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Liberalism And Fascism Between Myths And Reality—I

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Chapter Summary

One of the most widely employed pieces of weaponry in the arsenal of liberal anti-fascism is the use of fascism as an object lesson of the dangers of democracy. Tocqueville, is conventionally held up as the prototype of the liberal-conservative critic of democratic excess, who was able to predict the main features of the tyranny of the majority, which he discussed in his landmark study, Democracy in America. A theory of counter-revolution is inherent in Malthus' liberalism. The last candidate for the role of the liberal critic of the linkage between democracy and tyranny is one of the most eminent and often cited representatives of Italian anti-fascism, the liberal philosopher Benedetto Croce. For Burke, individualism signifies a revolutionary, chaotic tidal wave, threatening to overwhelm the established order. Individualism is radical and challenges capitalism, which, in turn, is construed as organic and collectivist.

Keywords: Benedetto Croce; Edmund Burke; fascist individualism; fascist tyranny; liberal collectivism; Malthus' liberalism; Tocqueville's predictions



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