Metaxism (Greek: Μεταξισμός) is a totalitarian nationalist ideology associated with Greek dictator Ioannis Metaxas.[1] It called for the regeneration of the Greek nation and the establishment of a modern, culturally homogenous Greece.[2] Metaxism disparaged liberalism, and held individual interests to be subordinate to those of the nation, seeking to mobilize the Greek people as a disciplined mass in service to the creation of a "new Greece."[2]

Metaxas declared that his 4th of August Regime (1936–1941) represented a "Third Greek Civilization" which was committed to the creation of a culturally purified Greek nation based upon the militarist societies of ancient Macedonia and Sparta, which he held to constitute the "First Greek Civilization"; and the Orthodox Christian ethic of the Byzantine Empire, which he considered to represent the "Second Greek Civilization."[2] The Metaxas regime asserted that true Greeks were ethnically Greek and Orthodox Christian, intending to deliberately exclude Albanians, Slavs, and Turks residing in Greece from Greek citizenship.[2]

Although the Metaxas government and its official doctrines are often described as Fascist, academically it is considered to have been a conventional totalitarian-conservative dictatorship akin to Francisco Franco's Spain or António de Oliveira Salazar's Portugal.[1][3] The Metaxist government derived its authority from the conservative establishment and its doctrines strongly supported traditional institutions such as the Greek Orthodox Church and the Greek Monarchy; essentially reactionary, it lacked the radical theoretical dimensions of ideologies such as Italian Fascism and German Nazism.[1][3]

The ideology of Metaxism was associated with Metaxas' political party, the Freethinkers' Party and the 4th of August Regime.[4] In the post-war period it has been advocated by the 4th of August Party and the Golden Dawn party.

Main ideas


The ideology developed by Metaxas began with Metaxas' response to the revolution of 1922 that put in a pro-republican government in Greece. Metaxas formed the Freethinkers' Party, a monarchist party that originally supported the advancement of civil liberties, though this changed with Metaxas' evolving political views.[5] Metaxas supported the failed counterrevolution by monarchists against the republican-oriented government on October 23, 1923 that collapsed within a week, an arrest warrant was issued for Metaxas who fled Greece to exile in Norway.[5] The pro-republican government achieved its aim in 1924 when the Greek monarchy was deposed and a Greek republic was established.[5] In 1924, Metaxas officially changed his position from opposition to the republic to acceptance of its institutions.[5]

In the 1926 general election, Metaxas' Freethinkers' Party won 54 out of 250 seats in the Greek parliament, resulting in the party becoming part of Greece's coalition government and Metaxas becoming Minister of Communications.[6] However the Freethinkers' Party collapsed in public support in the 1928 election, losing almost all of its seats, including Metaxas' own seat.[7]

By the 1930s, Metaxas openly condemned the parliamentary system in Greece.[7] In 1935, Metaxas' party joined other monarchist parties in an electoral coalition known as the United Royalists that called for the restoration of the monarchy, however the Freethinkers' Party won only seven seats in the election.[8] However, a monarchist government was formed in Greece in 1935 resulting in the restoration of King George II of Greece as head of state.[8]

King George II had held close relations with Metaxas in the past and appointed Metaxas as Prime Minister of Greece in May 1936.[8] Upon becoming Prime Minister, Metaxas made clear his discontent with the political deadlock between feuding political blocs in Greece's parliament and the rising labour unrest being exploited by the Communist Party of Greece.[8] Metaxas quickly sought to crush dissent including labour unrest in the form of decrees that did not require acceptance by the Greek parliament.[8]

On August 4, 1936, Metaxas gained the King's support for a decree that dissolved parliament. He declared martial law, suspended civil rights such as liberty of the subject, and mobilized transport and public workers to support him.[9] Metaxas justified these actions as necessary to prevent communist revolution.[9] Numerous arrests were made of leftist leaders and others following these proclamations.[9] Metaxas abolished all political parties including his own, ruling as an official independent.[10] This date is considered the beginning of Metaxas' totalitarian rule known as the 4th of August Regime.

