, but thought as well  (Speech before the National Council of the Fascist Party, August 8, 1924, in La Nuova Politica dell’Italia, Milano, Alpes, 1928, p. 267).

 (2) Today I hold that Fascism as an idea, a doctrine, a realization, is universal; it is Italian in its particular institutions, but it is universal in the spirit, nor could it be otherwise. The spirit is universal by reason of its nature. Therefore anyone may foresee a Fascist Europe. Drawing inspiration for her institutions from the doctrine and practice of Fascism; Europe , in other words, giving a Fascist turn to the solution of problems which beset the modern State, the Twentieth Century State which is very different from the States existing before 1789, and the States formed immediately after. Today Fascism fillsuniversal requirements; Fascism solves the threefold problem of relations between State and individual, between State and associations, between associations and organized associations. (Message for the year 1 October 27, 1930, in Discorsi del 1930, Milano, Alpes, 1931, p. 211).

 2. Spiritualized conception

(3)  This political process is flanked by a philosophic process.  If it be true that matter was on the altars for one century, today it is the spirit which takes its place. All manifestations peculiar to the democratic spirit are consequently repudiated: easygoingness, improvisation, the lack of a personal sense of responsibility, the exaltation of numbers and of that mysterious divinity called n The People a. All creations of the spirit starting with that religious are coming to the fore, and nobody dare keep up the attitude of anticlericalism which, for several decades, was a favorite with Democracy in the Westernworld. By saying that God is returning, we mean that spiritual values are returning. (Da the parte va it mondo, in Tempi della Rivoluzione Fascista, Milano, Alpes, 1930, p. 34).

There is a field reserved more to meditation upon the supreme ends of life than to a research of these ends. Consequently science starts from experience, but breaks out fatally into philosophy and, in my opinion, philosophy alone can enlighten science and lead to the universal idea. (To the Congress of Science at Bologna , October 31, 19,26, in Discorsi del 1926. Milano, Alpes, 1927, p. 268).

In order to understand the Fascist movement one must first appre­ciate the underlying spiritual phenomenon in all its vastness and depth. The manifestations of the movement have been of a powerful and decisive nature, but one should go further. In point of fact Italian Fascism has not only been a political revolt against weak and incapable governments who had allowed State authority to decay and were threatening to arrest the progress of the country, but also a spiritual revolt against old ideas which had corrupted the sacred principles of religion, of faith, of country. Fascism, therefore, has been a revolt of the people. (Message to the British people; January 5, 1924, in Mes­saggi e Proclami, Milano, Libreria d’ Italia, 1929, p. 107).

 (3) Positive conception of life as a struggle

(4) Struggle is at the origin of all things, for life is full of contrasts: there is love and hatred, white and black, day and night, good and evil; and until these contrasts achieve balance, struggle fatefully remains at the root of human nature. However, it is good for it to be so. Today we can indulge in wars, economic battles, conflicts of ideas, but if a day came to pass when struggle ceased to exist, that day would be tinged with melancholy; it would be a day of ruin, the day of ending. But that day will not come, because history ever discloses new horizons. By attempting to restore calm, peace, tranquility, or. A would be fighting the tendencies of the present period of dynamism. Ore must be prepared for other struggles and for other surprises. Peace will only come when people surrender to a Christian dream of universal brotherhood, when they can hold out hands across the ocean and over the mountains.Personally I do not believe very much in these idealisms, but I do not exclude them for I exclude nothing. (At the Politeama Rossetti, Trieste , September 20, 1920 in Discorsi Politici, Milano, Stab. Tipografico del « Popolo d’ Italia » , 1921, p. 107).

 (5) For me the honor of nations consists in the contribution they have severally made to human civilization. (E. Ludwig, Talks with Mussolini, London, Allen and Unwin, 1932, p. 199)­

4. Ethical conception

I called the organization Fasci Italiani Di combat tin onto. This hard metallic name compromised the whole program of Fascism as I dreamed it. Comrades, this is still our program: fight.

     Life for the Fascist is a continuous, ceaseless fight, which we accept with ease, with great courage, with the necessary intrepidity. (C n the VIIth anniversary of the Foundation of the FasciMarch 2E, 1926, in Discorsi del 1926, Milano, Alpes, 1927, P. 98).

     You touch the core of Fascist philosophy. When recently a Finnish philosopher asked me to expound to him the significance of Fascism in one sentence, I wrote in German: ((We are against the “easy, lift! a. (E. Ludwig: Talks with Mussolini, London, Allen and Unwin, 1932, p. 190).

 5. Religious conception

 (7) If Fascism were not a creed how could it endow its followers with courage and stoicism only a creed which has soared to the heights of religion can inspire such words as passed the lips, now lifeless alas, of Federico Florio. (Legami di Sangue, in Diuturna, Mi­lano, Alpes, 1930, p. 256).

