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.
- 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.
- 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"
- From the point of view of fundamental human liberties there is little to choose between communism, socialism, and national socialism. They all are examples of the collectivist or totalitarian state … in its essentials not only is completed socialism the same as communism but it hardly differs from fascism.
- Ivor Bulmer-Thomas, The Socialist Tragedy (1951), p. 241
- 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, 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.
- Fascism appears in the world precisely after the October Revolution; fascism appears in the world as a tool against Marxism-Leninism. Capitalist and imperialist countries created the conditions for the rise of fascism in the world; and the whole fascist campaign, since its first appearance in Europe, was based on anti-communism, on communists' slaughter and on the destruction of the Soviet Union.
- 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
- We do not want a violent plunge into Toryism, followed by a violent plunge into Socialism, followed by a violent plunge into Fascism; for that would be the end of our free, ancient constitution, and we should come down to the level of those unhappy countries where the ordinary people are simply the pawns and slaves of the Government and of the gang who are in the swim. Please think this over very carefully because it will matter a lot to you and to your children.
- Winston Churchill, radio broadcast (16 January 1934), quoted in Martin Gilbert, Winston Churchill - The Wilderness Years: A Lone Voice Against Hitler in the Prelude to War (London: I.B. Tauris, 2012), p. 106
- 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
- And in their common hostility to democratic parliamentary government, the Fascists and Communist often found themselves appealing to the same kinds of alienated people. A good many Fascists (beginning with Mussolini himself) came from the ranks of left-wing Marxism and syndicalism, and when the Fascist regime was overthrown in 1943-45 it was not hard for a certain number of ex-Blackshirts to swing to left-wing political extremism.
- Charles F. Delzell, edit., Mediterranean Fascism 1919-1945, New York, NY, Walker and Company, 1971, p. xiii
- 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.
- Fascism has no long pedigree of theory, like Socialism, Liberalism, Communism and other products of the intellectual laboratory. Fascism is real insurrection, — an Insurrection of feeling, — a mutiny of men against the conditions of the modern world.
- 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).
- In Fascism, as in Communism, the idea of the future was based on a critique of bourgeois modernity… It rose from a variety of currents and from authors of very different origins, all of whom demonized the bourgeoisie. The doctrine was cast as post-Marxist, not as pre-liberal.
- François Furet, The Passing of an Illusion, The Idea of Communism in the Twentieth Century, University of Chicago Press (1999) p. 175
- The line between fascism and Fabian socialism is very thin. Fabian socialism is the dream. Fascism is Fabian socialism plus the inevitable dictator.
- John T. Flynn, The Road Ahead: America's Creeping Revolution, The Devin-Adair Company (1949) p. 149
- 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?
- 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.
- It is well known that Sorellian Syndicalism, out of which the thought and the political method of Fascism emerged—conceived itself the genuine interpretation of Marxist communism.
- Giovanni Gentile, Che cosa è il fascismo: Discorsi e polemiche , (“What is Fascism?”), Florence: Vallecchi, (1925), Origins and Doctrine of Fascism , A. James Gregor, translator and editor, Transaction Publishers (2003) p. 59
- 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)
- Thus, by 1925, both Leninism and Fascism, variants of Marxism, had created political and economic systems that shared singular properties . . . Both sought order and disciple of entire populations in the service of an exclusivistic party and an ideology that found its origins in classical Marxism ... Both created a kind of ‘state capitalism,’ informed by a unitary party, and responsible to a ‘charismatic’ leader.
- A. James Gregor, Marxism, Fascism & Totalitarianism: Chapters in the Intellectual History of Radicalism, Stanford University Press, 2009, p. 293
- 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.
- Neither Stalinism nor Fascist totalitarianism would have been possible without the transmogrified Marxism, that infilled both.
- A. James Gregor, Marxism, Fascism & Totalitarianism: Chapters in the Intellectual History of Radicalism, Stanford University Press, 2009, p. 293
- Fascism is characterised by; an all-powerful state and leader; monism — a single party, ideology and centre of power; expanisionist 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
- [Italian] Fascism was a variant of classical Marxism, a belief system that pressed some themes argued by both Marx and Engels until they found expression in the form of ‘national syndicalism’ that was to animate the first Fascism.
- A. James Gregor, Young Mussolini and the Intellectual Origins of Fascism (1979) p. xi
- Fascism's most direct ideological inspiration came from the collateral influence of Italy's most radical 'subversives' — the Marxists of revolutionary syndicalism.
