A. James Gregor

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A. James Gregor, 2004

Anthony James Gregor (born April 2, 1929) is a Professor of Political Science Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley who is well known for his research on fascism, Marxism, and national security.


The Ideology of Fascism: The Rationale of Totalitarianism, (1969)[edit]

New York: NY, The Free Press, 1969

  • Whatever one thinks of his Marxism today, Mussolini was accepted by his socialist peers as a Marxist theoretician. He rose to leadership in the Italian Socialist Party at least in part on the basis of his recognized capacity as a socialist intellectual.
    • p. 99
  • On November 24, 1914, when he was expelled from the Socialist Party, Mussolini insisted that his expulsion could not divest him of his ‘socialist faith.’ He made the subtitle of his new paper, Il Popolo d’Italia, ‘A Socialist Daily.’ National intervention in the European conflagration was an immediate issue and as a problem it divided socialists, but since most continental socialist parties had opted for war, Mussolini conceived at that time that interventionism was not a commitment sufficient to require the abandonment of socialism.
    • p. 141
  • Socialization was, in fact, the product of a maturation of trends already implicit in the earliest Fascist formulations. The trend that matured into socializations was already manifest by the time of the Second Convention of Syndical and Corporative Studies, held in Ferrara in May 1932. Its substance was provided by the persistent socialist and anti-bourgeois biases of radical national syndicalism conjoined with the totalitarian pretensions of neo-idealism.
    • p. 293
  • It was only in November, 1933, that Mussolini became convinced that the crisis that had beset capitalism for four years was not a crisis within the system, but a crisis of the system. It was on this occasion that he spoke of ‘the complete organic and totalitarian regulation of production’ a ‘regulated’ and ‘controlled; economy—a ‘burial’ of capitalism.
    • p. 294
  • By the time Spirito delivered his communications at the Convention of 1932, these sentiments had united with neo-idealist totalitarian aspirations. The result was variously identified as ‘Fascist communism,’ Fascist Bolshevism’ or ‘Fascist socialism.’
    • p. 296
  • In any event, by 1930 it was evident that Fascism, for its own purposes, would have to evolve institutions and techniques to restrict the independent power of the possessing classes. This was to be effected not only to render the state truly sovereign, but also to defend those socialist values that Fascist syndicalists and neo-idealists had never abjured.
    • p. 296
  • In 1934, Mussolini reiterated that capitalism, as an economic system, was no longer viable. Fascist economy was to be based not on individual profit but on collective interest.
    • p. 299
  • Thus, though the Fascist conception of property refused to countenance collective possession as such, individual ownership rights were understood to be strictly subordinate to collective discipline. It was not the individual ownership of property that concerned Fascists, but it subordination to collective control. Property was understood to perform social functions rather than to manifest individual rights. It was clear that the conception of property as a social function was broad enough to include socialization of the means of production, should that be required by the national interests as interpreted by the state.
    • p. 305
  • Mussolini himself, before he knew who would collect around the standards of the new Fascist Republican Party, committed himself to the realization of the original syndicalist and neo-idealist program of Fascism. His original intention was to call his new republic the Italian Socialist Republic—which nonetheless advertised itself as the vehicle of an Italian socialism, a national socialism.
    • p. 307
  • Mussolini was a well-informed and convinced Marxist. His ultimate political convictions represent a reform of classical Marxism in the direction of a restoration of its Hegelian elements.
    • p. 333
  • As early as 1930, Fascist theoreticians had begun to speak of an internazionale fascista, a pan-fascist union of kindred have-not or proletarian, nations. By 1935, Fascist maintained that Fascism recognized that the ravages of war and depression in Europe could only be undone by international ‘antiplutocratic’ reconstruction and argued, as a consequence, that Fascism was to be both ‘patriotic and international at the same time.’
    • p. 356
  • Fascism itself was a variant of Sorelian syndicalism which advertized itself as voluntaristic, neo-idealist and elitist socialism. This current of socialist thought neither Fascism nor Gentile ever rejected. ‘Fascism,’ Gentile insisted, ‘as a consequence of its Marxian and Sorelian patrimony . . . conjoined with the influence of contemporary Italian idealism, through which Fascist thought attained maturity, conceives philosophy as praxis.’
    • p. 317
  • The individual was the state, and the state was Italy, and Italy was Fascism, and Mussolini was all of them. Such a series of substitutions constitutes the sustaining logic of charismatic totalitarian socialism.
    • p. 326
  • Stalin, in turn, transformed Marxism into a rationale for national socialism… Leon Trotsky was equally quick to condemn the advocacy of socialism in one country, a commitment which further eroded classical Marxism.
    • p. 359
  • The fact is that Soviet Leninism, through a process of gradual involution, has taken on more and more of the attributes of paradigmatic Fascism.
    • p. 359

