Very true, Alan, except that Fascism rises with the late 19th Century legal rulings which established the rights of the modern corporation as an individual "citizen." Mussolini was clever enough to see, in the collapse of European monarchies, how those rights could be combined with the State to form Corporatism, which under another name became Fachismo -- Fascism.
Another interesting point, Glenn. A modern corporation certainly does have a very authoritarian, top-down structure, like the military.
Here's a fascinating article excerpt by Welles from New World Magazine, circa 1944, that I thought you might enjoy, if you haven't seen it already. It was transcribed from tape recorder notes, so it may not be 100% accurate, but I'm sure it's pretty close:
Article draft, 'The Unknown Soldier' by Orson Welles.
'Before the year now generally called "Munich", perhaps a season or so earlier, there was a treasure hunt in Paris. Please visualize the celebrants not as Parisians, but as notables - as they mostly were - of the very popular and publicly gay wing of international society. You may know that a treasure hunt proposes a number of unlikely quests, and when the list is imaginative it can be fun. Here was a treasure hunt for the history of the game. There was no limit to the mad invention of it. One item was something unmentionably intimate - that's all I know about it - a posession of the mistress of a cabinet minister. Another prize was a legal certificate of marriage between a couple who hadn't considered any such solemnity. There were a dozen more of these "treasures", all as extraordinary. And for a climax, nothing less then a cigar, still smoking, lit at the flame that burns forever by the tomb of The Unknown Soldier.
Now decency expects of a tomb that it guard for the lifetime of it's stone, what was once the habitation of the spirit of a man. The conscience of the world defends the memorial of those who in the last war died for peace. You agree that we catch a glimpse here of something worse then mere bad taste picnicking on an old grave; something more wicked and perverse then any casual defilement of God's image. Only another bad peace could make anyone laugh at a dead soldier again. Of course, whoever lit his cigar in the flame may have thought the unknown soldier wasn't anybody he knew. It's true, there isn't anybody in particular to mourn for the man who is buried there, so everybody mourns for him. The mocker can't have known that he profaned his brother's grave, but how can he forget that the sense of man's brotherhood is all that can sustain the human spirit for the loss of God, and this man had no God. By what DID he live? By the loss of faith and the condition of despair. The alternative to despair is the worship of Ceasar. What's sure is that the mocking of sacrifice cannot survive elsewhere but in that evil climate of the soul where Fascism prepares it's subjects. Very probably, the man with the cigar was one of those prefabricated pagans who rode the joyless carousal of the 20's and 30's. One of those, you know, who doubted if anything is ever really very bad or very good. If he's alive he may have changed his mind. It's possible he's found something bad enough to fight. He may even think there's something good enough to defend. I think we know those things, but never say them enough.
Good and bad have been at war, God knows, since the first morning of the world. Men do the fighting- if they didn't, this planet would be nothing better then a zoo. Faith is the tinder of man's greatness. So long as he shields it from despair, he's going to keep this gift of fire. There is one choice, no more. One choice, and no exemptions. Those who believe this present war can be the last are winning it. Those who now are losing suppose that war breeds without cure in the nature of all peoples. They are the same who fatten on this war. They are the same who plan the next one. The slaves doubt their kind's capacity to learn and change. The slavers curb with doubt the people's righteous will to abide by it's own laws. They are all the same- we have this to be glad of. These who are of little faith; the blasphemers, experts at chaos, who are sick in spirit; those who can't, who won't affirm the plain, magnificent decency of human folk. All such, on this our brightening world, those now under the banners of despair; defeat is their profession and their destination.
Victory rises today before the men of faith. This CAN be the last war. If it is, we'll know the world's first peace. No more of the old stalemates and manipulations. The people want a government of ALL their nations; the chance to know each other better. To visit neighbors and to make friends. They want open borders. They want EVERYTHING printed in the newspapers, so they know whether they like what's going on. They're tired of secrets and spies. They're tired of striped pants. They want their own diplomats. And all these things the people are going to have unless they're cheated out of them. If free men, fighting now, aren't going to be allowed to destroy Fascism, if afterwards anything that looks like Fascism is suffered to sit down among us, the cynics will be right again.
An ordered world where everone's free to prosper and improve is still a far-off dream. The Fuhrer gave his sway a thousand years. It's doom seems sure already. He has lost, but those who fight him know they may not win. That thousand years of his was a good guess. At least a thousand years ways on the chance of another war. Another war means worse then the levelling of all the cities, we know that. It means retreat; a setback longer then the quarter of a century wasted since the Unknown Soldier died for us. A thousand years is a long march. We are the ancestors of unknown soldiers, who must go that bloody length again, unless we who are weary of marching, go on marching. Forward is the way. Forward, beyond peace- on into the free world, which depends on it. A free world means just that. We must accept no substitutes. A free world depends on that refusal. Liberals have a lot to say nowadays, about the dangers of reaction. Reaction is no danger, it is a certainty. Maybe it won't amount to much, maybe it's going to be a title wave. Anyway, the answer isn't written in the stars, it's up to the democratic man.
Within the seperate democracies, the serious failure of progressive influence could ruin international good health. If we allow provincialism to prejudice the efficiency of world organization, or if any of the leaders of the United Nations are permitted by the peoples they represent to use their armies for counter-revolution, then even this war has just started. The ignorance of the masses is insufficient, wicked apology for any democratic loss. Germany before Hitler was possessed of quite considerable political sophistication. Blame for the failure of the popular front is now what the French-working-man progressive leadership must accept; guilt now in just proportion to the gains of reaction. The platitude of the day is even truer then most platitudes. Noone doubts that we may win the war and lose the peace. I might like to add that we may lose the peace before it's lost. Dunkirk, Chungking and Stalingrad are what is hopeful- the democratic man has kept his faith. He must stand fast now; this time he dare not lose or nothing will be left- nothing even to start with. He must stand fast or they'll have to build a new monument- not to the unknown soldier, but this time to the unknown cause. Maybe they'll keep an enigmatic little flame alive to show where freedom died. But noone will light a cigar on that sepulchre- it wouldn't even be funny.
The alternative is civilization; a bookish, uneasy word, but perhaps we can invent other names for it when we struggle closer to what it describes.'