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( Lecture Notes of 09252007, 10022007, 10042007, integrated with readings and précis nos. 1-12.)

Matrix Study Guide


*Overview pre-midterm Notes by Michael Johnathan McDonald, UC Berkeley, Fall 2007. Undergraduate studies, 137a Poli Sci. In depth notes are not represented on this page. The matrix system is a personal modified version taken from ideas disseminated from U.C. Berkeley ED 98/198 Fall 2007 course, Instructor Nic Voge.


Objective of Course:

The Course: This elective course is intended to redescribe the political character of the 20th century in order to anticipate something of the 2lst, as well as to appreciate something of the nature of social science inquiry.


Simple binomial Matrix Method for memorization.

Goal of matrix: To implement possible predictive outcomes of what will be asked on the in-class midterm, as topically represented here, and not in-depthly represented.


Outline/ Blue Print for Midterm:

Italian Fascism

account of Fascism

identify its character


classical Marxism




Leninism as a variant




remaining revolutionary regimes





Italian Fascism will serve as a paradigm

The central theme governing the discussion will be to trace the intellectual (ideological) origins of revolution in the 20th century.

Trace the intellectual (ideological) origins of “revolution” in the 20th century.

First discussion: Classical Marxism.

Second discussion: Proceed to the actual revolutions themselves.



Italian Fascism

implications for the advanced industrial nations




classical Marxism




Leninism as a variant




remaining revolutionary regimes







Italian Fascism

how prejudice


methods of inquiry influence social science judgment

classical Marxism




Leninism as a variant




remaining revolutionary regimes





Outline/ Blue Print for Post- Midterm:

selected contemporary revolutionary political movements

paradigmatic revolutionary character but its relationship to…







Black Nationalism




remaining revolutionary regimes






Revolutionary Movements


James A., Gregory “Ideology of Fascism”


“Too much pluralism and not enough Unum.” Some guy on TV said this recently, when contrasting the USA society of WWII and immediately post-WWII and contrasting it to today’s sentiments.  ( this was not part of this class) postmodernist (et al) society being taught at UCB and other elite institutions.


Criteria terminology to focus


Mass-mobilization movements are the focus, not the multitude of small revolutions that took place in the 20th century.

We will use National Socialism, Germany, Fascist Italy, and Socialist Russia as representative models of mass-mobilizing movements in the 20th centaury.








Political scientists, intellects and historians have argued there are three ways into which a state can modernize its self; that is to say, progress from a pre-modernist society to a modern society. This does not mean that these three ways constitute the only way, but they have been observed empirically over historical periods.

Three choice to develop in the world

Bourgeoisies rout.

Stalinist Rout.

Fascist Rout.


3 forms of totalitarians in the 20th century: Italy, Lenin’s Russia, Soviet.


Contrastic: Fix this

Italy has no totalitarian features ( Gregor, so it is not characteristic of the paradigmatic feature).



Two fall under the rubric of totalitarianism.


Totalitarianism is the Genus, the capital T, and one species is Fascism.


Stalinist Rout.

Fascist Rout.


The distinction will be on the midterm.





1919, first fascists came together to decide on a revolutionary strategy. Fascist ideology was articulated by 1919-1920.

It was argued under the guise of The Fascist Rational.


Italian Fascism was the only one that provided a ‘full’ rational (an argued normative and empirical ideology).



Reactionary posture: everyone who says is against Marxism is always reactionary. This is physiology of analysis that Marxist revolutionaries are left-wing. ( Bestial, Hostile, and reactionary – is Berkeley campus talk – one wants to be accepted by one’s peer group) This is parlance of Universities in general, not Just UC Berkeley.






Ideology national irredentism


Connected to National mission


Irredentism is on the midterm. What lands and who wanted what lands and where. All of these countries had an aspiration to restore all these “lost lands.” That is called nationalist irredentism – that is typical of totalitarianism.




Morality (Ideology) Morality always accompanies backward and undeveloped states, communities and regions. In the USA, an advanced industrial state, predicated on free-market economy, immorality runs the engines of capitalism.





Leadership and formal ideology the two things that become distinctive things.

USA never has an ideology in this country – Gregor..


Formal ideology means one has to believe!!! In the USA you can believe anything, be anything because we have no formal ideological requirements – those are things that define you as a group.


Choice: Bourgeoisies rout (USA developed, and yet we had these ugly features, it was essentially was authoritarian state -- it actualized 8% suffrage of people who actually could vote. [ in the developmental periods/also note, not allowed to have unions]

We institutionalized slavery (in the south)  to pay-off foreign capital investment debt to the British. Slavery built up the east, and cheap labor contributed to all regions of the USA’s infrastructure.


USA: Slaves, (Precepts instituted, so we could organize ourselves in freedom – so there was independent opportunity to defend the system) Remember we had no unions until allowed after the USA had felt it reached a certain plateau of development.  It was initially disallowed because these auspices of union representation of the workers impeded development of the state.


Stalinist Rout (10% is killed, maimed or incarcerated (purge trials)


Slave armies, militaristic surveillance society. No private property. Economics geared for military purposes take precedence over civilian economics.

Fascist Rout. (syncretism, allow the existent of businessmen, and private property and market economy.)


(Italy) Fascism, and the existence of a market and private property provided Italy with the correct emphasis to outpace Russia (of whom many Socialist Italian groups admired) economic and infrastructural development.


Classical Marxism: Revolution on Mass intent of industrializing, that is not Marxist. “Proletariats’ would capture a fully industrialized state” is really the essence of Classical Marxism.


Soviets/ Bolsheviks ignored this rule (Stalin finally had to accept it) . Italian Fascists understood this rule.

Castro’s revolution had characteristics. What revolutions have characteristics?


Scatterbrained people all say that all revolutions are Marxist. They have no idea.

Must have characteristic features, in regards to all major and mass mobilizing revolutions ---“NOT the small ones, which are many. This involves cognitive thinking to uncover those characteristics. This can be explained by Common discourse. Common discourse are emotive words use regardless of understanding of the terms.


What we do is cognitive, analytical. Understand distinction, and use terms cognitively.





(rationalization) They always suggest that they are rational ( all communist revolution claim, and that rationalization is Marxism) – Marxism is very complex system, it has little to do with 20th century revolution.



Charisma comes from this – it is what the HOLY GHOST – the DEITY transmits some thing[ Transcendental quality]  to the person and the person becomes a prophet. That is peculiar to totalitarians systems.

Ideology, one must have a charismatic leader, who is revered as some type of earthy deity. This earthly deity is governor of all consequences of the masses’ life.

Militaristics: a consequences of the Charismatic leader is identity with militarism, in the metaphysical sense – unity of dress, action, emotion and mind.




Stalin sees all, and knows all.


Think of,

Epistimocracy, it is the philosopher king, Plato said only one leader has a right to control, a single party leader – a totalitarians state – what is the consequence – it is impeccable truth, absolute truth – it was the philosopher king. Because truth provides you with freedom, advantage, fulfillment, and all good things/positive things.


Charisma comes from this – it is what the HOLY GHOST – the DEITY transmits some thing[ Transcendental quality]  to the person and the person becomes a prophet. That is peculiar to totalitarians systems. What are the consequences to this system? Conformity, Uniforms, to make up all one – to identify us as all one. Military uniforms dress all in the same uniforms – so militaristic – is the same uniform theory.


Bugio {{{{????}}}} ( Italian 500 page book) characterized the charismatic leader, he identified its characteristic.




Mao China: no market and private property until Deng Xiaoping said Market and private property – now we cannot keep up with China’s rapid development.



National becomes the vehicle of survival in the 20th century.

(Nationalism) We all have a natural disposition to be in a group that is like a nation, or a surrogate nation. That is what justifies the single party control, for Gentile.


So the nation was also a type of breed ( none of you are individualist in any sense of the word. Here at Berkeley, there are a group people, you respond to your peer group, and U.C. Berkeley school kids are your peer groups – that is the fascist argument—that group ‘shaped you into what you are!’



National becomes the vehicle of survival in the 20th century. [It was biological survival method]

For the development of the individual is the group of a people under nation. What is a nation. Gentile is advocating a Unanimity, “One nation, One leader, One party, one motive, one plan, therefore we must invest all of our energies and sentiments into this one concept of unity ( in Nation). We see similarities in “one nation under God.” Etc…


Surrogate nationalism

We all have a natural disposition to be in a group that is like a nation, or a surrogate nation. That is what justifies the single party control, for Gentile.


Football coach or dictator leader – who should you identify with?

An Emotional investment in an emotional stressful society. In the military, the football teams, in nations therefore it is always – charismatic leader: it is surrogate nationalism – because we all desire that kind of identification – the transcendental being [ mjm—a religion]]



Therefore no leader would talk about nationalism in the 20th century. We never talk about what nationalism is, the Politian’s want to go away from this terminology, this concept of who we are as a people. The USA is embarrassed by that. Nationalism is linked sentimentally with Fascism. It is like talking about sex with Children. It is embarrassing.  But the Italians talked about nationalism in late 20th century opening and convincingly.


Italy: Fascist said “ We are a nation, we all have the same “ASPIRATION” for to amasses the same qualities as others.  [different associations meant we all have different aspirations – so within the national we have a common and at the same time a difference – we need to separate them ‘ peculiar interest are represented within the context of the nation.] corporate is the nation state: A state has a spokesman II Duce, Gentile is a spokesman for the system.


Nation is a critical variable to live in the world, not Race… Race was made up by anthropologists—Gentile argued, promoted and was accepted by many. Italians were not racists. Racists categories were arbitrary. So fascists dismissed race as a nation [a state policy ( From the beginning, for much of Mussolini’s reign and fascism’s period, until Germany forced Italy to adopt certain measures in certain locals – see in-depth – for military support].



Italy: nation

NZAI: Race

Russia: Proletariat












In what sense was it paradigmatic (doesn’t mean a model) it has characteristic that are informative, instructive of its character. Its mass-mobilized, all manifest Totalitarian system.


