Fascism is...


  • Calls for the regeneration of the national community through heroic struggle against its alleged enemies
  • Rejects liberal values such as parliamentary democracy, tolerance, individualism, pluralism etc
  • The oppose parliamentary democracy, and their policies in practice inevitably lead to its destructuion. 
  • Fascist parties hide their hostility whilst using democratic methods to gain power. Once they have gained power and have destroyed it
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  • The idea of national regeneration within a new order implies a rejection of illiberal conservative practices (e.g. monarchy or oligarchy). 
  • The context of fascist rebirth means "new birth," "new order" where one draws on inspiration from the past but does not seek to repeat the past. 
  • In order to win power, fascism was forced to ally itself with conservative forces (the Church, the army, reactionary bourgoeisie) on the basis of common priorities (law and order, the family)
  • Fascists use glorious epochs from the past to remind the people of the nation's "true" nature and its destiny to rise once more to historical greatness. 
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Tends to operate as a charismatic form of politics

  • Rejects the traditional politics of the ancien regime and the legal-rational politics of liberalism and socialism, its follows this form of politics. 
  • Fascist forms through history have seen to be technocratic, managerial form of the planned society, while others focus exclusively on the battle for cultural hegemony of ideas on the basis of a new order. 
  • Fascist parties can also be seen to not be containable within the conventional framework of party politics and take the form of cadre or mass movements.
  • They appeal to the highly charged collective emotions rather than to the individual's capacity of reasonal judgement. 
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  • Not as much irrational as anti-rational, as it sees the most distinctive human faculty in the capacity to be inspired by heroic action and self-sacrifice through
    • the power of belief
    • myth
    • symbols
    • Idées forces such as the nation, the leader's identity or the regeneration of history
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  • Rejects the internationalism and material Marxism, but does present the
    • rejuvenation of the national community as transcending class conflict
    • destroying traditional hierarchy
    • expunging parasitism, rewarding all productive members of the new nation
    • harnessing the energies of capitalism and technology in a new order in which they cease to be exploitive and enslaving
  • Fascists in the interwar period stated that "true" socialism is associated with 
    • Corporatist economics 
    • National syndalicism
    • High degree of state planning 
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Linked to totalitarianism

  • Aside from being driven by nihilism or barbarism, the convinced fascist is a utopian, conceiving the homogenous, perfectly co-ordinated national community as a total solution to the problems of modern society. 
  • In an effort to purge society and the community of "decadence" and over ills, fascists use
    • massive exercises in regimenting people's lives
    • the creation of an elaborate machinery for manufacturing consensus through propaganda and indoctrination 
    • Combined with repression and terror directed against alleged enemies, (internal and external) of the new order

Griffin states that, except from the obvious Fascist states, totalitarianism has never succeeded whilst using the fascist doctrine. This can be explained owing to the existence of pluralism and polycentrism and how they are too strongly engrained into the fabric of life to be ridden of. Romania's attempt of a centralised state was marginalised and Hungary only became a puppet state for Germany. 

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The heterogeneity of social support

  • No specific class base in its support. 
  • There is nothing which precludes an employed/unemployed member of the working classes or aristocrat, a city-dweller or a peasant, a graduate or someone "educationally challenged" fro being suspectible to the fascist myth. 
  • The fascist mentality is not an exclusive domain for neither the young or the old, though it stresses heroism and the need for a new elite leads itself to militarism and hence male chauvinism. 
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  • By its nature, it is a racist ideology, since all ultra-nationalism are racist in their celebration of all the alleged virtues and greatness of an organically conceived nation or culture. 
  • Fascist ultra-nationalism doesn't necessarily involve biological or Social Darwinian concepts of race leading to eugenics, nor does it necessarily involve anti-Semitism or rejection of a particular group of people. 
  • Fascist movements can hold "heterophobia" (fear and hatred felt towards those considered to be "different"). This fear is more likely to be incorporated into its myth of national decadence and hence into the peaces for creating a new order. 
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  • Rejects internationalism in the sense of national distinctive identity as primordial vitues, but is quite capable of generating its own form of universalism or internationalism by fostering a kindred spirit and bond with fascists in other countries engaged in the same struggle for their own nation's palingenesis
  • In Europe, this may lead to a sense of fighting for a common European homeland on the basis of Europe's alleged cultural, historical or gentic unity in contrast to non-Christian or degenerate ones. 
  • Within such a Europe, national or ethnic identities would be strengthed, not diluted. 
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  • Fascism pre-exits any particular externalisation in the form of articulated or concretised thought. 
  • It is inherently syncretic, bringing heterogeneous currents of ideas into a loose alliance united only by a common struggle for a new order. 
  • What conditions the content and thrust of fascist eclecticism is the myth of national rebirth. 
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