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An Analysis of Fascist Economic Theory

An Analysis of Fascist Economic Theory

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AnAnalysisofFascistEconomicTheory   
MikeIsaacson HowardUniversitmichael.s.isaacson@gmail.com May8,201
Abstract 
Thelegacyoffascismisconvolutedandelusive.Withoutasolidhistoricalunderstand- ing,fascisttheoryappearstobegarbledandself-contradictoryrhetoric.However,witcarefulinvestigation,fascisttheoryisascogentandcompleteatheoryofproductionas eithercapitalismorcommunism.ThispapertracesthedevelopmentoffascismfromithistoricaloriginsinsocialismaftertheEnlightenment.Itthendevelopsapoliticaleconomiframeworkthroughwhichtounderstandfascism.Thepapertheninvestigatestheriseand implementationoffascistdictatorshipsintheearlytomid-1900sanddiscussesthenatural failingofthedoctrineinpractice. 
I.Introduction 
Itistemptingtolumpfascism,withitsanti-communistrhetoric,inwithcapitalism.GivethefalsedichotomybetweencapitalismandcommunisminColdWarpropagandawitheacsidelumpingfascisminwiththeotheritiseasytounderstandthismisconception.Howeverfascismaimeditselfsquarelyagainstthebourgeoiscapitalismofliberaldemocracyaswellasthe proletariandictatorship 
ofstrong-armedcommunism
Despiteitsintellectualrootsinboth MarxismandLiberalism,itsoughttoseparateitselffromthetwodivergentphilosophiesthrough arejectionofmaterialism
WhilewetypicallythinkofFascismonlyintheGermanandItaliancases,theperiodbetweentheendsofthetwoWorldWarssawFascismrisetopowerinSpain,Greece,Argentina, Slovakia,Brazil,Austria,andCroatia.Inaddition,sizablefascist,para-fascistandproto-fascist movementscroppedupinFinland,Romania,France,Britain,andBulgaria.Indeed,fascismwas nottheexceptiontotherulenotanoutlierinEuropeanhistory.Infact,itwassopowerful andpervasiveanideologythatitimpregnatedthepoliticallifeofEuropeintheperiodbetweethetwoWorldWarstosuchadegreethatitbecameitsdistinctivefeature,it
Zeitgeist 
. 
ThispaperwastypesetusingtheXworkscompilerandtheMiKXtypesettingsystem 
Marx,Karl.CritiqueoftheGothaProgramme,partIV,lastmodiedSeptember12,2009http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1875/gotha/ch04.htm
Sternhell,Zeev. 
TheBirthofFascistIdeolog
.DavidMaisel,trans.Princeton,NJ:PrincetonUniversitPress,1994.7. 
ibid
Sternhell,Zeev.HowtoThinkAboutFascism. 
Constellation
.15(2008):284. 
 
Fascismis,atitscore,aculturalmovementbeforebeingapoliticalideology.Itsfoundation isthecreationandfermentationofanationalidentitywhichinformstherestofitspolitics
IntheanticlericalformsmanifestinItaly,Germany,andArgentina,politicswasspiritualizewithspecialemphasisplacedonnationalistmythsandsymbols.Ratherthanstoppingaterad- icatingreligionashard-lineMarxistswerewonttodo,anticlericalfascismsoughttoinstitute nationalidentityasasecularreligion
Intheclericalvarietiesoffascism,whichsprangupiGreece,Spain,andelsewhere,thedominantreligionwhichhappenedtobeChristianitywheritsucceededwasinfusedwiththenotionofnationalidentity,blurringthelinesnotonlyof individualandstate,butindividual,stateandchurch. 
Inherentinboththesecularandclerical varietiesoffascismwastheaestheticofatotalitariansaviorwhowastorescuethemassesfrom theprotractedsocio-economicskirmishofliberalcapitalism
WhileFascistpartiestendedtoseizepoweropportunisticallyduringperiodsofeconomiandpoliticalinstability,thetractionthattheirpoliticaltheorygainedamongthepopulacewas dueprimarilytothreedevelopments.First,therewasthebourgeoisicationofparliamentarpolitics.Thedominanceofthelandedandindustrialinterestswithinpartypoliticswaspivotal inthemassacceptanceofaninstitutionalalternativetocapitalistparliamentarianism.Thisled tothemassgravitationoftheworkingpoortowardssocialism,thencommunism,andultimatelfascism.Second,therewasthetradeunionmovement.Themassmobilizationoftheworking classintolabororganizationsfacilitatedthepoliticizationofworkersbothindividuallyanasaclassentity.Thefurthercorporatizingoftradeunionsintotradeunionfederationsmade winningtheworkingclassalltheeasierbyallowingFasciststoco-optthem(asinthecaseof Italy,Germany,andArgentina)ordefeatthem(asintheSpanishandGreekcases).Thiswas oftenatwo-foldprocessinvolvingfearmongeringaboutacommunistbogeymanandinstalling fascistloyalistsaslabororganizers.Third,therewastheloomingthreatofcommunism.Thiwasparticularlypivotalingatheringsupportfromtheindustrialistclassaswellasparliamentarmonarchs
whoultimatelymadetheirtakeovereconomicallyandpoliticallyviable. Withaplethoraofpartysymbols,romanticizedhistories,andpolicestateaction,fascisdictatorshipswereabletoholdthepublicinthrall.Theywereabletoinculcateanationaidentitybypoliticizingthelifeofthenation.Throughuseofstateterrorism,censorship,and integralism 
1
,fascismwasabletocementitselfintopowerbyensuringthatallcommunication 
ibid.286-
Finchelstein,Federico.OnFascistIdeology. 
Constellations. 
15(2008):320. 
Kallis,AristotleA.FascismandReligion:TheMetaxasRegimeinGreeceandthe`ThirdHellenicCivilisation'.SomeTheoreticalObservationson`Fascism',`PoliticalReligion'and`ClericalFascism'. 
Totalitarian MovementsandPoliticalReligions 
.8(2007):229-46. 
Sternhell,Zeev.HowtoThinkAboutFascism. 
op.cit
,286. 
c
.Kallis,AristotleA
op.cit
,230. 
MostEuropeanparliamentarysystemsincludedaconstitutionallyrecognizedmonarc
1
Theincorporationofindustryandlabororganizationintothestate. 
 
