Fascism and Ideology

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This book develops a number of new conceptual tools to tackle some of the most hotly debated issues concerning the nature of fascism, using three profoundly different national contexts in the inter-war years as case studies: Italy, Britain and Norway. It explores how fascist ideology was the result of a sustained struggle between competing internal factions, which created a precarious, but also highly dynamic, balance between revolutionary/totalitarian and conservative/authoritarian tendencies. Such a balance meant that these movements were hybrids with a surprising degree of internal diversity, which cannot be explained away as simple opportunism or lack of ideological substance. The book's focus on fascist ideology's internal variety and aggregative potential leads it to argue that when fascism "succeeded," this was less an effect of its revolutionary ideas, than of the opposite – namely, its power to integrate elements from other pre-existing ideologies. Given the prevailing opinion that fascism is revolutionary by definition, the book ultimately poses a challenge to the dominant view in the field of fascist studies.

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