Fascism (/ˈfæʃɪzəm/) is a form of far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society and of the economy which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe. The first fascist movements emerged in Italy during World War I, before spreading to other European countries. Opposed to liberalism, Marxism, and anarchism, fascism is placed on the far-right within the traditional left–right spectrum.
- The common elements of fascism — extreme nationalism, social Darwinism, the leadership principle, elitism, anti-liberalism, anti-egalitarianism, anti-democracy, intolerance, glorification of war, the supremacy of the state and anti-intellectualism — together form a rather loose doctrine. Fascism emphasises action rather than theory, and fascist theoretical writings are always weak. Hitler's Nazism had rather more theory, though its intellectual quality is appalling. This greater theoretical content is mostly concerned with race, and it was Hitler's racial theories that distinguished Nazism from Italian fascism.
- Ian Adams, in Political Ideology Today (1993)
- Fear and destructiveness are the major emotional sources of fascism, eros belongs mainly to democracy.
- Sometimes, when I tell people that I study authoritarian personalities, they say things like, "Oh, you mean neo-Nazis and the Klan." When these people are psychologists at conventions or the president of my university, I say "Right," because I know they will probably instantly forget whatever I reply. But I am more forthcoming with others. Most people seem surprised when I say, "No, I study normal folks, not Nazis." Few people, unless they are familiar with the history of fascism, understand that people as ordinary as you and I, and our friends and neighbors, might bring down democracy if the going got tough enough. But we are the people who, driven by fear and cuddling in our own self-righteousness, could create the wave that would lift the monsters among us to power. And once the monsters acquire the powers of the state, their evil explodes. Can one credibly talk about fascism in the North American context as we approach the year 2000? Is it even remotely possible that the horrors of Nazi Germany could someday occur in Canada or the United States? When I talk about prefascist personalities, do I seriously propose that many North Americans could act like Hitler, Himmler, Hoess, and so on? [...] although the Nazis did monsterous things, it is a mistake to thing that only ardent fascists and psychopathic killers became Nazis. Adolf Eichmann struck some as a bland person, not particularly anti-Semitic, who basically wanted to advance his career and so worked hard to impress his superiors. His evil was "banal." I can also imagine that many of those who amde the arrests and transported the victims to the death camps would have been described as "good, decent people" by their families and neighbors. So would many of those who ran the slave labor camps in which hundreds of thousands of prisoners perished and maybe even the SS soldiers who massacred whole villages. You can be an ordinary Joe, or Lieutenant Calley, and still do terrible things. One of the first things Americans learned about the militias, in an Associated Press story dated April 27, 1995, is that they were "ordinary people who feel pushed."
- Bob Altemeyer, The Authoritarian Specter (1996). Cambridge: Harvard University Press, p. 305
- Most people believe the twentieth century was defined by the death struggle of communism versus capitalism, and that fascism was but a hiccup. Today we know better. Communism was a fool's errand, the followers of Marx gone from this Earth; but the followers of Hitler abound and thrive. Hitler, however, had one great disadvantage. He lived in a time when fascism, like a virus, like the AIDS virus, required a strong host in order to spread. Germany was that host, but strong as it was, Germany couldn't prevail. The world was too big. Fortunately, the world has changed. Global communication, cable TV, the internet. Today the world is smaller, and the virus no longer needs a strong host in order to spread. This virus is airborne. ... One more thing; let no man call us crazy. They called Hitler crazy, but Hitler wasn't crazy. He was stupid. You don't fight Russia and America. You get Russia and America to fight each other, and destroy each other.
- Fascism itself, the mystery of its appearance and of its collective energy, with which no interpretation has been able to come to grips (neither the Marxist one of political manipulation by dominant classes, nor the Reichian one of the sexual repression of the masses, nor the Deleuzian one of despotic paranoia), can already be interpreted as the "irrational" excess of mythic and political referentials, the mad intensification of collective value (blood, race, people, etc.), the reinjection of death, of a "political aesthetic of death" at a time when the process of the disenchantment of value and of collective values, of the rational secularization and unidimensionalization of all life, of the operationalization of all social and individual life already makes itself strongly felt in the West. Yet again, everything seems to escape this catastrophe of value, this neutralization and pacification of life. Fascism is a resistance to this, even if it is a profound, irrational, demented resistance, it would not have tapped into this massive energy if it hadn't been a resistance to something much worse. Fascism's cruelty, its terror is on the level of this other terror that is the confusion of the real and the rational, which deepened in the West, and it is a response to that.
- Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulation (1981), p. 48
- The [Italian Fascist] regime had created an imaginary Spartan country, in which all men had to make believe they were heroic soldiers, all women Roman matrons, all children Balilla (the Genoa street urchin who started a revolt against the Austrian garrison in 1746 by throwing one stone). This was done by means of slogans, flags, stirring speeches from balconies, military music, mass meetings, parades, dashing uniforms, medals, hoaxes, and constant distortions of reality. The Italians woke up too late from their artificial dream, those still alive, that is, hungry, desperate, discredited, the object of derision, cornuti e mazziati, or "cuckolded and beaten up," governed as in the past by contemptuous foreigners in a country of smoking ruins and decaying corpses, in which most things detachable had been stolen and women raped.
- Luigi Barzini, in The Europeans (1983), p. 172
- In spite of Bolshevism's and fascism's different attitudes, above all, private property and nationalism, both fascists and antifascists acknowledged common sources and resulting similarities between Bolshevism and fascism, including their revolutionary ideology, their elitism, their disdain for bourgeois values, and their totalitarian ambitions.
- Cyprian P. Blamires, editor, World Fascism: A Historical Encyclopedia, Volume 1, Santa Barbara: CA, ABC-CLIO, Inc. (2006) p.p. 95-96.
- Italian fascism's chief claim to political creativity lay in the construction between 1925 and 1939 of the Corporate State, a system purporting to be revolutionary yet socially unifying, to guarantee progress and social justice by bringing employers, managers and workers together within a legally constituted framework.
- Martin Blinkhorn, Mussolini and Fascist Italy, London/New York, Routledge, (2001) p. 29
- The Nazis were only one among a number of German rightist groups to receive unreliable sympathy and subsidy from Rome. During that decade, figures on the right, impressed by talk of a fascist philosophy, or by events in Italy, or, most significantly, by glad tidings of the routing of the Bolshevik devil, took to borrowing the word 'fascist' from Italian and deploying it in their own language, with somewhat uncertain effect. Among them were Miss Rotha Linthorn-Orman, a spinster and Field-Master's granddaughter, and Brigadier-General R.G.D Blakeney, once the manager of the Egyptian state railways and now her rival at the head of the 'British Fascisti'.
- R.J.B. Bosworth, "Italian Fascism and Models of Fascism" in The Italian Dictatorship: Problems & Perspectives in the Interpretation of Mussolini & Fascism (1998), pp.206-207
- People have their fingers broken.
To be insulted by these fascists
Is so degrading and it's no game.
- Those who are against Fascism without being against capitalism, who lament over the barbarism that comes out of barbarism, are like people who wish to eat their veal without slaughtering the calf. They are willing to eat the calf, but they dislike the sight of blood. They are easily satisfied if the butcher washes his hands before weighing the meat. They are not against the property relations which engender barbarism; they are only against barbarism itself. They raise their voices against barbarism, and they do so in countries where precisely the same property relations prevail, but where the butchers wash their hands before weighing the meat.
- Bertholt Brecht, "The Skill To Manipulate Truth as a Weapon"
- A number of features of Bolshevism and Nazism/Fascism did show striking similarities, including their revolutionary action and proletarian nation theories, leadership principles, one-party dictatorship, and party armies. Hitler publicly acknowledge his debt to the Bolsheviks when, for instance, proposing to make Munich ‘the Moscow of our movement.’
- Cyprian P. Blamires, editor, World Fascism: A Historical Encyclopedia, Volume 1, Santa Barbara: CA, ABC-CLIO, Inc. (2006) p. 96
- Fascism is an act of contempt, in fact. Inversely, every form of contempt, if it intervenes in politics, prepares the way for, or establishes, Fascism. It must be added that Fascism cannot be anything else but an expression of contempt without denying itself. Junger drew the conclusion, from his own principles, that it was better to be criminal than bourgeois. Hitler, who was endowed with less literary talent but, on this occasion, with more coherence, knew that to be either one or the other was a matter of complete indifference, from the moment that one ceased to believe in anything but success. Thus he authorized himself to be both at the same time.
- Albert Camus, The Rebel (1951)
- Fascism, with its violence, gets rid of everything: it attacks universities, it closes them and crushes them; it attacks intellectuals, represses them and persecutes them; it attacks political parties; it attacks trade union organizations; it attacks all mass and cultural organizations. Therefore, nothing is more violent, more retrograde and more illegal than fascism.
- Capitalist and imperialist countries created the conditions for the rise of fascism in the world.
- What was fascism in Italy, in Germany? The exaltation of racial prejudices. Instead of fighting racial prejudice, which is what a revolution does, fascism exalts prejudice and turns it into hatred.
