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

8 ZEEV STERNHELL moderation, had no doubt about the matter: “ For traditional French socialism,” he said, “ revolution means the transformation of a régime based on private property into a régime based on collective or common property. That is what it means.” 10 This text still carried authority in the 1930s, in the debate with the right wing of the Socialist Party, the “ neo-socialists,” who were in the process of sliding toward Fascism. The old-style revolution, of the kind which had been carried out in Russia, looked back to the great revolution at the end of the eighteenth century which in the space of a few months had overthrown political and social structures as old as royalty itself. Robespierre, Saint- Just and Baboeuf were its heroes, the two Paris Communes – that of 1793 and that of 1871 – its ideal. This revolution was to be carried out on behalf of the working class and in its name, and sometimes perhaps even by the working class, according to a concept that might well have begun to have been put into practice in 1905. From this point of view, the men surrounding Mussolini claimed an absolute originality: they were about to make an unparalleled revolution. The idea of a revolution of a new kind was not a product of the war. This idea was the product of a reality which had preceded the war by a good quarter of a century, and of which everyone, and especially the socialists, was perfectly conscious: namely, that capitalism had not produced the class- consciousness of which the young Marx had spoken, and the proletariat had ceased to be a revolutionary force. Three major solutions were put forward to the problem posed by this situation: the Bernstein solution, the solution provided by Lenin and the one which, in two respects, was the most original – that of the revolutionary Syndicalists, some of the most eminent of whom were among the founders of Fascism. Not only was Marx’s economic oeuvre questioned by these people, but also the revolutionary capabilities of the proletariat: since the proletariat had proved not to have been a revolutionary force, it was believed that some other social force would have to carry out the revolution. From 1912 onwards, Mussolini accepted the full consequences of the revision of Marxism carried out by the hard core of the revolutionary Syndicalists throughout the first decade of the century: the conclusion was that there was no 10 Quoted in Zeev Sternhell, Mario Sznajder and Maia Asheri, Naissance de l’idéologie fasciste, Paris: Gallimard, 1994, p. 527.   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 PEOPLEÌS SOVEREIGNTY: THE ORIGINS OF TOTALITARIANISM REVISITEDPart Two. IDEOLOGY AND POLITICAL DYNAMICSTAKING FASCISM SERIOUSLYThe Disappearance of FascismThe Originality of Fascism: The Old QuestionsNew QuestionsTaking Fascism Seriously÷TodayNAZISM, 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 TOTALITARIANISMÌS 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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