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Fascism

Fascism (pronounced /ˈfæÊÉzÉm/) is a radical and authoritarian nationalist political ideology.[1][2][3][4] Fascists seek to organize a nation according to corporatist perspectives, values, and systems, including the political system and the economy.[5][6] Fascism was originally founded by Italian national syndicalists in World War I who combined extreme right-wing political views along with collectivism.[7][8][9] Scholars generally consider fascism to be on the far right.[10][11][12][13][14][15]

Fascists believe that a nation is an organic community that requires strong leadership, singular collective identity, and the will and ability to commit violence and wage war in order to keep the nation strong.[16] They claim that culture is created by the collective national society and its state, that cultural ideas are what give individuals identity, and thus they reject individualism.[16] Viewing the nation as an integrated collective community, they see pluralism as a dysfunctional aspect of society, and justify a totalitarian state as a means to represent the nation in its entirety.[17][18]

They advocate the creation of a single-party state.[19] Fascists reject and resist the autonomy of cultural or ethnic groups who are not considered part of the fascists' nation and who refuse to assimilate or are unable to be assimilated.[20] They consider attempts to create such autonomy as an affront and a threat to the nation.[20] Fascist governments forbid and suppress opposition to the fascist state and the fascist movement.[21] They identify violence and war as actions that create national regeneration, spirit and vitality.[22]

Fascism rejects the concepts of egalitarianism, materialism, and rationalism in favor of action, discipline, hierarchy, spirit, and will.[23] They oppose liberalism (as a bourgeois movement) and Marxism (as a proletarian movement) for being exclusive economic class-based movements.[24] Fascists present their ideology as that of an economically trans-class movement that promotes ending economic class conflict to secure national solidarity.[25] They believe that economic classes are not capable of properly governing a nation, and that a merit-based elite of experienced military persons must rule through regimenting a nation's forces of production and securing the nation's independence.[26] Fascism perceives conservatism as partly valuable for its support of order in society but disagrees with its typical opposition to change and modernization.[27] Fascism presents itself as a solution to the perceived benefits and disadvantages of conservatism by advocating state-controlled modernization that promotes orderly change while resisting the dangers to order in society of pluralism and independent initiative.[27]

Fascists tend to support a "third position" in economic policy, which they believe superior to both the rampant individualism of laissez-faire capitalism and the severe control of state socialism.[28][29] Italian Fascism and most other fascist movements promote a corporatist economy whereby, in theory, representatives of capital and labour interest groups work together within sectoral corporations to create both harmonious labour relations and maximization of production that would serve the national interest.[30] However, other fascist movements and ideologies, such as Nazism, did not utilize this form of economy.[30]

Contents

[edit] Etymology

The term fascismo is derived from the Italian word fascio, which means "bundle" or group, and from the Latin word fasces. The fasces, which consisted of a bundle of rods that were tied around an axe, was an ancient Roman symbol of the authority of the civic magistrate. They were carried by his lictors and could be used for corporal and capital punishment at his command.[31][32] The word fascismo also relates to political organizations in Italy known as fasci, groups similar to guilds or syndicates.

The symbolism of the fasces suggested strength through unity: a single rod is easily broken, while the bundle is difficult to break.[33] Similar symbols were developed by different fascist movements. For example the Falange symbol is a bunch of arrows joined together by a yoke.[34]

[edit] Definitions

Historians, political scientists and other scholars have long debated the exact nature of fascism.[35] Each form of fascism is distinct, leaving many definitions too wide or narrow.[36][37] Since the 1990s, scholars Stanley Payne, Roger Eatwell, Roger Griffin and Robert O. Paxton have been gathering a rough consensus on the ideology's core tenets.

Griffin wrote:

[Fascism is] a genuinely revolutionary, trans-class form of anti-liberal, and in the last analysis, anti-conservative nationalism. As such it is an ideology deeply bound up with modernization and modernity, one which has assumed a considerable variety of external forms to adapt itself to the particular historical and national context in which it appears, and has drawn a wide range of cultural and intellectual currents, both left and right, anti-modern and pro-modern, to articulate itself as a body of ideas, slogans, and doctrine. In the inter-war period it manifested itself primarily in the form of an elite-led "armed party" which attempted, mostly unsuccessfully, to generate a populist mass movement through a liturgical style of politics and a programme of radical policies which promised to overcome a threat posed by international socialism, to end the degeneration affecting the nation under liberalism, and to bring about a radical renewal of its social, political and cultural life as part of what was widely imagined to be the new era being inaugurated in Western civilization. The core mobilizing myth of fascism which conditions its ideology, propaganda, style of politics and actions is the vision of the nation's imminent rebirth from decadence.[38]

Paxton wrote that fascism is:

a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy, but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.[39]

One common definition of fascism focuses on three groups of ideas:

a) Fascist Negations

  1. Anti-liberalism
  2. Anti-communism
  3. Anti-conservatism
b) Ideology and goals
  1. Creating a new nationalist, authoritarian state not based on tradition
  2. A new kind of regulated, multi-class national economic structure which can transform social relations, whether syndicalist, corporatist or national socialist
  3. The goal of empire
  4. An idealist, voluntarist creed, typically to realize a new modern, self-determined secular culture
c) Style and organization
  1. Aesthetic structure of meetings, symbols stressing romantic and mystical aspects
  2. Mass mobilization with militarization of political relationships and style and the goal of a mass party militia
  3. Positive view and use of violence
  4. Extreme stress on the masculine principle
  5. Exaltation of youth
  6. Authoritarian, charismatic personal style of command[40][41][42]

[edit] Position in the political spectrum

Fascism is normally described as "extreme right",[43] although some writers have found placing fascism on a conventional left-right political spectrum difficult.[44] There is a scholarly consensus that fascism was influenced by both the left and the right.[11] A number of historians have regarded fascism either as a revolutionary centrist doctrine, as a doctrine which mixes philosophies of the left and the right, or as both of those things.[12][13][14]

There were a variety of factions within Italian Fascism on both the left and the right. The accommodation of the political right into Fascism in the early 1920s led to the creation of a number of internal factions in the Italian Fascist movement. The "Fascist left" included Angelo Oliviero Olivetti, Sergio Panunzio, and Edmondo Rossoni, who were committed to advancing national syndicalism as a replacement for parliamentary liberalism in order to modernize the economy and advance the interests of workers and the common people.[45] The "Fascist right" included members of the Fascist paramilitary "Squadristi" and former members of the right-wing Italian Nationalist Association (ANI).[45] The Squadristi were intransigent Fascists who wanted the establishment of Fascism as a complete dictatorship, while the former ANI members, including Alfredo Rocco, desired the entrenchment of an authoritarian corporatist state to replace the liberal state in Italy, while retaining existing elites.[45] There were also smaller factions within the Italian Fascist movement, such as the "clerical Fascists" who sought to shift Italian Fascism from its anti-Catholic roots to accepting Catholicism; on the far right there were "monarchist Fascists" who sought to use Fascism to create an absolute monarchy under King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy.[45]

The historians Eugen Weber,[46] David Renton,[47] and Robert Soucy[48] view fascism as on the ideological right. Rod Stackelberg argues that fascism opposes egalitarianism, particularly racial egalitarianism, and democracy, which he considers characteristics that make it an extreme right-wing movement.[49] Stanley Payne states that pre-war fascism found a coherent identity through alliances with right-wing movements[50] Roger Griffin argues that since the end of World War II, fascist movements have become intertwined with the radical right, describing certain groups as part of a "fascist radical right".[51][52]

Walter Laqueur says that historical fascism "did not belong to the extreme Left, yet defining it as part of the extreme Right is not very illuminating either", but that it "was always a coalition between radical, populist ('fascist') elements and others gravitating toward the extreme Right".[53] Payne says "fascists were unique in their hostility to all the main established currents, left right and center", noting that they allied with both left and right, but more often with the right.[54][55] However, he contends that German Nazism was closer to Russian communism than to any other non-communist system.[56]

The position that fascism is neither right nor left is supported by a number of contemporary historians and sociologists, including Seymour Martin Lipset[57] and Roger Griffin.[58] Griffin argued, "Not only does the location of fascism within the right pose taxonomic problems, there are good grounds for cutting this particular Gordian knot altogether by placing it in a category of its own 'beyond left and right.'"[59]

On economic issues, fascists reject ideas of class conflict and internationalism, which are commonly held by Marxists and international socialists, in favour of class collaboration and statist nationalism.[60][61] However, Italian fascism also declared its objection to excessive capitalism, which it called supercapitalism.[62] Zeev Sternhell sees fascism as an anti-Marxist form of socialism,[63] but he still places fascism on the political Right.[64]

A number of fascist movements described themselves as a "third force" outside of the traditional political spectrum.[65] Mussolini promoted ambiguity about fascism's positions in order to rally as many people to it as possible, saying fascists can be "aristocrats or democrats, revolutionaries and reactionaries, proletarians and anti-proletarians, pacifists and anti-pacifists".[66] Mussolini claimed that Italian Fascism's economic system of corporatism could be identified as either state capitalism or state socialism, which in either case involved "the bureaucratisation of the economic activities of the nation."[67] Mussolini described fascism in any language he found useful.[66][68] Spanish Falangist leader José Antonio Primo de Rivera was critical of both left-wing and right-wing politics, once saying that "basically the Right stands for the maintenance of an economic structure, albeit an unjust one, while the Left stands for the attempt to subvert that economic structure, even though the subversion thereof would entail the destruction of much that was worthwhile".[69]

Roger Eatwell sees terminology associated with the traditional "left-right" political spectrum as failing to fully capture the complex nature of fascism's ideology,[70] and many other political scientists have posited multi-dimensional alternatives to the traditional linear left-right spectrum.[71] In some two dimensional political models, such as the Political Compass (where left and right are described in purely economic terms), fascism is ascribed to the economic centre, with its extremism expressed along the authoritarianism axis instead.[72]

[edit] Fascist as epithet

Initially fascism and the Italian Fascist regime in particular were popular in the world, until the events of World War II and the defeat of the Axis powers. A number of important public figures initially admired or respected fascism and fascist leaders. Winston Churchill supported the Italian Fascist regime as late as 1937, claiming that Mussolini had strong qualities that safeguarded Italy from the threat of communism, which he claimed was worth the sacrifice of liberties.[73] Pan-African nationalist Marcus Garvey once claimed that he was the first fascist and declared his admiration for the fact that Mussolini and Adolf Hitler came from lower-class origins.[74] United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt, prior to the U.S. denunciation of Italy's invasion of Ethiopia in the Second Italo-Ethiopian War, said that he was "keeping in touch with the admirable gentleman", referring to Mussolini.[75] Mohandas Gandhi traveled to Italy to meet Mussolini in December 1931 with the intention of attempting to spread the value of peace to Mussolini and Italy.[76][77]

Following the defeat of the Axis powers in World War II and the publicity surrounding the atrocities committed during the period of fascist governments, the term fascist has been used as a pejorative word,[78] often referring to widely varying movements across the political spectrum.[79] In political discourse, the term "fascist" is commonly used to denote authoritarian tendencies, but is often used as a pejorative epithet by adherents to both left-wing and right-wing politics to denigrate those with opposing viewpoints. George Orwell wrote in 1944 that "the word 'Fascism' is almost entirely meaningless ... almost any English person would accept 'bully' as a synonym for 'Fascist'".[80] Richard Griffiths argued in 2005 that "fascism" is the "most misused, and over-used word, of our times".[37] "Fascist" is sometimes applied to post-war organisations and ways of thinking that academics more commonly term "neo-fascist".[81]

[edit] Used within and against Communism

Poster of the Portuguese MRPP from the 1970s, commemorating a killed party member. Slogan reads 'Neither Fascism, nor Social fascism. Popular Government'

While the majority of scholars agree that Communist states are on the other end of the left-right spectrum, some have characterized Communist countries as fascist, at least in practice. Marxist interpretations of fascism have categorized multiple movements with significant differences to fascism as simply "fascist", and some communist regimes have been declared "fascist" under such interpretations, including those of Cuba under Fidel Castro and Vietnam under Ho Chi Minh.[82] Despite the Soviet Union having fought against openly Fascist states in World War II, during the tensions of the Cold War, many prominent Western scholars and journalistists characterized the Soviet Union as fascist. Herbert Matthews, of the New York Times asked "Should we now place Stalinist Russia in the same category as Hitlerite Germany? Should we say that she is Fascist?", with the implication being a definitive yes. [83] US predident Harry S. Truman stated that "there isn't difference" between the regimes, "I don't care what you call them Nazi, Communist, or Fascist..." [84] The term "Red Fascism" was a popular term designating Communism at the time. J. Edgar Hoover, first Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, wrote extensively of "Red Fascism", saying before the House of Un-American Activities, "I would have no fears if more Americans possessed the zeal, the fervor, the persistence and the industry to learn about this menace of Red fascism. I do fear for the liberal and progressive who has been hoodwinked and duped into joining hands with the communists..." [85]

In the early 1930s, some members of Communist International considered proponents of social democracy to be a variant of fascism, calling it "social fascism", due to sharing a corporatist economic model, and being seen as the last obstacle to full Communism.

