Fascism and its Political Ideas


Fascism is a form of counter-revolutionary politics that first 
arose in the early part of the twentieth-century in Europe. It was a 
response to the rapid social upheaval, the devastation of World War I, 
and the Bolshevik Revolution. Fascism is a philosophy or a system of
government the advocates or exercises a dictatorship of the extreme
right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership,
together with an ideology of aggressive nationalism. Celebrating the
nation or the race as an organic community surpassing all other
loyalties. This right-wing philosophy will even advocate violent
action to maintain this loyalty which is held in such high regards. 
Fascism approaches politics in two central areas, populist and
elitist. Populist in that it seeks to activate "the people" as a whole
against perceived oppressors or enemies and to create a nation of
unity. The elitist approach treats as putting the people's will on one
select group, or most often one supreme leader called El Duce, from 
whom all power proceeds downward. The two most recognized names that 
go along with Fascism are Italy's Benito Mussolini and Germany's Adolf 
 The philosophy of Fascism can be traced to the philosophers 
who argue that the will is prior to and superior to the intellect or 
reason. George Sorel, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Georg Hegal are main 
philosophers who's beliefs and ideologies greatly influenced the 
shaping of Fascist theory. Sorel (1847-1922) was a French social 
philosopher who had a major influence on Mussolini. Sorel believed 
that societies naturally became decadent and disorganized. This decay 
could only be slowed by the leadership of idealists who were willing 
to use violence to obtain power. Nietzsche (1844-1900) theorized that 
there were two moral codes: the ruling class ( master morality) and 
the oppressed class (slave morality). Nietzsche believed the ancient 
empires were developed from the master majority and the religious 
ideas and views grew out the slave majority. The idea of the "overman" 
or superman which symbolized man at his most creative and highest 
intellectual capacity was brought about by Nietzsche as well. Hegal 
believed people should sacrifice for the community. He thought war was 
also necessary to unify the state, with peace bring nothing but a weak 
society. Hegal also sustained that laws should be made by the 
corporate organization of the state.
 Fascism values human nature in a group for the benefit of the
community. The group as a whole is called the human will, which is
ruled by a select group or one leader, with the power being passed 
down from top to bottom. Fascism seeks to organize an organization led 
mass movement in an effort to capture the state power. When the power 
is in the firm grip of the ruler, or IL Duce, the government will be 
used to control the population and everything in it so the community 
will be benefited.
 Fascism's ideal government would be fashioned around the good 
of the community or nation. Everyone would work for the benefit of the 
nation and that is all. Regularly this would take place with the 
merging of the state and business leadership, with concern only of the 
nation. In this the nation will also take care of its members if the 
need should arise. This could be money ,shelter, food, or any other 
need that might come about.
 The ideology of Fascism has been identified with 
totalitarianism, state terror, fanaticism, arranged violence, and 
blind obedience. Adolf Hitler established his own personal ideology, 
Mein Kampf, which means My Struggle. The book was written while Hitler 
was in prison and not yet in power. Mussolini fashioned his ideology 
after he took control of Italy. Despite their two different angles on 
the use of Fascism Hitler and Mussolini both worked similarly on how 
they established their principles in the same basic manner. Their 
principles came from basic responses to various issues the leaders 
 Fascism is an authoritarian political movement that developed 
in Italy and other European countries after 1919 as a reaction against 
the profound political and social changes brought about from 
inflation, and declining social, economic, and political conditions. 
Italy, which was ready for a new political aspect, was the birthplace 
of fascist ideology. Benito Mussolini was the man who brought this 
ideology to Italy. Mussolini had been looking for the perfect 
opportunity to take complete control of the country and now was the 
time to do so. Mussolini said "Fascism, which was not afraid to call 
itself reactionary.does not hesitate to call itself illiberal and 
anti-liberal" (Nazi Fascism and the Modern Totalitarian State) this 
statement can be easily recognized in the steps that Mussolini took to 
gain control of Italy. In 1919 Mussolini and his followers, mostly war 
veterans, were organized along paramilitary lines and wore black 
shirts as uniforms. After defeats at the polls Mussolini used his new 
financial backing friends to clothe a gang of thugs who would attack 
other street gangs supporting other ideologies that Mussolini 
disliked. These black shirts also vandalized, terrorized, bullied, and 
on occasion took control of self-governing governments by force. 
Paralyzed by these violent occurrences, the government did little to 
combat the fascists. Mussolini furthered his popularity by supporting 
eight hour days, elimination of class privileges, universal suffrage, 
and tax advantages. 
 Adolf Hitler's Nazi (National Socialist German Worker's Party) 
party is the most recognized example of fascism. Nazism is the 
ideology and policies of Hitler and his party from 1921 to 1945. 
Nazism also stressed the superiority of the Aryan race, calling for 
the unification of all German-speaking peoples into one single empire. 
Unlike fascism, the state was second in importance, behind only racial 
purity for the nation. Hitler used his book Mein Kampf to establish a 
plan of action for creating this racially pure state. 
 In January of 1933 Hitler was named Chancellor of Germany by
Hindenburg. By the end of the year Hitler had concentrated his power 
as a fascist dictator and began a campaign for a racially pure nation 
that eventually led to the Holocaust. In order for Hitler to maintain 
his ability to control the German people he had to organize several 
militia groups. Hitler even wrote down important points of the Nazi 
party that had to be followed. These Twenty Five points of Hitler's 
party were enforced by these militia groups.
 A few of the points made by Hitler are as follows: immigration 
of non-Germans must be prevented, no individual shall do any work that
would I any way hurt the interest of the community for the benefit of
all, a creation of a national (folk) army, all editors and their
assistants on newspapers published in German must be a citizen, and 
all material to be published must go through the government for 
