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The Anarchist and Fascist Overlap

by Lizardi, Zoltanous, and CSD

Introduction

The idea of Fascism being anarchism is normally something you hear Marxist-Leninists say to discredit Fascism as liberal psychosis. It’s an easy way to discredit it, as anarchism is normally considered an incoherent joke ideology. The book Anarcho-Fascism by Jonas Nilsson is one example of such a joke with no seriousness to it. As it turns out, leaving ideological schizophrenia aside, the relationship between Fascism and Anarchism is much more complicated.

We must not forget that the roots of Fascism come from Anarcho-Syndicalist thought, Proudhon’s influence and Marxism. Many of the ideologues and people close to Mussolini such as Nicola Bombacci or Ugo Spirito promoted policies based on anarchist ideas or communism.

Koichi Toyama a Japanese Fascist activist who’s famous for his 2007 Tokyo gubernatorial election speech said this in an interview once:

“It is said that anarchists have no vision and do nothing but destroy. The only way for them to find any vision is to find the possibility of Fascism.”

By taking up this topic I will be dissecting the interactions, influence, and overlap between anarchism and historical Fascism. That way we can see how Fascism evolved into what it was.

French Fascism

Syndicalism is a revolutionary ideology that believed that trade unions or worker unions would lead the workers into revolution via general strikes, then afterwards those unions would run the economy and society. While Syndicalism is not inherently anarchist but in its early years it was very much in line with Libertarian Socialism. Syndicalism’s origins begin with Anarchist thinkers like Pierre Joseph Proudhon and Mikhail Bakunin. But the most relevant here is Georges Sorel, a French Syndicalist theorist in the early 20th century.

Sorel was originally a liberal conservative but by the 1880s he would go on to embrace Marxism and Social Democracy then finally in the 20th century settling upon Syndicalism which Sorel would remain for the rest of his life. What made Sorel move to Syndicalism was social democracy’s lack of action and its failure in worker control of the means of production. What attracted Sorel to Syndicalism was its action orientation, the general strike, and its rejection of parliamentary politics.

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