[Marxism] Fascist intellectuals?

Marvin Gandall marvgandall at videotron.ca
Sat Aug 26 18:58:27 MDT 2006

Carrol writes:

> One qualification. The Fascist movements fo the '30s drew the support
> (mostly passive) of a number of prominent bourgeois artists and
> intellectuals (including two of the greatest poets in English, Yeats &
> Pound). The aspects of fascism which attracted these supporters are, I
> suspect, aspects which will continue to have  attraction when manifested
> in other political and/or cultural currents. Hence identifying and
> studying those particular features of the fascist movements (often
> features _only_ of their propaganda rather than their actual politics)
> may be of continued interest today.
Yes, within the fascist base I described - "unorganized and unemployed
workers and artisans, small town merchants and professionals, ruined
farmers, and the native-born who saw the old economy and culture slipping
away from them" - I could have included two other important constituencies:
the genteel and racist "literary aristocrats" you allude to who were opposed
the democratization of education and culture, as well as army veterans and
other nationalists yearning to assert racial and imperial supremacy.

The above might almost serve as a description of the social base of today's
conservative parties, who express the same hostility to the predominantly
urban and heterogenous base of modern liberal parties: immigrants, people of
colour, working women, homosexuals, students and academics, better-paid
trade unionists, etc.

>From this standpoint, I agree with you that "identifying and studying (the)
particular features of the fascist movements...may be of continued interest
today". Above all, I think an understanding of the social and political
character of their respective bases helps us to distinguish between the
major parties in contemporary capitalist society, and to anticipate the
likely trajectories of their followers in the event of a deep social crisis.
But I appreciate we may not see eye to eye on this latter point.

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