Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 February 2021
This chapter examines how establishment sectors, ranging from the right to the moderate left, responded to the rash efforts of radical left-wingers to replicate Lenin's revolutionary success in Russia in a wide range of countries. Fearful of Communism, status-quo defenders everywhere squashed these precipitous uprisings. For this purpose, they employed excessive violence and resorted to significant "overkill." This reaction was driven by cognitive heuristics, which inspired an overestimation of the extreme-left threat and which activated loss aversion and thus prompted a disproportionately drastic response. Going beyond repression, the reaction to this early riptide of left-wing revolutionary efforts included the emergence of fascism in Italy, which arose in direct struggle against leftist contention; and the imposition of authoritarianism in Hungary, which followed upon a failed "Soviet Republic." The chapter provides substantial analyses of these two cases and explains why different types of autocracy emerged in these two countries.