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Liberalism And Fascism Between Myths And Reality—II

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Chapter Summary

One of the most striking, as well as most unsavory, features of fascism was what Hitler famously referred to in Mein Kampf as "die große Lüge," the "big lie". Some of the most celebrated representatives of 19th century liberalism, such as J. S. Mill and Alexis de Tocqueville, have advanced the notion of the "tyranny of the majority," to conceptualize the dangers to freedom and individuality posed by democratic societies. If not really a function of persecution, Strauss' esotericism is intrinsically elitist. While a firm opponent of real democracy, Mosca can perfectly makes the best of, apparent democracy. This chapter argues that liberalism was far less opposed to nationalism - indeed, even of an expansionist and aggressive variant - than is commonly assumed and, in continuation, to claim that fascist nationalism was to a significant extent a prolongation of, and an emanation from, the contradictions of the liberal stance.

Keywords: apparent democracy; fascist nationalism; Gaetano Mosca; Hitler; J. S. Mill; liberal individualism; liberalism; Strauss' esotericism



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