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The Fascist Persuasion in Radical Politics

The Fascist Persuasion in Radical Politics

A. James Gregor
Copyright Date: 1974
Pages: 485
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  • Book Info
    The Fascist Persuasion in Radical Politics
    Book Description:

    How valid are the assertions of contemporary radicals who insist that they are "Marxists"? A. James Gregor measures the distance that separates today's radicals from the belief system of Marx and Engels. He finds that the characteristic qualities of modern mass-mobilizing movements bear more impressive similarities to the paradigmatic Fascism of Benito Mussolini than to "classical Marxism." Thus he offers a new conceptual framework for the analysis of contemporary totalitarian movements and established regimes.

    Originally published in 1974.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-6921-3
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-2)
  4. Chapter One Revolution, Radicalism, and the Twentieth Century
    (pp. 3-23)

    The twentieth century is obviously a time of troubles. Not a year has gone by since the turn of the century that modern man has not been beset by revolutions and wars—and rumors of revolutions and wars. So traumatic has the entire experience been—so dislocating the irrepressible violence—that we have not yet succeeded in attaining an adequate understanding of what has been, and is, transpiring. We are living through a century in which one-third of mankind now finds itself involved in political systems self-characterized as “socialist,” and another third in political systems that are clearly dominated by...

  5. Chapter Two The First Marxism
    (pp. 24-57)

    Any effort to characterize the differences that separate contemporary radicalism from the system left to us by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels is beset by problems, not the least of which involves fixing the sense of what it might mean to talk of “Marxism.” Minimally, what is required is a synoptic account of what Marx and Engels themselves conceived Marxism to imply in terms of theoretical and political commitments as well as practical outcomes. When we speak of Marxism as a “theoretical system,” we mean that Marxism can be identified with some reasonably specific body of theoretical commitments—major intellectual...

  6. Chapter Three Classical Marxism as a Mature System
    (pp. 58-85)

    Both Marx and Engels were convinced that the “contradiction” between productive forces and productive relations provided the dynamic force for revolutionary social change. Such a conviction constituted a broad knowledge claim and required some kind of public evidence to make it credible. But before such evidence could be sought out and collected, the claim itself had to be advanced in a form that would permit its implications to be drawn out.

    Until Marx moved to England in 1849, the preliminary conceptual schema, the “germ” of his “world view,” was couched in metaphor and simile: productive relations as “fetters” were “burst...

  7. Chapter Four The Twentieth Century and the Crisis of Classical Marxism
    (pp. 86-138)

    The advent of the twentieth century marked a critical turning point in the development of Marxism. With the death of Engels in 1895, classical Marxism entered the protracted crisis in which it remained embroiled until the outbreak of the First World War in 1914—and from which it was never to emerge. Classical Marxism disintegrated under the impact of events, and out of its elements emerged the tworevolutionarymovements that were to shape, in large part, the political, social, and intellectual history of the twentieth century. The years between the two world wars were to be dominated by two...

  8. Chapter Five The Fascist Persuasion: Prototypic New Radicalism
    (pp. 139-188)

    Paradigmatic Fascism, the Fascism of Benito Mussolini, is perhaps the least understood political movement of the twentieth century. Ranging from Benedetto Croce’s rather quaint assessment of Fascism as a peculiar “moral disease,” through the orthodox Marxist characterization of Fascism as the “terroristic tool of finance capital,” to the more sophisticated analyses suggested by contemporary social and political science, interpretations of Fascism are often mutually exclusive, almost always tendentious, and rarely intellectually satisfying.¹ It is doubtful whether an entirely satisfying account will be forthcoming in the immediate future. Most of our present interpretations, for one thing, rest on severely circumscribed data....

  9. Chapter Six The New Radicalism: The Asian Variant
    (pp. 189-259)

    One of the most curious features that characterizes political thinking in the years after the Second World War is the indisposition on the part of commentators, analysts, advocates, detractors, and practitioners to recognize that a spectacular transformation had settled down over “Marxist” and “radical” thought—a transformation of substance that was little less than a secular and political counterpart of what the faithful think takes place in the transubstantiation of the Holy Eucharist. “Marxist” and “radical” thought has been gradually divested of its specifically classical Marxist components to become a highly transmogrified “Marxism” identified as “Marxism-Leninism,” a Marxism “creatively developed”...

  10. Chapter Seven The New Radicalism: The Caribbean Variant
    (pp. 260-321)

    Of all the variants of the new radicalism, Castro’s revolution in Cuba is perhaps the most fascinating and the most perplexing. It is obviously too early to deliver a definitive characterization of what has transpired in Cuba, but there are features of that complex political phenomena which recommend themselves to our attention. In the first instance it has been generally accepted that the revolution led by Castro, which culminated in the flight of Batista on the first of January 1959, was not a “communist” revolution or a “crypto-communist” revolution; nor could its ideology or programmatic intentions between 1953 and 1960...

  11. Chapter Eight Nonregime Radicalism: The Student and Black Variants
    (pp. 322-393)

    One of the most interesting features of the nonregime radicalism in the industrially developed nations is that, as a political phenomenon, it is all but exclusively identified with the young. When one speaks of the “New Left” in the United States, for example, one is speaking, by and large, about the youth of the nation, more specifically the youth of college age—the post-adolescents entering college, as well as the graduate students in our institutions of higher learning. Whatever “youth masters” there are succeed, at best, in half-articulating the political sentiments of the young. Someone, somewhere, has suggested that Dr....

  12. Chapter Nine Conclusions
    (pp. 394-434)

    There can be little doubt that the remaining years of the twentieth century will be years of violent and stressful political change. What has been suggested here, in broad and discursive fashion, is that the major expressions of revolutionary politics in the remainder of the twentieth century will most likely evince at least some of the species-traits of fascism. The efforts undertaken to identify revolutionary politics in our time as “socialist” or “Marxist” have been singularly unpersuasive. Karl Marx would have found very little in the political culture and political institutions of Cuba, China, or Russia that he could identify...

  13. A Selected Bibliography
    (pp. 435-450)
  14. Index
    (pp. 451-472)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 473-473)