Totalitarianism what are the distinction?

(Bourgeoisie Democracy if we define the United States of America system as such,  then communist societies were Totalitarian in character)

Coherent rational: What is Fascism a coherent rational. NAZI Germany, Italy, Russia.


NAZI was peculiar, it already had developed, but because of the war, they had to redeveloped.




Darwinism impacted Marxism.


Evolution. “Breeding communities.” If you want a rapid genetic change you must isolate a community of breeders, and have them under selective pressure to breed, so certain features die out. So take a small number of people, isolate them, and the evolution into a group of people distinctive to the environment emerges.

[mjm --  This is not true or  true – however this was what was “believed.”]

Isolate a group of two hundred in the cold climate and over time out comes the mongoloid, a theoretical conscript.


In the cold, the Mongoloid types were breed, evolved and that is why fat and eyelids were formed in the cold, and that is why they grew with short limbs. - -This was Darwinism.


Characteristically connection to Nationalism: So the nation was also a type of breed.






Soviet Totalitarians



Soviet argued that Totalitarianism was based on the conviction that all proletarians had the same interests.



(ideology of Soviet prolitariat) Soviet Union: what gave the right for Stalin or Lenin speak for all Russians? They believed they were all proletariats . That meant they shared all the same desires, the same wants, [ Lenin and Stalin never worked a day in their lives]



Variant form of Marxism Bolsheviks, nor Fascism and Fascism was also was a variant of Marxism – warped them so the outcome had different outcomes. The American left was enamored of Stalinist Russia, and they promoted the ‘good’



Cold Warrior is a term one will call you if you say a Fascism variant became the Russian system during Stalin. Even though it did manifest in its character,






























Fascist Theoreticians


To protect the unity of the nation. pp.271-273.

National Socialists

The morphology of classical anthropological concepts of race:

Employ this,

(a threat to Fascism)

Taxonomic criteria

Divide Italy into classifications of citizens into categories hierarchically ranked in accordance of taxonomic criteria.

(Landra, 1939, University of Berlin, focused on these specific difficulties. P. 273)



National Socialist Biologism




Race was connected to biological factors.



Fascist Italy

Preferences Ideologies, (Including Mussolini, and Theoreticians)

Population definition of race ( the “new Races” of which they spoke) p. 275






Italy’s Fascist Manifesto:

Had two different and vaguely defined conceptions of race. p. 272

(1)   Physical  traits ( pigmentation, stature,  cephalic)

(2)   Psychic (Biopsychic hereditary)



The peril Mussolini saw the colored races was political, not biological. p. 270.


Racism always existed in the Italian Fascist model, but it not what racism usually means in context of class warfare. Many of Mussolini’s intimate friends were Jews. Many in office the early Fascist period were Jews. Mussolini’s biographer was Jewish.


Rebirth Fascism

Combination: fascism, and it emphatic socialist content. (p. 292)

Note, at the beginning, Fascism spoke of socialism in its doctrine.

After the Palace coup, and Mussolini’s incarceration, escape and travel to Germany, after returning to the seat of power in Italy, a reborn  Fascism  …


In the final stages of Fascism, “ Curious combination of forces that faulted the final efforts to achieve a Fascist socialism.” P. 292.

(1)   Communist and Socialist action committees.

(2)   General indifference of the working classes. Italians in general were not enthusiastic about renascent (rebirth) Fascism.

(3)   German officialdom, anti-socialists, and pro-capitalism. 



Biological Racism crept into Italy by the force of Germany, who kept Mussolini in power through military force.


There is National Socialist "race theory" that includes biological notions about the psychological properties of entire classes of persons.


On February 12, 1944, The Republican Council of Ministers met to implement the “Fundamental Premises.” On the 13th it was announced all the enterprises based upon share capital exceeding one million lire or implying at least one hundred workers to be socialized.


Fascist last period, Remaining ten months of Fascism, 70% of industry was socialized.




Fascist Italy, Manifesto

Topic: Aryan Race

Fascist Italy defined Aryans to have been a mixture of European minor races possessed of a variety of physical traits and/or spoke an Indo-European languages and were carriers of some feature of Aryan culture. P. 271.


Gentile would argue that Racism was a construction of anthropology and was not based in fact!

Topic: Aryan Race

Defined race was admittedly a collection of minor anthropological races including Nordics, Dalonordics, Alpines, Mediterraneans, Dinarics, and Baltics, united by a tenuous unity of related languages and cultural derivatives. P.275


Canella, in his discussion of the Jewish ‘race”, indicated that, ….The Jews do not constitute an anthropological race, but rather a mixture, in various measure, in the most disparate racial elements; primarily Arabs and Assyrioids, then Egyptians, Mediterraneans, Negroids, Baltics, Alpines, Nordics, and so forth…p.p.275-276



Fascist Italy, Manifesto

Topic: The Ninth thesis maintains the “Jews do not belong to the Aryan Race,”

Were not part of the Indo-European language groups. P.275




Fascist Italy




What Paolo Orano, an old-line and intimate of Mussolini from the pre-Fascist period, demanded was that the Jewish community loose its special identity and assimilate itself into the Totalitarian society.


Gentile would argue that Racism was a construction of anthropology and was not based in fact!

National Socialist


Biological determinism.

They control the London Bank, and most other large banks in the world. They are an economic threat. They hold important political positions. Jews are the reason for all wars in history.



Ideologies: Function

Mobilize sentiment.

Recruitment aids

Provide rationalizations for organization purposes

Perform manipulative


Neither true nor false. p. 336 Metapolitics…



Tangential cognitive

Myth in special occasions.




The “dialectic” is a “logic” which has empirical pretensions, is semantically vague and syntactically obscure. Gregor, Metapolitics p. 332.

Chiliasm, (German) belief in the coming of the millennium.

Chiliad: a group of 1000, a thousand years.



Fundamentals to Terminology



Theme Two --(Key on test) Must first focus on materialism when prospecting a developmental state.

What you believe is predicated on your economic conditions – Marx.  This was Marx’s main thrust of the argument in the Communist Manifesto. This is why he claimed he could predict the outcome of a revolution ( mjm -- He failed). Note, this is not knowledge possessed by Marx, but a belief.


This utterance by Marx led to deconstructionists arguing that one is a condition of their environment. That is to say, one was “not responsible” for their actions. Things, were so to speak, environmentally contagious. Therefore, Lenin believed, and stated before the Bolshevik Revolution, there were no criminals in Russia, because economic conditions led to criminal behavior. [ mjm—Then why in the USA where we have a plethora of “ white color crime?” These “white color” workers are extraordinarily rich compared to most other workers in the world?]


A second Marxist theme: peoples behavior, you recognize “ to each according to their need, because people want to produce things, this was part of nature of the human.” Once you reach a level of comfort you only do what is necessary, you do not want to make more money. 


(4) This is because only human labor produces profit (actually value. The notion is called the "labor theory of value")  --but the capitalist system, driven by competition is forced to reduce the relative measure of human labor employed in the productive process by initiating technological innovation. That increases the amount of fixed capital (machinery and collateral supports) as distinct from variable capital (essentially wages). Marxists speak of this as "high organic composition of capital." In such circumstances, profit must necessarily decline (because less living labor is used in the process). Ultimately, profits must fall.

Distributionistic and materialistic: you explained the material culture of a people as the people mature in the material world.


Theme One -- (Key on test) Marxist traditionally is Distributionistic (On MIDTERM). Capitalism reaches full maturity before a Marxist revolution can become a reality. This is classical Marxism. One cannot have a classical or traditional Marxist revolution in a backward economic country. Therefore it was impossible to attain a proper Marxist revolution in Russia, as Lenin attempted, and later realized it was impossible.  And in Italy – where Mussolini who befriended Fascist philosopher Giovanni Gentile – where it was understood before the Italian revolution that brought fascism to power. This explains why Italy industrialized before the Soviet Union.  Eventually, Stalin had to revert to Fascism’s principles, its doctrine, in order to catch-up to Italy and other industrialized nations.





Necessities for a revolution


  1. The concepts for a 20th century Revolution must be fundamental.
  2. A state must have a need for economic development.
  3. A state must be underdeveloped, meaning essentially the infrastructure is not present (i.e., roads, highways, advanced factories, and waterworks…etc…).
  4. KEY: Revolution: Look at industrialization and economic development of the location, state or region.
  5. A state must be centralized and function under an anti-democratic ideology.
  6. It must create a Hero, or a charismatic leader [I just call this a continuation of kingship in mass society, this is not a classroom idea] This leader is the ultimate arbitrator or the state ideology spokesman.
  7. [Could the USA really be defined as a revolution of the likes of the 20th century saw? –mjm – the factors were actually different]
  8. For A revolution: What is necessary that must Transpire: first a tradition society of  an agrarian society must exist. Then must break with tradition and create a plea for a new tradition. This is accomplished by an ideology that claims “ we can  lift ourselves out of backwardness.” A lifting out of backwardness, contained no health services, no rapid communications, no roads, unclean water. In Marx terminology, we have a historical process: poor/agrarians are a subsistence economy with marginal surplus. This was how nobles built cathedrals, the nobles conquered the peasants, and the nobility extracted the peasant labors. Peasants have always been impoverished. What happen in the 20th century was different. There “now” were alternatives to agrarian power, to agrarian life, i.e. the bourgeois. So people try to understand this dynamic. Marx never said the peasants could make a revolution. This must be understood.
  9. The Industrial environment is what vastly changes in a fundamental community. We talk about traditional societies, 10,000 BCE to the industrial revolution – which is a Marx theme [mjm – this is ludicrous and unsubstantiated by Marx] . Essential the same features, for a Marx continuum [ mjm – a teleological format]; that is Synaptic change took place in history but the system remains the same. Only a different leader replaced the continuum. However, Marx drew a line in the historical process, which is chronologically from time recorded. This was the industrial revolution and it changed mankind. It started in North Europe, and it was traumatic [ for the world] [mjm—obviously Marx was not a historian of any caliber – evident in his failed system and illogic] .
  10. Marxist Results: Immigration moving from an agrarian society to an industrial society because of job opportunities [Marx forgot this happened in the Persian Empire, Indian Period, Chinese dynasties, Hellenistic Periods, Roman Periods, and Iberian periods – however, Marx changed from a ‘degreed’ philosopher to an inexperienced economist after he met Engels, and this could explain some of his lack of historical studies pertaining to the historical cyclical process of mankind.].
  11. The characteristics adopted by underdeveloped countries – which were oppressed by the advanced developed countries. Examples, Spain in South America, British in Macaw, India and China, and the USA in Japan.
  12. Return to the roots== archaism. It is a response that is dysfunctional. The Boxer Rebellion in China. Some Muslim countries today. This explains that backward countries in their effort to modernize result from humiliation at the hands of modernize countries that oppressed them or threaten to oppress them. Archaism therefore is addressed by the intellectuals.
  13. First stage: We must have to marginally industrialize and develop ourselves; it is the first stage. The psychology of its masses results in a deep sense of humiliation.  this is the first stage, they are humiliated by their own countrymen who want to stay agrarian. So an elite must take over the controls of the government and start to get the industrial movement going.
  14. Step 2: Must collect capital, and that is hard to do. Must collect the capital either from foreign investment or by the state’s own citizens who must work for minimal substance – or save their money ( usually promoted with a moral agenda). It becomes exquisitecally political. Now it must be centrally contracted, and import some qualities, and educated some people into [[[ some normative morality??]]
  15. Bad Example of step two: The Bolsheviks did not know what they were doing. They talked the talk, but did not walk the walk. You cannot make a revolution in backward agrarian communities. Russia needed to industrialize, and getting rid of the intellectuals, the capitalists who knew how to run an economy, and getting rid of the peasants, resulted in an economic disaster for Lenin and his new revolution. Peasants were killed in numerous numbers, because of resistance, and people are capital according to Marx. Russia did not want to take out loans from western capitalists, so their only option left was to make their own people create capital. Yet, Lenin thought it best to imprison the resisters and kill others.’ He therefore failed to create capital and this explains the Soviets struggle to create a stable and functioning economic state. It took until the end of Lenin’s life, he had understood, he did the wrong thing by getting rid of potential, which is human beings, capital. Western capitalists would not lend Lenin money when he killed his capital and took away their land.
  16. Bolsheviks was a revolution of industrialization, it was not a Marxist Revolution in the classical sense. A classical Marxist revolution must take place in an advance industrial state. Russia was not an advance industrial state.
  17. Slave factor: In order to industrialize: A state needs quasi-slavery. Quasi-slavery ( USA,  a drive to industrialized, not permitted to unionize, and slaves created capital in the south and the North used cheap labor to industrialize) is needed by whatever means necessary. This contains both local and regional citizens, or as with Russia, Germany, and Italy, its entire population. Extract from population, if you borrow it from overseas, you have to pay it back with interests. That is why Soviets used the peasants. Lenin wanted to barrow form the capitalists, but capitalist did not trust Lenin, he took the land from the peasants.
  18. No unions, labor must be at minimal wages, therefore a creation of capital could exist [In Marxist sense, all labor power is capital – meaning human labor power].
  19. 1928-39 – a mass Soviet program to use quasi-slavery, to industrialize.
  20. Italian Fascist understood development before they came to power. In the Soviet Union they did not recognize this first.  Before they came to power, Marxism is/was inapplicable, because we are less developed. So we cannot follow Marx. So we must produce labor, to produce surplus to build infrastructure, as infrastructure is hugely expensive. Soviet finally, later that is, understood this. In Italy, the fascists understood this immediately, even before Fascism rose to power.
  21. Capital for the USA: USA borrowed from the British; the USA paid-off the British with slave labor.
  23. In under developed countries, Gentile promoted, a state must rely on a morality. In effect, morality is intrinsic in underdeveloped countries. There is more of a communal feeling, an agrarian literal meaning. In advanced capitalist and developed countries, immorality is the function of a sustained advanced economic society.
  24. Italy: Rail line, highways were mainly built during the fascist times, under the audacious conditions. Italian Fascists, they industrialized quickly.
  25. China: Sun Yat Sen, said, we must industrialize.  China, from the years of 1925-37, first efforts to capitalize. They extrapolated the labor form the peasants. Then Mao took over and was worse, or precisely the same thing.


River systems, brings water to rural agrarians, so water must be delivered to all these areas, the most functional understanding of the existence of it in a societies is to have a strong central government controlling the rivering systems. In the Nile, an agrarian type of centralized government existed [ mjm- except for the periods of local democracy during the New Dynasty Period] . No local government can do this. To deliver water to all river systems that has need, a unifying community must rally or be controlled by a central power. In an agrarian economy, a need to have a central control of a river is essential for modernization.




Once you recognize industrialization is on the agenda, it all fits into place. Coessential sp? Democracies…


Recurrent theme, Lenin-Stalin, was the industrial development. This had nothing to do with Marxism. You find a gradual decline in all these statements of equality, and more to “to each his own abilities” also work beyond one’s capacity, that is “developmental.”


Capitalism spawned [mjm-“did not”] spawn fascism, but Capitalism does not have a single goal, Gregor said. Capitalists have conflicting interests, so they compete within the system. Capitalists do not like a dictatorial government. The capitalists did not want a strong state. Capitalists never want a strong state. The state diminishes in power when capitalism functions in a state.

Capitalist are invariable subject to various interest groups: labor unions, teacher unions, special interest groups, lobbyists, etc… We have ten times the amount of lobbyists than we have members in Congress. Another example is the Capitalist do not like the Green Party coming to Congress and to tell them to pass Green measures, which force Capitalists’ to spend more for corrective measures.



Another example is anytime the USA has a war, we temporarily centralized. The government needs to be slack and inefficient to placate the capitalist want. The less regulations,’ therefore, the more power to the capitalist to control their destiny. The temporary centralizing during wartime and the re-decentralizing after the war makes the USA system more efficient and capable to continue its advanced economic program. What this tells us, is that during Fascism, and Socialism in Europe, war was an intellectual necessity – that is to say, centralizing during the war was also essential to gathering all the resources and human spirit to face outside forces.





For Revolution, must have a state with boarders. (lec 09252007)


Bolsheviks seized the agrarian state and centralized it around a charismatic leader.


Why did the Soviet Union fall out and dissipate, as the USA and mainly the west sat on our butts and watch the Soviet Union gradually disappear.


In Soviet Union, there were no markets, because a market is about demand. One doesn’t make money keeping something in inventory. In a market economy, it cannot keep things in inventory. This was precisely what the Soviet economic system did to its inventory.


In Market Economics, rational prices keep inventory regulated. Rationale prices: stop producing and that stops inventory. Marx said get rid of the Market, because that is capitalism. From 1950s-- till it disappeared, Gregor said, every time I went there [to the Soviet Union], it [ The Soviet Economy] got worse and worse.


The Soviets only triumph was its military industrial strength. Stalin, wholeheartedly, believed, not the NAZIs, but the western capitalists were to invade his Soviet socialist country. [mjm--This was his prophecy, his ideology for his legitimacy, and it did come true, but is was not who he believed it to be. It was Hitler’s Germany that he saved Russia from and not the western capitalist he believed were the enemy. Many Soviet-Stalin sympathizers use his prophecy to legitimize his despotic rule, unconvincingly and passionately].


A modern economy cannot function that way. Finally the modern Soviet said this is a bunch of crap. Soviet had a secure police, a 75 year political party and Society promoters of the Soviet political party.


In 1937 fascists were in more control of their industrial environment, except the [socialist-fascist] Soviet Union. Within the confines of the Market, developed on private property and market economy under the central control of the state.


So, an Analogue of Fascist system, both were developmental. One was left wing, Soviet Russia, and the other was right wing, Italy. Fascist Italy was a success.


Histrionic of Fascists: the uniforms, the surrogates of the material benefits, they were substitutes – a sense of community and service—we do not care about that ( material).


Mass mobilizing machines get Satisfaction [mjm- whatever that means?], the symbols, [ people] beat tambourines, Like Raider Nation, stickers, flags, and thought of belonging to a Nation[ mjm- I guess Gregor is contemporizing Gentile’s ideas of national spirit]


In China, Deng Xiaoping, introduced private property, and the market after Moa Zedong, failed under his socialist experiments of no markets and no allowance of private property. Chinese socialism, under Deng [Dong] were private property, and the limited market ( the [initial 5] capitalist zones) economy. [ mjm—many Chinese Marxist today despise Xiaoping’s often secret, undemocratic, actions. However, ignorantly, the Marxist will tell one to the face that China is more moral than the USA, and it is modernizing without immorality. lol]


[mjm -- When you have a consumer based society you need people buying things, so the government control lessens the immorality factor. You need porno, and lavishness. Consumer is consumer; it is a Jupiter semantic-astrological gobble syndrome.]


The consequence of the plateau. The plateau of the market economy, it has been witnessed, results in enormous waste. That is in quantities of funds spent to look pretty, all are a part of this plateau. Consumerism extremism. [ Therefore the reactionaries in this sense are the liberals who want centralized control of government – e.g. to regulate your consumption, to regulate your market consumerism. Possibly under reactionary morality, a deep seeded guilt of consumerism]





Truth, Meaning, Believing, and Moralizing


"Believing" will be distinguished from "knowing" simply because the distinction is not often made.


The entire notion of morality and ethics is very briefly considered simply because much of ideology is ethical in principle and pretends to be moral in act.

For convenience, we will use the term "truth" to refer to sentences (propositions) that meet language domain (empirical and logical) variant "truth criteria" (simple and complex perceptions in the first and transformation rules in the second).



The Background of the 21st Century


The Background of the 21st Century. The present is the intersection of trends that find their origin in the "industrial revolution" (roughly dating from the beginning of the 18th century), itself the product of the "scientific revolution" having roots in the Renaissance (traditionally understood to have begun about the time of the fall of Constantinople in 1453) and the Enlightenment (the eighteenth century). The entire period was characterized by intensive intellectual activity: the erosion of Church domination, the establishment of the political state, the rise of scientific thought, and inventions that led to rapid substitution of machine for human labor power. The industrial revolution fundamentally changed the relationship between political communities (cultures, states, empires, and so forth). For our purposes two phenomena of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries are of principal significance:

Revolution: The term "revolution" (like all terms in social science) is poorly or idiosyncratically defined. Chalmers Johnson's book on Revolutionary Change is a good place to start (and you will learn something about how social scientists think!). We will treat "revolutions" as "changes in the constitutionally established social and political order through the employment or the threat of the employment of violence." The talk will be of "values" and "institutions" and the discharging of "roles" by "role-holders." Major focus will be on educational and security institutions within an economic system (which provides the wherewithal for social life). The principal form of revolution with which we will deal will be mass revolutions that bring major consequences in their train (as distinct from "palace coups," military dictatorship, and guerrilla insurrection). The "modern revolutions" of which we shall speak are exemplified in the Fascist, National Socialist, and the Marxist variants that characterized the 20th century. Much of the discussion will be "countercurrent"--because it will be held that mainstream thought has shown itself to be fundamentally mistaken with respect to the realities of the 20th and the first intimations of the 21st centuries (i.e., consider radical Islam).


(1) the rise of surrogate (often political) religions;

2) revolutionary political movements animated by ideologies that have all the properties of surrogate religions: i.e., the appeal to sacred books; the presence of charismatic leaders and martyrs; the employment of devotional rituals and symbols; and commitment to death on the part of its believers.



Modern Revolution:

The American and the French revolutions will be treated as the first exemplars of "modern revolution."  While it is evident that modern revolutions can be understood in a multiplicity of ways, our focus will be on:


(1) nationalism




(2) development




(3) territorial expansion




(4) the enhancement of military power.




(5) the ideological rationale sustaining the entire process (at least since the time of the American revolution).

Most of the first revolutions of the modern era (commencing with the American and French revolutions) were preceptive/procedural

After the First World War, the revolutions were predicated on substantive convictions and fostered epistemocracies (rule by those who know impeccable truths, something like the "philosopher-kings" of Plato's Republic).




The Practical Significance of Ideology.


For our purposes, generic ideologies will be considered linguistic products essentially composed of normative and empirical components strung together on informal (rarely formal) logic (the "connective tissue" that holds argument together). They are generally designed to persuade--that is, to prompt action (they are perlocutionary in effect).

Some components of ideology are clearly empirical and scientific in character and can be identified as either true or false (they have determinable truth values). Unlike scientific claims (or those that are simply empirical, e.g., descriptive), ideologies are composed of normative elements which supply the energy for action. These generally are expressed in terms of "right" or "wrong," "good" or "bad," all of which are characterized by emotion--and move people to tender judgments and evaluations. It is not clear that any of these claims can be established to be either true or false. Doing "right" is applauded; doing "wrong" is punishable. Usually "emotive" terms serve our purposes best when they are not defined (not employed cognitively), because they thereby tend to lose their emotive powers.

Ideologies tend to become pernicious when they are presented as impeccable--as absolutely true.

Some ideologies are procedural, that is to say they recommend some procedures or other as good or proper. Such procedures are recommended on the basis of some precepts that tend to be considered "self-evident" (i.e., "We hold these truths to be self-evident...." and provide for some self-evident behaviors).

Some ideologies are clearly substantive, that is to say, some empirical claims are held to be incorrigibly true (i.e., "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles") and it is held that some sort of enjoinments follow: your "class enemies" always "exploit" you--or some such--and you should be prepared to "struggle" against them....

Most of the first revolutions of the modern era (commencing with the American and French revolutions) were preceptive/procedural. After the First World War, the revolutions were predicated on substantive convictions and fostered epistemocracies (rule by those who know impeccable truths, something like the "philosopher-kings" of Plato's Republic).

One of the observable differences between preceptive/procedural and substantive ideologies is that the latter are generally spoken of as "theories"

there is "Marxist theory" that includes economic notions about how whole economic systems develop and decay;

there is National Socialist "race theory" that includes biological notions about the psychological properties of entire classes of persons

There is Black Muslim "theory" about the origins of races and their respective and indelible character.

(Key) Preceptive/procedural "ideologies" simply assert certain values; substantive ideologies at least pretend to argue them.








Classical Marxism as Ideology/Theory


Classical Marxism was the product of the thought of Karl Marx (1818-1883) and Friedrich Engels (1820-1895). With writings that   began in the 1830s and only ended with Engels death in 1895, the founders of Marxism left a complex, convoluted, and abundant intellectual legacy--and like any religious text, that legacy has been interpreted in a multitude of fashions--not all mutually compatible.

The theses that have survived include the following (all approximations):

(1) History is made when the means of production (which seem to include (a) human labor power; (b) properties of the soil, climate, and available raw materials; and (c) technology) can no longer be contained within the prevailing relations of production (generally understood to mean who gets, what, how, and where).

(2) The "capitalist system" (which can be understood to mean "modern industrial system") is so characterized that it must expand the means of production (through technological advance). It is driven to expand in the pursuit of profit.

(3) Pursuing profit requires the exploitation of the proletarian class (the class of urban, wage workers), who, at first, are provided subsistence wages, but as the system matures, are forced to live on the margins of existence ("pauperism" grows more rapidly than the system).

(4) This is because only human labor produces profit (actually value. The notion is called the "labor theory of value")  --but the capitalist system, driven by competition is forced to reduce the relative measure of human labor employed in the productive process by initiating technological innovation. That increases the amount of fixed capital (machinery and collateral supports) as distinct from variable capital (essentially wages). Marxists speak of this as "high organic composition of capital." In such circumstances, profit must necessarily decline (because less living labor is used in the process). Ultimately, profits must fall.

(5) As a consequence, unemployment increases, and the life circumstances of the proletariat declines. More and more members of the middle class (those who own little capital--the shopkeepers, artisans, schoolteachers, intellectuals, lawyers)--are reduced to wage workers (i.e., "proletarians").

(6) The system's profit rate approaches zero, and even the grand bourgeoisie (the owners of great corporations and financial institutions) can no longer defend the system. The vast majority of the population has become "proletarian." They seize the factories, eliminating private property (the "glue" that held the productive system together, gave incentive to production, marketing and sale, and sparked technological innovation).

The "workers" then produce goods for use and not for profit. It is not clear how automatic all this is understood to be, nor what the new system might look like in terms of responsibilities, rights, and features. Marx and Engels both speak of its inevitability. They do not provide a time-table, but it is clear that both imagined that the "socialist/communist" revolution was imminent.

It is not clear what the role of leaders, political parties, ideology, or mass violence might be. Most of these claims are empirical, and observable evidence should be available for their confirmation/disconfirmation. But the entire structure rests on an unspoken moral appeal: serving people's needs is good; working solely for profit is bad



The Revolutionary and Foreign Policy Implications of Classical Marxism:

The ideology of Marx and Engels addressed issues that had been produced by the industrial revolution. That revolution (as Marx expresses in the Manifesto), transformed human life in fundamental fashion.

Central to that transformation was technological change (science and the production of tools) that substituted machine power for human labor. With that, humans could produce in unprecedented abundance, sufficient to meet the needs of everyone in society.

The productive system grew out of private ownership, so that the means of production were owned by individuals--giving rise to relations that saw the owners of the means of production garnering the bulk of the rewards of the system (through a wage system that paid workers only necessary wages allowing the owners of property to collect all surplus [profit]).

The productive system (as Marx describes it), increases its commodity yield and the market is employed in sale for profit. One of the difficulties of the system is that productivity increases at a rate that exceeds the purchasing power of consumers (the wage workers who are paid only subsistence wages). The system is driven to find market supplements--and history reveals the continued expansion of industrial capitalism throughout the modern world.

At the same time, because of competition, large capitalist enterprise tends to absorb small undertakings (the availability of capital is critical in the maintenance and expansion of industry). Fewer and fewer capitalists make more and more money--more and more of the "middle class" is forced into the wage-earning class (at subsistence wages).

That further reduces effective demand, forcing the system to seek not only market supplements but investment opportunities further and further into the periphery of the system. There is no profit in investing in a supersaturated productive system. Investment and sale have to be sought in the "less-developed periphery." The result is colonialism (or imperialism).

Ultimately, irrespective of the temporary relief, the system exhausts its markets and its investment outlets, and collapses. In the course of this process, industry drew the vast majority of the population into the system. Peasants become urban dwellers and sophisticated factory workers. The collection of workers in urban settings makes communication easier and organization feasible.

More and more workers become aware of their exploitation and begin to resist the system (labor unions appear, strikes increase in frequency, and revolutionary theory makes its appearance). As the system shows increasing evidence of dysfunction, more and more workers organize and plan an alternative to that which is failing.

Ultimately the "vast majority" of the denizens of mature capitalism become class-conscious workers.

Fewer and fewer, richer and richer capitalists face more and more, increasingly impoverished ("emiserated") workers. The system collapses and public ownership of the means of production triumphs.


Marxism in the Third World:


In classical Marxism there is little that might guide revolutionary Marxists in less developed countries. In one place, Marx suggests that revolution might erupt in such an environment--to be quickly followed by "liberating revolution" in an advanced industrial environment. In almost the last thing he wrote, when asked if revolution could produce a (Marxist) "socialist" society in peasant Russia, he affirmed "only if such a revolution is a signal for revolution in the industrial West."

The reason for that was Marx's (and Engels') insistence that the elimination of class conflict required a productive system that could satisfy all needs (and perhaps all wants). That could not be accomplished in non- or partially-industrialized societies.

