Theo Verelst Diary Page 161

Fri Nov 1 2002, 19:11 PM

I've decided after good example to write some diary pages with toughts and events.

Oh, in case anybody fails to understand, I'd like to remind them that these pages are copyrighted, and that everything found here may not be redistributed in any other way then over this direct link without my prior consent. That includes family, christianity, and other cheats. The simple reason is that it may well be that some people have been ill informed because they've spread illegal 'copies' of my materials even with modifications. Apart from my moral judgement, that is illegal, and will be treated as such by me. Make as many references to these pages as you like, make hardcopies, but only of the whole page, including the html-references, and without changing a iota or tittel...

And if not? I won't hesitate to use legal means to correct wrong that may be done otherwise. And I am serious. I usually am. I'm not sure I could get 'attempt to grave emotional assault' out of it, but infrigement on copyright rules is serious enough. And Jesus called upon us to respect the authorities of state, so christians would of course never do such a thing. Lying, imagine that.

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Fri Nov 1 2002, 19:11 AM

Today, not as a result of personal reasons in a direct sense, but without question as a result also of the miserable ways I've seen around me, I'll get serious about what certain demons appearently have reveived power for to achieve: fascism, as the final consequence or alternative or counterpart of nazism in a country where insanity maybe doesn't rule everything, but so much it isn't funny. And probably never has been.

And certainly not nice. At all. And certain people I don't want to believe in those who advocate theories and faith systems and people who are wrong and evil, and shouldn't be taken for anything else as causing damnation and misery. Lets say I saw some results of personal and other kinds of damnation which aren't nice to look at, and which I'd have wanted to prevent, and which I hope not to have to deal with concerning some I've known.

So the word with as I know strong meaning I'll use is fascism.


What is a fascist? Basically, 'sich heil' nothing is worth it, or going to continue being worth it, everything must therefore be sacrificed anyway to whatever misery or damnatioin which happens to emerge from the miserable hidden or obvious (sub)counsciousness, personally and publically.

'Were all going ddooooowwwwwn........'

No we're not, but still. The following is a long (about a chapter )  quote, I didn´t ask for permission, let´s hope it´s not a problem, from the following book:

The Concept of Fascism 


Ever since the March on Rome, political analysts and historians have tried to formula­te an interpretation capable of explaining the phenomenon of European fascism. As the only genuinely novel or original form of radicalism emerging from World War I, and one that seemed to involve multiple ambiguities if not outright contradictions, fascism did not readily lend itself to monocausal explanation or a simple unified theory. For more than half a century the debate has gone on, and there is still no general consensus regarding an explanatory concept.

The principal theoretical concepts of fascism have been directed primarily either toward a definition of the underlying nature of this species of politics, its overall significance, or more commonly, the principal sources or causes that gave it life. For convenience's sake, they may be summarized in nine categories: 

1. A violent, dictatorial agent of bourgeois capitalism.
2. The product of a cultural or moral breakdown.
3. The result of neurotic or pathological psychosocial impulses.
4. The product of the rise of amorphous masses.
5. The consequence of a certain stage of economic growth, or historical sequence of national development.
6. A typical manifestation of twentieth-century totalitarianism.
7. A struggle against "modernization".
8. The expression of a unique radicalism of the middle classes.
9. The denial that such a thing as "generic fascism" ever existed due to the extreme differences between putatively fascist movements, and hence denial of the possibi­lity of a general concept of "fascism".

Each of these theories or concepts will be briefly considered in turn. Before doing so, however, it should be pointed out that very few who attempt to develop a causal theory or explanatory concept of fascism make a serious effort at empirical definition of what they mean by the term. that is. to exactly which parties, movements or forces they refer. Aside from general references to the NSDAP and PNF (normally both together, without much effort to distinguish between the two), it is more often than not merely assumed that the identity of "fascists" is understood, and all manner of right authoritarian and anti-leftist forces are frequently thrown into a general conceptual grab-bag under this label. Hence the very lack of an empirical definition of what is meant by fascism, and precisely the groups to which the term is thought to refer, has been a major obstacle to conceptual clarification of the phenomenon.

Fascism as a Violent, Dictatorial Agent of Bourgeois Capitalism

The notion that fascism was primarily to be understood as the agent of "capitalism", "finance capital", the "bourgeoisie", or some combination thereof, is one of the oldest, most standard and widely diffused interpretations. It was formulated to some extent even before the March on Rome, and began to be given general currency -though referring primarily only to Italy - as early as 1923 in the formulations of the Hungarian Communist Gyula Sas2 and the German Clara Zetkin3. This became the standard communist and Third International interpretation of fascism, and was also adopted by some non-communists as well. Leading exponents of the concept were R. Palrne Dutt4 and Daniel Guerin5, though some serious qualifications were introduced into the original Marxist interpretation by Franz Borkenau6. Leading recent expo­nents of the Marxist concept of fascism are Reinhard Kuhni7, Nicos Poulantzas8, Boris Lopukhov9, Alexander Galkin10, and Mihaly Vajda11.

