Tuesday, September 3, 2019

European Fascism Essay examples -- European Fascist Regimes

Fascism is both an outgrowth of and a reaction against nineteenth-century liberalism. Nineteenth-century liberals argued for laissez-faire economics, the equality of men (and it was, explicitly, men), and the universality of human progress and human reason. Underlying all of these ideals was the sanctity of the individual. By the 1920s, though, these liberal ideals were challenged (Paxton 36-41). Laissez-faire economics led to dingy, heartless industrial towns; anthropological research called into question the equality of all people; economic crises threatened to drop the newly emerging middle-class into the proletariat, arguing against progress; and the mass annihilation of human life in the Great War eroded belief in rationality. Fascist regimes developed in response to the crumbling world view of the West. Fascists offered a â€Å"national revival in which racial purity, mass fervor and authoritarian rule somehow reinforced one another† (Paxton 218). By defining the nation in opposition to other races, fascists promoted a sense of inclusiveness and security. The idealization of the nation as an organic being promoted jingoistic fervor and a sense of worth. Finally, the authoritarian figure (always a man) was reminiscent of older, and therefore more secure, forms of rule—the father figure or the monarch. Fascists offered remedies to what many saw as the disease that was modern culture. These fascist themes—racial purity, mass fervor, and authoritarian rule—are held together by one common principle: the degradation of the individual and concomitant exaltation of the group. This principle is a reaction against liberal ideas that lionize the individual. The mechanism by which fascists degraded the indiv... ...f fascism, can we afford it? These five authors answer a resounding no. Works Cited Blackstone, Bernard. Virginia Woolf: A Commentary. London: Hogarth, 1949. Camus, Albert. The Plague. Trans. Stuart Gilbert. New York: Vintage International, 1991. Horkheimer, Max, and Theodor Adorno. â€Å"The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception,† in Dialectics of Enlightenment. New York: Seabury Press, 1972: 120-167. Leser, Esther H. Thomas Mann’s Short Fiction. Cranbury: Associated University Press, 1989. Mann, Thomas. Mario and the Magician. Trans. H. L. Lowe Porter. New York: Knopf, 1931. Parker, Emmet. Albert Camus: The Artist in the Arena. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1966. Paxton, Robert O. Europe in the Twentieth Century. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1985. Woolf, Virginia. Three Guineas. London: Hogarth, 1977.

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