On the origins of fascism (Losurdo)

As preparation for the socialism in power project, I am working my way systematically through Losurdo. At the moment I am reading through War and Revolution, which offers a sustained riposte to the revisionist tendency (Nolte, Furet et al) that seeks to blame all of the twentieth century’s ills on the revolutionary tradition, from the Jacobins to the Bolsheviks.

Instead, as Losurdo points out, Hitler was a great admirer of the British Empire and sought to emulate it (with Ireland as the prime instance of how to treat resistance forces and ‘degenerate’ populations). Henry Ford’s The International Jew (a compilation from the anti-Semitic paper he funded, the Dearborn Independent) profoundly influenced Himmler. And the Tsarist pogroms and those of the ‘white’ forces during the civil war, in which hundreds of thousands of Jews were killed, was supported by British forces, which air-dropped a massive amount of anti-Semitic literature and supported the ‘whites’ in their effort to rid Russia of the Jewish conspiracy known as Bolshevism. As Lorsurdo points out, ‘This is a chapter of history that seems to be a direct prelude to the Nazi genocide’.

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7 thoughts on “On the origins of fascism (Losurdo)

  1. The success of British colonial policy in Ireland can be gauged by the fact that although she is politically free, there is a huge class of people there that are still strongly Anglophile and regret the 1916 rising. Most noticeable is, ironically, the readership of ‘The Irish Times’. Mao’s sardonic comment about people needing to have ‘their brains washed’ comes to mind. Mental colonialism must never be underestimated.

  2. As I recall, he also points out Hitler’s very explicit affinity for the USA’s genocidal policies and attitude toward its indigenous population, seeing it as a model for how to approach the current occupants of Germany’s planned lebensraum.

    I may have to reread that book, there was just so much to absorb. My only real complaint with it was that the last section of Chapter 1 should have been the first; he kind of leaves you dangling a bit, diving right into rhetoricals and examples and such before he’s laid out his thesis and definitions, which is apt to give folks whiplash. A good editor should have probably pointed that out to him.

    1. Yes indeed, Hitler very saw eastern Europe and the Soviet Union in terms of the barbarian natives threatening Western civilisation, in which the ‘Judeao-Bolshevik’ conspiracy had appeared as an ‘Asiatic menace’. The UK was quite keen to turn Hitler’s attention to the east.

  3. I wonder what people at the time would have thought about Hitler seeing Britain’s treatment of Ireland as an example of how to prosper on the world stage? Interesting stuff, Roland.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  4. Losurdos falsches und lückenhaftes Geschichtsverständnis führt den Leser in die Irre und denunziert den Marxismus-Leninismus als eine bruchstückhafte und völlig veraltete Theorie, die er selbst ersetzt durch allerlei eklektische und spekulative Gedankenkonstruktionen. Damit erweist sich Losurdo als ein intellektueller Spinner, der nicht einmal die Geschichte richtig kennt, geschweige denn den Marxismus verstanden hat. In seinem Artikel “Genosse Domenico Losurdos ‘Flucht aus der Geschichte’ (2001)” (siehe: http://kurt-gossweiler.de/?p=822) seziert Dr.Kurt Gossweiler diesen Schwadroneur in einígen seiner absurden Behauptungen.

    Peter Hacks bezeichnet Losurdo als einen “Niemand”, der “eine sagenhafte Konfusion verbreitet.” (P.Hacks: “Am Ende verstehen sie es”, Eulenspiegel Verlag Berlin, 2005, S.158)

  5. Losurdos wrong and incomplete historical understanding misleads the reader and denounces the Marxism Leninism as a fragmentary and completely outdated theory, which he himself substituted by all kinds of eclectic and speculative constructions of thought. With it Losurdo turns out as an intellectual spinner who not even knows the history properly, never mind has understood the Marxism. In his article “comrade Domenico Losurdos ‘escape from the history’ (2001)” (look: http://kurt-gossweiler.de/?p=822) Dr. Kurt Gossweiler dissects this lineshooter in some of his absurd assertions.

    The German author Peter Hacks calls Losurdo as a “Nobody” who spreads “an incredible confusion” (source: Peter Hacks. “Am Ende verstehen sie es”, Eulenspiegel Verlag, Berlin, 2005, p.158)

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