Among the leading critics of the Marxist theory are Henry A. Turner, Jr.12, A. James Gregor13, Renzo de Felice14, and Tim Mason15. Their data indicate that the main support of big business in Germany and Italy, for example, went to the right-wing DNVP and ANI, respectively, and they argue that once in power Hitler and also Mussolini moved increasingly to control and subordinate capitalist interests. The latter point has to some extent been incorporated into the variants of the Marxist concept of fascism as formulated by Galkin and Vajda.

In general, those who follow the Marxist concept of fascism do not distinguish - or reject the significance of any possible distinction - between the core fascist groups and forces of more conservative right authoritarianism.

Fascism as the Product of a Cultural or Moral Breakdown

Historians of culture in Germany and Italy, led by such figures as Benedetto Croce16 and Friedrich Meinecke17, have seen the general phenomenon of European fascism as the product of cultural fragmentation and moral relativism in European ideas from the late nineteenth century on. In this view, the crisis of World War I and its aftermath, producing intense economic dislocation, social conflict and cultural anomie, resulted in a kind of spiritual collapse that permitted new forms of radical nationalism to flourish. One of the most cogent statements of this approach will be found in a study by Peter Drucker.18

The weakness of the "cultural or moral crisis" approach alone is that it only tries to explain what conditions permitted fascist movements to develop, without accounting for their specific ideas, forms or goals. Quite a different approach has been taken by A. James Gregor in his The Ideology of Fascism (New York, 1969), which argues that Italian fascism developed a coherent ideology that was not the product of a nihilistic cultural collapse but rather the consequence of specific new cultural, political and sociological ideas stemming from Western and Central Europe in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Fascism as the Result of Neurotic or Pathological Psychosocial Impulses

There are three principal, though considerably different, statements of this concept. One of the best-known is Erich Fromm's Escape from Freedom (New York, 1941, 1965), which contended that fascism should be seen as the product of decaying central European middle-class society, but differed from the standard Marxist approach by laying the main emphasis not on direct economic factors but on feelings of isolation, impotence, anomie and frustration among middle-class people.

A more extreme Freudian approach may be found in Wilhelm Reich's The Mass Psychology of Fascism (New York, 1930,1946,1970), which propounded a psychosex-ual explanation of the origins and nature of fascism. Reich's interpretation viewed fascism as a matter of sexual repression and sadomasochistic compensatory and aggressive impulses, and as the natural consequence of a "bourgeois society" grounded on sexual repression.
   A different but somewhat related approach may be found in the work of Theodor Adorno, et al., entitled The Authoritarian Personality (New York, 1950). The implication of this study was that fascism could be understood as the prime expression of certain "authoritarian personality" traits that tended toward rigidity, repression and dictatorship, and might be most commonly expected among the interwar central European middle classes.
   The weakness of this approach to the understanding of fascism is the essentially speculative nature of the concepts of Fromm and Reich, and the peculiarly reductionist nature of the latter's sexual ideas, which cannot be rendered methodologically applicable to the main dimensions of the problem. The "authoritarian personality" inventory is more empirical and specific, but subsequent data collection has not been able to substantiate clearly any assumptions about middle-class or central European personality traits in this regard.

Fascism as the Product of the Rise of Amorphous Masses

Another concept of fascism considers it to be the product of unique qualitative changes in European society, as the traditional class structure gives way to large, undifferentiated and atomized populations - the «masses» of urban, industrial society. This idea was first advanced by Jose Ortega y Gasset19, and in varying ways has been reformulated by Emil Lederer20, Talcott Parsons21 and Hannah Arendt22, and perhaps most cogently by William Kornhauser23. This approach emphasizes the irrational, anti-intellectual and «visceral" nature of the fascist appeal to «mass man», and thus to some extent may be thought to complement the «cultural crisis» concept.
   This approach tends, however, to obfuscate the extent to which practical ideological content and cogent appeals to tangible interests figured in the programs and practice of the fascist movements, as well as the extent to which many of their supporters were still identified and definable as members of structured social or institutional sectors.

