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Lecture 5

Political Science 1020E Lecture 5: Lecture notes - Fascism – Nov 24

Political Science
Course Code
Political Science 1020E
Charles Jones

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Fascism Nov. 24th
Fascism: Why should we care?
“Fascism was the major political innovation of the 20th century and the source of much of its
pain” Max Patterson
Origins of Fascism
Early 20th century in Italy
Milan, spring 1919: violence, murder
Speech by Mussolini: March 23, 1919
Attack on socialism and rule of law: in the name of the nation
April: attack on socialist newspaper by fascist thugs
Fascism: Some Features
“Fasces” – an axe encased in a bundle of rods
Signifies the unity of the state (bundle) and the authority (axe)
Strength through unity
An image of an axe in a bundle of robs
Totalitarian idea that state should be all-encompassing
Everyone should be totally loyal to the state
Dictatorship; violence towards those against state terror; politicization of all institutions
Reactionary not appealing to reason or rationality but reacts against liberalism, socialism
Promotes radical change
Revolution from left is met with violence from the right
Cult of Leadership sadistic, semi-sexualized cult of leader
Mass Mobilization through a monopolistic political party
One party state
Right to associate is denied
Destruction of all intermediate organizations (such as trade unions - socialist idea of promoting
workers’ interests)
Abolition of privacy tell on friends, neighbours, family
Rule of law replaced by arbitrary violence
“Rule of law and not of men” is totally rejected
Use of violence and regime of terror
A terrorist state
Background ideas
1789 is dead
Rejection of reason, liberty, equality
Dominated by divisions
Non-liberal form of nationalism
Explicitly irrationalist
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