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Polisci 1020E- Facism.docx

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Political Science
Political Science 1020E
Charles Jones

Why Should We Care About Fascism? “Fascism was the major political innovation of the 20 thcentury, and the source of much of its pain.” — Robert Paxton  need to understand the history to understand how you got where you are Features  „fasces‟ refers to the bundles of rods bound together (people united together) with the axe on the head (an axe head) that went before Ancient Rome o representation of political authority o symbol of social unity (bundle of rods) and political leadership (axe head)  totalitarian: total control from the top down of all aspects of the society o don‟t allow anyone other than the leader to make decisions o every group in the society is subject to the state itself o only have one source of identity— the power at the top (State) o demands total loyalty of the people to the State, the ruler o suggests use of State terror  reactionary o reacts to liberal, socialist and conservative views o liberal: individual freedom? no o socialist: classes? no o Maistre: if people are pushing for revolution from the left, it should responded to with violence o fundamental thing is that people are in awe of the state  cult of leadership  mass mobilization through a monopolistic political party o individuals are an amorphous mass to be mobilized o no place where individuals can express their views in the public forum o people are recipients of the rules made by the State  destruction of all intermediate organizations (eg. Trade unions) o two levels: top and bottom  abolition of privacy o think Big Brother o leads to abolition of family ties  rule of law replaced by arbitrary violence Background Ideas  counter-enlightenment o people are dominated by difference: race, religion, culture, nationality, sex o anti-liberal, anti-intellectual o revolt against ideas o “1
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