- They tolerated that Nazism before it was inflicted on them, ... they absolved it, shut their eyes to it, legitimized it, because, until then, it had been applied only to non-European peoples.
- Aimé Césaire, Discourse on Colonialism (1955), p. 36
- What a man! I have lost my heart! ... If I were Italian, I am sure I would have been with you entirely from the beginning of your victorious struggle against the bestial appetites and passion of Leninism. ... Your movement has rendered a service to the whole world. The greatest fear that ever tormented every Democratic or Socialist leader was that of being outbid or surpassed by some other leader more extreme than himself. It has been said that a continual movement to the Left, a kind of fatal landslide toward the abyss, has been the character of all revolutions. Italy has shown that there is a way to combat subversive forces.
- Italy has shown that there is a way of fighting the subversive forces which can rally the masses of the people, properly led, to value and wish to defend the honour and stability of stabilized society. She has provided the necessary antidote to the Russian poison. Hereafter no great nation will be unprovided with an ultimate means of protection against the cancerous growth of Bolshevism.
- It [fascism] is not a sign-post which would direct us here, for I firmly believe that our long experienced democracy will be able to preserve a parliamentary system of government with whatever modifications may be necessary from both extremes of arbitrary rule.
- Winston Churchill, speech to the Anti-Socialist and Anti-Communist Union (17 February 1933), quoted in Martin Gilbert, Prophet of Truth: Winston S. Churchill, 1922–1939 (London: Minerva, 1990), p. 457
- Fascism was the shadow or ugly child of communism . . . As Fascism sprang from Communism, so Nazism developed from Fascism. Thus were set on foot those kindred movements which were destined soon to plunge the world into more hideous strife, which none can say has ended with their destruction.
- Winston Churchill, The Second World War, Volume 1, The Gathering Storm, Mariner Books (1985) pp. 13-14. First published in 1948.
- Despite all the merely verbal declarations to the contrary, the membership, content, and political tactics of the Falange are in open opposition to the national revolution.
- Santiago Montero Díaz, resigning from affiliation with the Falange, as quoted in Falange : A History of Spanish Fascism, Stanley G. Payne (1961) p. 47
- Whoever does not fight the reactionary measures of the bourgeoisie and the growth of fascism at these preparatory stages, is not in a position to prevent the victory of fascism, but, on the contrary, facilitates that victory.
- Fascism is able to attract the masses because it makes a demagogic appeal to their most urgent needs and demands. Fascism not only inflames their prejudices that are deeply ingrained in the masses, but also plays on the better sentiments of the masses, on their sense of justice, and sometimes even on their revolutionary traditions.
- Fascism begins the moment a ruling class, fearing the people may use their political democracy to gain economic democracy, begins to destroy political democracy in order to retain its power of exploitation and special privilege.
- Tommy Douglas, as quoted in Straight Through the Heart: How the Liberals Abandoned the Just Society (Harper and Collins: 1995), p. 243.
- I am against Franco and fascism generally. My reasons are that I believe that fascism means a lack of intellectual freedom, a strongly militaristic and repressive social control joined seemingly with the continuance and strengthening of false religious, racial and economic ideologies, and generally speaking, the antithesis of any hope for equitable treatment which other forms of government at least pretend to offer the individual.
- Fascism is the stage reached after communism has proved an illusion, and it has proved as much an illusion in Russia as in pre-Hitler Germany.
- Peter Drucker, The End of Economic Man: The Study of the New Totalitarians, New York: NY, The John Day Company (1939) pp. 245-246.
- Fascism and Communism represented the urge of the lower middle class to complete the French Revolution—which had signalized the victory of the 'Third Estate' over the Church, the monarchy, and the feudal aristocracy—by destroying, in turn, the privileges of the new capitalist class brought into being by the Industrial Revolution.
- Vera Micheles Dean, Europe in Retreat, New York: NY, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. (1939 revised edition) p. 87.
- Fascism appeals alike to those elements among the younger minded middle class who are conservative by temperament and strongly nationalist in spirit, and to those rarer and more dynamic elements who, naturally revolutionary in their outlook, have been disappointed and exasperated by the failure of all leadership from the left to approach any fulfilment of their aspiration.
- We observe that nothing creates fascists like the threat of freedom.
- Stalinism is worse than fascism, more ruthless, barbarous, unjust, immoral, anti-democratic, unredeemed by any hope or scruple, ... better described as superfascist.
- Max Eastman, as quoted in The Road to Serfdom, F.A. Hayek, New York: NY Routledge (2005) p. 28. First published in 1944.
- Fascism became an all-purpose term because one can eliminate from a fascist regime one or more features, and it will still be recognizable as fascist. Take away imperialism from fascism and you still have Franco and Salazar. Take away colonialism and you still have the Balkan fascism of the Ustashes. Add to the Italian fascism a radical anti-capitalism (which never much fascinated Mussolini) and you have Ezra Pound. Add a cult of Celtic mythology and the Grail mysticism (completely alien to official fascism) and you have one of the most respected fascist gurus, Julius Evola.
- Ur-Fascism is still around us, sometimes in plainclothes. It would be so much easily for us, if there appeared on the scene somebody saying "I want to re-open Auschwitz, I want the Blackshirts to parade again in the Italian squares". Life is not that simple. Ur-Fascism can come back under the most innocent of disguises. Our duty is to uncover it and point the finger at any of its new instances — every day and in every part of the world.
- I most sincerely wish to go on record as being unalterably opposed to Francisco Franco and fascism, to all violations of the legal government and outrages against the people of Republican Spain.
- William Faulkner, 1938, quoted in 'Frederick Robert Karl, William Faulkner, American writer:a biography'. New York: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1989. (p. 630).
- There is fascism, leading only into the blackness which it has chosen as its symbol, into smartness and yapping out of orders, and self-righteous brutality, into social as well as international war. It means change without hope. Our immediate duty — in that tinkering which is the only useful form of action in our leaky old tub — our immediate duty is to stop it.
- Fascism, since that is the word that is used, fascism presents, wherever it manifests itself, characteristics which are varied to the extent that countries and national temperaments vary. It is essentially a defensive reaction of the organism, a manifestation of the desire to live, of the desire not to die, which at certain times seizes a whole people. So each people reacts in its own way, according to its conception of life. Our rising, here, has a Spanish meaning! What can it have in common with Hitlerism, which was, above all, a reaction against the state of things created by the defeat, and by the abdication and the despair that followed it?
- If fascism could be defeated in debate, I assure you that it would never have happened, neither in Germany, nor in Italy, nor anywhere else.
- Franz Frison, Irving Debate Protest
- Fascism, Nazism and Stalinism have in common that they offered the atomized individual a new refuge and security. These systems are the culmination of alienation. The individual is made to feel powerless and insignificant, but taught to project all of his human powers into the figure of the leader, the state, the "fatherland," to whom he has to submit and whom he has to worship. He escapes from freedom and into a new idolatry. All the achievements of individuality and reason, from the late Middle Ages to the nineteenth century are sacrificed on the altars of the new idols. ... built on the most flagrant lies, both with regard to their programs and to their leaders.
- Erich Fromm, The Sane Society New York, NY, Rinehart & Company (1955) p. 208
- Fascism never served the interests of Italian business . . . there is no credible evidence that Fascism controlled the nation's economy for the benefit of the 'possessing classes.'
- A. James Gregor, The Search for Neofascism: The Use and Abuse of Social Science, Cambridge University Press, 2006, p. 7.
- Fascism is the cult of organised murder, invented by the arch-enemies of society. It tends to destroy civilization and revert man to his most barbarous state. Mussolini and Hitler might well be called the devils of an age, for they are playing hell with civilization.
- Marcus Garvey, Authors take Sides on the Spanish War (1937)
- The Fascist accepts life and loves it, knowing nothing of and despising suicide; he rather conceives of life as duty and struggle and conquest, life which should be high and full, lived for oneself, but not above all for others — those who are at hand and those who are far distant, contemporaries, and those who will come after.
- Fascism begins with the rhetoric of dehumanization, humiliation, and reification, right? It starts with the language of brutality, which it normalizes. It legitimates hatred and racism and violence. It views certain groups through rhetoric as enemies of the American people. It operates off of the rhetoric of war, anti-intellectualism, and white supremacy. It operates off of the language of disposability. That language doesn't just simply normalize increasingly the notions of white nationalism, white supremacy, racism, and xenophobia; it also enacts policies and it creates a culture of utter stupidity, a culture of ignorance. And, unfortunately, it functions so as to enable violence against groups labeled as dangerous, other, excess, and a threat to the whitewashed notion of citizenship. [...] Fascism first begins with language, and then gains momentum as an organizing force for shaping a culture that legitimates indiscriminate violence against entire groups — Black people, immigrants, Jews, Muslims, and others considered “disposable.”
- Henry Giroux, as quoted in Henry Giroux on His Latest Book — The Terror of the Unforeseen — and How Neoliberal Capitalism Sets the Stage for Fascism (August 19, 2019), Media For Us.
- A good journalist must recognize in Fascism certain ancient virtues of the race, whether or not they happen to be momentarily fashionable in his own country. Among them are Discipline, Duty, Courage, Glory and Sacrifice.
