Fascism is not as Opposed to Internationalism as it Thinks

Megan MacRae

As defined in previous readings, it can be difficult to pinpoint an exact meaning of fascism due to the various interpretations of the term. I found that this theme was echoed throughout this week’s conversations surrounding the relationship between fascism and internationalism. Such theme alluded to the fact that the far-right does not have a strict stance on whether or not they are in agreement with internationalism as it can be used to aid fascists in their battle against a common enemy. 

In David Motadel’s piece, he examines Hitler’s strategy to partner with countries from outside of Europe in an effort to fight against Britain and their colonial agenda. This theme is demonstrated as ‘anticolonial’ and shows that in an effort to work against a common enemy, fascists will utilize internationalism. However, Motadel’s article in the New York Times does make a point that not all right-wing group members agree with internationalism and therefore, the use of such remains a sensitive topic. Again, this echoes the theme that fascism does not have a single definition and therefore, one should not be attempting to define how fascism perceives particular issues.

Such complexity surrounding fascism and its relationship with internationalism is also depicted in Paul Hanebrink’s piece as they connect Judeo-Bolshevism sentiment within Europe and the United States. Hanebrink makes it clear that right-wing groups in the United States have connected racist histories from Europe, specifically Germany, Poland, and Hungary, to those of their local lands. For instance, in Charlottesville, Virginia, neo-Nazis claimed that Jewish citizens were ‘ruining’ their ‘pure’ communities. Here, such neo-Nazis are adopting the racist sentiment towards Jews from Poland, and applying it to their own lands. Therefore, we are again seeing various countries ‘unite’ in an effort to battle against a common enemy.

Although fascism is complex and loosely defined, it can be seen that fascists are not totally against internationalism, even if they believe that it is a ‘dirty’ word. 

Works Cited:

Hanebrink, Paul. A Specter Haunting Europe: The Myth of Judeo-Bolshevism. Harvard University Press, 2018: 1-10, 11-45.

Motadel, David. “The Far Right Says There’s Nothing Dirtier Than Internationalism — But They Depend on It” in The New York Times. July 2019.

Motadel, David. “The Global Authoritarian Moment: The Revolt Against Empire” American Historical Review Vol. 124, Issue 3, July 2019: 843-877

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