- A. James Gregor, The Faces of Janus: Marxism and Fascism in the Twentieth Century New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, (2000), p. 130
- Fascism is a genus of political ideology whose mythic core in its various permutations is a palingenetic form of populist ultra-nationalism.
- Roger Griffin, in The Nature of Fascism (1993), p. 26
- The first Fascists were almost all Marxists—serious theorists who had long been identified with Italy’s intelligentsia of the Left.
- A. James Gregor, The Faces of Janus: Marxism and Fascism in the Twentieth Century, New Haven: Connecticut, Yale University Press (2000) p. 20.
- [Fascism is] a genuinely revolutionary, trans-class form of anti-liberal, and in the last analysis, anti conservative nationalism. As such it is an ideology deeply bound up with modernization and modernity, one which has assumed a considerable variety of external forms to adapt itself to the particular historical and national context in which it appears, and has drawn a wide range of cultural and intellectual currents, both left and right, anti-modern and pro-modern, to articulate itself as a body of ideas, slogans, and doctrine. In the inter-war period it manifested itself primarily in the form of an elite-led "armed party" which attempted, mostly unsuccessfully, to generate a populist mass movement through a liturgical style of politics and a programme of radical policies which promised to overcome a threat posed by international socialism, to end the degeneration affecting the nation under liberalism, and to bring about a radical renewal of its social, political and cultural life as part of what was widely imagined to be the new era being inaugurated in Western civilization. The core mobilizing myth of fascism which conditions its ideology, propaganda, style of politics and actions is the vision of the nation's imminent rebirth from decadence.
- Fascist social welfare legislation compared favorably with the more advanced European nations and in some respect was more progressive.
- A. James Gregor, Italian Fascism and Developmental Dictatorship, Princeton: NJ, Princeton University Press (1979) p. 263.
- 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
- Where socialism nationalized property explicitly, fascism did so implicitly, by requiring owners to use their property in the ‘national interest’—that is, as the autocratic authority conceived it.
- 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
- 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.
- Art and anti-fascism are synonymous.
- John Langdon-Davies, Authors take Sides on the Spanish War, quoted in Britain and the Spanish Civil War(1997) by Tom Buchanan, p. 32
- 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
- It is everywhere. In a few years, it has metastasized like a cancer, on all continents... The disease, expressed by the term Deutschland Uber Alles (Germany above all else), was also contagious. It has been repackaged under the thinly concealed Make America — or Italy, Austria, Hungary, Brazil, or Israel — Great Again. The doctrine of one country above all else is, in reality, the best way to justify the tyranny of the State against its own population. Constant threats, external or internal, mostly fabricated and hugely amplified by subservient media, keep societies on edge and make people tolerate or, even worse, embrace an omnipresent security apparatus, either military or police. Fascist regimes always blur the line between military and police. Why not, indeed, be able to deploy your military against your own citizens if you have brainwashed them with the notion of lurking internal enemies? After all, fear and paranoia are the most powerful vectors of the global Orwellian empire we live in.
- Gilbert Mercier inThe Global Rise of Fascism: Capitalism End Game? Global Research, (12 January 2019)
- The global rise of fascism will change a landscape already on shaky ground. Trump’s National Security adviser, John Bolton, has already set the agenda and put in the neofascist crosshair Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua, which he called the “troika of tyranny.” Naturally, Bolton counts on the new fascist regional helpers of US imperialism, Colombia and Brazil, to enforce a revived full-blown Monroe Doctrine. In Europe, neofascists have risen to power in Hungary and the coalition governments of Italy and Austria. Their ideological comrades in Germany, Poland, France, Sweden, and the Netherlands have not risen to power, but their political clout is quickly growing. This rise of the neofascists, combined with the UK’s Brexit, is jeopardizing the European Union. In these developments, Steve Bannon of the US is playing the part of a fascism ideologue and black-clad eminence grise.
- Gilbert Mercier inThe Global Rise of Fascism: Capitalism End Game? Global Research, (12 January 2019)
- Gott Mit Uns (God with us) in raised letters around an eagle and swastika, was the inscription that adorned the German army’s belt buckles during World War II... That being said, there is definitely a religious track in the rise of global fascism. In the US and in Brazil, the vote of the evangelical Christians was a primary factor in the elections of Trump and Bolsonaro. “Born-again” Christian fundamentalists in the US are mainly concentrated in the formerly Confederate Southern states of the Civil War. These evangelical fundamentalist communities largely reject evolution, secularism, and the reality that climate change is man-made... These Christian fundamentalists are the most reliable voting block for Trump, just as they were for George W. Bush. Well-funded far-Right fundamentalist think tanks like The Heritage Foundation have been pulling the strings in the background since the early 1970s.
