Applied Social and Political Philosophy
What is fascism? Where did it come from? How is it affecting us today? These questions have come out of our class discussion of Mussolini and Hitler’s fascism ideals. I plan to flush out these questions and help myself have a better understanding of this form of government.
Let us start with the first question, what is fascism? Fascism is a form of government which: endorsed a centralized government (dictatorship) that is engaged in the economic and social planning, refused individual freedom, glorified individual sacrifice for the greater good of the state, and expressed the individual as an integral part of the state. In class we discussed the following four characteristics of fascism:
1) The spiritualization of politics
2) The need of a dictatorship
3) Nationalism with respect to geography, history, and culture
4) Action, the need of violence.
Fascism as a movement was the impulse to renew, to interpret certain needs, certain stimuli and certain themes of renovation. It was that spark of revolutionary fervour that was within fascism it self and that tends to construct something new. Finally fascism as a regime is the politics of Mussolini, it is the result of a political program that whether desired or not tended to make fascism just the superstructure of the personal power of a dictatorship, of a political party that in many was become merely the inheritance of a tradition.
In regards to the second question, where did fascism come from? According to Renzo De Felice, the idea of fascism came out of the great depression. It was presented as a new idea something better than the current form of democracy. The democratic form of government was poorly suited to address the difficult times because it placed emphasis on individualism and majority rule. This ideal was inconsistent with the peoples need for a strong centralized planning body....