An Analysis of Fascist Economic Theory∗

Mike Isaacson Howard University May 8, 2011

The legacy of fascism is convoluted and elusive. Without a solid historical understanding, fascist theory appears to be garbled and self-contradictory rhetoric. However, with careful investigation, fascist theory is as cogent and complete a theory of production as either capitalism or communism. This paper traces the development of fascism from its

historical origins in socialism after the Enlightenment. It then develops a political economic framework through which to understand fascism. The paper then investigates the rise and implementation of fascist dictatorships in the early to mid-1900s and discusses the natural failing of the doctrine in practice.



It is tempting to lump fascism, with its anti-communist rhetoric, in with capitalism.

the false dichotomy between capitalism and communism in Cold War propaganda  with each side lumping fascism in with the other  it is easy to understand this misconception. However, fascism aimed itself squarely against the bourgeois capitalism of liberal democracy as well as the proletarian dictatorship

of strong-armed communism.


Despite its intellectual roots in both

Marxism and Liberalism, it sought to separate itself from the two divergent philosophies through a rejection of materialism.

While we typically think of Fascism only in the German and Italian cases, the period between the ends of the two World Wars saw Fascism rise to power in Spain, Greece, Argentina, Slovakia, Brazil, Austria, and Croatia. In addition, sizable fascist, para-fascist and proto-fascist movements cropped up in Finland, Romania, France, Britain, and Bulgaria. Indeed, fascism was not the exception to the rule  not an outlier  in European history. In fact, it was so powerful and pervasive an ideology that it impregnated the political life of Europe in the period between the two World Wars to such a degree that it became its distinctive feature, its

Zeitgeist. 4

∗ This paper was typeset using the T Xworks compiler and the MiKT X typesetting system E E

1 Marx,

Karl. Zeev. 













2 Sternhell,

The Birth of Fascist Ideology.

David Maisel, trans. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University

Press, 1994. 7.

3 ibid. 4 Sternhell,

Zeev. How to Think About Fascism.


15 (2008): 284.

Fascism is, at its core, a cultural movement before being a political ideology. Its foundation is the creation and fermentation of a national identity which informs the rest of its politics.

In the anticlerical forms manifest in Italy, Germany, and Argentina, politics was spiritualized with special emphasis placed on nationalist myths and symbols. Rather than stopping at eradicating religion as hard-line Marxists were wont to do, anticlerical fascism sought to institute national identity as a secular religion.

In the clerical varieties of fascism, which sprang up in

Greece, Spain, and elsewhere, the dominant religion  which happened to be Christianity where it succeeded  was infused with the notion of national identity, blurring the lines not only of individual and state, but individual, state and church.

Inherent in both the secular and clerical

varieties of fascism was the aesthetic of a totalitarian savior who was to rescue the masses from the protracted socio-economic skirmish of liberal capitalism.

While Fascist parties tended to seize power opportunistically during periods of economic and political instability, the traction that their political theory gained among the populace was due primarily to three developments. First, there was the bourgeoisication of parliamentary politics. The dominance of the landed and industrial interests within party politics was pivotal in the mass acceptance of an institutional alternative to capitalist parliamentarianism. This led to the mass gravitation of the working poor towards socialism, then communism, and ultimately fascism. Second, there was the trade union movement. The mass mobilization of the working class into labor organizations facilitated the politicization of workers  both individually and as a class entity. The further corporatizing of trade unions into trade union federations made winning the working class all the easier by allowing Fascists to co-opt them (as in the case of Italy, Germany, and Argentina) or defeat them (as in the Spanish and Greek cases). This was often a two-fold process involving fear mongering about a communist bogeyman and installing fascist loyalists as labor organizers. Third, there was the looming threat of communism. This was particularly pivotal in gathering support from the industrialist class as well as parliamentary monarchs,

who ultimately made their takeover economically and politically viable.

With a plethora of party symbols, romanticized histories, and police state action, fascist dictatorships were able to hold the public in thrall. They were able to inculcate a national

identity by politicizing the life of the nation. Through use of state terrorism, censorship, and integralism

, fascism was able to cement itself into power by ensuring that all communication

5 ibid. 286-8 6 Finchelstein, Federico. On Fascist Ideology. Constellations. 15 (2008): 320. 7 Kallis, Aristotle A. Fascism and Religion: The Metaxas Regime in Greece and

the `Third Hellenic Civil-

Movements and Political Religions.

Some Theoretical Observations on `Fascism',`Political Religion' and `Clerical Fascism'. 8 (2007): 229-46.


8 Sternhell, Zeev. How to Think About Fascism. op. cit., 286. cf. Kallis, Aristotle A. op. 9 Most European parliamentary systems included a constitutionally recognized monarch 10 The incorporation of industry and labor organization into the state.

cit., 230.


went through the party apparatus. In this paper, I trace the genesis of the theory of Fascism  both through the theoretical and historical context. Through this analysis, we will arrive at a theoretical framework, informed

by the social, economic and political history of the 19

and early 20


centuries, from its loose

theoretical prenatal development in France, its maturation in Italy, and its spread through Europe and the Americas. Given the ultimate transformation of most of these governments into kleptocratic oligopolies  which was actually contrary to the overall fascist mission  this analysis will focus primarily on the political theories and party actions prior to ultimate seizure of power comparing these ideological standards to state actions within the rst few years takeover. The historical analysis will concentrate on the importance of industrialization; advanced Anglo-American economic development; the Enlightenment, culminating in the French Revolution; and the Great Depression of the 1930s. Primary in our historical analysis will be the
12 11

after fascist

socio-economic politics of France, Italy, and Austria

The theoretical analysis will focus on the

radical reactions to liberal parliamentarianism; the split among socialists into reformist, revolutionary,

and syndicalist factions; and the ultimate nationalist, anti-rational, anti-materialist Among the fundamental theorists in the development of fascism were

revision of Marxism.

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon for his proto-anarchist socialism; Karl Marx for his revolutionary socialism; Vilfredo Pareto for his rejection of economic rationality in his sociology; Georges Sorel in his anti-materialist revision of Marx's revolutionary philosophy; and ultimately Benito Mussolini for his explication of the ideology of fascism. Further, we will examine the regimes of Mussolini in Italy, Perón in Argentina, Hitler in Germany, Metaxas in Greece, and Franco in Spain. We will compare and contrast these regimes' traits, both in rhetoric and action to draw a complete picture of the economic structure of fascism. This analysis will concentrate on state management of labor disputes, price, and wage levels. We will nally discuss the types of policies which come from a third position framework, and what, if anything, we can learn and apply from fascist theory.

About This Paper
This paper is designed for researchers. The discussion following each numbered section provides a summary of the unnumbered sections following it. Thus, the overview section of each numbered section is more loosely cited since facts are usually elaborated from multiple sources in the

11 This demarcation point will vary from case to 12 The formative location of Hitler's Nazi party. 13 Primarily Communist.

case, and is mostly open to subjective interpretation.


following sections.

This paper develops separately the historical and ideological context in a

chronological fashion, culminating with the integration of the two in the actual practice of fascism, as well as the ultimate internal failing of the doctrine.


Historical Context

By the end of the 19

century, the Western World found its nascent capitalism overrun by

growing monopolies. The invisible hand of Adam Smith  the prophet of modern capitalism  was nowhere in sight. The growing preponderance of democratic liberalism seemed to oer no solutions. The parliamentary systems installed to govern on behalf of the electorate were instead bought out by industrialist associations and various special-interest lobbying groups. While the growing movement of socialists of various stripes stood unied against capitalism, internal qualms regarding a socialist praxis divided the movement into various subgroups. The breadth of socialist philosophers stoked these ames, especially since communism and its revolutionary rhetoric had not congealed into a cohesive movement. Various writers including Owen, Fourier, Proudhon, and Bakunin inuenced socialists  who at this time were more akin to the democratic socialists of today  but did not necessarily incite them to revolution. These socialists advocated grassroots mobilization for alternative institutions, utopian experiments and union activism. These voices were soon drowned out by Karl Marx's loud call for revolution. This rallying cry coincided with the Paris Uprising 1848 in the publication of text commissioned by the Communist League. communism was a scourge.
15 14

The Communist Manifesto,


In Europe, socialism was a respectable opinion;

This new, militant ideology sought the violent overthrow of capi-

talism through a massive upheaval of the working class. But prior to tearing apart capitalism, it tore apart the socialist movement. Marx's communism began a erce debate among socialists in Europe about tactics. The

socialists were generally split between two camps. There were those who believed that socialist ideals could be brought about, albeit slowly, through the parliamentary process. the reformers, were derided by the other camp, the revolutionaries.

This camp,

The revolutionaries

rejected parliamentary democracy as an instrument of bourgeois capitalism. They saw the only solution to the

status quo

as a complete violent overthrow by the proletariat.


14 Heilbroner, Robert 15 Engels, Friedrich. 16 These

The Worldly Philosophers. 7th Ed. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1999. 136-8. 1888 Preface to The Communist Manifesto. Last modied June 4, 2010, Refections on Violence.
T. E. Hulme terms were used in Sorel, Georges. Georges.


downloaded from

17 Sorel,

op. cit.


The debate between these two camps came to a head with a heated exchange between Eduard Bernstein and Karl Kautsky.

These two Marxist intellectuals vied for ideological supremacy

within the Social Democratic Party (SDP), publishing in such journals as



Die Neue Zeit, which were distributed illegally in their native Germany due to the Anti-Socialist

The development of the manufacturing sector, and the subsequent widening of the merchant and banking sectors, through the end of the 19 challenge to the broadening base of socialists.

century created both an opportunity and a

The widening base of working class industry

workers provided more bodies to ll the ranks of trade unions, creating a tool for political and economic leverage on the part of socialists of various ilks. However, the rise of the white-collar middle class soon marginalized the political signicance of the trade unions. The middle class, rarely mentioned by Marx, presented a puzzle for the socialist theorists: Were the middle class the

petite bourgeoisie 

destined to be swallowed by the proletariat  as Marx had foretold, or

was this class indeed a separate class  unforeseen by Marx in his analysis of the early state of capitalism? As a working class movement, socialism didn't have much room for the inclusion of the middle class within the ranks of their unions. However, many of the reformers were lambasted by the revolutionaries as being intellectual, middle class pacists.

This was largely the case, since

by the turn of the century, most in the reformist camp had resigned themselves to the capitalist order, and sought to change the system within the framework of liberal democracy.

