Read Fascism by Roger Griffin Online


No political ideology has had a greater impact on modern history, or caused more intellectual controversy, than fascism. It has been identified with totalitarianism, state terror, fanaticism, orchestrated violence, and blind obedience, and was directly associated with the horrors of the Second World War, which left more than 40 million dead and introduced inconceivable notNo political ideology has had a greater impact on modern history, or caused more intellectual controversy, than fascism. It has been identified with totalitarianism, state terror, fanaticism, orchestrated violence, and blind obedience, and was directly associated with the horrors of the Second World War, which left more than 40 million dead and introduced inconceivable notions of inhumanity. The mere mention of the term today evokes visions of atrocities and ineffable cruelty. Yet, the end of the twentieth century appears to have spawned a renewed interest in fascism, suggesting that it is time for us to examine our understanding of its ideas, ideals, and inequities. Edited by Roger Griffin, described as 'the premier theorist {of fascism} of the younger generation' (Contemporary European History), this important Oxford Reader demonstrates why fascism strongly appeals to many people, and how dangerous the result of this fascination may be. It includes a wide selection of texts written by fascist thinkers and propagandists, as well as by prominent anti-fascists from both inside and outside Europe, before and after the Second World War. Included are texts on fascism in Germany and Italy, on the abortive pre-1945 fascisms in more than a dozen countries around the world, on reactions to fascism, and on post-war and contemporary fascism. With contributions from writers as diverse as Benito Mussolini and Primo Levi, Joseph Goebbels and George Orwell, Martin Heidegger and Max Horkheimer, this compelling anthology provides insight into the depths and breadths of the destructive repercussions of fascist ideology. In no other volume will students of political theory, history, sociology, and psychology have access to such a compendium of key texts on this simultaneoulsy intriguing and frightening political force....

Title : Fascism
Author :
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ISBN : 9780192892492
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 432 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Fascism Reviews

  • Michael
    2019-03-19 00:23

    This was the book that introduced me to Griffin's thesis of the Fascist Minimum: "Fascism is a genus of political ideology whose mythic core in its various permutations is a palingenetic form of populist ultra-nationalism." After defining those terms in the Introduction, the rest of the book consists of primary source documents that prove it. Newcomers to the debate may be surprised to learn that Griffin does not include Franco's Spain or "Islamo-fascism" under his definition, or that he does include texts by Julius Evola and Ernst Junger (today largely "rehabilitated" by intellectuals). Also here are introductions to Fascist writers from such under-studied examples as Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Ireland, South Africa, Chile, Brazil and Japan. Outside of political science and to a lesser degree history, the word Fascism has largely become an ill-defined epithet for forces opposed to an equally ill-defined "freedom." To understand what it is that you advocate, it is necessary to understand what you oppose.

  • Mackenzie
    2019-03-18 00:41

    This book is FASCINATING. I read it for a class on fascism I took in college - it's a compilation of excerpts of texts written by various fascists and representing the various forms of fascism as it has manifested itself in different geographical locations. It gets right to the heart of fascism at its best, complete with some REALLY crazy stuff preached by some fairly eccentric people in their very own words(three cheers for primary docs). My jaw dropped several times while reading.

