* Your assessment is very important for improving the workof artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project
Download Future fascisms and totalitarianisms?
Document related concepts
Future fascisms and totalitarianisms? 11 April 2008 East Germany in the 1980s • • • • Totalitarian? Post-totalitarian? Insufficient info? None of the above? Ideology and post-totalitarian regimes Workers of the World, Unite! Ideology and post-totalitarian regimes I am afraid, and therefore unquestioningly obedient! Ideology and post-totalitarian regimes • Ideology as excuse – Ideology facilitates accommodation with the regime • The automatism of ideology – Ideology operates even when nobody believes it, as a kind of ritual of power – It ensnares both the dominated and the powerful, who are caught in the fictitious world of ideology • The apparent fragility of post-totalitarian ideological regimes – Anything that is not according to ideological dictates threatens them China: A different kind of posttotalitarian regime? • Party-state relations are regularized; individual leaders are not so important • Ideology ceases to be all-important, though it still serves as an instrument of control • Nationalism substitutes for communist ideology as a way of mobilizing people • Extensive economic change creates new social forces, many of which are nevertheless tied to the state Should we worry about fascism and totalitarianism today? • Are there movements out there that, like fascism, represent the “rejection of free institutions” in the name of alternative ideologies? • Are these movements capable of gaining power in democratic contexts and creating new forms of “totalitarianism”? Candidates: Movements • Far-right nationalist parties in Europe and elsewhere • Nationalist-populist movements • “Islamist” and other “political religion” movements Candidates: Countries • Pakistan – Has a weakly institutionalized democracy and is suffering from wrenching social changes – Islamist parties have been strong in the past, and some of them reject democracy – Has atomic weapons Paxton’s 5-stage analysis • Stage 1: Emergence – Focus on the creation of “political space” • Stage 2: Taking root – Focus on the expansion and seizure of political space • Stage 3: Seizing Power – Focus on the polarized strategic context that made possible conservative-fascist alliances with fascists on top • Stage 4: Exercising power – Focus on the techniques of rule used by fascists, as well as the compromises they had to make with other independent power holders • Stage 5: Decay or radicalization – Focus on the dynamics of radicalization (Germany) or decay (Italy) within fascist regimes Stage1: Creation of Political Space • Dissatisfaction with democracy • Exploitation of fears (of foreigners, of change, of globalization) • Creation of alternatives to liberalism Stage 2: Enlarging and Seizing Political Space • Expansion of appeal through changes in position • Participation in government as minority partners or in minor offices Stage 3: Seizing Power • Participation in government as senior partners or in major offices Stage 4: Using Power • Dismantling democratic institutions Stage 5: Radicalization or Decay • Aggressive expansion and terror Fascism as toolkit: a different approach • Ideology • Repertoires (Tilly) and institutions – Of fascist movements – Of fascist regimes • Contrast with function and context Fascism as toolkit • What ideologies can be used to mobilize similar passions? • What movements and regimes borrow from the fascist toolkit or repertoire? Elements of fascist ideology • Exclusivist commitment to a particular group, combined with a fear of its decay • Belief in internal enemies which victimize one’s group (conspiratorial thinking) • Aesthetic appreciation of violence, belief in unfettered authority • Belief in the efficacy of non-traditional formulas for purifying the group and stopping its victimization and decay The fascist repertoire (toolkit) • Fascist movement – The regimented mass meeting as a way of mobilizing assent and enhancing the charisma of a leader – Front and parallel organizations as a way of colonizing society and making the fascist programme more viable – Selective use of violence against political opponents (not the state) – The deployment of particular symbols to enhance the unity of the movement and distinguish it from the rest of society – The use of mass propaganda to attract new adherents and to make the movement’s ultimate goals more respectable The fascist repertoire, cont. • Fascist regimes – The creation of dual institutions (state/party) and parallel organizations which compete to fulfil ideological purposes as defined by the leadership – The categorization of arbitrary groups of people as “objective enemies”: enemies defined not for what they do, but for who they are – The deployment of terror against objective enemies – The use of indoctrination as a means of control Generalizing about fascism • Many political movements share similar ideologies with fascism, even if they do not share the same context or deploy the same repertoires, and even if they have no chance of actually taking power anywhere (e.g., some religious fundamentalisms) • Many political movements and regimes have borrowed and continue to borrow from the fascist repertoire, adapting it to their particular circumstances. In particular we may say that the “institutional repertoire” of fascist regimes is simply a version of the institutional repertoire of “totalitarian” regimes (e.g., Stalinist dictatorship). • Few political movements could serve the same function of fascism today, except in weakly institutionalized democracies threatened by leftist movements