Social Scientist. v 25, no. 290-291 (July-Aug 1997) p. 27.

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Lukdcs and Fascism

It has not occurred to any one of these philosophers to inquire into the connection of German philosophy with German reality, the connection of their criticism with their own material world.

German Ideology

The most important challenge of the 1920s and 1930s was the adequate response to the historical developments connected with the emergence of Italian, German and other Fascist movements in several countries of Europe. Georg Lukacs whose work spanned seven decades and ranged over aesthetics, literary criticism, politics and philosophy wrote extensively about Fascism. Lukacs's analysis of the social base and ideological aspects of Fascism had pointed to dimensions of Fascism, which can occur, in any country at a particular phase of capitalism.

Fascist parties and their military organizations emerged in the course of agricultural, industrial and financial crises after the workers revolutions following the First World War. The Communist International and the emigres of the socialist revolutions in Moscow, Vienna and in their locations of exile, observed the radicalization of working class politics and expected another round of revolutions and the world revolution in uie 1920s. Contrary to their expectations the slump reduced most of the international Communist movements to isolated Europe outside Russia. While the slump strengthened the anti-imperialist movements in the colonies, it transformed the fascist movements in a number of countries of Europe, in Japan and in South-America into international movements. The growth of fascist movements was connected with the crisis of existence and unemployment, they were tolerated and later maintained for their ability to counter and neutralize the political influence of social-democratic and communist movements in countries where the left had made important achievements in the area of workers rights and welfare benefits. Fascist movements adapted many of the symbols and the rhetoric of left revolutionaries in the 1920s, and had an appeal for those strata in society who were marginalised as a result of the economic depression. They also used this appeal to mobilize large masses, engineer street violence and dispense with democratically elected governments and parliaments.

"University of Delhi, Delhi.

Social Scientist, Vol. 25, Nos. 7-8, July-August 1997

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