[Marxism] Marxism as Fascism

Louis R Godena louisgodena at ids.net
Mon Oct 17 04:31:58 MDT 2005

I'm a bit surprised no one here has mentioned Zeev Sternhell's The Birth of Fascist Ideology (Princeton, 1994).  Subtitled from cultural rebellion to political revolution, it is perhaps the most important work on the relationship between Marxism and fascism published in the West during the last half-century.  It is not light reading.  The controversies precipitated by the book's original publication in 1989 are legendary among European political scientists.  I bought the book during a discussion on fascism between Louis Proyect and, I think, Adolfo Olaechea which took place on the old Marxism list over at Spoons.

>From the Introduction:

If the Fascist ideology cannot be described as a simple response to Marxism, its origins, on the other hand, were the direct result of a very specific revision of Marxism.   It was a revision of Marxism and not a variety or a consequence of Marxism.  One of the aims of this book is to study this antimaterialistic and antirationalistic revision of Marxism...[O]ne can scarcely understand the emergence of the fundamental concepts of fascism and of the Fascist philosophy and mythology if one does not recognize...that it arose from an originally Marxist revolt against materialism.   It was the French and Italian Sorelians, the theoreticians of revolutionary syndicalism, who made this new and original revision of Marxism, and precisely this was their contribution to the birth of the Fascist ideology.

Louis Godena

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