 6. Historical and realistic conception

 (8) Tradition certainly is one of the greatest spiritual forces of a people, inasmuch as it is a successive and constant creation of their soul. (Breve Preludio, in Tempi della Rivoluzione Fascista, Milano, Alpes, 1930, P- 13)­

(9) Our temperament leads us to appraise the concrete aspect of problems, rather than their ideological or mystical sublimation. There­fore we easily regain our balance. (Aspetti del Dramma, in DiuturnaMilano, Alpes, 1930, p. 86).

Our battle is an ungrateful one, yet it is a beautiful battle since it compels us to count only upon our own forces. Revealed truths we have torn to shreds, dogmas we have spat upon, we have rejected all theories of paradise, we have baffled charlatans white, red, black charlatans who placed miraculous drugs on the market to give happiness to mankind. We do not believe in program, in plans, in saints or apostles, above all we believe not in happiness, in salvation, in the Promised Land. (Diuturna, Milano, Alpes, 1930, p. 223).

We do not believe in a single solution, be it economical, political or moral, a linear solution of the problems of life, because of illustrious choristers from all the sacristies life is not linear and can never be reduced to a segment traced by primordial needs. (Navigare necesse, in DiuturnaMilano, Alpes,1930, p. 233).

 (10) We are not and do not wish to be motionless mummies, with faces perpetually turned towards the same horizon, nor do we wish to shut ourselves up within the narrow hedges of subversive bigotry, where formulas, like prayers of a professed religion, are muttered mechanically. We are men, living men, who wish to give our contribution, however ‘modest, to the creation of history. (Audacia, in Diu­ turnaMilano, Alpes, 1930, p. ‘)­

 We uphold moral and traditional values which Socialism neglects or despises; but, above all, Fascism has a horror of anything implying an arbitrary mortgage on the mysterious future. (Dopo due anni, in  DiuturnaMilano, Alpes, 1930, p. 242).

In spite of the theories of conservation and renovation, of tradition and progress expounded by the right and the left, we do not cling desperately to the past as to a last board of salvation: yet we do not dash headlong into the seductive mists of the future. (Breve preludio, in DiuturnaMilano, Alpes, 1930, p. 14). `negation, eternal immobility, mean damnation. I am all for motion. I am, one who marches on   (E. Ludwig, Talks with Mussolini, Lot Jon, Allen and Unwin, 1932, p. 203).

7. The individual and liberty

 (11) We were the first to state, in the face of demo liberal individualism, that the individual exists only in so far as he is within the State and subjected to the requirements of the state and that, as civilization assumes aspects which grow more and more complicated, individual freedom becomes more and more restricted. (To the General staff Conference of Fascism, in Discorsi del 1929, Milano, Alpes, 1930, p. 280).

 The sense of the state grows within the consciousness of Italians, for they feel that the state alone is the irreplaceable safeguard of their unit and independence; that the state alone represents continuity into the future of their stock and their history. (Message on the VIIth all anniversary, October 25, 1929, Discorsi del 1929, Milano, Alpes, 1930, p. 3oo).

If, in the course of the past eight years, we have made such astounding progress, you may well think suppose and foresee that in the course of the next fifty or eighty years the onward trend of Italy , of this Italy we feel to be so powerful, so full of vital fluid, will really be grandiose. It will be so especially if concord lasts among citizens, if the State continues to be sole arbitrator in political and social conflicts, if all remains within the state and nothing outside the State, because it is impossible to conceive any individual existing outside the State unless he be a savage whose home is in the solitude of she sandy desert. (Speech before the Senate, May 12, 1928, in Discorsi del 1928, Milano, Alpes, 1929, p. 109).

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. It has rescued State administration from the weight of factions and party interests (To the council of state, December 22, 1928, in Discorsi Del 1928, Milano, Alpes, 1929 p.328).

(12) Let no one think of denying the moral character of Fascism. For I should be ashamed to speak from this tribune if I did not feel that I represent the moral and spiritual powers of the state. What would the state be if it did not possess a spirit of its own, and a morality of its own, which lend power to the laws in virtue of which the state is obeyed by its citizens?

The Fascist state claims its ethical character: it is Catholic but above all it is Fascist, in fact it is exclusively and essentially Fascist. Catholicism completes Fascism, and this we openly declare, but let no one think they can turn the tables on us, under cover of metaphysics or philosophy. (To the Chamber of Deputies, May 13, 1929, in Discorsi del 1929, Milano, Alpes, 1930, p. 182).

A State which is fully aware of its mission and represents a people which are marching on; a state which necessarily transforms the people even in their physical aspect. In order to be something more than a mere administrator, the State must utter great words, expound great ideas and place great problems before this people (Di­ scorsi del 1929, Milano, Alpes, 1930, p. 183).

(13) The concept of freedom is not absolute because nothing is ever absolute in life. Freedom is not a right, it is a duty. It is not a gift, it is a conquest; it is not equality, it is a privilege. The concept of freedom changes with the passing of time. There is a freedom in times of peace which is not the freedom of times of war. There is a freedom in times of prosperity which is not a freedom to be allowed in times of poverty. (Fifth anniversary of the foundation of the Fasci di Contbattimento, March 24, 1924, in La nuova politica dell’Italia, vol. III, Milano, Alpes, 1925, p. 30).

