From Academic Kids

Neo-Fascism is the term used to describe a range of groups emerging after the Second World War that display significant elements of Fascism, or Clerical Fascism.

Groups and movements that also include as core tenets racial nationalism, antisemitism, and praise for Hitler, are discussed on the page Neo-Nazism. Groups and movements that are constructed around a religious identity or theology are discussed on the page Neofascism and religion. Template:Fascism Allegations that a group is neofascist are often hotly contested. Sometimes the terms is used as a hyperbolic political attack that uses the term fascism as a politic epithet or slur.

The definitional debates and arguments by academics over the nature of fascism fill entire bookshelves. Most scholars consider Fascism to be an authoritarian political movement, and it is generally considered to be part of, or in coalition with, the extreme right. First adopted in Italy during the 1930s, Fascism spread across Europe between World War One and World War Two. Neofascism is the term used to describe fascist movements active after World War Two.


Neo-Fascism and Italy

Organizations that have been described as 'Neo-Fascist' include;

Since the 1990s, Alleanza Nazionale has distanced itself from Mussolini and fascism and made efforts to improve relations with Jewish groups, with most die-hards leaving it; it now seeks to present itself as a respectable rightwing party. Lega Nord is primarily a secessionist movement, but has often been accused of xenophobia and racism; however, it has also lately presented its goals as a more moderate quest for local autonomy.

Neo-Fascism and the United States

Critics making this claim come from a variety of political viewpoints.

From the Right

A small number of libertarians and ultraconservatives argue that the U.S. has been imposing afascist system of government since the New Deal.

While Mussolini cartelized Italian industry with his "Fascist Confederation of Industry," critics argue that Franklin D. Roosevelt cartelized US industry under the National Recovery Act, using populist rhetoric to mask fascist structures. Even theorists such as Gabriel Kolko saw some parallels between Mussolini, Hitler, and Roosevelt.

The central argument is that while similar to state socialism in its authoritarianism, fascism prefers state control over ostensibly private property rather than nationalization as carried out by Roosevelt. According to Joseph R. Stromberg:

"More recently, historians have taken a second look at the actual structural parallels in these corporatist experiments. While it is now generally agreed that corporatism survived the demise of fascism, it can also be asked whether fascism survived its supposed death. In 1954, Hofstadter chided those who had worried about "several close parallels" between FDR’s N.R.A. and fascist corporatism. There are more than "several" parallels. In 1944, John T. Flynn made the case in "As We Go Marching," where he enumerated the stigmata of generic fascism, surveyed the interwar policies of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, and pointed to uncomfortably similar American policies.
For Flynn, the hallmarks of fascism were:
  • 1) unrestrained government;
  • 2) an absolute leader responsible to a single party;
  • 3) a planned economy with nominal private ownership of the means of production;
  • 4) bureaucracy and administrative "law";
  • 5) state control of the financial sector;
  • 6) permanent economic manipulation via deficit spending;
  • 7) militarism, and
  • 8) imperialism (pp. 161-62).
He proceeded to show that all these were alive and well under the wartime New Deal administration (pp. 166-258). Pragmatic American liberalism had produced "a genteel fascism" without the ethnic persecutions and full-scale executive dictatorship seen overseas." - Joseph R. Stromberg, Fascism: Déjà Vu All Over Again (

From the Left

In several essays, David Neiwert has explored the rise of what he calls "Pseudo-Fascism." He concedes that "American democracy has not yet reached the genuine stage of crisis required for full-blown fascism to take root" and thus " the current phenomenon cannot properly be labeled 'fascism.' But he warns:

But what is so deeply disturbing about the current state of the conservative movement is that it has otherwise plainly adopted not only many of the cosmetic traits of fascism, its larger architecture -- derived from its core impulses -- now almost exactly replicates that by which fascists came to power in Italy and Germany in the 1920s and '30s.
It is in this sense that I call it Pseudo Fascism. Unlike the genuine article, it presents itself under a normative, rather than a revolutionary, guise; and rather than openly exulting in violence, it pays lip service to law and order. Moreover, even in the areas where it resembles real fascism, the similarities are often more familial than exact. It is, in essence, less virulent and less violent, and thus more likely to gain broad acceptance within a longtime stable democratic system like that of the United States.
And even in the key areas of difference, it is not difficult to discern that those dissimilarities are gradually shrinking, and in danger of disappearing.
That this is happening should not be a great surprise. After all, as I've already explored in great detail, the mainstream conservative movement has increasingly had contact with the genuine American proto-fascists of the extremist right over the past decade or more, particularly in the trafficking of ideas, agendas and the memes that propel them. [1] (

External links

Other Critiques

One of the most widely circulated arguments implying the U.S. shares some similarities with fascism is the article by Lawrence Britt.

Britt argues that "fascism’s principles are wafting in the air today, surreptitiously masquerading as something else, challenging everything we stand for." Britt looked at the "following regimes: Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Franco’s Spain, Salazar’s Portugal, Papadopoulos’s Greece, Pinochet’s Chile, and Suharto’s Indonesia. To be sure, they constitute a mixed bag of national identities, cultures, developmental levels, and history. But they all followed the fascist or protofascist model in obtaining, expanding, and maintaining power. Further, all these regimes have been overthrown, so a more or less complete picture of their basic characteristics and abuses is possible" [2] (

1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism. 2. Disdain for the importance of human rights. 3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause. 4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism. 5. Rampant sexism. 6. A controlled mass media. 7. Obsession with national security. 8. Religion and ruling elite tied together. 9. Power of corporations protected. 10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated. 11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts. 12. Obsession with crime and punishment. 13. Rampant cronyism and corruption. 14. Fraudulent elections.[3] (

External links


Few mainstream analysts take seriously the claim that the United States is fascistic. Even harsh critics of U.S. domestic and foreign policies generally argue that this claim relies on mis-definitions of fascism to make comparisons seem more palatable.

External links

Organizations and movements

Organizations that also have been described as 'Neo-Fascist,' with varying degrees of justification, include the following.

See also

Academic surveys

  • The Beast Reawakens by Martin A. Lee, (New York: Little, Brown and Company, 1997, ISBN 0316519596)
  • Fascism (Oxford Readers) by Roger Griffin (1995, ISBN 0192892495
  • Fascism in Britain: A History, 1918-1985 by Richard C. Thurlow (Olympic Marketing Corp, 1987, ISBN 0631136185)
  • Fascism Today: A World Survey by Angelo Del Boca (Pantheon Books, 1st American edition, 1969)
  • Free to Hate: The Rise of the Right in Post-Communist Eastern Europe by Paul Hockenos (Routledge; Reprint edition, 1994, ISBN 0415910587)
  • The Dark Side of Europe: The Extreme Right Today by Geoff Harris, (Edinburgh University Press; New edition, 1994, ISBN 0748604669)
  • The Far Right in Western and Eastern Europe by Luciano Cheles, Ronnie Ferguson, and Michalina Vaughan (Longman Publishing Group; 2nd edition, 1995, ISBN 0582238811)
  • The Radical Right in Western Europe: A Comparative Analysis by Herbert Kitschelt (University of Michigan Press; Reprint edition, 1997, ISBN 0472084410)
  • Shadows Over Europe: The Development and Impact of the Extreme Right in Western Europe edited by Martin Schain, Aristide Zolberg, and Patrick Hossay (Palgrave Macmillan; 1st edition, 2002, ISBN 0312295936)



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