The phenomenon of movements and organizations with chauvinist agendas finding their way into parliaments and in some cases into governments is a striking feature of our times, even though the current world context and the forces that drive it are not quite the same as those that first gave birth to fascism.
What factors underlie the rise of contemporary fascist tendencies? Can the investigation of how and why fascism initially emerged, of the forces that gave it sustenance and ensured its victory, help in understanding the nature of the contemporary tendencies? Though different in important ways from the period in which fascism first gained ascendancy, the contemporary world nevertheless shares many of the features that initially provided fascism with its raison d'tre.
This Reader offers a selection of writings from the postwar and inter-war period by left-wing scholars, political figures and critics of culture with the hope of encouraging reflection and debate. The predominant focus is on German Fascism, but the selection includes pieces on Italy, Hungary, postwar America. It attempts to give an account of the major issues in Marxist debates on fascism and to also provide a sense of the changing political pressures and constraints in which these debates took place.
MARGIT KOVES currently teaches Hungarian at the Department of Slavonic and Finno-Ugrian Studies, University of Delhi. She has been a Fellow of the ICHR, ICSSR and ICPR and has published several articles on the Hungarian philosopher Georg Lukacs.
SHASWATI MAZUMDAR teaches German at the Department of Germanic and Romance Studies, University of Delhi. Her research has included a focus on the German writer Bertolt Brecht. She has edited a collection of essays on Fascism and Culture (1994).