Chinese Marxists have used the term to denounce the Soviet Union during the Sino-Soviet Split, and likewise, the Soviets used the term to identify Chinese Marxists, leaving scholars to conclude that the label is, at least partially, polemical.[86]

[edit] Historical causes and development

[edit] Fusion of nationalism and Sorelianism and split in the left (1907â1914)

A key part of the creation of fascism was the fusion of agendas of nationalists on the political right with Sorelian syndicalists on the left, which solidified with the outbreak of World War I.[87] Sorelian syndicalism, unlike other ideologies on the left, held elitist views of the working class, believing that their morality needed to be raised.[88] They emphasized the need for liberal democracy to be destroyed in order to bring about positive social change.[89] Sorelian syndicalism's concept of the positive nature of social war and its insistence on moral revolution led a number of syndicalists to believe that war was the ultimate manifestation of social change and moral revolution and that wars should be utilized to achieve such aims.[88] Prior to World War I, syndicalists overwhelmingly focused on class identity and supported class conflict, while they were hostile toward national wars, resulting in antimilitarism.[88] A number of Italian syndicalists believed that revolutionary syndicalism should not be fully associated with antimilitarism and attacked pacifism.[87]

Nationalist and militarist influences that had begun to combine with syndicalism since 1907 created a split in the political left.[87] This split was strong in Italy, where nationalists and syndicalists were increasingly influencing each other.[87] Maurassian nationalism that was close to the views of Georges Sorel influenced radical Italian nationalist Enrico Corradini.[90] Corradini spoke of the need for a nationalist-syndicalist movement, led by elitist aristocrats and anti-democrats who shared a revolutionary syndicalist commitment to direct action through a willingness to fight, which would be able to solve Italy's problems.[90] Corradini spoke of Italy as being a "proletarian nation" that needed to pursue imperialism in order to challenge the "plutocratic" nations of France and the United Kingdom.[91] Corradini's views were part of a wider set of perceptions within the right-wing Italian Nationalist Association (ANI), which claimed that Italy's economic backwardness was caused by corruption within its political class, liberalism, and division caused by "ignoble socialism".[91] The ANI held ties and influence among conservatives, Catholics, and the business community.[91]

Italian national syndicalists held a common set of principles: the rejection of bourgeois values, democracy, liberalism, Marxism, internationalism, and pacifism and the promotion of heroism, vitalism, and violence.[92]

Radical nationalism in Italy â support for expansionism and the creation of a Greater Italy, making Italy a leader in modern civilization, and cultural revolution to create a "New Man" and a "New State" â began to grow in 1912 during the Italian conquest of Libya and was supported by Italian Futurists and members of the ANI.[93] The ANI claimed that liberal democracy was no longer compatible with the modern world and advocated a strong state and imperialism, claiming that humans are naturally predatory and that nations were in constant struggle where only the strongest could survive.[94]

However, until 1914, Italian nationalists and revolutionary syndicalists who had nationalist influences remained apart; such syndicalists opposed the Italo-Turkish War of 1911, associating it with an affair of financial interests and not the nation.[95] The outbreak of World War I was different; both Italian nationalists and syndicalists saw it as a national affair.[96]

[edit] World War I and the founding of Fascism (1914â1920)

At the outbreak of World War I in August 1914, a number of socialist parties initially supported intervention in the war.[97] Once the war began, Austrian, British, French, German and Russian socialists followed the rising nationalist current, supporting their respective countries' intervention.[98] The Italian political left became severely split over its position on the war.[95] The Italian Socialist Party opposed the war on the grounds of socialist internationalism, but a number of Italian revolutionary syndicalists supported intervention against Germany and Austria-Hungary on the grounds that their reactionary regimes needed to be defeated to ensure the success of socialism.[99] Corradini presented the same need for Italy as a "proletarian nation" to defeat a reactionary Germany from a nationalist perspective.[100] The beginning of fascism resulted from this split on intervention, with Angelo Oliviero Olivetti forming the Revolutionary Fascio for International Action in October 1914.[99] At the same time, Benito Mussolini decided to join the interventionist cause.[101] The Fascists supported nationalism and claimed that proletarian internationalism was a failure.[99]

At this time, the Fascists did not have an integrated set of policies and the movement was very small. Its attempts to hold mass meetings were ineffective, and it was regularly harassed by government authorities and orthodox socialists.[102] Antagonism between interventionists, including Fascists, and anti-interventionist orthodox socialists resulted in violence between Fascists and socialists.[103] The opposition and attacks by the anti-interventionist revolutionary socialists against the Fascists and other interventionists were so violent that even democratic socialists who opposed the war, such as Anna Kuliscioff, said that the Italian Socialist Party had gone too far in its campaign to silence supporters of the war.[103]

Italy's use of daredevil elite shock troops known as the Arditi, beginning in 1917, was an important influence on Fascism.[104] The Arditi were soldiers who were specifically trained for a life of violence and wore unique blackshirt uniforms and fezzes.[104] The Arditi formed a national organization in November 1918, the Associazione fra gli Arditi d'Italia, which by mid-1919 had about twenty thousand young men within it.[104] Mussolini appealed to the Arditi, and the Fascists' Squadristi, developed after the war, were based upon the Arditi.[104]

With the violent split between anti-interventionist internationalist Marxists and pro-interventionist nationalist-syndicalist Fascists complete by the end of the war, the two sides became irreconcilable. The Fascists presented themselves as anti-Marxists and as opposed to Soviet communism.[105] Benito Mussolini consolidated control over the Fascist movement in 1919 with the founding of the Fasci di Combattimento, whose opposition to orthodox socialism he declared:

â We declare war against socialism, not because it is socialism, but because it has opposed nationalism. Although we can discuss the question of what socialism is, what is its program, and what are its tactics, one thing is obvious: the official Italian Socialist Party has been reactionary and absolutely conservative. If its views had prevailed, our survival in the world of today would be impossible. â

[106]

In 1919, the Fascists created The Manifesto of the Fasci of Combat (a.k.a. the Fascist Manifesto), written by Alceste De Ambris and Futurist movement leader Filippo Tommaso Marinetti.[107] The Manifesto was presented on June 6, 1919 in the Fascist newspaper Il Popolo d'Italia. For the political system, the Manifesto supported the creation of universal suffrage for both men and women; proportional representation on a regional basis; government representation through a corporatist system of "National Councils" of experts, selected from professionals and tradespeople, elected to represent and hold legislative power over their respective areas, including labour, industry, transportation, public health, communications, etc.; and the abolition of the Italian Senate.[108] In economic and social policy, the Manifesto supported the creation of an eight-hour work day for all workers, a minimum wage, worker representation in industrial management, equal confidence in labour unions as in industrial executives and public servants, reorganization of the transportation sector, revision of the draft law on invalidity insurance, reduction of the retirement age from 65 to 55, a strong progressive tax on capital, confiscation of the property of religious institutions and abolishment of bishoprics, and revision of military contracts to allow the government to seize 85% of their profits.[109] In military policy, the Manifesto called for the creation of a short-service national militia to serve defensive duties, nationalization of the armaments industry, and a foreign policy designed to be peaceful but also competitive.[110]

The next events that influenced the Fascists were the raid of Fiume by Italian nationalist Gabriele d'Annunzio and the founding of the Charter of Carnaro in 1920.[111] D'Annunzio and De Ambris designed the Charter, which advocated national-syndicalist corporatist productionism alongside D'Annunzio's political views.[112] Many Fascists saw the Charter of Carnaro as an ideal constitution for a Fascist Italy.[113]

[edit] Shift to the right and consolidation of political strength (1920â1922)

Beginning in 1920, Fascism began to make a major shift towards the political right.[113] This shift occurred at the same time that militant strike activity by industrial workers had reached its peak in Italy, where 1919 and 1920 were known as the "Red Years".[114] Mussolini and the Fascists took advantage of the situation by allying with industrial businesses and attacking workers and peasants in the name of preserving order and internal peace in Italy.[115]

Fascists identified their primary opponents as the majority of socialists on the left who had opposed intervention in World War I.[113] The Fascists and the Italian political right held common ground: both held Marxism in contempt, discounted class consciousness, and believed in the rule of elites.[116] The Fascists assisted the anti-socialist campaign of the political right by allying with the right in a mutual effort to destroy the Italian Socialist Party and labour organizations committed to class identity above national identity.[116]

Fascism sought to accommodate Italian conservatives by making major alterations to its political agenda â abandoning its previous populism, republicanism, and anticlericalism, adopting policies in support of free enterprise, and accepting the Roman Catholic Church and the monarchy as institutions in Italy.[117] To appeal to Italian conservatives, Fascism adopted policies such as promoting family values, including promotion of a woman's role as a mother.[118] Though Fascism adopted a number of positions designed to appeal to reactionaries, the Fascists sought to maintain Fascism's revolutionary character, with Angelo Oliviero Olivetti saying "Fascism would like to be conservative, but it will [be] by being revolutionary."[119] The Fascists supported both revolutionary action and a commitment to secure law and order to appeal to both conservatives and syndicalists.[120]

Prior to its shift to the right, Fascism was a small, urban, northern Italian movement that had approximately a thousand members.[121] Afterward, the Fascist movement's membership soared to approximately 250,000 by 1921.[122]

[edit] Rise to power and initial international spread of fascism (1922â1929)

Beginning in 1922, Fascist paramilitaries escalated their strategy from one of attacking socialist offices and homes of socialist leadership figures to one of violent occupation of cities. The Fascists met little serious resistance from authorities and proceeded to take over multiple cities, including Bologna, Bolzano, Cremona, Ferrara, Fiume, and Trent.[123] The Fascists attacked the headquarters of socialist and Catholic unions in Cremona and imposed forced Italianization upon the German-speaking population of Trent and Bolzano.[123] After seizing these cities, the Fascists made plans to take Rome.[123]

On 24 October 1922, the Fascist party held its annual congress in Naples, where Mussolini ordered Blackshirts to take control of public buildings and trains and to converge on three points around Rome.[123] The march would be led by four prominent Fascist leaders representing its different factions: Italo Balbo, a Blackshirt leader; General Emilio De Bono; Michele Bianchi, an ex-syndicalist; and Cesare Maria De Vecchi, a monarchist Fascist.[123] Mussolini himself remained in Milan to await the results of the actions.[123] The Fascists managed to seize control of multiple post offices and trains in northern Italy while the Italian government, led by a left-wing coalition, was internally divided and unable to respond to the Fascist advances.[124] The Italian government had been in a steady state of turmoil, with multiple governments being created and then being defeated.[124] The Italian government initially took action to prevent the Fascists from entering Rome, but King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy perceived the risk of bloodshed in Rome in response to attempting to disperse the Fascists to be too high.[125] Victor Emmanuel III decided to appoint Mussolini as Prime Minister of Italy, and Mussolini arrived in Rome on 30 October to accept the appointment.[125] Fascist propaganda aggrandized this event, known as "March on Rome", as a "seizure" of power due to Fascists' heroic exploits.[123]

Upon being appointed Prime Minister of Italy, Mussolini had to form a coalition government, because the Fascists did not have control over the Italian parliament.[126] The coalition government included a cabinet led by Mussolini and thirteen other ministers, only three of whom were Fascists; others included representatives from the army and the navy, two Catholic Popolari members, two democratic liberals, one conservative liberal, one social democrat, one Nationalist member, and the pro-Fascist philosopher Giovanni Gentile.[126] Mussolini's coalition government initially pursued economically liberal policies under the direction of liberal finance minister Alberto de Stefani, including balancing the budget through deep cuts to the civil service.[126] Initially, little drastic change in government policy had occurred and repressive police actions against communist and d'Annunzian rebels were limited.[126] At the same time, however, Mussolini consolidated his control over the National Fascist Party by creating a governing executive for the party, the Grand Council of Fascism, whose agenda he controlled.[126] In addition, the Squadristi blackshirt militia was transformed into the state-run MVSN, led by regular army officers.[126] Militant Squadristi were initially highly dissatisfied with Mussolini's government and demanded a "Fascist revolution".[126]

In this period, to appease the King of Italy, Mussolini formed a close political alliance between the Italian Fascists and Italy's conservative faction in Parliament, which was led by Luigi Federzoni, a conservative monarchist and nationalist who was a member of the Italian Nationalist Association (ANI).[127] The ANI joined the National Fascist Party in 1923.[128] Because of the merger of the Nationalists with the Fascists, tensions existed between the conservative nationalist and revolutionary syndicalist factions of the movement.[27] The conservative and syndicalist factions of the Fascist movement sought to reconcile their differences, secure unity, and promote fascism by taking on the views of each other.[129] Conservative nationalist Fascists promoted fascism as a revolutionary movement to appease the revolutionary syndicalists while, to appease conservative nationalist fascists, revolutionary syndicalist Fascists declared they wanted to secure social stability and insure economic productivity.[129]

The Fascists began their attempt to entrench Fascism in Italy with the Acerbo Law, which guaranteed a plurality of the seats in parliament to any party or coalition list in an election that received 25% or more of the vote.[130] The Acerbo Law was passed in spite of numerous abstentions from the vote.[130] In the 1924 election, the Fascists, along with moderates and conservatives, formed a coalition candidate list, and through considerable Fascist violence and intimidation, the list won with 66% of the vote, allowing it to receive 403 seats, most of which went to the Fascists.[130] In the aftermath of the election, a crisis and political scandal erupted after Socialist Party deputy Giacomo Matteoti was kidnapped and murdered by a Fascist.[130] The liberals and the leftist minority in parliament walked out in protest in what became known as the Aventine Secession.[131] On 3 January 1925, Mussolini addressed the Fascist-dominated Italian parliament and declared that he was personally responsible for what happened, but he insisted that he had done nothing wrong. He proclaimed himself dictator of Italy, assuming full responsibility over the government and announcing the dismissal of parliament.[131] From 1925 to 1929, Fascism steadily became entrenched in power: opposition deputies were denied access to parliament, censorship was introduced, and a December 1925 decree made Mussolini solely responsible to the King. Efforts to Fascistize Italian society accelerated beginning in 1926, with Fascists taking positions in local administration and 30% of all prefects being administered by appointed Fascists by 1929.[132] In 1929, the Fascist regime gained the political support and blessing of the Roman Catholic Church after the regime signed a concordat with the Church, known as the Lateran Treaty, which gave the papacy state sovereignty and financial compensation for the seizure of Church lands by the liberal state in the nineteenth century.[133] Though Fascist propaganda had begun to speak of the new regime as an all-encompassing "totalitarian" state beginning in 1925, the Fascist party and regime never gained total control over Italy's institutions; King Victor Emmanuel III remained head of state, the armed forces and the judicial system retained considerable autonomy from the Fascist state, Fascist militias were under military control, and initially the economy had relative autonomy as well.[134]

The Fascist regime began to create a corporatist economic system in 1925 with creation of the Palazzo Vidioni Pact, in which the Italian employers' association Confindustria and Fascist trade unions agreed to recognize each other as the sole representatives of Italy's employers and employees, excluding non-Fascist trade unions.[30] The Fascist regime first created a Ministry of Corporations that organized the Italian economy into 22 sectoral corporations, banned workers' strikes and lock-outs, and in 1927 created the Charter of Labour, which established workers' rights and duties and created labour tribunals to arbitrate employer-employee disputes.[30] In practice, the sectoral corporations exercised little independence and were largely controlled by the regime, and employee organizations were rarely led by employees themselves but instead by appointed Fascist party members.[30]

In the 1920s, Fascist Italy pursued an aggressive foreign policy that included an attack on the Greek island of Corfu, aims to expand Italian territory in the Balkans, plans to wage war against Turkey and Yugoslavia, attempts to bring Yugoslavia into civil war by supporting Croat and Macedonian separatists to legitimize Italian intervention, and making Albania a de facto protectorate of Italy, which was achieved through diplomatic means by 1927.[135] In response to revolt in the Italian colony of Libya, Fascist Italy abandoned previous liberal-era colonial policy of cooperation with local leaders. Instead, claiming that Italians were a superior race to African races and thereby had the right to colonize the "inferior" Africans, it sought to settle 10 to 15 million Italians in Libya.[136] This resulted in an aggressive military campaign against natives in Libya, including mass killings, the use of concentration camps, and the forced starvation of thousands of people.[136]

