No final solution, not even to the fascist question

von macchiato

This blogger is now even more convinced then at the start of this half a year ago, that a text-only but trilingual weblog, offering insight and examples on a subject as intricate as comparative fascist studies by English speaking scholars, can be an innovative original and useful additional instrument to exercises in intercultural and multiperspectival history teaching and civic education.

This blog does not claim to cast a new light on this subject. It is about time to confirm this quite frankly, after more than a hundred posts on it. Together they form nothing more than an eclectic syncretic and synthetic collection of necessarily incomplete and imperfect flashlights on comparative Anglophone fascist studies for educational purposes.

There is of course, a very broad,  very general consensus to be registered

– on the „Italianity“ of the first fascism that came to power,

– on Nazism being the most murderous relative of it,

and on some features which all fascisms had in common, e.g.

– revolutionary ultranationalism,

– religion-like style symbolism and „believers“ activism,

– fervent anti-individualism and anti-Marxism,

– autocratic leadership and authoritarian centralist regimentation,

– „cathartic“ cult of brutal repression violence war and expansion,

– state-of-the-art propagandistic and psychological domination


But the author would not go much further, as far as Anglophone scholar’s consensus is concerned. Each time he met yet another fresh perspective opened by altogether two dozen Anglophone scholars, his natural reaction was: this one is at least as „essential“ as the one before. Almost all of them convinced him in their own way. But this blogger really can detect no real specific big consensus on the most intricate questions raised by extremely contested phenomena such as fascism.

If there is a conclusion he is drawing from compiling this collection, after the relevant reading and interviewing, it is this: not many really incompatible views, but no all-encompassing conclusion either, here and now. So, no „final solution“ of the „fascist question“.

Why all this wealth of lively pluralism in Anglophone fascist studies should seem deplorable to some, escapes the author’s attention. In his view, this is -and has to stay- an open-end debate. Incidentally, that is precisely the reason why he holds a blog to be a logical and original way to go about it, serving the above-mentioned horizon-widening cause.