WithNigel Copsey
Pages 6

In the mid-1980s, the French historian Jacques Droz identified two obstacles facing any would-be historian of anti-fascism. The ‘first is the fact that no consensus on the nature of anti-fascism has been established amongst historians’. The second obstacle comes from the complexity of the tendencies which are concealed beneath the surface of anti-fascism. According to celebrated French historian, Francois Furet, anti-fascism was the product of the 20th-century dialectical relationship between fascism and communism where the ‘communist nourishes his faith with antifascism, and the fascist his with anticommunism’. Anti-fascism was thus inseparable from Communism, and so it was, in Pierre-Andre Taguieff’s words, ‘a powerful ideological instrument of Communist propaganda, used systematically by the Soviets and their networks in order to disqualify their adversaries’. The more open-minded did come to recognise the possibility of a plurality of genuine anti-fascisms that stretched beyond the revolutionary left, connected to, and determined by, ideological traditions other than Communism.