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Essay/Term paper: What is fascism and why does it emerge?

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Political Science

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What is Fascism and Why does it Emerge?

The purpose of this essay is to explain what fascism is and why it emerges.

Fascism is a political ideology that consists of an all powering totalitarian
government, which has total control of the people, the nation and the economy.
The fascist economic system creates an upper class for the owning/ruling class
and leaves the working class in a lower state who in turn produce for the elite.
To justify themselves as beneficial to the oppressed lower class, the fascist
installs an extreme sense of Nationalisms and organicism. If these method do
not work then force is used. Fascism emerges out of economic crisis, a
revolutionary promise and reaction to capitalism. It is often allowed to
emerge because it is usually easy to get support from the upper class.

The fascist political structure consists of a totalitarian government with an
extreme sense of absolutism. Absolutism is the principle of a absolute power in
control with power that transcends even the laws itself, under the control of
one main dictator who carries traits of of a geniuses or of a hero. This way
the masses can be drawn into him through emotion and appeal. With the
totalitarian government the fascist has total control of the nation and the
people.

Along with the fascist total ruling over the people and nation came its total
ruling over the economy. Although different fascist have had different economic
structures, all regimes more or less, have had the same model. The main defining
character of the fascist economy is the principle of goverment-buisness
relationship. Like the first fascist regime in Italy, its leader created a
system where private ownership was allowed but state intervention was issued on
management and labour. He did this by creating grouped established syndicates,
such as "The National Confederation of Commerce" or the "The National Federation
of Credit and Insurgence". The government then controlled these under managing
agencies called "Corporations" which in turn would regulate issues and
guidelines such as supply and demand, labour disputes or what interest the
business is to aim at. Although the system is supposed to function as a
partnership, the government is always in control and dominate.

Although the fascists claim this system is in the interest of the nation, it is
only in the interest of more empowerment for the government. Due to this
system both the states interest and the interest of the owning class are
integrated which creates an elite. Therefore the development and technology
only serves the interest of the elite and not the working class which is to be
convinced to interact with promoting the sense that there dedication is
necessary for the wellbeing of the nation.

Nationalism is a force which the fascist uses to eliminate conflict between
social classes and restore unity through shared values such as race, language,
religion and unifies men through symbols and traditions of a nation. It reduces
the risk of liberal individualism and focuses on funnelling aggression into a
powerful force and channelling it against outsiders so individuals will not
question the state.

Nationalism often relies on the use of a scapegoat. The most blatant example of
this was Hitler's scapegoating on the Jews. He would blame them for the defeat
of Germany in World War 1, or claim they were the downfall of Germany. Hitler
took this idea to an extreme and later went on to ethnic cleansing which
resulted in the death of 6 million Jews.

Another method of motivating the masses is to present the concept of organicism.
Organicism is the theory of viewing a nation like a growing powerful single body.
It focuses on the idea that the body is made up of individual components all
having individual functions, but are unimportant, and only important as a whole
body. The fascist applies this principle to the notion that the individual is
unimportant as a single person but significant in the fact that it's a component
of the community and the interest of the state which is the superior element of
exisistence. The fascist feels that all means for the state are justifiable
and "there is no room for detachment from the cause, for neutrality or for the
luxury of being a mere spectator"(Growth, 97). The fascist also uses this
principle in justifying the rationality of the fascist economic system with
demoralising the image of the individual as a person producing for himself, and
not for the community as he should be.

If nationalism and organicism do not supply enough motivation to create a
dominant ideology, the fascist resorts to "tapping deeper levels of motivation"
(...,19) and uses coercive force. They try to achieve a goal of breaking down
the individual spirit of liberalism and will resort to violence ways if
necessary.

The other use of force that the fascist utilises for conformity is to misinform
the masses or not inform them at all. Examples of this can either be the
dismissal of civil rights such as freedom of speech or assembly or controlling
the means of informative sources such as newspapers television and other sorts
of communication. These are tactics the fascist utilises if the population does
not consent to the government.

Fascism emerges as a response to capitalism. It is a revolutionary promise to
rehabilitate a nation in economic depression or unemployment by uniting and
focusing the economic power of all social classes. This in turn is to
restabilise a nation economically. It utilises the principle of nationalism to
try to unite the social classes and if that does not work it resorts to force, "
a coercive method of resolving conflicts within an industrially more advanced
society"(Ebenstein,81). Usually fascism reinvests economic gain into its
military with the hope of trying to mobilise the nation to its full capacity.
This system of government usually emerges when other forms of government have
failed. Where democracy lacked in a sense of hope and faith, fascism excelled.
Post war Germany, Italy and Argentina in 1955 can all exemplify this theory of
emergence:

After World War 1, Italy had a poor economy and its national identified
diminished. To build the nation and strengthen it economically was to create a
state the would take full control to accomplish this, the people were desperate
for a solution.

World War I also effected Germany in an economic sense. It left the country
bankrupt, millions were jobless and the Treaty of Versailles left the nation
with reparations. The national socialists and communists were the two main
parties at the time. The Nazis utilised their economic plan to restore the
nation winning mass appeal which enabled them to implement their plan of
imperialistic conquest which was Hitters real goal.

Another period in which the economic condition enabled fascism to emerge was
Argentina in 1930. It was at this time a predominantly agricultural nation.
The conflict was landowners who were a comparison of feudal barons. There was
also the trend of world wide depression and the emergence of an anarchist
movement that aimed at direct appropriation of farm and land ownership. This
attempt at unifying the South American country was overthrown ten years later.

Another factor that helps the fascist come into power is mass support from the
owning class. They see fascism as way of securing their wealth and corporations,
and see it as protection from labour disputes. They support the fascist into
office and then they themselves claim power as an elite.

In conclusion the fascists main concern is power. They take total control over
the people and all issues of the nation by totalitarianism. The economic system
is only in the interest of the state, creating an elite class and therefore
oppressing the lower classes who are made to believe in the nation while its
there blood and sweat that produces for the government, and if they do not they
are violently forced. The only reason this type of government emerges is
because it appears as a solution to economic crisis in time of despair and gets
support from the powerful upper class which benefit from it, the lower class are
oppressed.


Kaspersion 6 Works consulted

Aston, E.B "The Fascist and his State of Mind". New York: William Morrow and
Co., 1937 ed.

Cohen, Carl "Communism Fascism and Democracy". New York:Random House, 1963.

De Felice, Renzo "Interpretations of Fascism". Cambridge, Mass: Harvard
University Press, 1977.

Ebenstein, Alan O. "Today's Isms" New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1985

"The Fascist Beast" Economist, Apr 9' 1994.

Groth, Alexander. J "Major Ideologies: An Interpretation Survey of Democracy,
Socialism and Nationalism". Toronto: John Willy and sons INC., 1971.

Kolinsky, Martin "Social and Political Movements In Western Europe". London:
Croom Helm, 1976.

"The Comparison from the Existence of Communism to the Community of Existence"
Political Theory, August 19995.


 

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