Freso's Reviews > Fascism

Fascism by Kevin Passmore
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bookshelves: fascism, history, non-fiction, political-theory, nazism, far-right, yes-i-read-theory

This feel more like “a very short introduction” to the History of Fascism than just the concept of Fascism, though I get how the two are intertwined and how the concept of ‘fascism’ is muddied due to its history.

I enjoyed the read and I enjoyed all the history (a lot of which I wasn’t directly familiar with), but I have even less of an idea about what ‘fascism’ is now than I did before reading it… but also maybe more of an idea of the many ways it can look? 😅

TL;DR (aka my personal takeaway):
“Fascism”, like most other named ideologies, have been used by a bunch of different people/groups to mean a bunch of different things, so defining it can be tricky, and in many cases it can be better to put more descriptive labels on things (such as “racist”, “totalitarian”, etc.). At the end of the day, a movement’s danger lies not in whether or not it can accurately be called “fascist” or not, but in the actual harms it perpetuates and puts in effect (or seeks to, anyway).

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Quotes Freso Liked

“A proper scholarly method is intrinsically antifascist, in that it treats sceptically what fascists regard as beyond criticism.”
Kevin Passmore, Fascism: A Very Short Introduction

“Socialists blended into a wider radical tradition, which had rarely favoured rights for women and had sometimes been xenophobic. This exclusionary sub‐current became more pronounced in the late 19th century in opposition to Marxism, for Marxism stressed internationalism and factory workers rather than the people in general. Simultaneously, the emergence of feminism brought out implicit misogyny. Consequently, some socialists shifted from left to right.”
Kevin Passmore, Fascism: A Very Short Introduction

“Economic difficulty coincides with a sense of cultural disadvantage. Work no longer provides identity and status for many young men. Given cultural pressure to consume conspicuously, and the linkage of consumer goods to sex appeal, poor young men feel left out. They resent governments that are more inclined to tackle discrimination on grounds of gender, race, or sexual orientation than they are to deal with class inequality—doubtless governments ignore class inequality because it alone is intrinsic to capitalism.”
Kevin Passmore, Fascism: A Very Short Introduction

“The availability of workers to the far right may owe something to the fact that from the 1990s many socialist parties embraced the neo‐conservative agenda.”
Kevin Passmore, Fascism: A Very Short Introduction

“History also shows that the oppressiveness of racism is exacerbated by its arbitrariness. No one has shown that differences between people living on opposite sides of national boundaries, which were usually the result of dynastic accident or the fortunes of war, are related to ‘deep psychology’ or genetics. Neither has anyone shown that tiny genetic differences of people with different skin colour have any effect on cultures. Moreover, the differences within nations are as great or greater than those between nations. Yet the very vagueness of their principles permits racists to adapt their ideas to whatever purpose they espouse.”
Kevin Passmore, Fascism: A Very Short Introduction

“Racism is a prejudice erected into a system.”
Kevin Passmore, Fascism: A Very Short Introduction
tags: racism

“Far‐right movements promise to respect the advances made by women but they attack feminists, and they advocate policies that would actually remove many gains.”
Kevin Passmore, Fascism: A Very Short Introduction

“Anyway, the question of whether or not the modern far right’s stance is ‘fascist’ has no bearing on the moral acceptability of its proposals. For instance, would the expulsion of non‐whites from a country be more acceptable if it was the work of a non‐fascist government?”
Kevin Passmore, Fascism: A Very Short Introduction

Reading Progress

June 7, 2021 – Started Reading
June 7, 2021 – Shelved as: fascism
June 7, 2021 – Shelved
June 7, 2021 – Shelved as: political-theory
June 7, 2021 – Shelved as: non-fiction
June 7, 2021 – Shelved as: history
June 13, 2021 –
page 21
June 13, 2021 –
page 25
June 23, 2021 –
page 32
July 7, 2021 –
page 43
July 11, 2021 –
page 55
July 12, 2021 –
page 67
July 21, 2021 –
page 91
August 10, 2021 –
page 120
August 11, 2021 –
page 134
August 12, 2021 –
page 148
August 12, 2021 – Shelved as: nazism
August 12, 2021 – Shelved as: far-right
August 12, 2021 – Shelved as: yes-i-read-theory
August 12, 2021 – Finished Reading

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