The Fascists and the Old Ruling Classes
It has become fashionable to explain the rise of Fascist movements in terms of a process labelled ‘mobilization’. This term, however, is rather unfortunate, as it tends to confuse two very different stages: a first stage of displacement, when people are uprooted and become available for integration in new groups; and a second stage of actual recruitment, such as that achieved by Fascist and Communist parties. When discussing the relations between Fascism and class, it is necessary to distinguish between movements and regimes, and between different types of regimes. The Spanish case points to a contradiction between two elements essential to Fascism: the belief in a hierarchy, and aggressive nationalism. Aggressive nationalism obviously requires hierarchy. But for the nationalism to be successful, the people must really believe in the necessity of hierarchy and not regard it as merely a defence of the privileges of the wealthy.