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  • Created on: 11-06-12 15:20
Preview of FASCISM

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The defining theme of fascism is the idea of an organically unified national
community, embodied in a belief in `strength through unity'.
The individual is nothing; individual identity must be entirely absorbed into the
community or social group.
The fascist ideal is that of the `new man', a hero, motivated by duty, honour and self
sacrifice, prepared to dedicate his life to the glory of his nation or race and to give
unquestioning obedience to a supreme leader.
Values such as rationalism, progress, freedom and equality were thus overturned in the
name of struggle, leadership, power, heroism and war.
Fascism thus has a strong `anti-character': it is anti-rational, anti-liberal,
anti-conservative, anti-capitalist, anti-bourgeois and anti-communist.
Italian fascism was essentially an extreme form of statism that was based on
absolute loyalty towards a `totalitarian `state
German fascism or Nazism was found on racial theories, which portrayed the Aryan
people as `master race' and advanced a virulent form of anti-Semitism.

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Core Values
1. Irrationality.
Fascists gave been associated with anti-rationalism because of three basic principles that
fascism and anti-rationalism have in common:
Anti-rationalism rejects the ideas of Enlightenment such as reason and progress.
They both stress action and oppose rational thought. Fascists preferred action to
thought and the exertion of will over people to reasoned arguments.
Both drew on emotion and instincts as the bond that hold the organic nation or race
Both fascism and anti-rationalism had a negative character.…read more

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Machiavelli advised rulers that they should only tell the truth to their people if it were
absolutely necessary.
They should maintain their own rule in the interests of the state and security.
If deceiving people would preserve the peace and create order, rulers should ignore
morality and do so.
He added that if they could manipulate public sentiment so much the better.…read more

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Adapting Nietzsche's worship of `will to power', fascists were driven by a desire to achieve
great deed to transform whole societies and to leave behind them evidence of their
masculine virtues.
· Such decisive action could only be realised through the dynamic actions of the states leaders.
· Mussolini saying he could `make the trains run on time' was symbolic of a deeper belief. This
was that the fascist leader could cut through complexity, bureaucracy and human
frailty in order to bring about heroic outcomes.…read more

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Will to action, the virtues of struggle, self-sacrifice and heroism and the subjection of
the individual to the purposes of the state
Point to warfare being the ultimate expression of all of them together!
Nietzsche declared: `The Nation that gives up war and conquest is ripe for democracy and rule
by shopkeepers. This sums up of the fascists attitudes.
Democracy represents weakness, while `shopkeepers' refers to the notorious pursuit of
self-interest engaged in by members of petite bourgeoisie.…read more

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The existence of a single, all-powerful leader is perhaps the best-known feature of fascists
regimes. Fascism is deeply elitist and fiercely patriarchal. Its ideas were founded on the
belief that absolute leadership and elitism are natural and desirable.
Fascists believe that society is composed, broadly of three kinds of people:
1. There is a supreme, all-seeing leader who possesses unrivalled authority.
2. There is a `warrior' elite, exclusively male and distinguished by its heroism, vision and
the capacity for self-sacrifice.
3.…read more

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Opposition to democracy
Fascism opposes all traditional forms of democracy. Democracy is simply inappropriate in a
fascist regime. Hitler saw it as a positive evil.
1. There is democracy in the form of rule by the majority.
Fascists saw no grounds for the majority being necessarily right. They see democracy as
merely an arithmetical expression of the most dominant self-interests. Fascists are concerned
with the collective, organic will of all.
2. There is pluralist democracy.…read more

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Organic society/ collectivism and anti-egalitarian
The concept of the organic society represents a direct alternative to liberal , pluralist,
During 19th century, philosophers described the virtues of a society in which the
interests of individuals and the state as a whole could amount to the same thing. This
meant that people would no longer see themselves as completely free individuals but
rather as part of a single whole.…read more

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All fascists have been radical nationalists. `Radical' describes a kind of nationalism
which is neither liberal nor passive in nature. Nationalism is seen by fascists as a
collective and positive movement. Fascism is obsessed with the idea of uniting
people into a single, organic whole. Fascists therefore worship any aspect of human
life capable of binding people.
The concept of nationhood certainly seems to have been the most powerful binding
force perhaps rivalled only by religion.…read more

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Racialism is normally used to denote a particular state of mind rather than a political theory.
Racists are prejudiced against certain racial groups and are likely to see their own race as
superior to others.
Racialism is a quasi-scientific set of theories about race. It often results in a feeling of racial
superiority and a system of discrimination.
Racialist theories were usually based on such myths.
Racism + racialism = Racialism. Fascists were often racists, racialists or both.…read more


Old Sir

With the exception of a few typographical problems, this is a very useful survey of the origins of fascism. Students who are preparing for synoptic discussions in A2 will find this a good starting point and may then go on to attach examples and case studies in order to fulfil the assessment objective of evaluation and analysis, (AO2).

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