- Laird Goldsborough, in Fortune (July 1934)
- Fascism is a religion of the state. It assumes the organic unity of the body politic and longs for a national leader attuned to the will of the people. It is totalitarian in that it views everything as political and holds that any action by the state is justified to achieve the common good. It takes responsibility for all aspects of life, including our health and well-being, and seeks to impose uniformity of thought and action, whether by force or through regulation and social pressure. Everything, including economy and religion, must be aligned with its objectives. Any rival identity is part of the "problem" and therefore defined as the enemy. I will argue that contemporary American liberalism embodies all of these aspects of fascism.
- Back in the late 1980s, I published an article entitled “What Is Fascism—And Why Do Women Need to Know?” in Lesbian Contradiction, a paper I used to edit with three other women. It was at the height of the presidency of Ronald Reagan and I was already worried about dangerous currents in the Republican Party, ones that today have swelled into a full-scale riptide to the right. There’s a lot that’s dated in the piece, but the definition I offered for that much-used (and misused) bit of political terminology still stands:
The term itself was invented by Benito Mussolini, the premier of Italy from 1922 to 1945, and refers to the ‘fasces,’ the bundle of rods which symbolized the power of the Roman emperors. Today, I would define fascism as an ideology, movement, or government with several identifying characteristics:
• Authoritarianism and a fanatical respect for leaders. Fascism is explicitly anti-democratic. It emerges in times of social flux or instability and of chaotic and worsening economic situations.
• Subordination of the individual to the state or to the “race.” This subordination often has a spiritual implication: people are offered an opportunity to transcend their own sense of insignificance through participation in a powerful movement of the chosen.
• Appeal to a mythical imperial glory of the past. That past may be quite ancient, as in Mussolini’s evocations of the Roman Empire. Or it might be as recent as the United States of the 1950s.
• Biological determinism. Fascism involves a belief in absolute biological differences between the sexes and among different races.
• Genuine popularity. The scariest thing to me about real fascism is that it has always been a truly popular movement. Even when it is a relatively minor force, fascism can be a mass movement without being a majority movement.
“Having laid out these basic elements,” I added, one “real strength of fascism lies in its extraordinary ideological elasticity,” which allows it to embrace a wide variety of economic positions from libertarian to socialist and approaches to foreign policy that range from isolationism to imperialism. I think this, too, remains true today.
- Rebecca Gordon, The Right’s Attempted Extermination Campaign of Queer People Is Textbook Fascism (4 July 2023), The Nation
- What I failed to emphasize then—perhaps because I thought it went without saying (but it certainly needs to be said today)—is that fascism is almost by definition deadly. It needs enemies on whom it can focus the steaming rage of its adherents, and it is quite content for that rage to lead to literal extermination campaigns.
The creation of such enemies invariably involves a process of rhetorical dehumanization. In fascist propaganda, target groups cease to be actual people, becoming instead vermin, viruses, human garbage, communists, Marxists, terrorists, or, in the case of the present attacks on LGBT people, pedophiles and groomers. As fascist movements develop, they bring underground streams of hatred into the light of “legitimate” political discourse.
All those decades ago, I suggested that the Christian fundamentalists represented an incipient fascist force. I think it’s fair to say that today’s Make America Great Again crew has inherited that mantle, successfully incorporating right-wing Christianity into a larger proto-fascist movement. All the elements of classic fascism now lurk there: adulation of the leader, subordination of the individual to the larger movement, an appeal to mythical past glories, a not-so-subtle embrace of white supremacy, and discomfort with anything or anyone threatening the “natural” order of men and women. You have only to watch a video of a Trump rally to see that his is a mass (even if not a majority) movement.
- Rebecca Gordon, The Right’s Attempted Extermination Campaign of Queer People Is Textbook Fascism (4 July 2023), The Nation
- Why should it matter whether Donald Trump’s MAGA movement and the Republican Party he’s largely taken over represent a kind of fascism? The answer: because the logic of fascism leads so inexorably to the politics of extermination. Describing his MAGA movement as fascism makes it easier to recognize the existential threat it truly represents—not only to a democratic society but to specific groups of human beings within it.
I know it may sound alarmist, but I think it’s true: proto-fascist forces in this country have shown that they are increasingly willing to exterminate queer people, if that’s what it takes to gain and hold on to power. If I’m right, that means all Americans, queer or not, now face an existential threat.<br<For those who don’t happen to fall into one of MAGA’s target groups, let me close by paraphrasing Donald Trump: In the end, they’re coming after you. We’re just standing in the way.
- Fascism is characterised by; an all-powerful state and leader; monism — a single party, ideology and centre of power; expansionist nationalism and/or racism, anti-communism, anti-egalitarianism, anti-liberalism, anti-individualism, anti-rationalism, anti-intellectualism; symbol, myth and mysticism; a cult of war, violence and youth; advocacy of private property but hostility to free market capitalism, and a combination of consent and coercion, propaganda and terror. Clearly, fascist ideology is full of 'negations' — that is, it is a highly negative philosophy which opposes as much as it supports. This is unsurprising, given its origins as a fundamental rejection of inter-war liberal democracy and all of its attendant values.
- Moyra Grant, quoted in Key Ideas in Politics (2003) by Nelson Thornes
- THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS.
I'm gonna tell all you fascists, you may be surprised
People all over this world are getting organized
You're bound to lose
You fascists are bound to lose
Race hatred cannot stop us, this one thing I know
Poll tax and Jim Crow and greed have got to go
You're bound to lose
You fascists are bound to lose
People of every color marching side by side
Marching across these fields where a million fascists died
You're bound to lose
You fascists are bound to lose
I'm going into this battle, take my union gun
Gonna end this world of slavery before this war is won
You're bound to lose
You fascists are bound to lose
- Should one choose to seek out today's fascism, one is counseled to look to the retrograde former Soviet Union, and the reformist People's Republic of China. They are the natural hosts of a ‘resurgence’ of fascism.
- A. James Gregor, Giovanni Gentile: Philosopher Of Fascism, Transactions Publishers (2004) p. xii
- There is a sense in which the appearance of organized fascism on the political stage seems to solve everything for the left. It confirms our best-worst suspicions, awakening familiar ghosts and spectres. Fascism and economic recession together seem to render transparent those connections which most of the time are opaque, hidden and displaced. Away with all those' time-wasting theoretical speculations! The Marxist guarantees are all in place after all, standing to attention. Let us take to the streets. This is not an argument against taking to the streets. Indeed, the direct interventions against the rising fortunes of the National Front - local campaigns, anti-fascist work in the unions, trades councils, women's groups, the mobilization behind the Anti-Nazi League, the counterdemonstrations, above all Rock Against Racism (one of the timeliest and best constructed of cultural interventions, repaying serious and extended analysis) - constitute one of the few success stories of the conjuncture. But it is an argument against the satisfactions which sometimes flow from applying simplifying analytic schemes to complex events. What we have to explain is a move toward 'authoritarian populism' - an exceptional form of the capitalist state which, unlike classical fascism, has retained most (though not all) of the formal representative institutions in place, and which at the same time has been able to construct around itself an active popular consent. This undoubtedly represents a decisive shift in the balance of forces, and the National Front has played a 'walk-on' part in this drama. It has entailed a striking weakening of democratic forms and initiatives; but not their suspension. We miss precisely what is specific to this exceptional form of the crisis of the capitalist state by mere name-calling.
- Stuart Hall, "The Great Moving Right Show", Marxism Today (December 1978)
- Nothing's more important than stopping fascism, because fascism will stop us all.
- If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful. ... They are patriotic in time of war because it is to their interest to be so, but in time of peace they follow power and the dollar wherever they may lead.
- The following joke circulated in Italy in the 1920s. According to Mussolini, the ideal citizen is intelligent, honest, and Fascist. Unfortunately, no one is perfect, which explains why everyone you meet is either intelligent and Fascist but not honest, honest and Fascist but not intelligent, or honest and intelligent but not Fascist.
- Maurice Herlihy and Nir Shavit in The Art of Multiprocessor Programming (2012), p. 65
- ‘But are there not many fascists in your country?'
'There are many who do not know they are fascists but will find it out when the time comes.'”
- Ernest Hemingway, For Whom The Bell Tolls (1940), p. 208
- Of course, I am against fascism with its spread of color prejudice and race hatred and working class oppression. How could any sensible Negro be otherwise?
- To satisfy their hunger for meaning and value, they [the masses] turn to such doctrines as nationalism, fascism and revolutionary communism. Philosophically and scientifically, these doctrines are absurd; but for the masses in every community, they have this great merit: they attribute the meaning and value that have been taken away from the world as a whole to the particular part of the world in which the believers happen to be living.
- Aldous Huxley, Ends and Means : An Inquiry into the Nature of Ideals and into Methods Employed for Their Realization. New York : Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1937.
- The fascist arrangement has attempted to create the illusion of a mass society in which the traditional capitalist ruling class would continue to play its leading role.