In our state the individual is not deprived of freedom. In fact, he has greater liberty than an isolated man, because the state protects him and he is part of the State. Isolated man is without defence. (E. Ludwig, Talks with Mussolini, London, Allen and Unwin, 1932, P. 129).

(14) Today we may tell the world of the creation of the powerful united State of Italy, ranging from the Alps to Sicily; this State is expressed by a well-organized, centralized, Unitarian democracy, where people circulate at case. Indeed, gentlemen, you admit the people into the citadel of the State and the people will defend it, if you close them out, the people will assault it. (speech before the Chamber of Deputies, May 26, 1927 , in Discorsi del 1927, Milano, Alpes, 1928, p. 159).

 In the Fascist regime the unity of classes, the political, social and coral unity of the Italian people is realized within the state, and only within the Fascist state. (speech before the Chamber of Deputies, December 9, 1928 , in Discorsi del 1928, Milano, Alpes, 1929, p. 333).

 8. Conception of a corporative state

 (15) We have created the united state of Italy remember that since the Empire Italy had not been a united state. Here I wish to reaffirm solemnly our doctrine of the State. Here I wish to reaffirm with no weaker energy, the formula I expounded at the scala in Milan everything in the state, nothing against the State, nothing outside the state. (speech before the Chamber of Deputies, May 26, 1927 , Discorsi del 1927, Milano, Alpes, 1928, p. t57).

(16) We are, in other words, a state which controls all forces acting in nature. We control political forces, we control moral forces we control economic forces, therefore we are a full-blown Corporative state. We stand for a new principle in the world, we stand for sheer, categorical, definitive antithesis to the world of democracy, plutocracy, free-masonry, to the world which still abides by the fundamental principles laid down in 1789. (Speech before the new Na­tional Directory of the Party, April 7, 1926, in Discorsi del 1926, Milano, Alpes, 1927, p. 120).

 The Ministry of Corporations is not a bureaucratic organ, nor does it wish to exercise the functions of syndical organizations which are necessarily independent, since they aim at organizing, selecting and improving the members of syndicates. The Ministry of Corporations is an institution in virtue of which, in the centre and outside, integral corporation becomes an accomplished fact, where balance is achieved between interests and forces of the economic world. Such a glance is only possible within the sphere of the state, because the state alone transcends the contrasting interests of groups and individuals, in view of co-coordinating them to achieve higher aims. The achievement of these aims is speeded up by the fact that all economic organizations, acknowledged, safeguarded and supported by the Corpo­rative State, exist within the orbit of Fascism; in other terms they accept the conception of Fascism in theory and in practice. (speech at the opening of the Ministry of Corporations, July 31, 1926, in Di­scorsi del 1926, Milano, Alpes, 1927, p. 250).

 We have constituted a Corporative and Fascist state, the state of national society, a State which concentrates, controls, harmonizes and tempers the interests of all social classes, which are thereby protected in equal measure. Whereas, during the years of demo-liberal regime, labour looked with diffidence upon the state, was, in fact, outside the State and against the state, and considered the state an enemy of every day and every hour, there is not one working Italian today who does not seek a place in his Corporation or federation, who does not wish to be a living atom of that great, immense, living organization which is the national Corporate State of Fascism. (On the Fourth Anniversary of the March on Rome, October 28, 1926, in Discorsi del 1926, Milano, Alpes, 1927, p. 340).

 9. Democracy

 (17) The war was revolutionary, in the sense that with streams of blood it did away with the century of Democracy, the century of number, the century of majorities and of quantities. (Da the pane va it Mondo, in Tempi della Rivoluzione Fascista, Milano, Alpes, 1930,  p. 37)­

 (18) Cf. note 13.

(19) Race: it is a feeling and not a reality; 95 %, a feeling. (E. Ludwig, Talks with Mussolini, London, Allen and Unwin, 1932, p. 75).

10. Conception of the state

(20) A nation exists inasmuch as it is a people. A people rise inasmuch as they are numerous, hard working and well regulated. Power is the outcome of this threefold principle. (To the General Assembly of the Party, March lo, 1929, in Discorsi del 1929, Milano, Alpes, 1930, p. 24).

   Fascism does not deny the State; Fascism maintains that a civic society, national or imperial, cannot be conceived unless in the form of a State (Stab, anti-Slato, Fascismo, in Tempi della Rivoluzione Fa­scista, Milano, Alpes, 1930, p. 94).

          For us the Nation is mainly spirit and not only territory. There are States which owned immense territories and yet left no trace in the history of mankind. Neither is it a question of number, because there have been, in history, small, microscopic States, which left immortal, imperishable documents in art and philosophy.