The March on Rome brought Fascism international attention. One early admirer of the Italian Fascists was Adolf Hitler, who, less than a month after the March, had begun to model himself and the Nazi Party upon Mussolini and the Fascists.[137] The Nazis, led by Hitler and the German war hero Erich Ludendorff, attempted a "March on Berlin" modeled upon the March on Rome, which resulted in the failed Beer Hall Putsch in Munich in November 1923, where the Nazis briefly captured Bavarian Minister President Gustav Ritter von Kahr and announced the creation of a new German government to be led by a triumvirate of von Kahr, Hitler, and Ludendorff.[138] The Beer Hall Putsch was crushed by Bavarian police, and Hitler and other leading Nazis were arrested and detained until 1925. Another early admirer of Italian Fascism was Gyula Gömbös, leader of the Hungarian National Defence Association (known by its acronym MOVE) and a self-defined "national socialist" who in 1919 spoke of the need for major changes in property and in 1923 stated the need of a "march on Budapest".[139] Amid a political crisis in Spain involving increased strike activity and rising support for anarchism, Spanish army commander Miguel Primo de Rivera engaged in a successful coup against the Spanish government in 1923 and installed himself as a dictator as head of a conservative military junta that dismantled the established party system of government.[140] Upon achieving power, Primo de Rivera sought to resolve the economic crisis by presenting himself as a compromise arbitrator figure between workers and bosses, and his regime created a corporatist economic system based on the Italian Fascist model.[141]

[edit] International surge of fascism and World War II (1929â1945)

The events of the Great Depression resulted in an international surge of fascism and the creation of multiple fascist regimes and regimes that adopted fascist policies. The most important new fascist regime was Nazi Germany, under the leadership of Adolf Hitler. With the rise of Hitler and the Nazis to power in 1933, liberal democracy was dissolved in Germany, and the Nazis mobilized the country for war, with expansionist territorial aims against multiple countries. In the 1930s the Nazis implemented racial laws that deliberately discriminated against, disenfranchised, and persecuted Jews and other racial groups. Hungarian fascist Gyula Gömbös rose to power as Prime Minister of Hungary in 1932 and visited Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany to consolidate good relations with the two regimes. He attempted to entrench his Party of National Unity throughout the country; created an eight-hour work day, a forty-eight hour work week in industry, and sought to entrench a corporatist economy; and pursued irredentist claims on Hungary's neighbours.[142] The fascist Iron Guard movement in Romania soared in political support after 1933, gaining representation in the Romanian government, and an Iron Guard member assassinated Romanian prime minister Ion Duca.[143] A variety of para-fascist governments that borrowed elements from fascism were formed during the Great Depression, including those of Greece, Lithuania, Poland, and Yugoslavia.[144]

During the Great Depression, Mussolini promoted active state intervention in the economy. He denounced the contemporary "supercapitalism" that he claimed began in 1914 as a failure due to its alleged decadence, support for unlimited consumerism and intention to create the "standardization of humankind".[145] However, Mussolini claimed that the industrial developments of earlier "heroic capitalism" were valuable and continued to support private property as long as it was productive.[145] With the onset of the Great Depression, Fascist Italy began large-scale state intervention into the economy, establishing the Institute for Industrial Reconstruction (Istituto per la Ricostruzione Industriale, IRI), a giant state-owned firm and holding company that provided state funding to failing private enterprises.[146] The IRI was made a permanent institution in Fascist Italy in 1937, pursued Fascist policies to create national autarky, and had the power to take over private firms to maximize war production.[146] Nazi Germany similarly pursued an economic agenda with the aims of autarky and rearmament and imposed protectionist policies, including forcing the German steel industry use lower-quality German iron ore rather than superior-quality imported iron.[147]

[edit] Ideological origins

Fascism is based upon a number of ideologies from across the political spectrum. Benito Mussolini had a strong attachment to the works of Plato.[148] In The Republic (c. 380 BCE), Plato advocated a system of elite minority rule by highly educated, intellectual rulers called philosopher kings, who were allowed to exercise total control over the politics and security of a society. This argument has been considered an inspiration for fascism's promotion of elite rule by a supreme leader and a single-party state.[149] Similarly, Vilfredo Pareto's endorsement of an elite minority-led oligarchical government was an influence on fascists.[150] Mussolini and Margherita Sarfatti identified Plato and Pareto as the sources of fascism's constantly changing character.[151] They claimed that movement and correction of flaws in ideas renews an ideology and keeps it from becoming corrupt or outdated.[151]

Mussolini modeled his dictatorship and totalitarian aims on Julius Caesar.[152] Mussolini described his personal admiration of Caesar, claiming that Caesar had "the resolve of a warrior and the resourcefulness of a wise man".[153] The Fascists' March on Rome in 1922 was based on the crossing of the Rubicon river by Caesar and his forces when they seized power in Rome in 49 BCE.[154] Shortly after seizing power with the March on Rome, Mussolini went to the Roman Forum and stood before the ruins to pay homage to Caesar.[153] The Italian Fascist government presented Caesar as a national hero and had multiple statues of Caesar constructed across Italy.[153]

Mussolini studied The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli and produced a thesis on it for the University of Bologna in 1924.[151] He admired Machiavelli as a capable statesman and a thinker.[151] Mussolini identified Machiavelli's conception of "the prince" as the personification of the state and sympathized with Machiavelli's negative conception of most people as tending to be self-centred and unethical.[151] Mussolini, like Machiavelli, claimed that populations were unfit to govern themselves, and that they needed leadership to direct their lives.[155]

Fascism is believed to have been significantly influenced by the political concept of absolute monarchy as conceived by Thomas Hobbes in Leviathan (1651).[156][157]

Fascism is connected to the theories of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. This connection to Hegelianism is shared by Marxism, but fascism focuses on the elements of Hegelianism that Karl Marx detracted.[158] While Marxism focuses on the rationalist and empiricist elements of Hegelianism, fascism focuses on its spiritualist elements.[158] Fascism's relationship with Hegelianism is linked to the nationalistic Italian neo-idealist movement, which adhered to Hegel's positive perception of the state and his advocacy of a corporative organic state.[159] One of fascism's major philosophers, Giovanni Gentile, was a Hegelian.[160] Gentile faced opposition from some Italian Fascists, who attacked him for being too attached to Hegelianism and for being too dominant to be considered loyal to fascism and to Mussolini.[160] After the Second Italo-Abyssinian War, Gentile's influence in the National Fascist Party (PNF) collapsed, with philosophical influence being centralized to Mussolini's will.[160]

Mussolini was influenced by Friedrich Nietzsche's concept of übermensch ("overman" or "superman") and his themes of living dangerously, which were adopted and put into political practice by Italian nationalist Gabriele d'Annunzio, whom Mussolini also admired.[161] D'Annunzio played an important role in bringing Nietzsche's themes into Italy.[162] Like Nietzsche, d'Annunzio idealized the Renaissance as a period of time during which übermensch ruled and the power of decadent nobility was disintegrating.[162] Nietzsche, d'Annunzio, and Mussolini all held contempt for Christianity, the bourgeoisie, democracy, and reformist politics.[162] D'Annunzio supported the creation of a new state based on an aristocracy of intellectuals, a cult of strength, and opposition to democracy.[162] He believed that the best ideology to exemplify Nietzsche's themes was aggressive nationalism.[163] During World War I, d'Annunzio evoked Italian nationalist themes of irredentism, claiming that Italy was the heir to the Roman Empire.[164]

Prior to becoming a fascist, Mussolini was a socialist influenced by Nietszche's anti-Christian ideas and negation of God's existence.[165] Mussolini saw Nietzsche as similar to Jean-Marie Guyau, who advocated a philosophy of action.[165] Mussolini's use of Nietzsche made him a highly unorthodox socialist, because of Nietzsche's promotion of elitism and anti-egalitarian views.[165] Mussolini felt that socialism had faltered due to the failures of Marxist determinism and social democratic reformism and believed that Nietzsche's ideas would strengthen socialism.[165] By the 1900s, Mussolini's writings indicated that he had abandoned Marxism and egalitarianism in favour of Nietzsche's übermensch concept and anti-egalitarianism.[166] Unlike fascists, however, Nietzsche did not admire the state; in his work Thus Spoke Zarathustra, he referred to the state as "the coldest of all monsters".[167]

Mussolini's early political views were heavily influenced by his father, Alessandro Mussolini, a revolutionary socialist who idolized 19th century Italian nationalist figures with humanist tendencies, such as Carlo Pisacane, Giuseppe Mazzini, and Giuseppe Garibaldi.[168] Alessandro Mussolini's political outlook combined the views of anarchist figures like Carlo Cafiero and Mikhail Bakunin, the military authoritarianism of Garibaldi, and the nationalism of Mazzini.[169] In 1902, at the anniversary of Garibaldi's death, Benito Mussolini made a public speech in praise of the republican nationalist.[169]

Syndicalist philosopher Georges Sorel is considered a major inspiration for both Bolshevism and fascism, both of which Sorel supported because they challenged bourgeois democracy.[170] Sorel's work Reflections on Violence (1908) claimed that violence could be moral, especially revolutionary violence that brought substantive positive change in society.[171] Sorel rebuked Marxism, accusing it of becoming decadent and arguing that it should not resist the free market and free competition, because they would quicken the demise of the bourgeoisie and the victory of the proletariat.[171] Sorel argued that socialists should reject the materialism and rationalism of Marx and instead adopt moral and emotional appeals of ideals and myths to promote their cause.[171] He wrote that excessive rationalism is a trait of the bourgeoisie, and that the proletariat's mind is more "primitive", more able to accept myths.[172] Sorel believed that this was beneficial, because the proletariat would be more willing to accept moral renewal.[172] Reflections on Violence was highly popular amongst Italian revolutionary syndicalists,[171] one of whom was Mussolini, who later acknowledged Sorel's influence on him, saying "What I am, I owe to Sorel".[170]

Fascism initially had close connections to futurism; the Futurist Manifesto (1909) by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti "glorified action, technology, and war" and promoted irrationalism over rationalism; the revolutionary entrenchment of modernist and violent art and aesthetics; the destruction of all past aesthetic traditions to liberate modern aesthetics; the promotion of patriotism and militarism; and contempt of women and feminism.[173] Futurism, like fascism, identified the state in a corporatist manner as an organic body connected to the nation.[174] However, unlike fascism, the futurist conception of the state proscribed the continuation of democracy, with Marinetti arguing: "Italian democracy is for us a body which must be liberated", a liberation which would be achieved through technological development.[174] Marinetti was initially drawn to fascism but rejected it when it adopted more moderate conservative aesthetics once it attained power in Italy.[175]

Conservative influences became a strong factor in Fascism in Italy in spite of its differences with other more revolutionary factions of the Italian Fascists.[117] Conservatism in Italy was less of an organized political movement than other ideologies; it involved common social traditions, such as the emphasis of family, landownership, and faith in religion.[176] Conservative nationalism was a particularly important ideological influence upon fascism. Italian Fascism was influenced by conservative nationalist Enrico Corradini, writer of the prominent nationalist newspaper Il Regno and one of the founders and key members of the Italian Nationalist Association.[177]

Corradini combined nationalism with social Darwinism and spoke of the need for Italy to overcome its weaknesses by accepting the "iron laws of race", including eliminating foreign influences, pursuing imperialism, incorporating workers into the nation, and regenerating the bourgeoisie, while opposing "feminine humanitarianism", liberalism, democracy, and socialism.[177] Two prominent concepts promoted by Corradini inspired fascism: Corradini's theory of "war as revolution" and his theory of "proletarian nationalism".[178] Though Corradini opposed the revolutionary socialism in Italy for its anti-patriotism, anti-militarism, internationalism, and its advocacy of class conflict, he and other nationalists admired its revolutionary and conquering spirit and, in a 1910 meeting of the Italian Nationalist Association, declared support for proletarian nationalism, saying:

âWe are the proletarian people in respect to the rest of the world. Nationalism is our socialism. This established, nationalism must be founded on the truth that Italy is morally and materially a proletarian nation.â Manifesto of the Italian Nationalist Association, December 1910.[178]

Corradini also studied Sorel's Reflections on Violence and claimed that, in spite of some ideological differences between syndicalism and nationalism, he desired "a syndicalism which stops at the nation's shores and does not proceed farther".[178]

Another conservative nationalist from the ANI who became a Fascist was the prominent economic theorist Alfredo Rocco.[117][179] Rocco was a proponent of economic corporatism and was a key figure in designing the fascist economic policies in Italy that mandated employers and workers to negotiate under the supervision and arbitration of the state, that enhanced state power over the economy, and that forbade trade union strikes.[180] Rocco's economic policies were deemed conservative due to their repression of dissent by organized labour and the limited rights they accorded to workers, which resulted in animosity toward the policies by a number of fascists associated with organized labour.[180]

Rocco, as Minister of Justice of Italy during the Fascist era, spoke of fascism constituting a "conservative revolution" that supported orderly and controlled political change to be carried out by elites who would create policy while resisting pluralism, independent initiative, and attempts at political change by the masses.[181] Italian Fascist factions that favoured conciliation with traditional institutions like the monarchy were met with resistance by "Intransigent" Fascists, hardliners commonly associated with the militant Blackshirts, who wanted the total entrenchment of Fascism as the basis of Italy's government.[182]

The theories and perspectives of Oswald Spengler also influenced fascism.[183] In his work Decline of the West, Spengler's major thesis was that a law of historical development of cultures existed, involving a cycle of birth, maturity, aging, and death when each reached its final form of civilization.[183] Upon reaching the point of civilization, a culture will lose its creative capacity and succumb to decadence until the emergence of "barbarians" to create a new epoch.[183] Spengler viewed the Western world as having succumbed to decadence of intellect, money, cosmopolitan urban and irreligious life, atomized individualization, and the end of both biological and "spiritual" fertility.[183] He believed that the "young" German nation as an imperial power would inherit the legacy of Ancient Rome and lead a restoration of value in "blood" and instinct, while the ideals of rationalism would be revealed as absurd.[183] Other works by Spengler were also highly respected by fascists, including Der Mensch und die Technik, Preussentum und Sozialismus, and Year of Decision.[183] Spengler's ideas were openly admired by a number of leading fascist figures, including Mussolini, Benedetto Croce, and Alfred Rosenburg.[184] While fascists respected Spengler's works, they typically rejected his fatalism and pessimism.[184] Spengler's staunch anti-Marxist views deeply impressed Mussolini.[184]