- Gilbert Mercier inThe Global Rise of Fascism: Capitalism End Game? Global Research, (12 January 2019
- Fascism cannot be comprehensively understood without an understanding of Marxism.
- What is Fascism? It is socialism emancipated from democracy.
- 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.
- America made a god of unregulated anarchy in private enterprise. This, she falsely believed, was the only alternative to Socialism. Both in her success and in her failure, in her dizzy prosperity and in her cataclysmic depression, there is an instructive lesson. Throughout the boom she achieved, on a basis purely temporary, what organised planning and Corporate institutions can set on a permanent footing. The very energy of American libertarianism is the best argument for Fascist institutions.
- 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.
- Despite the fact that only the Nazi included into the title of their party designation ‘National Socialist’, fascism generally presented itself as socialist.
- Mark Neocleous, Fascism, University of Minnesota Press (1997), p. 39
- Spend most of the day reading fascisti leaflets. They certainly have turned the whole country into an army. From cradle to grave one is cast in the mould of fascismo and there can be no escape … It is certainly a socialist experiment in that it destroys individuality. It destroys liberty.
- Harold Nicolson in his diary (6 January 1932), published in The Harold Nicolson Diaries : 1919-1964 (2004), pp. 87-8
- Fascism in Italy was the work of the revolutionary Socialists, who, after opposing the war, were converted to its support as an extreme Radical movement, actually favourable to the cause of Socialism.
- Francesco Saverio Nitti, Bolshevism, Fascism and Democracy (1927), p. 72
- 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.
- The British ruling class were not altogether wrong in thinking that Fascism was on their side. It is a fact that any rich man, unless he is a Jew, has less to fear from Fascism than from either Communism or democratic Socialism. One ought never to forget this, for nearly the whole of German and Italian propaganda is designed to cover it up.
- George Orwell, The Lion and the Unicorn (1941), Part I : England Your England, §IV
- Fascism, at any rate the German version, is a form of capitalism that borrows from Socialism just such features as will make it efficient for war purposes. Internally, Germany has a good deal in common with a Socialist state. Ownership has never been abolished, there are still capitalists and workers, and — this is the important point, and the real reason why rich men all over the world tend to sympathize with Fascism — generally speaking the same people are capitalists and the same people workers as before the Nazi revolution. But at the same time the State, which is simply the Nazi Party, is in control of everything. It controls investment, raw materials, rates of interest, working hours, wages. The factory owner still owns his factory, but he is for practical purposes reduced to the status of a manager. Everyone is in effect a State employee, though the salaries vary very greatly. The mere efficiency of such a system, the elimination of waste and obstruction, is obvious. In seven years it has built up the most powerful war machine the world has ever seen.
But the idea underlying Fascism is irreconcilably different from that which underlies Socialism. Socialism aims, ultimately, at a world-state of free and equal human beings. It takes the equality of human rights for granted. Nazism assumes just the opposite. The driving force behind the Nazi movement is the belief in human inequality, the superiority of Germans to all other races, the right of Germany to rule the world. Outside the German Reich it does not recognize any obligations.
- George Orwell, The Lion and the Unicorn (1941), Part II : Shopkeepers At War, §I
- It will be seen that, as used, the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless. In conversation, of course, it is used even more wildly than in print. I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox-hunting, bull-fighting, the 1922 Committee, the 1941 Committee, Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley's broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else.
Yet underneath all this mess there does lie a kind of buried meaning. To begin with, it is clear that there are very great differences, some of them easy to point out and not easy to explain away, between the régimes called Fascist and those called democratic. Secondly, if ‘Fascist’ means ‘in sympathy with Hitler’, some of the accusations I have listed above are obviously very much more justified than others. Thirdly, even the people who recklessly fling the word ‘Fascist’ in every direction attach at any rate an emotional significance to it. By ‘Fascism’ they mean, roughly speaking, something cruel, unscrupulous, arrogant, obscurantist, anti-liberal and anti-working-class. Except for the relatively small number of Fascist sympathizers, almost any English person would accept ‘bully’ as a synonym for ‘Fascist’. That is about as near to a definition as this much-abused word has come.
