In April, Boris Natanovich Strugatsky, a Soviet and Russian writer, screenwriter who created dozens of works in collaboration with his brother Arkady Strugatsky, became classics of modern science and social science fiction, would have turned 83 years old.
We have long thought about what to choose as an illustration and memories of the life of a genius. In the end, the choice fell on a small 1995 note. 21 years have passed, and its lines are becoming increasingly relevant. The lot of genius is immortal glory.
“Plague in our house. We can not treat it. Moreover, we are completely unable to even make the right diagnosis. And the one who has already become infected often does not notice that he is sick and infectious. ”
It seems to him that he knows everything about fascism. After all, everyone knows that fascism is: black SS uniforms; barking speech; upturned hands in roman greetings; swastika; black and red banners; marching columns; human skeletons behind barbed wire; greasy smoke from crematorium pipes; Fuhrer possessed with a bang; thick goering; Himmler, glittering with glass pince-nez, and another half a dozen more or less reliable figures from “Seventeen Moments of Spring”, from “The Intelligence's feat”, from “Fall of Berlin” ...
Oh, we know perfectly well what fascism is - German fascism, it is also Hitlerism. It does not even occur to us that there is another Fascism, just as filthy, just as scary, but its own, homegrown. And, probably, that’s why we don’t see him point-blank, when he’s growing in our country’s eyes, like a silent malignant tumor.
We, however, distinguish the swastika, camouflaged under the runic signs. We hear hoarse cries calling for reprisals against foreigners. Sometimes we notice foul slogans and pictures on the walls of our houses. But we can’t admit to ourselves that this is also fascism. It all seems to us that fascism is: black SS uniforms, barking foreign speech, greasy smoke from the crematorium pipes, war ...
Now the Academy of Sciences, fulfilling the presidential decree, frantically formulates the scientific definition of fascism. Presumably, this will be an exact, comprehensive definition for all occasions. And, of course, devilishly complex.
Meanwhile, fascism is simple. Moreover, fascism is very easy! Fascism is the dictatorship of the nationalists. Accordingly, a fascist is a person who professes (and preaches) the superiority of one nation over others and at the same time is an active advocate of the “iron hand”, “discipline-order”, “tight gauntlets” and other charms of totalitarianism.
And that's all. There is nothing else at the heart of fascism. Dictatorship plus nationalism. Totalitarian rule of one nation. And everything else - the secret police, camps, campfires from books, war - grows out of this poisonous grain, like death from a cancer cell.
An iron dictatorship is possible with all its grave pleasures - say, Stressner's dictatorship in Paraguay or Stalin's dictatorship in the USSR - but since the total idea of this dictatorship is not a national (racial) idea - this is not fascism. Perhaps a state based on a national idea, say, Israel, but if there is no dictatorship (“iron hand”, suppression of democratic freedoms, the absolute power of the secret police), this is no longer fascism.
Expressions like "demofashist" or "fascist democrat" are completely senseless and illiterate. This is the same absurdity as "iced boiling water" or "fragrant stench." A democrat, yes, may be to some extent a nationalist, but he, by definition, is the enemy of every dictatorship of every kind, and therefore he simply does not know how to be a fascist. Just as no fascist can be a democrat, a supporter of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of meetings and demonstrations, he is always for the same freedom - the freedom of the Iron Hand.
I can easily imagine a person who, having familiarized himself with all these definitions of mine, will say (with doubt): “So you get that about five or six hundred years ago everything in the world was fascists — princes, kings, seniors, and vassals ... "
In a sense, such a remark beats the target, because it is true “exactly the opposite”: fascism is lagging feudalism, which has survived the age of steam, the age of electricity, and the age of the atom, and is ready to survive the age of space flight and artificial intelligence. Feudal relations seemed to disappear, but the feudal mentality was tenacious and powerful, it turned out to be stronger than steam and electricity, stronger than general literacy and general computerization.
Its vitality, of course, is due to the fact that feudalism is rooted in pre-feudal, still cave-like times, in the mentality of a fleaish herd of tailless monkeys: all aliens living in the nearby forest are disgusting and dangerous, and our leader is superbly cruel, wise and defeats enemies. This primitive mentality, apparently, will not soon leave the human race. And therefore, fascism is feudalism today. And tomorrow.
Only, for God's sake, do not confuse nationalism with patriotism! Patriotism is love for one’s people, and nationalism is hostility towards someone else’s. The patriot knows perfectly well that there are no bad and good nations - there are only bad and good people. The nationalist always thinks in terms of “his / hers-strangers”, “ours-our-nenashes”, “thieves-fraers”; he easily writes whole nations into rascals, or fools, or gangsters. This is the most important feature of the fascist ideology - the division of people into "ours and ours." Stalinist totalitarianism is based on a similar ideology, that is why they are so similar, these regimes are killer regimes, regimes are destroyers of culture, militarist regimes. Only the fascists divide people into races, and the Stalinists into classes.
A very important sign of fascism is a lie. Of course, not everyone who lies is a fascist, but every fascist is necessarily a liar. He just has to lie. Because dictatorship is sometimes still somehow possible, somehow, but still reasonable, to justify, but nationalism can be justified only through the medium of lies — some kind of fake “Protocols” or rhetoric, which de “Jews have spoiled the Russian people” , "All Caucasians are inborn bandits" and the like. Therefore, the Nazis-lie. And always lied. And no one, more precisely, Ernest Hemingway, said about them: "Fascism is a lie uttered by bandits."
So if you suddenly "realized" that only your people are worthy of all the benefits, and all the other peoples around are second class, congratulations: you have made your first step in fascism. Then it dawns on you that your people will achieve lofty goals only when the iron order is established and shut up all these screamers and scribblers who are talking about freedoms; when they put up against the wall (without trial) everyone who walks across, and foreigners will mercilessly take to the nail ...
And as soon as you accepted all this, the process was completed: you are already a fascist. You do not have a black uniform with a swastika. You do not have the habit of yelling "Heil!". All your life you have been proud of the victory of our country over fascism and, perhaps, yourself, personally, brought this victory closer. But you allowed yourself to join the ranks of the fighters for the dictatorship of the nationalists - and you are already a fascist. How simple! How scary is simple.
And do not say now that you are not an evil person at all, that you are against the sufferings of innocent people (only enemies of order should be put to the wall, and only enemies of order should be behind barbed wire), that you have children-grandchildren, you are against war ... All this no longer matters, since you have taken the Buffalo Communion.
The road of history has long been rolled forward, the logic of history is merciless, and as soon as your Führers come to power, a streamlined conveyor will work: eliminating dissidents - suppressing inevitable protest - concentration camps, gallows - decadence of the peaceful economy - militarization - war ... And if you want to remember At some point, stop this terrible conveyor, you will be mercilessly destroyed, as if the most recent democrat-internationalist. You will have banners not red-brown, but - for example - black and orange. At your meetings, you will not shout “Heil”, but, say, “glory!”. You will not have stormtroopers, but there will be some esau-brigadiers, but the essence of fascism - the dictatorship of the Nazis - will remain, which means there will be a lie, blood, war - now, perhaps, nuclear.
We live in a dangerous time. Plague in our house. In the first place, it amazes the insulted and humiliated, and there are so many of them now. Is it possible to reverse the story? Probably, it is possible - if millions want it. So let's not want this. After all, much depends on ourselves. Not all, of course, but much. "
Boris Strugatsky, 1995.