Indeed, it

appeared that Marx's prophecy  the ultimate crisis of capitalism  was not soon to approach, and was, in fact, wrong. While Marx foresaw the increased pauperization of the working class as capital and wealth concentrated into the hands of the upper echelons of the bourgeoisie, by the turn of the century, standards of living for the working classes had actually improved. Through universal surage, the working class saw their stake in the political process recognized. Though Marx asserted that workers would be increasingly marginalized and exploited, the workers, organized in syndicates, parties, and pressure groups, saw the fruition of the eight-hour work day, a day of rest, social insurance, and public education.

These developments further frustrated the revolutionary socialists. While the working class was losing their position in society as the masses to the middle class, they also appeared less interested in violent revolution. The workers were interested primarily in their immediate

18 For

a comprehensive discussion on this debate, see of Geary, Dick.

Karl Kautsky.

Manchester, UK: Manch-

ester University Press, 1987. 14-45.

19 Geary, Dick. op. cit., 3. 20 Sorel, Georges. op. cit., 19 21 Sternhell, Zeev. The Birth 22 Ibid., 13

of Fascist Ideology.

op. cit., 15-6


well-being and had little interest in more than fair wages and treatment.


As the proletariat

appeared less and less to be the agent of revolutionary change, the revolutionary socialists, which had at this point established themselves as syndicalists, sought to become the vanguard of a new social force  the nation.

The Enlightenment
Without the French Revolution, the world might never have seen fascism in Europe. The French Revolution was the culmination of a philosophical embrace of secular humanism, rationalism, and parliamentary democracy. Fascism represented a wholesale rejection of these values.


despite its ultimate transformation into a right-wing ideology, Fascism was not conservative in the European sense of the word. While it resisted what modernity had to oer the world, it did not set itself in opposition to modernity. Rather, it sought to create its own, new modernity.

The French Revolution was preceded by the Reveillon wall paper factory riot, which was a violent redress of grievances against wage cuts and machinery replacement of workers. French Revolution brought with it the values of liberty, equality and fraternity.
28 27


The interpreta-

tion of such a slogan, however, was not very much agreed upon. While there was a general notion of some sort of popular rule, it was not agreed how it should be carried out.

Thus, following

the French Revolution came the Jacobin Reign of Terror. Given that private property retained its institutional status, Karl Marx declared this French Revolution a, Bourgeois Revolution.

Further, the Paris Commune in 1871 brought revolutionary socialist politics to the fore. While at this point, socialism was primarily a loose aggregation of political philosophies similar to anarchism.

Though Marx had published the rst volume of

Das Kapital,

there was no

widespread split among socialists and communists. In addition, the short duration of the Commune did not allow any specic ideology to take hold.

The experiment was noticed, analyzed,

and acclaimed by various socialists scholars. Karl Marx, in particular interpreted the theoretical and tactical lessons of the revolution in Paris in his book

The Civil War in France.33



23 Ibid., 26. 24 Ibid., 27 25 Sternhell,

Zeev. Fascism: Reections on the Fate of Ideas in Twentieth Century History.

Journal of Political

26 Sternhell, Zeev. The Birth of Fascist Ideologies. op. cit., 6-7. 27 Heller, Henry. Marx, the French Revolution, and the Spectre

5 (2000): 141-4.

of the Bourgeoisie.

Science & Society.

(2010): 200.

Science & Society.
31 Nord,

28 The slogan of the French Revolution was Liberté, égalité, fraternité. 29 Hunt, Lynn. The Problem of Politics in the French Revolution. Chinese Studies in History. 43 (2010):12 30 Nygaard, Bertel. The Meanings of the `Bourgeois Revolution': Conceptualizing the French Revolution.
71 (2007): 146-172. Philip G.The Party of Conciliation and the Paris Commune.

French Historical Studies. The Historical Journal.

15 (1987):

Historical Studies.
33 Price,

32 Schulkind,

Eugene W. The Activity of Popular Organizations During the Paris Commune of 1871. 1 (1960): 407.


R.D. Ideology and Motivation in the Paris Commune of 1871.

15 (1972): 76.


sentiments were later utilized by Lenin in leading the Russian revolutions in 1905 and 1917 against the parliamentary Duma.

This series of revolutions would have a signicant impact

on socialist, later communist, and ultimately fascist thought.

The World Industrializes
Following the rst French Revolution in 1789 until the end of the First World War, Italy, Germany, France, Portugal, Spain, Britain, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Luxembourg, Greece,


many others had all become, to a greater or lesser extent, parliamentary democracies. While in many of these countries surage did not become universal until well after the inception of these republics, these government purported to represent the people of the nations. The limits of

surage, however, tended to serve landed interests  an arrangement held over from monarchism which tended to continue through the universalization of surage where it happened. Given the sharp economic divide between the laboring classes (both in manufacturing and farming) and the propertied classes (both the wealthy landowners and the budding class of industrialists), the parliamentary representatives tended to serve the interests of the latter category. Because of this, trade policy was determined primarily on the basis of the sector of the economy with the most nancial clout. In the early stages of democracy in Italy, and Greece,
38 36



the governments primarily served the interests of the farm-owning aristocrats. In

Germany, large-scale landed aristocrats and industrial capitalists colluded to inuence German trade policy in the Wiemar Republic.

In addition, much of Germany's industrialization was

due to massive public expenditure that dwarfed that of any other country at the time.


Spain, the land reforms enacted by the Radicals in the Second Spanish Republic were quickly repealed when the government changed hands.

While Greece never fully industrialized until

the rise of Ioannis Metaxas, Italy and Argentina industrialized largely by accident. In 1866, Italy went to war with Austria. In order to nance the war, the Italian government shifted spending to military, transportation and communications. The national debt, as a result, rose to 740 million lire. After the war, in order to combat the national debt, Italy erected

34 Harison,


"The Paris Commune of 1871, the Russian Revolution of 1905, and the Shifting of the

Revolutionary Tradition."

35 It should be noted 36 Gregor, A. James.

History and Memory.

19 (2007): 7-8. Berkeley, CA: University of

that Greece was a republic in name only

Young Mussolini and the Intellectual Origins of Fascism.

California Press, 1979. 3-4.

37 Alexander, Robert J. Juan Domingo Perón: A History. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1979. 2-5 38 Vatikiotis, P.J. Popular Autocracy in Greece 1936-41: A Political Biography of General Ioannis 39 Sohn-Rether, 40 Barkai, 41 Schatz,


Portland, OR: Frank Cass Publishers, 1998. 133-5. 52-61.

Economy and Class Structure of German Fascism.

London, UK: CSE Books, 1978.


Nazi Economics.
26 (2001): 147.

New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1990. 245.


Social History.

Sara. Democracy's Breakdown and the Rise of Fascism: The Case of the Spanish Second Republic,


tari barriers in 1878. The result was a manufacturing industry that no longer had to compete directly with the far more advanced manufacturies of Britain and France. As Italy industrialized through the 1880s, the nascent industries negotiated yet higher taris to further insulate them from foreign competition. As Italy's industrial base grew, the state further nanced an education system and the budding industries while taxing the rural peasantry.

Until the Great Depression, Argentina's agricultural sector beneted signicantly from the repeal of Britain's Corn Laws in 1846 as well as the development of barbed wire and refrigeration. Together, this meant that the landed interests (who had received land on account of their political loyalty) were able to protect their estates and deliver their goods more cheaply than ever before.

In 1916, the Radical Party came to power ending the hegemony between the government and the land owners.

Hipólito Yrigoyen, the party's leader, didn't have much of a clear economic

policy, and with the Great Depression, trade relations with Britain collapsed, leading to a military overthrow.

The military rule ended only two years later, resulting in general elections, resulting

in a three-party alliance government. The resulting government signed a pact to buy British, even in substitution for domestic goods and services. The renewal of the pact led to Argentina closing down private bus lines in Buenos Aires so as not to compete with the British tram system. Unfortunately, the worldwide depression did not allow Argentina to balance its trade decit with the United States against a British trade surplus. Although the pact with Britain disadvantaged landed aristocrats, it greatly advanced the manufacturing sector. By 1936, the depression was over for Argentina, and the manufacturing sector, which had previously been small and transitory in response to various trade agreements saw sustainable improvement.

With the rise in industrial manufacturing came the accompanying rise in labor unions. These labor organizations were run by a number of dierent leftist groups. Before the consolidation of the Argentine labor movement into the movement was divided between the anarcho-syndicalist,

Confederación General del Trabajo



the labor

Federación Obrera Regional Argentina

(FORA) which was


Unión General de Trabajadores

which was socialist, and the


eración Obrera Regional Argentina

(CORA) which was syndicalist in the French tradition.


Spain, labor consolidated into the syndicalist

Confederación Nacional del Trabajo

(CNT) which

42 Gregor, A. James. op. cit., 5-7 43 Alexander, Robert J. op. cit., 3-6. 44 Ibid. 7 45 Crassweller, Robert D. Peron and
1987. 71-2.

the Enigmas of Argentina.

New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company,

46 Ibid., 74-7 47 Which was

Robert J.

48 Of which there were two groups claiming 49 Alexander, Robert J. op. cit., 10.

op. cit., 12.

still divided between socialists and communists who claimed to be the real CGT. See, Alexander, to be the real FORA.


allied itself with the anarchist

Federación Anarquista Ibérica



In order to quell the rad-

icalism of the various labor unions in Greece, the government convened the rst Panhellenic Labor Congress in 1918, culminating in the moderate General Workers' Confederation of Greece (GSEE).

In interwar Germany, while most labor organizations had been social democratic,

the artist communities began to express a neocorporatist ideology after the beginning of the German Depression, and sought to create industry representative chambers in the government toward that end.

The decline of Social Democratic union organizations was due primarily to

Otto van Bismarck's ban on the German Social Democratic Party.

Labor organizations, in the

absence of the Social Democratic Party, were led by Free Unions, Christian Unions, and Small Liberal Unions whose collective bargaining agreements were enforced by Labor Courts.

At the

turn of the century, Italy's labor organizations were actively striking with the year 1901 seeing over 1,500 strikes.

Thus, the ideological commitment to socialism through the 1800s gave birth to the practical commitment to labor unions around the world in the 1900s. Given the Paris Commune revolution in 1871 and the subsequent 1905 Bolshevik Revolution attempt, the fear of communism spread throughout the world. The Russian Revolution of 1917 cemented these fears. Given that liberal parliamentary democracy had allegiance to the bourgeois elements of society, Fascism  with its commitment to labor syndicates and anti-communism  appeared to be a viable alternative to both political ideologies.