Italian Fascist Corrado Gini utilized Spengler's theory that populations go through a cycle of birth, growth, and decay to claim that, while nations at a primitive level have a high birth rate, as they evolve the upper class birth rate drops, while the lower class inevitably depletes as their stronger members emigrate, die in war, or enter into the upper classes.[185] If a nation continues on this path without resistance, Gini claimed, it would enter a final decadent stage where the nation would degenerate, as noted by decreasing birth rate, decreasing cultural output, and the lack of imperial conquest.[186] At that point, the decadent nation, with its aging population, could be overrun by a more youthful and vigorous nation.[186]

[edit] Core tenets

[edit] Nationalism

Fascists saw the struggle of nation and race as fundamental in society, in opposition to communism's perception of class struggle.[187] The fascist view of a nation is of a single organic entity which binds people together by their ancestry and is a natural unifying force of people.[188] Fascism seeks to solve economic, political, and social problems by achieving a millenarian national rebirth, exalting the nation or race above all else, and promoting cults of unity, strength and purity.[39][59][189][190][191] Benito Mussolini stated in 1922, "For us the nation is not just territory but something spiritual... A nation is great when it translates into reality the force of its spirit."[192]

According to Eoin O'Duffy, an Irish national corporatist, "before everything we must give a national lead to our people...The first essential is national unity. We can only have that when the Corporative system is accepted".[193]

Joseph Goebbels described the Nazis as being affiliated with authoritarian nationalism:

It enables us to see at once why democracy and Bolshevism, which in the eyes of the world are irrevocably opposed to one another, meet again and again on common ground in their joint hatred of and attacks on authoritarian nationalist concepts of State and State systems. For the authoritarian nationalist conception of the State represents something essentially new. In it the French Revolution is superseded.[194]

Plínio Salgado, leader of the Brazilian Integralist Action party, emphasized the role of the nation:

The best governments in the world cannot succeed in pulling a country out of the quagmire, out of apathy, if they do not express themselves as national energies...Strong governments cannot result either from conspiracies or from military coups, just as they cannot come out of the machinations of parties or the Machiavellian game of political lobbying. They can only be born from the actual roots of the Nation.[195]

[edit] Foreign policy

Italian fascists described expansionist imperialism as a necessity. The 1932 Italian Encyclopedia stated: "For Fascism, the growth of empire, that is to say the expansion of the nation, is an essential manifestation of vitality, and its opposite a sign of decadence."[196] Similarly, the Nazis promoted territorial expansionism to provide "living space" to the German nation.[197] Fascists opposed pacifism and believed that a nation must have a warrior mentality.[198] Benito Mussolini spoke of war idealistically as a source of masculine pride, and spoke negatively of pacifism:

War alone brings up to their highest tension all human energies and puts the stamp of nobility upon the peoples who have the courage to meet it. Fascism carries this anti-pacifist struggle into the lives of individuals. It is education for combat... war is to man what maternity is to the woman. I do not believe in perpetual peace; not only do I not believe in it but I find it depressing and a negation of all the fundamental virtues of a man.[199]

[edit] Authoritarianism

Many fascist movements support the creation of a totalitarian state. Mussolini's Doctrine of Fascism states, "The Fascist conception of the State is all-embracing; outside of it no human or spiritual values can exist, much less have value. Thus understood, Fascism is totalitarian, and the Fascist Stateâa synthesis and a unit inclusive of all valuesâinterprets, develops, and potentiates the whole life of a people."[200] Some have argued that, in spite of Italian Fascism's attempt at totalitarianism, it became an authoritarian cult of personality around Mussolini.[201]

In The Legal Basis of the Total State, Nazi political theorist Carl Schmitt described the Nazi intention to form a "strong state which guarantees a totality of political unity transcending all diversity" in order to avoid a "disasterous pluralism tearing the German people apart"[202]

Japanese fascist Nakano Seigo advocated that Japan follow the Italian and German models, which were "a form of more democratic government going beyond democracy" which itself had "lost its spirit and decayed into a mechanism which insists only on numerical superiority without considering the essence of human beings."[203]

A key authoritarian element of fascism is its endorsement of a prime national leader, who is often known simply as the "Leader" or a similar title, such as Duce in Italian, Führer in German, Caudillo in Spanish, Poglavnik in Croatia, or Conducätor in Romanian. Fascist leaders who ruled countries were not always heads of state, but were heads of government, such as Benito Mussolini, who held power under the King of Italy, Victor Emmanuel III.

[edit] Social Darwinism

Fascist movements have commonly held social Darwinist views of nations, races, and societies.[198] They argue that nations and races must purge themselves of socially and biologically weak or degenerate people, while simultaneously promoting the creation of strong people, in order to survive in a world defined by perpetual national and racial conflict.[204]

Italian Fascist philosopher Giovanni Gentile in The Origins and Doctrine of Fascism promoted the concept of conflict as an act of progress, stating that "mankind only progresses through division, and progress is achieved through the clash and victory of one side over another".[205] Italian Fascist Alfredo Rocco claimed that conflict was inevitable:

Conflict is in fact the basic law of life in all social organisms, as it is of all biological ones; societies are formed, gain strength, and move forwards through conflict; the healthiest and most vital of them assert themselves against the weakest and less well adapted through conflict; the natural evolution of nations and races takes place through conflict.[205]

In Germany, the Nazis utilized social Darwinism to promote their racialist concept of the German nation as part of the Aryan race and the need for the Aryan race to be victorious in what the Nazis believed was a race struggle â an ongoing competition and conflict between races.[206] They attempted to strengthen the Aryan race in Germany by killing those they regarded as weak. To this end, Action T4 was introduced in the late 1930s and organized the killing of roughly 275,000 handicapped and elderly German and non-German civilians using carbon monoxide gas.[207]

[edit] Social interventionism

Generally, fascist movements endorsed social interventionism dedicated to influencing society to promote the state's interests.[citation needed] According to G.V. Rimlinger, one cannot speak of âfascist social policyâ as a single concept with logical and internally consistent ideas and common identifiable goals.[208]

Fascists spoke of creating a "new man" and a "new civilization" as part of their intention to transform society.[209] Mussolini promised a âsocial revolutionâ for âremakingâ the Italian people.[210] Adolf Hitler promised to purge Germany of non-Aryan influences on society and to create a pure Aryan race through eugenics.

[edit] Indoctrination

Fascist states pursued policies of social indoctrination through propaganda in education and the media and regulation of the production of educational and media materials.[211][212] Education was designed to glorify the fascist movement and inform students of its historical and political importance to the nation. It attempted to purge ideas that were not consistent with the beliefs of the fascist movement and to teach students to be obedient to the state.[213] Therefore, fascism tends to be anti-intellectual.[214] The Nazis, in particular, despised intellectuals and university professors. Hitler declared them unreliable, useless, and even dangerous.[215] He said: "When I take a look at the intellectual classes we have â unfortunately, I suppose, they are necessary; otherwise one could one day, I don't know, exterminate them or something â but unfortunately they're necessary."[216]

[edit] Abortion, eugenics and euthanasia

The Fascist government in Italy banned literature on birth control and increased penalties for abortion in 1926, declaring both crimes against the state.[217] The Nazis decriminalized abortion in cases where fetuses had hereditary defects or were of a race the government disapproved of, while the abortion of healthy "pure" German, "Aryan" fetuses remained strictly forbidden.[218] For non-Aryans, abortion was often compelled. Their eugenics program also stemmed from the "progressive biomedical model" of Weimar Germany.[219]

In 1935 Nazi Germany expanded the legality of abortion by amending its eugenics law, to promote abortion for women with hereditary disorders.[220] The law allowed abortion if a woman gave her permission and the fetus was not yet viable,[221][222] and for purposes of so-called racial hygiene.[223][224]

[edit] Culture, gender and sexuality

Fascism promoted principles of masculine heroism, militarism, and discipline and rejected cultural pluralism and multiculturalism.[225]

Initially, Italian Fascism officially stood in favour of expanding voting rights to women. In 1920, Benito Mussolini declared that "Fascists do not belong to the crowd of the vain and skeptical who undervalue women's social and political importance. Who cares about voting? You will vote!".[226] Women were briefly given the right to vote, until 1925, when the Italian Fascist government abolished elections.[226] In the 1920s, the Italian Fascist government's Opera Nazionale Dopolavoro (OND) allowed working women to attend various entertainment and recreation events, including sports that in the past had traditionally been played by men.[227] The regime was criticized by the Roman Catholic Church, which claimed that these activities were causing "masculinization" of women.[228] The Fascists responded to such criticism by restricting women to only being allowed to take part in "feminine" sports, forbidding them to be part of sports that were played mostly by men.[228]

Mussolini perceived women's primary role as childbearers, while men were warriors; he once said, "war is to man what maternity is to the woman".[229] In an effort to increase birthrates, the Italian Fascist government gave financial incentives to women who raised large families and initiated policies designed to reduce the number of women employed.[230] Italian Fascism called for women to be honoured as "reproducers of the nation", and the Italian Fascist government held ritual ceremonies to honour women's role within the Italian nation.[231] In 1934, Mussolini declared that employment of women was a "major aspect of the thorny problem of unemployment" that Italy was facing at the time and that for women, working was "incompatible with childbearing". Mussolini went on to say that the solution to unemployment for men was the "exodus of women from the work force".[232]

Nazi policies toward women strongly encouraged them to stay at home to bear children and keep house.[233] This policy was reinforced by bestowing the Cross of Honor of the German Mother on women bearing four or more babies. The unemployment rate was cut substantially, mostly through arms production and sending women home so that men could take their jobs. Nazi propaganda sometimes promoted premarital and extramarital sexual relations, unwed motherhood and divorce, but at other times the Nazis opposed such behaviour.[234] The growth of Nazi power, however, was accompanied by a breakdown of traditional sexual morals with regard to extramarital sex and licentiousness.[235]

Fascist movements and governments opposed homosexuality. The Italian Fascist government declared it illegal in Italy in 1931.[236] The Nazis thought homosexuality was degenerate, effeminate, perverted, and undermined the masculinity that they promoted, because it did not produce children.[237] They considered homosexuality curable through therapy, citing modern scientism and the study of sexology, which said that homosexuality could be felt by "normal" people and not just an abnormal minority.[238] Critics have claimed that the Nazis' claim of scientific reasons behind their promotion of racism and hostility to homosexuals is pseudoscience,[239][240] Open homosexuals were among those interned in Nazi concentration camps.[241] The British Union of Fascists opposed homosexuality and pejoratively questioned their opponents' heterosexuality.[242] The Romanian Iron Guard opposed homosexuality as undermining society.[243]

[edit] Economic policies

Fascists promoted their ideology as a "Third Position" between capitalism and Bolshevism.[244] Italian Fascism involved corporatism, a political system in which the economy is collectively managed by employers, workers, and state officials by formal mechanisms at the national level.[245] Fascists advocated a new national class-based economic system, variously termed "national corporatism", "national socialism" or "national syndicalism".[36] The common aim of all fascist movements was elimination of the autonomy or, in some cases, the existence of large-scale capitalism.[246]

Fascist governments exercised control over private property but did not nationalize it.[247] They pursued economic policies to strengthen state power and spread ideology, such as consolidating trade unions to be state- or party-controlled.[248] Attempts were made by both Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany to establish "autarky" (self-sufficiency) through significant economic planning, but neither achieved economic self-sufficiency.[249]

[edit] National corporatism, socialism and syndicalism

Fascists supported the unifying of proletarian workers to their cause along corporatistic, socialistic, or syndicalistic lines, promoting the creation of a strong proletarian nation, but not a proletarian class.[250] Italian Fascism's economy was based on corporatism, and a number of other fascist movements similarly promoted corporatism. Oswald Mosley of the British Union of Fascists, describing fascist corporatism, said that "it means a nation organized as the human body, with each organ performing its individual function but working in harmony with the whole".[251] Fascists were not hostile to the petit-bourgeoisie or to small businesses, and they promised these groups, alongside the proletariat, protection from the upper-class bourgeoisie, big business, and Marxism. The promotion of these groups is the source of the term "extremism of the centre" to describe fascism.[252]

Fascism blamed capitalist liberal democracies for creating class conflict and communists for exploiting it.[253] In Italy, the Fascist period presided over the creation of the largest number of state-owned enterprises in Western Europe, such as the nationalisation of petroleum companies into a single state enterprise called the Italian General Agency for Petroleum (Azienda Generale Italiani Petroli, AGIP).[254] Fascists made populist appeals to the middle class, especially the lower middle class, by promising to protect small businesses and property owners from communism, and by promising an economy based on competition and profit while pledging to oppose big business.[252]

In 1933, Benito Mussolini declared Italian Fascism's opposition to the "decadent capitalism" that he claimed prevailed in the world at the time, but he did not denounce capitalism entirely. Mussolini claimed that capitalism had degenerated in three stages, starting with dynamic or heroic capitalism (1830â1870), followed by static capitalism (1870â1914), and reaching its final form of decadent capitalism or "supercapitalism" beginning in 1914.[62] Mussolini argued that Italian Fascism was in favour of dynamic and heroic capitalism for its contribution to industrialism and its technical developments, but that it did not favour supercapitalism, which he claimed was incompatible with Italy's agricultural sector.[62]

Thus Mussolini claimed that Italy under Fascist rule was not capitalist in the contemporary use of the term, which referred to supercapitalism.[62] Mussolini denounced supercapitalism for causing the "standardization of humankind" and for causing excessive consumption.[255] Mussolini claimed that at the stage of supercapitalism, "a capitalist enterprise, when difficulties arise, throws itself like a dead weight into the state's arms. It is then that state intervention begins and becomes more necessary. It is then that those who once ignored the state now seek it out anxiously."[256] He saw Fascism as the next logical step to solve the problems of supercapitalism and claimed that this step could be seen as a form of earlier capitalism which involved state intervention, saying "our path would lead inexorably into state capitalism, which is nothing more nor less than state socialism turned on its head. In either event, the result is the bureaucratization of the economic activities of the nation."[67]

Other fascist regimes were indifferent or hostile to corporatism. The Nazis initially attempted to form a corporatist economic system like that of Fascist Italy, creating the National Socialist Institute for Corporatism in May 1933, which included many major economists who argued that corporatism was consistent with National Socialism.[257][258] In Mein Kampf, Hitler spoke enthusiastically about the "National Socialist corporative idea" as one which would eventually "take the place of ruinous class warfare"[259] However, the Nazis later came to view corporatism as detrimental to Germany and institutionalizing and legitimizing social differences within the German nation. Instead, the Nazis began to promote economic organisation that emphasized the biological unity of the German national community.[260]

Hitler continued to refer to corporatism in propaganda, but it was not put into place, even though a number of Nazi officials such as Walther Darré, Gottfried Feder, Alfred Rosenburg, and Gregor Strasser were in favour of a neo-medievalist form of corporatism, since corporations had been influential in German history in the medieval era.[261]

