The great forge of nations: violence and collective identity in fascist thought

Date

2019-12-23

Authors

Corbett, Morgan

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Abstract

This thesis analyzes the origins and development of conceptions of the relationship between violence and politics characteristic of twentieth century fascist thought. It critiques existing approaches to fascism and fascist ideology in the interdisciplinary field of fascist studies and proposes and employs an alternate approach which centres and emphasizes the flexibility and mutability of fascist thought and denies that any particular complex of beliefs or concepts can be said to constitute an ‘essence’ or ‘heart’ of fascist ideology. Morphological studies are offered of four discursive traditions in fascist and fascist-adjacent thought with respect to violence and politics: German military theory of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; the ‘new’ French nationalism of the fin-de-siècle; the genre of ‘future warfare’ around and after the First World War; and the work of Ernst Jünger and Carl Schmitt. The thesis concludes with some consideration of the continuities and discontinuities made apparent in the morphological studies, an argument that those results vindicate the initial framing, and some avenues for extending them into areas of concrete contemporary relevance.

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Keywords

political theory, ideology, fascism, military theory, politics of violence, Carl Schmitt, Carl von Clausewitz, Ernst Jünger, Maurice Barrès, Georges Sorel, Charles Maurras, J.F.C. Fuller, Filippo Marinetti, future warfare

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