Eternal Fascism: Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackshirtgoodreads
Umberto Eco contemplates on what is fasciscm (in it’s original Italian variety) and how the term became an all encompassing for many radically right wing regimes, parties, movements, individuals and tendencies, even though they may be quite different from each other.
Eventually he comes up with “Eternal fascism” (Ur-Fascism), and postulates 14 features (he observes himself that many of those are contradicting each other). It is enough that one of those features is present, he says, to allow fascism to coagulate around it.
Here’s the summarised list of these features:
- cult of tradition
- rejection of modernism
- action for action’s sake
- disagreement is treason
- fear of difference
- appeal to a frustrated middle class
- obsession with a plot
- enemies are portrayed as both too strong and too weak
- pacifism is trafficking with the enemy
- contempt for the weak
- everybody is educated to become a hero
- machismo via weapons
- selective populism
- use of an impoverished vocabulary
The whole essay may be found here.