Theoretical Context

The slow demise of feudalism did not depose any monarchs outright. It did, however, depose notions of divine right and the great chain of being. Philosophies substituted theological foundations for materialist ones of atomistic beings. Moral philosophy included utilitarian arguments in addition to Biblical ones. Prior to this early modern period, philosophical and political theorists did not typically deduce their arguments from self-evident rst principles.

With the

Enlightenment came a rebirth of interest in the scientic method, and further, application of

50 Getman-Eraso, 51 Apostolakou, 52 Steinweis,

Jordi.  `Cease Fire, Comrades!' Anarcho-Syndicalist Revolutionary Prophesy, Anti-Fascism

and the Origins of the Spanish Civil War. in Greece, c. 1914-36. Alan E. Jurgen.

Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions.

9 (2008): 98.

Lito.  `Greek' Workers or Communist `Others': The Contending Identities of Organized Labor

Journal of Contemporary History. 32 (1997): 412. Art, Ideology, and Economics in Nazi Germany.

Chapel Hill, NC: The University of New York, NY: Greenwood

North Carolina Press, 1993. 10-8

53 Kuczynski,

Germany: Economic and Labour Conditions Under Fascism.

Press, 1968. 10

54 Thomas, Norman. Labor Under the Nazis. Foreign Aairs 14 (1936): 424. 55 Gregor, A. James. op. cit., 21. 56 Porter, Jean. Congested Categories: Reason, Nature, and Natural Order in


Journal of Religious Ethics.

Medieval Accounts of Natural

24 (1996): 212.


the scientic method to social analysis. This meant a shift toward empirical and rational, rather than intuitive, justications of concepts of `natural rights', `natural order,' and `morality.'

Although philosophers were using empirical rather than scriptural justication for their reasoning, it did not mean that they abandoned God completely. Thomas Hobbes cited the Bible over seven-hundred times in


The metaphysics of René Descartes in

Meditations on

First Philosophy

required a leap of faith to escape solipsism, and thus employed the inherent

goodness of God to assure us that our senses would not deceive us since to deceive would only be something that an imperfect being would do.

Baruch Spinoza asserted that the external

world must be real by virtue of God's omnipresence in and about all things.

The idea of a metaphysics, a principled construction of reality and normativity, opened philosophy (which included all matters political, moral, and economic) to anyone who could catalog their experience into a series of laws. No longer was this realm closed to academics

who could quote Latin-language scripture and philosophy.

This embrace of the subjectivity

of experience, as well as the freedom and independence of will and thought, led the way to the rejection of `divine right' for `rights of man'.

This inevitably led to a

de facto

acceptance of

the ethical imperative for a government to strive for equality before the law. While this thinking did not universally lead to embrace of democratic government, it did lead to the notion that a government ought to serve its people. In addition, it led philosophers to assert that individuals ought to be free to pursue anything that does not harm another individual. Thus, equality and freedom were social ideals that had to be mediated by the rights of individuals.

Parliamentary Capitalism
By the middle of the 18th century, the ideals of equality and freedom as they pertained to government migrated to the eld of economics, which was still inextricably linked to theories of governance under the umbrella of `political economy.' Thus, the economy of the nation

was reexamined through a metaphysical and scientic lens. This examination, with a strictly materialist framework, established that the economy, left unadulterated will naturally develop a market structure. This was expressed most prominently in Adam Smith's

An Inquiry into the

57 Ibid. 211-2. 58 Rogers, G.A.J. 

Thomas Hobbes:



Central Works of Philosophy, volume 2.

Shand, John, ed.

Montréal, CN: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2005. 90.


59 Descartes, 60 Spinoza, 61 Shand, 62 See,


Meditations on First Philosophy. The Ethics.

Modern Philosophy: An Anthology of Primary
Roger Ariew and Eric

Roger Ariew and Eric Watkins, ed. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 1998. 22-55. Baruch. in Modern Philosophy: An Anthology of Sources.

Watkins, ed. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 1998. 122-45.

ophy, volume 2.

John. Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Philosophy: Introduction. in

Central Works of Philos-

Shand, John, ed. Montréal, CN: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2005. 1-3.

for example, Jean- Jacques Rousseau's

or Thomas Hobbes'


The Social Contract, John Locke's Two Treatises on Government,


Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations,

which held that, through self-interested pursuit

of material wants, humans will be guided by the `Invisible Hand' toward a mutual community of individual prosperity through exchange.



economic structure, borrowed

somewhat from the earlier French Physiocrats, was institutionalized with the conclusion of the American Revolution in 1781 and the subsequent French Revolution in 1789. Thus began the simultaneous liberalization of political economic life. Parliamentary democracy promised the citizen's political representation within the state, and the free market promised the citizen's productive representation within the economy. As the industrial revolution wore on, productive capacity increased with advances in machinery. Division of labor, investigated by Adam Smith, meant that more workers could specialize their tasks and increase output. Yet, as revenues increased, wages relative to prots decreased. As more and more surplus value was created, the labor theory of value  the theory that all prices were a reection of the labor that went into them  appeared to be less applicable. While those such as David Ricardo who strictly adhered to the labor theory of value saw the natural distribution of the free market as just, those such as John Stuart Mill saw no incumbency for the economy to be left to its own devices.

Rather, society was free to alter the rules, tax and

subsidize, concentrate wealth or redistribute it at will. While individuals may get paid on the basis of their labor, this new theory of economic value put the stress on the individual's utility  the value of a product to bring an individual satisfaction. The laborer, with the introduction of capital, created more value than was necessary to subsist. property, determined the price of a good.

Thus, not only wages, but also

The Socialist Challenge
As wealth concentrated into the hands of fewer and fewer people, prots only grew larger. It appeared that Smith and Ricardo, who predicted that prots would fall with economic growth, were wrong. While those such as Mill were advocating for modications to the free market In

system in order to make it more equitable, others began to reject the system altogether. his 1840 book theft.

What is Property?, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon famously declared that, Property is

While this assertion was later called into question by Marx on the basis that a notion

such as `theft' presupposed a notion of property, society.

it galvanized the movement for an egalitarian

In particular, Proudhon advocated for a stateless society based on non-violence and

63 Hunt, E.K. History of Economic Thought, second ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, Inc., 2002. 64 Heilbroner, Robert L. op. cit., 128-9. 65 Hunt, E.K. op. cit., 190-1. 66 Marx, Karl. Letter to J.B. Schweizer: On Proudhon. Der Social-Demokrat. 16 (1865).
September 12, 2009,


Last modied



The state, he believed, was the driving force behind wars, monopolies, ex67

ploitation, and injustice.

This notion had been previously articulated by the likes of Fourier

and Saint-Simon; however, the articulation of an anti-statist civil society was never before better articulated. This line of thinking was also advocated by Proudhon's contemporary Mikhail Bakunin.

Following the short-lived Paris Commune of 1871, the pacist doctrine of Proudhon to set up alternative institutions fell by the wayside as the revolutionary ideology of proletarian violence advocated by Marx gained traction. Through the correspondence between the two philosophers and the resulting heated dispute within the

First International

led to a split between socialists

divided between communist followers of Marx and anarchist followers of Bakunin.

The split

between these two factions crystallized with the expulsion of Bakunin and his followers at the 1872 International Workingman's Association (IWA) congress.

The two factions both had a revolutionary conception of the establishment of a socialist society. For the followers of Bakunin, the process was through the organic establishment of workers' unions that would seize control of the factory. While they would destroy the trappings of the old order, they needed not replace it with anything.

The followers of Marx, however, believed

that the old order must be replaced by a socialist state  a dictatorship of the proletariat. Marxism gained real popular supremacy, however, when the

Sozialdemokratische Partei


(SPD) was outlawed from 1878-1890. This served to radicalize the German Labor

movement, and further forced the SPD into the position of having to accept a revolutionary position.

As the 18


century wore on, those who had led the Paris Commune revolt in 1871 Jean Juarès, in particular, led

found themselves in various segments of French government.

the charge for socialist reform within the connes of the representative parliamentary system. Because of this, he as well as other Parliamentary Socialists were compared to the reformers of ancient Athens who fought for the bourgeois constitution of Solon.

The task of propagating Marxism was undertaken in no small measure by Friedrich Engels, who, in turn, inuenced Karl Kautsky and Eduard Bernstein. Under the guidance of Engels they promoted their vision of Marxism in various journals.

Kautsky's writing focused on the long


67 Fontanel,

Jacques et al. French Utopian Economists of the Nineteenth Century.

Defence and Peace EcoSociety.

68 Ibid. 340. 69 Fotopoulus, Takis. Beyond Marx and Proudhon. Democracy & Nature. 6 (2000): 95. 70 Gouldner, Alvin W. Marx's Last Battle: Bakunin and the First International. Theory &
Mikhail. Letter to Albert Richard. in Programme.

19 (2008): 345-8.

11 (1982):


71 Bakunin,

Bakunin on Anarchy. op. cit.

Sam Dolgo, trans. & ed. Last mod-

ied September 12, 2009,

72 Marx, Karl. Critique of the Gotha 73 Geary, Dick. op. cit., 2-3. 74 Sorel, Georges. op. cit., 53-8. 75 Geary, Dick. op. cit., 3.


term goals of Marxism, while Bernstein was to focus on the short term goals. a more moderate stance, while Kautsky formed a revolutionary idealism.


Bernstein took

With the imposition

of Prussian censorship in Austria, most socialist journals apart from Kautsky's new journal,


Neue Zeit,

were outlawed.


As a result, in combination with the German Anti-socialist Laws,

the revolutionary doctrine swept westward. And while the socialist movement across Europe came to adopt the revolutionary tack by way of their German-speaking neighbors, laborers in nascent industry and post-feudal agriculture in Italy looked toward France for Socialist revolutionary guidance.

The Fascist Alternative
The revolutionary syndicalism coming out of was particularly inuential in Italy. revision of socialist ideology.
81 80

Cercle Proudhon, La Voce,

in particular of Georges Sorel,

The Italian

in particular, endorsed the Sorelian

The Sorelians, despite having called themselves the Proudhon

Circle, espoused an ideology of social monarchy which they claimed was the ideology of the real Proudhon. The group endorsed a government similar to that of Thomas Hobbes.