Metaxas was referred to by supporters as the Archigos (Leader) and promised to create a "New State" in Greece that called for Greeks to wholly commit themselves to the nation with self-control as the Spartans had done.[11] Supporters of the 4th of August Regime justified Metaxas' dictatorship on the basis that the "First Greek Civilization" involved the Athenian dictatorship of Pericles who had brought ancient Greece to greatness.[11]

Metaxas introduced widespread strict censorship of the press and banned literature of authors considered taboo by the regime, including literature by Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and Immanuel Kant.[10]

Metaxas sought the creation of a disciplined younger generation as being critical for the future of Greece and for the strengthening of his regime and its principles that world entrench the Third Greek Civilization.[12] In October 1936 the regime created the National Youth Organization of Greece (EON) that gained 200,000 members by 1938 and by 1939 when youth membership in the EON became mandatory, it absorbed the Boy Scouts of Greece.[12] Members of the EON took an oath of fidelity to the principles of the 4th of August that included: embracing the institutions of the monarchy; support of national pride and faith of the Greek civilization; opposition to parliamentarianism and communism; support of the development of egalitarian, non-individualistic, virtuous citizens.[13]

In spite of the Metaxas regime's ties to Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany[4][14] it was drawn into World War II opposite the Axis Powers after the Italian invasion of Greece, Metaxas then aligned his government with the allies until Greece capitulated and yielded to occupation by the Axis powers following the Battle of Greece. Metaxas died on 29 January 1941, leaving an unfinished plan (never published), concerning a "new constitution" for Greece aiming to a new form of government without the disadvantages of the old parliamentary system.

In religious affairs, the regime followed the tradition of the state controlling and using the religious and ecclesiastic institutions. The regime was tolerant towards the religious minorities (mainly Jews and Muslims). It was not antisemitic and prohibited antisemitic publications by certain newspapers.[15]


The social control which was established by Metaxas and the ideas passed to the youth, especially through the National Youth Organisation, had a significant influence on the Greek society and the post-war political system. Some examples are the censorship, which was in use until the Metapolitefsi, and the surviving elements of a police state. In the immediate post-war era Metaxism was advocated by the 4th of August Party. The ideas of the 4th of August Regime was also an extra motive for the group of right-wing army officers who seized power in a coup d'état and led to the Greek military junta of 1967–1974. Today the only party of the Greek parliament which claims to follow the ideas of Metaxas is the right-wing extremist Golden Dawn.[16]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Payne, Stanley G (1995). A History of Fascism, 1914–45. University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 0-299-14874-2.
  2. ^ a b c d Gert Sørensen, Robert Mallett. International fascism, 1919-45. London, England, UK; Portland, Oregon, USA: Frank Cass Publishers, 2002. Pp. 159.
  3. ^ a b Lee, Stephen J. 2000. European Dictatorships, 1918-1945 Routledge; 2 edition (22 Jun 2000). ISBN 0415230462.
  4. ^ a b Peter Davies, Derek Lynch. The Routledge companion to fascism and the far right. London, England, UK; New York, New York, USA: Routledge, 2002. Pp. 276.
  5. ^ a b c d Jürgen Fischer. Balkan strongmen: dictators and authoritarian rulers of South Eastern Europe. London, England, UK: Purdue University Press, 2007. Pp. 170.
  6. ^ Jürgen Fischer. Balkan strongmen: dictators and authoritarian rulers of South Eastern Europe. London, England, UK: Purdue University Press, 2007. Pp. 171-172.
  7. ^ a b Jürgen Fischer. Balkan strongmen: dictators and authoritarian rulers of South Eastern Europe. London, England, UK: Purdue University Press, 2007. Pp. 172.
  8. ^ a b c d e Jürgen Fischer. Balkan strongmen: dictators and authoritarian rulers of South Eastern Europe. London, England, UK: Purdue University Press, 2007. Pp. 174.
  9. ^ a b c Jürgen Fischer. Balkan strongmen: dictators and authoritarian rulers of South Eastern Europe. London, England, UK: Purdue University Press, 2007. Pp. 180.
  10. ^ a b Jürgen Fischer. Balkan strongmen: dictators and authoritarian rulers of South Eastern Europe. London, England, UK: Purdue University Press, 2007. Pp. 181.
  11. ^ a b Jürgen Fischer. Balkan strongmen: dictators and authoritarian rulers of South Eastern Europe. London, England, UK: Purdue University Press, 2007. Pp. 184.
  12. ^ a b Jürgen Fischer. Balkan strongmen: dictators and authoritarian rulers of South Eastern Europe. London, England, UK: Purdue University Press, 2007. Pp. 185.
  13. ^ Jürgen Fischer. Balkan strongmen: dictators and authoritarian rulers of South Eastern Europe. London, England, UK: Purdue University Press, 2007. Pp. 185-186.
  14. ^ *Payne, Stanley G. 1995. A History of Fascism, 1914–45. University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 0-299-14874-2
  15. ^ Isabelle Dépret, "Ioannis Metaxas and Religion (1938-41): Historical Experience and Current Debates in Greece", Cahiers balkaniques, 42, 2014 In french
  16. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". Golden Dawn. Retrieved 13 April 2014.

