Neo-fascist movements, for all intents and purposes, I believe to be at their core the same as their fascist predecessors. Both movements seek to attain the same end goal- it is instead the means they use to reach it which are unique. Interwar and wartime fascist movements were characterised by their violent tactics and militarism. On the other hand, postwar neo-fascist movements did perpetrate violence but shifted radically in the advertisement of their cause. Instead of purely pragmatic alliances engineered by wartime fascists, postwar neo-fascists sought to actively learn from other “third way” groups in some form of fascist transnational cooperation.
It would also be during the 60s, 70s and 80s that neo-fascist groups would focus more on increasingly conspiratorial rhetoric, such as “the deep state” which was targeted by Italian neo-fascists. Combined with the fear which was sown within the Italian public about a socialist takeover, neo-fascist or neo-fascist-adjacent groups were easily able to create authoritarian policies. Arguably during the years of lead in the First Italian Republic, fascism was in name only eradicated from the echelons of its government. In practice, it would only be until the Second Republic where its influence would die down; but not completely.
The unique aspect of postwar neo-fascism is its ability to veil itself as “respectable discourse,”— seemingly beginning as a popular grievance which reveals itself as a totalitarian rabbit-hole.
One Reply to “The Neo-Fascist Chameleon”
Very interesting point. I also see both fascism and neofascism to be the “same same but different”. I do think that there is historic causality linked to this when the post-war regime was support to be transformed into a democracy. The article by Amyot illustrates this by tracing to the build up of the student revolt in that fascist parties were still allowed to exist (despite being banned) in addition to allowing various civil servants, who served under the fascist regime, to remain in the government.