The revolutionary doctrines of Sorel appealed to Italy, not because it was a call to action, but because it encouraged action already happening. As already discussed in the previous section about the historical context of industrialization, Italy was experiencing a growing number of strikes. Sorel, in writing about the syndicate movement, saw himself not as recommending,

but as documenting and predicting the movement toward the unions unifying under nationwide syndicates. In

Reections on Violence, Sorel berated the reformists for abandoning revolutionary tactics

for an attempt to reform bourgeois democracy.

In addition, the recent writings of Vilfredo

Pareto, particularly his sociology which said, among other things, that humans act more forcefully on social myths, symbols, and violence than on the rationality required of his liberal economics. In addition, given this notion, he also took an antiparliamentary stand in his writings. Sorel embraced this notion wholeheartedly.
86 85

76 Ibid. 77 Hook,

Sidney. in

Evolutionary Socialism,

Edith C. Harvey, trans. New York, NY: Schocken Books, 1978.

78 Geary, Dick. op. cit, 3 79 Practically speaking, the French were most qualied to guide revolutionary thought considering they'd done it three times in the 19th century. 80 Meisel, James H. The Genesis of Georges Sorel. Ann Arbor, MI: The George Wahr Publishing Company,
1951. 216.

81 Ibid. 218 82 Ibid. 206-9 83 Humphrey, Richard. Georges Sorel. New York, NY: Octagon 84 Sorel, Georges. op. cit., 52-5. 85 Gregor, A. James. op. cit., 48-50. 86 Sternhell, Zeev. The Birth of Fascist Ideology. op. cit., 28.

Books, 1978. 164-5.


Thus, the revolutionary syndicalists of Italy emptied the cache of Marx.

They used his

revolutionary and normative framework, but revised the ideology to be anti-materialist and antirationalist.

One in particular, who had served in the Italian Army, added to this philosophy a

revolutionary nationalism  the theory of class collaboration. Through his experience in World War I, he realized the signicant welfare loss the proletariat stood to lose with a defeat of the nation. Through his military experience, he was inspired to elaborate the tenets of a budding national syndicalism.

He was Benito Mussolini.


Theory of Fascism

While there are many scholars who draw a distinction between Fascism and similar theories  such as National Socialism,

National Syndicalism,


, Judicialism,


, and other similar movements 

for the purpose of our analysis, given the primacy of economics for our analysis, we will not need to make such a distinction. And though Hitler said, "[E]conomics is only of second or third-rate importance,"

economics did play a major role in the organization of the Nazi state.



Hitler regarded the importance of economics second to politics, which is largely how Mussolini felt in his Fascism.

For fascist ideologies sions.


, the primacy of politics was to outweigh and inform all policy deci97

Fascism was primarily concerned with the nature and health of the state.

Rather than

concerning itself with notions of distributional equality or fairness, it rather concerned itself with what makes a society and a state.

With these values in hand, the fascists rejected the notion

of individual freedom for one of national solidarity. According to

The Doctrine of Fascism :

Anti-individualistic, the Fascist conception of life stresses the importance of the State and accepts the individual only in so far as his interests coincide with those of the State, which stands for the conscience and the universal, will of man as a historic entity. It is opposed to classical liberalism which arose as a reaction to absolutism and exhausted its historical function when the State became the expression of the conscience and will of the people. Liberalism denied the State in the name of the individual; Fascism reasserts

87 Ibid. 5 88 Gregor, A. James. op. cit., 207-11. 89 As developed in Germany under the Nazis. 90 As developed in Spain under the Falange. 91 As developed in Argentina under the Perónists. 92 Hitler, Adolph. Mein Kampf. Accessed January
Hitler-Mein-Kampf. 117.

25, 2011,

trine and Institutions.
98 Sternhell,

93 Barkai, Avraham. op. cit., 248. 94 Finchelstein, Federico. op. cit., 322. 95 Here, again, using the word `fascist' as an umbrella term. 96 Ibid. 97 See, Mussolini, Benito. The Doctrine of Fascism.
Rome, IT: Ardita Publishers

Online 1935.


copied Accessed


Fascism Doc26, 2011, 5 (2000): 141.


February Zeev. Fascism: Reection on the Fate of Ideas.

Journal of Political Ideologies.


The rights of the State as expressing the real essence of the individual.

And if

liberty is to [be] the attribute of living men and not of abstract dummies invented by individualistic liberalism, then Fascism stands for liberty, and for the only liberty worth having, the liberty of the State and of the individual within the State. The Fascist conception of the State is all embracing; outside of it no human or spiritual values can exist, much less have value. Thus understood, Fascism, is totalitarian, and the Fascist State - a synthesis and a unit inclusive of all values - interprets, develops, and potentates [sic] the whole life of a people.

While fascism is indeed a right-wing ideology, it is in no way a conservative ideology.


Though it embraced the concentration of state power into a dictator, it did not seek to derive its power from the will of God, nor did it presuppose a natural hierarchy. Rather, authority was legitimated by force. Violence, vitality, and nationalism were the virtues of fascist society.

Rather than militantly reestablishing an old order, fascism sought a new order, seeking to ll the spiritual void of a world in which, according to Neitsche, God is dead. to ll this void with an all-encompassing politics.

Fascists aimed

Permanent Revolution
The rise of fascism represented the rejection of liberal pacism. The communist utopia, with its cooperative egalitarianism, was incompatible with its formative violent revolution. The fascist ideology, as primarily based on the revolutionary sentiment, created an ethos that could include violent overthrow in line with its values. Thus, fascism embraced the permanent revolution.

The genesis of fascism from the heritage of Sorel inherited his rhetoric regarding syndication. Sorel called for an embrace of the social myth of the general strike.

The general strike was

then, perhaps symbolically, incorporated into the fascist conception of the state in the form of corporatism. Thus, labor negotiations were made permanent.

Rather than embracing an

ideology for the workers or for the bourgeoisie, fascism sought to unite all class structures under the umbrella of the state.

Fascism saw trade unionism as a means of integrating the working

class with the state, rather than as a tool for class warfare:

No individuals or groups (political parties, cultural associations, economic unions, social classes) outside the State. Fascism is therefore opposed to Socialism to which unity within the State (which amalgamates classes into a single economic and ethical

99 Mussolini, Benito. op. cit. 100 The left-right spectrum refers
for the old social order.

to the preference for social hierarchy, while conservative denotes a preference

101 Finchelstein, Federico. op. cit., 320-5. 102 Neitsche, Friedrich. The Gay Science. 103 Sternhell, Zeev. 104 Ibid. 64-67. 105 Ibid. 253-4. 106 Gentile, Emilio.

Josene Nauckho, trans.

Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University

Press, 2001. 138 Ÿ108. Accessed March 10, 2011,

The Birth of Fascist Ideology. op. cit., 46-7. 
Fascism and the Italian Road to Totalitarianism.


15 (2008): 292.


reality) is unknown, and which sees in history nothing but the class struggle. Fascism is likewise opposed to trade unionism as a class weapon. But 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.

Unlike their communist and socialist predecessors, fascists envisioned an economy that was based simultaneously on the central planning of socialism and the free market of capitalism.

In addition, labor and employers were to be organized into collective combinations for the state to arbitrate supply-side controls.

Further, the fascist saw the state enveloping every aspect of life:

The state that fascism presents as being above and beyond anything else is not every state but a fascist state personied in the leader and his ideological imperatives. It is the state that fascism had previously conquered and dominated. eliminates the distinction between the public and the private.

This state

Labor was organized in syndicates, represented by state chambers or ministries. It is worthwhile to note that the Italian Fascists earned their credibility among the working class prior to their rise to power expropriating factories for the workers.

This came from the fascist belief in the

primacy of state power in political and judicial aairs, but in non-intervention in the demand side of the economy. Thus, fascism's role in the economy was the resolve disputes, not to act as a producer as in the socialist conception of the state.

This commitment to free market principles is likely due to Mussolini's admiration for the sociological works of fellow Italian Vilfredo Pareto.

He was particularly struck by Pareto's

analysis of individual and collective behavior  one that meshed with Sorel's in its anti-rational and anti-parliamentary stance.

Indeed, Sorel also embraced the free market, but his rationale

was primarily focused on articially creating the necessary conditions in capitalism for an organic socialist revolution.

Fascism was committed to politicizing every aspect of life.


Thus, corporatism  the reg-

imentation of the economy under the purview of the state  was the ideal solution as an antidemocratic means of participation in the state apparatus. even if that participation was only nominal.

This was the case ideologically,

107 Mussolini, Benito. 108 Roberts, David D.

op. cit. 
How Not to Think About Fascism and Ideology, Intellectual Antecedents and Historical

Journal of Contemporary History. 35 (2000): 193. 109 Sohn-Rethel, Alfred. op. cit., 91. 110 Finchelstein, Federico. op. cit., 324. 111 Sternhell, Zeev. The Birth of Fascist Ideology. op. cit., 222-3.
112 Ibid. 227-9. 113 Ibid. 196. 114 Gregor, A. James. op. cit., 48. 115 Sorel, Georges. op. cit., 84-5. 116 Gentile, Emilio. op. cit., 293-5. 117 Robers, David D. op. cit., 195-6.


The Body Politicized
The repudiation of decadence is riddled throughout fascist rhetoric.

While fascism represented

a spiritual embrace of the political, it also put forth its own aesthetic. In visual art, this was embodied in futurism.