The greatness of a nation is the compound of all these virtues and conditions. A nation is great when the power of the spirit is translated into reality. (Speech at Naples, October 24, 1922, in Discorsi della Rivoluzione, Milano, Alpes, 1928, p. 103). We wish to unity the nation within the sovereign State, which is above everyone arid can afford to be against everyone, since it represents the moral continuity of the nation in history. Without the State there is no nation. There are, merely. human aggregations. subject to all the disintegration’s which history may inflict upon them. (Speech before the National Council of the Fascist Party, August 8, 1924, in La Nuova Politica dell’Italia, vol. III; Milano, Alpes, 1928, p. 269).

Dynamic reality

(21) I believe that if a people wish to live they should develop a will to power, otherwise they vegetate, live miserably and become prey to a stronger people, in whom this will to power is developed to a higher degree. (Speech to the Senate, May 28, 1926).

(22) It is Fascism which has refashioned the character of the Italians, removing impurity from our souls, tempering us to all sacrifices, restoring the true aspect of strength and beauty to our Italian face. (Speech delivered at Pisa , May 25, 1926 , in Discorsi del 1926, Milano, Alpes, 1927, p. 193).

It is not out of place to illustrate the intrinsic character and profound significance of the Fascist Levy. It is not merely a ceremony, but a very important stage in the system of education and integral preparation of Italian men which the Fascist revolution considers one of the fundamental duties of the State:fundamental indeed, for if the State does not fulfill this duty or in any way accepts to place it under discussion, the State merely and simply forfeits its right to exist. (Speech before the Chamber of Deputies, May 28, 1928, in  Discorsi del 1928, Milano, Alpes, 1929, p. 68).

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(This article, co-written by Giovanni Gentile, is considered to be the most complete articulation of Mussolini’s political views.  This is the only complete official translation we know of on the web, copied directly from an official Fascist government publication of 1935,Fascism Doctrine and Institutions, by Benito Mussolini, Ardita Publishers, Rome, pages 7-42.  This translation includes all the footnotes from the original.)

Thank You @NRA Fascist Hicks: The 2013 American Mass Shootings Rollcall: #Repeal2A

Take a Bow @NRA: This Is The Result of Your Efforts

The Year in American Mass Shootings

The Year in Mass Shootings123

Since 1968, at least 1.4 million Americans have been killed by guns—more than all the U.S.’s accumulated war dead in that same period. Any way you look at it, 2013 was another killer year for arms manufacturers and armed bullies.

There is much debate over how to define a “mass shooting.” The FBI classifies a mass murderas four fatalities, not including the killer. Mother Jones uses that, plus several situational criteria, for a mass shooting. The Redditors at “Guns Are Cool” considers any time four people are shot (not killed) a mass shooting, and with good reason: “The most obscene incidents of gun violence usually do not make the mainstream news at all.”

Even by the stringent federal criteria—which we use below, representing but a fraction of all U.S. victims of gun violence—this has been a bloody year.

January

7 – Tulsa, Oklahoma: Four women ranging in ages from 23 to 55 were found in their apartment shot dead with their hands tied behind their backs. A pair of brothers was arrested for allegedly robbing and killing them.

19 – Albuquerque, New Mexico: 15-year-old Nehemiah Gringo allegedly used an AR-15 to kill his entire family—his gang-member-turned-preacher father, his mother, a 9-year-old brother, and two sisters, ages 5 and 2. He also reportedly had plans to shoot up a Walmart.

March

13 – Herkimer, New York: A 64-year-old “loner” died in a gun-battle with police after he killed four at a barbershop and oil-lube shop. He also killed a 2-year-old police dog, Ape, before succumbing.

April

18 – Akron, Ohio: Two men and two women ranging in ages from 19 to 23 were lined up in their basement and shot in the head point-blank. Two men have been arrested in connection with the murders.

22 – Federal Way, Washington: A man with a carry license killed his girlfriend, then shot three other neighbors in her apartment complex to death before himself being killed by shots from eight police officers.

24 – Manchester, Illinois: A man angered over a custody dispute killed five of his daughter’s mother’s family members in their home, then led police on a high-speed chase. He later died in officers’ custody.

28 – Ottawa, Kansas: A man allegedly murdered his best friend and a roommate before raping the best friend’s girlfriend, then shooting her and her 18-month-old daughter to death. The shooter, who awaits trial, says he “ain’t never hurt no man that didn’t have it coming.”

May

11 – Waynesville, Indiana: Four people were shot in their rural home. After a search of the home turned up meth, police concluded the killings were drug-related. The following month, a suspect who was already in jail was arrested for the murders.

13 – Fernley, Nevada: A man killed two couples in their homes over Mother’s Day weekend, burning their houses. He also slew a newspaper deliveryman and stole his truck.

June

7 – Santa Monica, California: An emotionally troubled 23-year-old with 1,300 rounds of ammunition killed his father and brother before going on a rampage that killed three more at Santa Monica College. The gunman was killed on campus by police.

July

26 – Hialeah, Florida: A workout enthusiast under scrutiny for sending abusive emails to an ex-employer killed the husband-and-wife managers of his apartment, then murdered four more neighbors before taking hostages. He was killed by police; the hostages were unharmed.