- George L. Jackson, Blood in My Eye (1971), p. 121
- The fascist arrangement tolerates the existence of no valid revolutionary activity. It has programmed into its very nature a massive, complex and automatic defense mechanism for all our old methods for raising the consciousness of a potentially revolutionary class of people. The essence of a U.S.A. totalitarian socio-political capitalism is concealed behind the illusion of a mass participatory society. We must rip away its mask. Then the debate can end, and we can enter a new phase of struggle based on the development of an armed revolutionary culture that will triumph.
- George L. Jackson, Blood in My Eye (1971), p. 138
- In Italy ... rugby has 'long been appreciated for its pedagogical value as a "'maker of men"'. ... Rugby expanded further in the Fascist era as a propaganda tool for conditioning the masses to Fascist aims. Such conditioning combined the physical with the ideological in the making of men to serve the state and its aims.
- Timothy John, Lindsay Chandler, John Nauright; “Making the Rugby World: Race, Gender, Commerce”, p.xx
- By 1939 [Fascist] Italy had the highest percentage of state-owned enterprises outside of the Soviet Union.
- Patricia Knight, Mussolini and Fascism (Questions and Analysis in History) (2003) p. 65
- Mussolini and Hitler promised to restore national glory and depicted themselves as the last defense against radical socialism. Neither appealed to racism at first. Not even Hitler, who muted his virulent anti-Semitism in public to attract middle-class voters during the late 1920s. New followers told themselves he had mellowed, but his base and his Jewish targets never doubted his true intentions.
- Many powerful right-wing movements of the early twentieth century―National Socialism, Fascism, and their imitators elsewhere―also expressed a nostalgia for the Middle Ages. The Italian poet and Futurist Gabriele D'Annunzio espoused a "socialist romanticism" that helped lay the foundations of the Fascist corporatist state. In France, the leaders of Action Francaise sought to bring about a "counter-Renaissance" and reimpose the hierarchical corporative structure of the ancien regime. In England, Fascist sympathizers like Oswald Mosley lamented the passing of "Merrie old England," swept away by the competitive reality of ethnically mixed modern cities. Even today, some on the European far-right see in the Middle Ages an affirmation of traditional Christian values, and find inspiration in the Crusader response to assaults from Islamic aggression.
- Joel Kotkin, The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class (2020), pp. 16-17
- Two things make the future real, the artist's imagination and the worker's hope. Fascism destroys both. Therefore the artist and the worker must unite to destroy Fascism. The Fascist artist is a traitor, the neutral is already dead. Art and anti-Fascism are synonymous.
- The parallels between fascism and Communism as ideologies are significant.
- When and if fascism comes to America it will not be labeled "made in Germany"; it will not be marked with a swastika; it will not even be called fascism; it will be called, of course, "Americanism. … The high-sounding phrase "the American way" will be used by interested groups intent on profit, to cover a multitude of sins against the American and Christian tradition, such sins as lawless violence, teargas and shotguns, denial of civil liberties ... There is an obligation resting on us all to dedicate our minds to the hard task of thinking in terms of Christian objectives and values, so that we may be saved from moral confusion.
For never, probably, has there been a time when there was a more vigorous effort to surround social and international questions with such a fog of distortion and prejudices and hysterical appeal to fear.
- Halford E. Luccock in "Keeping Life Out of Confusion" (11 September 1938), as quoted in "Disguised Fascism Seen As A Menace" in The New York Times (12 September 1938), p. 15; also in "Fascism comes wrapped in the flag" (with online facsimile of article)
- The totalitarian states, whether of the fascist or the communist persuasion, are more than superficially alike as dictatorships, in the suppression of dissent, and in operating planned and directed economies. They are profoundly alike.
- Walter Lippmann, The Good Society (1937); Transaction Publications edition (2005), p. 89
- I witnessed the rise of fascism in Germany and I know very well that very many young people at that time adhered to fascism out of a sincere indignation at the capitalist system.
- György Lukács in Conversations with Lukács (Cambridge: 1975), p. 148
- The fascists have reaped what they have sown. The workers will not tolerate anyone defying them on their ground. The experience of Italy and Germany tears too strongly at the heart of all proletarians to allow it to happen again.
- Issue of L'Humanite (April 24th, 1925)
- Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook
- What distinguishes liberal from Fascist political tactics is not a difference of opinion in regard to the necessity of using armed force to resist armed attackers, but a difference in the fundamental estimation of the role of violence in a struggle for power. The great danger threatening domestic policy from the side of Fascism lies in its complete faith in the decisive power of violence. In order to assure success, one must be imbued with the will to victory and always proceed violently. This is its highest principle. What happens, however, when one's opponent, similarly animated by the will to be victorious, acts just as violently? The result must be a battle, a civil war. The ultimate victor to emerge from such conflicts will be the faction strongest in number. In the long run, a minority — even if it is composed of the most capable and energetic — cannot succeed in resisting the majority. The decisive question, therefore, always remains: How does one obtain a majority for one's own party? This, however, is a purely intellectual matter. It is a victory that can be won only with the weapons of the intellect, never by force. The suppression of all opposition by sheer violence is a most unsuitable way to win adherents to one's cause. Resort to naked force — that is, without justification in terms of intellectual arguments accepted by public opinion — merely gains new friends for those whom one is thereby trying to combat. In a battle between force and an idea, the latter always prevails.
- Repression by brute force is always a confession of the inability to make use of the better weapons of the intellect — better because they alone give promise of final success. This is the fundamental error from which Fascism suffers and which will ultimately cause its downfall. The victory of Fascism in a number of countries is only an episode in the long series of struggles over the problem of property. The next episode will be the victory of Communism. The ultimate outcome of the struggle, however, will not be decided by arms, but by ideas. It is ideas that group men into fighting factions, that press the weapons into their hands, and that determine against whom and for whom the weapons shall be used. It is they alone, and not arms, that, in the last analysis, turn the scales.
So much for the domestic policy of Fascism. That its foreign policy, based as it is on the avowed principle of force in international relations, cannot fail to give rise to an endless series of wars that must destroy all of modern civilization requires no further discussion. To maintain and further raise our present level of economic development, peace among nations must be assured. But they cannot live together in peace if the basic tenet of the ideology by which they are governed is the belief that one's own nation can secure its place in the community of nations by force alone.
It cannot be denied that Fascism and similar movements aiming at the establishment of dictatorships are full of the best intentions and that their intervention has, for the moment, saved European civilization. The merit that Fascism has thereby won for itself will live on eternally in history. But though its policy has brought salvation for the moment, it is not of the kind which could promise continued success. Fascism was an emergency makeshift. To view it as something more would be a fatal error.
- Fascism is a matter of taste.
- The twigs will be tied together in a neater and stronger bundle if they are all the same size and length. That's fascism. It suggests that you have two contrary organisational principles involved ... One is a kind of linear, mechano-like organisation – tie up all the sticks, make sure they are the same length, and you have a brick wall or something. The other one – anarchy – is a more fractal more natural more human organisational system in that it organises society in much the same way that we organise our personalities. Where it is purely the interplay of neurons – we haven't got a king neuron that tells all the other neurons what to do. It seems to me to be a more emotionally natural way of working with other people.
- Alan Moore, in "Alan Moore Interview" by Matthew De Abaitua (1998), later published in Alan Moore: Conversations (2011) edited by Eric L. Berlatsky
- Margaret Thatcher had been in power for two or three years. She was facing the first crisis of her, by then, very unpopular government. There were riots all over Britain in places that hadn't seen riots for hundreds of years. There were fascists groups, the National Front, the British National Party, who were flexing their muscles and sort of trying to make political capital out of what were fairly depressed and jobless times. It seemed to me that with the kind of Reagan/Thatcher axis that existed across the Atlantic, it looked like Western society was taking somewhat a turn for the worse. There were ugly fascist stains starting to reassert themselves that we might have thought had been eradicated back in the '30s. But they were reasserting themselves with a different spin. They were talking less about annihilating whichever minority they happened to find disfavor with and talking more about free market forces and market choice and all of these other kind of glib terms, which tended to have the same results as an awful lot of the kind of Fascist causes back in the 1930s but with a bit more spin put upon them. The friendly face of fascism.
- Both political Parties, and the remnants of Liberalism as well, stand bound by the great vested interests of "Right" and "Left" which created them. In Opposition, there is the same profusion of promise; in office, the same apathy and inertia. In post-War England, their creeds have become platitudes; they consistently fail to grapple with the problems of the time. Their rule has led, with tragic inevitability, to the present chaos. Therefore our Fascist Movement seeks on the one hand authority as the basis of all solid achievement; we seek, on the other hand, progress, which can be achieved only by the executive instrument that order, authority and decision alone can give.
- Oswald Mosley, The Greater Britain, 1932. Quoted in Joel H. Wiener,Great Britain: the lion at home: a documentary history of domestic policy, 1689-1973: Volume 4, 1974. Chelsea House publishers, New York. Also in Walter L. Arnstein, The Past Speaks: Sources and Problems in British History, Lexington, Mass. : D.C. Heath, 1993.
- Governments and Parties which have relied on the normal instruments of government...have fallen easy and ignoble victims to the forces of anarchy. If, therefore, such a situation arises in Britain, we shall prepare to meet the anarchy of Communism with the organised force of Fascism.