Futurism was as much an aesthetics as it was an attitude. The tenets

of futurism were developed in particular by F. T. Marinetti in

The Founding and Manifesto of

Futurism :
1. We intend to sing the love of danger, the habit of energy and fearlessness. 2. Courage, audacity, and revolt will be essential elements of our poetry. 3. Up to now literature has exalted a pensive immobility, ecstasy, and sleep. We intend to exalt aggressive action, a feverish insomnia, the racer's stride, the mortal leap, the punch and the slap. 4. We arm that the world's magnicence has been enriched by a new beauty: the beauty of speed. A racing car whose hood is adorned with great pipes, like serpents of explosive breath  a roaring car that seems to ride on grapeshot is more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace. 5. We want to hymn the man at the wheel, who hurls the lance of his spirit across the Earth, along the circle of its orbit. 6. The poet must spend himself with ardor, splendor, and generosity, to swell the enthusiastic fervor of the primordial elements. 7. Except in struggle, there is no more beauty. No work without an aggressive

character can be a masterpiece. Poetry must be conceived as a violent attack on unknown forces, to reduce and prostrate them before man. 8. We stand on the last promontory of the centuries!… Why should we look back, when what we want is to break down the mysterious doors of the Impossible? Time and Space died yesterday. We already live in the absolute, because we have created eternal, omnipresent speed. 9. We will glorify war  the world's only hygiene  militarism, patriotism, the destructive gesture of freedom-bringers, beautiful ideas worth dying for, and scorn for woman. 10. We will destroy the museums, libraries, academies of every kind, will ght moralism, feminism, every opportunistic or utilitarian cowardice. 11. We will sing of great crowds excited by work, by pleasure, and by riot; we will sing of the multicolored, polyphonic tides of revolution in the modern capitals; we will sing of the vibrant nightly fervor of arsenals and shipyards blazing with violent electric moons; greedy railway stations that devour smoke-plumed serpents; factories hung on clouds by the crooked lines of their smoke; bridges that stride the rivers like giant gymnasts, ashing in the sun with a glitter of knives; adventurous steamers that sni the horizon; deep-chested locomotives whose wheels paw the tracks like the hooves of enormous steel horses bridled by tubing; and the sleek ight of planes whose propellers chatter in the wind like banners and seem to cheer like an enthusiastic crowd.

Italian Studies.

118 Bellassai, Sandro. 

The Masculine Mystique: Antimodernism and Virility in Fascist Italy.

Journal of Modern Documents of 20th

Century Art: Futurist Manifestos.

119 Bowler, Anne. Politics As Art: Italian Futurism and Fascism. Theory & Society. 120 Marinetti, F.T. The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism. Online version copied

10 (2005): 314-55.

20 (1991): 763-4. from

Robert Brian, et al., trans. New York: Viking Press, 1973. Accessed March

11, 2011,


Futurism represented a reaction to a number of emerging cultural constructs. In addition to a rejection of the museum culture as mentioned in the tenth point of the programme, futurism also rejected the emerging consumerism of bourgeois capitalism. violent action over peaceable reection. leading a group of Milan.
122 121

Like fascism, futurism embraced

This was demonstrated no better than in Marinetti


(Italian shock troops) in burning the oces of a Socialist newspaper in

Initially, Marinetti's futurism  like many Fascists' ideologies prior to the fascist synthesis  prescribed political and cultural anarchism. This version of futurism  called the rst futurism  saw politics as subordinate to art. As futurism aligned itself more with fascism, this notion reversed.

When this reversal occurred, the futurist movement meshed well with fascism,

becoming its unocial aesthetic.

Fascism and futurism worked well together through their common reverence for action over theory. The aesthetic of violence, righteousness, glory, and masculine virility were shared in both ideologies.

According to Mussolini,

Fascism wants man to be active and to engage in action with all his energies; it wants him to be manfully aware of the diculties besetting him and ready to face them. It conceives of life as a struggle in which it behooves a man to win for himself a really worthy place, rst of all by tting himself (physically, morally, intellectually) to become the implement required for winning it. As for the individual, so for the nation, and so for mankind. Hence the high value of culture in all its forms (artistic, religious, scientic) and the outstanding importance of education. world (economic, political, ethical, and intellectual).

Hence also the

essential value of work, by which man subjugates nature and creates the human

This notion of `subjugation,' of `domination,' permeate the doctrine of fascist idealism. Action and Nietzschean `will-to-power' inform the movement's pursuits. Sorel's revolutionary violence inspired its formulation. In fact, action was so much a part of the ideology, it actually preceded it. According to Mussolini,

Fascism was not the nursling of a doctrine previously drafted at a desk; it was born of the need of action, and was action; it was not a party but, in the rst two years, an anti-party and a movement.

But, while fascism embraced fervent and unbridled action, it also imposed a strict moral code. It embraced a seemingly contradictory ethic and aesthetic of violence and discipline. Thus, the

Journal of Modern Italian Studies. 6 (2001): 122 Bowler, Anne. op. cit., 763. 123 Adamson, Walter L. op. cit., 236.
124 Ibid. 237. 125 Benadusi,
Lorenzo. Benito. Pichey and Alessandro Boccanelli, trans.

121 Adamson,

Walter L. Avant-Garde Modernism and Italian Fascism: Cultural Politics in the Era of Mussolini. 232. 

Private Life and Public Morals: Fascism and the `Problem' of Homosexuality.

126 Mussolini, 127 Ibid.

op. cit.

Totalitarian Movements & Political Religions.


5 (2004): 173-5.


hero of fascist life was the soldier.


The Organic State
Mussolini's military experience was integral to his formation of the doctrine of fascism. In the trenches, his fellow infantrymen talked of returning to the unied Italy to which was not commonly referred in civilian life. In addition to the theoretical musings of Sorel and Pareto, his experience as a soldier gave him a rst hand glimpse into collective psychology. Franco, Hitler, Vargas, and Metaxas also had military experience. This concept of the soldier-citizen, unwaveringly allegiant and patriotically productive, was the ideological cohesion of the political-economic philosophy of fascism. Indeed, it was the only thing that could prevent a state founded on the notion of permanent revolution from reducing to anarchy. Additionally, it was the only thing that could produce a revolution in the rst place. To widen such a revolution to the civilian masses required a regimentation of society. method of social organization, called totalitarian by anti-fascist detractors,
132 131 130 129



was to ll the

spiritual void left by the secular enlightenment. It was to be the totality of the individual within the fascist state:

The Fascist State is an inwardly accepted standard and rule of conduct, a discipline of the whole person; it permeates the will no less than the intellect. It stands for a principle which becomes the central motive of man as a member of civilized society, sinking deep down into his personality; it dwells in the heart of the man of action and of the thinker, of the artist and of the man of science: soul of the soul.

Indeed, the fascist state was to inform all functions of society. It was not merely an ideology, but a lens through which to view and explore the world. Thus, it became not only rule of law, but a secular religion. Additionally, the total state was the linchpin between nationalism and syndicalism:

Grouped according to their several interests, individuals form classes; they form trade-unions when organized according to their several economic activities; but rst and foremost they form the State, which is no mere matter of numbers, the suns of the individuals forming the majority. Fascism is therefore opposed to that form of democracy which equates a nation to the majority, lowering it to the level of the largest number; but it is the purest form of democracy if the nation be considered as it should be from the point of view of quality rather than quantity, as an idea, the mightiest because the most ethical, the most coherent, the truest, expressing itself in a people as the conscience and will of the few, if not, indeed, of one, and

128 Gregor, A. James. op. cit., 210-1. 129 Ibid. 130 Ibid., 207-14 131 Gentile, Emilio. op. cit., 292. 132 A term later embraced by Mussolini 133 Mussolini, Benito. op. cit.

himself. See, Finchelstein, Federico.

op. cit., 324.


ending to express itself in the conscience and the will of the mass, of the whole group ethnically molded by natural and historical conditions into a nation, advancing, as one conscience and one will, along the self same line of development and spiritual formation. Not a race, nor a geographically dened region, but a people, historically perpetuating itself; a multitude unied by an idea and imbued with the will to live, the will to power, self-consciousness, personality.

Thus, while the various interest groups  established by the state  were important to the fascist conception of the state, they were also to be subservient to the state. Fascism imposed a state that was to be a legal and spiritual guide.

In fact, some fascist states incorporated the

dominant religion into their conception of national identity.

Others, such as Nazi Germany,

created a quasi-religion with the state  inventing pagan symbols and rites.

Citizenship was

not merely a political alliance with a particular state  it was a cultural identity.


Fascism Lives

By the end of the First World War, nationalism had become a fairly popular ideology in parts of Europe and newly liberated South American countries which stood to rival communism as a dominant political subculture.

Despite forming as a reaction to, and perhaps against, the

rising middle class, fascism found some of its strongest support among the middle class.


addition, fascism managed to appeal to the farming laborers, largely unrepresented by the various socialist movements before Maoism.

The specter of communism lay to the east. While this contributed in no small part to the traction fascism gained among the populace, to the west of Russia.
142 141

it could not fully account for the rise of fascism

Certainly, its initial appearance as a movement that could save the

nation in question from being swallowed by international communism appealed to constitutional monarchs. Additionally, parliamentary liberals saw it as the potential savior of modernity from the perhaps inevitable conquest by communism.

However, the general population saw in fascism an answer to the travails of modernity 

European Sociological Review.
139 Childers,
(1976): 24-5.

134 Mussolini, Benito. op. cit. 135 Sternhell, Zeev. Fascism: Reections on the Fate of Ideas. op. cit., 145-7. 136 Kallis, Aristotle A. op. cit. 137 Ibid. 232. 138 Brustein, William and Marit Berntson. Interwar Fascist Popularity in Europe
15 (1999): 163.

and the Default of the Left.

cf. Sternhell, Zeev. Fascism: Reections on the Fate of Ideas.

Thomas. The Social Bases of the National Socialist Vote.

op. cit., 145-7. Journal of Contemporary History. American Sociological Review. British Journal of Sociology.


140 Brustein, 141 Brustein,

Willian and Barry Markovsky. The Rational Fascist: Interwar Fascist Party Membership in Italy

and Germany. (1991): 652-64.

Journal of Political & Military Sociology.

17 (1989): 177-202.

William. The `Red Menace' and the Rise of Italian Fascism.

56 10

142 Lipset,

Seymour M. Social Stratication and 'Right-Wing Extremism'. Zeev.

(1959): 346-381.

143 Sternhell,

The Birth of Fascist Ideology. op. cit., 225.

and the accompanying socio-economic stratication  that didn't require a violent class war.


This was why fascist governments often took power through parliamentary means rather than through direct

coups d'état.145

The Revolution Begins
In Italy, Germany, Argentina, Brazil and Greece, there was a semblance of democratic process in the initial stages of their drive for power. This might be considered questionable in the case of Argentina where Perón was elected president following a The tactic of the

coup d'état

of which he was a part. (FET y de

Falange Española de las Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional Sindicalista

las JONS  usually referred to as the Falange) of a coup d'état and subsequent protracted civil war was actually not very common for fascist regimes. This is not to say that fascists were elected democratically, or that they did not use extralegal means to attain power. Rather, by and large, they used parliamentary maneuvers in order to entrench themselves into power. In Italy and Germany, for instance, the Fascists and Nazis

were able to secure the position of prime minister through designation from the constitutional monarch. In Brazil and Argentina, Getúlio Vargas

and Juan Domingo Perón


were popularly

elected following a coup d'état resulting in a new, republican constitution. Ioannis Metaxas of Greece, similar to the recently deposed regime of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, used a state of emergency in order to turn his post as prime minister into a position as dictator.

