Capra is No Fascist

Essay by Holly_goody2shoesCollege, UndergraduateA+, May 2004

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Webster's Dictionary defines fascism as a one-party system of government marked by a centralized dictatorship, stringent socioeconomic controls, and often belligerent nationalism. In other words, an extreme form of ideology that celebrates a certain nation or nationality being greater than all others. It calls for a revolution against moral decay and wants to rid itself of any groups that threaten its uniform community. Fascism applaudes masculinity, youth, unity, the power of violence, racial superiority, ethnic pursecution, and imperialist expansion. It also supports male supremacy, but sometimes promotes female solidarity and new opportunities for the women of that community.

Fascism's approach to politics is populist and elitist. Populist in that it tries to make the people gather as a whole against the oppressors and elitist in that it the people's will is embodied in a select group or in one leader in authority. It seeks to organize mass movement to seize power and mass organizations as a system of control.

Sometimes it even goes so far as to use violene to suppress opposition. Fascism incorporates ideas and beliefs of Marxism, liberalism, and conservatism, although as a whole they are looked down upon. It defends capitalism but also pursues an agenda that clashes with the capitalist interest.

In Mr. Smith, Capra puts a young, naive politician in a place of leadership. There are so many good things that Mr. Smith wants to do for his country, and he is very patriotic. With the help of his smart and witful secretary, he begins to pull together things that he wants to bring before the senate. When the idea of a boys camp enters his mind, he unknowingly steps on a few toes. As the corrupted politicians strain to pull him into the mix of things, he notices exactly what is going on. They...