- Oswald Mosley, The Greater Britain, 1932. Quoted in John Stevenson and Chris Cook, The Slump : Britain in the Great Depression New York : Pearson Longman, 2010.
- Fascist policy is clear cut. We have a right to stay in India and we intend to stay there. We have more than a right; we have a duty to stay there. We have a right because modern India owes everything to British rule.
- Nothing is permanent: certainly not the frozen images of barbarous power with which fascism now confronts us. Those images may easily be smashed by an external shock, cracked as ignominiously as the fallen Dagon, the massive idol of the heathen; or they may be melted, eventually, by the internal warmth of normal men and women. Nothing endures except life: the capacity for birth, growth, and renewal. As life becomes insurgent once more in our civilization, conquering the reckless thrust of barbarism, the culture of cities will be both instrument and goal.
- Lewis Mumford, "Introduction" to The Culture of Cities, 1938.
- We want an extraordinary heavy taxation, with a progressive character, on capital, that will represent an authentic partial expropriation of all wealth; seizures of all assets of religious congregations and suppression of all the ecclesiastic Episcopal revenues, in what constitutes an enormous deficit of the nation and a privilege for a minority; revisions of all contracts made by the war ministers and seizure of 85% of all war profits.
- Benito Mussolini, quoted in "Fasci Italiani di Combattimento" (Italian Combat Fasci), Il Popolo d'Italia (6 June 1919); published in Revolutionary Fascism (2011), by Erik Norling, p. 92
- If relativism signifies contempt for fixed categories and those who claim to be the bearers of objective immortal truth, then there is nothing more relativistic than Fascist attitudes and activity. From the fact that all ideologies are of equal value, we Fascists conclude that we have the right to create our own ideology and to enforce it with all the energy of which we are capable.
- Benito Mussolini, in "Diuturna" ["The Lasting"] (1921)
- Standing by me and helping my work as newspaper man were the Fascisti. They were composed of revolutionary spirits who believed in intervention. They were youths—the students of the universities, the socialist syndicalists—destroying faith in Karl Marx by their ideals.
- My conception always was that Fascism must assume the characteristics of being anti-party. It was not to be tied to old or new schools of any kind. The name "Italian Fighting Fascisti" was lucky. It was most appropriate to a political action that had to face all the old parasites and programmes that had tried to deprave Italy. I felt that it was not only the anti-socialist battle we had to fight; this was only a battle on the way. ... It was therefore not sufficient to create—as some have said superficially—an anti-altar to the altar of socialism. It was necessary to imagine a wholly new political conception, adequate to the living reality of the twentieth century, overcoming at the same time the ideological worship of liberalism, the limited horizons of various spent and exhausted democracies, and finally the violently Utopian spirit of Bolshevism.
- The citizen in the Fascist State is no longer a selfish individual who has the anti-social right of rebelling against any law of the Collectivity.
- Benito Mussolini, My Autobiography by Mussolini, New York: NY, Charles Scribner's Sons (1928) p. 280.
- The Fascist State directs and controls the entrepreneurs, whether it be in our fisheries or in our heavy industry in the Val d'Aosta. There the State actually owns the mines and carries on transport, for the railways are state property. So are many of the factories... We term it state intervention... If anything fails to work properly, the State intervenes. The capitalists will go on doing what they are told, down to the very end. They have no option and cannot put up any fight. Capital is not God; it is only a means to an end.
- The Fascist State has never tried to create its own God, as at one moment Robespierre and the wildest extremists of the Convention tried to do; nor does it vainly seek to obliterate religion from the hearts of men as does Bolshevism: Fascism respects the God of the ascetics, of the saints, of the heroes, and also God as seen and prayed to by the simple and primitive heart of the people.
- Benito Mussolini, The Doctrine of Fascism, June 1932. Quoted in Charles Floyd Delzell, Mediterranean Fascism, 1919-45 Springer, 1971.
- Above all, Fascism . . . believes neither in the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace. It therefore discards pacifism as a cloak beneath which are concealed renunciation of struggle and cowardice in the face of self-sacrifice. War alone keys up all human energies to their maximum tension and impresses the seal of nobility upon those peoples who have the courage to face up to it.
- Fascism denies that numbers, as such, can direct human society. It denies that numbers can govern by means of periodical consultations: It asserts the unavoidable fruitful and beneficent inequality of men who cannot be leveled by any such mechanical and extrinsic device as universal suffrage.
- Benito Mussolini, The Doctrine of Fascism, June 1932. Quoted in Marco Piraino, Stefano Fiorito, Fascist identity : political project and doctrine of facism. Lulu.com, 2009. (p. 107)
- For Fascism, the growth of Empire, that is to say the expansion of the nation, is an essential manifestation of vitality, and its opposite a sign of decadence. Peoples which are rising, or rising again after a period of decadence, are always imperialist; any renunciation is a sign of decay and of death. Fascism is the doctrine best adapted to represent the tendencies and the a people, like the people of Italy, who are rising again after many centuries of abasement and foreign servitude. But Empire demands discipline, the coordination of all forces and a deeply felt sense of duty and sacrifice.
- Yet the Fascist State is unique, and an original creation. It is not reactionary, but revolutionary...
- Benito Mussolini, “The Political and Social Doctrine of Fascism”, Jane Soames, authorized translator, Hogarth Press, London, (1933), p. 23
- You want to know what fascism is like? It is like your New Deal!
- Benito Mussolini, as quoted in Mr. New York: The Autobiography of Grover A. Whalen by Grover Aloysius Whalen, G.P. Putnam's Sons (1955) p. 188
- Three-fourths of the Italian economy, industrial and agricultural, is in the hands of the state. And if I dare to introduce to Italy state capitalism or state socialism, which is the reverse side of the medal, I will have the necessary subjective and objective conditions to do it.
- Benito Mussolini, quoted in The Oxford Handbook of the Italian Economy Since Unification, by Gianni Toniolo, editor, Oxford University Press (2013) p. 59. Mussolini's speech to the Chamber of Deputies on May 26, 1934.
- A party governing a nation “totalitarianly" is a new departure in history. There are no points of reference nor of comparison. From beneath the ruins of liberal, socialist, and democratic doctrines, Fascism extracts those elements which are still vital. It preserves what may be described as "the acquired facts" of history; it rejects all else. That is to say, it rejects the idea of a doctrine suited to all times and to all people. Granted that the XIXth century was the century of socialism, liberalism, democracy, this does not mean that the XXth century must also be the century of socialism, liberalism, democracy. Political doctrines pass; nations remain. We are free to believe that this is the century of authority, a century tending to the " right ", a Fascist century. If the XIXth century was the century of the individual (liberalism implies individualism) we are free to believe that this is the "collective" century, and therefore the century of the State.
- Benito Mussolini, in "The Doctrine of Facism (1932); as translated in Fascism Doctrine and Institutions, official Fascist government publication (1935)
- Variant translations:
- It may be expected that this will be a century of authority, a century of the Left, a century of Fascism.
- If it is admitted that the nineteenth century has been the century of Socialism]], Liberalism and Democracy, it does not follow that the twentieth must also be the century of Liberalism, Socialism and Democracy. Political doctrines pass; peoples remain. It is to be expected that this century may be that of authority, a century of the "Right," a Fascist century.
- Fascism conceives of the State as an absolute, in comparison with which all individuals or groups are relative, only to be conceived in their relation to the State.
- When brought within the orbit of the State, Fascism recognizes the real needs which gave rise to socialism and trade unionism, giving them due weight in the guild or corporative system in which divergent interests are coordinated and harmonized in the unity of the State.
- Benito Mussolini, "The Doctrine of Fascism" ("La dottrina del fascismo"). The 1935 edition from Vallecchi: Editore Firenze, p.15
- Against individualism, the Fascist conception is for the State; and it is for the individual in so far as he coincides with the State ... It is opposed to Classical Liberalism ... Liberalism denied the State in the interests of the particular individual; Fascism reaffirms the State as the true reality of the individual.
- Benito Mussolini, "The Doctrine of Fascism" (1935 version)
- I declare that henceforth capital and labor shall have equal rights and duties as brothers in the fascist family.
- Benito Mussolini, as quoted in The Fate of Trade Unions Under Fascism (1937), Ch. 3: "Italian Trade Unions Under Fascism", p. 35
- The struggle between the two worlds [Fascism and Democracy] can permit no compromises. The new cycle which begins with the ninth year of the Fascist regime places the alternative in even greater relief — either we or they, either their ideas or ours, either our State or theirs!
- Benito Mussolini, as quoted in "Fundamentals of Critical Argumentation" (2005) by Douglas Walton, p. 263
- We are fighting to impose a higher social justice. The others are fighting to maintain the privileges of caste and class. We are proletarian nations that rise up against the plutocrats.
