Fascism as System vs. Fascism as Individual

Alison Miller

What I found very interesting about the readings was the interaction of the individual and the fascist system itself. By addressing the complexities of how people interacted with and were interacted with by the state, we get a much more multi-faceted idea of how the state operated.

The concept of comrade-ship versus friendship, and Kuhne’s entire address of masculinity as flexible even under the Nazi party complicates our understanding of how fascist governments worked, and at the same time, the Marheofer reading reveals that the state’s interaction with the individual is just as pliable. There are certain fence posts that stand within Nazi law, but the degree to which the Gestapo used those laws or bothered with them was dependent on who you were, which laws you broke, and who you know.

The two articles on the Spanish Civil War also address the individual’s interaction with the state, although in a different method than the articles concerning Nazi Germany. I would say that the biggest question that arises in the Destination Dictatorship article is the time that Crumbaugh takes to speak on freedom within the Francoist dictatorship. How freedom operates in the dictatorship, even as it shifts to a different method of interacting with the world at large (i.e. Through tourism). We might also address how the Spanish dictatorship wined and dined individual members of the US government in order to gain the economic and political clout they needed to transform their economy and their international image.

The Lopez and Sanchez article, like the Marheofer article, looks to shine a light on a group mostly ignored by academia, and while doing so highlights how perceptions of women ensured that Nationalist women could operate basically unseen during the Civil War, and how after the Franco victory these women looked to simply return to their houses, with the state also ignoring certain dimensions of female action during the war.