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I've recently been working on a novel for school, (I want to discuss this with outside sources, and my teacher is fine with it, is good) and my current idea for context of the country has a fascist revolt taking over the libertarian, egalitarian country, and I've been wondering if that really makes sense in that libertarian majority. My main problem that I've had with the idea is the fact that I feel that the country before the revolt is supposed to be, as previously mentioned, libertarian. I feel that the majority may kill out the voices of the fascists, but it is very possible that there's something I haven't considered. Also, I feel that this idea is worthy of scrapping and just coming up with a new chapter in the country's history. One more thing before I list of some miscellaneous details is that this country would have a history of fascist and totalitarian (yes I know they're different, but just saying they've had those two ideologies in their history) leaders in the past, somewhere around 50-150 years before the question I'm asking takes place. This may affect how the neutral and rebellious citizens view the revolt before it overtakes the country. Thanks, and I hope you can use the details I've provided to come up with some sort of answer!

Some more details and background information to help you if you feel like answering:

+The majority would be somewhere around 65% libertarian, 25% fascist, 10% other

+The country is supposed to be medium in size, around the size of Thailand/Myanmar, if that helps

+The population of the country would be somewhere around 50 million

+The rebels would be violent, yes

+The Prime Minister of the country would have the same control as America's vice president, mostly controlled by the parliament of the country

Side note: This is also the same story as the previous question I've asked, in case you're wondering, it has no effect on this question, this is just a background for that, around 100 years before the actually story if you're interested. Also, I may be in the wrong forum. Please tell me if I am! Again, I'm new to this forum, I hope this is a valid question and not just bad.

Previous question if you're interested, it has no effect on this question: How long would a utopia last until it would collapse?

Answer or don't answer, thanks for reading this wall of text!

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  • $\begingroup$ Please edit your question to provide a link to your previous question. This will help anyone trying to answer it with additional context. $\endgroup$ – a4android Oct 11 '17 at 1:03
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    $\begingroup$ you seem to describe current Germany which had a history of fascist government and where the AFD is gaining traction $\endgroup$ – Fred Oct 11 '17 at 1:04
  • $\begingroup$ With libertarian majority, would it be logical to assume that pre-rebellion state has "small government", possibly with small army and big business-dominated economy? $\endgroup$ – Alexander Oct 11 '17 at 1:06
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    $\begingroup$ In the title of your question you mention a "fascist anarchist rebellion". Fascism & anarchy seem to be political ideologies completely opposite to each other. In other words, a fascist anarchist rebellion would certainly fail. They'd be too busy fighting each other to rebel successfully. You only refer to fascism in the body of your question. I suggest deleting "anarchist" from the title,leaving the rebellion purely fascist. $\endgroup$ – a4android Oct 11 '17 at 1:08
  • $\begingroup$ @a4android 1. The old question has nothing to do with this one, it's just another question I have about the story, but it's in the future, with no effect to this question. I'll make sure to add something to make this clearer. Thanks for telling me though, I'll be sure to! 2.Oops, sorry, thanks for pointing that out! I'll try to change the title to just fascist if I can, I didn't notice that! Thanks for letting me know, I wouldn't realize without that! $\endgroup$ – drbitey Oct 11 '17 at 1:15
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If you look at the history of the 3rd Reich, Hitler was elected and came to power without a coup. There was violence but it was not a full fledged civil war. Very efficient propaganda and an economic recession helped him take over the country.

Modern fascism (I would call them dictatorships because they are not exactly fascists) have even more tools at their disposal than Hitler had.

The leader of such a fascist movement would probably be hiding the fact that he is a fascist , come to power as a "Right wing Patriot" and then gradually push the country toward a fascist government by gradually restricting freedom, brainwashing the population and steer them towards his ideology using Media/Internet. He could even start a war to justify all of this.

This sounds awfully close to our real world...

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  • $\begingroup$ Wow, I didn't realize that! I wasn't thinking of people like Hitler when I was writing down the ideas, (which honestly I should've smh it's fascist why wouldn't I) and didn't realize it! Well, thanks for pointing that out! (Also I accidentally tried to edit your answer when commenting on this in case it notified you, I pressed the wrong button haha. Can you guess I'm new?) $\endgroup$ – drbitey Oct 11 '17 at 1:24
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    $\begingroup$ This is a great answer. Hitler succeeded because "the people" were frustrated, angry, even desperate. They needed a very real problem solved. If you think about it, political affiliation is a luxury. When you can't feed your kids, whomever puts a chicken in the pot gets elected regardless their platform. Which, curiously, means the easiest way to get elected is to create a welfare state.... $\endgroup$ – JBH Oct 11 '17 at 19:05
  • $\begingroup$ Hitler was not elected. He was named Chancellor as part of a parliamentary coalition. $\endgroup$ – ThisIsNoZaku Oct 12 '17 at 5:16
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I'm tempted to write that of course the gun nut libertarians will defeat the gun control fascist freaks, but that of course is not obvious. The United States is about as libertarian as an actual government gets, and it keeps looking for ways to be less libertarian. Gun control, morals regulation, hate speech protection, Patriot Act, nationalized health care...these are all anti-libertarian ideas advocated by members of at least one of the two major parties.