External links

4th of August Regime

The 4th of August Regime (Greek: Καθεστώς της 4ης Αυγούστου, Kathestós tis tetártis Avgoústou), commonly also known as the Metaxas regime (Greek: Καθεστώς Μεταξά, Kathestós Metaxá), was a totalitarian regime under the leadership of General Ioannis Metaxas that ruled the Kingdom of Greece from 1936 to 1941. On 4 August 1936, Metaxas, with the support of King George II, suspended the Greek parliament and went on to preside over a conservative, staunchly anti-communist government. The regime took inspiration in its symbolism and rhetoric from Fascist Italy, but retained close links to Britain and the French Third Republic, rather than the Axis powers. Lacking a popular base, after Metaxas' death in January 1941 the regime hinged entirely on the King. Although Greece was occupied following the German invasion of Greece in April 1941 and the Greek government was forced into exile in the Middle East, several prominent figures and features of the regime, notably the notorious security chief Konstantinos Maniadakis, survived for several months in cabinet until the King was forced to dismiss them in a compromise with the representatives of the old democratic political establishment.

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.


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.


The Epistratoi (Greek: Επίστρατοι, "Reservists") were a royalist paramilitary organization in Greece during World War I, in the context of the National Schism. They played a major role in the Noemvriana of 1916.

They are considered the first mass political organization in the country, directed against the liberal bourgeoisie and foreign intervention, and are considered part of the wider European precursor movements to Fascism.


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.

Freethinkers' Party

The Freethinkers' Party (Greek: Κόμμα των Ελευθεροφρόνων) was a Greek nationalist and monarchist party founded and led by Ioannis Metaxas who was the Prime Minister and dictator of Greece from 1936 to 1941. It was formally founded in November 1922 after the adoption of the party's manifesto that was unveiled on 13 October 1922. Metaxas had the party and all other parties dissolved following the establishment of the 4th of August Regime, in which he ruled as an official independent.The first programmatic declaration of the party was published in the daily Nea Imera on 13 October 1922.

Geographic regions of Greece

The traditional geographic regions of Greece (Greek: γεωγραφικά διαμερίσματα, literally "geographic departments") are the country's main historical-geographic regions, and were also official administrative regional subdivisions of Greece until the 1987 administrative reform. Despite their replacement as first-level administrative units by the newly defined administrative regions (Greek: περιφέρειες), the nine traditional geographic divisions—six on the mainland and three island groups—are still widely referred to in unofficial contexts and in daily discourse.

As of 2011, the official administrative divisions of Greece consist of 13 regions (Greek: περιφέρειες)—nine on the mainland and four island groups—which are further subdivided into 74 regional units and 325 municipalities. Formerly, there were also 54 prefectures or prefectural-level administrations.