approval. To keep control of the population and maintain the law, 
Hitler setup he set up militia groups to see that everything was in 
order. Hitler began to organize the SA, his Nazi storm troopers, which 
in Mein Kampf he referred to as ".an instrument for the conduct and 
reinforcement of the movement's struggle for its philosophy of life." 
(The Rise of Hitler: A New Beginning) Realizing the liking of uniforms 
by the German man the SA adopted a brown-shirt outfit, with boots, 
swastika armband, badges and caps. The accessories on the outfit would 
become important because of the visual tools providing easy 
recognition and visibility, allowing for an increase of notoriety in 
and out of the Nazi party. Hitler then created a special unit that 
would only answer to him and be his personal body guards. The elite 
groups was known as Schutzstaffel, the staff guard or SS for short. 
The SS took a black uniform , modeled after the Italian Fascists. 
Josef Berchtold, a former stationary salesman, was the groups first 
leader. The Gestapo, established in 1933, was a secret state police. 
All these groups were used to carry out mass murders of anyone or any 
groups that posed a threat to Hitler and the party's beliefs. They 
would also create, destroy, and falsify any record that would benefit 
the party and the nation.
 Hitler, using modern technology, furthered his power. He used 
the microphone, radio, and newspaper to create any appearance that 
fascism will be the new political power in the twentieth century. 
Hitler once said that "The great masses of people. will more easily 
fall victim to a big lie than to a small one." (Nazi Fascism and the 
Modern Totalitarian State) He accomplished this feat by use of the 
microphone, speaking to thousands at one time he was able to rally 
support for his cause. He used the power of the airwaves and print to 
setup a vial hatred of Jews, blacks, and the physical handicaps, 
calling them all imperfections of society and they must be destroyed. 
With the Jews being the main scapegoat of the Nazi party. Hitler could 
have held to his belief that the dehumanization and scapegoating of 
the enemy as an inferior race could have aided in the plot to justify 
genocide. Hitler used the media in the sense that he and his leaders 
had to approve anything that was being published. Allowing for 
selective material to be let about the party and other world events.
 Mussolini's Brown Shirts and Hitler's Nazi's are not the only 
right wing element to have an influence in today's society. There are
numerous other groups who have their own agenda to deal with. Even
though these groups have differences generally they do agree on 
certain main issues. With their core administration dealing with 
issues centering on anti-government. The issues are gun control, 
taxes, Constitution liberties, and federal regulations. These militia 
groups believe that the government is tyrannical, and there is a 
secret elite conspiracy on controlling the government, the economy, 
the culture, or all three. 
 Just as Hitler used the Jews as his scapegoat these militia 
groups have there own victims that the use. Federal officials and law 
enforcement officers, minority groups, gay and lesbian right 
activists, and people of color or immigrants are just a few of the 
escape whole the right-wing militia use. One of the most famous right 
wing militia movements in the United States is the Ku Klux Klan, or 
KKK as it is even better known as. The KKK is a militia group that got 
started during the disorder of the Reconstruction era. Now the Klan's 
political agenda are a number of things. They believe the United 
States government should protect the jobs and welfare of American's 
first, not just anyone in the third world countries. The Klan does not 
want to continue seeing America sell itself to foreigners such as the 
Japanese, America should be owned by Americans. Closing American 
borders to immigrants also is a project that the KKK thinks should 
handled by putting American troops at the border of Mexico.
 The idea that the end of the world is coming is rapidly 
growing in right wing religious groups. Leading the way is Pat 
Robertson and the Christian Coalition. Robertson and his Christian 
Coalition is credited in helping many of the Republican Senators and 
Congressmen attain their current standings. Robertson even believes by 
reading Revelation 13 that if America were to change its money by 
putting codes on it that it have in it the mark of the beast. Some of 
the states even have their own militia groups. The Michigan Militia is 
just one of the many individual groups. The Michigan Militia believes 
that the American government is undermining the individual freedoms 
that American's posses, and even selling out to international
organizations. The drug problem is one of the major areas the group
centralizes on. Even though the CIA has taken Noriega out of the drug
cartel in Panama the business is still running just as strong due to
other members of drug families were put back into power.
 Most of the people who choose to become part of these groups 
have several factors influencing their decision. Desperation generally 
is the main reason. They are people who barley are hanging on to their
finical and social status. Wanting to protect themselves and their
children from a life of poverty and hardship they join a group that 
will offer a family atmosphere of love and support. 
 One idea shared by all fascist movements is the evident lack 
of a consistent political standard behind the ideology. Each 
individual leader would handle every situation a little differently 
with no sense of tradition or law. However, one very commonplace 
aspect about fascism would be its unsympathetic drive to achieve and 
maintain state power and sovereignty. On that road to conquest though 
fascists are willing to abandon any principle to adopt an issue more 
in acceptance and more likely to gain converts.
 Fascism and its right wing counterparts have been influencing 
twentieth century politics in every area. Hitler and Mussolini are 
perhaps the two most noted people to bring fascism to the forefront of 
government. Regardless of the power and force fascism has established 
in the past the same conclusion happens every time, it fails. Leading 

a person to question the vitality of this type of government.


Baradat, Leon. Political Ideologies. New Jersey:
Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1994.

Berlet, Chip. Armed Wing Populism, and Scapegoating. 

Merkel, Peter. The Making of a Stormtrooper. New Jersey:
Princeton University Press, 1980.

Nazi Fascism and the Modern Totalitarian State.

Payne, Stanley. Fascism. Wisconsin:
The University of Wisconsin Press, 1980.

Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

The History Place: The 25 Points of Hitler's Nazi Party.

The History Place: The Rise of Hitler, A New Beginning.

The History Place: The Rise of Adolf Hitler, Nazi Party is Formed.


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