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What does “radical right” mean in China? If it is difficult to understand its meaning in the political discourse of twenty-first century China (as the current CCP regime claims to represent the left and the liberalist forces the right), we could understand it as an enduring ideology specific to the Chinese context in the Republican era. In particular, the Chinese Youth Party with its version of national socialism can be a good lens through which to view this ideology. Incorporating my interview with Mrs. Zhao Yusheng, a minor member of the CYP, I define the “radicalness” and the “right-ness” of the CYP first, and then discuss its historical and historiographical importance in the making and unmaking of the Chinese radical right from the early 1920s to late 1940s.
Chapter 18 of Earthopolis: A Biography of Our Urban Planet explores cities’ role as creators and creations of totalitarian states on the left and the right and the march toward humanity’s most horrific acts of self-destruction and “urbicide” during World War II. The chapter begins with a section on the promising urban gender, sexual, and racial revolutions of the 1920s that opened up new urban spaces of pleasure and expression for many people who had lived far more circumscribed roles before. Nonetheless, totalitarians found ways to leverage many different urban spaces into power. They rebuilt cities to strengthen their grip, then to arm themselves for a war of annihilation. New facilities devoted to drilling for petroleum, transporting it, and refining it became central to the course of the war. Acts of mass imprisonment, torture, and racial extermination led to the construction of some of world history’s most horrific built spaces. Meanwhile, the aerial bombing of cities and civilian neighborhoods became routine, culminating in fire bombings and the nuclear explosions in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
This article focuses on Italian schools in Scotland during the Fascist ventennio. The Italian-Scottish case study will be helpful to understand one of the principal means, the schools, that the Fascist regime used from the early 1920s in order to preserve the Italian identity of second-generation Italians. From the first half of the 1930s, the schools also became one of the key channels for spreading Fascist ideology and propaganda. Nevertheless, in Scotland, the schools also had a social significance, as Italians began to gather and socialise through them as a community. Accordingly, the foundations and educational, social and political roles of the schools will be examined. The article offers an insight into a topic neglected by Italian and British scholars, despite the second biggest Italian diasporic community in Britain residing in interwar Glasgow.
Hegel’s successors adopt his historicism but they emphatically deny his claim that history has unfolded teleologically and is reaching its fulfillment. Marx launched the first assault on Hegel, from the Left. The next assault came from Nietzsche on the Right. Both rejected Hegel’s view that history’s harmonious and belligerent aspects of history unfolded together, culminating in the bourgeois nation-state. They view history as entirely oppressive to date, but envision a radical future transformation of mankind, abandoning the state. Nietzsche blamed Hegel for exposing the truth that values are historically time-bound and relative, paralyzing our capacity for commitment. He challenges us to draw upon history as inspiration for creating new horizons instead of being paralyzed by the dead hand of the past, guided by his two premises of the Will to Power and Eternal Recurrence. Through his prophet Zarathustra, he summons us to will the Overman into being to replace God, sparking a global war in the twentieth century between the Last Man of democratic herd morality and a new caste of rulers: not Marx’s socialist struggle between bourgeoisie and proletariat, but an antidemocratic struggle between masters and slaves, seen by some as a precursor to fascism.
This paper examines the public relations battles in the US media over Mexico's Unión Nacional Sinarquista (UNS), an explicitly Catholic social movement founded in 1937 that aimed to restore the Church to its traditional role in Mexican society and to reject the reforms of the revolutionary government. The sinarquistas shared many of the features of fascism and Nazism, the major global antidemocratic movements of the time, including a strident nationalism, authoritarian leanings, an emphasis on martial discipline and strict organizational structure, and a militant aesthetic. Both its ideological leanings and rapid growth (as many as 500,000 members by the early 1940s) led many US writers to suggest that the UNS represented a dangerous fifth-column threat to both Mexico and the United States. Others, particularly in the Catholic press, saw the UNS as an anticommunist organization that could actually help foster democracy in Mexico. For their part, UNS leaders defended themselves vociferously and sought to build relationships with influential US Catholics who could advocate for them in the press. By analyzing this debate, this paper both underscores the transnational characteristics of the UNS and highlights the crucial role of US public opinion in Mexican politics during the 1940s.
