Why fascists took references and symbolism from eastern philosophies? Also, why paganism?

robto

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,857
Lisbon, Portugal
Good point about Buddhism.Like christianity and any organised religion, theory and practice vary enormously. Can't go past Tibetan Buddhism for superstitious and nasty. Have never understood why so many people continue to support the theocracy of the 13th Dalai Lama. Ashoka also a good example of selective history.
The making up of the romanticized Tibetan Buddhism is also a result of a propaganda campaign against communist China in the West.

The argument about whether the Nazis were fascist is a little contentious .However, they were by no means the same in theory or in practice as far as I can see.

Mussolini invented modern day fascism in 1922, taking the name from the Roman fasces, a bundle of rods surrounding a 2 headed axe head carried by lictors, as a sign the of authority of a magistrate. Probably fair to say the Nazis adopted some ideas from the Italians, such as the legitimacy of political murders. Each had its own take, based on its own country's myths, prejudices and desires.Mussolini had a gaol of restoring the Roman Empire. The Nazis looked back to teutonic myth, and an empire of racially pure Aryans ( a term they seemed to have used rather loosely) The Nazis' antisemitism was their own. The long and short term effects of that policy as it developed into "the final solution of the Jewish question" cannot be overestimated.
I don't know why we even need to have that debate about whether Nazism and Fascism is the same thing or they were different.
They were part of the same grand movement and historical political wave that was spreading throughout Europe after the First World War - they share more similarities than differences; they shared the same world view in the way that they wanted to create a new world order and destroy liberalism and socialism; the two saw themselves as brethren movements and were planning to build a new Europe only for themselves; etc, etc.

Ok, we don't have to call Nazis as "Fascists", but we certainly need to create a single label or name that will include all those "fascistic" movements that appeared in Europe in the inter-war period and led the continent once more to a terrible war.

We call both the American and French revolutions as "liberal" although they were many differences among the two - we call Scandinavian Social-Democracy, Chavez Venezuela and Kim's North Korea as "socialist", so why not create a single label for that charismatic and revolutionary form of far-right movement that appeared in that period?

By the way, Nazi's antisemitism was not their own. What makes it their own thing is how they were able to take antisemitism to the extreme level and ultimately try to physically erase Jewry from the European continent (although it happened in the context of total war, not of peace or civilian policy) - but their antisemitic ideas were not novel or unique.
 
Likes: Hipparchist

robto

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,857
Lisbon, Portugal
Also, the idea of Buddhism being some especially enlightened and tolerant religion is inane nonsense. Buddhism is full of superstitious nonsense, and has about 600 times the number of Hells that Christianity does. If anything east-Asian countries are less keen on religious belief (faith) in general, this has nothing to do with Buddhism.
It has more to do with Confucianism, and especially Neo-confucianism that took hold in early modern period and was made as official ideology among the ruling classes in Imperial China, Joseon Korea and Tokugawa Japan.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,142
Sydney
the swastika was a common symbol of the creeks and Chickasaw Indians
the 45th US infantry division bore the "good luck" symbol as a shoulder badge
until after 1933 when the powers that be decided some other badge was needful
after much soul searching the Thunderbird was adopted
there is no connection between the Oklahoma tribes and Aryans except in some demented imaginations
History - From Swastika to Thunderbird
 
Likes: Hipparchist

Code Blue

Ad Honorem
Feb 2015
3,600
Caribbean
I don't know why we even need to have that debate about whether Nazism and Fascism is the same thing or they were different.
For the same reason we have to debate whether the US is a "democracy." These terms seem to have a life of their own and their definitions change. Also, any one "ism" word is insufficient to describe a government/society complex with specificity. Since governments perform the same functions, there is overlap in so-called "systems." It's like Venn diagrams with overlapping circles, which for clarity sake, many people wish to put into an either-or relationship. To some extent, of course, they are the same AND different at the same time - like the overlapping Venn diagram.
 
Feb 2012
3,791
Portugal
About Buddhism it has been introduced in the West mostly as a philosophy and not as a devotional religion which for an audience where a philosophical approach to spirituality had been erradicated since the days of Justinian was bound to cause admiration. Alexandra David-Néel however knew first hand the reality of the daily living of religious Buddhism which she described at least in one of her books Mystiques et Magiciens du Tibet . Of course now you have the Dalai Lama in the West and ordained monks like Pema Chodron but it is still the philosophical side that is more visible at least for those who don't get involved with Buddhist comunities.
 
Last edited:
Nov 2018
101
Idaho
About Buddhism it has been introduced in the West mostly as a philosophy and not as a devotional religion which for an audience where a philosophical approach to spirituality had been erradicated since the days of Justinian was bound to cause admiration. Alexandra David-Néel however knew first hand the reality of the daily living of religious Buddhism which she described at least in one of her books Mystiques et Magiciens du Tibet . Of course now you have the Dalai Lama in the West and ordained monks like Pema Chodron but it is still the philosophical side that is more visible at least for those who don't get involved with Buddhist comunities.
There is a bit of Buddhist logic that isn't bad (the Tetralema), though as a very literal-minded and anti-teleological person by nature I find 'spirituality' to be mostly horse manure and don't even know WTF 'enlightenment' is supposed to be.
 
Nov 2018
101
Idaho
A wonderful comparison after all manure is highly prized and put to good use by farmers but many don't realy have an use for it.
I get the aesthetics of some of it. I would attend a Church of Superman, even though he's a comic book character. But all the magic and non-think, etc. just does nothing for me. I would just take drugs if I felt like having whacked out visions.

Basically I treat all religion and mythology like I treat comic books. Very cool. Not literally true, and whatever impressionistic moral lessons people learn from these sources I would rather just engage in analytic philosophy to reach.
 

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