Part of the problem here is that it is not clear what libertarians and fascists are. Some of the answers have an exceptionally weird concept of what they (libertarians especially) are.

What's a libertarian?

I would define a libertarian as someone who is against economic and moral regulation. A Democrat is against moral regulation but is for economic regulation (both as regulations and through taxes to enable spending). A Republican is against economic regulation (especially taxes) but is for regulation of morals (e.g. pornography should be illegal).

Others find libertarianism to include an expansive reading of the fourth amendment. Opposition to the Patriot Act is rooted in this form of libertarianism.

You will also see opponents of libertarianism characterize it as "The only right that exists is that of property". I don't know that any libertarian actually holds that view. Most libertarians care about other rights (negative rights), like freedoms of expression, belief, association, defense, and privacy. They even have ways of unifying these beliefs, the non-aggression principle.

What libertarians do not believe in is positive rights. There is no positive right to have property. There is a negative right that your property not be taken from you. There are no positive rights to food, water, or housing. People have a negative right to freedom of expression that the government cannot take away but no positive right to an audience.

A reasonable definition of a libertarian is someone who believes in live and let live. They value freedom of action.

What's a fascist?

If we're going to be nice to libertarians, we should also strive to be nice to fascists. And if we put aside the history of fascism and look at people who are tarred with the label (those who do not consider themselves fascists but are called that by others), we can see positive things in their ideas.

Libertarians look at negative expression and talk about accepting the bad with the good. For example, the ACLU is about as anti-Nazi as an organization can be, but it still protected Nazi rights to speak and march. A fascist looks at the same thing and says that people should have a positive right to be protected from dissidence.

To the fascist, the positive right not to be offended outweighs the negative right to free expression. The positive right to be protected from violence outweighs the negative right to privacy from search and seizure, as well as the rights to self-defense. The positive right to transportation outweighs the rights to property.

The closest example to a positive fascist state today is Japan. They outlaw guns (and bullets) entirely. They won't even give waivers to allow movies with guns to shoot in Japan. To support enforcement, they have minimal protections against search and seizure. Any successful search was obviously justified. This is quite successful at preventing gun violence.

This is not to excuse the bad behavior of fascists. Many use the government power much less laudably, to suppress minority views or peoples. It's just to point out that positive goals can be achieved with authoritarian controls.

The fascist believes that it is the government's responsibility to ensure the important positive rights: freedom from attack; the resources for life; a proper education; freedom from being offended. They value safety.

Why fascism over libertarianism?

By its nature, a libertarian society leaves its citizens vulnerable. Criminals can speak and organize freely. Until they do something overt, they can't be prosecuted. Legal enforcement is reactive, after the fact. By contrast, a fascist government can be proactive. If a certain pattern of thought or action leads to criminal behavior in some cases, they can outlaw the pattern.

Most real governments operate in some place in between these two extremes. And most political parties pick and choose where to care about freedom and where to care about safety. In a truly libertarian government, that chooses freedom over safety everywhere, they will have plenty of opposition.

  • Some will be offended by the lack of morals. They will want more regulation of "proper" behavior.
  • Some will be offended by hate speech. People should have "proper" beliefs.
  • Some will be concerned about insufficient resources for education and welfare for the poor. They will want more taxes for more spending.
  • Some will favor increased support for law enforcement. More spending on police, who will be allowed to be more proactive in their policing. No more criminals getting away due to lack of warrants or paperwork errors. Guns and other weapons can be prohibited and confiscated. Surveillance.

Of course, if they succeed, then those things will create their own problems. In particular, the definition of "proper" beliefs differs from person to person. Out of power, multiple beliefs can ally with the same people. They each expect to prevail after victory. In power, only one actually wins. The others can join the libertarian opposition.

Violent?

I'm not sure that violent revolution is the way to go. A libertarian government can always react to a violent revolution by becoming less libertarian. It can compromise its beliefs and respond. It is less able to respond to an electoral challenge. Initially, its opponents are the ones proposing compromise. They sound like the reasonable, accommodating ones.

They can take over the apparatus of government democratically and use that legitimacy to prevent a response. They can gradually replace the defenders of the old system with their own people. A slow increase in repression means that no individual act of repression seems inexcusable to most people.

A violent rebellion means that both the populace and the government are against the rebellion. Without the legitimacy of a democratic election, the rebels are immediately vulnerable to a counter rebellion. It also makes the opposition immediate. An electoral challenge allows them to concentrate on the popular aspects of their ideology.

