Critical Review of Fascism
Over the past thirty years, political scientists, sociologists, social psychologists and historians have tried to isolate the essential and distinct features of Fascism. There is no doubt that the goal is pretentious, because the term is “loosely applied”(Blinkhorn,2000,p.4) to right wing movements, regimes, and even the interwar period. Regardless of these various attributions, there seems to be an elusive phenomenon usually termed “generic Fascism”. Martin Blinkhorn, author of “Fascism and the Right in Europe 1919-1945” claims that such a terminology is less than intellectually stimulating. The reason for this is during this period, European Fascism and other forms of right-wing authoritarianism were considered the same. The problem with this belief, Blinkhorn argues is “fascism” is very much distinct in features from other right-wing extremist parties, movements and regimes. As a social and political historian, Blinkhorn’s concern is for the “ideological sphere”() of fascism, in other words, what constitutes being a fascist party? In order to answer this question he explains that fascism needs to be understood in terms of “its metamorphosis as it moves (sometimes) from theory to movement and then (more rarely) from movement to regime. To demonstrate this, Blinkhorn explains the context in which fascism arose, further using various case studies he outlines the differences in various right-wing regimes claiming to be “fascist”, and at last he analyzes the various interpretations of fascism by other scholars. In short this critical review attempts to summarize the major context in which fascism arose, demonstrate Blinkhorn’s argument and further question the validity of Blinkhorn’s analysis of fascism being “paradoxical in nature”. (Blinkhorn,2000,p.7)
Blinkhorn begins his claim that World War One and the Treaty of Versailles settlement produced both winners and
Cited: Blinkhorn, M. (2000). Fascism and the right in Europe, 1919-1945. Harlow, England: Longman.