Jacopo Pili
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British politics, economics and culture in Fascist discourse

Chapter 2 focuses on social, economic and cultural issues, navigating the Fascist assessment of Britain’s social crisis during the interwar years and how this led to the construction of the image of a decrepit and decaying Britain in the Fascist imaginary. The main focus of the chapter is on the years between 1922 and 1935, a period during which the opinions of Fascist commentators on British political, social and economic systems dramatically evolved with the development of Fascist ideology and the regime at home. These perceptions and the regime’s representation created an ideologically based understanding of Britain as a political and economic system. The regime decided to act in accordance with this image, for example concerning the support given by the regime to Oswald Mosley’s British Fascist movement. Unlike British liberalism, Fascist ideology was perceived as revolutionary and capable of solving the problem of labour by restraining the egoisms of both workers and capitalists in the name of national prosperity. Fascist intellectuals used their image of Britain as a negative example, framing Fascism itself as a universal message of progress. Far from being a later development, this ideological tendency was present in Fascist public discourse long before the Ethiopian War (1935–1936) and even the Great Depression, drawing its roots in the mid-1920s. Chapter 2 also addresses the themes of family, feminism, religion and art, examining the Fascist representation of British culture and how the ties of the Fascist regime to the Catholic Church influenced the representation of the Anglican Church.

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