Libertarianism & Fascism

by Caleb Roberts

Libertarian ideology masks the concentration of the monopoly of legitimate violence in the centralised state, which, formerly, was effectively delegated and dispersed across the quasi-independent institutions of the middle.  And it masks the unleashing of the non-legitimate violence of individualised civil society, which is provoked by the systematic inequality arising from that concentration.  Fascist movements seek the monopoly of non-legitimate violence: that is why they require the rule of law which they also undermine.  They seek to overturn the age-old impulse and wisdom of politics: that to guarantee my self-preservation and the protection of my initially usurped property, I must grant the same guarantees to the persons and property of others.  Fascist movements want universal law to apply so that they may have no rivals in their use of non-legitimate violence.  They represent the triumph of civil society, the realm of individual need, the war of particular interests.  They exploit the already partisan mediation of the instrumentalised universal — the epitome of what Hegel called ‘the spiritual-animal kingdom’.  This is how it is possible to anticipate that states which combine social libertarianism with political authoritarianism, whether they have traditional class parties or not, could become susceptible to fascist movements. (60)

Gillian Rose | Mourning Becomes the Law: Philosophy and Representation

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