V. I. Lenin, who came to power through a peasant revolution, died waiting for the "saving" revolution in the West.

When Stalin came to power, he committed the "Communist" party to the rapid industrialization of the Soviet Union ("socialism in one country"). The system he created was vastly different than anything anticipated by Marx and Engels, and suggested by Lenin (before the 1917 Revolution).

In general, knowledgeable Marxists rejected "Leninism" and subsequently "Stalinism." Leon Trotsky, perhaps as responsible for the revolution as Lenin, declared that Stalin had abandoned all semblance of Marxism and had introduced "fascism" in what had been Bolshevik Russia.

Revolutionary leaders in the Third World (often totally ignorant of the Marxism of Marx and Engels), often finding financial and military support from Moscow, have made "communist" revolutions in environments totally lacking in the prerequisites of the "liberating revolution" anticipated by Marx and Engels.

(Engels was very eloquent about what would happen if a revolutionary leadership tried to undertake a "socialist" revolution in an economically backward community. See his essay, "Peasant War in Germany.") In effect, a "Marxist" revolution in a primitive economic environment makes little, if any, theoretical sense.

That is why literally all such peasant revolutions are nationalistic in inspiration. That is why Castro could make "The Fatherland or Death" the cry of the revolution. (Remember, Marx insisted that workingmen have no fatherland. Marxists are supposed to decry nationalism in any form.)

That is why Marxism in all the third world countries was always nationalistic (in some one or another sense).

Ho Chi Minh and Pol Pot were unashamedly nationalistic; as was Mao Zedong and as is Kim Jong Il and all the contemporary leaders of "Communist" China.

In retrospect, Marxist revolutionaries in less developed environments, struggled with "revolutionary theory" (because Marxism did not address or anticipate "liberating" revolution in less developed countries).

In response, Lenin created the Bolshevik party, and Benito Mussolini (one of the principal leaders of the Italian Socialist Party) created Fascism.

With the failure of "Marxism" everywhere, revolutionaries no longer claim to be "Marxists."

Their ideology is essentially "anti-American," and "anti-capitalist" (a kind of anti-capitalist populism).

They continue to advocate the abolition of property, but there is little "theory" behind the advocacy.

What it means in essence is state control of the economy and the life of citizens. [ MJM—IN OTHERWORDS, THEY ADVOVCATE FASCISM of its central control principles]

Other revolutionaries (religious fundamentalism) make no reference to Marxism, they find it irrelevant or "materialist." 





Marx had specified conditions for the revolution he predicted: (1) Capitalism would have concluded its trajectory of growth,

Because industry had fully developed and workers could run plants and distribute goods, the revolution was the relatively simple seizure of the productive system.


(a) there was concentration of wealth in a small monopoly;


(b) most persons had become proletarians and other classes had diminished;


(c) the standard of living of the proletariat had fallen below subsistence.




The Revolution in 1917


The Revolution in 1917 was nothing like that.

Lenin's revolution had very little to do with Marxism as an ideology.

Actually, 1917 was characterized by a number of revolutionary preconditions, none of them specifically Marxist:


(1) an alienated elite (the military and the nobility who blamed the Czar for Russia's defeat);


(2) alienated intellectuals who supplied a suitable ideology for (3)


(3) mobilizable masses--who were mobilizable because many young men had been removed from their traditional and stable environments (away from system reinforcing institutions like the family, the schools, and the church).

In those environments they had been trained in system sustaining behavior (prevailing morality).

They satisfied system sustaining roles (they were rewarded for appropriate behavior and punished for behavior inappropriate to their roles, i.e., positive and negative conditioning for meeting or failing to meet role norms).

Taken out of their familiar environments (and cast into unfamiliar roles), young, energetic people can take on destructive roles (to satisfy their peers or their new superiors).

In the Russia of 1917, millions of soldiers had deserted their units and were therefore under threat of severe punishment.

Their behavior was no longer system sustaining. Together with that, large segments of the domestic population began to fear that Russia would be so badly defeated by the German armies that they would suffer personal and family losses.

They had originally anticipated that the war would bring them advantages in business, trade, profit, and so forth.

They suffered an abiding sense of relative deprivation.

The failure of the Russian forces to defend the country and turn back the German invaders created a deep feeling of threat, resentment, despair, and imminent loss.

Capitalists and the educated middle classes were alienated from the regime.

They supplied the deserters from the war front the financial assistance and the subsequent mobility to allow them to organize themselves for radical system change.

The alienated intellectuals (in this case the Marxists under Lenin) supplied the rationale for revolution--the justification for using violence against the system.

The (liberal) leaders of the February revolution, who deposed the Czar, did not offer enough to satisfy all claimants.

The Bolsheviks offered peace and land to the peasant soldiers (the vast majority of the Czarist army was composed of peasants).

The liberals of the February revolution attempted to continue the war--but the army had disintegrated.

Since there no longer was any effective security force to protect the government, the revolution became a real possibility.




Lenin's Rationale:


Lenin had tried to adapt Marxism to the Russian environment--but Russia was an economically and industrially backward country--which meant that there were few urban proletarians to be mobilized to revolution.

As a consequence, as early as 1902, Lenin argued that the proletariat (unlike Marx's predictions) had not developed the revolutionary class consciousness necessary for revolution.

It would be necessary for an elite vanguard to make the proletariat revolutionary (to bring "theory" to the proletariat that lacked "class consciousness").

By the outbreak of the First World War, Lenin put together his own theory of "imperialism" in order to explain why revolution did not come in the advanced industrial states.

He maintained that the "superprofits" made by the advanced countries (by exploiting the less developed) allowed them to suborn their own working class so that they became "opportunists."

Conversely revolution might break out in the "exploited backward nations" composed of nonproletarians and "bourgeois nationalists." When the opportunity came, Lenin made revolution in Russia. It is doubtful if that revolution could be corrected characterized as "Marxist."




The Fascist Revolution:


In fact, the description of the Bolshevik revolution might just as well fit the Fascist revolution which took place in Italy five years later (in October 1922).

We are concerned to meaningfully distinguish between the two revolutions.

The standard, but unconvincing, distinction is that one (the Bolshevik) was left, while the other (the Fascist) was right.

All of which raises the question of how both, or either, might be seriously understood.   


Suggested Reading: Because "fascism" (used generically to cover National Socialism as well) is uniformly identified with war, race hatred, mass murder, and oppression of "workers," students are urged to read the literature on these features found in "Marxist" regimes. See S. Courtois, et. al., The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression (Harvard University Press, 1999) and F. Furet, The Passing of an Illusion: The Idea  of Communism in the Twentieth Century (Chicago University Press, 1999).




The History of Fascism:


The beginning of the 20th century featured war and revolution. The Great War (1914-1918) was the most devastating war in history until that time. The revolutions that followed (the Bolshevik [1917], the Fascist [1922] and the National Socialist [1933]) gave the specific character to the century.


The Bolshevik revolution was very singular. It was predicated on an ideology that anticipated an international revolution in an advanced industrial environment, in which the proletariat (the urban working class) constituted the majority of the population.

In fact, the revolution in Russia took place in a retrograde industrial environment, in which less than 7 percent of the work force was urban proletariat (for Marx, there was no such thing as a "rural proletariat").

In Germany, where a much larger proportion of the population was "proletarian," the revolution that manifested itself was both anti-Marxist and nationalist (and yet one of the major ideologues of Nazism, Ludwig Woltmann, was originally an internationally recognized Marxist, and many Nazi leaders had been Marxist revolutionaries).

Neither post-World War I Italy, nor Czarist Russia, satisfied the conditions for a Marxist revolution.

The Fascist revolution [Italy]  was a revolution in a retarded economic environment (like Russia), that was fueled by nationalist (like Germany) and industrializing impulse (like Lenin's NEP and Stalin's "socialism in one country")--features that seem to typify revolutions in the 20th century.



The First World War



The First World War seems to have created conditions characterizing revolutions of the 20th century. It provided the disequilibrating conditions necessary for fundamental social and political change.

Large masses were drawn off from their traditional residences, detaching them from their traditional values and customary behaviors.

Rising expectations were thwarted. Large numbers of intellectuals were alienated, and provided the dislocated a transfer culture (a set of beliefs that anticipated a radical change in the social and political order).

The security forces in all three systems were alienated from the established regime.


In Italy, Benito Mussolini (1883-1945) had served as the political and intellectual leader of the Italian Socialist Party (1912-1914) until the crisis of the First World War led him to separate from the party and opt for intervention on the side of the Allies.


After serving as a combat soldier, being wounded, and returning to civilian life, Mussolini (in 1919) organized the Fascist movement in order to


(1) protect the interests of the veterans;


(2) assure Italy its spoils of victory;


(3) create the conditions for Italy's entrance into the circle of the Great Powers.


The opposition between Mussolini (and his followers) originated in the differences between those who wanted Italy to become involved in the war and those who did not (the organized socialists).

After victory the animosity between the two sides increased in acts of violence.




Fascist slogans


Fascist slogans emphasized industrial development in order to provide the conditions for Italy's accession to the status of a Great Power.

At first, the development would take place under authoritarian auspices, but liberal economic modalities (1922-1925).

After 1925, the developmental program was state dominated.

The Corporative State was identified with the economic, political and military development of a modern Italy that would resist the impostures of the advanced industrial countries (the United States, England and France).


In trying to "understand" (in terms of social science?) the rise of Fascism (or any other revolution), some have chosen to select "moral crisis" as the fundamental cause.



The Moral Crisis


It has been argued by some well-respected persons that the rise of Fascism was to be understood in terms of a "moral crisis"--with Fascism representing a kind of evil as opposed to Marxism and liberalism (supposedly animated by "Enlightenment values."

Why would we be persuaded that such was the case? Was it what Fascists said that confirmed the diagnosis? Do we have surveys that tell us that Fascists rejected morality? How do we collect evidence to support our claim that the rejection of "the idea of liberty" was the cause of Fascism?