26 – Clarksburg, West Virginia: A gunman killed two in a suspected drug house, then while fleeing shot and killed a 70-year-old man and his 47-year-old son who were in the neighborhood to deliver the local paper.

August

7 – Dallas, Texas: A former teacher and football coach killed his girlfriend, estranged wife, and two of their children before police arrested him.

14 – Oklahoma City: A “weird” 40-year-old man killed his mother, sister, niece, and a 7-month-old nephew with a .380 pistol. He currently awaits trial.

September

11 – Crab Orchard, Tennessee: A man and a woman were arrested for killing four people, ages 16 to 22, in their car during a robbery that followed a botched marijuana deal.

16 – Washington, D.C.: A military contractor who claimed to hear voices murdered 12 ex-coworkers with a sawed-off shotgun at the federal Navy Yard before he was killed by police.

20 – Rice, Texas: A woman killed her husband, their three sons, and herself in their apartment. The husband had been arrested for a domestic violence charge two weeks before.

October

9 – Paris, Texas: Four people were found dead in a home; it’s not yet clear what transpired or who killed them.

26 – Phoenix, Arizona: A man who was allegedly thrown into a rage over the neighbors’ two barking dogs killed the animals, then his four neighbors, then himself with a pump-action shotgun.

28 – Terrell, Texas: A man who “appeared to be intoxicated” killed five people, including a convenience store clerk, at four locations before police caught him.

29 – Callison, South Carolina: A man killed his ex-girlfriend, her parents, and two of her children before taking his own life.

November

7 – Jacksonville, Florida: Two men and their girlfriends were killed in what appeared to be a planned drive-by shooting. The suspects are at large.

23 – Tulsa, Oklahoma: Four people were killed in a suspected meth house. No suspects have been arrested.

December

1 – Topeka, Kansas: Four people were killed at a house in the town’s southwest section. No suspects have been named.

3 – Alma, Arkansas: After arriving home with them, a man killed his daughter’s boyfriend in the car, then killed his 4-month-old grandson while he lay in his car seat. He pursued his daughter and four-year-old granddaughter into the backyard, killing the granddaughter before turning the gun on himself.

3 – Erwin, Tennessee: A man with a record of domestic unrest killed his wife, son, and daughter before committing suicide.

8 – Manchester, Connecticut: A man killed his ex-girlfriend and two friends, then fled with the couple’s 13-month-old child. When confronted outside by police, he set the child down on the ground and fatally shot himself.

The @NRA Fascist Hick Addiction to Gun #Porn

@NRA Gun Porn Addiction
@NRA Gun Porn Addiction

The need to own a gun to defend oneself against an intruder is as natural for an American as enjoying a good Clint Eastwood vigilante movie. But the possession of military grade weapons to defend oneself against a much larger threat — such as the government — has only recently become popular.

The government has confiscated Big Gulp sodas in New York restaurants and has set up satellites to orbit the planet and beam down elitist PBS programs into every living room — including broadcasts of that radical Big Bird. These acts are seen by assault gun advocates as the over-reaching hand of Big Brother and a harbinger of more heinous acts to follow such as herding citizens into slave collectives and prohibiting the drinking of beer.

In view of the fact that such “threats” have never materialized, nor has the slightest shred of evidence been found that Obama is an alien replicant born out of a body snatcher seed pod from Martian invaders — granted he does have rather large and bat-like ears, but that is not exactly evidence — this need to own such guns must be seen in an objective and rational light.

The fear of imminent attack is an anxiety that many Americans suffer. By who or what has become immaterial as the fear latches onto any reason. They have succumbed to paranoia, like looking in their rear-view mirror and seeing a police car — the KGB Nazi police.

They particularly have the sense that the government is going to take away one of their most cherished freedoms: the one in the Constitution to shoot and kill things; animals, burglars, neighbors, family, themselves. This preys on their minds. The comfort of clutching, loading and firing guns alleviates this anxiety and leads to a serious neurosis: National Rifle Addiction. It is widespread and affects all walks of life.

It begins with the purchase of one small handgun (for some it is a BB gun while a child), a Beretta perhaps, or a hunting rifle like a 20-gauge shotgun. These are gateway guns and should be taken seriously. The mastering of these simple guns, though adequate for the task of defending oneself and family, develops an appetite, a thirst, a craving for more and more firepower. The mind becomes compromised and slides down the slippery slope of addiction: feeding more and more excuses to justify more and more guns, bigger guns, bigger clips, bigger bullets.

Their anxiety clouds common sense and rationality until finally it twists the rational mind to work for it: the descent into conspiracy theories to feed the gun habit becomes complete when someone is easily convinced that Obama is placing alien socialist seed pods in our schools, offices, and churches.

Addiction causes extreme and worrisome behavior: one man in Kentucky had his rifle baptized by his preacher; another vowed violent revolution while foaming at the mouth in front of TV cameras when confronted with the prospect of Piers Morgan Pacifism.