  • Scriptor Ignotus
    2019-03-10 05:32

    I'm accustomed to hearing the word "fascist" thrown about as an epithet; particularly when the speaker is referring to a politician with whom he disagrees. It is, however, a signature of our wayward times that the term is being applied to prominent public figures in the United States and abroad; this time not as an insult, but as a descriptor. The label has been given to Donald Trump and his hardened cadre of supporters, who seem to embrace him more tightly as his rhetoric becomes more outrageous and disconnected from reality. The same can be said of President Duterte of the Philippines, whose brutal methods for dealing with the country's drug problem may not be legal, but are nonetheless widely popular. The anti-immigrant and specifically anti-Islamic rhetoric of some of the "Brexiteers" of the United Kingdom and Geert Wilders' political party in the Netherlands have likewise attracted the label, as their prominence has grown in light of the European migrant crisis. Marine Le Pen's National Front has long been a notable right-wing presence in France, but it has received extra attention as that afflicted country, mother of Jacobinism and prototype for the secular liberal democratic nation-state, has become a favorite target of Islamic fundamentalists. Much of the western world seems gripped by insularity; a tightening of borders, a hardening of hearts, a sense that expansion has been retarded by the corrupt, the bureaucratic, the condescending, and the stupid. A conviction that the socio-political status quo has been maintained by a global elite who care more for the advancement of their personal agendas than for the wellbeing, or even the basic security, of the people they govern. The promise of globalization seems not to have been kept. Economic growth has not led to proportional wage increases or employment opportunities. Automation and outsourcing have decimated previously stable livelihoods. Mass immigration has left some people feeling like aliens in their own communities. In such times, when prosperity seems to have become a zero-sum game, where else can the disoriented turn than to that old staple of political and economic order, the nation-state? Thus, as we mark the centennial of the battle of the Somme, nationalism is back; and with it, the echoes of that most derided and peculiar of nationalist ideologies: Fascism. But what exactly is Fascism? People think they know it when they see it. Violent rhetoric, censorship, a charismatic leader supported by paramilitary organizations which operate outside of any normal, legal political process. These are all common elements of Fascist regimes, but none of them are exclusively Fascist trademarks; no single political goal or structure testifies adequately, on its own, to the Fascist worldview. Roger Griffin, a British academic and one of the world's leading authorities on the intellectual history of Fascism, provides an intellectually sound but verbally opaque definition: Fascism, he says, "is a genus of political ideology whose mythic core in its various permutations is a palingenetic form of populist ultra-nationalism." What does that mean? The key is in the term "palingenetic". Palingenesis is the archetypal concept of rebirth, as it appears in various world mythologies. In the context of Fascism, palingenesis is applied to "populist ultra-nationalism". Fascist movements tend to envision themselves as ushering in a "rebirth" of the nation, conceived of as an organic entity composed of people bound by ethnic kinship. This myth of rebirth, of the transition from the old and decrepit to the new and vibrant, carried out by the immortal living organism of the nation, is the core of Fascist ideology. Fascists in politics have taken any number of political stances to advance their pragmatic interests; even when those positions have flatly contradicted one another. But the running constant behind the political posturing is always the palingenetic myth. Uniquely among twentieth century ideologies, Fascism has proclaimed itself as an anti-rational and anti-materialist movement. It is a politics of the poetic intuition, and as such it stands in opposition to Marxism and liberalism, which concern themselves with the proper arrangement of powers through a rational judgment of mundane material interests. Fascist idealism sounds pseudo-religious in nature, but Griffin holds that as a thoroughly modernist ideology, Fascism lacks the truly transcendent properties of any traditional religion. The nation exists in the body of humanity, and its myth is enacted by and for humanity. In Italy and Germany, the Fascist myth reached its efflorenscence with the First World War. Even before the war broke out, political radicals of all stripes saw the prospect of total war not as the fruitless calamity it would become in the eyes of future generations, but rather as an exciting opportunity for national renewal. The petty politics of the old regimes would be swept aside as entire nations mobilized for war and fought not for wealth or power, but for the glory of the nation, sealing the national bond with their blood. The soldiers who took part in the war would be seen by the Fascists as a type of vanguard class; a class untainted by partisanship and which served only the nation as a mythical expression. The "trenchocracy", as Mussolini would call them, were taken to be inherently apolitical, and were thus the only ones capable of carrying out the total revolution envisioned by Fascist movements.A majority of the texts in this reader are various expressions of the faith Fascist intellectuals had in the rebirth of their respective nations, and the decadence and corruption of the old order. Futurists, traditionalists, and syndicalists alike shared this concept, and their appearance here as apologists for Fascism is a testament to the nebulousness of the Fascist idea; and how that nebulousness was utilized to brew a lethal cocktail of anti-capitalist, anti-liberal, anti-democratic, anti-communist, and anti-semitic sentiment to form the most notorious political ideology in history.

  • Rebecca
    2019-02-26 06:27

    This was a bit like an annotated bibliography with samples. I understood his reason for choosing to include many short excerpts rather than fewer longer examples of fascist discourse, but I found it hard to buy his argument about the "mythic core" of fascism based on such edited selections. I also found the long introductions to each text quite interesting, but again, I was frustrated by the shortness of the examples he gave. The historical organization is good, and the breadth of coverage is remarkable. I was glad he included a section of anti-fascist works from the 1930s-1960s, including Willhelm Reich. The excerpt from Primo Levi at the end was great. It's definitely a valuable resource for people doing research on the history of fascism, anti-fascism, /or other far-right political movements.

  • Kersplebedeb
    2019-03-06 07:30

    if someone had told me that they were doing a book on fascism which would consist of quotes by various fascists, i'd have told them to not bother, but to his great credit Griffin has compiled one of the best resources i have come across to understand fascism as a body of ideas.

