Other Ideological Traditions Unit 5: Anarchism, Fascism, Feminism, Nationalism
Anarchism • Means ‘without rule’ • All political authority – especially in the form of the state – is evil • The state epitomises sovereign, compulsory and coercive authority • It offends the principles of freedom and equality • Core value – unrestricted personal autonomy
Anarchism • The state and its institutions are corrupt and corrupting • The state is thus unnecessary – government is the cause not the solution of problems • Anarchists elevate ‘natural’ order and social harmony – optimistic view of human nature
Anarchism A stateless society is… • One in which free individuals manage their own affairs through voluntary agreement and co-operation. • There are two rival anarchist traditions developing this view • Socialist, communitarian • Liberal, individualist
Anarchism The Socialist view: • Derives from collectivist anarchist tradition • Kropotkin – ‘mutual aid’ – people’s natural relationships are sympathetic ones • Importance of social equality and common ownership – Proudhon, ‘property is theft’.
Anarchism The Individualist view: • Idea of sovereign individual • Individual actions – conscience/pursuit of self-interest – should not be constrained by any collective body or public authority • Overlaps with libertarianism • Anarcho-capitalism – strong belief in the market, which is self-regulating
Fascism • Core theme – idea of organically unified national community – ‘strength through unity’. • The individual is nothing • Individual identity absorbed into the community • The fascist hero dedicates his life to the glory of his nation or race • Constitutes a revolt against ideals of French Revolution (‘1789 is dead’)
Fascism Rejects following values: • Rationalism • Progress • Freedom • Equality
Fascism Elevates following values: • Struggle • Leadership • Power • Heroism • War
Fascism • It often seems to be defined by what it is opposed to – an ‘anti’ ideology Contradictory – • Freedom means submission • Democracy means dictatorship • Progress means struggle
Fascism There is a problem in identifying core principles in fascism. Italian Fascism and German Nazism have been variously treated as two common manifestations of fascism, but with obvious variables, or as two distinct ideological traditions.
Fascism - Mussolini • Extreme form of statism • Totalitarian state • ‘Everything for the state; nothing against the state; nothing outside the state’ – Gentile • Nationalist – militaristic and expansionist
Fascism - Nazism • Racialist – Aryanism and anti-semitism • Nationalist – militaristic and expansionist • Socialist – collective identity and social unity pursued through project of national rebirth • Struggle between states – social darwinistic
Fascism and anti-rationalism • Human beings are motivated by powerful drives and urges, not by rational calculation • Reasoned analysis cannot make sense of the world • Fascism appeals to the emotions and instincts of the masses (parades, symbols) • Emphasis on action over reflection or analysis • Stress upon physical force – personal and national
Fascism and democracy • Democracy has many interpretations • Fascists do not believe in liberal democracy • Belief in totalitarian democracy – the leader has a monopoly of ideological wisdom, and thus his rule is government for the people. • Operates through charismatic authority
Feminism • A political movement that seeks to advance the social and political role of women • Unequal treatment of women should be overturned • Discussion of ‘liberation’ and ‘equality’ • ‘Equality’ – for some feminists – simply means being like men • ‘Liberation’ means the freedom to act as individuals, without suppression by men
Feminism Patriarchy – • Refers to the totality of women’s oppression • Highlights political importance of gender • Refers to socially imposed (as opposed to biological) differences between men and women • Gender is thus a political construct, based upon stereotyped understandings
Feminism Characterised by diverse theories: • Liberal Feminism – commitment to individualism – desire for equal rights; • Socialist Feminism – links female subordination to capitalist modes of production – economic significance of women confined to domestic life; • Radical Feminism – ‘personal is political’ – calls for radical social restructuring – has itself splintered into diverse traditions, leading to accusations that it lacks coherence and unity.
Feminism – past questions Short Answers: • Why have radical feminists proclaimed that ‘the personal is the political’? (2002) • Why have feminists stressed the distinction between sex and gender? (2003) • How and why have feminists used the concept of patriarchy? (2004)
Feminism – past questions Essay Questions – • ‘Feminism is characterised more by disagreement than agreement’. Discuss. (2001) • Why have radical feminists criticised liberal feminists? (2002) • ‘There are liberal feminists, socialist feminists and radical feminists, but no conservative feminists’. Discuss (2004)
Nationalism – past questions Short Answers – • Distinguish between nations and states, and explain why the two terms have been confused. (2002) • Distinguish between nations and races and explain why the two terms are often confused. (2003) • In what ways is nationalism compatible with liberalism? (2004)
Nationalism What is a ‘nation’ ? • A cultural entity – groups of people sharing the same language, religion, tradition, culture. • Nations are not, however, culturally homogenous – there is considerable dispute as to what are the most significant defining characteristics. • This leads to the definition of a nation often being more subjectively described as the possession of ‘a national conscience’.
Nationalism – defining a state • Such subjectivity in defining a state can thus lead to a confusion of terms – e.g. • Since many nations are also states (the nation-state), there is confusion between the cultural entity of the nation and the political entity of the state; • Since some right-wing nationalists include race, or ethnicity, in their definition of a nation, the separate nature of race as a biological characteristic, and nation as a civic or cultural entity, is confused.
Nationalism Compatibility with other ideologies – • Nationalism’s distinctive belief is that the nation is the central principle of political organisation. • How a nation might be established or administered is open to debate. • Thus, nationalism draws on many different ideological strands, creating considerable diversity.
Nationalism • We have everything from liberal nationalism (nations regarded as moral entities with distinctive rights – e.g. self-government) to conservative nationalism and expansionist nationalism. • Depending on which ideological tradition you are using, a brand of nationalism can almost certainly be found to be compatible with it
Nationalism • The only exception is socialism, a fundamentally internationalist ideology. • Even here, socialist leaders in post-colonial countries can be seen to have used nationalism to generate support (e.g. Castro in Cuba, Nasser in Egypt).
Nationalism – past questions Essay Questions – • ‘Fascism is nothing more than an extreme form of nationalism’. Discuss. (2002) • ‘Nationalism is inherently expansionist and destructive’. Discuss. (2003) • ‘To what extent can fascism be viewed as a blend of nationalism and socialism?’ (2004)
Nationalism in the UK Today • Analyse the different forms of nationalism that operate within the UK. (2002) • Is nationalism in the UK progressive or reactionary? (2003) • Is the notion of British nationalism any longer meaningful? (2004)