Fascism as the Consequence of a Certain Stage of Economic Growth, or Historical Phases of National Development

All four of the preceding approaches to understanding and categorizing fascism were "classical concepts", formulated originally in the 1920s and early 1930s, and couched in terms of fundamental interests or impulses of European society or its economic structure. A different approach emerged twenty years after the defeat of Nazi Germany, and was influenced by general ideas about the structural and political imperatives of economic modernization and the recent experiences of newly emerging «Third World» countries.
The stages of growth or development concept held that the process of modernization and industrialization frequently tended to produce severe internal conflict as the balance of power shifted between or threatened various social and economic groups.
   Those who lean toward this approach differ from the standard Marxists in that they do not reduce the conflict to a capital versus labor approach, but define it more broadly in terms of a large range of social/structural forces and do not suppose that fascism is merely the agent of «monopoly capital" as a primary force.
   Two of the leading exponents of this approach are A. F. K. Organski and Ludovico Garruccio. Organski24 has suggested that the potential for fascism arises at the point at which the industrial sector of the economy first begins to equal in size and labor force that of the primary sector, creating the potential for severe social conflicts that serve to elicit aggressive nationalism and authoritarian government. The trouble with this concept is that its author has never refined it sufficiently to make it uniquely applicable to Italy and other countries undergoing a «fascist» experience, and as such it cannot apply to Germany (nor does its author attempt so to apply it). Most countries passing through that stage of growth have never known anything that could be called fascism.
   Perhaps the most serious effort to understand fascism in terms of broad comparative patterns of development and modernization is Ludovico Garruccio's L'Industri-alizzazione tra nazionalismo e rivoluzione (Bologna, 1969). It suggests that what is known as fascism was the central European variant of a common period of crisis, normally issuing into authoritarian government, that accompanies the effort of modern nations (or empires, in the case of Russia) to establish their identity and power on a modem basis, overcome internal conflict and complete their economic or social modernization. This concept is extremely suggestive, and may help to explain the relationship of fascism to communism and to Third World development dictatorships, but fails to identify or explain the unique historical features of European fascism.

Fascism as a Typical Manifestation of Twentieth-Century Totalitarianism

In the immediate aftermath of World War II, when the specter of a Europe dominated by Hitlerian Nazism was replaced by that of one dominated by Stalinist Communism, a new line of interpretation developed among some Western political theorists which suggested that fascism, and particularly German National Socialism, did not constitute a unique category or genus, but was merely one typical manifestation of the much broader and more sinister phenomenon of twentieth-century totalitarianism, which would endure long after the specific fascist movements had expired.25 This concept momentarily enjoyed considerable vogue in certain Western countries during the 1950s, but soon drew increasing criticism. Hannah Arendt, author of one of the leading books on the historical origins of totalitarianism, excepted Mussolini's Italy from the whole category of totalitarian systems, and that undercut the concept of generic fascism as «totalitarianism». In a major article, Wolfgang Sauer26 drew attention to common features of national socialism with fascist movements and the differences from communist ones, casting doubt on the common identity of generic totalitarianism. Western theorists have in general encountered increasing difficulty in defining totalitarianism, and some have doubted its existence as a continuous, comparable category.27

Fascism as the Resistance to Modernization

The concept that fascism is to be understood above all as an expression of resistance to «modernization» or "transcendence" has become especially popular in Western countries during the past twenty years, and has been given varying formulation by such diverse theorists and historians as Ernst Nolle, Wolfgang Sauer, Henry A Turner, Jr , Barrington Moore, Jr , and Alan Cassels What the proponents of this approach have in common is the emphasis on a definition of fascist movements as opponents of urbanization, industrialization, liberal education, rationalist materialism, individualism, social differentiation and pluralist autonomy, and international cooperation or peace Though the concept of modernization is rarely defined as such, the preceding inventory of referential phenomena seems to be what these analysts have in mind and it is of course intimately bound up with Western liberal democracy Nolte, in his classic Three Faces of Fascism (Munich, 1963, New York, 1966), argues that fascism was among other things, opposed to international peace and modern transcendence  a philosophical term that seems to be related to the concept of modernization in the social sciences For Wolfgang Sauer, fascism was the political movement of the < losers > in the modernization process Henry A Turner, Jr , largely agrees with them, postulating that fascism was the product of the forces that oppose all those phenomena associated with modernization 28 Bamngton Moore believes that fascism was the product of a modernization process controlled by martial, rural elites 29 Alan Cassels offers, however, a major qualification to the anti-modernist thesis by his concept of "two faces of fascism", suggesting that in some underdeveloped countries fascism was a modernizing force but turned against the modernization process in countries like Germany that were already industrialized 30

Some of the major critics of the concept of fascism as mere reaction and anti-modernism are A James Gregor, Karl D Bracher and Renzo de Felice Gregor has documented the appeal of the Italian movement for the construction of a new industrial Italy, its stress on technological futurism and productivism, the expansion of Italian industrialization and ecological ridimensionamento31 De Felice makes the same points, and goes beyond to stress the similarity of some of the concepts of Italian fascists and Jacobins, the roots of the Italian movement in eighteenth-century ideals and its faith in education in building the new Italy 32 Karl D Bracher extends Cassels' concept of the ambivalence of some fascist movements to National Socialism as well stressing the latter s originality and unique revolutionary qualities33
   More categorical is the interpretation of Eugen Weber which finds in various forms of national socialism the characteristic revolution of the twentieth century, and considers some varieties of fascism to be as revolutionary as communist movements Weber emphasizes that some fascist movements mobilized large numbers of peasants and workers, in more backward countries they filled the role of a revolutionary lower-class movement for drastic socio-economic change 14