The Fascist party in Italy took control of the Italian parliament in 1922 in what was almost a coup. Mussolini, with a cadre of 40,000 black shirts, announced a state siege of Rome.


response, the parliament under Luigi Facta drafted a decree of martial law to stop the insurrection.

However, at the eleventh hour, King Victor Emanuel III refused to sign it, deciding

instead to cede control of the parliament to the Fascists with Mussolini as prime minister.

This did not, however, result in the stiing of political pluralism for which fascism is famous. This happened in 1925 when, following the fascist assassination of a socialist deputy, the Mussolini government won a vote of condence in parliament. power for the fascists.
153 152

This resulted in a full seizure of

144 Gregor, A. James. op. cit., 216-7. 145 The notable exception is the Falangist coup d'état in Spain resulting in a 3-year civil war. 146 Hambloch, Ernest. The New Régime in Brazil. Foreign Aairs. 16 (1938): 486. 147 Lewis, Paul H. Was Perón a Fascist? An Inquiry Into the Nature of Fascism. The Journal
(1980): 242-3.

of Politics.


History Teacher.

148 Vatikiotis, P.J. op. 149 Keserich, Charles.

cit., 153-86. 
The Fiftieth Year of the `March on Rome': Recent Interpretations of Fascism. NJ: Humanities Press, 1982. 140.


150 Nolte, Ernst. Marxism, Fascism, Cold War. Atlantic Highlands, 151 Keserich, Charles. op. cit. 152 Sternhell, Zeev. The Birth of Fascist Ideology. op. cit., 226-7. 153 Nolte, Ernst. op. cit., 123.

6 (1972): 135.


In Germany, the Nazis received their political hegemony through a similar, though less hostile, parliamentary procedure. By the summer of 1932, the Nazis had 37% of the popular vote  the largest of any party. However, industrial workers and Roman Catholics were resistant to the anticlerical and anti-communist message of the Nazi party. Given that their constituent parties held more than 50% of the vote, the Nazis were not able to rule as a majority coalition. This resulted in a disenchantment among the Nazi constituency  in the autumn elections, the Nazis lost 1.25 million voters. Despite this, given the faltering economy since the slump of agricultural products in 1928 and the burgeoning war debts from the First World War, the Reich President appointed Hitler to the position of Reich Chancellor allowing him to rule by decree under emergency powers.

The Argentine foray with fascism began with a coup of sorts. It should be remember that Argentina had a wealth of unions leading into Juan Domingo Perón's eventual rise to power. Still, there was no ocial legal dictum requiring employers to negotiate with unions. Compared to the rest of Latin America in the 1940s, this was relatively backward. Thus, neither the

politicians of the old republic (which ended with Yrigoyen) nor the installed government of the military junta had taken labor issues very seriously.

As previously mentioned, the deposition of Yrigoyen resulted in a provisional military junta resulting in a parliamentary constitution. bureaucratic as the rst system.

This system ended up being just as corrupt and

All of the parties served primarily the interests of landed

aristocrats and foreign interests in London.

Juan Perón by 1940 was discontented with the

system had been inspired by Mussolini's regime in Italy following a visit on the eve of their war declaration. called the

Upon his return to Argentina, he began to form a clique within the armed forces (GOU) which consisted initially of sta ocers and later

Grupo de Ociales Unidos

actual military command.

The GOU drafted a new constitution and kept it secret until they led a coup on June 4 1943.



The president at the time, Ramón Castillo who took oce following the death of former

president Roberto Ortiz, ceded power to the military the following day.

The following three

years saw the ascent and deposition of three dierent military-appointed presidents, leaving Perón in the seat of vice president.

154 Noakes, Jeremy. The Rise of the Nazis. 155 Alexander, Robert J. op. cit.,14-5. 156 Crassweller, Robert D., op. cit., 71-2. 157 Ibid. 90-1. 158 Ibid. 87. 159 Alexander, Robert J. op. cit., 23-5. 160 Ibid. 161 Crassweller, Robert D. op. cit., 101. 162 Ibid. 103-4.

History Today.

33 (1983): 12.


Perón to suggested that the government take a more labor-oriented stance. Perón was instructed to pursue this goal, and he took to the radio  a move that would bolster his popularity among the Argentine masses. Additionally, he took steps to reduce the communist inuence in Argentine labor unions. This was further enforced, unbeknownst to the unions, with a law that required that each industry be represented by only one union which had to be recognized by the government.

However, union members praised Perón  who was now serving double-duty

as Secretary of Labor  in his eorts to get the law passed, since it also made unions ocially recognized.

A move by the military to depose and imprison Perón was thwarted by resistance

from the unions. This led to Perón's election as president in 1946.

In Greece, by 1935, the popularity of parliamentary democracy was waning. The breakdown of relations between Italy and Britain as well as the subsequent civil war in Spain signaled that war was in wait for Greece. Although Metaxas had been calling for a stronger executive, he was not the only one. Political rival and prime minister Sofoklis Venizelos has similar aspirations

who was moving to maintain power even by extralegal means. Given that Venizelos had lost the majority in parliament to the Popular Party and various ally parties in 1933, he collaborated with the army to organize a coup in 1935. The coup failed, only strengthening the anti-Venizelist sentiment.

Metaxas, although he had been an anti-Venizelist too, rejected the Popular Party's

liberal platform  thus presenting an alternative for those who were both anti-Venizelist and skeptical that democracy could be successful in these trying times.

Given the loss of the Venizelos government, King George II was able to return to Greece and resumed his authority as constitutional monarch with the help of a Metaxas-led coup against the new Popular Party government in 1935. Rumors of another army-led coup precipitated Metaxas to appeal to the renewed authority of King George II to appoint him as Minister of Army Aairs to quell the rebellion. Metaxas was made Minister of Army Aairs as well as the Deputy Prime Minister. Upon the death of the Prime Minister, Metaxas ascended to the Prime Ministership where he won a vote of condifence.

At Metaxas' rst cabinet meeting, he proposed provisions

that would suspend certain articles of the constitution and dissolve parliament. Except for two ministers who chose instead to resign, all of the cabinet members signed the decree of dictatorship and the founding of the 4th of August Regime.

In 1930, Brazil saw a coup to install Getúlio Vargas as the president. While the measure was

163 Ibid. 115-20. 164 Alexander, Robert J. op. cit., 36-41. 165 Ibid. 45-50. 166 Vatikoitis, P.J. op. cit., 140-8. 167 Kallis, Aristotle A. op. cit., 235. 168 Vatikoitis, P.J. op. cit., 149-51. 169 Ibid. 157.


certainly undemocratic, he was undoubtedly the popular candidate in a heavily rigged election. On the eve of new elections in 1937, Vargas nullied the old constitution replacing it with his own which would seal him in power until his eventual suicide.

In Spain, the sweeping victory of the Popular Front  consisting of various communist, anarchist, syndicalist, and socialist elements  in the 1936 general elections precipitated a right-wing backlash and eventually civil war.

This was due to a perception of CNT involvement in var172

ious strikes and political violence occurring around the country. of the

In addition, the outlawing


which had only won 0.7% of the popular vote  proved to be another brick in

the wall. In response, the


began secretly building its numbers and preparing for a coup,

aided by the sympathetic military.The execution of the


leader, José Antonio Primo

de Rivera, by the Popular Front government led to a power vacuum which General Francisco Franco eventually lled, leading the authoritarian dictatorship.


to military victory in 1939 and the country into a

The Power of the State
The establishment of fascist dictatorships were marked by severe political repression. Media was censored; dissidents were denounced as enemies of the nation or agents of foreign powers; and political parties were outlawed. Additionally, the rise of fascism marked certain levels of economic repression. Labor unions and industrial organizations were cartelized under the umbrella of the state; strikes were outlawed; and businesses were often nationalized at whim.

However, in

keeping with their roots in the syndicalist labor struggle, minimum wages were often enacted; social security was introduced where it had not been, and expanded where it already was; and price controls were implemented to keep ination low for the poor. More often than not, trade was cut o or severely reduced with high taris on goods that were produced domestically. This did not, however, result in a stiing of international tourism. In clerical and anti-clerical fascist system alike, moral laws were enacted banning homosexuality and other such perceived deviancies.
175 , 176

As the initial popular excitement of fascism waned, the

governments often enacted more opportunist policies that were not in line with fascist principles. During the Great Depression, Germany under the Wiemar Republic nationalized many of its

170 Hambloch, Ernest. op. cit., 171 Aviv, Aviva and Isaac Aviv.
Second Republic (1934-1936).

484-5. The Madrid Working Class, the Spanish Socialist Party and the Collapse of the 16 (1981): 230.

ments & Political Religions.
174 This
Banker' conspiracy theory.

172 Getman-Eraso, Jordi. op. cit., 93-114. 173 Payne, Stanley G. Franco, the Spanish

Journal of Contemporary History.

Falange and the Institutionalisation of Mission.

Totalitarian Move-

7 (2006): 193-4.

was particularly true in the banking industry, given the Proudhonian- and Sorelian-inherited `Jew

175 Benadusi, Lorenzo. op. cit., 175-6. 176 Platero, Raquel. Love and the State:

Gay Marriage in Spain.

Feminist Legal Studies.

15 (2007): 332-3.


largest enterprises including mining, banking, steel making, rail transit, etc.


Following the rise

of Hitler in 1933, the Nazi government began a process of reprivatization beginning the following year.

This was partially opportunistic  as was much of the Hitler regime  since between

1934 and 1938, privatization provided an important stream of revenue for the Treasury.


enthusiasm for privatization among the Nazis was not derived from the same place that more modern privatization initiatives, in line with Naomi Klein's

Shock Doctrine of disaster capitalism,

came. Instead, with privatization of individual businesses came the simultaneous regulation of business outside of the the use of their property and the accumulation of their prot. Rather than control businesses directly through nationalization, businesses were controlled through the sole requirement that they act as agents of the state. Businesses unfriendly to the Nazi regime, such as two airplane companies, were nationalized.

The Fascists also pursued a policy that expanded and deregulated the private sector. This was done in exchange for government control over labor policies. The fascists replaced all independent trade unions with Fascist syndicates by 1925. By 1926, the Fascists were actively intervening in every economic sector. They did so by setting requirements of how much of various commodities must go to supporting other sectors of the domestic economy.

