The Period Of Fascism Essay

Question:

To what extent is fascism a danger, or a reality, in today's world? How closely does it fit with Gentile's account of fascism? (In answering, be concise. You can't cover everything, but focus on what you think most needs saying. Also, quote as little as possible.

Answer:

Fascism has its origins in Italy; during the First World War Mussolini founded the “National Fascists Party”. The word has been derived from "fasces" or "fascio littorio" which indicates a bunch of rods or sticks tied together with an axe, it is an ancient Roman symbol for the authority of Magistrate.

Fascism strives in the societies where there is military rule, where the authoritarian leadership holds the power of the nation; it exercises its power over the trade commerce, military, over the laws and regulations of a country[i]. Fascism also does not support democracy, under this rule the people of that nation has a very little freedom of speech, rights, equality and liberty. This kind of a rule supports a single party headed by a single figure possibly a dictator. A fascist country tends to keep away from the world and having an order of their own.

Fascism can come back in the present time; there are a number of political parties in Europe who follow anti Semitic, racist, and anti immigrant policies, these parties in power also isolate their countries from the world and maintain a closed economy [ii]. Some of these political parties are, National Front in France, Freedom party in Austria, Golden Dawn in Greece. The rise of these parties might have been a response to the rise in Islamic terrorism, which is spread worldwide and also due to the growing economic issues in the Europe.

As for the United States of America (USA), there have been promises made to return America to its former glory, and people are afraid that the country is moving towards an authoritarian rule [iii]. The people are getting ready to face a situation where their freedom would be revoked and their economic conditions would deteriorate. Although there is very less chance that USA will become a fascist state as the country has several forms of checks and regulations imposed on it in the various levels of the government, but there are possibilities that Fascism can take over USA.

Gentile’s idea of Fascism was drawn from the ideologies of Marx, Kant, and Hegel. He wrote his book “A Doctrine of Fascism” for Mussolini, in which he said "mankind only progresses through division, and progress is achieved through the clash and victory of one side over another” [iv]. He believed that people progress through the existence of various groups in the society and one group has to gain upper hand by defeating the other group. The fascists had this idea that they are doing things for a purpose which would serve for the betterment of their nation.

In the current scenario of the world, there are few instances where the features of Fascism are evident, but the extreme characteristics of Fascism which was present in the philosophy of Gentile cannot be established in any of the scenarios. At the same time if these nations or parties who display the characteristics of Fascism are allowed to grow it can lead to a complete Fascist rule.

References

Gregor, A. James. Interpretations of fascism. Routledge, 2017.

James, Harold, and Jakob Tanner, eds. Enterprise in the Period of Fascism in Europe. Taylor & Francis, 2017.

Kagan, Robert. "This is how fascism comes to America." The Washington Post Online (2016).

Gregor, A. James. Giovanni Gentile: Philosopher of Fascism. Routledge, 2017.

How to cite this essay: