Why Should We Look at Race When Trying to Understand Fascism?

Words: 565
Topic: History
Updated:

Fascism is traditionally defined as a method of radical authoritarian nationalism, which achieved great eminence in Europe at the beginning of the 1900s. It originally was established in Italy in the course of World War I as an antagonistic form of organizing a nation to liberalism.

Moreover, it is a political ideology, campaign, or leadership of a nation that dignifies population and frequently race superior to a singular person; fascism signifies the centralized autocratic authority controlled by a dictatorial radical commander, relentless economic and communal discipline and a coercive abolition of opposition. This essay will focus on the significance of race in the prism of the study of fascism.

The idea of the oppression of different race minorities had its origins at the end of the 19th century when the idea of nationalism had transformed. According to Kallis, “the escalation of nationalism as the crucial determinant of group membership and identity not only strengthened a modern trend towards the valorization of the collective body but also redefined it as a national entity” (398).

As a result, this theory achieved major connotations; for example, the concept of social welfare and prosperity enhanced into being inextricably linked to the national interest. This filament of ethnically singular nationalism performed on the fundament of an authoritarian criterion of addition and subtraction that deliberately penetrated the realm of the scientific inquiry.

Furthermore, the assumptions towards the dominance of certain nations that had been acquired from the prior historical and cultural accomplishments of the given nation had resulted in the implementing the field of the biological inquiry as well.

Together, these factors produced scientific discussions, which in turn had led to the numerous political theories involving international dominance, the inflation of the domain belonging to a certain nation, internal pecking orders, and so force (Turda 417).

One of the criteria for nationalists to implement these political theories was a race. “For example, when European anthropologists, biologists, and genetics started speaking about the alleged superiority of the Nordic or Aryan race in relation to other European sub-groupings, such as Alpine, Mediterranean, and Slavic, they were applying essentially nationalistic concepts of distinction” (Kallis 389).

With the discussion of race superiority and its pseudo-scientific explanations based on the ethnics and biological aspects, its political appropriateness expanded perilously, as well as its authoritative formation by the government. The so-called scientific and biological interpretation of the dominance of a certain race evolved into a fundamental resource for bio-power, which was applied to a delineated national and racial minority.

In the ideal sense, this bio-power served as a reason for no prearranged limit or end for the disposal of human life not only at the person, but the collective stage. The ideology of fascism was oriented on the predominance of a certain nation; and, as the history shows, the dictators of the fascist regime had no limits and did not stop at the borders of human life in order to achieve the creation of a perfect and pure nation.

As a conclusion, it could be said that the original purpose of the essay has been achieved. In the process of the study was the reason why the representatives of the fascist ideology based their ideas on racial superiority were determined. The assumption of the racial predominance emerged from the pseudoscientific claims and had led to the erroneous interpretation of nationalism, which affected the racial division of nations.

Works Cited

Kallis, Aristotle. “Racial Politics and Biomedical Totalitarianism in Interwar Europe.” Blood and Homeland: Eugenics and Racial Nationalism in Central and Southeast Europe. Ed. Marius Turda and Paul Weidling. 2008. 389-415. Print.

Turda, Marius. Blood and Homeland: Eugenics and Racial Nationalism in Central and Southeast Europe, Herndon, Virginia: Central European University Press, 2008. Print.