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Parties, ideology and culture

This book provides a clear and accessible guide to the essential features of interwar British fascism. It focuses on the various fascist parties, fascist personalities and fascist ideologies. The book also looks at British culture and develops the knowledge of undergraduate students by providing a solid source of background material on this important area of interwar British history. The focus on fascist culture throws new light on the character of native fascism and suggests a potentially rich vein of new enquiry for scholars of British fascism. The book considers the membership strength of Britain's interwar fascist parties. The ideas of racial Social-Darwinism influenced British fascism in a number of ways. To begin with, hereditarian ideas and biological determinist models contributed to the emergence of racial theories of anti-semitism. The anti-semitism of the Imperial Fascist League was of a very different order from that of the British fascism. Moreover, to Britain's fascists, artistic modernism, with its creative use of distortion, disintegrative images and general disdain for the traditional discipline of the art form, made a virtue of deformity. The search to uncover the anti-liberal and anti-capitalist pre-fascist lineage would become a highly subjective exercise in invention and take the fascists on an imaginative journey deep into the British past.

Thomas Linehan

flowed from a profound sense of loss and regret at the passing of an earlier way of life, which was genuinely felt. The BUF tapped into this rich vein of traditional rural nostalgia. Consistent with its fascist ideology, however, its views on the countryside were of an even more extreme kind. In fascist ideology, particularly that of the ‘mature’ Mosleyite variety, ‘true’ culture was indelibly bound up with the countryside and the soil. 35 The land or countryside, as a timeless place expressing something eternal and enduring, was perceived to be a vital repository

in British Fascism 1918-39
Abstract only
The Historiography of Fascist Studies
Thomas Linehan

respects, though, the ‘anti-’ model of fascism, with its overemphasis on fascism’s reactionary and negative dimension, has analytical drawbacks. 18 It does not give due account to the ‘positive’, even revolutionary, content of much of fascism’s ideology and programme. We are grateful to the observations of A. James Gregor and Eugen Weber, amongst others, for uncovering this aspect of fascist ideology. 19 Nonetheless, the ‘anti-’ model of fascism at least serves as a useful analytical device to probe the reactionary, negative and imprecisely formulated pronouncements

in British Fascism 1918-39
Jacopo Pili

military point of view is therefore both interesting for understanding the dynamics of Fascist ideology and its centrality to the development of Fascist foreign policy. In order to assess it, it is particularly interesting to analyse the reports of Italian military attachés in London, mid-ranking officers who enjoyed a direct contact with British military culture. As we will see, they also had a remarkable influence on the higher ranks of Italian military and political elite. Before the Great War, British martial aptitude was widely admired. The Italian attaché in London

in Anglophobia in Fascist Italy
Jacopo Pili

Steffek and Francesca Antonini underlined: the biennium 1935–1936 represented a crucial watershed in the history of Italian Fascist ideology [. . .]. Corporativism turned from being seen as the basis of a new and potentially universal economic system to being simply a ‘crutch’ of Italy’s policy of autarky, while the universalistic references closely related to this doctrine now became mere propaganda tools.64 The sincerity of the regime’s support for corporatist ideas abroad has been debated. However, the firm belief that the Fascist model was superior, and that Britain

in Anglophobia in Fascist Italy
Giuliana Pieri

173 characterised Futurist aesthetics and reflected the (real or hoped for) mechanisation of contemporary society.46 Yet, the exaggerated scale of the figure, a modern-day warrior-Pantocrator, standing pillar-like to the west of Europe and emerging from the Atlantic Ocean, whilst striving to convey ideas of resolve, restless energy and irrepressible force, which formed the underlying rhetorical structure of so many images of the Duce, results in an empty monumentality. Conclusion The syncretism which characterised Fascist ideology is mirrored in the different faces

in The cult of the Duce
Reflections on institutional culture, working conditions and welfare
Jonathan Dunnage

tasks, career treatment and professional quality of personnel.84 Although often imbued with fascist ideology, his and other articles in the journal quietly indicted fascism for failing to create better working conditions. While, as illustrated in Chapter 2, several of Saracini’s articles pointed to the alleged lack of a fascist conscience among policemen, many focused more specifically on professional hardships and poor career prospects. Hence, an article of July 1932 argued that if not all officials had opted to pay insurance contributions, this was an indication of

in Mussolini’s policemen
British fascism and artistic modernism
Thomas Linehan

was accused of failing to respect the rules of harmony in art. Again, it is tempting to detect a sub-text of fascist ideology here and interpret this as a yearning for an ordered and harmonious social structure purged of the alleged discord created by class conflict. The modernists’ apparently calculated disdain of form and harmony, as with their radical attempts to create a new aesthetic for art outside the classical Renaissance tradition, appalled the fascists. Oscar Boulton was convinced that a ‘clique’ of ‘moderns’ was definitely in the business of cultivating

in British Fascism 1918-39
Karen Garner

Chapter 4 focuses on the months when the British and Irish governments each campaigned fiercely for America’s friendship and for the Roosevelt administration’s aid and sympathetic understanding of their nations’ competing wartime imperatives, as Winston Churchill and Eamon de Valera each defined them. Roosevelt, whose November 1940 re-election had boosted his political confidence, increased his administration’s moral and material support for Britain, although still not at the levels Churchill requested. Roosevelt proposed a program of “Lend-Lease” military aid to any nation that was defined as “vital to the defense of the United States” to the U.S. Congress, and, after much debate, Congress approved the Lend-Lease bill in March 1941. Roosevelt also sent a succession of personal emissaries to meet with Churchill and report back to him on Britain’s chances of surviving, if not destroying, the formidable German Wehrmacht and annihilating the Axis Powers’ fascist ideologies and imperial visions. With positive reports from Harry Hopkins, Wendell Willkie, and Colonel William Donovan, his new ambassador to Great Britain John Winant, and from David Gray, Roosevelt’s pro-British predispositions were strengthened and his willingness to put critical pressure on neutral Ireland increased. During this period, de Valera, Walshe, and especially Aiken, who was sent to the United States to meet with Roosevelt in April 1941, all engaged in propaganda campaigns in league with Irish Minister in Washington Robert Brennan. They tried to mobilize Irish American public opinion in support of Eire’s neutrality, but they only succeeded in alienating Roosevelt and David Gray.

in Friends and enemies
Open Access (free)
Jacopo Pili

upset the international balance of power after 1933.3 Much valuable work has also been done on Fascist propaganda abroad. Pier Giorgio Zunino’s comprehensive analysis of Fascist ideology as a 1 2 Introduction global force, for example, placed Mussolini’s foreign policy between ‘Americanism and Bolshevism’ but did not devote much space to Britain.4 While Claudia Baldoli, Francesca Cavarocchi and Tamara Colacicco have described Fascist cultural efforts to use the Fasci Italiani all’Estero and Italian intellectuals in order to reinforce the image of Fascist Italy

in Anglophobia in Fascist Italy