The Fascist Persuasion in Radical Politics, (1974)[edit]

The Fascist Persuasion in Radical Politics, Princeton: NJ, Princeton University Press, 1974

  • By 1938, Mussolini could confidently assert that ‘in the face of the total collapse of the system [bequeathed] by Lenin, Stalin has covertly transformed himself into a Fascist.’
    • p. 132
  • Where mass-mobilizing ‘revolutionary Marxists’ have come to power, and remained in power sufficiently long to create a viable political system, what they have generally succeeded in creating is a reasonable analogue of the Fascist state.
    • p. 134

Italian Fascism and Developmental Dictatorship, (1979)[edit]

Italian Fascism and Developmental Dictatorship, Princeton: NJ, Princeton University Press (1979)

  • Every element of Fascist doctrine can be traced to the belief system of revolutionary national syndicalism as that syndicalism emerged from the First World War.
    • p. 119
  • Between 1862 and 1922, the Italian government had disbursed sixty million lire for school construction; between 1922 and 1942, the Fascist government devoted 400 million lire of public monies to the enterprise. The total expenditure on education rose from 922.4 million lire in the financial year 1922-23 to 1,636 million lire for 1936-37. In 1930 there were 110,200 public elementary schools while the number, by 1935, had risen to 126,934.
    • p. 260
  • Fascist social welfare legislation compared favorably with the more advanced European nations and in some respect was more progressive.
    • p. 263

Young Mussolini and the Intellectual Origins of Fascism, (1979)[edit]

Young Mussolini and the Intellectual Origins of Fascism, Berkeley: CA University of California Press, 2005

  • Mussolini was a Marxist ‘heretic'.
    • p. xi
  • [Italian] Fascism was a variant of classical Marxism, a believe system that pressed some themes argued by both Marx and Engels until they found expression in the form of ‘national syndicalism’ that was to animate the first Fascism.”
    • p. xi
  • Not only has capitalism not entered into its final crisis anywhere in the world, but Fascism was first successful in marginally industrialized Italy—in a nation that had only begun its industrial development. Italian industrial capitalism was hardly at the end of its life cycle. It was at little more than its commencement. Moreover, subsequent movements elsewhere in Europe that have been characterized as fascist proved to 'have been most successful in mobilizing lower classes in underdeveloped... countries.'
    • pp. 18-19

The Phoenix: Fascism in Our Time, (1999)[edit]

