Weekend Link-Out: Fascist Art

"Am Letzten Linie" by Franz Eichhorst  (b. September 7, 1885 in Berlin, died April 30, 1948, Innsbruck) was a German painter, engraver and illustrator, one of a number of German artists known for his war paintings supporting the NSDP.

“Am Letzten Linie” by Franz Eichhorst
(b. September 7, 1885 in Berlin, died April 30, 1948, Innsbruck) was a German painter, engraver and illustrator, one of a number of German artists known for his war paintings supporting the NSDP.

Matt Heimbach’s piece on Starship Troopers got me thinking about fascism in art in general, not just science fiction.

As Matt notes, the term “fascist” is thrown around a lot, and even people who identify as fascist often seem to have different ideas of what it is. Ergo, you will have to forgive a little if my list includes things you don’t consider fascist, because rest assured, someone does. Regardless, below are some talking points:

– Straw Dogs, the 1971 version directed by Sam Peckinpah, not the 2009 remake. Famous film critic Pauline Kael called it, “the first American film that is a fascist work of art.” Additionally, Sam Francis seemed to have had a bit of a soft spot for Peckinpah films. (The preview on YouTube can be found here, and trust me, you can find the whole thing online.)


– Charles Krafft. Describing his art is quite difficult, but his website can be found here and speaks for itself. What he believes and whether or not he is a fascist is also a difficult topic, for polar opposite perspectives on him, check out this smear piece from one of America’s most left-wing newspapers, and this interview with Mr. Krafft conducted by our friends at Counter-Currents.

– Futurism. For all the talk of right-wingers never producing art, it should be noted that an entire genre of painting was invented and populated almost exclusively by self-identifying old-school fascists. (For the record, there was also Futurist music, literature, etc, but the movement was mainly in painting.)

– Vorticism. As Futurism spread from Italy into other parts of Europe, it naturally evolved and from it came the almost entirely British wave of “Vorticism.” Ezra Pound (who we can agree was a Fascist, right?) liked this movement a great deal, writing an essay praising it. (Like with Futurism, Vorticism was predominantly in painting, but not exclusively.)

– Pulp fascism. This is not a specific or easy-to-single out genre, but we are getting there. The late Jonathan Bowden in particular was interested in it, and I believe the next issue of Radix, should it ever be released, will be dedicated to the topic. Here is a transcribed speech by Mr. Bowden on the topic, and should you want to really dive in, there is a book as well.

As Neo-Con William Bennett would say, have fun flirting with fascism.

  • Dustin

    I find both this article and the Starship Trooper article quite disturbing. Fascism is not only a failure, but even if it had succeeded it would hardly be desirable.

    The truth is that fascism is little more than a failed competitor to socialism and communism that appeared only for a brief moment during the 1920s-40s and was aiming to attract the same demographic that was attracted to socialism and communism. This is made evident by things like the fascist use of the word “comrade”, the giant red background of Hitler’s swastika flag, and the red and black Falange flag which mirrors anarcho-communist flags. After the 1940s, fascism effectively disappeared from history and its adherents flocked to the ranks of its competitors, the socialists and communists.

    Fascism is nothing more than a distraction, a red herring. Its time to leave it buried in the sands of the past where it belongs.

    • KO

      Second. Like Communism, Nazism, and socialism, historical fascism was an attempt to solve the apparently intractable problems posed by the failure of liberal democratic capitalist society. Like them, it solved the problem by eliminating individual freedom from the equation of ordered liberty, balancing individual freedom with social obligation, that is the Western traditionalist ideal.

      The benefit of discussing fascism, as with monarchism and political history as a whole, is to train the mind to understand the variety and impermanence of social-political dispensations and look for pointers in how to understand and address current challenges. I think we are experiencing enough concentration of governmental and economic power now to tell us that the direction of concentration taken by Communist, socialist, fascist, and Nazi saviors is not an attractive solution.

      In current parlance, “fascist” can be applied to any departure from liberal orthodoxy regarding man, politics, and culture. A film can be labeled fascist simply for depicting the reality of evil and the necessity of force to combat it, contrary to the Rousseauvian view that man is born good and evil comes from the outside, society. Virtually all traditional American common sense is “fascist” in declining the liberal con, that creates innumerable problems that can only be solved, not solved but managed, by the liberal dictatorship we currently have.

      I hope traditionalist youth will look primarily to our native common sense and American and Western cultural and religious traditions for guidance rather than alien doctrines and masters. Also, in asking yourself what a traditionalist American Christian society would look like, you should not confuse our current system with democracy.

  • ArtsandKraffts

    This goes back to the issue I have with Traditionalists embracing Christianity. Thanks for the polite response to that issue, by the way, though I disagree that we can know anything about an original “authentic” Christianity – and anyway Jesus wasn’t white. If we want to find an authentic white politics – more on who really should qualify as “white” later – we have reach back much further in time than the twentieth century. Fascism, as practiced by Germany and Italy, was an innovation. It was not vetted by centuries of practice arising in a Traditional culture. Fascism is a product of a time of global turmoil, and we must envision for our homeland a more a stable system of peace.

By: Gilbert Cavanaugh

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