In addition, the Fascists had an

elaborate public works sector. Though their propaganda alleged that they did so on a balanced budget, ocial gures reveal that they ran a fairly consistent decit. with the national solidarity angle of fascism. Despite the series of privatizations in the German economy, public works projects were tantamount to the German economy and the Nazi Programme as well. This was geared to tackle the problem of high unemployment due to Germany's nancial situation following the rst world war and the Great Depression. Additionally, it served to better equip the German military,
183 182

This was consistent

eventually accounting for 80% of public expenditure.

These public works projects amplied

heavy industry in such a way as to subjugate all economic interests to those of armaments production. The 4
th 184

Thus, the Nazi goal of full employment was maintained.


of August regime in Greece also saw the expansion of arms production. This was done

primarily through production subsidies.This served the dual purpose of boosting national em-

177 Bel,

Germà. Against the Mainstream: Nazi Privatization in 1930s Germany.

Economic History Review.


(2010): 35.

178 Ibid. 38. 179 Ibid. 42. 180 Ibid. 47. 181 Cohen, Jon S. op. cit., 71-3. 182 Salvemini, Gaetano. Twelve Years 183 Barkai, Avraham. op. cit., 158-9. 184 Kuczynski, Jurgen. op. cit., 53-4. 185 Barkai, Avraham. op. cit, 106-113.

of Fascist Finance.

Foreign Aairs.

13 (1935), 473-4.


ployment as well as girding against Mussolini's anti-Greece campaign.


Additionally, Metaxas

improved the minimum wage, hours regulations, social security and health insurance, housing cooperatives, and paid holidays. With these labor improvements, he simultaneously created a corporate state , absorbing trade unions into the state structure.

Getúlio Vargas of Brazil pursued a domestic industrialization plan creating a public works program to improve the country's balance of trade by means of autarky. This was also driven primarily by military procurement. This was the culmination of his expressed political aspirations prior to his rule for economic planning and justied by national security.

Franco in Spain also increased public spending in the pursuit of autarky.


Most prominent

was Spain's focus on energy independence. The Falange focused on synthetic fuels energy.

and nuclear

In Argentina, the Perónistas succeeded in making the commitment to inationary government spending ideological. Rather than a further deterioration of the purchasing power of the poor, ination was seen as evidence that state authorities were heavily investing in infrastructure. Additionally, Perón actively repatriated domestic economic operations by foreign businesses.


By 1948, Perón had the domestic economy preparing to supply the demand of the expected third world war.

Perón also went to great lengths to inltrate labor, politicizing the politically fatigued CGT. In 1945, two years into his rule, his government passed a law allowing only one union per industry to receive government recognition. This all but wiped out unions except for the CGT. While this process was largely to insulate Perón's position of power, the nation's workers did receive wage increases. As well, Perón signed o on the 8-hour work day and a 48-hour work week as well as social security. This forever solidied the favor of the workers toward Perón. this favor, Perón made protests illegal until the end of his rst reign.
196 195


The Nazis also took many steps to undermine labor unionsa move taken by the Italian Fascists years earlier. Primary among these tactics was integrating labor unions into the state

186 Vatikiotis, P.J. op. cit., 162-5. 187 Ibid. 159-62. 188 Hilton, Stanley E. Vargas and 189 San

Brazilian Economic Development: 1930-1945: A Reappraisal of His Attitude

Toward Industrialization and Planning. Dream.

The Journal of Economic History.

35 (1975): 755-8.

Román, Elena; Sudrià, Charles. Synthetic Fuels in Spain, 1942-66: The Failure of Franco's Autarkic

190 Ibid. 73-88. 191 Barca Salom,

Business History.

45 (2003), 76.

Francesc X. Nuclear Power for Catalonia: The Role of the Ocial Chamber of Industry of

Barcelona, 1953-1962.

Economic Development and Cultural Change. 196 Aizcorbe, Roberto. op. cit., 42.

192 Aizcorbe, Roberto. Argentina: The Peronist Myth. Hicksville, NY: Exposition Press, 1975. 197. 193 Alexander, Robert J. op. cit., 67-8. 194 Aizcorbe, Roberto. op. cit., 22. 195 Epstein, Edward C. Politicization and Income Redistribution in Argentina: The Case of the Peronist Worker.
23 (1975), 618-9.


43 (2005), 164-8.




Additionally, the Nazis created a compulsory labor service which was created to

draft men ages 19-25.

Thus, Hitler created a literal reserve army of labor.


By 1936, labor organizations outside of established state chambers were outlawed, forcing labor organizations to either submit or face punitive measures from the various state security organs.

Thus, the will of labor was solidied into the single voice of the workers' `represen-

tation' in the state structure. This was to serve the symbolic purpose of a permanent general strike and permanent labor negotiations; however, it was usually just government ventriloquism. Franco pursued a similar labor policy, creating a national syndicate that included workers


managers. Two years after the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War and without complete

control of Spain, Franco outlawed strikes in 1938, requiring that the national syndicate settle labor disputes through the organs of the state.

Thus, through a combination of union centralization, extensive public works, industrial integralism, and import substitution, fascist states implemented the ideological goals of fascism. The centralization of unions into organs subservient to the state fullled symbolically the permanent revolution by making labor negotiations an ongoing process rather than periodic strikes. Public works and import substitution satised the nationalist goals of promoting domestic production and domestic incomes. Industrial integralism allowed the state to exact policies that, according to their dictators, represented the will of the people.

The Failure of Fascism
On New Year's Day 1943, Walt Disney Studios released an 8 minute Donald Duck cartoon called

Der Fuehrer's Face.202

In it, Donal dreams he is a citizen of Nutsi Germany where he works

endless hours in a munitions factory until he becomes part of the machine and suers a nervous breakdown. This was not uncommon in the last years of many fascist dictatorships, as the

industries, cartelized under the state apparatus tended to monopolize. Within the framework of fascist ideology, which does not value individual liberties or material equality at all, the corruption of the state was the only failing of fascism in practice. This is not necessarily a consequence of political cronyism (although that happened, too), but rather a very basic principle of microeconomics. Given that the industries were cartelized under


Norman. op. cit., 428. cf. Cohen, Jon S. Fascism and Agriculture in Italy: Policies and The Economic History Review 32 (1979): 71. 198 Nathan, Otto. The Nazi Economic System. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1944. 199. 199 cf. Marx, Karl. Wages, C. IV. 3. e., last modied 12 September

197 Thomas,



200 Thomas, Norman. op. 201 Mesa-Lago, Carmelo. 202 Der

cit., 426. 

Labor-Management Relations.

Industrial & Labor Relations Review.

20 (1967),


Fuehrer's Face.

Directed by Jack Kinney. 1942; New York, NY: RKO Radio Pictures Inc., 1943.


the purview of the state, they shared monopoly prots.

However, the fewer rms that there

are in a cartel, the greater prot share for each rm. Prot is maximized when there remains only one rm. Thus, the hybridization of a demand-side free market and supply-side market

controls inevitably leads to monopolization so long as there is a prot incentive. This, in turn, led to the monopolists having far more money with which they essentially bought out the state. Additionally, the fascist state, resting on erce loyalty to a dictator, often became a personality cult more than a coherent system. Needless to say, the working class didn't appreciate this too much resulting in the end of fascist rule in one way or another. Because of this, most fascist dictatorships can be subdivided into periods of ideological purity and a subsequent desperate totalitarianism. The defascistization of Italy was marked largely by the reversal of the Fascists' policy toward Jews. Prior to 1938, Jews held positions in the Fascist government. Indeed, Italian Jews were even distinguished as separate from the international Jewry of high nance.

The percentage

of Jews supportive of the Fascist cause was in fact higher than that percentage of the entire population.

Italian fascism was nationalist, but prior to 1938, it was not racist.

The sellout of Italian Jews came mostly as a result of the Italian weakness during the second world war. While this new antisemitism cemented Italy's trade relationship with Nazi Germany into a military one, it also served to crystallize the myth of the `New Fascist Man.'


needs of the Italian military increased signicantly with the 1935 incursion into Ethiopia.

Additionally, Italy's intervention in the Spanish Civil War, in light of the domestic poverty due to Fascist autarky and the lingering Great Depression, revitalized the anti-capitalist trade union movement. This, combined with a healthy dose of paranoia about a `Jewish-Masonic conspiracy' to overthrow Fascism instigated by Pope Pius XI,

led Mussolini to launch a new


(anti-bourgeois) campaign in 1938, including, among other things, race laws against the Jews, claiming that the Jews were the bearers of the `bourgeois spirit.'

As Mussolini's rule wore on, he strayed farther and farther from the original doctrine of fascism constructed by himself and others. With a ideology which commanded such erce loyalty to the government, and the government to the

Duce, the system relied on the trust that the Duce mussolinismo,

would remain faithful to the doctrine. However, fascism in Italy eventually became as some scholars have referred to it.

Thus, following his imperialist venture into Ethiopia

203 Adler, Franklin Hugh. Why Mussolini Turned on the Jews. Patterns of Prejudice. 39 (2005), 285-9. 204 Sternhell, Zeev. The Birth of Fascist Ideology. op. cit., 5. 205 Adler, Franklin Hugh. op. cit., 294. 206 Ibid. 296. 207 Visani, Alessandro. The Jewish Enemy. Fascism, the Vatican, and Anti-Semitism on the Seventieth
niversary of the 1938 Race Laws.

208 Adler, Franklin Hugh. op. cit., 297. 209 Kallis, Aristotle A.  `A Question of

Journal of Modern Italian Studies.


14 (2009), 169-70.


and the Collapse of the Italian Fascist Regime

and Libya, Mussolini began to be questioned more and more by his own administration until they organized a Grand Council meeting in which they essentially gave Mussolini a vote of no condence in 1943.

The downfall of the Nazi regime came from two main sources.

First, the Nazis began to

pursue a more aggressive antisemitic policy. Second, the government was reorganized to prioritize their military. Both of these paths were largely the work of an architect and eventual Minister of Armaments and War Production Albert Speer. Speer in his two posts was able to take

advantage of a government mired in nebulously dened spheres of authority and overlapping jurisdictions.

As the Inspector General of Building for the Reich Capital Berlin (GBI), Speer was tasked with completely redeveloping Berlin to cast the achievements of the Nazi regime in stone in 1937.