Extreme cases end up as Reba McEntire and Michael Gross as the survivalist Gummers in the movie Tremors with an incredible arsenal capable of taking out a monstrous Graboid burrowing worm (obviously a creation from the government NIH experiments on humans with LSD) as it smashes through their basement wall. But the chances of this actually happening to an American are as slim as tripping over a terrorist at an airport.

Recently, a public figure with a serious addiction habit suggested that elementary school teachers should holster a loaded gun. To him, and other addicts, this sounded perfectly rational. To a crack addict, placing cocaine vending machines in schools also sounds like a good idea. Both are doing what their “monkey” commands.

The paranoia of an imminent threat and the certainty that Washington is awash in alien seed pod replicants posing as patriotic politicians feeds their addiction, and their addiction feeds their excuses of being threatened: universal healthcare, Canadians, IRS, Joe Biden are lurking around the corner ready to pounce. 9/11 was staged by the government as was the Newtown massacre.

They find support and get called to action from radio talk shows. These are the source of NRA sufferers’ delusions that keeps them on the edge of their seats, waiting vigilantly for the alarm of invasion — one if by land, two if by sea. One show uncovered female covert law students who turned out to really be prostitutes working with the government to mooch contraceptives off the “system.” This led to a lot of guns being fired off into the sky.

These people do not recognize they are ill. They cannot be approached directly (the first thing they’ll grab is their gun). They will not believe the government is not out to get them; that democracy has the built-in ability to remove dangerous politicians by the process of voting; that it’s kept oppressive-free by a system of checks and balances.

They dare the government to come for them, as if their guns would be more than candy canes facing the drones, nuclear missiles and laser beams the government has at its disposal.

Treatments need to be developed. But until then, they must be made to realize that in their current manic condition they do not pass the sanity test for owning a firearm. People who suffer from paranoid delusions that the government is run by evil alien-Nazi-socialists, who are controlled by NRA, and who are unable to face the fact that Obama won the presidency fair and square are not emotionally stable enough to possess guns and should be relieved of them. They suffer National Rifle Addiction and need treatment.

They are loaded guns with their safeties off.

The @NRA Fascist Hicks and Politicians protect the guns; who protects the victims?

Happiness is a Warm @NRA Gun
Happiness is a Warm @NRA Gun

Suspected Colorado movie theater gunman James Holmes purchased four guns at local shops and more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition on the Internet in the past 60 days, Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates told a news conference this evening.

 “All the ammunition he possessed, he possessed legally, all the weapons he possessed, he possessed legally, all the clips he possessed, he possessed legally,” an emotional Oates said.

 The chief declined to say whether the weapons were automatic or semi-automatic, but “he could have gotten off 50 to 60 rounds, even if it was semi-automatic, within one minute,” Oates said.

 Good Morning America, July 20,2012

In the wake of the latest mass murder in America, the Aurora, Colorado theater shooting spree, the usual talk about how insanely easy it is to acquire assault weapons and heavy ammo seems to fill every inch of air and space.  In the wake of the Columbine shootingtalk, talk, talk.  In the wake of theVirginia Tech shooting–talk, talk, talk. In the wake of the Fort Hood shootingtalk, talk, talk.  In the wake of the Tucson shootingtalk, talk, talk.  The analysis of the dozens of mass shootings in the past 30 years–talk, talk, talk. The consensus is that it’s too easy to stockpile the kind of weaponry crazy people use to massacre innocent human beings whose only deficiency is that they manage to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Immediately upon hearing the outcry, the National Rifle Association goes into defensive mode, taking their usual stance that guns don’t kill people, gunmen kill people, so you can’t blame the guns and you can’t blame the easy acquisition of those guns. because only a few gunmen are nuts enough to go out and shoot up a bunch of people.  (The second most popular NRA stance is that if everyone was armed and ready, things like this couldn’t happen.)

Crazy, isn’t it?  But here’s the craziest part:  The NRA gets away with it.  Every single time.  All of America–or at least those in a position to do something about a runaway gun association–seems to be terrified of a powerful lobby whose only public position is advocating widespread use ofall types of guns and ammo, including repeaters, military-type assault weapons, “cop-killer” bullets, the whole shebang.

So here’s more talk–not that it’ll do any more good than the talk before it, but it has become obligatory now.  We use it in place of actually doing something about the legality of assault weapons, the obligations of gun owners (and their associations), and the rights of those who fall victim to this irresponsible nuttiness:

The website for the NRA’s lobbying arm, The Institute for Legislative Action, is here.  If you can figure out a way to get them to pay attention to you without having to join the NRA, go for it.

And if you can figure out a way to get our politicians to pay attention this time, here is where you can reach them:

http://www.usa.gov/Agencies.shtml

James Holmes bought four guns and 6,000 rounds of ammunition and went into a movie theater with the sole purpose of mowing people down.  He might have had those same thoughts even if he hadn’t had access to guns capable of mowing people down as swiftly or efficiently as these did, but a madman with a single-shot rifle or even a six-gun couldn’t kill 13 and wound 70 people within a few minutes.