Most commentators have ultimately become uncertain of the strength of such an interpretation. The resutl has been to reduce the issue of morality into a Psychological Disorder.

Most of this discussion turned on Freudian interpretations and is (or was) as interesting and convincing as psychoanalysis in considered scientifically established.

Whatever one makes of the attempt to make Fascism the consequence of psychological disorder, one result was that Fascism was never treated seriously as an ideological system.

Marxism and Leninism were considered moral, coherent, and plausible, not requiring a psychological explanation. No one even considered the possibility that Fascists may have been normal.

Fascist ideology was dismissed as rationalizations for either moral or psychological impairments.

This was rarely if ever done when trying to "understand" Marxism or Marxism-Leninism. 


Together with the notion that Fascism was the consequence of moral failure, individual psychological disability (the Freudian "family drama"), there was the suggestion that Fascism was the result of collective psychological disability, the product of crowd behavior.

Gustave Le Bon's The Crowd was an early rendering of this concept, to be followed by important authors such as Hannah Arendt and Talcott Parsons.

While each author seems to entertain a different concept, all insist Fascism is a product of "mass man." (In some cases, the masses rule, in other cases they are submissive, and in all cases, they are ignorant and barbaric.)

"Mass-man" is understood to be the consequence of the "melting down" of all institutions and traditional bonds. Individuals are no longer sheltered in organized groups, they are "alienated," "rootless," and "antinomian" "mobs."

The new urban populations, like the rootless working class and the vulnerable "new middle classes" provided the recruitment base and/or the psychological foundation for Fascism (or Nazism, or Bolshevism?).

Rapid demographic increase (Italy, at the turn of the 20th century, experienced a very high rate of demographic growth), war (the First World War), and economic dislocation (the post-WWI business collapse in Italy, Germany and /or Czarist Russia) foster the creation of "mass-man" and therefore constitute the necessary conditions for the rise of Fascism (or....).

Hannah Arendt's account is more complicated, introducing the corrupting influence of early capitalism in order to set the stage for "totalitarianism."

The union of "mobs" and the competitive and expansive "bourgeoisie" gave rise to Fascist (and Bolshevik?) violence, "tribal nationalism," and imperialism.

(Hannah Arendt's account cont…) The revolutionary movement provides a sanctuary for the displaced, lonely, anomic, "rootless" masses, given to violence, selflessness, sacrifice, collective dedication and so forth. For Arendt, these are the moral standards of the "bourgeoisie" (are they not found among Bolsheviks?).

For Arendt and William Kornhauser, the masses become a resource for "fascist" (not Bolshevik) movements.

The first question that arises is that all the conditions identified as necessary (if not sufficient) for the rise of "fascism" are to be found antecedent to the Bolshevik revolution [not to speak of the Maoist revolution in China]).

Is this an explanation of the rise of "fascism," or the rise of revolution? Or are Bolshevism and Maoism forms of "fascism"?

Before any answer is attempted, all of this must be measured against the historic facts of Fascism in Italy. Were Italians "atomized" before the advent of Fascism?

Did Italians remain members of the Catholic Church? Is that important? Did Italians remain members of labor unions in the cities or the rural areas?

The fact is that the Fascists accepted the theory of "mass-man" as a partial explanation of revolution.

A host of intellectuals (including Vilfredo Pareto, A. O. Olivetti, and so forth) appealed to "rootless masses" as a partial explanation of their revolution.

Such an "explanation" would serve equally well for the Nazi, Bolshevik or the Maoist revolutions?

What is clear is that in post-WWI Italy pre-Fascist institutions did not simply dissolve (such a dissolution was more apparent in Russia after WWI).

Part of the history of the Fascist revolution is the accommodation of many of Italy's pre-war institutions (the Church, industry, the military, the civilian security forces, landlord organizations in the North, and the monarchy) into the new system.

What this suggests is that existing groups sought a defense of their rational interests by the revolution--much more so than in the case of the Bolshevik revolution (where there was utter and complete disorder and destruction of traditional institutions).

The Fascist revolution involved groups that survived, bringing their interests with them.

The Fascist base was not simply composed of rootless, irrational, and selfless masses.

What this suggests is that the Fascist leadership did have a significant incentive to address, rationally, the interests of identifiable interest groups in revolutionary Italy.

Lenin did pretty much the same thing in Russia--he did not appeal to "irrationality" any more than Fascists did.

(The difference in the Leninist revolution was that Lenin chose to destroy all the traditional institutions: the monarchy, the church, classes, and so forth.

That left the "masses"--the peasants returning from the front--completely rootless, alienated, and disposed to violence.

That may help to explain why there were so many more victims in the Bolshevik when compared to the Fascist revolution).

In both revolutions, irrespective of the chaos, alienation, dislocations, collapse of old institutions, and so forth, both the leadership and the "masses" still retained rational interests--although those interests frequently found expression in hyperbole and utopianism.


Fascism as the Consequence of Class Warfare


One of the more popular interpretations of Fascism (and "fascism") is that it is the result of "class warfare," i.e., that it was the creature of capitalists or "finance capitalists," and their paid agents were Mussolini, and Hitler and anyone else that was disliked (George Bush?).

The difficulty with the notion is that there is literally no evidence that any of these people served as the agents of "capitalists" (which capitalists?).

Capitalists have a variety of interests; some prefer war, others peace, some high tariffs, others low tariffs, some high energy costs, others low energy costs....who do the "fascists" obey?

There is no documentary evidence that Mussolini or the Fascists were in the service of "capitalists," and there is much evidence that many capitalists worked against the Fascist regime throughout its history.

That Fascism was developmental attracted business people, but it also attracted workers and agrarians.

The fact that it was irredentist and aggressive alienated many business people, as well as workers and agrarians.

There need be no speculation about the issues.

Very few serious scholars still entertain the notion that Fascism (or "fascism") is the product of "capitalist" conspiracy




Conceptions of Fascism as a Function of Economic Development and Totalitarianism as a Consequence:


In the last half of the 20th century "theories" of economic growth and development became popular among political scientists and economists.

Unfortunately, the conceptions were not considered during the time when the interpretations of Fascism were first formulated.

W.W. Rostow's thought was central to this development. He loosely characterized five stages of economic development:


(1) traditional society;


(2) preconditions for self-sustaining "take-off";


(3) the actual "take-off";


(4) sustained drive for industrial maturity;


(5) a society of mass consumption. Rostow speculates that Fascism may appear at late stages in (2), or in (3) and (4) because in any of those stages there are clearly functional requirements:


(a) mobilizing financial and human resources for systemic changes;


(b) supervision by the state in order to protect infant industries, controlling labor, constructing education, information and communication infrastructure, supervising exports and imports, reducing "nonproductive" consumption, and inspiring a population to demanding tasks.


The entire process would be infused with high emotional salience, requiring special forms of population management, that includes a control of information flow, public rituals and mass demonstrations, continuity of leadership and a population in a constant state of excitation.


The intellectuals who expanded on this interpretation have parsed the process in different ways, but what is impressive is


(i) it is supported by the doctrinal statements of Fascists themselves;


(ii) we have factual support of a rapid (if irregular) rate of growth and development throughout the Fascist period;


(iii) it has been supported by the more competent Marxist theoreticians;


(iv) it is compatible with what we know of other revolutions in the 20th century.


The major difficulties concerning such an interpretation include


(I) the lack of empirical specificity with respect to the stages involved in the process;


(II) the argument  does not provide a causal account of why Fascism (or fascism) rises in some circumstances and not others (i.e., why Germany and not India, and why Peronism in Argentina and no "fascism" in Israel?)


(III) it does not account for the rise of peculiar forms of racism (why in Germany and not Argentina?);


(IV) it would appear to be equally applicable to the Bolshevik revolution in Russia (would Leninism be a form of "fascism"?


Organski makes the distinction between


(a) "Stalinist"

The first is the result of the destruction of all the prerevolutionary institutions (elimination of private property, church, and parliament);

(b) "syncratic" (or "fascist") forms of industrialization.

"syncratic" industrialization is obliged to deal with surviving institutions (in Fascist Italy, the survival of the monarchy, the military and the church).

The destructiveness in the first (mass murder, mass starvation, vast concentration camps) and the relative benignity of the second are explained by the survival of former institutions in the second and their absence in the first.

None of this explains the genocidal National Socialist regime.

Moreover, there have been developmental regimes that have none (or very few) of the properties of "fascism" or "Stalinism."

(Which and how many of the properties of "fascism" must a political community have in order to qualify as a member of the class?)

Does contemporary India have enough?

Did developing South Korea have any? What of developing Taiwan?  


It is clear that the interpretation is heuristic. It suggests a great deal, but confirms very little.

It connects a conceptual framework with further theoretical speculation, i.e., it relates directly to the "totalitarian" interpretation of Fascism.

The problem is that the concept "fascism" dilates over so vast a range that it begins to lose its specificity and its plausibility.

Its specific virtue is that it eliminates the "left/right wing" distinction that has occupied so much attention in the attempt to understand political revolution in the twentieth century.

It also suggests that one not simply read the rationale provided by revolutionary spokesmen (one should not read Karl Marx in order to understand the behaviors of Joseph Stalin or Mao Zedong without comparing "theory" with fact).

The ideal combination for adequate [persuasive] interpretation of complex sequences of historic events is full familiarity with doctrine together with confirmed facts.

The properties of "developmental dictatorship" take on the features of "totalitarianism" and suggests why totalitarianism is more regularly found in developmental regimes in less-developed economic environments.

The demands on the developmental dictatorship foster totalitarianism. The anomaly is National Socialist Germany. If there had not been an all-consuming war, would Germany have developed into a totalitarian political system?  




The Decay of Marxism-Leninism


Marxism as a political doctrine argued that only philosophical materialism could satisfy its intellectual demands.

