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Unformatted text preview: 18 Political Ideologies UNIT 25 FASCISM Structure 25.0 Objectives 25.1 Introduction 25.2 General Explanations and Features of Fascism 25.3 Ideological Strands of Fascism 25.4 Social Bases of Fascism 25.4.1 War, Diplomacy and Nationalism 25.4.2 The Economic Crisis of 1929 25.4.3 The Political Mobilisation for Fascism 25.4.4 The Question of Hegemony and Coercion 25.5 State and Society under Fascism 25.6 Let Us Sum Up 25.7 Key Words 25.8 Some Useful References 25.9 Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises. 25.0 OBJECTIVES The basic purpose of this unit is to make you understand the development of fascist ideas and states as extreme right wing political mobilisation. After reading this unit, you will be able to understand: • Some general features of fascism and the nature of mobilisation to achieve dictatorial aims; • Multiple ideological strands that contributed to the evolution of the fascist state and its organisational style; • The socio-economic forces responsible for the emergence of fascism; and • The nature of state and society under fascist regimes. 25.1 INTRODUCTION The project of Enlightenment in Europe posed a serious challenge to the older order of society and state based on the notion of divine sanction. By the 18 th century, the idea of representation and a state organised around elected representatives had taken roots. This marked the inauguration of modern politics or mobilisation of people around some specific idea or policy to achieve a specific political aim. The institutional forms of this modern politics were elections, parties and modern newspapers with all the political insignia and trappings of modern political culture, which created a public space. This led to a whole range of political choices available and competing with each other for occupying this public space. By the end of the 19 th century, this had crystallised in the triple ideological division of Europe into the Left, the Right and the Center. It is important to bear this in mind in order to understand the processes of political mobilisation that brought extreme right wing organisations or fascists to power in a number of European countries during the inter-war period. The growth of monopoly capitalism and resultant intense imperialist rivalries fuelled extreme nationalist ideologies and militarism after the 1870s. In the new political context, appeal for political support was made on the basis of new, seemingly non-class identities, especially, outside the workplace. As a result, unique mass-constituencies such as “war-veterans”, “tax-payers”, “sport-fans”, or simply “national-citizens” were 19 Gandhism (Dharma, Swaraj, Sarvodaya and Satyagraha) created. The transformation of these latent social-cleavages into open conflict must also be seen as the necessary background for the growth of right-wing fascist dictatorship in Europe after World War I. The unit begins with some general features of fascism and then, details the ideological and social bases of fascism.of fascism and then, details the ideological and social bases of fascism....
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- Spring '12