Spanish Falangist leader José Antonio Primo de Rivera did not believe that corporatism was effective and denounced it as a propaganda ploy, saying "this stuff about the corporative state is another piece of windbaggery".[262]

[edit] Economic planning

â Fascism is capitalism in decay. â

â Vladimir Lenin[263]

Fascists opposed the laissez-faire economic policies that were dominant in the era prior to the Great Depression.[264] After the Great Depression began, many people from across the political spectrum blamed laissez-faire capitalism, and fascists promoted their ideology as a "third way" between capitalism and communism.[244]

Fascists declared their opposition to finance capitalism, interest charging, and profiteering.[265] Nazis and other anti-Semitic fascists considered finance capitalism a "parasitic" "Jewish conspiracy".[266] Fascist governments introduced price controls, wage controls and other types of economic interventionist measures.[267]

Fascists thought that private property should be regulated to ensure that "benefit to the community precedes benefit to the individual."[268] Private property rights were supported but were contingent upon service to the state.[269] For example, "an owner of agricultural land may be compelled to raise wheat instead of sheep and employ more labour than he would find profitable."[270] However, they promoted the interests of successful small businesses.[271] Mussolini wrote approvingly of the notion that profits should not be taken away from those who produced them by their own labour, saying "I do not respect â I even hate â those men that leech a tenth of the riches produced by others".[272]

According to historian Tibor Ivan Berend, dirigisme was an inherent aspect of fascist economies.[273] The Labour Charter of 1927, promulgated by the Grand Council of Fascism, stated in article 7: "The corporative State considers private initiative, in the field of production, as the most efficient and useful instrument of the Nation", then continued in article 9: "State intervention in economic production may take place only where private initiative is lacking or is insufficient, or when are at stakes the political interest of the State. This intervention may take the form of control, encouragement or direct management."[274]

[edit] Social welfare

Benito Mussolini promised a "social revolution" that would "remake" the Italian people. According to Patricia Knight, this was only achieved in part.[275] The people who primarily benefited from Italian fascist social policies were members of the middle and lower-middle classes, who filled jobs in the vastly expanded government workforce, which grew from about 500,000 to 1,000,000 jobs in 1930 alone.[275] Health and welfare spending grew dramatically under Italian fascism, with welfare rising from 7% of the budget in 1930 to 20% in 1940.[276]

The Opera Nazionale Dopolavoro (OND) or "National After-work Program" was one major social welfare initiative in Fascist Italy. Created in 1925, it was the state's largest recreational organisation for adults.[277] The Dopolavoro was responsible for establishing and maintaining 11,000 sports grounds, over 6,400 libraries, 800 movie houses, 1,200 theatres, and over 2,000 orchestras.[277] Membership of the Dopolavoro was voluntary, but it had high participation because of its nonpolitical nature.[277] It is estimated that, by 1936, the OND had organised 80% of salaried workers[278] and, by 1939, 40% of the industrial workforce. The sports activities proved popular with large numbers of workers. The OND had the largest membership of any of the mass Fascist organisations in Italy.[279]

The enormous success of the Dopolavoro in Fascist Italy was the key factor in Nazi Germany's creation of its own version of the Dopolavoro, the Kraft durch Freude (KdF) or "Strength through Joy" program of the Nazi government's German Labour Front, which became even more successful than the Dopolavoro.[280] KdF provided government-subsidized holidays for German workers.[281] KdF was also responsible for the creation of the original Volkswagen ("People's Car"), a state-manufactured automobile that was meant to be cheap enough to allow all German citizens to be able to own one.

While fascists promoted social welfare to ameliorate economic conditions affecting their nation or race as whole, they did not support social welfare for egalitarian reasons. Fascists criticised egalitarianism as preserving the weak. They instead promoted social Darwinist views.[282][283] Adolf Hitler was opposed to egalitarian and universal social welfare because, in his view, it encouraged the preservation of the degenerate and feeble.[284] While in power, the Nazis created social welfare programs to deal with the large numbers of unemployed. However, those programs were neither egalitarian nor universal, but instead residual, excluding multiple minority groups and certain other people whom they felt were incapable of helping themselves and pose a threat to the future health of the German people.[285]

[edit] Racism and racialism

Fascists are not unified on the issues of racism and racialism. Mussolini, in a 1919 speech denouncing Soviet Russia, claimed that Jewish bankers in London and New York City were bound by the chains of race to Moscow and that 80% of the Soviet leaders were Jews.[286] In his 1920 autobiography, he wrote, "Race and soil are strong influences upon us all", and said of World War I, "There were seers who saw in the European conflict not only national advantages but the possibility of a supremacy of race".[287] In a 1921 speech in Bologna, Mussolini stated that "Fascism was born... out of a profound, perennial need of this our Aryan and Mediterranean race".[286] Mussolini was concerned with the low birth rates of the white race in contrast to the African and Asian races. In 1928 he noted the high birth-rate of blacks in the United States, and that they had surpassed the population of whites in certain areas, such as Harlem in New York City. He described their greater racial consciousness in comparison with American whites as contributing to their growing strength.[288] On the issue of the low birth rate of whites, Mussolini said in 1928:

[When the] city dies, the nation â deprived of the young life â blood of new generations â is now made up of people who are old and degenerate and cannot defend itself against a younger people which launches an attack on the now unguarded frontiers[...] This will happen, and not just to cities and nations, but on an infinitely greater scale: the whole White race, the Western race can be submerged by other coloured races which are multiplying at a rate unknown in our race.[289]

During the Great Depression Mussolini again expressed his alarm at the low birth rate among whites, saying "The singular, enormous problem is the destiny of the white race. Europe is truly towards the end of its destiny as the leader of civilization."[288] He went on to say that under the circumstances, "the white race is sickly", "morally and physically in ruin", and that, in combination with the "progress in numbers and in expansion of yellow and black races, the civilization of the white man is destined to perish."[288] According to Mussolini, only through promoting natality and eugenics could this be reversed.[288]

Many Italian fascists held anti-Slavist views, especially against neighbouring Yugoslav nations, whom the Italian fascists saw as being in competition with Italy, which had claims on territories of Yugoslavia, particularly Dalmatia.[290] Mussolini claimed that Yugoslavs posed a threat after Italy failed to receive territory along the Adriatic coast at the end of World War I, as promised by the 1915 Treaty of London. He said: "The danger of seeing the Jugo-Slavians settle along the whole Adriatic shore had caused a bringing together in Rome of the cream of our unhappy regions. Students, professors, workmen, citizensârepresentative menâwere entreating the ministers and the professional politicians.[291] Italian fascists accused Serbs of having "atavistic impulses" and of being part of a "social democratic, masonic Jewish internationalist plot".[292] The fascists accused Yugoslavs of conspiring together on behalf of "Grand Orient masonry and its funds".

In 1933, Mussolini contradicted his earlier statements on race, saying, "Race! It is a feeling, not a reality: ninety-five percent, at least, is a feeling. Nothing will ever make me believe that biologically pure races can be shown to exist today. ... National pride has no need of the delirium of race."[293]

At the 1934 Fascist International Congress, the issue of anti-Semitism was debated amongst various fascist parties, with some more favourable to it, and others less favourable. Two final compromises were adopted, creating the official stance of the Fascist International:

[T]he Jewish question cannot be converted into a universal campaign of hatred against the Jews [...] Considering that in many places certain groups of Jews are installed in conquered countries, exercising in an open and occult manner an influence injurious to the material and moral interests of the country which harbors them, constituting a sort of state within a state, profiting by all benefits and refusing all duties, considering that they have furnished and are inclined to furnish, elements conducive to international revolution which would be destructive to the idea of patriotism and Christian civilization, the Conference denounces the nefarious action of these elements and is ready to combat them.[20]

[edit] Relation to religion

The attitude of fascism toward religion has run the gamut from persecution, to denunciation, to cooperation,[294] to embrace.[295] Stanley Payne notes that fundamental to fascism was the foundation of a purely materialistic "civic religion" that would "displace preceding structures of belief and relegate supernatural religion to a secondary role, or to none at all", and that "though there were specific examples of religious or would-be 'Christian fascists,' fascism presupposed a post-Christian, post-religious, secular, and immanent frame of reference."[296]

According to Payne, such "would-be" religious fascists only gain hold where traditional belief is weakened or absent, since fascism seeks to create new non-rationalist myth structures for those who no longer hold a traditional view.[297] The rise of modern secularism in Europe and Latin America, and the incursion and large-scale adoption of western secular culture in the mid-east, leave a void where this modern secular ideology, sometimes under a religious veneer, can take hold.[297]

Many fascists were anti-clerical in both private and public life.[298] Although both Hitler and Mussolini were anti-clerical, they both understood that it would be rash to begin their Kulturkampfs prematurely; though possibly inevitable in the future, such clashes were put off while they dealt with other enemies.[299] Hitler had a general plan, even before the Nazis' rise to power, to destroy Christianity within the Reich.[300][301][302] Many Italian Fascists were disgusted by Mussolini's decision to abandon Fascism's anti-clericalism in favour of reconciliation with the Roman Catholic Church.[303]

The leader of the Hitler Youth stated, "the destruction of Christianity was explicitly recognized as a purpose of the National Socialist movement" from the start, but "considerations of expedience made it impossible" publicly to express this extreme position.[300] In Mexico, the Red Shirts were vehemently atheist, renounced religion, killed priests, and on one occasion gunned down Catholics as they left Mass.[304][305][306][307][308]

According to a biographer of Mussolini, "Initially, fascism was fiercely anti-Catholic" â the Church being a competitor for dominion over the people's hearts.[309] Mussolini, originally an atheist, published anti-Catholic writings and planned for the confiscation of Church property, but eventually moved to accommodation.[294] Mussolini endorsed the Roman Catholic Church for political legitimacy; during the Lateran Treaty talks, Fascist Party officials engaged in bitter arguments with Vatican officials and pressured them to accept terms that the regime deemed acceptable.[310] Protestantism in Italy was not as significant as Catholicism, and the Protestant minority was persecuted.[311] Mussolini's sub-secretary of Interior, Bufferini-Guidi, issued a memo closing all houses of worship of the Italian Pentecostals and Jehovah's Witnesses and imprisoned their leaders.[312] In some instances, people were killed because of their faith.[313]

The Ustaše in Croatia had strong Catholic overtones, with some clerics in positions of power.[314] The fascist movement in Romania, known as the Iron Guard or the Legion of Archangel Michael, preceded its meetings with a church service, and their demonstrations were usually led by priests carrying icons and religious flags.[citation needed] The Romanian fascist movement promoted a cult of "suffering, sacrifice and martyrdom."[315][316]

In Latin America, the most notable fascist movement was Plinio Salgado's Brazilian Integralism. Built on a network of lay religious associations, its vision was of an integral state that "comes from Christ, is inspired in Christ, acts for Christ, and goes toward Christ."[317][318][319] Salgado criticised the "dangerous pagan tendencies of Hitlerism".[320]

Hitler and the Nazi regime attempted to found their own version of Christianity called Positive Christianity, which made major changes in its interpretation of the Bible, saying that Jesus Christ was the son of God, but was not a Jew. They further claimed that Christ despised Jews, and that the Jews were solely responsible for his death.[citation needed] By 1940, however, it was public knowledge that Hitler had abandoned even the syncretist idea of a positive Christianity.[321]

The Catholic Church was suppressed by Nazis in Poland. In addition to the deaths of some 3 million Polish Jews, 2 million Polish Catholics were killed.[322] Between 1939 and 1945, an estimated 3,000 polish clergy (18%) were murdered; of these, 1,992 died in concentration camps.[322] In the annexed territory of Reichsgau Wartheland, churches were systematically closed, and most priests were either killed, imprisoned, or deported to the General Government.

The Germans also closed seminaries and convents, persecuting monks and nuns throughout Poland. Eighty percent of the Catholic clergy and five of the bishops of Warthegau were sent to concentration camps in 1939; in CheÅmno, 48%.[322] Of those murdered by the Nazi regime, 108 are regarded as blessed martyrs.[322] Among them, Maximilian Kolbe was canonized as a saint. Not only in Poland were Christians persecuted by the Nazis. In the Dachau concentration camp alone, 2,600 Catholic priests from 24 different countries were killed.[322]

One theory is that religion and fascism could never have a lasting connection because both are a "holistic weltanschauung" claiming the whole of the person.[294] Along these lines, Yale political scientist, Juan Linz and others have noted that secularization had created a void which could be filled by a total ideology, making totalitarianism possible,[323][324] and Roger Griffin has characterized fascism as a type of anti-religious political religion.[325] Such political religions vie with existing religions, and try to replace or eradicate them.[324]

[edit] Variations and subforms

Movements identified by scholars as fascist hold a variety of views, and what qualifies as fascism is often a hotly contested subject. The original movement to self-identify as Fascist was that of Benito Mussolini and his National Fascist Party. Intellectuals such as Giovanni Gentile produced The Doctrine of Fascism and founded the ideology. The majority of strains which emerged after the original fascism, but are sometimes placed under the wider usage of the term, self-identified their parties with different names. Major examples include Falangism, Integralism, Iron Guard, and Nazism.[326]

[edit] Europe

[edit] Italian Fascism

Benito Mussolini

Fascism was born during a period of social and political unrest following World War I. The war had seen Italy begin to feel a sense of nationalism, rather than its historic regionalism.[327] Despite being an Allied Power, Italy was given what nationalists considered an unfair deal at the Treaty of Versailles.[327]

When the other allies told Italy to hand over the city of Fiume at the Paris Peace Conference, war veteran Gabriele d'Annunzio declared an independent state there, the Italian Regency of Carnaro.[328] He named himself Duce of the nation and declared a constitution, the Charter of Carnaro, which was highly influential to early Fascism, though d'Annunzio himself never became a fascist.[328]

Benito Mussolini founded Italian fascism as the Fasci italiani di combattimento after he returned from World War I and published a Fascist manifesto. The birth of the Fascist movement can be traced to a meeting he held in the Piazza San Sepolcro in Milan on 23 March 1919, which the original principles of the Fascists were established through a series of declarations.[329] These included a dedication to Italian war veterans,[330] a declaration of the fascists' loyalty to Italy and its opposition to foreign aggressors, a pronouncement that the fascists would fight against other political factions, and a declaration of opposition to bolshevism and socialism, particularly the socialism of the Italian Socialist Party. Fascists also declared their intention to seize power and their opposition to the multiparty representative democracy in Italy.

