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