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10 Fascism Outside Europe? Whether or not political forces with the primary characteristics of European fascism have emerged elsewhere has been a problematic question for some analysts, though it has posed no problem for the observer who assumes that any form of anti-Marxian authoritarianism is intrinsically fascist. Primary candidates for a non-European fascism have been variously identified in Japan, South Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. JAPAN The issue has been most acute in the case of Japan, because of its aggressiveness in World War II and its association with Germany and Italy. The existence of "Japanese fascism" was detected by Soviet writers as early as 1934,' and most Marxist commentators have applied this interpretation to Japanese government and institutions of the 1930s ever since.2 A slightly different formulation has been made by other Japanese and Western social scientists, who point to the growing bellicosity and authoritarianism of the Japanese regime during those years and argue that fascism is a valid label to define regimes that become aggressive and authoritarian during the industrialization of a non-state socialist system.3 I. O. Tanin and E. Yohan [pseuds.l. Militarism and Fascism ill Japan (New York. 1934). 2. Cf. references in G. M. Wilson. "A New Look atthe Problem of 'Japanese Fascism:" in Reappraisals ifFascism. ed. H. A. Turner Jr. (New York. 1975). 199-214. and T. Furuya. "Naissance et developpement du fascisme japonais." Revue d'Histoire de la Deuxieme Guerre Mondiale 86 (April 1972): 1-16. 3. This approach takes diverse forms in such works as R. A. Scalapino, Democracy and the Party Movement in Prewar Japan (Berkeley, 1953); R. Storry, The Double Patriots (Boston. 328 Fascism Outside Europe? 329 George M. Wilson has argued that the concept of "Japanese fascism" is mistaken, insofar as no political movement arose to seize power and formal Japanese constitutional authority remained nominally intact, while a certain amount of political pluralism, together with parliamentary elections, continued to exist.4 Gregory J. Kasza, the keenest Western analyst of Japanese authoritarianism , has further expanded this critique. He summarizes the arguments of those who reject the concept of a Japanese fascism under five categories: 1. The concept is inadequately defined. 2. It suffers from what one Japanese scholar called the deficiency theory: that is, the absence of a single party, a Duce or Fuhrer, and so on. 3. It has been applied indiscriminately, without differentiating between various groups and sectors. 4. It has sometimes been motivated by political and/or wartime, rather than scholarly, concerns. 5. It is particularly closely identified with Marxist interpretations of recent Japanese history.s Those who continue to employ the concept of Japanese fascism readily admit differences from Europe, and so they often modify the term as "military fascism" or "emperor-system fascism." Opponents stress instead the continuation of traditional authoritarianism, similarities between Japan and other third world and developmental dictatorships, and the fact that the Japanese system was an emergency wartime expedient, or else they adopt a radical nominalism which defines the Japanese system as uniquely Japanist or Japanese right 1957); idem, "Japanese Fascism in the Thirties," Wiener Library Bulletin 20:4 (Autumn 1966): 17 ; and M. Masso, "The Ideology and Dynamics of Japanese Fascism," in Thought and Behavior in Modern Japanese Politics. ed. I. Morris (London, 1963),25-83. Ivan Morris has edited a compendium of some of the main interpretations under the title Japan. 1931-1945: Militarism. Fascism. Japanism? (Boston, 1963). The most recent formulation of this approach by an American scholar will be found in A. Gordon, Labor and Imperial Democracy in Prewar Japan (Berkeley, 1991). See also H. P. Bix, "Rethinking 'Emperor-System Fascism': Ruptures and Continuities in Modern Japanese History," and G. McCormack, "Nineteen-Thirties Japan: Fascism?" both in Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars 14:2 (April-June 1982): 2-14, 15-34. One ofthe most extended discussions in Japanese is Yamaguchi Yasushi. Fuashizmu (Tokyo. 1979), which argues for the concept, distinguishing between fascist ideologies, movements, and regimes. According to G. J. Kasza, "'Fascism from Above'? The Renovationist Right in Wartime Japan," forthcoming, 24-25, Yamaguchi finds a common identity in the negatives of antiMarxism , antiliberalism, anticapitalism, anti-internationalism and anti-status quo. 4. Wilson, "New Look"; P. Duus and D. Okimoto, "Fascism and the History of Prewar Japan: The Failure of a Concept," Journal ofAsian Studies 39:1 (Nov. 1979): 65-76. 5. Kasza," 'Fascism from Above'?" 2-5. The categories presented represent my summary of Kasza's analysis. 330 PART...


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