But Fascism is also a political and economic system. Why, then, cannot we have a clear and generally accepted definition of it? Alas! we shall not get one — not yet, anyway. To say why would take too long, but basically it is because it is impossible to define Fascism satisfactorily without making admissions which neither the Fascists themselves, nor the Conservatives, nor Socialists of any colour, are willing to make. All one can do for the moment is to use the word with a certain amount of circumspection and not, as is usually done, degrade it to the level of a swearword.
- The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies "something not desirable". The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, realistic, justice have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another. In the case of a word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides. It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it: consequently the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using that word if it were tied down to any one meaning. Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way. That is, the person who uses them has his own private definition, but allows his hearer to think he means something quite different.
- The Fascisti are to Italy what the American Legion is to the United States.
- Legion Commander Alvin Owsley, 1923, quoted in "The Untold History of the United States" (2013) by Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick, St. Ives:Edbury Press, p. 52
- Given the opportunity, Mussolini would have been glad as late as 1920-21 to take under his wing the Italian Communists, for whom he felt great affinities: greater, certainly, than for democratic socialists, liberals and conservatives. Genetically, Fascism issued from the 'Bolshevik' wing of Italian socialism, not from any conservative ideology or movement.
- Richard Pipes, Russia Under The Bolshevik Regime, New York: NY, Vintage Books (1995) p. 253
- 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.
- The initial press commentary in Moscow on the formation of the first Mussolini government was not overwhelmingly anti-Fascist, despite the Duce’s talk of a ‘revolutionary rivalry’ with Lenin. Fascism was sometimes perceived not inaccurately as more of a heresy from, rather than a moral challenge to, revolutionary Marxism.
- Stanley G. Payne, A History of Fascism, 1914-1945, University of Wisconsin Press, 1995, p. 126
- 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
- Fascism was created by the nationalization of certain sectors of the revolutionary left, and the central role in its conceptual orientation was played by revolutionary syndicalists who embraced extreme nationalism. Revolutionary syndicalists, especially in Italy, were frequently intellectuals or theorists who had come out of the Marxist and Socialist party matrix but had struggled to transcend limitations or errors that they believed they found in orthodox Marxism.
- Stanley G. Payne, Fascism: Comparison and Definition, University of Wisconsin Press (1980) p. 42
- Bolshevism and Fascism were heresies of socialism.
- Richard Pipes, Russia Under The Bolshevik Regime, New York: NY, Vintage Books/Random House (1985) p. 253.
- [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
- It is true that the welfare-statists are not socialists, that they never advocated or intended the socialization of private property, that they want to 'preserve' private property-with government control of its use and disposal. But that is the fundamental characteristic of fascism.
- Ayn Rand, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, chap. 20: “The New Fascism: Rule by Consensus,” New York: NY, Signet Book/New American Library (1967) p. 211
- 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.
- Fascism grew out of the conservatism of the Social Democrats on the one hand and the narrow-mindedness and senility of the capitalists on the other hand. It did not embody those ideals that had been advocated by its predecessors in a practical way, but solely in an ideological way (and this was the only thing that mattered to the masses of people whose psychic structures were ridden with illusions). It included the most brutal political reaction, the same political reaction that had devastated human life and property in the middle Ages. It paid tribute to so-called native tradition in a mystical and brutal way, which had nothing to do with a genuine feeling for one’s native country and attachment to the soil. By calling itself’ socialist’ and ‘revolutionary’, it took over the unfulfilled functions of the socialists. By dominating industrial magnates, it took over capitalism. From now on, the achievement of ‘socialism’ was entrusted to an all-powerful fuhrer who had been sent by God. The powerlessness and helplessness of the masses of people gave impetus to this fuhrer ideology, which had been implanted in man’s structure by the authoritarian school and nourished by the church and compulsive family. The ‘salvation of the nation’ by an all-powerful fuhrer who had been sent by God was in complete accord with the intense desire of the masses for salvation. Incapable of conceiving of themselves as having a different nature, their subservient structure eagerly imbibed the idea of man’s immutability and of the ‘natural division of humanity into the few who lead and the many who are led’. Now the responsibility rested in the hands of a strong man. In fascism or wherever else it is encountered, this fascist fuhrer ideology rests upon the mystical hereditary idea of man’s immutable nature, upon the helplessness, craving for authority, and incapacity for freedom of the masses of people. Admitted that the formula, ‘Man requires leadership and discipline’, ‘authority and order’, can be justified in terms of man’s present anti-social structure, the attempt to eternalize this structure and to hold it to be immutable is reactionary. The fascist ideology had the best of intentions. Those who did not recognize this subjective honesty failed altogether to comprehend fascism and its attraction for the masses. Since the problem of the human structure was never brought up or discussed, let alone mastered, the idea of a non authoritarian, self-regulatory society was looked upon as chimerical and Utopian.
