Deception & Misdirection

How Fascists Take Power

Last night, there were violent protests at Berkeley University against guest speaker Milo Yiannopoulos of Breitbart News. Occupy Oakland tweeted “We won this night. We will control the streets. We will liberate the land. We will fight fascists. We will dismantle the state. This is war.” What was so interesting was the “we will fight fascists.” Occupy Oakland, and many left wing groups, appear willing to have a revolution to halt a supposedly imminent fascist takeover of the country.

Which begs the question: how do fascists take over?  The answer can be found by looking at the three major fascist countries in history: Italy, Spain, and Germany.

Under the leadership of Benito Mussolini, the Fascist Party of Italy seized control of the country in 1922 with the “March on Rome.” Before marching on the nation’s capital, Italian fascists committed violent acts across most of northern Italy. The king of Italy, fearing more bloodshed, appointed Mussolini Prime Minister of Italy. No election took place, and the Italian fascists used violent tactics to achieve power.

Spanish fascists came to power through a military coup, after the military leadership did not like the results of the most recent election, and the coup resulted in a civil war lasting from 1936 to 1939.

In Germany the fascist path to power was longer and more complicated for the National Socialists, or Nazis. Hitler attempted to mimic Mussolini in 1923 with the Beer Hall putsch, an attempt to overthrow local authorities. It did not succeed and resulted in a few deaths and the arrest of several Nazis, including Hitler. After the failed coup, the Nazis decided to use the democratic process to take over Germany. Yet not until the election of July 1932 did the Nazis become the largest party in the German Parliament. Despite winning a plurality of votes (37 percent), the Nazis did not receive a majority of the votes needed to form a government. The Nazis refused to join any coalition, which resulted in another election in November 1932. In that election the Nazis again won a plurality but not as large as before (only 33 percent). Despite the loss, the Nazis refused to form a coalition until Hitler was made chancellor, which occurred in January 1933. Once Hitler was chancellor, he ordered another parliamentary election.

In March 1933, the election was held and the Nazis again received only a plurality of the votes (43 percent). This would be the last open election until after World War II, because Hitler decided it would be easier to consolidate power through terror, fear, and even political murders, rather than trying to work with other parties.

So, what’s the pattern? How do fascists take power? First, they are angry with election results or how the country is being run. Then fascists use militant tactics to force the population into supporting, or acquiescing in, their cause, even though most citizens don’t actually support the fascist agenda.

Today, some persons who claim to oppose fascism have started using fascist techniques, such as blockading roads and other modes of transit into the city, perpetrating violence against those who disagree with them politically, and using fear to suppress those who have different political views. But using fascist techniques is never right, and if you just removed “we will fight the fascists” from the Occupy Oakland tweet, it could be easily mistaken for a quote from Benito Mussolini, Francisco Franco, or Adolf Hitler.

The best way to defeat fascism? Look to the U.S. Constitution. It has defended freedom—and helped expand freedom to many—since it was signed. If Americans hold their elected officials to the standard of the Constitution, then fascism will not happen. If Americans decide to fight fascism with fascist techniques, then they will become the very thing they wanted to stop.

Tyler Stone received a Bachelor’s Degree from Le Moyne College, where he studied history. He is currently Office Manager at Capital Research Center.

Tyler Stone

Tyler is the former Office Manager of CRC. He hails from Central Square, New York. He recently interned at the Heritage Foundation’s editorial services department. Prior to Heritage, Tyler was…
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  • texasknight

    Many of our democratic socialists (a.k.a., the left) are actually socialist fascists. Every time they have a sitting president, a house majority and a senate super majority, they do irreparable harm to our republic and slide us ever closer to an oligarchy. Their goal is to separate our citizens from God through the promotion of immorality (including redistribution of wealth) in an attempt to replace Him with our government. Pray for conversions.

    One of our founding fathers John Adams proclaimed, “Our Constitution was made
    only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

    • petitemouse

      Very good points. I am so sad to see government
      used to force us to give up the Virtues and
      embrace the Seven Deadly sins.

      • texasknight

        I see you have mistaken the government as the devil. An understandable mistake.

  • Jason Swartout

    Very good point, I agree totally. I also feel those running around threatening flag burners with violence and demanding it be banned are acting like fascists while claiming to be against it.

    • petitemouse

      Air pollution is never a good thing.
      Second hand smoke is deadly.

  • TruthBeTold

    If Americans decide to fight fascism with fascist techniques, then they will become the very thing they wanted to stop.

    This is about provocation and optics.

    The ‘protesters’ want to be seen as the victim while they’re in fact the instigators so they’re trying to provoke the police and government to make them the victim.

    To stop them is going to take police action. The police response, regardless of how lawful, will become the ‘narrative’ of a fascist government.

