Peronism and fascism

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at columbia.edu
Thu Nov 30 06:45:50 MST 1995


On Wed, 29 Nov 1995, Jon Beasley-Murray wrote:

>
> First, Peronism's clear difference from fascism might have been news to
> Juan and Eva themselves.  Eva in particular was very impressed by
> Mussolini (she visited Italy shortly before WWII as I recall), and
> certainly Italian fascism was one significant model upon which Peronism drew.
>

Louis: Fascism is not a "style". You don't draw elements of it as if
Mercedes-Benz decided in 1954 to put tail-fins on their sedans after
having seen a Cadillac. Fascism is a totalitarian system that is aimed
first and foremost at the working-class. At this point, I am getting
anxious to read your paper to see how you define it. Watch out!

> Second, however, this is not necessarily to say that Peronism was a form
> of fascism (I don't think it was), but to point up a certain resemblance,
> and a contrast from which it's possible to highlight features of fascism
> and populism both. Laclau argues that the difference is a class
> difference--fascism is a populism of the dominant classes.
>

Louis: A populism of the dominant classes? Does this mean that the
attacks on trade-union meetings that took place in Germany in the 1920's
were led by members of the Krupp family? You are goading me into reading
Laclau, you realize that? The results will not be pretty, I assure you.

> But in Peronism's long history it was a very mixed movement, and there
> certainly were elements of fascism, and fascist ideology or social
> programs, present, just as at other points it was articulated with
> Cuban-style theories of guerrilla anti-capitalist revolution.
>

Louis: The next time I hear you use a phrase like "articulated with
Cuban-style theories" I will come down to Durham and wash your mouth out
with soap. And biff Stanley Fish while I'm at it.

> Oh, and while I understand complaints about Juan's style, I think
> criticizing his grammar is out of line.  Y no estoy de acuerdo con
> Lorenzo cuando dice el que una discusion en espannol seria una mala idea.
>

Louis: Juan's grammar is impeccable. It is the "Gunning fog factor" that
is the problem. The Gunning fog factor was something I learned it about
in a business writing workshop at Salomon Bros. in 1975. It involves
factors such as length of sentence, number of sentences in paragraph,
number of multisyllabic words, passive voice occurrence, etc. You keep
track of each occurrence and come up with a weighted score. If you get
something like a 30, you are borderline readable. If you get a 20, you
are in good shape. I ran Juan's piece on Peronism through my Microsoft
grammar-checker (which performs readability testing) and he got a 645.


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