Neofascism

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Neofascism

 

a concept embracing those modern radical right-wing movements that in a political and an ideological sense are successors to the fascist organizations that were dissolved after World War II (1939–45). Neofascists have often attempted to dissociate themselves from the discredited fascist movements of the past when they find themselves in conditions unfavorable to the open expression of fascism. In practice, however, neofascists reveal their strong ideological and political ties to the varieties of fascism that emerged between the two world wars.

There are a number of important distinguishing features of all neofascist political currents and organizations: (1) militant anticommunism and antisovietism, (2) extreme nationalism, (3) racism (overt or covert), (4) criticism from an ultraright-wing standpoint of governments (even the most conservative) based on the bourgeois parliamentary system, and (5) terrorism as a political tool. The political and ideological positions of neofascism reflect the attitudes and interests of the most reactionary bourgeois elements.

Using social and nationalistic demagoguery modified to fit the prevailing political conditions, neofascists attempt to gain influence over those people in the capitalist countries who were forced out of their position in society as a result of the development of state-monopoly capitalism and the intensification of its contradictions; the group most affected includes small businessmen, middle-level civil servants, and certain strata of youth. At the same time, the sociopolitical base and political aims of neofascism differ somewhat from country to country; neofascists in the Federal Republic of Germany, for example, present themselves as militant revanchists in an attempt to gain support among emigrants from Eastern Europe and former Nazis.

The influence of the neofascist movement and ideology depends on several factors: the balance of political forces in the ruling camp, the intensity of the sociopolitical crisis in a particular capitalist country, and the effectiveness and sense of purpose of the political forces opposing neofascism. The largest neofascist organization operating in European bourgeois-democratic countries is the Italian Social Movement-National Right, formed in 1973 as a result of a merger of the Italian Social Movement (founded 1947) and the monarchists. During the 1960’s and early 1970’s the Italian Social Movement received 5 to 10 percent of the vote. Moreover, there exist in Italy at least ten small neofascist groups, including paramilitary ones, which maintain ties with the Italian Social Movement-National Right. The neofascist National Democratic Party was founded in the Federal Republic of Germany in 1964, but it underwent a severe crisis in the early 1970’s. The collapse of fascist regimes in Portugal (April 1974) and Greece (1974) and the crisis of Franco’s regime in Spain have dealt a heavy blow to neofascism in Europe.

Some American ultrareactionary organizations, notably the John Birch Society, constitute another distinct variety of neofascism. Dictatorial regimes that employ terrorism to silence progressive forces have been established in Chile, Paraguay, and other Latin-American countries; such regimes are suggestive of fascism.

Neofascists have also formed international associations, including the European Social Movement (the so-called Malmö International), the European National Party, and the World Union of National Socialists.

Neofascist organizations and groups have limited influence. Nevertheless, they represent a serious danger. In times of social and political upheaval they may become a major component in the alliance of reactionary forces. Unity among the supporters of democracy and progress is essential to any successful struggle against neofascism.

A. A. GALKIN [17–1434–1; updated]

References in periodicals archive ?
He stated that Europe must take serious steps to protect the young generation, especially in the crisis environment, from the negative influence of Neo-Fascism and Neo-Nazism and racial intolerance, to protect national minority groups, refugees and all people from the threat of violence and attacks from Neo-Fascist and radical nationalist gangs being active all around Europe, especially in Eastern Europe and particularly in Ukraine.
He used the term during a debate mons, attacking neo-fascism of the in the Commons, attacking the "narrow, neo-fascism of the nationalists".
Not the Albanians, but the Macedonians have been disgusted by the Greek neo-fascism and it is exactly they who want to make him a direct question about the European policy.
As expected he brought up the subject of Auschwitz, although it has diddly-squat to do with the Palestinians or me, and said how "the International Christian Zionist Solidarity Network is committed to the heroic Zionist Jewish Israeli resistance against Palestinian neo-fascism.
The group is now planning its next campaign, an educational effort to encourage youngsters not to be drawn in by violent extremism such as neo-fascism or militant Islam.
Mental Health, already handicapped by the empty mechanism of Hildegard Peplau, was further embarrassed by the neo-fascism of the Tidal Model.
One of the things that really depressed Primo Levi was that in his own lifetime he saw the rise of neo-fascism in Europe, people denying what had happened and putting on swastikas again,"he says.
The world of open markets and mass-migration is unsettling, but the emergence of neo-fascism will spell terror.
In the context of the 'triumph of democracy', this has encouraged commentators to believe that the new and dangerous phenomenon of neo-fascism is also nearing extinction.
With it comes the notion of Neo-Fascism, but all dressed up into two pretty packages.
In 1990 Professor Roberto Chiarini of Milan University in his contribution to a book on Neo-Fascism in Europe stated that in Italy 'after the turmoil of the strategy of tension, the MSI has returned to a political and electoral limbo.
The political consequences are to be seen, if Gray is to be believed, in the social disasters of the age: from neo-fascism to the breakdown of human community in market societies.