New Brunswick, NJ, Transaction Publishing, (2001) first published 1999

  • Gentile’s rationale was neo-Hegelian in origin, the same source out of which Marxism and Marxism-Leninism were to emerge. In fact, Gentile understood Marxism so well that his essay on the thought of the young Marx has not only withstood the test of time, but was, on the occasion of its publication, recommended as particularly insightful by V.I. Lenin.
    • p. 93
  • It can be said, in a qualified sense, that Gentile entertained considerable sympathy for the neo-Hegelian Marxist intellectual tradition.
    • p. 93
  • That Mussolini chose Gentile to author the philosophical portion of Fascism’s official doctrine provides evidence of the confidence Fascists entertained with respect to Gentile’s thought.
    • p. 94
  • Gentile maintained, with Marx, that the ‘essence’ of man is not individual—but social. The human person is a function of a complex pattern of interactions with both nature and other persons in a law-and-rule-government environment. The human being is essentially a social creature (a Gemeinwesen)—and outside society, loses humanity.
    • p. 95
  • Mussolini’s Fascism was a relatively benign form of reactive nationalism—in terms of the regime’s treatment of its domestic population. In the years between 1926 and 1932, when Fascism was establishing its totalitarianism, the special Fascist tribunals for political offenders pronounced only 7 death sentences.
    • p. 174
  • It was Stalin, Lenin’s unnatural heir, who ‘in the early 1930s…injected the adrenalin of Russian nationalism into the Soviet political bloodstream’ in an effort to restore some vitality to what gave every appearance of a failed revolution.
    • p. 176
  • In his Table Talks, Hitler spoke of the eventual ‘elimination’ of those Germans who did not meet ‘Nordic’ criteria of racial purity. The fact was that according to Hans Guenther, Nazi Germany’s ‘racial scientist', ninety-five percent of Germans did not meet those criteria. It was no longer clear who would suffer in the serious implementation of National Socialist policy.
    • p. 182
  • The intellectuals of Mussolini’s Fascism provided the most consistent, coherent, and relevant doctrinal rationale for the reactive nationalist and developmental revolutions of our time.
    • p. 184
  • In a nonspecific sense, one might say that almost all the other antiliberal, reactive nationalist and developmental revolutions in our century were deviant forms of paradigmatic Fascism—the more deviant, the more destructive.
    • p. 184
  • As late as 1947, Mao insisted that his program corresponded to that of Sun. Until December of that year, Mao insisted that his ‘new democracy’ would protect the ‘bourgeoisie’ and ‘their industry and commerce.’ Because of China’s backwardness, he would continue to support capitalist development and ensure that both public and private, capital and labor, interests would benefit from the revolution.
    • p. 191, footnote 19
  • Mussolini insisted that Fascism was the only form of ‘socialism’ appropriate to the ‘proletarian nations’ of the twentieth century.
    • p. 191 (footnote 26).

Giovanni Gentile: Philosopher of Fascism, (2001)[edit]

Giovanni Gentile: Philosopher of Fascism, New Brunswick: NJ, Transaction Publishers, 2004

  • Should one choose to seek out today’s fascism, one is counseled to look to the retrograde former Soviet Union, and the reformist People’s Republic of China. They are the natural hosts of a ‘resurgence’ of fascism.
    • p. xii
  • What should be recognized at this point is the fact that Mussolini, whatever else he was, was a collectivist, who conceived human beings as social animals. He had learned that man was a communal being from Marx.
    • p. 55
  • What some of the revolutionary syndicalists proceed to do was to identify the ‘communality’ of man not will class, but with the nation. The first intimations of a ‘revolutionary nationalism’ made their appearance among the most radical Marxists.
    • p. 55
  • For Fascists, the state, animated by a profound sense of unity, was understood to be the ‘educator of civic virtue, rendering citizens conscious of their historic mission.’ Italy was to be Fascist, and Fascism was to be Italy. The nation was to be one indissoluble union; the interest of each was to be the interest of all. By 1929, what had emerged from the Fascist revolution was an unmistakable variant of the Gentilean neo-Hegelian state.
    • p. 62
  • While not a single Marxist ‘charismatic leader’ in the twentieth century made revolution in an advanced capitalist country (as Marx prescribed), or undertook the ‘withering away of the state’ (as both Marx and Engels insisted), or insured against the rule of elites (that both Marx and Engels identified as an essential of the ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’), or provide for the obligatory ‘rotation in office’ (again, as both Marx and Engels insured would be a post-revolutionary feature of socialist society), or resolved the problem of human ‘alienation’ (so emphatically lamented by the young Marx)—Western academics have never hesitated to directly associate Marxism-Leninism, Maoism, Castroism, and even the barbarism of the Khmer Rouge, with the philosophy of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.
    • p. 80
  • All totalitarianism of the twentieth century were predicated on a systematic, anti-individualistic collectivism. In the case of Marxist-Leninism, the source was classical Marxism. [Giovanni] Gentile had carefully dissected the neo-Hegelian roots of that collectivism. What he found missing in the collectivism of Marx was ethical concern. He sought to provide that concern to the collectivism of Fascism—a collectivism that shared a common intellectual origin with Marxism and Marxism-Leninism.
    • p. 102

