Tuesday, October 21, 2003
Robert Dean at Samizdata links to an interesting article from the Libertarian Alliance on Italian Fascism and Mussolini. The author, David Ramsay Steele, makes the argument that Fascism is misunderstood due to the Marxist-Leninist prism through which most analysis has been conducted, that the "Mystery of Fascism" is a perceptual artifact. It also dances around the question of "is Fascism a form of Marxist apostatacy?" without ever really saying so - letting quotes from other writers carry the weight. This all sounds a lot like what I've heard from Paul Berman, and though the article has the occasional nasty swipe (calling Fascism a "third way" for inter-war intellectuals) at the enemies of libertarianism, it is generally restrained in its rhetoric and argumentation. I found the section on "the Crisis of Marxism" in the 1890s particularly illuminating, as what I've read of Marxist history tends to be an inpenetrable slog of misleading triumphalism and petty politicking.