Either needs popular support. A movement with enough support for a violent rebellion would seem to have enough support for an electoral takeover. And a libertarian government is ill-prepared to resist electoral takeover. After all, if that's what people choose to do, freedom of action says that they should be able to do so. Meanwhile, a violent rebellion can be put down with self-defense, by the well-armed populace with help from what government there is.

Becoming what you resist

Another alternative is to have a fascist rebellion that loses but leaves the country more fascist in response. Because we can't tell who is and is not a rebel, we confiscate all guns. Because the rebels were so bad, we outlaw the speeches that they gave. Because the rebels were most effective when they assembled into large groups, we outlaw large groups without licenses.

Once those kinds of controls exist, they are more likely to be used. Rebel speeches were bad, but so are those advocating lies. Or denigrating women. Or criticizing law enforcement. Or advocating against laws against speeches...

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  • $\begingroup$ Very well thought out and answered. $\endgroup$ – ShadoCat Oct 11 '17 at 18:29
  • $\begingroup$ Best answer so far. An objective look at the problem. $\endgroup$ – Mauser Oct 11 '17 at 18:59
  • $\begingroup$ This is the best answer I've gotten, thanks! You considered so much that I hadn't even thought about in the slightest, and I love your response! Thanks so much! $\endgroup$ – drbitey Oct 12 '17 at 23:16
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You don't have to do anything. It would evolve naturally to it. In a mostly libertarian state, whose only recognized right is the right of property and a smallest-as-possible government, wealth would be gathered into an ever smaller set of hands.

With no welfare state, no social security net and no wealth redistribution schemes, unequality would soar and you'd end with an extremely wealthy elite surrounded by abject pools of poverty. The rich, feeling threathened by the poor - they always feel threathened by the poor, no matter how peaceful they are - would call (read: pay) the government for an increase in police forces, and more prisons. The final outcome is a policial state working to protect the minority of the rich from the vast majority of the poors of the country. They wouldn't called itself "fascist", but if it walks as a duck, looks as a duck and quacks as a duck...

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    $\begingroup$ I concur. IMHO Libertarian and Fascist ideologies are not as far as they would seem at a passing glance; they both rely on denying any rights to your fellow citizen (note: granting "property rights" is meaningless unless you have means to prevent stealing). You can think of Fascism as a kind of "organized Libertarian" where several Libertarians ganged together to "better express their (collective) viewpoint". $\endgroup$ – ZioByte Oct 11 '17 at 13:33
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    $\begingroup$ @ZioByte, I disagree. Fascism (historical) is socialist. The full name of the NAZI party was The National Socialist Party and was popular because its promise was to redistribute the wealth. Fascism (modern) is a term given to anyone who isn't socialist. $\endgroup$ – ShadoCat Oct 11 '17 at 18:19
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    $\begingroup$ @ShadoCat: There's a difference between what people (or Parties) say and what they do. That said I know quite well You are right: the leader of the original Fascist Party (Italian "Dux" Benito Mussolini) was in the "Partito Socialista Italiano" before founding his own. Problem is extremes, very often, touch each other. Both "Far Left" and "Far Right" beheld the notion individual has no [way of enforcing his] Rights. Switching from one to the other is very easy, much easier than setting up a workable community where individual liberty is limited by everyone else's rights and only by that. $\endgroup$ – ZioByte Oct 11 '17 at 19:36
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    $\begingroup$ "The full name of the NAZI party was The National Socialist Party" - And of course, starfish are minitermonuclear reactors... and vertebrates to booth. $\endgroup$ – Luís Henrique Oct 12 '17 at 4:10
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I don’t think a Fascist takeover could ever be guaranteed, but it definitely could happen depending on the exact circumstances. Two things that would make it a lot easier:
1 A people who had recently been through very severe hardships and who were angry over the way they had been treated by the previous administration or other countries governments.
2 The capacity within the prospective takeover government to lie continuously deliberately and convincingly.

These two together make a toxic mix. Take as an example, Hitler’s views on religion. Hitler was a master manipulator and would tell audiences whatever they wanted to hear if it suited his purposes. Outspoken in public but almost secretive in private his exact religious beliefs are still not clearly understood.

Adolf Hitler in public
“I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.”
“I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so”

In November 1936 the Roman Catholic prelate met Hitler at Berghof for a three-hour meeting. He left the meeting and wrote "The Reich Chancellor undoubtedly lives in belief in God. He recognises Christianity as the builder of Western culture".

Adolf Hitler in private (as recorded by Albert Speer)
"You see, it's been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didn't we have the religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the fatherland as the highest good? The Mohammedan religion too would have been much more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness?"

If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed. (Adolf Hitler)

Words that we should remember today.

