The New Faces of Fascism

The New Faces of Fascism:Populism and the Far Right

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What is fascism in the twenty first century?

What does Fascism mean at the beginning of the twenty-first century? When we pronounce this word, our memory goes back to the years between the two world wars and envisions a dark landscape of violence, dictatorships, and genocide. These images spontaneously surface in the face of the rise of radical right, racism, xenophobia, islamophobia and terrorism, the last of which is often depicted as a form of “Islamic fascism.” Beyond some superficial analogies, however, all these contemporary tendencies reveal many differences from historical fascism, probably greater than their affinities. Paradoxically, the fear of terrorism nourishes the populist and racist rights, with Marine Le Pen in France or Donald Trump in the US claiming to be the most effective ramparts against "Jihadist fascism". But since fascism was a product of imperialism, can we define as fascist a terrorist movement whose main target is Western domination? Disentangling these contradictory threads, Enzo Traverso’s historical gaze helps to decipher the enigmas of the present. He suggests the concept of post-fascism—a hybrid phenomenon, neither the reproduction of old fascism nor something completely different—to define a set of heterogeneous and transitional movements, suspended between an accomplished past still haunting our memories and an unknown future.

Reviews

  • Praise for Fire and Blood:


    Enzo Traverso’s provocative book poses a profoundly important question to modern history. How can we understand the “age of extremes” (1914 to 1945) from a present – our present day in the west – that is in general terms allergic to “ideology” and convinced that “there is no alternative”? What happens when an anodyne and self-satisfied liberalism projects its values back into an earlier era of intense political struggle?

    Adam ToozeGuardian
  • Praise for Fire and Blood:
    Enzo Traverso’s investigation is based on a brilliant—although controversial—idea. It is an important book that deserves to prompt vast and interesting debates.

    Saul Friedländer, UCLA, author of Nazi Germany and the Jews and The Years of Extermination
  • Praise for Fire and Blood:


    Despite thousands of books on the two world wars, we are still far from understanding the violence that tore Europe apart between 1914 and 1945. By conceiving of the conflict as a civil war, Enzo Traverso provides us with a new way to think about the disaster that continues to shape the twenty-first century.

    Joanna Bourke