Chapter 8, “Spoiling for A Fight: Armed Opposition,” begins a two-part examination of violent resistance and how, when, and why Poles embraced or rejected it. This discussion is deliberately postponed in the story, as much of the existing literature focuses on military resistance as a shorthand for resistance as a whole, which it was not. Polish military resistance efforts, initially launched by officers and soldiers of the Polish Army in hiding under occupation, remained fractured and hamstrung by vicious Nazi reprisals until 1942. Despite its danger, myriad groups organized around plans for insurrection, spanning the political spectrum from orthodox communists to the fascist far right, and including Polish-Jewish participation. After the destruction of many such initiatives and the merging and reformation of others, one increasingly grew in size and strength: the Home Army (Armia Krajowa) eventually dominated a chaotic resistance landscape through the support of the Western Allies. This chapter argues that violent resistance was initially a disorganized catastrophe, and only late in the occupation did a few surviving underground militaries achieve the ability to influence the Polish population or threaten the German occupiers.
Chapter 9, “Home Army on the Offensive: Violence in 1943-1944,” dissects mature intelligentsia military resistance. As the tide of war turned and the Germans endured their first battlefield defeats against the Soviet Union, the consolidated Home Army grew aggressive. Its most effective move was a 1943 assassination campaign targeting Wehrmacht officers, Nazi police, and German administration personnel called Operation Heads. Heads intimidated the Germans and shifted occupation policy. The Home Army’s perceived success and the advance of the Eastern Front toward Warsaw in 1944 convinced underground military leaders that they were facing their last opportunity to launch a city-wide insurrection. Their rebellion, now known as the Warsaw Uprising, failed. Remaining German personnel in the city were reinforced and crushed the insurrection, slaughtered civilians, and destroyed the city. This chapter argues that military conspiracy, like Catholic resistance, had its successes but was ultimately dependent on the international situation and could not secure the practical support of the Grand Alliance in the face of both German and Soviet opposition.
This paper argues that, in terms of their view of the ‘people’, leaderistic plebiscitarism and corporative organicism are two sides of the same coin, which resulted in aspirational fascist totalitarian democracy. The binary – and intrinsically ambiguous – view of the ‘people’ is examined first in the passive and indeterminate qualities attributed to the Italian population, then in the institutional device designed to lead it. The resulting twofold paradigm of corporative populism is reviewed with reference to the model put together and popularised by Giuseppe Bottai, which is presented in three different forms.
The essay investigates the occupation of the city of Rijeka (1919–20) by an irregular army led by Italian poet Gabriele d'Annunzio, focusing on the concepts of sovereignism and populism. While people with different mentalities and ideological horizons took part in the endeavour, it was d'Annunzio that gave the occupation its profound meaning. The poet attempted to put into practice his political vision centered around a ‘noble people’, composed of warriors and producers, opposed to the liberal elites and in competition with revolutionary socialist movements. In this sense, the Free State of Rijeka grew into the prototype of a new society based on the integration of racial, plebiscitary, corporate, aesthetic, and political themes. At the same time, the city became a beacon of opposition to the new international order proposed by US president Woodrow Wilson, since it advocated and worked towards the birth of sovereignty for small countries resisting new supranational bodies such as the League of Nations.
Based on long-term ethnographic research, this article contributes to the growing scholarship on far-right social movements by presenting an in-depth account of the Italian far-right scene. In presenting personal accounts of three activists and situating them within the milieus in which they are active, it sheds light on a variety of factors that push youth to engage in far-right militancy. Many researchers of far-right extremism have asserted the need to provide more in-depth knowledge on far-right militants, yet there remain important gaps that this article strives to address. First, it demonstrates the value of the ethnographic approach in the study of far right, which offers unique insights into the motivations for involvement and the relations between ideas, beliefs, and practices. Second, it shows the importance of situating present-day activism in a historical context, not only by looking for long-term patterns but also by paying attention to the ways studied actors engage with historical comparisons. Third, in engaging critically with some commonsensical approaches to far-right activists, the paper suggests that ethnographic studies of far-right activism can give us fresh perspectives on broader social phenomena beyond the far right per se.