The Faces of Janus: Marxism and Fascism in the Twentieth Century, (2000)[edit]

The Faces of Janus: Marxism and Fascism in the Twentieth Century, New Haven: Connecticut, Yale University Press, 2000

  • By the time of the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Marxist theoreticians had begun to evaluate fascism in a totally unanticipated fashion . . . More than that, as Marxist theorists were compelled to reinterpret fascism in the light of empirical evidence and political circumstances, the fundamental affinities shared by Marxist and fascist regimes became apparent.
    • p. 13
  • The first Fascists were almost all Marxists—serious theorists who had long been identified with Italy’s intelligentsia of the Left.
    • p 20
  • By the end of the 1960's, Soviet theoreticians were prepared to argue that the 'Chinese leadership' had transformed itself into an ‘anti-Marxist, anti-socialist, chauvinistic and anti-Soviet... bourgeois-nationalistic’ movement of reaction... In their account, Soviet thinkers had recourse to the same list of descriptive traits that Western academics had employed for some considerable time to identify fascist political and social systems.
    • p. 71
  • Fascism's most direct ideological inspiration came from the collateral influence of Italy's most radical 'subversives' — the Marxists of revolutionary syndicalism.
    • p. 130
  • Fascism . . . was the socialism of ‘proletarian nations.’
    • p. 135

Mussolini’s Intellectuals: Fascist Social and Political Thought (2005)[edit]

Mussolini’s Intellectuals: Fascist Social and Political Thought, Princeton University Press, 2006

  • When Marinetti founded Futurism in 1909, he called for ‘incendiary violence’ that might drive Italy and Italians out of the ‘fetid somnolence’ of dolce far niente. He incited Futurists and their allies to the destruction of museums, monuments, and universities—to decimate everything that ‘stank of the past’… All of this was suffused with aggression and violence, with an appeal to slaps and blows, to culminate in an invocation to what he called the ‘beauty of battle,’ and the ‘hygiene of war.’
    • pp. 250-51

The Search for Neofascism: The Use and Abuse of Social Science, (2006)[edit]

The Search for Neofascism: The Use and Abuse of Social Science, Cambridge, UK, Cambridge University Press, 2006

  • Fascism never served the interests of Italian business . . . there is no credible evidence that Fascism controlled the nation's economy for the benefit of the 'possessing classes.'
    • p. 7

Marxism, Fascism & Totalitarianism: Chapters in the Intellectual History of Radicalism, (2008)[edit]

Marxism, Fascism & Totalitarianism: Chapters in the Intellectual History of Radicalism, Stanford: CA, Stanford University Press, 2008

  • In order to create the appropriate material conditions, Lenin was prepared to make recourse not only to market arrangements, but to international capitalism as well. Not only was private property, private enterprise, and private profit largely restored in Lenin’s Russia, but Lenin appealed to international capitalism for assistance as well. He was prepared to offer generous concessions to foreign capitalism.
    • p. 55
  • However extensively Lenin was prepared to creatively develop the Marxism he inherited, he was not prepared to ‘skip stages’ in achieving socialism. Socialism required, as prerequisite, the modernization and industrial development of its economic base. To create the missing material prerequisites, Lenin was prepared to fall back on a centrally supervised market-influenced program of state capitalism.
    • p. 56
  • Thus, by 1925, both Leninism and Fascism, variants of Marxism, had created political and economic systems that shared singular properties… Both sought order and disciple of entire populations in the service of an exclusivistic party and an ideology that found its origins in classical Marxism… Both created a kind of ‘state capitalism,’ informed by a unitary party, and responsible to a ‘charismatics’ leader.
    • p. 293
  • Neither Stalinism nor Fascist totalitarianism would have been possible without the transmogrified Marxism, that infilled both.
    • p. 293
  • Whether their ideological commitment was to proletarian communism, or the Nordic race, or the restoration of Italy to its proper place in the community of nations, they all chose the hierarchically structured, charismatically led single party state to pursue their ends—a state first fixed in the political doctrine by Fascism.
    • p. 313

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