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Liberal Economics, Fascist Politics: "A Wonderful Wedlock"

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Chapter Summary

This chapter looks at one of the intellectuals discussed by Hamilton, Oswald Spengler, who played a somewhat similar role in ideologically preparing the ground for German fascism, as Pareto did within the Italian context. It highlights that Spengler's vantage point is expressly that of "private economic enterprise" [privaten Wirtschaftsstrebens]. "Prussian socialism" thus boils down to "English capitalism" shorn of worker's discontent. In his reconstruction of the relationship between Nazism and capitalism, Turner ascribed Hitler an all-important role. To examine the ideology of the British imperialists is to find in it many parallels to the basic tenets of fascist and Nazi ideology. Schapiro's study Liberalism and the Challenge of Fascism, published in 1949, minimized the ideological damage to liberalism by providing an historical account of liberalism as a fundamentally democratic and, indeed, egalitarian force.

Keywords: Adolf Hitler; Alastair Hamilton; English capitalism; German fascism; Henry A. Turner; liberal economics; Nazism; Oswald Spengler; Prussian socialism



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