FASCISM Origins and Development •Fascism derives from the Italian word fasces meaning a bundle of rods with an axe-blade prodruding that signified the authority of magistrates in Imperial Rome. •Fascism is a child of 20’th century. •Fascism emerged a revolt against modernity, against the ideas and values of the Enlightenment.
Origins and Development… • Major ideas and doctrines of fascism were fused together and shaped by the First World War and its aftermath. • Fascism emerged most dramatically in Italy and Germany • In Italy, Mussolini was the leader of fascist party
• İn Italy a Fascist Party was formed in 1919, its leader Benito Mussolini, was appointwed prime minister in 1922, and by 1926 a one party Fascist state had been established. • Nazis was also formed in 1919 and under the leadership of Hitler adopted the the style of Mussolini’s Fascists. • Hitler was appointed German chancellor in 1933 and in little over a year turned Germany into Nazi dictatorship.
• By 1938 Czechoslovakia was the only remaining democracy in Eastern and Central Europe, with Hungary and Romania moving steadily towards fascism and collaboration with Nazi Germany. • In Portugal under Salazar 1928 • In Spain after national civil war (1936-39) Franco dictatorship established. • 1930s in Imperial Japan • 1945- 55 Argentina under Peron.
The basic reasons of rising fascism at that period: Fascism emerged out of a complex range of historical forces that were present during the interwar period. 1. Democratic government was so new in Europe and democratic political values had not replaced the older, autocratic ones. Democratic governments representing a coalition of interests or parties, often appeared weak and unstable when confronted economic or political crises.
2) European society had been disrupted by the experience of industrialization, which had particularly threatened a lower middle class of shopkeepers, small businessmen, farmers and craftsmen. These squeezed between the growing might of big business, on the one hand and the rising power of organized labour, on the other.Fascist movements drew their membership and support largely from such lower middle class elements.
3) The period after the I. World War was deeply affected by the Russian Revolution and the fear amongst the propertied classes that social revolution was about the spread throughout Europe. Fascist groups drew both financial and political support from business interests 4) The world economic crisis of 1930s often provided a final blow to already fragile democracies. Rising unemployment and economic failure produced an atmosphere of crisis and pessimism thet could be exploited by political extremists and demagogues.
5) The First World War had failed to resolve international conflicts and rivalries, leaving a bitter inheritance of frustrated nationalism and the desire for revenge. Since 1945 fascist movements have achieved only marginal success, encouraging some to believe that fascism was a specifically interwar phenomenon, linked to unique combination of historical circumstances that characterized that period.
Others, regard fascism as an ever –present danger, seeing its roots in human psychology. Eric Fromm (1984) called it as “the fear of freedom”. Modern civilization has produced greater individual freedom but with it the danger of isolation and insecurity. At times of crisis, individuals may flee from freedom, seeking security in submission to an all powerful leader or totalitarian state. So, political instability or an economic crisis could produce conditions in which fascism could revive
Central Themes Fascism lacks a rational and coherent core and appears to be an ‘ill- assorted hodge-podge of ideas’ Anti- rationalism • Counter- enlightement thinking. • Limits of reason and more powerful drives and impulses for human beings. • Will to power- Nietzsche • ‘political myths’
• Anti- rationalism does not necessarily a right wing character, fascism gave political expression to the most radical and extreme forms of Counter- Enlightement thinking. • Anti-intellectualism and despise abstract thinkinking and revere action. Mussolini: action not talk. • Intellectual life was devalued, it is cold, dry and lifeless.
• The rejection of Enlightement gave fascism a predominantly negative or destructive character. Fascist have often been clearer about what they oppose than what they support. • Fascism as anti-philosophy: anti socialist, anti liberal, anti- conservative • In fascism freedom came to mean unquestioning submission, ‘democracy’ was equated with absolute dictatorship and
• In fascism freedom came to mean unquestioning submission, ‘democracy’ was equated with absolute dictatorship and ‘progres’ implied constant struggle and war. • Abandoning the standart of universal reason, fascism has placed its faith entirely in history, culture and the idea of organic community. • Each nation is animated by its collective spirit, its Volkgeist, a product of its unique history, culture and language.
Struggle • Darwin’s ideas: survival of the fittest, natural selecetion • Human existence is based upon competition or struggle. • If the testing ground for human existence is competition and struggle, then the ultimate test is war • Hitler: “War as an unalterable law of the whole of life” • Mussolini: “War is to men what maternity is to women”