    It’s almost a lose-lose situation for the police and government.

    • Let’s game this out.

      1) Arrest the obvious vandals and other felons at the riot. THROW THE BOOK AT THEM! No probation or “time served” slap on the wrist; serious time in real prisons. Let out some of the drug possession criminals to make room for the thugs.

      A) Deescalation as softies decide to stand down rather than go to jail. Problem solved.
      B) Existing felons from 1) opt for martyrdom actions in jail such as hunger strikes

      • Oops, hit return once too often.

        Counter-response to B — provide appropriate medical care and measured doses of sympathy, but no release. Even Obama couldn’t pardon Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu-Jamal.

  • Jule Westcott

    It sounds like the liberals have declared civil war on us conservatives.

    • VictorErimita

      Yes. But they’re not liberal.

      • Dusty Thompson

        Why do people insist on confusing this subject. They call themselves “Liberals” even though everyone knows they are not. This isnt “news” to anyone.

    • KrakenFartz

      For the last three centuries, the collectivists have always thought in terms of total war, while conservatives have thought in terms of compromise and appeasement. The only thing that has saved us, time and again, is that evil always overplays its hand and either collapses ruinously of its own accord, or reveals itself as something that unequivocally must be destroyed. But it has been close, so close, to final disaster so many times, and there has been appalling suffering and death along the way.

      • Porky Pig Goes to Mecca

        Great comment 👍

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  • L.B.

    Yes, some people have begun to use fascist techniques. Obviously these people are seeking power through violence and as everyone knows that is what fascists do. Understand that the violent people trying to overthrow a duly elected president haven’t become what they oppose because they are not opposed to Fascism.

  • Whitehall

    The first duty of government is to provide order. What is really worrisome is the deliberate inaction of some local and state governments to keep order by arrest and detention of rioters.

    San Jose, Chicago, Baltimore, and now Berkeley. There are others too.

    How will the coalition of local officials and rioters develop? I can’t see local citizens supporting violence and destruction in their towns for very long, even if they support the nominal “causes” of the rioters.

    Some state governments, as the sovereign authority for policing, are clamping down. Others, like I expect California, are playing along for broader goals, just like they encouraged the “Occupy” actors.

    Ultimately, this will lead to further centralization of power as Trump uses the federal powers to bring order.

    • Dusty Thompson

      California Politicians told the Police to stand down.

      The California Govt is America’s enemy.

  • Tom Tutone

    I find most people arrogant and totally out of touch with history. Do they really think the people who committed the atrocities of the past thought of themselves as evil at the time? Human beings aren’t programmed to think that way. Almost everybody thinks they are doing their best. At the time, alot of those people thought they were on the “right side” of history Often, the people who have implemented the fascist regimes of the past most likely didn’t see themselves as fascist at the time. Actions reveal the true intent of men’s hearts.

  • Tom Tutone

    “Iran is playing with fire – they don’t appreciate how “kind” President Obama was to them. Not me!”

    People who are kind to the cruel, are often cruel to the kind. Keep in mind, these are the same people who mourned Castro and cheered Chavez. No equivalent on the Right.

  • Thomas W Dinsmore

    The Enabling Act of 1933 was the critical step in the Nazi ascension to power; it vested all law-making power in the Chancellor, effectively making Hitler dictator of Germany. The Reichstag passed the law only because all of the Communist and many of the Socialist deputies had been rounded up and jailed. Goering used a parliamentary trick to rule that there were sufficient numbers present for a quorum. German police had the authority to jail leftists under the Reichstag Fire Decree, which suspended civil liberties; this was permitted under the Weimar constitution.

  • Dr.Scott

    Nice piece. Go, Heritage interns!

    • Dusty Thompson

      No amount of education will ever overcome Liberal stupidity. We need to stop wasting time attempting to educate the left and instead shoot them in the head for being seditious anti Americans.

  • WalterHorsting
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  • Dusty Thompson

    If you’re interested in why the ctrl-left acts this way then watch this video:

    Next protest a bunch of us Vets need to don a mask join the protestors but instead of protesting we bust up all of their knee caps. I can guarantee the next one after that will be smaller.

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  • Slumdogpreacher

    Those advocating violence against others they don’t agree with should be arrested and prosecuted for inciting to violence, no matter how highly placed they may be in politics! Those that instigate riots and arson should be prosecuted in the same way; we need to be a nation under law and applied across the board to all citizens.
    The source of this unlawful rebellion is THE ORIGINAL PROUD REBEL:SATAN, so we need to pray for God’s help and deliverance from this evil. “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For WE WRESTLE NOT AGAINST FLESH AND BLOOD, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” EPHESIANS 6:11-12

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