- Wilhelm Reich, The Mass Psychology of Fascism (1933), p. 234.
- Fascism began as a rejection of the idea that reason could be used to understand society and resulted, Sternhell argues, in the formation of a ‘new generation of intellectuals [which] rose violently against the rationalist individuals of liberal society’. These intellectuals absorbed the synthesised socialism and nationalism and thus created a new ideology, ‘a socialism without the proletariat’, which duly became fascism. This ideology Sternhell describes as being ‘a synthesis of organic nationalism and anti-Marxist socialism,…’
- David Renton, Fascism: Theory and Practice, London: UK, Pluto Press (1999) p. 20
- 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.
- Fascism is used by the bourgeoisie when the latter consider itself no longer able to fight off the peril of a socialist revolution. Fascism is, therefore, organic to the logics of capitalism and represents a more authoritarian handling that bosses temporary use, when necessary, in order to maintain their rule.
- 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.
- 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
- Russia was the example for fascism. ... Whether party ‘communists’ like it or not, the fact remains that the state order and rule in Russia are indistinguishable from those in Italy and Germany. Essentially they are alike. One may speak of a red, black, or brown ‘soviet state’, as well as of red, black or brown fascism.
- Otto Rühle, “The Struggle Against Fascism Begins with the Struggle Against Bolshevism,” the American Councillist journal Living Marxism, (1939) Vol. 4, No. 8.
- Fascism is merely a copy of bolshevism.
- Otto Rühle, “The Struggle Against Fascism Begins with the Struggle Against Bolshevism,” the American Councillist journal Living Marxism, (1939) Vol. 4, No. 8.
- Fascism is not defined by the number of its victims, but by the way it kills them.
- Jean-Paul Sartre, "On the Execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg," Libération (22 June 1953)
- 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)
- 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.
- In the form that it emerged at the turn of the century and developed in the 1920s and 1930s, the fascist ideology represented a synthesis of organic nationalism with the antimaterialist revision of Marxism.
- Zeev Sternhell, with Mario Sznajder and Maia Asheri, The Birth of Fascist Ideology: From Cultural Rebellion to Political Revolution, Princeton University Press (1994) p. 6
- Marxists could be converted to national socialism, as indeed quite a number of them were, similarly, national socialism could sign treaties with Communist, exchange ambassadors, and coexist with the, if only temporarily. Nothing like this, however, applied to the Jews.
- Zeev Sternhell, The Birth of Fascist Ideology: From Cultural Rebellion to Political Revolution, Princeton University Press (1994) p. 5
- Fascism began as a revision of Marxism by Marxists,…
- Social democracy is objectively the moderate wing of fascism.... These organisations (ie Fascism and social democracy) are not antipodes, they are twins.
- Joseph Stalin, “Concerning the International Situation,” Works, Vol. 6, January-November, 1924, pp. 293-314.
- [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, Princeton University Press (1996) p. 268
- 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 with Mario Sznajder, Maia Asheri, Princeton: NJ, Princeton University Press (1995) p. 5
- 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)
- 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
- Fascism presented itself not only as an alternative, but also as the heir to socialism.
- J.L. Talmon, The Myth of the Nation and the Vision of Revolution, University of California Press, 1981, p. 501
- The movement in Germany is analogous mostly to the Italian. It is a mass movement, with its leaders employing a great deal of socialist demagogy. This is necessary for the creation of the mass movement. The genuine basis (for fascism) is the petty bourgeoisie. In Italy, it has a very large base — the petty bourgeoisie of the towns and cities, and the peasantry. In Germany, likewise, there is a large base for fascism.
- 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)
- Marxism has led to Fascism and National-Socialism, because, in all essentials, it is Fascism and National Socialism.
- Frederick Augustus Voigt, in Unto Cæsar (1938), p. 85
- 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
- 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, (March 1, 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.
- The intellectual origins of Fascism share central tenets with the Non-Marxist Left.
- Thomas Weber, Hitler's First War, Oxford, England, UK: Oxford University Press (2011) p. 253
- If there is one thing all Fascists and National Socialists agreed on, it was their hostility to capitalism.
- Eugen Weber, Varieties of Fascism: Doctrine of Revolution in the Twentieth Century, Princeton, NJ, D. Van Nostrand, 1964, p. 47
- 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
- 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).
- 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)