Europe's Century of Discontent: The...

With the demise of the Soviet Union and the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe, a number of questions regarding the conventional understanding of totalitarianism could now be viewed in the new light. The classical studies of totalitarianism were undertaken when Nazism and Fascism had been vanquished, while the Soviet system still existed: this created an asymmetry which could now be overcome. The ideological Cold War edge which sometimes accompanied debates about totalitarianism was similar

FROM COUNTER- ENLIGHTENMENT TO REVOLUTIONS OF THE 20TH CENTURY 7 and the Fascist Grand Council spoke of “ the revolution of October 1922.” 7 An assertion of the particularity of Fascism was all the more urgent as a revolution was also taking place in Russia. One therefore had to show how the Fascist revolution differed from the Soviet revolution both in its nature, content and purpose. But the use of a novel terminology which struck the imagination was equally urgent and necessary for another reason on which I cannot elaborate here but which should not be overlooked: the Fascists came to power through a process of semi- legality if not of legality, which, at least in the first years, was most embarrassing for a movement which considered itself revolutionary. In October 1922 Mussolini put together, with the backing of all the élites, a classic coalition government, which many heads of the Fascist National Party felt as a kind of betrayal. For that reason also one had to emphasize the novelty of the enterprise. That is why the concept of totalitarianism was supposed to bring out, above all, everything that distinguished a classical revolution, a revolution as conceived by the nineteenth century, from a revolution of the new era. Mussolini had stated it very clearly in 1917, taking up ideas which had germinated and matured in him and the militants close to him several years previously: “ The Revolution is not chaos, it is not disorder; it does not touch all activities and all corners of social life, as is claimed by the extremist idiots of some countries...” 8 Mussolini had been the leader of the left wing of the Italian socialist party, but he was not a disciple of Lenin. On the contrary, to state like François Furet that “ Italian Fascism arises out of Communism” 9 is not only contrary to the facts, but makes as much sense as saying that it emerges from democracy, for if there would not have been democracy there would probably have been no Fascism. In this context, one should remember – for it tends to be forgotten – that in the period between the two World Wars, European socialism still remained faithful to the idea of a classical revolution. In the Congress at Tours in 1920, the Congress which witnessed the split in French socialism and the founding of the Communist Party, Léon Blum, known for his 7 Claudio Schwarzenberg, Diritto e giusttizzia nell’italia fascista, Milano: Mursia Editore, 1977, p. 77. 8 Benito Mussolini, “ Viva Kerensky,” Il Popolo d’Italia, 26 July 1917, in Edoardo and Duilio Susmel ( eds.), Opera Omnia, Florence: La Fenice, 1972, vol. 9, pp. 77– 78. 9 François Furet, op. cit., p. 213. See also pp. 39, 195– 199 and the whole of chapter 6.   C h a p t e r Home  | T O C

Europe's Century of Discontent: The Legacies of Fascism, Nazism and Communism


About Book Europe's Century of Discontent: The Legacies of Fascism, Nazism and Communism

Front matterTitle PageCopyrightContentsPrefacePart One. THE THEORETICAL DIMENSIONFROM COUNTER-ENLIGHTENMENT TO THE REVOLUTIONS OF THE 20TH CENTURYTHE CONCEPT OF TYRANNYTHE DECAY OF THE NATION STATE AND PEOPLES SOVEREIGNTY: THE ORIGINS OF TOTALITARIANISM REVISITEDPart Two. IDEOLOGY AND POLITICAL DYNAMICSTAKING FASCISM SERIOUSLYThe Disappearance of FascismThe Originality of Fascism: The Old QuestionsNew QuestionsTaking Fascism SeriouslyTodayNAZISM, COMMUNISM AND THE MORAL CONSEQUENCES OF THE INEFFABILITY OF MEMORYRHETORICS OF HIERARCHY: ON LINGUISTIC AND IDEOLOGICAL PREMISES OF TOTALITARIAN FASCISMTHE CHARACTERISTICS OF FASCIST REGIMES: ELITES, SINGLE PARTIES AND POLITICAL DECISION- MAKING IN FASCIST ERA DICTATORSHIPSPower and Political Decision-Making During SalazarismMussolini and Italian FascismHitler and German National SocialismConclusions: Where is Fascism as a Political Regime?Part Three. THEORY AND REALITYSLOGANS RATHER THAN CONVERSATIONTOTALITARIAN REGIMESIntroduction1. The Evolution of the Concept of Totalitarian Regimes: A Critical Review2. A Typology of Political Regimes3. Types of Totalitarian Regimes4. The Stability of Totalitarian Regimes5. Totalitarian Regimes of the Twentieth CenturyReferencesPart Four. THE COMPARATIVE DIMENSIONTHE PROBLEM OF THE PARTY IN A POLICE STATE : NAZI AND SOVIET COMPARISONSThe Place of the PartyThe Politics of Mass ParticipationConclusionsIDEOLOGY AND CONTINGENCY IN TOTALITARIANISMS VIOLENCE: A COMPARATIVE APPROACH OF NAZISM, COMMUNISM, FASCISM TOTALITARIANISM : FROM AN INSTRUMENTAL TERM IN THE PUBLIC DEBATE TO AN ANALYTICAL CATEGORY THE INTERWAR DEBATE IN FRANCEThe Comparison Between Fascism and Communism: Natural Weapon of the CentristsA Refutation of ExtremismToward the Creation of an Academic CategoryPart Five. AFTERMATH AND LEGACIESEQUALITY OF VICTIMS EQUALITY OF REGIMES?THE AMBIVALENT LEGACY OF FASCISM IN ITALYANTI-EXTREMISM, NEGATIVE REPUBLICANISM, CIVIC SOCIETY: THREE PARADIGMS FOR BANNING POLITICAL PARTIESIntroductionI. Anti-extremismII. Negative RepublicanismIII. Civic Society: Towards a New Abstraction?IV. ConclusionIN LIEU OF AN EPILOGUE: IDEOLOGY AND REALITY IN NAZISM AND COMMUNISMLIST OF CONTRIBUTORS
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