The Anatomy of Fascism
It is a feeling of resentment and the desire to impede or destroy the resented group. It glorifies its own state or ethnicity and accepts violence as a Darwinian prerogative. A few days ago I saw a Facebook post that brought this home. A simply dressed and groomed young women sitting in a rural area with ...more
"Fascism may be defined as a form of political behaviour marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of inte ...more
Paxton defines fascism as "the major political innovation of the twentieth century" and also the source of much of its agony. He largely avoids discussion of fascist rhetoric, seeing it as woolly-headed and empty, and instead classifies fascist groups based on their actions. His approach is mo ...more
2. Creating Fascist Movements
3. Taking Root
4. Getting Power
5. Exercising Power
6. The Long Term: Radicalization or Entropy
7. Other Times, Other Places
8. What is Fascism?
Hugely and interestingly informative and a very useful addition to my library. It is measured and reasonably balanced and the author doesn’t use words lightly. If Robert Paxton calls you a fascist – well, you really are one! He has little time for people who label indiscriminately pot ...more
Definition seeks to analyze five stages of a fascist organization: movement formation, obtaining legitimacy, obtaining state power, exercising same, and terminal radicalization. Analysis is well presented and sharp, looking at the available historical samples under these respe ...more
It is not a fight for policy....it is a fight for the soul.
Don't let the title of this book scare you off.
It was interesting, well structured and most importantly accessible
for every reader.
I learned so much that had been missing from my other
history books about the period 1919 (start of fascism) up until the present.
Paxton's book stops at 2005...but I know that parties as FN in France has
Robert O. Paxton endeavors to answer the question "what is a fascist?" by examing the actual traits of fascist regimes. In brief, Paxton states that fascism is a political movement motivated by a sense of national decline and humiliation. A mythic, or ...more
It was in part to answer that qu ...more
I picked this out of a reading list for a number of reasons, including my concerns about the election and the rise of fascistic groups sometimes call the “alt-right,” my own background (a grandfather who fought in the trenches for Germany in WW I), and a desire to understand if the U.S. might be slipping into fascism. The book is very much an academic tome and is heavily footnoted - in no small part because of the enormous volume of writing on the topic of fascism and fascist movements that foll...more
Paxton's basic point, which he makes convincingly, is that fascism is better defined by what fascist movements do than by what they say. They may make any number of ideological pronouncements, but they tend to ignore or change them as is convenient (for example, Mussolini at first advocated equal rights for women and Hitler was silent on ...more
Paxton's approach in this book is different than the usual when discussing totalitarianism: rather than specifying bare minimums of what constitutes a fascist regime the author observers and analyzes historical, political and cultural facts about regimes deemed or deeming themselves fascist (most notably Mussolini's Italy, Hitler's Germany and Franco's Spain).
The book's bibliografy is huge: it constitutes about 40% of the whole book ...more
This book has a wealth of information on Hitler and Mussolini, and the ins and outs of their respective regimes. It goes into great detail on these regimes in particular, whilst also looking at fascist precursors, less successful fascist groups in other countries, and modern neofascists.
The only issues I have with it are that Paxton doesn't spend very long on more modern fascist groups and their implications, and that he repeats himself a lot; to the extent that I believe the book coul ...more
As someone who got probably a pretty decent overview of both World Wars in high school by contemporary standards but has supplemented it with additional ...more
What stands out about the rise of fascist states is how, ultimately, they all seem to follow the same template. I am not about to claim our current president is a fascist, but he definitely exploited certain tropes. Right now, I don't believe he has, sadly, any ...more