  • Anthony
    2019-02-24 08:28

    For those that are wanting a real and in depth understanding of fascism as it existed in its historical context via a neo-fascist point of view this is probably not the book to start with although it does give a general overview of variations of fascist thought, definitions, and classifications which shows the complications inherent in the attempts to arrive at a comprehensive and all inclusive categoration of what defines fascism as a political ideology. The compiler and commentator doesn't himself believe that there is any such thing as a "fascist doctrine" (which is so broad it can encompass a variety of multitudinous ideas) and argues that the core description of fascism is the idea of a society being reborn from a degenerative state, something he calls palingenetic ultra-nationalism. He also includes a few common motifs found in fascist literature and movements such as the conception of the nation-state as being organic and its ingroup/outgroup mentality. Also annoying, but expected is the author's obligatory liberalism and hostile condemnatory attitude toward fascism permeating throughout the book. He condemns fascism and all the ideas associated with it (ultra-nationalism, the belief that Europeans, Western Civilization, and white people have collective interests and a "right" to exist-which is a "right" and viewpoint that is not only unquestionably accepted when applied to non-Western and non-white cultures and peoples, but even considered morally wrong to reject when applied to them-and ridicule toward notions such as the European New Right's argument that the modern world's pathological obsession with breaking down racial and cultural barriers and all becoming one uniform mass of consumers with no essential racial differentiation between them is actually inherently contradictory to their religious devotion to "diversity" and "differences") claiming it is a utopian fantasy still endangering society while never questioning the "non-utopian" ideal of the sexless, multi-cultural, multi-racial, "everyone is the same and interchangeable," biology-less liberal society that he advocates.Ultimately, the main thing in this book that I found useful are the selections from fascist thinkers who I hadn't heard of before so that I can now go find and read the primary source from which they were quoted from. This anthology is also a good representation of the very mediocre quality of fascist scholarship.

  • Ben Cullimore
    2019-03-19 00:36

    Fascism is arguably the most comprehensive and in-depth collection of writings ever compiled on what is a poorly-understood and under-researched ideology. As one of the world's leading experts on the subject, Roger Griffin has brought together a wealth of fascinating and wide-ranging examples of fascist thought and presented it in a book that meticulously explains their origins whilst also examining the impact that they had on future movements. Particularly interesting are the writings produced by leading members of post-Second World War fascist movements, which had to come to terms with the defeat of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini whilst attempting to create a new and evolved branch of fascist thought.Throughout, Griffin's concise introductions help to give background and context to each of the excerpts presented, and he brilliantly explains the examples of the similarities between the wealth of movements that are examined within the book. This is particularly interesting when viewing examples from forgotten outposts such as Finland, Chile, and Portugal, all of which were home to fascist groups that were largely ineffective and short-lived but nonetheless shared certain similarities with one another.Despite the wealth of examples presented, it still remains difficult to define what "fascism" is as a political ideology. Griffin himself states that what he calls the "palingenetic myth" is evident as a "fascist minimum", and this can arguably be witnessed in the philosophies espoused by the all of the movements covered. Nonetheless, as each example shows, fascism, or what we believe it to be, is an ideology that has transformed and mutated since the roots were laid at the end of the nineteenth century, resulting in it continually taking on new forms in an attempt to remain relevant in an ever-changing world.

  • Edward Smith
    2019-02-23 08:36

    Fascism is probably one of the most poorly understood ideologies, despite the enormous impact it had on the 20th century. Griffin has created a work which has contained the writings of dozens of various fascist movements across the globe, in which the fascists describe their ideals themselves. Griffin purposefully excludes writings from the Nazi party (which has its own book dedicated to it), and instead contains those of Italian Fascism, the Romanian Iron Guard, and the Croatian Ustache for example. Griffin is widely considered to be an authoritative source in the field, yet he does a good job in letting the works stand by themselves without intensive subjective editorials. Griffin does a great job in approaching the subject from a fresh approach in an emotionally intense debate. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to gain insight in the ideology and intellectual current of fascism, a movement whose impact is still felt in the world we live in today.

  • Hilary
    2019-03-09 02:48

    This book was an interesting collection of primary source documents (introduced in *very* dull segments) that all have something to do with fascism. The author states that collecting together fascist documents has never been done before (probably due to the unpopularity of the topic) and so I see a definite value to this book. The low rating I gave the book has simply to do with the fact that I have discovered I really don't care about the history of fascism -- so the primary source documents are stiflingly dull to me. If you're fascinated by fascism, this book will be an invaluable resource to you.

  • Matko
    2019-03-21 04:42

    An excellent collection of text excerpts of fascists thinkers. Recommended for introductory classes on fascism.