Fascism (from Italian fascio – bundle, association) – socio-political movement, widely spread in European countries in the 20-40’s 20 century. In the ideology of this movement, the ideas of social Darwinism, the organic theory of the state, syndicalism, nationalism, racism and other ideas are whimsically combined 19 – beginning 20 century. The ideologists of fascism used, in particular, some peculiarly prepared ideas of the Italian political scientist G. Moski, the Austrian sociologist L. Gumplowicz, the French sociologist G. Lebon, the French syndicalist J. Sorel, and others, although they are hardly legitimate to be regarded as adherents of this ideological and political flow. A significant contribution to the formation and development of ideas, principles and valuesof fascism was made by J.A. de Gobineau, X.Chamberlen, G.D’Annunzio, J. Gentile, A. Rosenberg, J. Goebbels and, of course, B. Mussolini and A. Hitler.
A complete expression of the fascist ideology was in Italian fascism and German national socialism, embodied in the dictatorial political regimes, first in Italy, and then in Germany. Between them were transitional or hybrid pro-fascist regimes of General Franco in Spain, Salazar in Portugal, Horthy in Hungary.
Fascism rejected all directions of socio-political thought, stressing the freedom and equality of people regardless of their national and racial affiliation, religious and political adherence. The slogan of the Italian fascists “to believe, obey, fight” became the antithesis to the motto of the French Revolution “freedom, equality, brotherhood”. The combination of indisputable faith and militancy was intended to transform the nation into an ever-mobilized armed force, designed to win, preserve and expand power.
As the main theoretical and analytical tool for interpreting world history in fascist ideology, the idea ofa nation or nationalism was used, which in the German version of fascism – in National Socialism – took the form of racism. He was characterized by anti-materialism, irrationalism, mysticism and the belief that power, the will to power, fame and prestige constitute potent goals and motives for behavior as an individual, and the most adapted to the survival of the Aryan peoples in this case. Fascists and National Socialists, both in theory and in practice, attaching a decisive role to politics and ideology, retained private ownership of the means of production and market mechanisms of the functioning of the economy, but riding and taming them.
In fascism, the extreme forms of nationalism merged with separate, peculiarly interpreted elements of socialism, which gave rise to Hitler and his associates to talk about national socialism. In Germany, racism and nationalism have been turned into universal system-forming attitudes that determine the system of actions and thoughts of all members of society. The nation was viewed as a kind of synthesis of all material and spiritual valueswithout exception, and in this capacity, it was given priority over a single individual, groups, strata, classes. According to Hitler, “the realization of the will of the nation is of decisive importance, for only this will can be the starting point for political performances.” To consolidate the “miracle of the German resurrection”, which began in the 1920s, the party must, according to him, declare a cold war against class and class prejudice. Unlike the “bourgeois and Marxist-Jewish worldview,” Hitler revealed, the idea ofa national-socialist “people’s state” assesses “the significance of mankind in its basic racial terms.” A complete expression of this attitude was found in anti-Semitism.
The peculiarity of the fascist ideological and political construction was the identification, the organic fusion of the concepts of the nation and the nation-state, the latter’s characteristic as a racial organization. Here there was an actual apotheosis of the state. As stated, for example, one of the ideologists of Italian fascism, S. Nunzio, the state is the sole and ultimate source of power. The Fascists rejected any restrictions on the authority of the state. It is inherently integral and total, within its framework, there is no place for the private in isolation from the public one. This idea found a doctrinal expression in Mussolini’s following aphorism: “Everything is inside the state, nothing outside the state and nothing against the state.” The state was viewed as a legal embodiment of the nation, endowed with responsibility for determining the nature, goals and interests of the nation in each specific historical period. As a result, according to the just remark of R. Farnacci, fascism “identified the society with the nation, the nation with the state, economic activity – with political activity”.
