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Fascism - Non-european Fascisms

nation totalitarian military bid

Traditionally, comparative fascist studies have focused almost exclusively on fascism as a European phenomenon. However, it should be noted that, while the emphasis on the totalitarian bid of fascism to create a new type of society distinguishes it from conservative regimes, whether traditionalist or military, there were in the "fascist epoch" a small number of non-European countries that hosted attempts to emulate the achievements of revolutionary nationalism in Italy and Germany. The most important examples are the Ossewabrandwag and the Greyshirts in South Africa, the National Socialist Movement (MNS) in Chile, and the Brazilian Integralist Action (AIB) movement that arose under Getúlio Vargas's dictatorship in Brazil (1937–1945). All of them suffered the fate of most of their European counterparts by being marginalized or crushed.

Breaking with the European pattern, two military dictatorships seem to have made a genuine bid to fascistize the nation from above rather than using fascism as a means of generating mass conformism and passivity: Chiang Kai-shek's (1887–1975) nationalist regime in China, eventually overwhelmed by Japanese imperialism, and the military dictatorship of the Grupo de Oficiales Unidos (GOU) in Argentina (1943–1946). GOU created a legacy that Juan Péron would build on after the war during his rule (1946–1955), which was in ideological and organizational terms an eclectic blend of political elements of which fascism was only a muted part.

It should also be noted that the most highly developed, dynamic, and destructive parafascist nation of all arguably emerged not in Europe but when imperial Japan entered its most totalitarian and expansionist phase between 1937 and 1945. Despite its alliance with Italian Fascism and German Nazism, it carried out its aggressive scheme of territorial expansion under a divine emperor and with its feudal social system intact rather than under a charismatic "new man" in a "reborn" nation. Nor did the defeat of Italy in 1943 and then of Germany in 1945 cause it to relent in the radicalness of its prosecution of the war, a fact that underlines the need to recognize that fascism by no means has a monopoly of right-wing totalitarian violence.

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