Fascist mysticism (Italian: Mistica fascista) was a current of political and religious thought in Fascist Italy, based on Fideism, a belief that faith existed without reason, and that Fascism should be based on a mythology and spiritual mysticism. A School of Fascist Mysticism was founded in Milan on April 10, 1930 and active until 1943, and its main objective was the training of future Fascist leaders, indoctrinated in the study of various Fascist intellectuals who tried to abandon the purely political to create a spiritual understanding of Fascism. Fascist mysticism in Italy developed through the work of Niccolò Giani with the decisive support of Arnaldo Mussolini.
Niccolò Giani took the definition of mysticism from the writing of French philosopher Louis Rougier:
Mysticism is a set of propositions which adheres to tradition or sentiment, even if these propositions cannot be justified rationally and very often forgetting the primary reasons that led to state them.
In line with Rougier, Giani stressed in his manifesto for the School of Fascist Mysticism, "that fascism has its 'mystical' aspect, as it postulates a complex of moral, social and political, categorical and dogmatic beliefs, accepted and not questioned by the masses and minorities ... [A Fascist] puts his belief in the infallible Duce Benito Mussolini, the fascist and creator of civilization; [a Fascist] denies that anything outside of the Duce has spiritual or putative antecedents.
The establishment of the School was made to allow his followers to devote themselves fully to the worship of Mussolini, meditating on the writings and speeches of Mussolini, and living according to his words, in a spirit of absolute loyalty and unquestioningly, as specified in the article "Fascist mysticism" in the Political Dictionary edited by the National Fascist Party in 1940:
In this sense "mystical fascism" means belief in the absolute truth of the doctrine established by the Duce and the same belief in the necessity of this doctrine, as a way of greatness and power of the nation (...). With this fascist mysticism is called the preparation for more energetic action and more on which the ideals of Fascist statements tend to translate into reality ... The mystical fascism ... can best be described as the Fascist action determined by a stronger faith in the absolute truth of Fascist propositions. In this sense we can understand how one can speak of a mystical part of the Fascist doctrine or the best of the doctrine of Fascism, and how to prepare a school that is appropriate and addresses the best part of the Italian youth towards this mysticism, that is, towards this "more fascist" action.— From the Dictionary of Politics, edited by the National Fascist Party, Vol III, p. 185 to 186, Rome 1940
The use of the term "mysticism" provoked hostility from the Roman Catholic Church, which used the term in the sense of being strictly limited to the spiritual sphere, without any political influence. But in Giani's conception of mysticism, he claimed it was in the political sphere without fear of overlap between the two worlds. Giani stated: "Neither the Church should make policy, nor the State must make religion. Fascist Catholics, therefore, Catholics, or fascists, whichever is more like it, but Fascists: let us remember." The Bishop Onofrio Buonocore stated that he viewed Fascist mysticism as "the testimony of an Italy no longer divided, but renewed and reconciled under the papal insignia and littoriali". In February 1937, the Cardinal of Milan, Ildefonso Schuster, gave a speech at the School of Fascist Mysticism. Many years of friction took place between the Catholic Church and the Fascist Regime, erupting into open conflict in 1931, after Mussolini's withdrawal of several concessions his regime made to the Catholic Church in a 1929 Concordat.
While considering the Fascist mysticism a "trend of thought" there are only contributions made by Italian thinkers, although they quoted Rougier, Albert Sorel and Henri Bergson, cited by Nino Tripodi even if they were important in predetermining a state of mind in young mystics rather than provide guidance. According to the philosopher Enzo Paci, Fascist mysticism was influenced by Nietzsche and Sorel, as was much of the culture of the period:
Nietzsche and Sorel have been and remain the true masters of our culture, that of our political doctrine— Enzo Paci
The principles of mystical fascism were largely formulated by Niccolo Giani and a small group of young Fascists bound to the teachers at the School of Fascist Mysticism (including Guido Pallotta and Berto Ricci), some high-ranking (including Ferdinand Mezzasoma, Giuseppe Bottai), by writers and journalists of proven Fascist faith (Telesio Interlandi, Virginio Gayda) and Benito Mussolini. It ultimately traced the cultural lines that were followed in the development of "Fascist" disciplines and guidelines pertaining to the policies of the School of Fascist Mysticism. Around this core of "hard" high-profile intellectuals revolved others, including Paolo Orano, Luigi Stefanini (who was an official consultant to the School of Fascist Mysticism) and Julius Evola, and Giovanni Gentile and his student and friend Armando Carlini, but Carlini seems to have had a rather marginal role in Fascist "mysticism".