The fascists took a moderate stance on the economy, effectively declaring that they favoured class collaboration while opposing excessive state intervention into the economy. They called for pressure on industrialists and workers to be cooperative and constructive, saying, "As for economic democracy, we favour national syndicalism and reject State intervention whenever it aims at throttling the creation of wealth."[331]

Mussolini and the fascists were simultaneously revolutionary and traditionalist,[332][333] sometimes described as "The Third Way".[334] The Fascisti, led by one of Mussolini's close confidants, Dino Grandi, formed armed squads of war veterans called Blackshirts (or squadristi) with the goal of restoring order. The blackshirts clashed with communists, socialists, and anarchists at parades and demonstrations. The government rarely interfered with the blackshirts' actions, due in part to a widespread fear of a communist revolution.

The Fascisti grew so rapidly that within two years, it had transformed itself into the National Fascist Party at a congress in Rome. In 1921, Mussolini was elected to the Chamber of Deputies for the first time; he was later appointed Prime Minister by the King in 1922. He then went on to install a dictatorship after the 10 June 1924 assassination of anti-fascist writer Giacomo Matteotti by agents of Mussolini's Ceka secret police.

Mussolini's colonialism reached further into Africa in an attempt to compete with British and French colonial empires.[335] Mussolini spoke of making Italy a nation that was "great, respected, and feared" throughout the world. An early example was his bombardment of Corfu in 1923. Soon afterward, he succeeded in setting up a puppet regime in Albania and forcibly ended a rebellion in Libya, which had been an Italian colony since 1912. It was his dream to make the Mediterranean mare nostrum ("our sea" in Latin).

[edit] Nazism (National Socialism, Germany)

Flag of the German Nazi Party

The National Socialist German Workersâ Party (Nazi Party) ruled Germany from 1933 until 1945. The party was originally formed as the German Workers' Party under the leadership of Anton Drexler, and espoused a combination of racialist völkisch nationalism and socialism that rejected the conditions imposed on Germany after World War I. The party accused international capitalism of being Jewish-dominated and denounced capitalists for war profiteering during World War I.[336] To ease concerns among potential middle-class nationalist supporters, Drexler made clear that, unlike Marxists, the party supported middle-class citizens, and that the party's socialist policy was meant to give social welfare to all German citizens who were deemed part of the Aryan race.[336]

Drexler's insistence on the inclusion of the term "socialist" in the party's name had caused tension among members of the party, including Adolf Hitler, who preferred the name "Social Revolutionary Party" until Rudolf Jung persuaded him to support the name "National Socialist German Workers' Party".[337] Drexler was ousted from party leadership in 1921 by Hitler, who secured the position of undisputed and permanent leader of the party.

Hitler admired Benito Mussolini and the Italian Fascists, and after Mussolini's successful March on Rome in 1922, he presented the Nazis as a German version of Italian Fascism.[338][339] Hitler endorsed Italian Fascism, saying that "with the victory of fascism in Italy the Italian people has triumphed [over] Jewry" and appraising Mussolini as "the brilliant statesman".[340] Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's chief propagandist, credited Italian Fascism with starting a conflict against liberal democracy:

The march on Rome was a signal, a sign of storm for liberal-democracy. It is the first attempt to destroy the world of the liberal-democratic spirit[...] which started in 1789 with the storm on the Bastille and conquered one country after another in violent revolutionary upheavals, to let... the nations go under in Marxism, democracy, anarchy and class warfare...[341]

Following the Italians' example, the Nazis attempted a "March on Berlin" to topple the Weimar Republic, which they characterised as "Marxist".[341]

Days after Mussolini rose to power in October 1922, the major British national newspaper The Times referred to Hitler as Mussolini's promising pupil in Germany.[340] A month after Mussolini had risen to power, amid claims by the Nazis that they were equivalent to the Italian fascists, Hitler's popularity in Germany began to grow, and large crowds began to attend Nazi rallies. The newspaper Berlin Lokal-Anzeiger featured a front page article about Hitler, saying, "There are a lot of people who believe him to be the German Mussolini".[338]

Adolf Hitler, German Nazi leader

In private, Mussolini expressed dislike of Hitler and the Nazis, seeing them as mere imitators of Italian Fascism. When Mussolini met with the Italian Consul in Munich prior to the Nazis' failed Beer Hall Putsch in 1923, he stated that the Nazis were "buffoons".[342] However, by 1928, the Italian Fascist government recognized the utility of the Nazis and began to financially subsidize the Nazi party.[343]

Hitler remained impressed by Mussolini and Fascist Italy for many years in spite of other Nazis' resentment towards Italy. During the period of positive outlook towards Fascist Italy, Hitler became an Italophile.[344] He, like Mussolini, profoundly admired Ancient Rome, and he repeatedly mentioned it in Mein Kampf as a model for Germany.[345] In particular, Hitler admired ancient Rome's authoritarian culture, imperialism, town planning, and architecture, which were incorporated by the Nazis. Hitler considered the ancient Romans a master race.[346]

In an unpublished sequel to Mein Kampf, Hitler declared that he held no antagonism towards Italy for having waged war against Germany and Austria-Hungary in World War I. He said that Italy entered the war against the Central Powers only because Italy had territorial claims against Austria-Hungary.[347] Hitler declared his sympathy to the Italians for desiring to regain Italian-populated lands held by Austria-Hungary, claiming it was naturally in Italians' national interest to wage war to regain those lands.[347]

Hitler made controversial concessions to gain Fascist Italy's approval and alliance, such as abandoning territorial claims to the Tyrol region of Italy, which had a dense population of hundreds of thousands of Germans.[344] In Mein Kampf Hitler declared that it was not in Germany's interest to wage war against Italy over South Tyrol.[340]

The Nazis gained political power in Germany's government through a democratic election in 1932. Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany following the 1933 election and subsequently put into place the Enabling Act of 1933, which effectively gave him the power of a dictator, except over the German Roman Catholic Church, which was under the Vatican. The Nazis announced a national rebirth, in the form of the Third Reich, nicknamed the Thousand Year Empire and promoted as a successor to the Holy Roman Empire and the German Empire.

Although the modern consensus sees Nazism as a type of generic fascism,[348] some scholars, including Gilbert Allardyce, Zeev Sternhell, Karl Dietrich Bracher, and A.F.K. Organski, argue that Nazism is not fascism â either because it is different in character or because they believe fascism cannot be generically defined.[349][350][351] Nazism differed from Italian fascism in that it had a stronger emphasis on race, religion, and ethnicity, especially exhibited as antisemitism. Roger Griffin, a leading exponent of the generic fascism theory, wrote:

It might well be claimed that Nazism and Italian fascism were separate species within the same genus, without any implicit assumption that the two species ought to be well-nigh identical. Ernst Nolte has stated that the differences could be easily reconciled by employing a term such as 'radical fascism' for Nazism. ... The establishment of fundamental generic characteristics linking Nazism to movements in other parts of Europe allows further consideration on a comparative basis of the reasons why such movements were able to become a real political danger and gain power in Italy and Germany, whereas in other European countries they remained an unpleasant, but transitory irritant...[352]

Sternhell views Nazism as separate from fascism:

Fascism can in no way be identified with Nazism. Undoubtedly the two ideologies, the two movements, and the two regimes had common characteristics. They often ran parallel to one another or overlapped, but they differed on one fundamental point: the criterion of German national socialism was biological determination. The basis of Nazism was a racism in its most extreme sense, and the fight against Jews, against 'inferior' races, played a more preponderant role in it than the struggle against communism.[353]

[edit] Szeged fascism (Hungary)

Gyula Gömbös

Szeged fascism is a term used to describe the phenomenon of early Hungarian proto-fascism, which began to develop in 1919 and consolidated fascist characteristics after close diplomatic relations between Fascist Italy and Hungary were initiated in 1928.[45] The leader of the Szeged fascists was Hungarian army officer Gyula Gömbös, who was appointed Prime Minister of Hungary in 1932.[45] Gömbös was the founder and leader of the Hungarian National Defence Association (known by its acronym as MOVE), which was created in the Hungarian city of Szeged in 1919. He was a self-declared "national socialist" who admired Italian Fascism and in 1923 stated the need for a Hungarian version of the March on Rome, a "march on Budapest".[139] In power, Gömbös radicalized and mobilized his National Unity Party.[45] He proclaimed the creation of a corporatist economy in Hungary that would forge "a national unity between work, capital and intellectual talent".[354] After Hitler's rise to power, Gömbös moved away from establishing a state based on Italian Fascism and toward establishing a state based on Nazism.[45] In 1935, Gömbös told Nazi official Hermann Göring that within three years he would have Hungary reorganized into a Nazi state, but Gömbös' plans were left unfulfilled after his sudden death due to a serious illness in 1936.[45]

Gömbös' regime was instrumental in attempting to forge trilateral unity between Germany, Italy, and Hungary, acting as an intermediary between Germany and Italy, whose two fascist regimes had nearly come to conflict in 1934 over the issue of Austrian independence. Gömbös eventually persuaded Mussolini to accept Hitler's ambition to annex Austria in the late 1930s.[355] It is believed that Gömbös coined the term "axis", which he applied to his intention to seek alliance with Germany and Italy, who in turn came to describe their alliance as the Rome-Berlin axis.[356]

[edit] Iron Guard (Romania)

Symbol of the Iron Guard

The Iron Guard was a fascist movement and political party in Romania from 1927 to 1941.[357] It was briefly in power from 14 September 1940 until 21 January 1941. It was founded by Corneliu Zelea Codreanu on 24 July 1927 as the "Legion of the Archangel Michael" (Legiunea Arhanghelului Mihail), and Codreanu led it until his death in 1938.

Adherents to the movement continued to be widely referred to as "legionnaires" (sometimes "legionaries"; Romanian: legionari) and the organization as the "Legion" or the "Legionary Movement" (MiÅcarea Legionarä), despite various changes of the intermittently banned organization's name.

It was strongly anti-Semitic, promoting the idea that "Rabbinical aggression against the Christian world" in "unexpected 'protean forms': Freemasonry, Freudianism, homosexuality, atheism, Marxism, Bolshevism, the civil war in Spain, and social democracy" was undermining society.[358]

The Iron Guard "inserted strong elements of Orthodox Christianity into its political doctrine to the point of becoming one of the rare modern European political movements with a religious ideological structure."[359]

[edit] Falangism (Spain)

Falangism was a form of fascism founded by José Antonio Primo de Rivera in 1934, emerging during the Second Spanish Republic.[360] Primo de Rivera was the son of Spain's former dictator Miguel Primo de Rivera. Following the establishment of the Second Spanish Republic, Spain transitioned from a kingdom into a republic.

Primo de Rivera, inspired by Mussolini, founded the Falange Española party, which merged a year later with the Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional-Sindicalista party of Ramiro Ledesma and Onésimo Redondo.[361] Primo de Rivera and the party presented the Falange Manifesto in November 1934; it promoted nationalism, unity, glorification of the Spanish Empire and dedication to the national syndicalism economic policy, inspired by integralism, in which there is class collaboration. The manifesto supported agrarianism, to improve the standard of living for the peasants of the rural areas, as well as anti-capitalism and anti-Marxism. The Falange participated in the Spanish general election, 1936 with low results compared to the leftist Popular Front, but soon afterward it increased in membership rapidly.

Primo de Rivera was captured by Republicans on 6 July 1936 and held in captivity at Alicante. The Spanish Civil War broke out between the Republicans and the Nationalists on 17 July 1936, with the Falangistas fighting for Nationalist cause. Despite his incarceration, Primo de Rivera was a strong symbol of the cause, referred to as El Ausente, meaning "the Absent One". He was summarily executed on 20 November after a trial by socialists.[362]

General Francisco Franco, already the leader of the rebel Nationalists, took over the leadership of the Falangists. Franco's focus was on victory in the war and ensuring important flows of material from Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, so he was less ideological than his predecessor.[363]

Flag of the FET de las JONS parties.

A merger between the Falange and the Carlists took place in 1937, creating the FET y de las JONS, a more traditionalist, conservative party than the original Falagnists, and one which is described by some "authentic" Falangists as a move away from the party's original fascist principles.[360][364] Franco balanced several different interests of elements in his party in an effort to keep them united, especially in regard to the question of monarchy.[365]

Franco's traditionalist, conservative stance means the Francoist regime is not generally considered to be fascist, since it lacked any revolutionary, transformative aspect.[366][367][368][369][370] Stanley G. Payne, author of Falange: a history of Spanish fascism and supporter of minority revisionist historians who see the Spanish civil war as a result of leftist influences, wrote: "scarcely any of the serious historians and analysts of Franco consider the generalissimo to be a core fascist."[371] This view was not shared by those who fought in the civil war against Franco's Nationalist forces. They certainly saw it as a fight against Fascism even if it meant, as Roman Catholics, going against the prevailing sentiments of their Church.[372]

The ideas of Falangism were also exported, mainly to parts of the Hispanosphere, especially to South America.[373] In some countries, these movements were obscure; in others, they had some impact.[373] The Bolivian Socialist Falange under Óscar šnzaga provided significant competition to the ruling government from the 1950s until the 1970s.[374]

Falangism was significant in Lebanon through the Kataeb Party and its founder Pierre Gemayel,[375] fighting for national independence, which was won in 1943.

[edit] Integralism (Brazil)

Integralist Flag

Brazilian Integralism (Ação Integralista Brasileira) was a form of fascism founded by Plinio Salgado in Brazil in October 1932. It is considered by many historians[who?] the best adaptation of fascist ideals in Latin America. The magazine Hierarquía, directly inspired by Gerarchia from Italy, persuaded a great number of intellectuals to enter the group. 400,000 members were gained in the first two years alone, and by 1937 they were one of the most important parties in Latin America, with around one million members.

Integralists took many ideals from fascism. Their principles included corporativism and Catholicism, and, like other fascist movements, they exhibited an anti-capitalist and anti-communist agenda. They also formed armed squads, nicknamed Greenshirts.

[edit] Kai-tsu p'ai faction of the Kuomintang (China)

Wang Jingwei receiving Nazi diplomats while head of state of China-Nanjing in 1941.

Wang Jingwei, a left-wing nationalist and anti-communist member of the Kai-tsu p'ai (Reorganization) faction of the Kuomintang (Nationalist Party of China), was originally hostile to fascism in Europe but gradually drifted to be in favour of fascism, especially because of Nazi Germany's economic policies of the late 1930s.[376][377] Wang Jingwei visited Germany in 1936 and spoke positively about European fascist states, saying, "Several advanced countries have already expanded their national vitality and augmented their people's strength, and are no longer afraid of foreign aggression."[377] During World War II, he became head of the Republic of China-Nanjing, a Japanese client state.

Flag of the Republic of China-Nanjing under the Kai-tsu p'ai.

