THE FASCIST PERSUASION IN RADICAL POLITICS by A. James Gregor

THE FASCIST PERSUASION IN RADICAL POLITICS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In an extreme version of the ""twin totalitarianisms"" view of socialism and fascism, a well-known political scientist argues that the significant left-wing movements of the 20th century have been more or less fascist, and that fascism will be the inevitability of the future. Mussolini is Gregor's exemplar: a radical socialist turned nationalistic ""developmental"" dictator. Resemblances are found with post-Marxists Castro, Lenin, Stalin and Mao, which ignore the actual developmental differences between fascist Italy and Germany, and the Chinese, Russian and Cuban economies. Nevertheless, important truths emerge. Gregor focuses on the Italian Futurists, choreographers of fascism -- the cult of youth and action they shared with major elements of the 1960's New Left. Gregor further stresses the fascist parallel with the ""biological instincts"" of Marcuse, the glorified violence of Fanon and sometimes Same, the anti-rationalism of Theodore Roszak and R. D. Laing, the ""racial socialism"" of many black nationalists, and the paramilitary elitism of the early Regis Debray. Hardly the first book to point out that radicals from Sorel to Garvey were far closer to fascism than to Marxism, but the abundance of material on and parallels with Italian fascism is valuable. But Gregor's serene if unenthusiastic prediction that ""Mussolini was the prophet of our time"" for both advanced and underdeveloped nations is appalling.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1974
Publisher: Princeton Univ. Press