SOME years ago a certain professor popularised a theory that a sick man can cure himself by repeating incessantly to himself that he is not ill. This art of carrying conviction by an incessant and parrot-like repetition, even in contradiction to the testimony of reason and experience, an art, the practise of which is one of the conditions of successful advertising, is well understood and practiced by our politicians of to-day. And thus in attacking Fascism its enemies have devised certain slogans, of which the most frequent and the most effective is the pronouncement, “Fascism is Dictatorship.”
To-day there is a numerous and rapidly increasing body of genuine enquirers who ask, “What is Fascism? It appears to be increasing everywhere. There must after all be something in it. We Would like to know more about it.” And the enemies of Fascism promptly give answer, “Fascism is Dictatorship. Dictatorship may be very well in foreign countries, the spirit of whose people has been broken by long periods of submission to the tyrannical rule of an absolute master. But the British have always resisted such tyranny, and resisted it successfully. They have always, been ready to fight if necessary in the defence of their liberties. If there are to be found here and there a few weak poor-spirited individuals; who are prepared to submit to the tyranny of a dictator, you at least have not so far lost that sturdy independence which has always characterised the people of this country as to entertain even the idea of a dictatorship, You would never submit to such a surrender.” And the enquirer replies, “No, certainly not.” And that is the end of the matter.
And the reply; “Fascism is Dictatorship,” has become a parrot-cry repeated mechanically by thousands who have no knowledge of Fascism and little interest in the subject but who are reluctant to admit their ignorance of a subject which is continually coming more arid more under the public eye.
The picture presented to the public is deliberately and dishonesty misleading and false.
On the One hand we are shown a picture of ‘Western Democracy, with a free and independent people, prosperous and happy, actively and zealously interested in the government of the Country, in which every man has an equal voice; a government carried on by men who are at once the efficient agents and obedient servants of the great majority of their people, and whose beneficent activities are the reflection of the sum of the national will.
On the other hand, we are shown a Fascist State, with cringing Millions cowering beneath the lash of a brutal despot, a megalomaniac who has snatched the supreme power in order that he may strut in the limelight with inflated chest, whilst his slaves stand in countless rows with uplifted hands and vociferate “Hail” and all the implications of this menacing picture are summed up in the single word dictatorship, which is made to imply the most extreme form of moral, social, economic, and poetical damnation.