Fascism as a Unique Radicalism of the Middle Classes

At least two leading scholars have viewed fascism as a unique form of radicalism developed by and expressing the autonomous interests of the middle classes as distinct from upper-class elites and worker movements Seymour M Lipset has presented an interpretation of fascism as an independent force quite apart from aristocratic elite reaction or proletarian radicalism representing unique new twentieth century forces35 Renzo de Felice employs much the same concept with regard to the social and cultural definition of Italian fascism as the vehicle of new radical middle class elites distinct from the old liberal upper-middle class forces or new proletarian Socialists36

Denial of the Coherence of any Concept of Generic Fascism

The debate about the definition, origins, causes, meaning and significance of fascism has now gone on for more than half a century, and is no nearer resolution than ever Indeed, it may be that the passage of time, rather than providing definitive answers, simply provides the perspective for more questions Further research, rather than producing agreement, provides evidence for new theories and the continuation of old debates Thus considerable doubt has been cast on the classic concepts of fascism as sufficient grounds for understanding in and of themselves, but no consensus has been reached regarding their substitution.
   It may be noted that very little attention was paid by the formulators of the classic concepts to the question of empirical definition and taxonomy of fascist movements themselves, even to the extent of defining exactly what characteristics made a movement «fascist» and exactly which political forces were understood to be «fascist» and which were not Nearly all the theorists of fascism have as a minimum referred to both Italian fascism and German National Socialism as part of the same genenc category but even that identity has become increasingly a subject of dispute.
   In recent years a number of leading scholars in various Western countries have adopted an extreme nominalist position and denied the very existence of a common political species or category of «fascism» that could embrace a vanety of movements in diverse countries in terms of common qualities or charactenstics Renzo de Felice finds Italian fascism and German National Socialism fundamentally distinct, incapable of belonging to a common species Karl D Bracher takes much the same position, and like De Felice, points out other extreme differences in more widely scattered putative-ly fascist movements Henry A Turner, Jr , also suggests that the label is a red herring, and proposes that such movements be re-classified with regard to their relationship to the fundamental question of modernization The analysis of fascism has thus come full circle, from a variety of monocausal explanations to the denial that the generic phenomenon even existed.

The Need for a Criterial Definition of Generic Fascism

The only attempt at a comprehensive description of the full range of European fascist movements remains Ernst Nolte's Die Krise des liberalen Systems und die faschis-tischen Bewegungen (Munich, 1968) In it Nolle recognized the need for some son of "fascist minimum", a set of criteria that could set standards according to which a given political movement might be objectively recognized and defined as fascist, or not He suggested six points of criteria

Leadership Principle
Aim of Totalitarianism

This critical description represented a significant advance in clarity over preceding informal and off-hand suggestions that other writers made merely in passing Nonetheless, it seems to me inadequate in the following respects a) While it recognizes the distinctive fascist negations, it fails to deal fully with characteristic goals and program (if indeed such existed) or to define what at the time seemed most striking about fascists - their particular style and choreography; b) The reference to fascist anti-conservatism, while essentially correct, tends to blur the fact that fascists always had to rely at least momentarily on rightist allies to come to power; c) Though all fascistic parties tended toward strong personal leadership, it may be misleading to impute to them the predominantly German character of the Fuhrerprinzip; d) Most fascist parties sought, but never achieved, a genuine «party-army»; e)The goal of totalitarianism is an ambiguous formulation, difficult to define or apply; f) The distinctively fascist form of nationalism and political radicalism cannot be understood without reference to the ultimate goal of some form of imperialism or at least a drastic realignment of the nation's status and power relations in the world.
   Given the difficulty in arriving at a common definition of the putatively fascist movements, it is always possible that the extreme nominalists and skeptics could be right, and that a true "fascist minimum" did not exist. Against such skepticism, we have the relative agreement of the majority of contemporary observers in the 1930s that a new form and style of politics had emerged in the radical new nationalist movements of Europe customarily called fascist, a position generally adopted by the majority of scholars and analysts since. But what were the basic common qualities generally referred to by this label? We are still left with the problem of an adequate description.

A Possible Typological Description of Generic Fascism

It seems possible, at least hypothetically, to achieve this goal through a typological description of the principal features held in common by the movements we refer to as fascist-thus establishing justification for our use of the generic concept-while at the same time taking into account valid arguments by critics of the generic concept through recognition that such a common description does not by any means exhaust the inventory of major characteristics or goals of individual movements. It would only define the minimal characteristics that they had in common as distinct from other types, though specific fascist groups sometimes had other beliefs, characteristics and goals of major importance to them that did not contradict the common features of generic fascism but were simply added to them or went beyond them.
   If an analogy were made for morphological purposes, fascism would then be understood to constitute a certain political species, one of about half a dozen that compose the broader genus of modern revolutionary mass movements. In order to arrive at a criteria! definition applicable to the species, it then seems appropriate to follow a suggestion made by Juan J. Linz and identify a) the fascist negations, b) common points of ideology and goals, and c) special common features of style and organization.