T'iang Leang-Li of the People's Tribune newspaper, which was associated with the Kai-tsu p'ai, promoted the positive nature of fascism in Europe while attempting to distance Kai-tsu p'ai from the overtly negative aspects of fascism. He wrote in 1937, "Whatever we may think about fascist and Nazi methods and policies, we must recognize the fact that their leaders have secured the enthusiastic support of their respective nations".[377] T'iang Leang-Li claimed that the "foolish, unwise, and even cruel things" done in the fascist states had been done in a positive manner to bring about "tremendous change in the political outlook of the German and Italian people".[377]

T'iang Leang-Li wrote articles that positively assessed the "socialist" character of Nazism. Similarly, Shih Shao-pei of the Kai-tsu p'ai rebuked Chinese critics of Nazism by saying "We in China [...] have heard too much about the 'national' and other flagwaving activities of the Nazis, and not enough about the 'socialist' work they are doing."[377] Shih Shao-pei wrote about improved working conditions in German factories, the vacations given to employees by the Kraft durch Freude organization, improved employer-employee relations, and the provision of public service work camps for the unemployed.[377] Another article by the People's Tribune said Nazism was bringing the "integration of the working classes ... into the National Socialist state and the abolition of ... the evil elements of modern capitalism".[377]

[edit] Para-fascism

Some states and movements have certain characteristics of fascism, but scholars generally agree they are not fascist. Such putatively fascist groups are generally anti-liberal, anti-communist and use political or paramilitary methods similar to those of fascists, but they lack fascism's revolutionary goal to create a new national character.[378] Para-fascism is a term used to describe authoritarian regimes with aspects that differentiate them from true fascist states or movements.[379]

Para-fascists typically eschew radical change, and some view genuine fascists as a threat.[380] Para-fascist states were often the home of genuine fascist movements, which were sometimes suppressed or co-opted and sometimes collaborated with.[378]

[edit] Fatherland Front (Austria)

Flag of the Fatherland Front of Austria.

"Austrofascism" is a controversial category encompassing various para-fascist and semi-fascist movements in Austria in the 1930s.[381] In particular it refers to the Fatherland Front, which became Austria's sole legal political party in 1934.

The Fatherland Front, like fascism, promoted corporatism, but unlike fascism it did not promote it along secular and totalitarian grounds.[382] They were similar in that both attacked the idea of a class struggle, accusing the left of destroying individuality. The leader of the Fatherland Front, Engelbert Dollfuß, claimed he wanted to "out-Hitler" (überhitlern) Nazism. Dollfuß rejected the secular totalitarian state and instead promoted Christian corporatism based on Pope Pius XI's encyclical Quadragesimo Anno (1931).[382] The Fatherland Front's corporatism was based on the state corporatist theory of Austrian conservative Othmar Spann.[383]

Unlike the ethnic nationalism promoted by Italian Fascists and Nazis, the Fatherland Front focused entirely on cultural nationalism, such as Austrian identity and distinction from Germany. It extolled Austria's ties to the Roman Catholic Church. The notion of the Fatherland Front being fascist is usually based on the regime's support for and ideological similarities with Fascist Italy, but its intensely conservative nationalism is often distinguished from revolutionary fascism.

[edit] Estado Novo (Portugal)

Antonio de Oliveira Salazar, Prime Minister of Portugal from 1932 to 1968.

The Estado Novo ("New State") regime in Portugal from 1933 to 1974 has been described as having close similarities to fascism as well as significant differences. Antonio de Oliveira Salazar rose to power in Portugal as Prime Minister in an army coup in 1932. Salazar created an authoritarian conservative nationalist regime that gave him complete control of government affairs and instituted a police state.[384] Salazar also instituted economic corporatism and substantial state control over the economy,[385] and, like fascist leaders, he denounced democracy as detrimental to nations.[384] While Salazar promoted nationalism, he personally made distinction between his regime's nationalism and fascism's aggressive nationalism, saying in 1934, "Portugal has no need of wars, usurptions, or conquests".[384] Salazar described his regime's nationalism as "sane and non-aggressive".[384] In 1936, Salazar denounced the totalitarianism of fascism, Nazism, and communism.[386] He criticized the "pagan" nature of Italian Fascism, claiming that it "recognizes no moral or legal order".[384]

[edit] Metaxas' 4th of August Regime (Greece)

Young members of the Greek National Youth Organization EON hail in presence of Ioannis Metaxas[387]

Greece from 1936 to 1941 was a constitutional monarchy whose government was controlled by General Ioannis Metaxas, a dictator who created an authoritarian state based loosely on German national socialism. Metaxas promoted Greek nationalism; created a massive National Youth Organization (Ethniki Organosi Neolaias); funded Greece's first Social Security Organisation, the IKA; increased economic, political and cultural ties with Nazi Germany; and established a regime which, according to him, was to lay the foundations for the so-called "Third Hellenic Civilization". The Metaxas regime used a fasces-like symbol, the diplos pelekys or labrys, an ancient Greek double axe as depicted in the Knossos palace. Under Metaxas, Greek officials adopted the straight-armed salute. Unlike Hitler and Mussolini, Metaxas' government did not have a political party in control of the state, but he did not need one, since he had the relative support of the King and the Greek population; while antipathetic to Metaxas, they conformed with the new State. The regime only disintegrated after Metaxas' death in January 1941.

[edit] Imperial Rule Assistance Association (Japan)

The Imperial Rule Assistance Association (Taisei Yokusankai) was a coalition of fascist and nationalist political movements of Japan, such as the Imperial Way Faction (KÅdÅha) and the Society of the East (TÅhÅkai). It was formed under the guidance of Japanese Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoeâwho sought to unify competing Japanese fascist and nationalist groups to reduce political friction and strengthen relations with the fascist regimes in Germany and Italy.[388][389] Prior to creation of the IRAA, Konoe had already effectively nationalized strategic industries, the news media, and labour unions in preparation for total war with China.

Konoe's successor, Hideki TÅjÅ, entrenched the IRAA as the country's ruling political movement and attempted to establish himself as the absolute leader, or Shogun, of Japan. In contrast to European fascism, the cult of personality for the movement focused not on the head of government, but on the Emperor of Japan.[388][389]

The IRAA created Tonarigumi (Neighbourhood Association) and youth organisations, in which participation was mandatory. After the 1942 general election, all members of the Japanese parliament were forced to become members of the IRAA, making Japan a single-party state. The IRAA government promoted Japanese expansionism and imperialism, declaring that Japan would form and lead a "Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere".[390]

[edit] Middle East

Among the countries where pre-World War II Arab-Nazi fascist groups emerged were Syria, Egypt, Lebanon and Iraq, as well as the Councils for the Defense of Arab Palestine, which were headed by well-known pro-Nazi leaders such as Nabi al-Azmah and Adil Arslan. Historians count among them at least seven different para-fascist groups.[391][392]

Following Hitler's rise to power in Germany, Kamil Muruwwa, the editor of the Beirut paper An-Nida, wrote to the German foreign minister in Berlin: "The whole Arab youth is enthused by Adolf Hitler." The year after Hitler came to power, Muruwwa translated Mein Kampf from English into Arabic and published it in daily installments in An-Nida.[393]

The leading advocate of a rapprochement with fascism in the Middle East was Rashid Ali al-Gaylani,[394] who after 1924 was at various times the Justice and Interior Minister of Iraq, and who had emerged as leader of the pan-Arab nationalists in 1930.[395]

From an early date, Mussolini chose to present himself as a promoter of Arab nationalism as a tool for the expansion of Italian influence. The Fascist regime had him proclaimed a "hero of Islam" and "defender of Islam" in Italian Libya, where a Libyan Arab Fascist party was created.[396][397] In Egypt, the Italian fascists, attempting to get King Farouk's support, said that he might become head of a greater Arab state.[398] Egyptian Arab nationalists initially admired fascism in the 1920s, but the brutality of Fascist Italy against their fellow Arabs in Libya from the 1920s until 1931 led to a change of heart.[399]

The mufti al-Husayni, who was called "the Fuhrer of the Arab world",[400] met with Hitler[401] and Mussolini, sharing with the latter a devotion to fascism as well as, according to his account after the meeting, a passionate hatred for both the British and the Jews.[402] He inspired the development of pro-Nazi parties throughout the Arab world, including Young Egypt, led by Gamal Abdul Nasser, and the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP).[403] Among the actions by the teamed Arab, Nazi Germany and Italian fascists was the persecution, torture and rape of Jews in Tunisia during a six-month period.[404]

The regime of Reza Pahlavi, the interwar ruler of Iran, was described as fascist in style, and this led the Allies to worry that it might fall under the control of Nazi Germany.[405] The Pahlavi regime, like that of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, had a vigorous nationalist ideology based on chauvinism, imperial nostalgia and the cult of a leader.[406] Pahlavi was sometimes referred to as "the Mussolini of Islam". Resident Germans in Iran actively propagandized for the National Socialists, and by May 1940 there were about 4000 Nazi agents across the country.[407] On 17 September 1941, the Shah of Iran was forced to abdicate in favor of his son, Pahlavi, and to go into exile. In March 1943, German agents parachuted into Iran, and in Germany, the Nationalist Organization of Iran broadcasted radio propaganda on behalf of fascism.[408]

The Lebanese Emir Chekib Arslan, a pan-Arabist, was well known for his sympathy for Nazism and a yearning for the re-creation of an Arab kingdom led by a 'King of all the Arabs'.[409] He was regarded as the most important figure in the context of Mussolini's fascist influence in the Middle East. In the dozens of his articles published in 1935, he combined the negative messages of radical Islam with the modern messages of fascist propaganda. His work was read in Syrian, Lebanese, Palestinian and Egyptian circles.[410] The 1931 book The New Land of Islam likewise praised Shakib Arslan for envisioning Mussolini's victory and lauded General Graziani, the henchman of al-Mukhtar, as a true friend of Arabism.[411]

Three groups directly influenced by European fascism and described as fascist[412][413][414] [415] [416] were the Iraqi Futuwwa, the Young Egypt Association (Greenshirts),[391][417] and the Syrian People's Party, also known as Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP).[418] Modeled on Hitler's Nazi Party, the SSNP's symbol was a curved swastika called the Zawbah.[419] Its founder, Sa'ada, was known as al-za'in (the Führer), and the party's anthem was "Syria, Syria, über alles".[420] All three groups were territorially expansionist, with Sami Shawkat, the Futuwwa ideologue, envisioning the "Arab nation" eventually covering half the globe through conversion.[421][422][423]

The fascist Pan-Arab al-Muthanna club[424][425] delivered speeches supporting Nazism,[426] and al-Futuwwa participated in the 1941 Farhud attack on Baghdad's Jewish community,[427][428][429][430] following agitation by Shawkat,[431] [432] who praised Hitler and Mussolini for eradicating the "enemy" (Jews). Shawkat was in cooperation with the Mufti, and Syrian and Arab Palestinian teachers often supported his preaching.[433][434] The al-Muthanna club and its al-Futuwwa movement were influenced by European fascism [435][436] and were among the pan-Arabists' proto-fascist organizations that developed during the 1930s.[427] A paramilitary organization, it was under the command of the ministry's general director, Dr. Sami Shawkat, and it was modeled after the Hitler Youth.[437][438][439][440][441][442] In 1938, the Al-Futuwwa youth organization sent a delegate to the Nuremberg Nazi party rally; it in turn hosted the Hitler Youth leader Baldur von Schirach in Baghdad in 1939.[443]

Benito Mussolini's fascism impressed many in Turkey, and there were many similarities between the Italian fascist regime and the Kemalists, including racist rhetoric and authoritarianism.[444]

Despite Arabs' support for fascism, the Nazis were clear that the Arabs were racially inferior, and there would, therefore, be no pleasure to be had from helping them in anything except for the extermination of Jews in their region.[445] Nevertheless, most Arabs did not realize that the Nazis considered them racially inferior.[446] Although Hitler loathed Arabs, once describing them as "lacquered half-apes who ought to be whipped",[447] [448] he understood that he and the Mufti shared the same rivals â the British, the Jews and the communists.[449] Similarly, Mussolini's PNF passed racial legislation against Arabs as well as against Jews and Africans,[450] and author Robert Gerwarth has argued that the Italian Fascist regime committed its most numerous crimes against Arabs, blacks, and Slavs.[451]

Of post-World War II regimes, Stanley G. Payne writes:

Some of the new nationalist regimes which developed in the Middle East during the second half of the century exhibited more of the characteristics of fascism than those of any other part of the world. A first example was the Egyptian regime under Nasser, with its Fuhrerprinzip... Libyan dictatorship of Muammar al-Gadhafi a fanatical Muslim... "Brother Colonel" has renounced capitalism, preaching pan-Arabism and a form of "Arab socialism" while his interest in militarism, violence.

.[452]

[edit] Ba'athism

Historians and analysts, including The Economist, believe the pan-Arab Ba'athist movement, an elitist, pan-Arabist group that arose in the 1930s,[453] is influenced by European fascism.[454][455][456][457] Several close associates have admitted that its founder, Michel Aflaq, had been directly inspired by fascist and Nazi theories.[458] Its ideology is laced with racism, especially against Persians, Jews, Kurds, and other minorities,[459][460] and mainstream media, including journalists at PBS, BBC, and the New York Times, widely consider it fascist.[461][462][463]

The Iraqi and Syrian Ba'athist regimes had pronounced fascist features. Although Saddam Hussein never acknowledged the training of a youth brigade, he had, in several speeches, spoken admiringly of the Hitler Youth. It is widely believed that he belonged to the Futuwa, a paramilitary youth organisation which was modelled on the Hitler Youth.[464] According to the History Channel documentary Saddam and the Third Reich, "Few people realize that the Ba'ath party was actually formed upon the principles and organizational structure of the Nazi party."[465]

[edit] Criticism

Fascism has been widely criticized since the end of World War II for a variety of reasons.