- Benito Mussolini, quoted in “Soliloquy for ‘freedom’ Trimellone island", on the Italian Island of Trimelone, journalist Ivanoe Fossani, one of the last interviews of Mussolini, March 20, 1945, from Opera omnia, vol. 32. Interview is also known as "Testament of Benito Mussolini, or Testamento di Benito Mussolini. Also published under “Mussolini confessed to the stars”, Publishing House Latinitas, Rome, 1952. (Intervista di Ivanoe Fossani, Soliloquio in “libertà” all'isola Trimellone, Isola del Trimellone, 20 marzo 1945)
- Fascism recognizes the social utility of private property, which involves both a right and a duty. ... The National Fascist Party is in favour of a regime that encourages the growth of national wealth by spurring individual initiative and energy ... and it absolutely repudiates the motley, costly, and uneconomic machinery of state control, socialism, and municipalization.
- The superficial distinctions of Fascism, Bolshevism, Hitlerism, are the concern of journalists and publicists; the serious student sees in them only one root-idea of a complete conversion of social power into State power.
- Albert Jay Nock, Our Enemy, The State, Caldwell, Idaho, Caxton Press (1950), first published in 1935.
- There is little difference between the two, and in certain respects, Fascism and Bolshevism are the same.
- Francesco Saverio Nitti, Bolshevism, Fascism and Democracy (1927) p. 130
- Fascism would like to be conservative, but it will end by being revolutionary.
- It is usual to speak of the Fascist objective as the "beehive state", which does grave injustice to bees. A world of rabbits ruled by stoats would be nearer the mark.
- Not only was [Fascist] Italy the first Western country to recognize the Soviet Union in 1924, but the new Soviet art first appeared in the West that year at the Venice Biennale, Italy's premiere art show.
- Stanley G. Payne A History of Fascism 1914—1945, Madison: Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin Press, 1995, p. 223, (first signed de jure recognition).
- During its earlier years fascism was hostile to the Catholic church and several priests were assassinated and churches burned by the fascists. This was due partly to the fact that the papacy has never been reconciled to the unification of Italy because it was deprived of its temporal power.
- Maurice Parmelle, Bolshevism, Fascism, and the Liberal-Democratic State, London: UK; Chapman and Hill, LTD, New York: NY, John Wiley and Son, Inc. (1935) p. 190.
- Fascists have no interest in winning that battle. They don't care about respecting free speech or the right to a fair trial; they've openly declared their murderous intent towards people of colour (and other undesirables) and they'll pursue that goal by any means necessary.
- Eleanor Penny, as quoted in Noam Chomsky: Antifa is a 'major gift to the right' by Maya Oppenheim, 22 August 2017, The Independent
- Fascism issued from the 'Bolshevik' wing of Italian socialism, not from any conservative ideology or movement.
- Richard Pipes, "Russia Under The Bolshevik Regime" (1995), p. 253
- Market society was born in England—yet it was on the Continent that its weaknesses engendered the most tragic complications. In order to comprehend German fascism, we must revert to Ricardian England. The nineteenth century, as cannot be overemphasized, was England's century. The Industrial Revolution was an English event. Market economy, free trade, and the gold standard were English inventions. These institutions broke down in the twenties everywhere—in Germany, Italy, or Austria the event was merely more political and more dramatic. But whatever the scenery and the temperature of the final episodes, the long-run factors which wrecked that civilization should be studied in the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, England.
- Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation (1944), Ch. 2 : Conservative Twenties, Revolutionary Thirties
- [F]ascism and communism are not two opposites, but two rival gangs fighting over the same territory—both are variants of statism, based on the collectivist principle that man is the rightless slave of the state.
- Ayn Rand, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, New York: NY, Signet Book from the New American Library (1967) p. 180
- Such terms as communism, socialism, Fabianism, the welfare state, Nazism, fascism, state interventionism, egalitarianism, the planned economy, the New Deal, the Fair Deal, the New Republicanism, the New Frontier are simply different labels for much the same thing.
- It is the mechanistic-mystical character of modern man that produces fascist parties, and not vice versa.
The result of erroneous political thinking is that even today fascism is conceived as a specific national characteristic of the Germans or the Japanese.
- Wilhelm Reich, in his Preface (August 1942), to the Third Edition of The Mass Psychology of Fascism (1933), p. xiii.
- If, by being revolutionary, one means rational rebellion against intolerable social conditions, if, by being radical, one means "going to the root of things," the rational will to improve them, then fascism is never revolutionary. True, it may have the aspect of revolutionary emotions. But one would not call that physician revolutionary who proceeds against a disease with violent cursing but the other who quietly, courageously and conscientiously studies and fights the causes of the disease. Fascist rebelliousness always occurs where fear of the truth turns a revolutionary emotion into illusion.
In its pure form, fascism is the sum total of all irrational reactions of the average human character. To the narrow-minded sociologist who lacks the courage to recognize the enormous role played by the irrational in human history, the fascist race theory appears as nothing but an imperialistic interest or even a mere 'prejudice.' The violence and the ubiquity of these "race prejudices" show their origin from the irrational part of the human character. The race theory is not a creation of fascism. No: fascism is a creation of race hatred and its politically organized expression. Correspondingly, there is a German, Italian, Spanish, Anglo-Saxon, Jewish and Arabian fascism. Race ideology is a pure biopathic expression of the character structure of the orgastically impotent man.
The sadistically perverse character of race ideology is also betrayed in its attitude towards religion. Fascism is supposed to be a reversion to paganism and an archenemy of religion. Far from it - fascism is the supreme expression of religious mysticism. As such, it comes into being in a peculiar social form. Fascism countenances that religiosity that stems from sexual perversion, and it transforms the masochistic character of the old patriarchal religion of suffering into a sadistic religion. In short, it transposes religion from the ‘other-worldliness’ of the philosophy of suffering to the ‘this worldliness’ of sadistic murder.
- Wilhelm Reich, in his Preface (August 1942), to the Third Edition of The Mass Psychology of Fascism (1933), p. xiv.
- The structure of fascism is characterized by metaphysical thinking, unorthodox faith, obsession with abstract ethical ideals, and belief in the divine predestination of the fuhrer. These basic features are linked with a deeper layer, which is characterized by a strong authoritarian tie to the fuhrer-ideal or the nation. The belief in a ‘master race’ became the principal mainspring of the tie to the ‘fuhrer’ on the part of the National Socialist masses, as well as the foundation of their voluntary acceptance of slavish submission.
- Wilhelm Reich, The Mass Psychology of Fascism (1933), p. 80.
- Strangely, it is always America that is described as degenerate and 'fascist', while it is solely in Europe that actual dictatorships and totalitarian regimes spring up.
- Fascism was born to inspire a faith not of the Right (which at bottom aspires to conserve everything, even injustice) or of the Left (which at bottom aspires to destroy everything, even goodness), but a collective, integral, national faith.
- In Turin the members of the Communist Party, during the Resistance, had to endure 8 hours of torture. [Fascists] would pull your eyes out with teaspoons, they'd rip your nails out with tweezers. And you had to stay silent for eight hours, and only after that you were allowed to confess and give the names of your comrades, and that was a Party guideline, to ensure the comrades' flight in those eight hours.
- The fundamental distinction between Fascism and other right-wing movements was its total rejection of bourgeois civilization... [Fascism] rejected the whole of liberal civilization—capitalism and the market system, individualism and rationality, the belief in progress and the faith in politics as a way of meeting society's needs without violence.
- J.M. Roberts, Europe 1880-1945 (A General History of Europe) , London and New York, Longman (1984) p. 420. First published 1967.
- The most obvious novelty of Fascist movements is their revolutionary dynamics. True Fascists were unchecked by respect for tradition, institutions or ideas, and had an ambivalent relationship with traditional forces and groups.
- J.M. Roberts, Europe 1880-1945 (A General History of Europe) , London and New York, Longman (1984) p. 419. First published 1967.
- For liberalism, the individual is the end, and society the means.... For Fascism, society is the end, individuals the means, and its whole life consists in using individuals as instruments for its social ends.
- Alfredo Rocco, “The Political Doctrine of Fascism,” speech delivered at Perugia, Aug. 30, 1925. Speech printed in The Primer of Italian Fascism, Jeffrey T. Schnapp, editor, University of Nebraska Press (2000) p.112.
- Not everyone who wants to be a fascist is one. A mere nationalist cannot be one, because he has not the slightest idea of socialism.
- Fascism is the system of government that cartelizes the private sector, centrally plans the economy to subsidize producers, exalts the police State as the source of order, denies fundamental rights and liberties to individuals, and makes the executive State the unlimited master of society.
- Lew Rockwell, Against the State: An Anarcho-Capitalist Manifesto, Auburn: AL, LewRockwell.com (2014) p. 131
- Fascism was a monster born of capitalist parents. Fascism came as the end-product of centuries of capitalist bestiality, exploitation, domination, and racism—mainly exercised outside Europe. It is highly significant that many settlers and colonial officials displayed a leaning towards fascism. Apartheid in South Africa is nothing but fascism. It was gaining roots from the early period of white colonization in the seventeenth century, and particularly after the mining industry brought South Africa fully into the capitalist orbit in the nineteenth century. Another example of the fascist potential of colonialism was seen when France was overrun by Nazi Germany in 1940. The French fascists collaborated with Hitler to establish what was called the Vichy regime in France, and the French white settlers in Africa supported the Vichy regime. A more striking instance to the same effect was the fascist ideology developed by the white settlers in Algeria, who not only opposed independence for Algeria under Algerian rule, but they also strove to bring down the more progressive or liberal governments of metropolitan France.
