The Fascist conception of liberty merits passing notice. The Duce of Fascism once chose to discuss the theme of “Force or consent?”; and he concluded that the two terms are inseparable, that the one implies the other and cannot exist apart from the other; that, in other words, the authority of the State and the freedom of the citizen constitute a continuous circle wherein authority presupposes liberty and liberty authority. For freedom can exist only within the State, and the State means authority. But the State is not an entity hovering in the air over the heads of its citizens. It is one with the personality of the citizen. Fascism, indeed, envisages the contrast not as between liberty and authority, but as between a true, a concrete liberty which exists, and an abstract, illusory liberty which cannot exist.
Liberalism broke the circle above referred to, setting the individual against the State and liberty against authority. What the liberal desired was liberty as against the State, a liberty which was a limitation of the State; though the liberal had to resign himself, as the lesser of the evils, to a State which was a limitation on liberty. The absurdities inherent in the liberal concept of freedom were apparent to liberals themselves early in the Nineteenth Century. It is no merit of Fascism to have again indicated them. Fascism has its own solution of the paradox of liberty and authority. The authority of the State is absolute. It does not compromise, it does not bargain, it does not surrender any portion of its field to other moral or religious principles which may interfere with the individual conscience. But on the other hand, the State becomes a reality only in the consciousness of its individuals. And the Fascist corporative State supplies a representative system more sincere and more in touch with realities than any other previously devised and is therefore freer than the old liberal State.
BASIC PRINCIPLES, THEIR APPLICATION
BY THE NAZI PARTY’S FOREIGN ORGANIZATION,
AND THE USE OF GERMANS ABROAD
FOR NAZI AIMS
Prepared in the Special Unit
Of the Division of European Affairs
RAYMOND E. MURPHY
FRANCIS B. STEVENS
JOSEPH M. ROLAND
The line of thought which we have traced from Herder to the immediate forerunners of the Nazi movement embodies an antidemocratic tradition which National Socialism has utilized, reduced to simple but relentless terms, and exploited in what is known as the National Socialist Weltanschauung for the greater aggrandizement of Nazi Germany. The complete agreement between the Nazi ideology and the previously described political concepts of the past is revealed in the forthcoming exposition of the main tenets of Naziism.