Ideas for Marx were "reflections" of material conditions (the "superstructure" reflecting the "economic base").

As capitalism matured, fewer and fewer capitalists garnered greater and greater wealth and more and more of the middle class lapsed into the poverty of the proletariat. At full maturity, capitalism could not profitably dispose of its produce (even with colonial adjuncts), and the system would go into catastrophic crisis.

The proletariat (by that time the "vast majority" of the population), would simply seize the productive base and distribute products for "use" rather than "profit." Human beings would then enjoy peace (it was capitalism that caused war), freedom (the state would "wither away" because it would serve no purpose in a communist society), and everyone's needs would be satisfied (the productive base would produce limitless goods).

None of this obtained in the Russia captured by the Bolshevik revolution.

Instead Lenin became leader of an economically and industrially retrograde nation.

To maintain control he had to fight wars both civil and foreign.

He had to impose a dictatorial political state on the population and create a vast military machine.

In tracing the ideological decay of Marxism-Leninism(-Stalinism) from the time of the Lenin of the Civil War and the New Economic Policy, N. Bukharin's Economics of the Period of Transition, through Stalin's "Socialism in One Country" and Evgeni Preobrazhenski's New Economics, and finally to Stalin's abandonment of much of Marxism--with his Marxism and Linguistics as well as his "dialectical" defense of the most elaborate state and military structures in history, a massive police apparatus, together with economic policies nowhere to be found in either Marxist or Leninist texts, we have no clear empirical grounds for identifying Stalinism with classical Marxism, Leninism or "the Left." The similarities with paradigmatic Fascism become increasingly emphatic.


(1) There are increasing departures from metaphysical materialism, on the grounds that the concept is no longer intelligible, given the developments in atomic and subatomic physics (see Stalin's Marxism and Linguistics).


(2) The epistemological idealism of Gentile seems more appropriate compared to epistemological materialism.


(3) Even if that is not the case, Gentile's idealism (that the fundamental "reality" of existence is consciousness) suggests that human beings, not matter, are responsible for their life circumstances. It suggests a voluntaristic conception of the world.


(4) Given the demands made upon the denizens of less-developed economic systems in the process of forced industrial development, a social philosophy of sacrifice and labor recommends itself--and that, in turn, recommends voluntarism, with individuals responsible (and punishable) for their behaviors.


(5) Since "socialism in one country" is essentially a strategy for rapid industrial development and economic expansion of a specific political community, a responsible voluntarism (rather than a passive materialism) urges itself on those leading the process.


Moreover, since the time of Preobrazhenski, it was clear that workers would be required to work at "rational low wages" in order to supply the capital surpluses for the economic program, voluntarism (hence some form of philosophical idealism) would be manifestly functional to government purposes.

Mussolini seemed to understand that and had made Gentile's philosophical idealism part of the official doctrine of Fascism. Whatever their differences, by the mid-1930s, many Fascist intellectuals recognized the affinities between Fascism and Stalinism.

By the time of the collapse of the Soviet regime in 1991, Stalin's heirs were advocates of an emphatic nationalism, sustained by a voluntaristic (idealistic) ideology, that anticipated a rationalization and acceleration of the Russian economy--that included a form of state socialism with corporative characteristics --not unlike Mussolini's Fascism.

The system would include a single dominant political party with special emphasis on leadership by "Leaders." The program was expected to sustain Russia's grandeur as a consequence of its anticipated victory in its conflict with the "materialistic and imperialistic West" and the restabilization of the nation's "irredentist beyond" (all those territories that had been part of the czarist or Stalinist empire). That would require the maintenance and expansion of Russia's military capabilities.


All of that necessitated a candid abandonment of all of Marxism in whatever form.

Around such an ideology, a form of doctrinal "racism" collected itself (see Leo Gumilev's Ethnogenesis and the Biosphere [Moscow, 1990])--to make the similarities more emphatic.  




Fascism as "Paradigmatic" of Modern Revolution:


If one reads Gentile's Origins and Doctrine as one unfamiliar with modern Italian history, it is still possible to understand the fundamental sense of his account (remembering always that this is one person's vindication of a political system).

Throughout the exposition one receives a decided impression that Gentile advocates a "philosophy of life" that is sacrificial--committed to a "mission" that  is demanding and arduous.

His objection to traditional Marxism was its emphasis on class interests (causing a fragmentation of the community), to the exclusion of overarching national concerns.

Gentile argued that the individual is only fulfilled in the company of others, and the more intense the relationship (an identity) the more fulfilling.

Traditional democracy was a system designed to satisfy individual (rather than collective/community) interests and therefore, at best, amoral, if not immoral.

Resistance to Marxism and individualistic democracy appeared at the turn of the twentieth century (see Georges Sorel), and the youth of the nation sought satisfaction outside of individualistic hedonism and materialism.

Nationalism and syndicalism made their appearance and the most dynamic of the young people joined.

The Great War (1914-18) shapened the differences between the political forces and the rise of Fascism was the violent resolution of the differences.

The victory of Fascism (28 October 1922) marked the transformation of the liberal state into the Fascist state, disciplined and demanding of sacrifice--having some of the central properties of religion--calculated to make Italy a major world power.

As a philosophy of action, Fascism is characterized as anti-intellectual. [ mjm -- Gentile stated a difference between intellectual and intellectualism]

That means that it understands that life is predicated on moral choice and that intellect provides instrumentalities that further choice.

Because it has a program that is demanding, Fascism emphasizes the state as the executive control agency of the nation.

The community (as nation) and as collective will (as the state) precedes the individual and shapes him/her (as Aristotle and Plato affirmed).

The individual identifies with the state/nation (which is the ground of personality) so that the state is preeminently democratic in a way that the "bourgeois liberal state" could never be. In order to realize those purposes, the Fascist State becomes the "syndicalist state" in which all productive elements of the nation work in unison to achieve national ends (the "corporative state" which is inclusive of the syndicates of labor and the associations of entrepreneurs). The result is the totalitarian state.




























Defining Fascism:


For half a hundred years, academics have sought to provide a definition of Fascism (or fascism) (capitalized the term refers to Mussolini's Fascism and in lower case it refers to a putative generic fascism).

We have considered some candidates that attempt both and explanation and a definition: moral collapse, mass-man, psychological disabilities, etc. in the form of "Fascism was the product of....etc.," so that it could be defined as a "movement that gave expression to the effects of moral collapse," etc.

Some have attempted to define Fascism via criterial traits: Fascism is (or was): a movement and political system that was anti-democratic, elitist, given to the "leadership principle," "ultranationalist," hegemonic, corporativist, mass-mobilizing, ideocratic, terroristic, militaristic and aggressive.

Unhappily, many "anti-fascist" movements and regimes display the same properties: Stalinism, Maoism, Castroism, Kim Il Sungism in North Korea, to mention only the most prominent. None of this is particularly helpful and causes considerable intellectual confusion.

We are left with "Left" and "Right" wing distinctions that are difficult to defend.

(Key) Rather, it will be suggested that the first Fascism be understood to exemplify a modernizing (i.e., an industrializing), mass-mobilizing, reactive nationalist, and anti-democratic movement that manifested itself in a late-emerging, underdeveloped (largely traditional, i.e., agrarian) nation-state forced to contend with a collection of well-developed political democracies that largely controlled the politics of the globe.

In order to attempt to "understand" what transpired in Europe between the two world wars, it is instructive to outline what Fascism considered to be the problems that beset the Italic peninsula.

The nation had only recently emerged from a history of small communities, papal states and foreign occupation [mjm--Spanish and French occupations, mainly].

With the disappointments that followed the "Great War," Fascism rose to domestic prominence and was inspired and vindicated itself with an ideology that addressed those issues that the movement held to be central to Italy's modern concerns.

The first component was nationalism. Its principal spokesmen were Enrico Corradini and Alfredo Rocco, both major thinkers in the nationalist tradition.

They outlined the principle components of what was to be Fascist ideology: nationalism and rapid economic development.

Their primary purpose was to fashion out of a retrograde, underdeveloped community, a "Great Power."

By that time, given his personal history, Benito Mussolini became increasingly committed to nationalist principles and Gentilean idealism.

The question we must deal with includes an assessment of similarities and differences between and among "socialist" and "fascist" systems in the 20th century.


The Fascist Rationale:


all the totalitarianisms we might identify, Fascism was the only one that provided a full rationale (an argued normative and empirical ideology).

For the Soviets, their argued rationale for totalitarianism was based on the conviction that all proletarians had the same interests, therefore one party and one leader could speak for all of them.

Everyone was one with the total community and the "Leader" spoke for all.

The question that must be raised turns on the credibility of such a notion. Do all workers have the same interests? All the same religious beliefs, moral preferences, career goals, living circumstances, and so forth?

For National Socialists (i.e. NAZI Germany), totalitarianism was supported by the insistence that all Nordics were of a single mind and had uniform interests; therefore, a single party and a single "Leader" could speak for all. Is that notion more credible than the suggestion that all workers share the same interests?


The most elaborate rationale was that which Gentile (Italy) provided the Fascist state. For Gentile, the conviction was that the demoliberal notion of individuals interacting in political space was a fiction. Individuals are not simply given; they are originally and fundamentally group creatures who emerge out of a rule-governed community (laws of language, morality, responsibility, i.e., social roles governed by fulfillment criteria).


Society or the community has priority (as Aristotle argued).


That concept of collective identity. If you allow all these different groups [in a society that have all different interests in how to raise children] to influence the upbringing of all these people you get a dissipated person. It was particle but not plausible for all societies as a theory, Gregory said. [ this is Gentile]


(Italy Fascist/ Gentile) The individual emerges out of its rule-governed security. Everyone wishes to be fulfilled. The totalitarian state provides the "matrix" for the process. The process will not be uniform, that is why the totalitarian state must have a corporative structure. Each "syndicate" within the corporative state represents the interests of its members.