That’s what has to stop.  That’s what the talk is all about.

http://open.salon.com/blog/ramonas_voices/2012/07/22/the_nra_and_pols_protect_the_guns_who_protects_the_victims

Speaking To The @NRA Like The Idiots They Behave Like

Reply To The @NRA

2013-02-02-guncontrolrallysm.jpegDear friends who can’t tolerate anyone bringing up gun control: You’re not going to intimidate me with your !!!!s, ????s, WORDS IN ALL CAPS, namecalling, and threats to unfriend. I am going to speak my mind regardless of your protestations.I just wish you loved the First Amendment as much as your reading of the Second Amendment. Instead trying to bully people into submission, let us speak freely. Most people aren’t calling for a ban on guns contrary to your knee-jerk reactions. We want better regulations on something that is already regulated. We just want improvements. To quote my friend Jim Sanches, there’s a difference between regulating and banning.

In fact, I am pro-non-assault-style-guns-with-high-magazine-capacity for civilians for self-defense after thorough background checks, training, and if responsibly maintained.

Respect that America needs to talk about this massacre considering many factors and nuances. So, stop making wild accusations, calling people morons, and trying to shut down discussion.

Dear friends who say that calling for better gun laws is like calling for a ban on cars: First of all, cars are not designed to kill people. Deaths arise from accidents. Secondly, car ownership and driving are highly regulated activities including an elaborate licensing system, insurance mandate, penalties and terms for getting licenses revoked. What we are saying, to quote my friend Mike Stafford, is like calling for seat belt laws after a car crash, not banning cars.

Jim Sanches writes, “If they’re going to use the car analogy, fine, let’s regulate them as well as we do cars then. We mandate seat belts, headlights, the licensing of every car yearly and liability insurance on every car for starters. Not to mention all the rules of the road, traffic lights, stops signs, etc we all must obey even if we’ve never violated any of them.”

Dear friends who say that Newtown is about mental illness and we should only discuss improving healthcare for the mentally ill: This is like saying drinking and driving is about alcoholism and we should only discuss treatment for alcoholism and not discuss how to prevent drinking and driving.

Dear friends who say that guns don’t kill people, people kill people: People with guns kill people. Guns are dangerous like poison is dangerous, especially guns designed for combat. It’s not something we want readily available and in every home and public building. Even if people try to be responsible about its storage and usage, accidents and terrible destruction will occur, especially with children and mentally unstable people around. This is a public safety issue.  If we can accept restrictions on smoking for public health reasons, why not accept restrictions on gun purchases for public safety reasons?

In general, I think gun control is a public safety issue just like people flying planes or driving cars without proper training is a public safety issue.

Dear friends who say we need guns to protect ourselves from the government: To beat the U.S. government, you’re gonna need bigger and better weapons than guns. Would you be in favor of legalizing civilians owning tanks, bombs, fighter planes, chemical, biological and nuclear weapons? Also, if you really believe the government is out to get you, it’s likely that you suffer from a mental illness.

In general, I have a problem with you thinking it’s patriotic to shoot government employees with your guns.

Dear friends who treat the Constitution as some holy scripture from God and who think they have divined the correct, original, literal, interpretation of it: News Flash! The Founding Fathers were not psychics who could predict the future. They didn’t think of everything. The Constitution doesn’t mention online identity theft. Does that mean we shouldn’t protect ourselves from it? The genius of the framers of the Constitution is that they wrote a living document that was designed to be amended as we go. There are limits to the Second Amendment as there is to the First Amendment. For instance, you can’t yell “fire” in a crowded theater because it endangers the public.

There are ongoing debates about how to interpret the Second Amendment. Jeffrey Toobin writes in the New Yorker:

Before the nineteen-seventies, the N.R.A. had been devoted mostly to non-political issues, like gun safety. But a coup d’état at the group’s annual convention in 1977 brought a group of committed political conservatives to power—as part of the leading edge of the new, more rightward-leaning Republican Party. The new group pushed for a novel interpretation of the Second Amendment, one that gave individuals, not just militias, the right to bear arms. It was an uphill struggle. At first, their views were widely scorned. Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, who was no liberal, mocked the individual-rights theory of the amendment as “a fraud.”

Dear friends who think we need more God in the classroom: Our country is founded on the principle of the separation of church and state because it is dangerous to mix power and religion. Historically, it’s led to tyranny. No, we do not need more religion in classrooms. We need more common sense and respect for the give-and-take of our democratic process. We need to insist on fact-based, civil dialogue.

Dear friends who think we need more guns in the classroom to protect our children: Why stop at arming teachers? Why not arm children? How far will you go in thinking that easy access to guns is the solution to the problem of gun violence in our society? Do you want any regulation at all? Do you want buying assault rifles to be as easy as getting a Slurpee from 7-11? Would you allow children to purchase guns? Do you really think easy access to combat weapons is about personal freedom? Do you really think that’s what Founding Fathers had in mind when they made enormous sacrifices to build America? I can’t understand how you’re thinking about this.