This article examines whether and how the figure of Adolf Hitler in particular, and National Socialism more generally, operate as moral exemplars in today’s Germany. In conversation with similar studies about Mosely in England, Franco in Spain, and Mussolini in Italy, it seeks to advance our comparative understanding of neofascism in Europe and beyond. In Germany, legal and discursive constraints limit what can be said about the Third Reich period, while even far-right nationalists often condemn Hitler, for either the Holocaust or his military failure. Here I revise the concept of moral exemplarity as elaborated by Caroline Humphry to argue that Hitler and National Socialism do nevertheless work as contemporary exemplars, in at least three fashions: negativity, substitution, and extension. First, they stand as the most extreme markers of negative exemplarity for broad publics that understand them as illustrations of absolute moral depravity. Second, while Hitler himself is widely unpopular, Führer-substitutes such as Rudolf Hess provide alternative figures that German nationalists admire and seek to emulate. Finally, by extension to the realm of the ordinary, National Socialism introduces a cast of exemplars in the figures of loving grandfathers or anonymous fallen soldiers. The moral values for which they stand, I show, appear to be particularly significant for young nationalists. An extended, more open-ended notion of exemplarity, I conclude, can offer important insights about the lingering afterlife of fascist figures in the moral life of European nationalists today.
This paper examines the ways in which “ordinariness” can come to be exemplified as a virtue. It does so by comparing the status of ordinariness in historical and present-day Predappio, the town in which Mussolini was born and is buried. It describes the ways in which Predappio was mobilized by the Fascist regime as an exemplar of an ordinary Italian town, rendered extraordinary by its wholesale reconstruction as a jewel in the crown of Fascist urban planning. In similar fashion, Mussolini’s ordinary rural upbringing was mobilized in the service of propagandizing his extraordinary and exemplary leadership. In contemporary Predappio, by contrast, ordinariness is what locals reach for to contest understandings of their home as irrevocably associated with the extraordinary Fascist heritage they have inherited. One of the ways in which they do so is to celebrate a local exemplar of this ordinariness, Giuseppe Ferlini, the town’s first postwar mayor. In contrast to Mussolini, Ferlini’s ordinariness is not a backdrop to future greatness, but exactly the quality for which he is celebrated. I assert that these cases demonstrate the need for vigilance in analytic usage of the category of “the ordinary,” which sometimes tacitly assumes the existence of “the ordinary” as a scale in itself, independent of human action. I argue instead that “the ordinary” may be the object of ethical labor, rather than its site, and that exemplification may be a form of such labor, in both our accounts and the lives of those we study.
The National Socialist period was the central formative experience for Romanian Germans, and their identity debates were refracted through the legacy of National Socialism and the Second World War. This chapter charts the origins of these debates in the interwar period, places them in their respective contexts of Cold War Romania and West Germany, and explores the reverberations of these debates in post-Communist Europe. The circle around the Romanian German literary magazine Klingsor in the 1920s and 1930s rehearsed many of the arguments that were to occupy the Romanian German émigré public in the 1970s and 1980s. If the Klingsor writers were part of an interwar European right-wing ‘youth’ movement, then the same ‘old men’ of the 1970s and 1980s formed the vanguard to a turbulent revisionist decade over the fascist past. Far from being a parochial debate about a marginal group, the Romanian German memory wars and ‘little historians’ dispute’ of the 1980s reflect a European and transnational process of making sense of European fascism, war, and expulsions.
The European Union has reshaped Irish society over the past half-century, yet in Irish fiction Europe typically appears as a site of aesthetic discovery or historical trauma rather than as immediate political reality. Contemporary Irish writing belongs more to an Anglo-American than to a European literary sphere, and Irish novels in Europe often ponder the ‘Americanization’ of European and Irish modernity. Aidan Higgins’s Balcony of Europe and Deirdre Madden’s Remembering Light and Stone depict Irish expatriates exploring what it means to live between Europe and the United States. In both narratives, the protagonists are romantically involved with Americans and attached to European landscapes, yet neither émigré finds some sustaining new local or supranational sociopolitical form beyond the nation-state.