Aside from criticism of fascist ideology, there has been debate as to its nature and even whether it is a coherent ideology. One view is that fascism is not a real ideology at all;[466] this view claims that fascism is a form of irrational and opportunistic politics only committed to nihilistic violence that has no logical or rational definition, and that its official ideological components are only tools of propaganda and are often contradictory.[466]

Marxists accuse fascism of being a capitalist tyranny that attempts to make conservative reaction popular to the working class but in practice represses the working class.[82] Marxist-Leninist interpretations condemn fascism as a "political offensive of the [entire] bourgeosie against the working class"; a servant of "big business", "large landowners", and agrarian and industrialist capitalism.[467] Vladimir Lenin claimed that "Fascism is capitalism in decay."[468]

Hungarian communist Djula Sas in 1923 made a more detailed critique of fascism, in which he noted that, six months after rising to power, Italian Fascists had dismantled working-class organizations, significantly reduced wages in certain areas, abolished taxes on inheritance and war profits, and emphasized the need for "national production".[467] According to Sas, these actions clearly indicated that fascism was in the service of industrial capitalism.[469]

Marxist interpretations of fascism are typically based on a developmental approach.[82] The Marxist developmental perspective on fascism has been criticized for failing to explain why fascism has not appeared in developing countries.[82] Furthermore, Marxist interpretations of fascism have categorized multiple movements with significant differences to fascism as simply "fascist".[82] As a result, even some communist regimes have been declared "fascist" under such interpretations, including those of Cuba under Fidel Castro and Vietnam under Ho Chi Minh.[82]

[edit] References

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ Girvin, Brian. The Right in the Twentieth Century. Pinter, 1994. p. 83. Describes fascism as an "anti-liberal radical authoritarian nationalist movement".
  2. ^ Turner, Henry Ashby. Reappraisals of Fascism. New Viewpoints, 1975. p. 162. States fascism's "goals of radical and authoritarian nationalism".
  3. ^ Payne, Stanley. Fascism in Spain, 1923â1977. University of Wisconsin Press, 1992. p. 43. Payne describes Spanish fascist José Antonio Primo de Rivera's objectives, saying "Young José Antonio's primary political passion was and would long remain the vindication of his father's work, which he was now trying to conceptualize in a radical, authoritarian nationalist form."
  4. ^ Larsen, Stein Ugelvik; Hagtvet, Bernt; Myklebust, Jan Petter. Who were the Fascists Fascists: social roots of European Fascism. p. 424. This reference calls fascism an "organized form of integrative radical nationalist authoritarianism"
  5. ^ Wiarda, Howard J. Corporatism and comparative politics. M.E. Sharpe, 1996. p. 12.
  6. ^ E.G. Noel O'Sullivan's five major themes of fascism are: corporatism, revolution, the leader principle, messianic faith, and autarky. The Fascism Reader by Aristotle A. Kallis says, "1. Corporatism. The most important claim made by fascism was that it alone could offer the creative prospect of a 'third way' between capitalism and socialism. Adolf Hitler, in Mein Kampf, spoke enthusiastically about the 'National Socialist corporative idea' as one which would eventually 'take the place of ruinous class warfare'; whilst Benito Mussolini, in typically extravagant fashion, declared that 'the Corporative System is destined to become the civilization of the twentieth century.'"
  7. ^ Benito Mussolini's Doctrine of Fascism regards fascism as right-wing and collectivist, but it also declares that fascism is sympathetic to ameliorating the conditions that brought about the rise of left-wing political movements, such as class conflict socialism and liberal democracy, while simultaneously opposing the egalitarianism associated with the left. "We are free to believe that this is the century of authority, a century tending to the 'right', a Fascist century." ... "We are free to believe that this is the 'collective' century, and thus the century of the state. It is eminently reasonable for a new doctrine to make use of still-vital elements from other doctrines," ... "Fascism is totalitarian, and the Fascist Stateâa synthesis and a unit inclusive of all valuesâinterprets, develops, and potentiates the whole life of a people." (p. 14) "The Fascist negation of socialism, democracy, liberalism, should not, however, be interpreted as implying a desire to drive the world backwards to positions occupied prior to 1789, a year commonly referred to as that which opened the demo-liberal century. History does not travel backwards. The Fascist doctrine has not taken De Maistre as its prophet. Monarchical absolutism is of the past, and so is ecclesiolatry. Dead and done for are feudal privileges and the division of society into closed, uncommunicating castes. Neither has the Fascist conception of authority anything in common with that of a police ridden State." ... "Fascism is therefore opposed to Socialism to which unity within the State (which amalgamates classes into a single economic and ethical reality) is unknown, and which sees in history nothing but the class struggle. Fascism is likewise opposed to trade unionism as a class weapon. But when brought within the orbit of the State, Fascism recognises the real needs which gave rise to socialism and trade-unionism, giving them due weight in the guild or corporative system in which divergent interests are coordinated and harmonised in the unity of the State." (p.15) "In rejecting democracy Fascism rejects the absurd conventional lie of political equalitarianism, the habit of collective irresponsibility, the myth of felicity and indefinite progress." ... "Fascism denies that numbers, as such, can be the determining factor in human society; it denies the right of numbers to govern by means of periodical consultations; it asserts the irremediable and fertile and beneficent inequality of men who cannot be leveled by any such mechanical and extrinsic device as universal suffrage." Doctrine of Fascism.
  8. ^ Sternhell, Zeev; Sznajder, Mario; Ashéri, Maia; Massel, David (translation). The birth of fascist ideology: from cultural rebellion to political revolution. Princeton, New Jersey, USA: Princeton University Press: 1994. pp. 189â190.
  9. ^ Payne, Stanley G. A history of fascism, 1914â1945. Oxon: The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System, 2005 (digital edition). p. 112.
  10. ^ Lyons, Matthew N.. "What is Fascism? Some General Ideological Features". PublicEye.org. Political Research Associates. http://www.publiceye.org/eyes/whatfasc.html. Retrieved 2009-10-27. 
  11. ^ a b Griffin, Roger: "The Palingenetic Core of Fascism", Che cos'è il fascismo? Interpretazioni e prospettive di ricerche, Ideazione editrice, Rome, 2003 AH.Brookes.ac.uk
  12. ^ a b Stackleberg, Rodney Hitler's Germany, Routeledge, 1999, p. 3
  13. ^ a b Eatwell, Roger: "A 'Spectral-Syncretic Approach to Fascism', The Fascism Reader, Routledge, 2003 pp 71â80 Books.google.com
  14. ^ a b Lipset, Seymour: "Fascism as Extremism of the Middle Class", The Fascism Reader, Routledge, 2003, pp. 112â116
  15. ^ Benito Mussolini's Doctrine of Fascism regards fascism as right-wing and collectivist, but it also declares that fascism is sympathetic to ameliorating the conditions that brought about the rise of left-wing political movements, such as class conflict socialism and liberal democracy, while simultaneously opposing the egalitarianism associated with the left. "We are free to believe that this is the century of authority, a century tending to the 'right', a Fascist century." ... "We are free to believe that this is the 'collective' century, and thus the century of the state. It is eminently reasonable for a new doctrine to make use of still-vital elements from other doctrines," ... "Fascism is totalitarian, and the Fascist Stateâa synthesis and a unit inclusive of all valuesâinterprets, develops, and potentiates the whole life of a people." (p. 14) "The Fascist negation of socialism, democracy, liberalism, should not, however, be interpreted as implying a desire to drive the world backwards to positions occupied prior to 1789, a year commonly referred to as that which opened the demo-liberal century. History does not travel backwards. The Fascist doctrine has not taken De Maistre as its prophet. Monarchical absolutism is of the past, and so is ecclesiolatry. Dead and done for are feudal privileges and the division of society into closed, uncommunicating castes. Neither has the Fascist conception of authority anything in common with that of a police ridden State." ... "Fascism is therefore opposed to Socialism to which unity within the State (which amalgamates classes into a single economic and ethical reality) is unknown, and which sees in history nothing but the class struggle. Fascism is likewise opposed to trade unionism as a class weapon. But when brought within the orbit of the State, Fascism recognises the real needs which gave rise to socialism and trade-unionism, giving them due weight in the guild or corporative system in which divergent interests are coordinated and harmonised in the unity of the State." (p.15) "In rejecting democracy Fascism rejects the absurd conventional lie of political equalitarianism, the habit of collective irresponsibility, the myth of felicity and indefinite progress." ... "Fascism denies that numbers, as such, can be the determining factor in human society; it denies the right of numbers to govern by means of periodical consultations; it asserts the irremediable and fertile and beneficent inequality of men who cannot be leveled by any such mechanical and extrinsic device as universal suffrage." Doctrine of Fascism.
  16. ^ a b Gräiä, Joseph. Ethics and political theory. Lanham, Maryland, USA: University of America, Inc, 2000. p. 120
  17. ^ Mussolini, Benito. 1935. Fascism: Doctrine and Institutions. Rome: Ardita Publishers. p 14. "The Fascist conception of the State is all-embracing; outside of it no human or spiritual values can exist, much less have value. Thus understood, Fascism is totalitarian, and the Fascist Stateâa synthesis and a unit inclusive of all valuesâinterprets, develops, and potentiates the whole life of a people."
  18. ^ Griffen, Roger (ed). 1995. "The Legal Basis of the Total State" â by Carl Schmitt. Fascism. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 72."Nazi political theorist Carl Schmitt described the Nazi intention to form a "strong state which guarantees a totality of political unity transcending all diversity" in order to avoid a "disasterous pluralism tearing the German people apart."
  19. ^ De Grand, Alexander. Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany: the "fascist" style of rule. Routledge, 2004. p. 28.
  20. ^ a b c "Pax Romanizing". TIME Magazine, 31 December 1934. The Fascist International declared their opposition to the seeking of autonomy and cultural distinction of Jewish groups in Europe, claiming that such attempts were dangerous and an affront to national unity.
  21. ^ Kent, Allen; Lancour, Harold; Nasri, William Z. Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science: Volume 62 â Supplement 25 â Automated Discourse Generation to the User-Centered Revolution: 1970â1995. CRC Press, 1998. ISBN 9780824720629. p. 69.
  22. ^ Griffin, Roger (ed.); Feldman, Matthew (ed.). Fascism: Fascism and culture. London, UK; New York, USA: Routledge, 2004. p. 185.
  23. ^ Frank Bealey, Allan G. Johnson. The Blackwell dictionary of political science: a user's guide to its terms. 2nd edition. Malden, Massachusetts, USA: Blackwell Publishers, 2000. p. 129.
  24. ^ Walter Laqueur, Walter. Fascism: A Readers' Guide : Analysis, Interpretations, Bibliography. Berkeley and Los Angeles, California, USA: University of California Press, 1976 (first edition, 1978 (paperback edition). p. 338.
  25. ^ Griffin, Roger. The Nature of Fascism. New York, New York, USA: St. Martins Press, 1991. pp. 222â223.
  26. ^ Gregor, Anthony James. Mussolini's intellectuals: fascist social and political thought. Princeton University Press, 2004. p. 172.
  27. ^ a b c Roland Sarti. "Italian fascism: radical politics and conservative goals". Fascists and Conservatives. Ed. Martin Blinkhorn. 2nd edition. Oxon, England, UK: Routledge, 2001 p. 21.
  28. ^ Peter Davies, Derek Lynch. The Routledge Companion to Fascism and the Far Right. Routledge, 2002. p. 146
  29. ^ Heywood, Andrew. Key Concepts in Politics. Palgrave Macmillan, 2000. p. 78
  30. ^ a b c d e Cyprian Blamires, Paul Jackson. World fascism: a historical encyclopedia, Volume 1. Santa Barbara, California, USA: ABC-CLIO, 2006. p. 150.
  31. ^ New World, Websters (2005). Webster's II New College Dictionary. Houghton Mifflin Reference Books. ISBN 0618396012. 
  32. ^ Payne, Stanley (1995). A History of Fascism, 1914â45. University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 0299148742. 
  33. ^ Doordan, Dennis P (1995). In the Shadow of the Fasces: Political Design in Fascist Italy. The MIT Press. ISBN 0299148742. 
  34. ^ Parkins, Wendy (2002). Fashioning the Body Politic: Dress, Gender, Citizenship. Berg Publishers. ISBN 1859735878. 
  35. ^ Gregor, A. James (2002). Phoenix: Fascism in Our Time. Transaction Publishers. ISBN 0765808552. 
  36. ^ a b Payne, Stanley G (1983). Fascism, Comparison and Definition. University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 0299080641. 
  37. ^ a b Griffiths, Richard. An Intelligent Person's Guide to Fascism. Duckworth. ISBN 0715629182. 
  38. ^ Roger Griffin, The palingenetic core of generic fascist ideology, Chapter published in Alessandro Campi (ed.), Che cos'è il fascismo? Interpretazioni e prospettive di ricerche, Ideazione editrice, Roma, 2003, pp. 97â122.
  39. ^ a b Paxton, Robert. The Anatomy of Fascism. Vintage Books. ISBN 1400040949. 
  40. ^ Griffin, Roger and Matthew Feldman Fascism: Critical Concepts in Political Science p. 420-421, 2004 Taylor and Francis.
  41. ^ Kallis, Aristotle, ed. (2003). The Fascism Reader, London: Routledge, pages 84â85.
  42. ^ Renton, David. Fascism: Theory and Practice, p. 21, London: Pluto Press, 1999.
  43. ^ Eatwell, Roger: "A Spectral-Syncretic Approach to Fascism", The Fascism Reader, Routledge, 2003, p 79. Books.Google.com
  44. ^ Turner, Stephen P., Käsler, Dirk: Sociology Responds to Fascism, Routledge. 2004, p. 222
  45. ^ a b c d e f g h i Stanley G. Payne. A history of fascism, 1914â1945. Oxon, England, UK: Routledge, 2001. p. 112.
  46. ^ Weber, Eugen. Varieties of Fascism: Doctrines of Revolution in the Twentieth Century, New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, [1964] 1982. p. 8.
  47. ^ Renton, David. Fascism: Theory and Practice, London: Pluto Press, 1999.
  48. ^ Jenkins, Brian (ed). France in the Era of Fascisâ, Oxford: Beghahan Books, 2005, p 66.
  49. ^ Stackleberg, Roderick: Hitler's Germany, London: Routeledge, 1999, p 17
  50. ^ Stanley G. Payne, Fascism: Comparison and Definition. University of Wisconsin Press, 1983, p. 3.
  51. ^ Roger Griffin, Interregnum or Endgame?: Radical Right Thought in the âPost-fascistâ Era, The Journal of Political Ideologies, vol. 5, no. 2, July 2000, pp. 163â78
  52. ^ âNon Angeli, sed Angli: the neo-populist foreign policy of the "New" BNP', in Christina Liang (ed.) Europe for the Europeans: the foreign and security policy of the populist radical right (Ashgate, Hampshire, 2007) ISBN 0754648516
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  57. ^ Lipset, Seymour. ââPolitical Manââ, New York, Anchor Books, 1960, p 141
  58. ^ Griffin, Roger. ââThe Nature of Fascismââ, London, Routeledge, 1991
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  60. ^ Counts, George Sylvester (1970). Bolshevism, Fascism, and Capitalism: An Account of the Three Economic Systems. Ayer Publishing. ISBN 0836918665. 
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  68. ^ Books.Google.com "a final indicator of the amibiguity between left and right extremes is that many militants switch sides, including the very founder of fascism, Benito Mussolini" Terrorism today, Christopher C. Harmon, Routledge, 2000 ISBN 9780714649986 316 pages
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