A. The Fascist Negations:
Anti-conservatism, but of a more qualified nature, with a degree of willingness to
compromise at least temporarily, with rightist groups and principles.

B. Ideology and Goals:
Creation of a new nationalist authoritarian state not merely based on traditional principles or models.
Organization of some new kind of regulated, multi-class integrated national economic structure capable to some extent of transforming social relations, whether called national syndicalist, national socialist or national corporatist. The goal of empire or a revolution in the nation's relationship with other powers. Specific espousal of an idealist, voluntarist creed, normally involving the attempt to realize a new form of modem, self-determined secular culture.

C. Style and Organization:
Emphasis on esthetic structure of meetings, symbols and political choreography,
  stressing romantic and/or mystical aspects.
Attempted mass mobilization with militarization of political relationships and
   style, and with the goal of a mass party militia.
Positive evaluation of- not merely willingness to use - violence.
Extreme stress on the masculine principle and male dominance, while espousing
   an organic view of society.
Exaltation of youth above all other phases of life, emphasizing the conflict of
   generations, though within a framework of national unity.
Specific tendency toward an authoritarian, charismatic, personal leadership style
   of command, whether or not to some degree elective.

Space precludes full discussion of the components of this inventory, but it can perhaps serve as a guideline to explain in most cases what serious scholars refer to as fascist movements, while recognizing that it can be used as an analytical tool only as a relatively integrated whole. There is no implication that every single characteristic in the inventory was unique to fascist movements, for most individual facets might be discovered to have existed individually or partially within a number of other radical groups. The uniqueness of fascism as a political species was rather that only fascist-type movements shared each of these characteristics (if in varying degrees) jointly and simultaneously: the suggested typology will be of use in identifying a specific movement as fascist only if the group in question exhibits not merely most but all or almost all of the qualities described.

The Varieties of Fascism

As explained, identification of a typology is not intended to imply that within the species of fascism all groups were fundamentally about the same and did not differ greatly among themselves with regard to further national characteristics, beliefs, values and goals above and beyond those minimal features which they all held in common. Much confusion has resulted from the assumption that if fascism is to be identifiable as a generic phenomenon it must somehow be regarded as a uniform type bearing essentially homogeneous traits, whereas in fact it was a broad species that included widely varying subtypes or subspecies.
Among the subspecies or "varieties of fascism", in Eugen Weber's telling phrase, a minimum of six may be identified:
1. Paradigmatic Italian fascism, pluralistic, diverse and not easily definable in simple terms. Forms to some extent derivative appeared in France, England, Belgium, Hungary, Austria, Romania and possibly even Brazil.
2. German National Socialism, a distinct and remarkably fanatical movement, and the only one of the entire species to achieve a total dictatorship and so to begin to develop its own system. Somewhat parallel or derivative movements emerged in
Scandinavia, the Low Countries, the Baltic states and Hungary, and more superficial-ly in several satellite states during the war.
3. Spanish Falangism. Though to some extent derivative from the Italian form, it became a kind of Catholic and culturally more traditionalist type that was more marginal to the species.
4. The Romanian Legionary or Iron Guard movement, a mystical, kenotic form of semi-religious fascism that represented the only notable movement of this kind in an Orthodox country and was also marginal to the species.
5. Szalasi's «Hungarist» or Arrow Cross movement, somewhat distinct from either the Hungarian national socialists or Hungarian proponents of a more moderate and pragmatic Italian-style movement, momentarily perhaps the second most popular fascist movement in Europe.
6. Abortive undeveloped fascisms attempted through bureaucratic means by right-wing authoritarian regimes, mainly in Eastern Europe during the 1930s. None of these efforts, however, produced fully formed and complete fascist organizations.

The Need to Distinguish Between Fascist Movements and Fascist Regimes

Much of the confusion about defining a typology of fascism has stemmed from the failure to distinguish between fascist movements and regimes. Nearly all fascist parties failed to develop beyond the movement stage, and even in Italy the fascist party never assumed full power over the government and all the institutions of the country. Hence in the case even of Mussolini one cannot speak of a total party regime system as in Nazi Germany or Communist Russia.

In the absence of examples other than Nazi Germany of situations in which fascist-type parties came to full power or totally dominated regimes, it must be recognized that we are speaking of certain generic tendencies in the form of movements, but not of systems. This also says much about the limitations of the appeal and strength of fascism, even in the supposed «fascist era», and underlines the fact that the historic significance of the whole phenomenon was primarily bound up with Hitlerism and not with generic fascism.

