College of Political Knowledge
Subject: Political Theory
Recent events in Europe have made me think of some of the classes I took in college…..especially the rise of the Far Right political traditions and why they are becoming more popular than in the past.
First of all let us look at the definition of the term “Pragmatism”…..
1: a practical approach to problems and affairs <tried to strike a balance between principles and pragmatism>2: an American movement in philosophy founded by C. S. Peirce and William James and marked by the doctrines that the meaning of conceptions is to be sought in their practical bearings, that the function of thought is to guide action, and that truth is preeminently to be tested by the practical consequences of belief
Fascism’s outstanding traits is its eclecticism, the propensity of its numerous individual variants to accommodate or synthesize ideological components from a wide range of sources taken from any part of the left-right spectrum. Italian Fascism, for example, merged elements of right-wing politics (nationalism, imperialism, authoritarianism) with left-wing syndicalist claims of creating social justice and abolishing class conflict, and the cult of the Roman past with elements of the Futurist cult of hypermodernity. It also attracted a number of former Marxists in Italy and Germany, hosted left-wing and right-wing variants of corporatist theory, and accommodated currents of philosophical idealism and technocratic modernism; clerical Fascism and neopaganism; cultural racism (which treated patriotic Italian Jews as full members of the re-born Italy, although a more “biological” current eventually led to the adoption of anti-Semitic race laws); and the full spectrum of aesthetics from neoclassicism to futurism, from anti-cosmopolitan ruralism to international modernism. Even Nazism was far from homogeneous ideologically, embracing ruralist and technocratic visions of the new order, varying degrees of paganism and accommodation with Christianity, several varieties of racism, an anticapitalist (“Strasserite”) current, and even a strand of promodernist aesthetics. Fascism’s animus against communism and the degenerative impact of liberalism on the organic national community nevertheless makes it sensible to locate fascism within the tradition of right-wing politics rather than simply “beyond” left and right (as it sometimes claims to be).