wentthroughthepartyapparatusInthispaper,ItracethegenesisofthetheoryofFascismboththroughthetheoreticalanhistoricalcontext.Throughthisanalysis,wewillarriveatatheoreticalframework,informed bythesocial,economicandpoliticalhistoryofthe19 
t
andearly20 
t
centuries,fromitsloostheoreticalprenataldevelopmentinFrance,itsmaturationinItaly,anditsspreadthrough EuropeandtheAmericas.Giventheultimatetransformationofmostofthesegovernmentsintkleptocraticoligopolieswhichwasactuallycontrarytotheoverallfascistmissionthisanalysiwillfocusprimarilyonthepoliticaltheoriesandpartyactionspriortoultimateseizureofpower comparingtheseideologicalstandardstostateactionswithintherstfewyear
1
afterfascist takeover. Thehistoricalanalysiswillconcentrateontheimportanceofindustrialization;advanced Anglo-Americaneconomicdevelopment;theEnlightenment,culminatingintheFrenchRevo- lution;andtheGreatDepressionofthe1930s.Primaryinourhistoricalanalysiswillbethe socio-economicpoliticsofFrance,Italy,andAustri
1
Thetheoreticalanalysiswillfocusonthe radicalreactionstoliberalparliamentarianism;thesplitamongsocialistsintoreformist,revo- lutionary, 
1
andsyndicalistfactions;andtheultimatenationalist,anti-rational,anti-materialist revisionofMarxism.AmongthefundamentaltheoristsinthedevelopmentoffascismwerPierre-JosephProudhonforhisproto-anarchistsocialism;KarlMarxforhisrevolutionaryso- cialism;VilfredoParetoforhisrejectionofeconomicrationalityinhissociology;GeorgesSorelihisanti-materialistrevisionofMarx'srevolutionaryphilosophy;andultimatelyBenitoMussolinforhisexplicationoftheideologyoffascismFurther,wewillexaminetheregimesofMussoliniinItaly,PeróninArgentina,HitleriGermany,MetaxasinGreece,andFrancoinSpain.Wewillcompareandcontrasttheseregimestraits,bothinrhetoricandactiontodrawacompletepictureoftheeconomicstructureof fascism.Thisanalysiswillconcentrateonstatemanagementoflabordisputes,price,andwage levels.Wewillnallydiscussthetypesofpolicieswhichcomefromathirdpositionframework, andwhat,ifanything,wecanlearnandapplyfromfascisttheory
AboutThisPape
Thispaperisdesignedforresearchers.Thediscussionfollowingeachnumberedsectionprovidessummaryoftheunnumberedsectionsfollowingit.Thus,theoverviewsectionofeachnumberesectionismorelooselycitedsincefactsareusuallyelaboratedfrommultiplesourcesinthe 
1
Thisdemarcationpointwillvaryfromcasetocase,andismostlyopentosubjectiveinterpretation. 
1
TheformativelocationofHitler'sNaziparty. 
1
PrimarilyCommunist

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