The Distinction Between Fascism and Right Authoritarianism

Much of the confusion surrounding the identification and definition of generic fascism has lain in the failure to distinguish clearly between fascist movements and the nonfascist (or sometimes protofascist) authoritarian right. During the period of World War I and after there emerged a new cluster of conservative authoritarian forces in European politics that rejected moderate nineteenth century conservatism and simple old-fashioned traditional reaction in favor of a more modern, technically proficient kind of new authoritarian system that spurned both leftist revolution and fascist radicalism. The new right authoritarian groups have often been confused with fascists because both were authoritarian and nationalist and up to a point were opposed to many of the same things (leftists and liberals). Moreover, circumstantial alliances were made between fascists and new rightists in a number of countries, especially in Germany, Italy and Spain, but also elsewhere. Nonetheless, the fact that communists and liberals are both opposed to fascism and rightism and have sometimes formed circumstantial alliances in a number of countries since 1935 has not generally led most analysts to the false conclusion that communism and liberalism are the same thing.
Similarly, the distinction between fascism and right authoritarianism should be clearly understood for purposes of analysis, taxonomy and conceptualization. The basic differences might be synthesized as follows:
a) The new authoritarian right was anticonservative only in the very limited sense of a qualified opposition to the more moderate, parliamentary forms of conservatism.
b) The new right advocated authoritarian government, but hesitated to embrace radical and novel forms of dictatorship and normally relied either on monarchism or Catholic neocorporatism, or some combination thereof.
c) In philosophy and ideology, the right was grounded on a combination of rationalism and also religion, and normally rejected the secularist irrationalism, vitalism and neoidealism of the fascists.
d) The new right was based on traditional elites rather than new formations of declasse radicals, and aimed their tactics more at manipulation of the existing system than toward political conquest from the streets.
e) The new right never projected the same goals of mass political mobilization.
f) Whereas the fascists aimed at changes in social status and relations, the new right explicitly intended to maintain and affirm the existing social hierarchy, if anything increasing the degree of dominance of established groups.
g) The new right tried to rely a great deal on the army and was willing to accept praetorian rule, rejecting the fascist principle of militia and mass party militarization.
Limitations of space make it impossible to expand this inventory and illustrate it in detail, but this will serve at least to introduce the nature of the problem.

Some Ingredients of a More Empirical and Comprehensive Concept of Fascism

It has been said that the chief weakness of the classic interpretations of fascism has been their tendency toward a kind of theoretical monocausality and reductionism. A more adequate concept of the phenomenon must be able to take into account a wide variety of factors, and interpret the problem in terms of its particular historical setting or environment. "Finance capital" can never explain fascism, since the overwhelming majority of the political expressions of finance capital from the nineteenth century to the present have had nothing to do with generic fascism. That a "cultural crisis" existed in Europe during the early twentieth century is beyond dispute, but the formulators of the "cultural crisis" theory have neither given us an accurate definition of the fascist culture produced in this atmosphere nor a fully viable explanation of why such a cultural ambience should necessarily result in significant fascist movements in some countries but not in others.
   After the works by Gregor, Jaeckel37 and Hildebrand38 the oft-repeated assumption that fascist movements lacked recognizable ideologies or a kind of cultural Weltanschauung of their own seems increasingly doubtful. A more empirically valid concept of fascism in the future must thus take into account the background and development of the new ideas of fascist culture and ideology in the period 1910--40 with the same rigor and precision being demonstrated in the study of social mobilization and class
   Clearer analysis is required of the political, social, economic, and national/historical variables involved in those countries where the fascists achieved significant mobilization (e.g., 15 per cent or more of the vote), compared with similar factors in other European countries where this support did not exist. A more exact definition of the unique structural and cultural problems of South and Central European countries in the 1920s and 30s, and their relationship to fascist strength (or its absence), may serve to elucidate to what extent facism was merely a conjunctural historical phenomenon or whether it is likely to be paralleled or approximated by new forces in the future, whether in Western countries or the new polities of the Third World.