- Fascism is not defined by the number of its victims, but by the way it kills them.
- In [Fascist] Italy and [Nazi] Germany the official unions have been made compulsory by law, while in the United States, the workers are not legally obligated to join the company unions but may even, if they so wish, oppose them.
- Gaetano Salvemini, The Fate of Trade Unions Under Fascism (1937), Ch. 3: "Italian Trade Unions Under Fascism", p. 35
- Donald Trump has encouraged a new sort of alliance in the world, an alliance of fascists, authoritarians, dictators. It's striking to contrast this emerging global coalition of thug-ery to a movement formed out of the rubble of World War II. It was known as the Non-Aligned Movement.
- There's much that we can learn from the struggle of the Partisans, the society that they sought to build and the horrifying end to the story of Yugoslavia. These lessons resonate strongly in our current moment in history.
- Fascists were not conservative in any very meaningful sense...The Fascists, in a meaningful sense, were revolutionaries.
- Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. “Not Right, Not Left, But a Vital Center”, New York Times Magazine, (April 4, 1948)
- Hitler tried and failed to begin a German national revolution in Munich in November 1923, which led to a brief spell in prison. Though the substance of his National Socialism was his own creation, his coup d’état was inspired by the success of the Italian fascists he admired. Benito Mussolini had taken power in Italy the previous year after the “March on Rome,” which Hitler imitated without success in Munich. Italian fascists, like Hitler and his Nazis, offered the glorification of the national will over the tedium of political compromise. Mussolini, and Hitler following him, used the existence of the Soviet Union within domestic politics. While admiring the discipline of Lenin and the model of the one-party state, both men used the threat of a communist revolution as an argument for their own rule. Though the two men differed in many respects, they both represented a new kind of European Right, one which took for granted that communism was the great enemy while imitating aspects of communist politics. Like Mussolini, Hitler was an outstanding orator and the one dominant personality in his movement. Hitler had little trouble regaining the leadership of the Nazi party after his release from prison in December 1924.
- Timothy D. Snyder, Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin (2022)
- Fascism is the falsehood that the enemy chosen by a leader must be the enemy for all. Politics then begins from emotion and falsehood. Peace becomes unthinkable, since enmity abroad is necessary for control at home. A fascist says "the people" and means "some people," those he favors at the moment.
- Although Ilyin dressed up his idea of contemplation in several books, it really was no more than that: he saw his own nation as righteous, and the purity of that vision was more important than anything Russians actually did. The nation, “pure and objective,” was what the philosopher saw when he blinded himself.
Innocence took a specific biological form. What Ilyin saw was a virginal Russian body. Like fascists and other authoritarians of his day, Ilyin insisted that his nation was a creature, “an organism of nature and the soul,” an animal in Eden without original sin.
Who belonged within the Russian organism was not for the individual to decide, since cells do not decide whether they belong to a body. Russian culture, Ilyin wrote, automatically brought “fraternal union” wherever Russian power extended. Ilyin wrote of “Ukrainians” in quotation marks, because he denied their separate existence beyond the Russian organism. To speak of Ukraine was to be a mortal enemy of Russia. Ilyin took for granted that a post-Soviet Russia would include Ukraine.
- The symbol Z, the rallies, the propaganda, the war as a cleansing act of violence and the death pits around Ukrainian towns make it all very plain.
The war against Ukraine is not only a return to the traditional fascist battleground, but also a return to traditional fascist language and practice. Other people are there to be colonized. Russia is innocent because of its ancient past. The existence of Ukraine is an international conspiracy. War is the answer.
- Today people commonly use the word "fascism" instead of "national socialism." Presumably this is what you are asking. No. Hitlerism had racism as its essential dogmatic foundation. But in a multiethnic country, such an ideology has no chance of success. And Russia has never had such a movement. But if we speak about the rampage of militant chauvinism, then it exists--and in bloody form--in several republics of the former U.S.S.R., but certainly not in Russia. And if one were to count all the instances of violence perpetrated on nationalist grounds and in local wars, all of them took place outside of Russia and were not perpetrated by Russians.
- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Interview With Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn on the New Russia and Ukraine (May 1994), by Paul Klebnikov, in the (9 May 1994), issue of Forbes magazine
- If the Fascist ideology cannot be described as a simple response to Marxism, its origins, on the other hand, were the direct result of very specific revision of Marxism. It was a revision of Marxism and not a variety of Marxism or a consequence of Marxism... It was the French and Italian Sorelians, the theoreticians of revolutionary syndicalism who made this new and original revision of Marxism, and precisely this was their contribution to the birth of the Fascist ideology.
- Zeev Sternhell, The Birth of Fascist Ideology: From Cultural Rebellion to Political Revolution (1989) p. 5
- Fascism rebelled against modernity inasmuch as modernity was identified with the rationalism, optimism, and humanism of the eighteenth century, but it was not a reactionary or an anti-revolutionary movement in the Maurrassian sense of the term. Fascism presented itself as a revolution of another kind, a revolution that sought to destroy the existing political order and to uproot its theoretical and moral foundations but that at the same time wished to preserve all the achievements of modern technology.
- Zeev Sternhell, The Birth of Fascist Ideology: From Cultural Rebellion to Political Revolution (1989) p. 7
- That is why so many Sorelians, like many people on the Left both before and after the war, slid into fascism. When these leftists of all shapes and colors came to the conclusion that the working class had definitely beaten a retreat, they did not follow it into this attitude. Their socialism remained revolutionary when that of the proletariat had ceased to be so. Having to choose between the proletariat and revolution, they chose revolution; having to choose between a proletarian but moderate socialism and a nonproletarian but revolutionary and national socialism, they opted for the nonproletarian revolution, the national revolution.
- Zeev Sternhell, The Birth of Fascist Ideology: From Cultural Rebellion to Political Revolution (1989) p. 27
- Thus, it was quite natural that a synthesis would arise between this new socialism [fascism], which discovered the nation as a revolutionary agent, and the nationalist movement, which also rebelled against the old world of conservatives, against the aristocrats and the bourgeois, and against social injustices and which believed that the nation would never be complete until it had integrated the proletariat. A socialism for the whole collectivity and a nationalism that, severed from conservatism, proclaimed itself as being by definition the messenger of unity and unanimity thus came together to form an unprecedented weapon of war against the bourgeois order and liberal democracy.
- Zeev Sternhell, The Birth of Fascist Ideology: From Cultural Rebellion to Political Revolution (1989) pp. 27-8
- Thus, the historical circumstance of the half century preceding the Second World War gave rise to the essence of fascism: a synthesis of organic nationalism and anti-Marxist socialism, a revolutionary ideology based on a simultaneous rejection of liberalism, Marxism, and democracy.
- Zeev Sternhell, Neither Left nor Right: Fascist Ideology in France (1983) p. 27
- [Fascist ideology was] a variety of socialism which, while rejecting Marxism, remained revolutionary. This form of socialism was also, by definition, anti-liberal and anti-bourgeois, and its opposition to historical materialism made it the natural ally of radical nationalism.
- Zeev Sternhell, Neither Left nor Right: Fascist Ideology in France (1983) p. 268
- Fascism presented itself not only as an alternative, but also as the heir to socialism.
- Jacob Talmon, The Myth of the Nation and the Vision of Revolution: The Origins of Ideological Polarization in the 20th Century, University of California Press, 1981. p. 501.
- Unity, in Fascist terms, means uniformity; freedom of conscience means insubordination; co-ordination means coercion.
- Dorothy Thompson, "Let the Record Speak", Boston: MA, Houghton Mifflin Company (1939) p. 20 (newspaper column: “Political Dictionary,” March 19, 1936)
- The peoples of Yugoslavia do not want Fascism. They do not want a totalitarian regime, they do not want to become slaves of the German and Italian financial oligarchy as they never wanted to become reconciled to the semi-colonial dependence imposed on them by the so-called Western democracies after the first imperialist war.
- Josip Broz Tito, as quoted by Jasper Ridley, Tito: A Biography (Constable and Company Ltd., 1994), p. 155.
- Stalinism and fascism, in spite of a deep difference in social foundations, are symmetrical phenomena. In many of their features, they show a deadly similarity.
- Leon Trotsky, The Revolution Betrayed: What Is the Soviet Union and Where Is It Going? Labor Publications, Inc., Detroit, MI, 1991, pp. 237-238, Chap. 11, “Whither the Soviet Union.” First published 1937.
- The similarities of the economics of the New Deal to the economics of Mussolini's corporative state or Hitler's totalitarian state are both close and obvious.
- There isn't any difference in totalitarian states. I don't care what you call them, Nazi, Communist or Fascist...