By the end of the 1930s in Italy, ambitious winter and summer camps or colonie cimatiche for the young had been erected along Italy's coastline and in its Alpine resorts. Here, thousands of Italian children from the country's urban centres were sent to experience a regime of fresh air, exercise and Fascist propaganda. The small village of Fai in the autonomous province of Trento in the Italian Alps was home to the first such Alpine colonia managed by the Italian Fascist youth organisation, the Opera Nazionale Balilla. Through an examination of a range of contemporary Italian publications, this article will reveal how the Alpine colonia climatica went beyond its official remit of ‘climatic assistance to childhood’. It offers evidence of the Fascist regime's exploitation of these establishments in newly-annexed Trentino as a tool to unify and italianise, and argues that they were used to promote a militarised view of the national landscape.
How do terror and popularity merge under a dictatorship? How did the Gestapo deal with critics of Nazism? Based on hundreds of secret police case files, Enemies of the People explores the day-to-day reality of political policing under Hitler. Examining the Gestapo's policy of 'selective enforcement', J. Ryan Stackhouse challenges the abiding perception of the Gestapo as policing exclusively through terror. Instead, he reveals the complex system of enforcement that defined the relationship between state and society in the Third Reich and helps to explain the Germans' abiding support for Hitler and their complicity in the regime's crimes. Stories of everyday life in Nazi Germany paint the clearest picture yet of just how differently the Gestapo handled certain groups and actions, and the routine investigation, interrogation, and enforcement practices behind this system. Enemies of the People offers penetrating insights into just how reasonable selective enforcement appeared to Germans, and draws unavoidable parallels with the contemporary threat of authoritarianism.
Over the course of his career, Mailer demonstrated a deep concern regarding the problem of totalitarianism, particularly its manifestation in American society. It was his belief that totalitarianism was not only a political and social threat enacted against the freedom of the individual, but that it had also made inroads into every aspect of society, from architecture to technology. This chapter provides an overview of Mailer’s definitions of totalitarianism in society, as well as his views of its consequences – which he believed manifested not just socially and politically, but also psychologically and physically.
Chapter 6 studies the impacts that APRA’s engagement with transnational solidarity networks had on the evolution of its ideology, particularly that of its project of hemispheric and anti-imperialist unity. The chapter argues that Indo-América as a political project was not consolidated in the heyday of transnational exile in the 1920s. Rather, Indo-América is best understood as a form of universal appeal at which the Hayista faction arrived more definitely in the 1930s to advance a political struggle inside Peru. By that time, Apristas had all but stripped from their continental program pledges of social and moral revival for Indigenous people it had once, if briefly, comprised. Recurrent state persecution against the Peruvian APRA, the chapter shows, combined with the movement’s innovative political strategies in exile, contributed to imagining an Indo-American project that moved beyond the advocacy of social justice and the rejection of US imperialism originally at its core to focus on the defence of civil liberties and liberal democracy in Peru and the Americas.
While scholars within the English School have increasingly approached the traditionally liberal concept of solidarism in a normatively agnostic fashion, the idea of an ‘illiberal solidarism’ and historical manifestations thereof remain underexplored. One notable case in point surrounds the peculiar body of Italian interwar international thought, herein referred to as ‘international Fascism’. By discerning a synchronic outline of international Fascism, alongside the manner by which this project mutated and ultimately failed as it transformed from a vision theorised in the abstract to a practical initiative under the auspices of the Fascist regime, this article offers historical and theoretical insights into the realisability of illiberal forms of solidarism. Combining this historical account with theoretical insights derived from Reus-Smit's study on international order under conditions of cultural diversity, this article argues that the realisation of some form of solidarism necessitates the acceptance of a substantive pluralist component. Yet messianic illiberal visions that endeavour to retain the states-system, while simultaneously asserting the superiority of one community or a highly exclusionary vision of the ‘good life’, ostensibly lack the capacity to reconcile the contradictions inherent in efforts to universalise such projects.