The Argentine Fascist Party (Partido Fascista Argentino, PFA) was a fascist political party in Argentina from 1932 until its official disbandment in 1936, when it was succeeded by the National Fascist Union (Union Nacional Fascista, UNF). Founded by Italian Argentines, the party was formed as a breakaway faction from Argentina's National Fascist Party (Partido Nacional Fascista, PNF). It was based upon Italian Fascism and was recognized by Benito Mussolini's Italian National Fascist Party in 1935. In the 1930s the party became a mass organization, particularly in Córdoba. Nicholás Vitelli led the PFA's branch in Córdoba until his death in 1934, whereafter Nimio de Anquín took the leadership of the party. The PFA's main political allies in Córdoba were the Argentine Civic Legion and the Nationalist Action of Argentina/Affirmation of a New Argentina movement.Argentine Patriotic League
The Argentine Patriotic League (Liga Patriótica Argentina) was a Nacionalista paramilitary group, officially created in Buenos Aires on January 16, 1919, during the Tragic week events. Presided over by Manuel Carlés, a professor at the Military College and the Escuela Superior de Guerra, it also counted among its members the deputy Santiago G. O'Farrell (1861-1926). The League was merged into the Argentine Civic Legion in 1931. The Argentine Patriotic League formed part of a larger movement of patriotic leagues active in Chile and Argentina during the early 20th century.Blueshirts (Falange)
The Blueshirts (Spanish: Camisas Azules) was the Falangist paramilitary militia in Spain. The name refers to the blue uniform worn by members of the militia. The colour blue was chosen for the uniforms in 1934 by the FE de las JONS because it was, according to José Antonio Primo de Rivera, "clear, whole, and proletarian," and is the colour typically worn by mechanics, as the Falange sought to gain support among the Spanish working class. In Francoist Spain the Blueshirts were officially reorganized and officially renamed the Falange Militia of the FET y de las JONS in 1940.Brit HaBirionim
Brit HaBirionim (Hebrew: ברית הבריונים, The Strongmen Alliance (Alliance of Thugs)) was a clandestine, self-declared fascist faction of the Revisionist Zionist Movement (ZRM) in Mandatory Palestine, active between 1930 and 1933. It was founded by the trio of Abba Ahimeir, Uri Zvi Greenberg and Yehoshua Yeivin.Christofascism
Christofascism is a combination of Christian and fascism coined by Dorothee Sölle in 1970. Sölle, a liberation theology proponent, used the term to describe the Christian church which she characterized as totalitarian and imperialistic.Crypto-fascism
Crypto-fascism is the secret support for, or admiration of, fascism. The term is used to imply that an individual or group keeps this support or admiration hidden to avoid political persecution or political suicide. The common usage is "crypto-fascist", one who practices this support.Faisceau
Le Faisceau (French pronunciation: [lə fɛso], The Fasces) was a short-lived French Fascist political party. It was founded on November 11, 1925 as a far right league by Georges Valois. It was preceded by its newspaper, Le Nouveau Siècle - founded as a weekly on February 26, it became a daily after the party's creation.Fascio
Fascio (pronounced [ˈfaʃʃo]; plural fasci) is an Italian word literally meaning "a bundle" or "a sheaf", and figuratively "league", and which was used in the late 19th century to refer to political groups of many different (and sometimes opposing) orientations. A number of nationalist fasci later evolved into the 20th century Fasci movement, which became known as fascism.Fascist architecture
Fascist architecture is a style of architecture developed by architects of fascist societies in the early 20th century. The style gained popularity in the late 1920s with the rise of modernism along with the nationalism associated with fascist governments in western Europe. The style resembles that of ancient Rome. However, the fascist-era buildings lack ostentatious design, and were constructed with symmetry and simplicity. Both Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler utilized the new style of architecture as one of many attempts to unify the citizens of their nations, mark a new era of nationalist culture, and exhibit the absolute rule of the nation. Today, new fascist architecture is scarce because of the Axis powers' defeat in World War II, as the fascist political ideology quickly went into decline.Heroic capitalism
Heroic capitalism or dynamic capitalism was a concept that Italian Fascism took from Werner Sombart's explanations of capitalist development. This phase was known by Sombart as early capitalism. In 1933, Benito Mussolini claimed that capitalism began with dynamic or heroic capitalism (1830-1870) followed by static capitalism (1870-1914) and then reached its final form of decadent capitalism, known also as supercapitalism, which began in 1914.Mussolini argued that although he did not support this type of capitalism he considered it at least a dynamic and heroic form. Some Fascists, including Mussolini, considered it a contribution to the industrialism and technical developments, but they claimed not to favour the creation of supercapitalism in Italy due to its strong agricultural sector.Mussolini claimed that dynamic or heroic capitalism inevitably degenerates into static capitalism and then supercapitalism due to the concepts of bourgeois economic individualism. Instead, he proposed a state supervised economy, although he contrasted it to Russian state supercapitalism. Italian Fascism presented the economic system of corporatism as the solution that would preserve private initiatives and property while allowing the state and the syndicalist movement to intervene in the economy in the matters where private initiative intervenes in public affairs. This system would lead also to some nationalizations when necessary and the greatest participation of the employees in all the aspects of the company and in the utility given by the company.Left-wing fascism
Left-wing fascism and left fascism are sociological and philosophical terms used to categorize tendencies in left-wing politics otherwise commonly attributed to the ideology of fascism. Fascism has historically been considered a far-right ideology.The term has its origins with criticism by Vladimir Lenin of the threat of anti-Marxist ultraleftism before being formulated as a position by sociologists Jürgen Habermas and Irving Louis Horowitz. Another early use of the term is by Victor Klemperer, when describing the close similarities between the National Socialist regime and the German Democratic Republic.List of fascist movements by country
This is a list of political parties, organizations, and movements that have been claimed to follow some form of fascist ideology. Since definitions of fascism vary, entries in this list may be controversial. For a discussion of the various debates surrounding the nature of fascism, see fascism and ideology and definitions of fascism.
