Fascism and Political Theory: Critical Perspectives on by Daniel Woodley

By Daniel Woodley

Fascism and Political Theory bargains either scholars and researchers a thematic research of fascism, targeting the structural and ideological hyperlinks among fascism, capitalism and modernity. meant as a serious dialogue of the origins and improvement of fascist ideology, each one bankruptcy bargains with a middle noticeable factor in political thought appropriate to the learn of fascism and totalitarianism, starting with an overview of the present nation of discussion.

The emphasis on formal ideology in modern Anglo-American historiography has elevated our know-how of the complexity and eclectic nature of fascist ideologies which problem liberalism and social democracy. but in too many fresh works, a programmatic or essentialist examining of fascist ideology as a ‘secular religion’ is taken with no consideration, whereas researchers stay preoccupied with the hunt for an elusive ‘fascist minimum’.

In this publication Woodley emphasizes that many amazing questions stay, together with the structural and ideological hyperlinks among fascism and capitalism, the social building of fascist nationalism, and the origins of fascist violence in eu colonialism. This quantity consolidates the reader’s theoretical knowing and gives the interdisciplinary talents essential to comprehend the concrete social, fiscal and political stipulations which generate and maintain fascism.

A well timed critique of culturalist and revisionist ways in fascism reports which gives a concise evaluate of theoretical debates among liberalism, Marxism and poststructuralism, this article is going to be of serious curiosity to scholars of politics, glossy historical past and sociology.

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Additional info for Fascism and Political Theory: Critical Perspectives on Fascist Ideology (Routledge Issues in Contemporary Political Theory)

Example text

In seeking to reconcile nationalism and collectivism in a postliberal state ideology, they exploited the rich inheritance of philosophical antirationalism to provide a theoretical justification for romantic anti-capitalism. 36 Fascism, rationality and modernity At the heart of the conservative-revolutionary problematic is the ‘Faustian’ nature of industrial civilization as an age of ‘limitless striving and aspiration’, which Spengler linked to the racial and cultural inheritance of northern Europe.

Neocleous 1997: 70–71; italics added) To make sense of fascism, our first task must be to examine the rationality of industrial capitalism as a structuring feature of modernity – a system of social reproduction based on private accumulation and collective division of labour. 1 Ideological positions on fascism, rationality and modernity Rational or irrational? Philosophical anthropology Gehlen/Freyer/Nolte Totalitarianism Arendt Kornhauser Resistance to the levelling effect of modernity Accumulation of Totalitarian power is defined as reorganization of rational in itself industrial society Consequence of modernity Pathological development of industrial society Quintessentially modern ideology Continuity of industrial– technical development Revolutionary movement embracing modernism Destruction of reason/ irrational subjectivism Direction of industrial means towards barbaric ends Vitalist antimodernism; aestheticization of politics Destructive potential of Enlightenment Social domination is inherent in technical civilization Logical culmination of human domination of nature Rational means applied to irrational ends Contradictory potential of capitalist modernization Reactionary modernism Destructive consequence of humanism Domination is inherent in western civilization Radicalization of modernity metaphysics as aesthetics Generic fascism Sternhell Irrationalism/ Gentile/Griffin/Antliff vitalism Frankfurt School Adorno/Horkheimer Marcuse Critical theory Herf/Neocleous Osborne/Koepnick Postmodernism Hewitt Lacoue-Labarthe Modern or antimodern?

Furthermore, as Peukert notes, it was ‘precisely the profuse trappings of antiquated traditionalism or reactionary utopianism in Nazi ideology that served to make more acceptable in practical, social terms the modern technologies and structures they disguised’ (1987: 181). Yet a one-sided identification of fascism with reactionary modernism is implausible, for it fails to explain the radicalism of fascism. The weakness of Herf’s interpretation lies in a failure to identify the modernist temporality of its simultaneous advocacy of forward- and backward-looking ideas.

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