Why is this worth doing?
Elective affinities of Italian and German fascisms as seen by English speaking scholars. This is the subject I want to understand better, and possibly talk about it in civic education and in radio programmes. As a convinced small-is-beautiful-European with an Austro-German-Italian background, I want to find out about what „our fascisms“ might have had in common right from the beginning, as analysed by 21st Century English-speaking historians and political scientists. Many Germans, most Austrians, and almost all Italians tend, for various and understandable reasons, to refrain from comparing their fascisms.
My assumption is that public discourse civic education dialogue and contemporary history teaching, especially in formerly contested bilingual frontier areas can only benefit from widening and changing perspectives by up-dating themselves on international „fascist studies“ and concepts of „generic fascism„, as debated by scholars such as Roger Griffin, Philipp Morgan, Richard Bessel, Roger Eatwell, George Mosse, Stanley Payne, Robert Paxton, Aristotle Kallis, MacGregor Knox, Manfred Mann, John Pollard, Christopher Duggan, Walter Laqueur, Richard Bosworth, Richard Evans, Ian Kershaw et.al.
I will have succeeded when…
…the product of this my enquiry, however small, will be accepted, as a reasonably thoughtful but accessible, original but useful stimulus to fruitful dialogue and debate, especially between Italian and German speakers, on the nature of fascism – and on the global need to establish and strenghten some sort of „early-warning systems“ within our societies, and indeed inside our individual minds and hearts, to prevent anything similar coming back in whatever modern „fascion“.