Unformatted text preview: Why are fascists usually described as irrational or anti- rational? The Enlightenment was a European intellectual movement of the 17 th and 18 th centuries, and central to the movement was the use of reason and rationality. Fascism was in effect a product of the Enlightenment, in so far as it was a reaction to it. G.W.F Hegel, a German philosopher, attacked abstract reason; he saw the philosophy of the Enlightenment as severing people from tradition – it was, he claimed, alienation rather than liberation. Nietzsche is another philosopher, associated with fascism, who stressed appreciation of the irrational, unconscious side of human beings. He argues that the main lesson of history was that at exceptional times a man of destiny would use his will to rise above the herd of ordinary men. This idea of the ‘ubermensch’, or superman, is anti-rationalist thinking, but it was this idea that...
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- Summer '08
- Fascism, Nazism, European intellectual movement, embryonic fascism