The totalitarian state mediates those interests, because everyone within the state has the same interest in seeing the nation prosper. That is the necessary condition for the individual's self-fulfillment. There are any number of questions that urge themselves upon one, but the rationale is ideologically "persuasive" (not convincing).

Gentile provided Fascism's normative, metaphysical rationale.

He argued that modern times produced the need for the appearance of totalitarianism: a system fundamentally different from authoritarianism (although some of the same properties appear to be shared) and liberal representational democracies (which he considered amoral, fostering the antinomianism and narcissism of consumer societies).

Fascists (Italy) were to argue that representative democracies were the product of the rise of the urban bourgeoisie and its attendant individualism. They argued that totalitarianism was the result of the need of rapid economic development and industrialization on the part of communities suffering all the disabilities of underdevelopment.   


For the Purposes of Discussion:

The political systems and the strategies of industrial development that analysts have heuristically identified include: (a) "bourgeois," (b) stalinist and (c) fascist--none of which have much to do with either Marxism or "leftism." Fascist theoreticians explicitly include "totalitarianism" as a component of the process. 

That concept of collective identity. If you allow all these different groups [in a society that have all different interests in how to raise children] to influence the upbringing of all these people you get a dissipated person. It was particle but not plausible for all societies as a theory, Gregory said. [ this is Gentile]


Example: A westerner asked Castro why the newspaper allowed only one opinion. Castro: we do not have time to waste in the time of talking and discussing in so many things. That was an excuse to an America of why only one opinion in the newspaper existed. Why spend an enormous amount of energy to spend time talking when one needs to do – do it. Now the explanation.


In USA, the liberal mentality is geared toward the group meetings, the endless discussion, the endless debates, and the eternal quest of perspective. This is allowed because we, in the USA, already have a developed state. In developing states, there is little time to debate, to meet endlessly to bicker over trivial or multi-perspective views. For Gentile, this was assigned the term intellectualism, not intellect. Intellectualism were people who stood outside of workforce and (he said the system) and postulate on this and that and dissipate time. [mjm-- Note Saint Teresa of Avila’s same confession ( in Autobiography) of a plethora of intellects in Spain when the infrastructure of Spain was still primitive. ref. Worker Bee argument – same circumstances existed in Italy at that time. A large percentage, and increasing percentage of College gradates came out of the educational system with no place to get a job., e.g. because of no modern society, at the beginning of the 20th century.]



Religio: means binding, so Religion was binding, it was a vehicle is what binds us. Religious was no longer taught in Italian schools, Italy by Gentile’s time had become secular. Gentile believed that emotional (binding) appeal that gives them [ children and people]  moral sense, so religion should be taught in schools, in the younger grades. First time since 1870, after Gentile initiated the ideology, the Crucifix entered the classroom. Gentile did not think this was a high price to pay (religion of state and church). If you allow this not to take place, one will get psychiatric characteristics, illiterates, the depression of people, the dissipation of energy was his main argument.






















The concept of "Totalitarianism" is a teaching and pretheoretical device that serves didactic and research purposes.

It serves classificatory purposes (like the zoological classification of animals into families, genera, species and subspecies). For political scientists classification involves non-observable entities having observable properties.

The decision as to which observables form part of the nonobservable concept (like "democracy," "dictatorship," "communist," etc.) is the responsibility of those suggesting the classification. Thus, those concerned with "totalitarianism" generally identify


(1) a one-party state;


(2) a privileged "Leader" often characterized as charismatic;


(3) a formal ideology both required and conceived impeccable;


(4) express or indirect nationalism (usually involving some measure of irredentism;


(5) extensive control of the economy;


(6) generally messianic and irredentist in terms of a national mission;


(7) militaristic;


(8) systematic organization of all associations under government control.




(9) terrorism (its threat), as an ancillary to governance, is added as well


(10) plebiscitary populism (rather than contested elections).


(imperialism or a modified ideology of national irredentism) For Fascists, the advanced industrial powers imposed themselves on the less developed;

they exploited them by controlling the flow of trade and fixing its terms in their own favor, by imposing their cultures on the less developed, and by exploiting the citizens of the less developed communities by using them as cheap immigrant labor.

The advanced industrial countries exploited the less developed nations for their resources.

For Fascists, liberal representational democracies were status quo powers (since they were dominant in the world);

For Fascists, totalitarian powers revolutionary.

In order to effectively restore their integrity, the less developed countries--which characteristically have a past (sometimes ancient) history of empire and world influence--can once again be "great powers" only if their citizens sacrifice their individual interests and obey the "vanguard party" and its leadership.

The argument is that the "sacrifice" is not really onerous, because the individual only achieves fulfillment when the community of which he/she is a member is equally fulfilled.


The principal instrumentalities are


(1) rapid industrial development


(2) militarization that would assure the establishment of the nation as the equal of the "great powers." 












Preamble: Left and Right as with Totalitarianism is not useful


Preamble: If the notion of "totalitarianism" is persuasive, then the left/right distinction is neither compelling nor useful.

It would be more instructive to find commonalities than emphasize real or fancied differences (i.e., that Fascism was the "tool" of capitalism, or that Fascism means little more than brutality, mass murder, "racism," and so forth).






The History of Less Developed Communities in an Environment of Advanced Industrial Powers:


In the 19th and 20th centuries, less developed communities suffered many disabilities in a political environment dominated by advanced industrial countries.

Most of Asia, East and South, fell under the dominance of a few advanced industrial countries.

In southern Europe, the less developed countries like Italy, Spain and in the Balkans (together with North Africa and the Middle East) fell under similar dominance.

The first general response was to recommend an appeal to the industrialized democracies to extend democracy (and all its putative rights) to the "oppressed" and "colonized" communities).

Italian intellectuals advocated reactive resistance (reactive nationalism). Only at the end of the 19th century did Italy reorganize itself as a nation.

By the beginning of the 20th century, Enrico Corradini organized a movement of political nationalism to "restore the nation's greatness."

He attracted many intellectuals who put together a program that shares many features with those of similar movements throughout the world of less developed communities.

Corradini argued that national sentiment was a natural product of human evolution. The sense of group belonging was critical to the psychology of human beings.

The identity of the individual with the group was the foundation of national redemption.

(Here one can understand the role of Gentile's Actualism. Gentile became a nationalist about the time that Corradini's Italian Nationalist Association [ANI] was founded.) The entire notion of a "community of destiny" composed of "similars" became the foundation for nationalist politics.



























Developmental Nationalism and Revolutionary Syndicalism:


At about the time that the ANI was making its case, a group of radical Marxists, led by the French radical Georges Sorel advocated the organization of revolutionary workers' organizations (syndicats) that would transform the decadent societies of his time.

Sorel held that Marx had made some errors in theory that left the European revolutionary movements without coherent guidance. He held that Marx believed in determinism and the catastrophic collapse of capitalism (catastrophism).

Marx (according to Sorel) believed that the proletariat would "spontaneously" become revolutionary. Sorel believed that revolution required leadership by a moral elite (consider the arguments of Giovanni Gentile) that would guide it to success. Sorel clearly had affinities with Gentile and idealism. In Italy, some of the most radical Marxists became syndicalists (including Mussolini).

(Some Austrian Marxists, particularly Otto Bauer, had begun to question the "Marxist" treatment of nationalism and spoke of "communities of destiny" influencing the political posture of "proletarian" groups.) By the commencement of the First World War, the syndicalists argued that Italy was not ripe for the kind of revolution concerning which Marx had theorized.

Some (Filippo Corridoni, for example) argued that Italy was too underdeveloped to support the kind of revolution of which Marx spoke.

They argued that whatever revolution was forthcoming would have to involve itself in the industrial development of the peninsula--and the nation would serve as its proper vehicle.

By 1910-11, Sorel had himself become a nationalist and the contacts between the syndicalists and the Italian idealists (Benedetto Croce and Gentile) became intense.

The idealists served as intermediaries between the political nationalists and the syndicalists.











The War in Tripoli (1911):


In 1911, Italy became involved in a war with the Caliphate in Turkey.

The war prompted an outpouring of nationalist sentiment in Italy, and many intellectuals were surprised by the response of the workers and peasants to the War in Tripoli (they were supposed to oppose all "capitalist" wars).

Many syndicalists supported the war because of that unexpected reality and found themselves on the same side as the nationalists (although some, like Mussolini, opposed the war).

The response of the "working class" to the war caused many (like Mussolini) the rethink the official socialist position. The issue of nationalism became a critical issue among revolutionary Marxists (both in Italy and throughout Europe).













The Properties of Revolutionary Developmental Systems:


Both the "bourgeois nationalists" of Corradini, and the "national syndicalists" began to anticipate a form of revolutionary developmentalism for less-developed nations.

Its ideology would focus on the great achievements of the community's past: The "Glories of Rome" (the great achievements of the Pharaohs of antiquity; those of the Yellow Emperor; the empire of the Euphrates; the great Incan and Mayan civilizations, Garvey's Ethiopia, Nkrumah's Akan society, and so forth).

The masses would be mobilized by ritual, mass demonstration, and performance.

The "Leader," endowed with preternatural gifts, would communicate directly with the public.

Generally (but certainly, no always), the leader would be a gifted orator. They generally are trained manipulators of symbols (trained teachers, lawyers, intellectuals). Everyone would be mobilized in cohorts: youth (the Balilla, the Young Pioneers), workers (in a variety of workers' organizations), and others in a multiplicity of women's groups, sport associations, and "cultural bodies."

Information would be controlled in order to exclude the influence of "foreign," and subversive sentiments (in times of concerted application and sacrifice).

There would be a militaristic culture with emphasis on virility, obedience, and courage.

Military virtues are those expected of common citizens. (That is what "militarism" means.

Nations like Great Britain and the United States may have a large military, but only soldiers are expected to display military virtues.) An industrial base is  sought that might provide the hardware for the military.

Irredentism is often, if not always, present--with an invocation to restore "lost lands."






Copyright © 1999 - 2013 Michael Johnathan McDonald