Fascism Key Definitions (10 Mark Questions)

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The Organic State

Community not shaped by calculations and interests of rational individuals but by innate loyalities and emotional bonds forged by a common past. 

"BLOOD AND SOIL"

Links to vitalism as it encourages instinct and impluse over intellect and reason. 

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Elitism

Rule by a minority with superior skills/talents. A reflection of egalitarianism as impractical; a reflection of Social Darwinism (Herbert Spencer - "Survival of the Fittest") and thought to be desirable/inevitable. 

In a Fascist state there are 3 kinds of people:

  • The Supreme
  • The "Warriors"
  • The Masses 
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Cult of Personality

Nietzsche's idea of the "Ubermansch/Superman/Overman." Fascist turned this into the theory of Supreme and Unquestionable political leadership. 

An expression of charismatic authority emanating from the leader itself. 

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Leadership Principle

The leader of a Fascist state is the guiding light. Elections, Parliaments and parties are abolished so they cannot disort the power of the leader. 

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Corporatism

A means of incorporating organised interests into the process of government. An economic form, offers an alternative to capitalism and socialism based on holism and group intergregation. 

Mussolini saw it as the "Third Way."

Economically, it strengthens the extension of direct political control of industry and organised labour. 

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Rationalism/Anti-Rationalism

Fascists reject the work of the Enlightenment, rejecting reason for more impulsive drives. 

Nietzsche's "Will to Power."

Also highlights the "anti-" character of Fascism (nihilism) - "1789 is dead."

  • The emotional-class appeal of Fascism. 
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Romanticism/Mythology

Sorel highlighted the importance of "political myth" - the capacity to prove one political action by virtue of its emotional power rather than appealing to reason. 

"Expressions of the Will" engaged the emotions and provoked action. 

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Nationalism

An extreme version of chauvinistic and expansionist nationalism. One nation over all others (e.g. Germany for the Nazis)

Promote more than patriotism - "intergral nationalism" according to Charles Maurras.

Intense, even hysterical form of nationalism enthusiasm - individual identity is absorbed into the national community. 

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Totalitarianism

An all encompassing system established via ideological manipulation terror and brutality. 

Differs from "autocracy" and authoritarianism as it seeks TOTAL POWER.

Maurras states that even liberal democracies can be totalitarian. 

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