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Home > Books, History, Quotes, Reading > What I’m Reading: The Anatomy of Fascism – 23 in a series – “Fascisms seek out in each national culture those themes that are best capable of mobilizing a mass movement…”

What I’m Reading: The Anatomy of Fascism – 23 in a series – “Fascisms seek out in each national culture those themes that are best capable of mobilizing a mass movement…”

October 16th, 2019

 

“Fascisms seek out in each national culture those themes that are best capable of mobilizing a mass movement of regeneration, unification, and purity, directed against liberal individualism and constitutionalism and against Leftist class struggle.

These “mobilizing passions,” mostly taken for granted and not always overtly argued as intellectual propositions, form the emotional lava that set fascism’s foundations: • a sense of overwhelming crisis beyond the reach of any traditional solutions; • the primacy of the group, toward which one has duties superior to every right, whether individual or universal, and the subordination of the individual to it;

• the belief that one’s group is a victim, a sentiment that justifies any action, without legal or moral limits, against its enemies, both internal and external;60
• dread of the group’s decline under the corrosive effects of individualistic liberalism, class conflict, and alien influences;
• the need for closer integration of a purer community, by consent if possible, or by exclusionary violence if necessary;
• the need for authority by natural leaders (always male), culminating in a national chief who alone is capable of incarnating the group’s destiny;
• the superiority of the leader’s instincts over abstract and universal reason;
• the beauty of violence and the efficacy of will, when they are devoted to the group’s success;
• the right of the chosen people to dominate others without restraint from any kind of human or divine law, right being decided by the sole criterion of the group’s prowess within a Darwinian struggle.”

 

From The Anatomy of Fascism by Robert O. Paxton

Anatomy fascism

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