Dear friends who fear that your guns will be confiscated: NRA seems to enjoy inciting fears among gun owners that guns will be banned and their weapons confiscated. This is just a fear tactic. I don’t see anyone on the national stage calling for this, certainly not on Capitol Hill.

There is a big difference between NRA members and NRA leadership by the way. There are ideas for better regulations that the majority of NRA members agree on, but the NRA leadership does not advocate for them or are fiercely opposed to them. For example, the majority of NRA members support closing the gun show loophole, reporting lost and stolen guns, and states sharing records with the National Instant Background Check System.

Instead of encouraging discussion and real information, NRA spreads fear and misinformation. Please listen to what we are actually saying instead of what you fear we are saying.

Dear friends who say I can’t talk about gun control because I’ve never handled or owned a gun before: Have you ever taken crack and heroin? Do you have a position on what our laws should be regarding those drugs? Perhaps I should shoot up heroin, become an undocumented immigrant, and go to prison before I can call for ending the war on drugs, revising immigration policies and reforming the criminal justice system.

Dear friends who say that Hitler confiscated guns so don’t confiscate gunsFirst of all, the vast majority of people are not calling confiscating guns. I’m certainly not. Secondly, this is just historically false. Hitler relaxed gun control laws of the Weimar Republic. Thirdly, Hitler loved dogs and used the bathroom. It’s not a great argument to say Hitler did x, so therefore don’t do x.

Dear friends who say Sandy Hook is a hoax: I question the state of your mental health. If you really believe this, I think you suffer from severe paranoia and should be disqualified from buying guns.

Dear friends who say “Second Amendment shall not be infringed!” no matter who is speaking, under what conditions, and which specific suggestions are made to try to keep guns away from homicidal people: I’ve listened to your arguments and frankly, you guys don’t sound like freedom-loving, Constitution-protecting individuals. You just sound brainwashed. There are only so many ways a person can say that I don’t give a crap about anyone else but myself and guns make me feel powerful and that is all that matters

[This is not directed at all gun owners. Just the ones who don’t want to engage in any policy discussions involving stricter guns laws and try to shout people down invoking the Second Amendment.]

Dear all friends: I’m finding that it’s very hard to engage in a constructive dialogue with people hellbent on bullying you until you give up or repeating gun lobby propaganda ad nauseam. Sometimes you just have to call a spade a spade in the way Joseph Welch called out Senator McCarthy during Army-McCarthy hearings. I want to direct the same lines said by Welch in 1954 to Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the NRA, who testified at theSenate committee hearing on January 30, 2013 and shamelessly uses fear-mongering to boost gun sales: Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?

This was originally published on December 16, 2012 with the title Replying to my pro-gun friends. It’s been edited significantly and includes a reply to Wayne LaPierre’s testimony at the Senate hearing on January 30, 2013.

Annabel is a filmmaker and the founder of Coffee Party USA. Her new documentary project is Story of America.

Behind The NRA’s Money: Gun Lobby Deepens Financial Ties to $12 Billion Firearms Industry

Throughout its history, the National Rifle Association has portrayed itself as an advocate for individual gun owner’s Second Amendment rights. But a new investigation finds the group has come to rely on the support of the $12-billion a year gun industry—made up of firearms and ammunition manufacturers and sellers. Since 2005, the NRA has collected as much as $38.9 million from dozens of gun industry giants, including Beretta USA, Glock, and Sturm, Ruger & Co., according to a 2011 study by the Violence Policy Center. We speak with investigative reporter Peter Stone, whose latest article for The Huffington Post is “NRA Gun Control Crusade Reflects Firearms Industry Financial Ties.”

@NRA Fascist Hicks: Mothers of Gun Victims Kicked Out of NRA Headquarters By Armed Security

Moms Rising Mother protest the National Riffle Association (NRA)

The National Rifle Organization (NRA) on Thursday used armed security to force mothers of victims of gun violence to leave the organization’s headquarters.

The groups MomsRising.org and the Reston-Herndon Alliance to End Gun Violence traveled to NRA headquarters in Virginia on Thursday to deliver a petition with over 150,000 signatures calling for universal background checks, a ban on high-capacity magazines, a ban on military-style assault rifles and new laws to crack down on gun trafficking.

Included in the group were mothers like Lori Haas, whose daughter was wounded in the 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech, and Louisa Davis, whose nephew was killed by a gun in North Carolina.

But in video captured by WUSA,  (http://www.wusa9.com/video/default.aspx?bctid=2226691353001&buffer_share=8f06c&utm_source=buffer) a plainclothes security guard and an armed uniformed guard are seen refusing to accept the large stack of signatures and then shooing the gun safety advocates off NRA property.

“They’re not willing to listen to all members,” one NRA member who was in the group told WUSA. “We’re in a democracy, we need to have a conversation. And the NRA likes to shut down conversation.”

By David Edwards
Friday, March 15, 2013 11:14 EST