This list has been divided into four sections for reasons of length:
List of fascist movements by country A–F
List of fascist movements by country G–M
List of fascist movements by country N–T
List of fascist movements by country U–ZNational Fascist Party (Argentina)
The National Fascist Party of Argentina (Partido Nacional Fascista) was a fascist political party formed in 1923. In 1932, a group broke away from the party to form the Argentine Fascist Party, which eventually became a mass movement in the Córdoba region of Argentina.National Fascist Union (Argentina)
The National Fascist Union (Unión Nacional Fascista, UNF) was a fascist political party formed in Argentina in 1936, as the successor to the Argentine Fascist Party.In August 1936, UNF leader Nimio de Anquín attempted to force students at a law school in Cordoba to pledge a statement of support for the Spanish general Francisco Franco. Police responded with a crackdown against Argentine nationalists. Support for the UNF surged after two nationalists were shot in the Colegio Montserrat in 1938. In the aftermath of the Montserrat murders, Anquin denounced the middle and upper class for complicity and cowardice and claimed that "communism, Judaism, and degenerate Radicalism" were responsible for causing the murders. Anquín called for the mourners to swear "by God, honour, and the Fatherland, to return the homicidal bullet".By 1939, the UNF was largely defunct, and Anquín returned to his hometown to resume his earlier career as a lecturer.Occultism and the far right
Topics of occultism or Modern Paganism and the far right:
Ariosophy (pre-World War II Germanic mysticism)
Nazism and occultism (1919s–1930s)
Neo-völkisch movements (1950s to present)
Esoteric Nazism (1950s–1980s)
National Socialist black metalProletarian nation
Proletarian nation was a term used by 20th century Italian nationalist intellectuals such as Enrico Corradini and later adopted by Italian Fascist leader Benito Mussolini to refer to Italy and other poorer countries that were subordinate to the Western imperialist powers. These powers were described by Mussolini as "plutocratic nations" (nazioni plutocratiche). Corradini associated the proletariat with the economic function of production and believed that the producers should be at the forefront of a new imperialist proletarian nation. Mussolini considered that the military struggles unfolding in Europe in the mid-20th century could have revolutionary consequences that could lead to an improvement in the position of Italy in comparison with the major imperialist powers such as Britain.
Nazism rejected the Marxist concept of internationalist class struggle, it identified "class struggle between nations" and sought to resolve internal class struggle in the nation while it identified Germany as a proletarian nation fighting against plutocratic nations.School of Fascist Mysticism
The Sandro Italico Mussolini School of Fascist Mysticism (Italian: Scuola di mistica fascista Sandro Italico Mussolini) was established in Milan, Italy in 1930 by Niccolò Giani. Its primary goal was to train the future leaders of Italy's National Fascist Party. The school curriculum promoted Fascist mysticism based on the philosophy of Fideism, the belief that faith and reason were incompatible; Fascist mythology was to be accepted as a "metareality". In 1932, Mussolini described Fascism as "a religious concept of life", saying that Fascists formed a "spiritual community".Tropical fascism
In African political science, tropical fascism is a type of post-colonial state which is either considered fascist or is seen to have strong fascist tendencies. Gnassingbé Eyadéma dictator of Togo and leader of the Rally of the Togolese People, Mobutu Sese Seko dictator of Zaire and leader of the Popular Movement of the Revolution and Idi Amin dictator of Uganda have all been considered an example of tropical fascism in Africa. The Coalition for the Defence of the Republic and larger Hutu Power movement, a Hutu ultranationalist and supremacist movement that organized and committed the Rwandan Genocide aimed at exterminating the Tutsi people of Rwanda, has been regarded as a prominent example of tropical fascism in Africa. Pol Pot and The Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia has been called a tropical fascist regime, as they officially renounced communism in 1981.Young Egypt Party (1933)
The Young Egypt Party (Arabic: حزب مصر الفتاة, Misr El-Fatah) was an Egyptian political party.