1 There are two useful anthologies that have collected statements of some of the leading interpretations: Ernst Nolte, ed., Theorien uber den Faschismus (Cologne, 1967), and Renzo de Felice, ed., // fascismo: Le inlerpretawni del contemporanei e tiegli storici (Ban, 1970). The latter is more thorough and complete, and contains more extensive analysis. The most incisive critique of the standard interpretations is A. James Gregor, Interpretations of Fascism (Morris-town, N.J., 1974). Gilbert Allardyce, The Place of Fascism in European History (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.. 1972). presents a briefer anthology. See also H. A. Turner, Jr., Reappraisals of Fascism (New York, 1975).
2 Gyula Sas. Der Faschismus in Italien (Hamburg, 1923), reprinted in De Felice, 68-80, and in the same vein, German Sandomirsky, Fashizrn (Moscow-Leningrad, 1923), 2 vols.
3 Clara Zetkin, «Der Kampf gegen den Faschismus», in the Protocols of the 1923 Comintern Conference, reprinted in Nolle, 88-111.
4 Rajani Paime Dutt, Fascism and Social Revolution (London, 1934).
5 Daniel Guerin, Fascisme et Grand Capital (Paris, 1936).
6 Franz Borkenau, «Zur Soziologie des Faschismus», Archiv fur Sozialwissenschaft und Sozialpolitik, 68 : 5 (Feb., 1933), reprinted in Nolle, 156-81.
7 Reinhard Kiihnl. Formen burgerlicher Herrschaft: Liberalismus-Faschismus (Hamburg, 1971).
8 Nicos Poulantzas, Fascisme et dictature (Paris, 1970).
9 Boris Lopukhov, Fashizm i rabochoe dvizhenie v Italii (1919-29) (Moscow, 1968).  10 Alexander Galkin, «Capitalist Society and Fascism». Social Sciences: USSR Academy of Sciences (1970), 2: 128-38.
11 Mihaly Vajda, «The Rise of Fascism in Italy and Germany», Telos (1972), 12: 3-26.
12 H. A. Turner, Jr., « Big Business and the Rise ofHitler» American Historical Review, 75: 1 (1969), 56-70.
13 Gregor, Interpretations of Fascism, 128-70.
14 Particularly in the four volumes to date of De Felice's monumental Mussolini (Turin, 1965-74), and in his Intervista sul fascismo (Bari. 1975), edited by Michael Ledeen.
15 Tim Mason, «The Primacy of Politics», in S. J. Woolf, ed.. The Nature of Fascism (London, 1968), 165-95.
16 References to and evaluation of various of Croce's writings on fascism will be found in Gregor, Interpretations, 29-32.
17 Selections from Meinecke, Hans Kohn and Gerhard Ritter in this vein are presented and discussed in De Felice, // Fascismo, 391-437.
18 Peter Drucker, The End of Economic Man (New York, 1939, 1969).      19 Jose Ortega y Gasset, The Revolt of the Masses (New York, 1932).
20 Emil Lederer, The Stale of the Masses (New York, 1940).
21 Talcott Parsons, «Some Sociological Aspects of the Fascist Movements», in his Essays in Sociological Theory (rev. ed.. New York, 1949).
22 Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism (New York, 1951).
23 William Komhauser, The Politics of Mass Society (New York, 1959).    24 A. F. K. Organski, The Stages of Political Development (New York, 1965), and "Fascism and Modernization.., in Woolf, The Nature of Fascism, op.cil.
25 The key statement of this approach is Carl J. Friedrich and Zbigniew Brzezinski, Totalitarian Dictatorship and Autocracy (New York, 1956). Also Carl J. Friedrich, ed.. Totalitarianism (New York, 1954).
    26 Wolfgang Sauer, (National Socialism: Totalitarianism or Fascism?», American Historical Review, 73: 2 (1967), 404-22.
    27 Cf. Herbert Spiro, «Totalitarianism», International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences (New York, 1968), vol. 16.
28 Henry A. Turner, Jr., «Pascism and Modernization*, World Politics, 24: 4 (1972), 547-64, reprinted in Turner's Reappraisals of Fascism.
29 Barrington Moore, Jr., Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy (Boston, 1966).
30 Alan Cassels, "Janus": The Two Faces of Fascismx, Canadian Historical Papers 1969, 166-84, and Cassels' book. Fascism (New York, 1974).
31 Especially in Gregor's article, "Fascism and Modernization: Some Addenda", World Politics. 26: 3 (April, 1974), 370-84.
32 In volumes two to four of De Felice's Mussolini, but especially in the Intervista sul fascismo. English ed. Fascism. An Informal Introduction to its Theory and Practice, New Jersey, 1977.
33 Particularly in two of Bracher's recent essays in his Zeitgeschichtliche Kontroversen urn Faschismus Totalitarismus Demokratie (Munich, 1976).
34 Eugen Weber, Varieties of Fascism (New York, 1964) and «Revolution? Counter-Revolution? What Revolution?», Journal of Contemporary History. 9: 2 (April, 1974), 33-48.
35 « Fascism-Left, Right and Center », Chapter 5 of Lipset's Political Man (New York, 1960).
36 See the references in n. 32.
37 Eberhard Jaeckel, Hitler's Weltanschauung (Middletown, Conn., 1972).
38 Klaus Hildebrand, The Foreign Policy of the Third Reich (Berkeley-Los Angeles, 1974), and also Norman Rich, Hitler's War Aims (New York, 1974), 2 vols.

