Fascism has been defined as a political ideology and movement which took place in several parts of central, southern, and Eastern Europe between 1919 and 1945 (Kitchen, 2009, p, 2). Fascist parties and movements rose to power in many nations between 1922 and 1945: the National Fascist Party in Italy, led by Mussolini. Fascists witnessed WW1 a revolution which brought huge changes to the nature of war, community, nation, and technology. Fascists were of the idea that liberal democracy is of no importance, and regard the complete mobilization of community under a totalitarian one-party nation as necessary to prepare a country for armed conflict and to respond to economic challenges (Simonetta, 1997, p, 23). Fascism is against the idea that violence is negative and sees political violence, 7 war, as a way of attaining achieve national rejuvenation. Fascists support a mixed economy, whose main aim to achieve autarky through protectionist and interventionist economic programs (Griffin, 2013).
Charles-Marie-Photius Maurras was a French author, poet, and critic. Maurras was an organizer and the philosopher of Action Française, which was a political movement which was a monarchist, anti-parliamentarist, and counter-revolutionary. His ideas significantly impacted National Catholicism. One significant tenet of integral nationalism by Maurras as “a true nationalist places his nation before anything” (Renton, 1999). Maurras ideologies impacted many far-right views and also anticipated certain ideologies of fascism.
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician, journalist, and leader of the National Fascist Party. He constitutionally ruled the nation till 1925, when he shifted away from every pretense of democracy and established legal dictatorship. Mussolini and his cronies unified their power through a series of laws which changed the country into a one-party dictatorship. Within 5 years, Mussolini had set up a dictatorial authority through legal and extraordinary means and went on to establish a totalitarian state (Payne, 1995). He came up with many public construction initiatives and government programs in Italy to tackle economic setbacks & unemployment levels.
The link between, Maurras or Le Bon in Mussolini and Papini
- The two wanted/advocated for a nation which is free, stronger and which is longer controlled by any nation or by their past. Moreover, they were against the idea of their nation been under the shadow of foreign powers (Griffin, 2013). They held the belief that their nation is well capable and in a position to look after and fend for itself and utilize its resources so as to build a stronger and great future for their nations.
- They believed that no other foreign power but itself has the freedom and right to determine the interest of their nations. They believed that revolutionary nationalism for freedom, wellbeing, physical and intellectual growth, progress and pride of their nation lies with the citizens of their nations (Griffin, 2013).
- These two leaders took it upon themselves to bring to an end the aspect of illiteracy, they constructed roads, railway systems and communication lines. They established laws which were intended to educate the citizens of their nations. Still in line with aspect, they closed down several educational institutions which added no value to the people.
- The two leaders were ready to go to war to ensure the total freedom of their nations and that the foreign powers were kept at bay from controlling any section/part of their nations. This was meant to ensure total freedom from the control of any foreign power.
- The last connection of these two is that they were deeply focused on improving economic growth of the various sectors of their nations like tourism and agriculture.
Why fascists found Spencer and other philosophers so attractive?
Philosopher has been defined as one who practices philosophy that entails logical inquiry into sections which are outside either theology or science (Costa, 2009). In a classical sense, they are people who live in a particular way, focus on solving existential questions regarding human conditions.
Fascist were attracted to Philosopher because they provided an ideal vehicle which was used to realize the goal of national renewal. According to one philosopher, Alfredo Rocco (1875-1935), he believed that the issues faced by a nation can only be solved a strong and supra person and who establishes hierarchical structure which was similar to Italy’s Roman past. Fascists and Philosophers share almost similar ideologies on how nations should be run (Griffin, 2013). It is based on this reason that fascists get attracted to Philosophers since they are share similar point of views.
Herbert Spencer who was a philosopher has had numerous influence within the political arena. He was noted to be the originator of libertarians and anarcho-capitalists (Mark, 2014, p, 58). Herbert Spencer supported the notion that people are masters of their own fate hence they need to brook no interference from foreign powers. He went on to note that those who require to witness social development needed to have a firm central authority. This arguments by Spencer are similar to what Fascist are fighting for, freedom from the control of foreign powers, hierarchical structure of governance and social development.
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