Given the space required in central Berlin to execute such a project, thousands of

homes would have to be leveled for the project.

The cost of such a project was enormous, and

Germany was already suering an unfavorable economic position.

Thus, rather than resettle

all tenants and homeowners into homes of approximately equal size, Speer drafted a plan that would ban Jews from living with or having any rental relations with `Aryans'. With Speer's plan, the Jews would be resettled into ghettos.

To this point, although Jews had been demonized

in state propaganda and stripped of many of their civil rights, these measures had been largely aimed at getting the Jews to leave and `Aryanizing' property in Germany. Until


the plan to deprive Jews of their rental rights was untenable, however

much it served the desires of the GBI and the Ministry of Justice. Prior to the pogrom, a meeting of six administrative bodies, including the GBI, only went so far as to require registration of all `full Jewish' families living in Aryan-owned large dwellings. Speer wrote the Ministry of

Economics requesting funds to build replacement housing for evicted Jews which would amount to the initial stages of a ghetto. Following

Kristallnacht, however, the party was able to sidestep

the existing and relatively benign Nuremburg laws and pursue a less intensive ghettoization policy.

As Speer grew closer to Hitler, he managed to be promoted to the Minister of Armaments and War Production in 1942. In 1936, Hitler commenced a war plan as a reaction to Germany's

in 1943.

210 Ibid. 84-6 211 Nathan, Otto. op. cit., 56-7 212 Jaskot, Paul B. Anti-Semitic

Journal of Modern Italian Studies.

6 (2001), 72-4.

Policy in Albert Speer's Plans for the Rebuilding of Berlin.

Art Bulletin.


(1996), 622.

213 Ibid. 627. 214 Barkai, Avraham. op. cit., 229-32. 215 Jaskot, Paul B. op. cit., 627. 216 Ibid. 626. 217 Ibid. 628-9.


aforementioned economic position.

The so-called `Four-Year Plan' was partially nanced by

assets of German Jews. In the initial stages of the rearmament, German weapons production was focused on creating a diverse, yet small, cache of armaments for the purpose of engaging in a series of short


During his tenure as the head of the GBI, Speer had created a bureaucratic mechanism that was able to function outside of the purview of Hitler. He essentially consolidated the Nazi bureaucracy into two channels of allocation through a series of negotiations and agreements.

Thus, Speer vertically integrated all government departments into an extralegal decision-making body, in competition with ocial decrees, through a process of accretion.

As Minister of

Armaments and War Production, with the second world war underway, he focused on expanding the depth of the Nazi military. To this end, he consolidated the many small-scale munitions This enabled the Nazis to take advantage of scale

factories into a few large-scale ventures.

economies; however it also made the plants vulnerable to Allied military attacks.

Thus, Speer

successfully monopolized the government bureaucracy and, further, private production, sealing the fate of the Nazi empire. While the initial stages of Perón's rule in Argentina was marked by attempts to displace the reigning `oligopoly,' this changed as his reign wore on. driven by a propaganda machine.

The initial years of the regime were

Peron urged consumers to band together with the state to

defeat the `egotistic capitalists.' This was accomplished through speeches and radio broadcasts promoting nationalist consumerism as well as publishing acceptable prices in the newspapers.

However, the four years following marked an economic recession. Despite widely popular support for the Peron regime, the fourth year of the recession meant a coup attempt and a clear message that the Perónista government needed to do something dierent. With the initial boons of

serving the post-war recovery behind them, the Perónistas needed some other way of providing the generous privations of their rst ve years.

Perón found himself in the awkward position of having to appeal to the industrialists whom he had lambasted for the rst nine years of his rule. In full reversal, Perón ceased his attacks on elites, threats of expropriation, etc. Rather than pursuing the more leftist position he nominally held toward labor, he instead began encouraging discipline in labor relations. Rather than

218 Barkai, Avraham. 219 Carroll, Berenice
Mouton, 1968. 246-9


op. cit., 225-35. The Design for Total War: Arms and Economics in the Third Reich.

Hague, NL:

Comparative International Development.
223 Elena, 224 Ibid.
1955. 13-4.

220 Ibid. 249. 221 Barkai, Avraham. op. cit., 236-7. 222 Mainwaring, Scott. The State and

the Industrial Bourgeoisie in Peron's Argentina, 1945-1955. 21 (1986), 4. 87 (2007), 122-3.

Studies in

Hispanic American Historical Review.

Eduardo. Peronist Consumer Politics and the Problem of Domesticating Markets in Argentina 1943-


promising higher wages, Perón began emphasizing higher production. Perón also began to solicit foreign investment, something he deplored as `imperialist' less than a decade before. began to sell o state industries, warmly welcoming state enterprise.

He also

Additionally, he froze

salaries for two years after raising them 40% to 80%, which after a spate of high ination, would be mostly meaningless.

With the death of Perón's wife Eva Duarte, a sex scandal involving

Juan Perón and a 14-year old girl,

diminished food safety standards, and further selling out of

workers to big business a growing movement of anti-Perónists took to the streets and eventually overthrew Perón in 1955.

In Brazil, the decision to fascistize the nation came nearly eight years into Vargas' regime.


While Vargas' economic policies  opposition to foreign interests and a directed market economy  were in line with those of fascism, he was lacking the authoritarian are.


Estado Novo

was established with the birth of a new constitution, granting Vargas the ability to rule by decree in 1937. 1938 was marked by erce support for domestic industry.

Vargas also called for disciplined

labor relations and instituted wage increases. Following a 1932 civil war and a 1935 communist uprising, Vargas  using his new constitutionally-derived powers  committed Brazil to a fascist integralism.

Despite that an integralist constitution had been ratied three years prior, this

one did not have the four-year elections promised in the 1934 version.While a communist uprising was hyped to be the need for a new, stricter 1937 constitution, in reality, there was merely insubordination among the ranks at Rio.

This helped Vargas secure the support of the

military which opposed fascism and integralism.

In a fashion similar Perón and Mussolini, Vargas insisted that authoritarianism  rule embodying the will of the nation  was the true realization of democracy.

The constitution

essentially proclaimed that the individual is nothing and the state is everything, as is the general


of Fascism.


However, Vargas took his executive powers over labor relations much

farther than most fascist-style governments ever had. In addition to mediating labor relations,

225 Mainwaring, Scott. op. cit., 21-3 226 Elena, Eduardo. op. cit., 141. 227 Alexander, Robert. op. cit., 95-6. 228 Ibid. 141-7. 229 Hilton, Stanley


Argentina: The Unemployed Traveler.

Time Magazine.

14 November

1955. Accessed on 7 May 2011.,9171,823955,00.html E. Vargas and Brazilian Economic Development, 1930-1945: A Reappraisal of His Attitude

Toward Industrialization and Planning.

230 Hambloch, Ernest. op. cit., 488-9 231 Hilton, Stanley E. op. cit., 771-2 232 Ibid. 766. 233 Hamblock, Ernest. op. cit., 486 234 Ibid. 491-2. 235 Ibid. 489. 236 Ibid. 490.

Journal of Economic History.

35 (1975), 765.


Vargas actually relocated the migrant workers where the state deemed that they were needed.


In 1942, they were shipped to tap rubber from the Amazon which was to be sold abroad.


Additionally, the Vargas government sponsored the creation of agricultural colonies in the Amazon.

Further, he expanded other industries to serve trade relations abroad.


While Vargas had managed to gain the support of the military with the

Estado Novo


stitution, he lost that support by the end of World War II. In keeping with their historical role of defender of the nation, the military successfully led a coup against Vargas.

The Franco regime thrived on the fear-driven political apathy of the Spanish populace until the 1950s. However, following the second world war, Spain began facing severe economic

problems, making the Falangist commitment to autarky all but impossible. Where other fascist regimes had failed in choosing famine over foreign relations, the Spanish government under the inuence of new technocrats undertook a program of economic advance requiring international trade. According to one historian,The genuinely fascist aspects of the Falangist doctrine be-

came an increasing embarrassment after 1945, as the régime deëmphasized political ideology altogether.

By the 1960s, the new modernization programs were paying o and Franco

abandoned the fascist mode of production for one of free-market semi-authoritarianism.



The legacy of fascism is convoluted and elusive. The tendency for these regimes to be simply written o as `evil' without much investigation often leads to their being misunderstood as merely a totalitarian and perhaps racist phenomenon. In addition, a lack of proper investigation into the actual workings of fascism beyond its totalitarianism leads to erroneous comparisons between socialist states such as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the People's Republic of China, or the Democratic Republic of North Korea.

Indeed, there are elements of fascist theory in most governments around the world. While things like social security and unemployment insurance are typically thought of as socialist or corrective capitalist phenomenon, they are far more in line with the ideology of fascism. Pure capitalism wouldn't tolerate such interventions into the market, and socialism wouldn't have a

Hispanic American Historical Review.

237 Gareld,

Seth. Tapping Masculinity: Labor Recruitment to the Brazilian Amazon During World War II. 86 (2006), 275.

238 Ibid. 278. 239 Ibid. 282. 240 Beals, Carleton. Totalitarian Inroads in Latin America. Foreign Aairs. 17 (1938), 79. 241 Smallman, Shawn C. The Professionalization of Military Terror in Brazil, 1945-1964. Luso-Brazilian


37 (2000), 117-9.

242 Payne, Stanley G. In the Twilight of the Franco Era. Foreign Aairs. 49 (1971), 243 Rigby, Andrew. Amnesty and Amnesia in Spain. Press Review. 12 (2000), 74-5. 244 And to annoyingly dicult database searches.


monetary exchange system in which such institutions would be necessary. Fascism on the other hand is focused on maintaining the market structure and the welfare of the nation (dened both by borders and heritage). Additional measures such as the minimum wage, farm subsidies, and other price adjustment maneuvers have closer ideological ties to fascism for the same reason. Fascism, therefore, may be thought of as a totalitarian version of Keynesian economics. Still, there is much debate on what regimes qualify as fascist. According to this study,

the principal requirements are a revolutionary (as opposed to reactionary) movement based on national solidarity organized into a corporatist state with no opportunity for political involvement except through state organs. There is, of course, a ne line between fascism and corrupted

socialism (as in the latter days of the USSR) as well as between fascism and badly managed capitalism (as in the regime of Augustine Pinochet). While the days of fascism appear to be

past us, there is much we can learn to improve our own public institutions. There is also much we need to learn so that it may never happen again.


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