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In a country with 65% of the people holding truly libertarian views(i.e, The only right that exists is that of property), most likely there wouldn't even be a government to begin with. However, assuming there was, yes, fascists would eventually take over, but not through a violent rebellion. The greatest example I can think of is the US. When it began, it was literally the closest thing to an actual libertarian society that's ever happened on modern times. Now the US Government doesn't even care that there's a constitution or a bill of rights and pretty much has given itself absolute power over it's citizens, and is already trying to get their hands in the tiny pieces of liberty that still exist.

As to why a violent revolution wouldn't work, it's pretty simple: Without all the government regulation, most people would probably be decently armed and a minority would need to either have powerful financial backing(which is unlikely given that most people are libertarian, in your setting, and in a libertarian society, someone who's openly fascist would run out of business pretty quickly) or they'd have to seize control of a pre-existing strong armed force(which again is unlikely because a libertarian society wouldn't be fertile ground for a such an army).

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This may sound ridiculous, but look into the nazi occults. The Nazis (upper echelon at least) believed some crazy stuff. They believed that they got transmissions from the PLANET ANDEBERON. Yeah. Next get someone like Hitler, charismatic enough to make people whatever facist beliefs your movement is based on.

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  • $\begingroup$ Next, the Scientologists attempt to take over the world! $\endgroup$ – ShadoCat Oct 11 '17 at 18:22
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Looking at the actual history of Fascism, it was a left wing philosophy which sought to maximize the power of the State by engaging everyone in the direction selected by the State. As Mussolini succinctly put it:

"All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state." ("Tutto nello Stato, niente fuori dello stato, niente contro lo state".)

The conditions which supported the rise of Fascism were the sense that there was no direction in the late 1800's, the mobilization of the European powers during WWI, and the economic and political chaos generated by the end of the war.

Philosophers and intellectuals were talking about the perceived "lack of direction" in Western Civilization as the 19th century was drawing to a close. There was no sense of "the next big thing" like exploration and settlement of the New World, and many people who dreamed of big accomplishments felt frustrated. This was the atmosphere which generated some of the theoretical foundations of Fascism.

WWI saw the mobilization of all the resources of the State in order to prosecute the war. It went far beyond conscripting soldiers, even farm animals were "drafted" (for example horses being requisitioned to draw supply wagons for the army), Germany's railway system was organized around the ability to move troops from one end of Germany to the other, and of course rationing of food and clothing for the civilian population, putting women to work in factories to make munitions and using the press, movies and other mass media to propagandize the war were all seen as essential means to win the war. Fascist theorists looked at this total mobilization as a means of accomplishing larger aims.

The economic and political chaos caused by the end of the war provided a platform for the Fascists to apply their theory. Mussolini effectively propagandized that mobilizing Italians under a Fascist Corporate State would allow them to direct resources to rebuilding the Italian economy and surpassing the unrest of the various groups that made up Italian society (in this case not only the Marxist conception of people as workers and capitalists, but also divisions rooted in geography). Unlike the Marxists, Fascists envisioned all these groups coming together and applying themselves towards a common goal (workers and capitalists were partners in this conception, rather than workers smashing the capitalists and seizing the factories).

Of course this leaves out the question of who, exactly, is determining what the common goal is supposed to be.....

In a libertarian, free market society, you may find groups of people who are dissatisfied with their way of life and seeking "larger" goals. Since they will have a difficult time "selling" these ideas, there will be a certain element of frustration in their lives, which could lead to them becoming enamoured of the sorts of ideas which led to Fascism starting in the late 1800's.

How to achieve a revolt will require some sort of internal or external crisis. The Spanish Civil War essentially revolved around the inability of any party or group to effectively govern Spain (since they were essentially deadlocked), Franco always insisted the Fascists were marching on Madrid to prevent the Communists and Republicans from staging a coup, and used Fascist principles to reorganize Spanish society after the collapse of the government and economy. External economic crisis like the Great Depression or the 2008 market meltdown could also trigger a revolt, as the libertarians would simply wait for markets to clear in order for the effects of the depression to ease (they may have a point, the "New Deal" meddling in the American economy is thought to have extended the Great Depression by up to seven years, see The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression by Amity Shlaes).

The one thing which is probably missing, and explains why Fascism has not achieved any political resurgence in the post WWII period is the idea of massively mobilizing the State to achieve war aims. This has to do with the much larger sizes of the populations these days (in WWI, you either were mobilized or directly knew someone who was, while in the larger populations of WWII or today, you are far less likely to be so directly affected), and the greater success of competing left wing philosophies like National Socialism and Marxism to actually achieve total mobilization and control of the population (careful study will show you all these philosophies have common roots in the 19th century, and most Italian Fascists were either Marxists before joining the Fascist party, or were heavily influenced by Marxism).

So setting up a revolt in a Libertarian society will require a combination of circumstances and events to create.

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