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Open Access The Iron Guard and the ‘Modern State’. Iron Guard Leaders Vasile Marin and Ion I. Moţa, and the ‘New European Order’

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The Iron Guard and the ‘Modern State’. Iron Guard Leaders Vasile Marin and Ion I. Moţa, and the ‘New European Order’

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Historians and literary scholars still working in a Cold War paradigm cast Romanian Fascism as a form of reactionary resistance to liberal modernity, and not as a competing modernizing discourse and drive. Nevertheless, in a 1933 programmatic article, the Legionnaire leader, ideologue, and ‘martyr’ Vasile Marin wrote that political concepts such as ‘the Right,’ ‘the Left,’ and ‘extremism’ lost their relevance in Romania, as well as in Europe. They had been replaced by a ‘totalitarian view of the national life,’ which was common to Fascism, National-Socialism, and the Legion. This new ‘concept’ would allow Romania to ‘overcome, by absorbing them, the democratic and socialist experiences and would create the modern state,’ – a ‘totalitarian’ state. The present article aims to consolidate the conceptual gains of ‘new consensus’ historiography, which views the Iron Guard as part of a global revolutionary movement that was spurred by the practice of a political religion promising a ‘national rebirth’ or a ‘complete cultural’ and anthropological ‘renewal.’ Far from militating for national autarchy and populist-agrarian conservatism, the two Legionnaire leaders discussed in my article sought to align Romania with the modernizing, industrializing drive of Western European Fascism.

Affiliations: 1: The Centre for Philosophy, Religion and Social Ethics Institute for Christian Studies (Toronto), mircea.platon@gmail.com

10.1163/22116257-00201002
/content/journals/10.1163/22116257-00201002
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Historians and literary scholars still working in a Cold War paradigm cast Romanian Fascism as a form of reactionary resistance to liberal modernity, and not as a competing modernizing discourse and drive. Nevertheless, in a 1933 programmatic article, the Legionnaire leader, ideologue, and ‘martyr’ Vasile Marin wrote that political concepts such as ‘the Right,’ ‘the Left,’ and ‘extremism’ lost their relevance in Romania, as well as in Europe. They had been replaced by a ‘totalitarian view of the national life,’ which was common to Fascism, National-Socialism, and the Legion. This new ‘concept’ would allow Romania to ‘overcome, by absorbing them, the democratic and socialist experiences and would create the modern state,’ – a ‘totalitarian’ state. The present article aims to consolidate the conceptual gains of ‘new consensus’ historiography, which views the Iron Guard as part of a global revolutionary movement that was spurred by the practice of a political religion promising a ‘national rebirth’ or a ‘complete cultural’ and anthropological ‘renewal.’ Far from militating for national autarchy and populist-agrarian conservatism, the two Legionnaire leaders discussed in my article sought to align Romania with the modernizing, industrializing drive of Western European Fascism.

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/content/journals/10.1163/22116257-00201002
2012-01-01
2016-12-06

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