Contemporary Approaches to Fascism:
A Survey of Paradigms


Fascism in its variety of national manifestations produced human degradation on such a vast scale and was, as a form of tyranny, so unprecedented that scholars have been somewhat at a loss in coming to grips with it ever since. The reasons for this are many and intertwined. The sheer novelty of the phenomenon', the savagery of the fascists towards their enemies, the dynamism, aestheticism and ideological eclecticism of the fascist parties and their conscious appeal across class lines - all these make fascism a movement that defies simple historico-political categorization. Fascism has often been described as an embodiment of a «metapolitical mind»2: it was an appeal to rage and resentment that ran deeper and was more sinister than ordinary interest defense. As a result, few historical phenomena have generated so much heated argument and given rise to such a range of explanations. And although we know infinitely more about the workings of fascist movements now than in 1945, there is still no evidence of a foreseeable consensus on the essential characteristics of fascism, and even less agreement on the place of fascism within a broader theory of politics in the 20th century.

Confronted with this theoretical discord, scholarship on fascism faces a two-fold task: First, to process the enormous amount of historical data now available in such a way as to capture the phenomenon in all its dimensions - political, cultural, economic, psychological, aesthetic and social. Such a program does not, of course, exclude attempts to differentiate between various historical determinants and assign causal priority to some dimensions over others. Rather, it means that in order to comprehend the phenomenon fully, the fallacy of reductionism and mono-causality should be avoided. Fascism was an elusive movement, often contradictory and unpredictable because of the explicitly ideological and practical opportunism of the leadership. Fascism displayed a curious autonomy of the leadership in relation to the masses who flocked to the movement in its initial phases. The result is perplexing for the political sociologist, for it reveals the limitations of a strictly sociological approach to fascism. Tracing the social origins of members and voters of fascist parties can only be the beginning. The main theoretical challenge is to delineate the essential character of fascism over time. This implies a sensitivity not only to the social bases of the movements, but also to their functions and their telos. Only through such a multilevel approach can there be any hope to explain the opportunism of most fascist movements: their tactical compromises and their shift of alliance partners.

In pursuing this level of analysis problem in the study of fascism a few distinctions should be kept in mind. First, in order to pin down the changes in the class character of fascism, it will be necessary to untangle in detail the social support of the movements before and after their seizure of power. Break or continuity, shifting patterns of regional distribution of support - these are the questions which should guide research efforts. Second, the social functions of fascist movements, their actual behavior once in control, may or may not be in accord with the aspirations of their initial supporters. And, third, an analysis of the functions of a movement may not bring us far in understanding the goals pursued by the party elite. The instrumental view of ideology in fascism was paralleled by a conscious espousal of the doctrine of «primacy of politics»3: the ruthless subjugation of the previous autonomy of the economic, cultural and social spheres from political considerations.

This autonomy of the leadership touches a crucial problem in studies of fascism: the role of ideology. Are ideological pronouncements to be given any causal weight at all, or should they primarily be seen as rationalizations, the expression of the twisted minds of the leadership or of the interests of outside groups using the fascist apparatus of violence to bolster their grip on state power? Fascism can be analyzed on all these levels: in terms of its mass base, its political and social effect on social groups, its ruling techniques, and its long-term goals. Knowledge on one level may have limited value for understanding the working of fascism at another, and even less for comprehending the phenomenon as a whole. Unless distinctions of this kind are made, scholarship on fascism is not likely to go beyond single countries or movements.

The second requirement of a theory of fascism is that it should remain open enough to accommodate national variations while maintaining a minimum of conceptual unity. Its scope should be cross-national, its method comparative. The need for a cross-national comparative approach to our mind is evident: Only the most nominali-stically inclined would deny that the inter-war period saw the emergence of a new brand of dictatorship, related to, yet distinct from earlier autocracies. The fascist parties shared a common contempt for parliamentary democracy. They were violently anti-labor and embraced a particularly aggressive brand of nationalism which in some, but not in all cases, fused with extreme racialism to make for an expansionist foreign policy. Verbally anti-capitalist, the fascists were nevertheless willing to enter into close alliance with the holders of economic power. Some were committed to a kind of ideologically founded "Utopian anti-modernism"4, i.e., a notion of pre-industrial community reminiscent of a state of nature before modernization produced fragmentation and de-mythologized the world. Fascists preached submission to authority yet built their initial power base on mass mobilization directed against existing authority. This deliberate strategy of inciting the masses for direct political involvement on the symbolic level is probably the most characteristic feature of fascist dictatorships, which on the whole set them apart from autocracies of a more traditional or restorative kind. Although the debate on the concept of "generic" fascism continues unabated, a theory of fascism should be able to separate the specifically fascist components in anti-democratic movements from features that are part of a broader tradition of political authoritarianism.

1. Theories of Fascism: The Search for a Typology

Whether explicitly or implicitly, most attempts of constructing typologies of approaches to fascism revolve around fascism's autonomy in relation to capitalism, or more broadly, processes of modernization. Theories which assert that fascism is "produced" or "determined" in one way or another by the course of capitalist development are contrasted with theories which hold that fascism showed a marked autonomy in ...