A father of fascism, Mussolini was more than a racist.

To understand this better, we need only look closer at the Nazi menace. Racial hatred was not a primary upon which Nazism was built, but a byproduct of the underlying ideology of fascism. We often think of concentration camps and Holocaust victims when the term “fascist” is evoked. However, fascism does not require concentration camps to exist. Fascism, as described by one of its fathers, Benito Mussolini, subordinates the individual to the state:

The foundation of Fascism is the conception of the State, its character, its duty, and its aim. Fascism conceives of the State as an absolute, in comparison with which all individuals or groups are relative, only to be conceived of in their relation to the State.

That fundamental valuation of state over individual informs the taking of lives, the deprivation of liberty, and the seizing of property. Racial hatred serves only as an effective means to foment the troops, not the means through which they are deployed in the first place. Without a state to institutionalize racial hatred, the atrocities of the Holocaust would not likely have occurred. That is why, despite the fact that Nazis still linger among us even here in the United States, we need not fear them above any common thug because our state retains some valuation of the individual.

To the extent any state subordinates individual lives, it takes on a more fascist character. Therein lies the danger of Clinton’s misdiagnosis. The real Nazi sickness is statism. Clinton would be right to point out that it remains alive across the world today, if statism was what he was referring to. Unfortunately, he was most likely referring only to racial hatred. That missed mark enables statist solutions to racial attitudes – quotas, speech codes, hate crimes, etc. Thus the cure becomes worse than the disease.