Government of Greece

Government of Greece (officially: Government of the Hellenic Republic; also Greek Government or Hellenic Government) is the government of the Third Hellenic Republic, reformed to its present form in 1974.The head of government is the Prime Minister of Greece. He recommends ministers and deputy ministers to the President of the Republic for an appointment. The prime minister, the ministers, and the alternate ministers belong to the Ministerial Council, the supreme decision-making committee. Usually, ministers and alternates sit in the Parliament. They are accountable to the Constitution. Deputy ministers are not members of the government.

Other collective government bodies, apart from the Ministerial Council, are the Committee on Institutions, the Government Council for Foreign Affairs and Defence and others, including particular government policy issues.

Greek Rally

Greek Rally (Greek: Ἑλληνικὸς Συναγερμός (ΕΣ), Ellīnikòs Synagermós (ES)) was a right-wing political party in Greece.

Greek nationalism

Greek nationalism (or Hellenic nationalism) refers to the nationalism of Greeks and Greek culture. As an ideology, Greek nationalism originated and evolved in pre-modern times. It became a major political movement beginning in the 18th century, which culminated in the Greek War of Independence (1821–1829) against the Ottoman Empire. It became a potent movement in Greece shortly prior to, and during World War I under the leadership of nationalist figure Eleftherios Venizelos who pursued the Megali Idea and managed to liberate Greece in the Balkan Wars and after World War I, briefly annexed the region of İzmir before it was retaken by Turkey. Today Greek nationalism remains important in the Greco-Turkish dispute over Cyprus.

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–Z

List of fascist movements by country G–M

A list of political parties, organizations, and movements adhering to various forms of fascist ideology, part of the list of fascist movements by country.

National 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 Political Union (1984)

The National Political Union (Greek: Εθνική Πολιτική Ένωσις (EΠΕΝ), Ethniki Politiki Enosis (EPEN)) was a Greek far-right political party. The party was founded on January 30, 1984 by jailed former junta leader Georgios Papadopoulos. It participated (unsuccessfully) in the 1985 general election. In the 1984 elections to the European Parliament, the party polled 2.3% of the vote, giving it one of the 24 seats held by Greece.

National Youth Organisation (Greece)

The National Youth Organisation (Greek: Εθνική Οργάνωσις Νεολαίας, Ethnikí Orgánosis Neoléas, EON) was a youth organization in Greece during the years of the Metaxas Regime (1936–1941), established by the regime with the stated goals of helping the youth in the productive spending of their free time and cultivating their national values and cooperative spirit.

Membership was not mandatory, and—unlike most contemporary political youth organizations in Europe—EON was not affiliated with a political party, but there was widespread successful campaigning by the regime to include the largest part of the youth to EON, and later took over the scouts and other such organizations, although typically membership still remained strictly voluntary. However, only Christians could enroll and Muslims and Jews could not become EON members. There were some exceptions on Jews though.Some of the activities that EON members were involved in included athletics events, parades and marches, military training, reforestations, recycling.

The official -monthly- magazine of EON was The Youth (Greek: Η Νεολαία).

The emblem of EON was a labrys surrounded by laurel wreaths and topped with a royal crown, while the flag of EON was similar to the flag of Greece—featuring a white cross on a blue fiend—with the emblem of EON charged in the center in gold and the royal crown moved to the upper hoist side quadrant. The motto of EON was "One Nation, One King, One Leader, One Youth".The EON disbanded in late April 1941 with the start of the German occupation of Greece when some of its former members created the secret occupation resistance/liberation organizations "National Youth Commity" and—the strictly female—"SPITHA" under the leadership of Metaxas' daughter Loukia Metaxa.

People's Party (Greece)

The People's Party (Greek: Λαϊκὸν Κόμμα, Laïkòn Kómma) was a conservative and pro-monarchist Greek political party founded by Dimitrios Gounaris, the main political rival of Eleftherios Venizelos and his Liberal Party. The party existed from 1920 until 1958.

Trade unions in Greece

Trade unions in Greece include:




Greek Trade Union of Cleaners and Housekeepers

Anarcho-Syndicalist initiative Rocinante.

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.


Venizelism (Greek: Βενιζελισμός) was one of the major political movements in Greece from the 1900s until the mid-1970s.

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