- Harry S. Truman, (Comment on May 13, 1947), Public Papers of the President of the United States, Harry S. Truman. Containing the Public Messages, Speeches, and Statements of the President, January 1 to December 31, 1947 (Washington D.C., 1963), p. 238
- In all the countries where fascism became victorious, we had, before the growth of fascism and its victory, a wave of radicalism of the masses — of the workers and the poorer peasants and farmers, and of the petty bourgeois class. In Italy, after the war and before 1922, we had a revolutionary wave of tremendous dimensions; the state was paralyzed, the police did not exist, the trade unions could do anything they wanted — but there was not party capable of taking the power. As a reaction came fascism. In Germany, the same. We had a revolutionary situation in 1918; the bourgeois class did not even ask to participate in the power. The social democrats paralyzed the revolution. Then the workers tried again in 1922-23-24. This was the time of the bankruptcy of the Communist Party — all of which we have gone into before. Then in 1929-30-31, the German workers began again a new revolutionary wave. There was a tremendous power in the Communists and in the trade unions, but then came the famous policy (on the part of the Stalinist movement) of social fascism, a policy invented to paralyze the working class. Only after these three tremendous waves did fascism become a big movement. There are no exceptions to this rule — fascism comes only when the working class shows complete incapacity to take into its own hands the fate of society.
- Leon Trotsky, Fascism : What It Is and How To Fight It (1944)
- The last resource of the bourgeoisie is fascism, which replaces social and historical criteria with biological and zoological standards so as thus to free itself from any and all restrictions in the struggle for capitalist property.
- Donald was incompetent, but others in Donald's administration were anything but. What they built was a lean and ruthless machine for advancing fascism. With the help of some luck, complicit institutions, an unprepared media, and a party of willing converts, that machine largely succeeded.
- Mary L. Trump, The Reckoning: Our Nation's Trauma and Finding a Way to Heal (2021), 1st Edition, New York: St. Martin's Press, p. 139
- The dangerous American fascist is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information..
- The really dangerous American fascists are not those who are hooked up directly or indirectly with the Axis. The FBI has its finger on those.
- With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public.
- American fascism will not be really dangerous until there is a purposeful coalition among the cartelists, the deliberate poisoners of public information... Fascism is a worldwide disease... greatest threat to the United States will come after the war... within the United States itself.
- If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful. ... They are patriotic in time of war because it is to their interest to be so, but in time of peace they follow power and the dollar wherever they may lead.
- We have no right to disown our own shame in the upbringing of the beast from whom we have so lately been delivered. There was no country in Europe without its fascist party, and this at a time before the label appeared likely to prove safe or profitable.
- Rex Warner, in The Cult of Power, The Bodley Head, (1946), p. 142
- Do we have a free press today? Sure we do. It’s free to report all the sex scandals it wants, all the stock market news we can handle, every new health fad that comes down the pike, and every celebrity marriage or divorce that happens. But when it comes to the real down and dirty stuff — stories like... corporate corruption, or CIA involvement in drug trafficking — that’s where we begin to see the limits of our freedoms. In today’s media environment, sadly, such stories are not even open for discussion. Back in 1938, when fascism was sweeping Europe, legendary investigative reporter George Seldes observed that “it is possible to fool all the people all the time — when government and press cooperate.” Unfortunately, we have reached that point. p. 156
- Gary Webb, Into the Buzzsaw: Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of a Free Press (2002)
- Fascism had its origins in communism, and communism exhibited facets of fascism from its inception. Since the Soviet empire broke up, its logical course is toward fascism.
- Harry V. Willems, Southeast Kansas Library System, Iola, Library Journal, (1 March 2000)
- It would seem...that man has been shocked by the war into forgetting how to be a political animal. This suspicion is confirmed by the spread of Fascism, which is a headlong flight into fantasy from the necessity for political thought. There is nothing more obvious about the post-war situation than that it is novel, springs from causes which have not yet been analysed, and cannot be relieved until this analysis is complete and has been made the basis of a new social formual. Yet persons supporting Fascism behave as if man were already in possession of principles which would enable him to deal with all our problems, and as if it were only a question of appointing a dictator to apply them.
- I am for the legal government of Republican Spain against Franco, since Spain herself, at a properly conducted election, chose that Government and rejected the party which now supports Franco. I am also against Fascism; the reforms of Diocletian were a work of genius and made many people temporarily happy, but failed in the end and added greatly to human misery. I see no reason why this inferior modern copy of them should succeed.
- In 1977, Klaus Theweleit published a book in which he sought to understand the germination of fascism in interwar Germany. His method was to study the fantasy life of that era's conservative revolutionaries, by reading the diaries, novels and letters of the men who joined the Freikorps militias, and fought against insurgent communists during the early days of the Weimar Republic.
- In the fantasies they committed to paper, the men associated the women they despised with floods of liquid and slime, and with dirt – substances that would threaten to overwhelm the defences of their ill-formed psyches. The solider male felt that he could only guarantee “his own survival, his self-preservation and self-regeneration”, through acts of violence against such women. (Another way of maintaining their fragile sense of self is by slotting themselves into enveloping external structures like the armed forces or fascist youth organisations.)
In the soldier males’ journals we see them taking great pleasure, and building fraternal camaraderie, by murdering women, pairs of lovers and leftists of all genders. We also see that many of them cannot reconcile acts of physical love with the nature of their own desires. When it came to these men, their murderous acts and their sexual problems were not coincidental, they were interrelated.
In explaining how, Theweleit takes exception with the left’s then-dominant explanation of fascism – that it was a result of pure irrationality, or repressed homosexuality. Some said it could be countered by the left mounting a renewed defence of progress and reason, or by beefing up alternative institutions that mirrored those of the fascists.
For Theweleit, this misses the central dynamic that propels the fascist male towards violence. Fascism derives its power from channelling the protean, potentially liberating force of human desire towards hatred, distorting it into a desire for death and blood. All of its institutions, its rituals, and the (male) bonds it promotes are bent to this purpose. We cannot beat fascists by aping their structures, any more than we can hope to rationally persuade them. The problem goes deeper.
On this theme, he says that classical fascism was not as distinct as we might want it to be from the culture surrounding it. It is not a departure from European history, but an intensification of some of its more pervasive traits.
At one point he asks, “Can we not draw a straight line from the witch to the sensuous Jewish woman? Is the persecution of the sensuous woman not a permanent reality, one that is not economic in origin, but which derives from the specific social organisation of gender relations in patriarchal Europe?”
Later, more succinctly, he comments that his soldier males are “equivalent to the tip of the patriarchal iceberg, but it’s what lies beneath the surface that really makes the water cold”.
- Jason Wilson, "What do incels, fascists and terrorists have in common? Violent misogyny", The Guardian, (4 May 2018).
- Dr. Reich vastly offended many people by his sociological theory, which holds that fascism is just an exaggerated form of the basic structure of sex-negative societies and has existed under other names in every civilization based on sexual repression. In this theory, the character and muscular armor of the average citizen — a submissive and frightened attitude anchored in body reflexes — causes the average person to want a strong authority figure above them. Tyranny, in this model, is not created by tyrants alone but by neurotic masses who want tyrants.
- Robert Anton Wilson, in Everything Is Under Control : Conspiracies, Cults, and Cover-Ups (1998), p. 361
- This means that if someone acts like a fascist, has fascist beliefs, repeats fascist talking points, and hangs out with other fascists, the fact that they publicly denounce fascism should be worth absolutely nothing to you, and shouldn’t even enter into your consideration of whether they’re a fascist. After all, “I’m not a fascist” is exactly what a fascist would say.
- Natalie Wynn, Decrypting the Alt-Right: How to Recognize a F@scist, (1 September 2017)
- The biggest threat to America today is not communism. It's moving America toward a fascist theocracy, and everything that's happened during the Reagan administration is steering us right down that pipe ... I really think that. ... When you have a government that prefers a certain moral code derived from a certain religion and that moral code turns into legislation to suit one certain religious point of view, and if that code happens to be very, very right wing, almost toward Attila the Hun...
- Frank Zappa, Crossfire debate on censorship (1986).
See also edit
|Social and political philosophy|
|Ideologies||Anarchism • Authoritarianism • Capitalism • Collectivism • Colonialism • Communism • Confucianism • Conservatism • Elitism • Environmentalism • Fascism • Imperialism • Individualism • Liberalism • Libertarianism • Marxism • Nationalism • Republicanism • Social constructionism • Social democracy • Socialism • Totalitarianism • Utilitarianism|
|Concepts||Authority • Duty • Elite • Emancipation • Freedom • Government • Hegemony • Hierarchy • Justice • Law • Monopoly • Natural law • Norms • Obedience • Peace • Pluralism • Power • Propaganda • Property • Revolution • Rights • Ruling class • Social contract • Society • State • Utopia • War|
|Government||Aristocracy • Autocracy • Bureaucracy • Dictatorship • Democracy • Meritocracy • Monarchy • Oligarchy • Plutocracy • Technocracy • Theocracy|
- The Doctrine of Fascism (1932) by Benito Mussolini
- Eternal Fascism: Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt (1995) by Umberto Eco
- Readings on Fascism and National Socialism edited by Alan Swallow – Project Gutenberg
- Authorized translation of Mussolini’s “The Political and Social Doctrine of Fascism” (1933)