After considering this week’s material, it feels like fascism’s relationship to internationalism is intentionally flexible, which allows it to make contradictory claims that benefit its national cause. When reading last week’s material on defining populism, one of the elements that stood out to me was the suggestion that populism lacks an ideology in it itself, instead attaching itself to existing political beliefs without disrupting them. At the time, I had assumed this lack of ideology is what separated populism and fascism, since fascists clearly have a strict, uncompromising worldview. While maybe fascism cannot camouflage itself quite as well as populism, in reflecting on this week’s reading I feel like fascism is much more flexible than I had previously thought. I think this flexibility may speak to how fascism is emotionally driven rather than ideologically, like other traditional political ideologies. Rather than conform their actions to an ideological framework, fascists create their own meaning for elements that support their movement. This allows them to be contradictory and shift their stance as they see fit, since an intellectual-base isn’t the source of their authority.
By extension then, I think fascist governments can maintain a contradictory stance toward internationalism without decreasing its validity because their ideology is so flexible. This allows for anti-internationalism and pro-internationalism views to exist within the same body of fascist thought, so long as both support the overall movement. Having a looming, existential international enemy in the form of Judeo-Bolshevism or liberal democracies is extremely effective in their fear-mongering, creating a single enemy for their national army to violently rally against in the creation of their nation. The Judeo-Bolshevism is especially good considering how variable interpretations of a supposed Jewish communist revolution have shifted dramatically, allowing each state to make its own specific claims and arguments that speak to their national circumstances while remaining tied to the overall antisemitic movement. At the same time, placing yourself in a global anti-liberal/antisemitic movement adds further validity to fascist “ideology” while providing the strategic benefit of allies (more support in the international system, resources, e.c.t.).