The essential characteristic of fascism is the orientation toward unity, the total integration of all spheres of life in society without exception. This, in particular, was manifested in the denial of fascism by the most important, one might say, a central element of modern Western civilization – civil society and its institutions. An important condition for the establishment of fascism was the erosion of traditional social stratification, the achievement of cultural, social, moral, even ethnonational (in theory) homogeneity by destroying all associations, organizations, classes, estates, unions that could diversify a person’s manifestations, serve as shelter and support for him, or their complete submission to the state. Therefore, it is not surprising that in fascism the division between the state and civil society practically disappeared. The state dominated the society. Moreover, both community and the state are absorbed by a single mainstream party, which has become an axial institution of the state system. The party, in its turn, was wholly identified with its Fuhrer, or leader. Hitler declared: “The party is my particle, and I am part of the party”.
Following these ideas, all resources of the country, whether material, human or intellectual, without exception, were aimed at the achievement of a single universal goal: the establishment of the millennium Reich in Germany and the restoration of the greatness and glory of Rome in Italy. A single global goal determines mono-ideology in the form of a single state ideology. Everything that was not coordinated with one-sidedness about this goal was anathema and eliminated.
Initially, fascism was a complex of technical methods of conquest and retention of power by force. With fantastic flexibility, he subordinated all program questions to this single goal. Fascism permeated the installation, which exalted the militant spirit, army discipline, cruelty and direct action while rejecting any moral considerations as contributing to the weakening of the determination of the will. Proceeding from such attitudes, the ideologists of fascism maintained that the strong always prevails over the weak, more resolute over the indecisive. And, finally, everything depends on the leader, whose decisions must be obeyed and obeyed without delay and immediately implemented.
It is important to note here that fascism as a special socio-political phenomenon is impossible without a mass base. It assumes the complete and unconditional loyalty of an individual, society, regime, party and leader. The Fuhrer leader and the masses are fused together in an indissoluble unity: the Fuhrer leader depends on the masses to the same extent that they depend on him. Without him they will remain an amorphous mob, devoid of external representation, in turn, the leader himself, the Fuhrer without the masses, is nothing. In general, the fascist type of a person is a stateman, devoted to the state and entirely dependent on him. Thus, the Minister of Justice in the fascist government of Italy in 1925 GARokko characterized the social and political worldview of fascism as an “integral doctrine of sociality”. It is easy to see that instead of a liberal-democratic formula – “the state for a person” – another formula is proposed – “a man for the state.”
All this was intended to ensure the unity of man and society, the state, the party, the fusion of all structures of social life. Since not the state exists for people, but, on the contrary, people exist for the state, then an individual is sacrificed to the collective. Each remains alone with a huge omnipotent force of coercion. This, naturally, hinders the free manifestation of social forces. Conformism wins, the people turn into mass. Excessive custody of the state over its citizens inflicts irreparable harm to the energy, activities and moral character of people. The one who is constantly and strongly led, ultimately abandons his share of independence and responsibility, which he has. All this significantly reduces or at all eliminates the ability to critically analyze the realities of the modern world, the place of one’s country in the world, of oneself in a real social environment.
Due to their organic connection with the political struggle, the disputes between fascism and other ideological, political and ideological trends invariably acquired political content. This determined the intolerance and intransigence of his adherents to the positions and arguments of opponents – representatives of other trends and trends, fanatical in defending their positions and principles. Therefore, the extreme schematism and reductionism characteristic of the fascist consciousness, which reduce everything and everything to a single idea-truth, is fully understandable.
This led to a distorted interpretation of all socio-political phenomena and processes in the official propaganda of the fascist regimes. A one-dimensional approach to the explanation of the surrounding world was worked out using the formula “absolutely true against absolutely false”, “good against evil”, “light against darkness”. Means in this approach can’t be. The image of the enemy, a stranger, as some kind of subhuman, flawed in its essence, some fake, which is simply not a pity to offend, humiliate and even physically destroy, has been thoroughly developed. Such an approach sooner or later evolves into the concept of the crusade and the Manichean messianism, based on a sharp and uncompromising division of the world into spheres of the divine and the devil, conducting an irresistible line between good and evil. At the same time, the principle “who is not with us, is against us” is strictly enforced. Excluding the possibility of any compromise, this conspiracy theory does not leave room for forces holding a neutral position. Ideology is the cementing principle, and physical force, violence and terror as a means of realizing the goals.