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Comparison and Definition

Stanley G. Payne

Publication Year: 1980

“An impressive review of reputed fascist movements, at once setting them apart from other authoritarian nationalist organizations and bringing them together within a qualified generic category.  Running throughout the volume, and valuable to readers at every level, is a careful critique of the major debates that divide scholars on this most unintelligible ‘ism’ of them all.  Payne precisely defines issues, cites the best literature in the major European languages, and offers with moderation and intelligence his own conclusions on the question.”—Gilbert Allardyce, American Historical Review

Published by: University of Wisconsin Press

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pp. vii-viii

The purpose of this book is not to provide another description of fascism but to wrestle with some basic problems of definition and comparison. The general bibliography on fascism is extensive, especially in the areas of Germany and Italy, and there are a number of works that provide descriptions of the principal fascist movements. ...

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1. What Do We Mean by Fascism?

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pp. 3-21

The unprecedented disaster that was World War I swept away much of the basis of nineteenth-century liberalism and opened an era of revolution and political conflict more intense than any seen before or after. One of the major new revolutionary forces, Russian Communism, was a direct development of nineteenth-century European Marxist ...

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2. Some Historical Antecedents of Authoritarian Nationalism in Europe

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pp. 22-41

At first glance it might be assumed that the origins of the twentieth-century authoritarian right lay in the first reactions to the eruption of liberal and leftist forces during the French Revolution and its aftermath. While there are undeniable links between the new authoritarian right of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and those ...

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3. The Fascist and National Socialist Movements

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pp. 42-67

It was for long commonly held that the the doctrines of Italian Fascism could not be systematically discussed because neither movement nor regime possessed a coherent ideology. Yet neither the fact that the Fascist Party never achieved a fully unified formal ideology nor that the Mussolini regime failed to follow or enforce a completely ...

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4. The Mussolini and Hitler Regimes

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pp. 68-104

A major obstacle to any definition of Italian Fascism is the problem of differentiating between different phases both of the movement and of the regime. Emphases and orientation shifted considerably from one phase to the next, and valid generalizations are difficult to establish. During the first phase, from the March on Rome to the ...

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5. Other Movements and Regimes

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pp. 105-138

The emergence of Fascism stimulated radical nationalist politics in other parts of Europe and provoked several direct imitations, among them the Romanian Fascist Party of 1923 and Georges Valois's "Le Faisceau" of 1924. The advent of authoritarian government in Italy also served as a definite encouragement to the Primo de Rivera ...

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6. Post-fascist Survivals: Spain and Portugal

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pp. 139-160

The long-lived Spanish and Portuguese dictatorships, which survived until 1974-75, have constituted another problem for students of generic fascism and the national authoritarian states of Europe. Though fairly typical products of the new politics of the fascist era (or in the case of the Portuguese Estado Novo, technically antedating the ...

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7. Fascism Outside Europe?

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pp. 161-176

Whether or not political forces with the primary characteristics of European fascism have emerged to any significant degree elsewhere has been problematic for some analysts, though it has posed no problem for the observer who assumes that any form of anti-Marxian authoritarianism is intrinsically fascist. The dilemma has been ...

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8. Theories of Fascism

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pp. 177-190

Ever since the March on Rome, political analysts have tried to formulate an interpretation or theory capable of explaining the phenomenon of European fascism. As the only genuinely novel form of radicalism emerging from World War I, and one that seemed to involve multiple ambiguities if not out-right contradictions, fascism did not readily lend itself to ...

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9. Generic Fascism: A Conclusion

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pp. 191-212

It has been amply demonstrated that few problems in recent European history have generated more controversy than the interpretation of fascism. The controversy centers mainly on two issues: one is the search for adequate theories or interpretations that can "explain" fascism and its causes, as surveyed in the preceding chapter; the other involves the...

Reference Matter

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pp. 213-214

Bibliographical Note

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pp. 215-218


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pp. 219-234

E-ISBN-13: 9780299080631
Print-ISBN-13: 9780299080648

Publication Year: 1980