Varieties of Anti-Fascism: Britain in the Inter-War Period


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This history of anti-fascism can be traced back to interwar Europe, where splits between various types of anti-fascism were conspicuous, typically as a result of the influence of the Soviet Union.

Fascism in Europe today

The first anti-fascists emerged with the rise of dictator Benito Mussolini in Italy. Then, as fascism spread, so did anti-fascism. However, the Communists saw German fascism as fueled by capitalism in crisis, and so opposed any group they saw as supporting capitalism. For German Communists in the early s, both the Social Democrats and the Nazis did this, although they felt the Nazis were at least honest in what they stood for. Consequently, the memory of the Spanish Civil War lingers in the cultures of anti-fascism to this day. Anti-fascism soon became central to the narrative for all the countries that fought against Nazi Germany between and , especially the USSR after it was invaded by the Nazi regime.

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After the Second World War, once again competing forms of anti-fascism developed within the revolutionary and moderate left, as well as others deeply affected by the legacy of fascism. In turn, the moderate left in Britain was not always keen to involve itself with anti-fascism. New, specialist groups also emerged. In the s, the small direct action Jewish organization the 43 Group , whose members included Vidal Sassoon, fought those who sought to rekindle British fascism, and even identified companies that helped facilitate fascists in any way.

Established Jewish organizations, like the Board of Deputies of British Jews , also continued a role developed in the s promoting anti-fascism as part of a wider function of looking after Jewish interests.

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This was a precursor to the larger scale Rock Against Racism movement of the late s. Much more recently, music has been important in social media campaigning. Importantly, contemporary British organizations now produce credible data on hate crimes that help influence policy discussions. The think tank the Institute for Strategic Dialogue , which specializes in countering violent extremism, has come up with analysis and guidance on how nongovernmental organizations and governments can work together to tackle the threats posed by the extreme right.

source link Meanwhile, the Jewish organization Community Security Trust has become a significant part of British anti-fascist culture, while newer groups such as Tell Mama now also defend Muslims from Islamophobic attacks. Anti-fascists today can learn lessons from such older, and often imaginative, approaches to undermining the extreme right. They can capture media attention in ways that delegitimize extreme right agendas.

Rather than promoting violent confrontations, successful anti-fascist campaigns often play on the idea of ridiculing such intolerant groups. This is important as many extreme right activists crave violent confrontation with anti-fascists, even if they deny this publicly.

Conflict with anti-fascists also allows extremists to play the role of the victim being silenced, and can to lead to more sympathetic media coverage.

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For Americans grappling with the reality of life post-Charlottesville, this is particularly relevant. Though rooted in European history, anti-fascism is far from a new phenomenon in the United States. As elsewhere, militant forms of activism have rubbed against more respectable methods for opposing white supremacist cultures for generations.

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It will then be argued that the Conservative party provided a considerable indirect resistance to fascism. While pursuing its main political concerns, the party had the largest role in preserving stable government, maintaining confidence in existing institutions, and containing challenges from the far left which might have provoked greater interest in fascism. The third section will consider Conservative anti-fascism in the direct sense, the expression of arguments and values in opposition to British and international fascism.

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  • A-Z Index Accessibility. The Conservative party, fascism and anti-fascism Abstract The interwar Conservative party provides a challenge for recent historical definitions of British anti-fascism.

    Varieties of Anti-Fascism: Britain in the Inter-War Period Varieties of Anti-Fascism: Britain in the Inter-War Period
    Varieties of Anti-Fascism: Britain in the Inter-War Period Varieties of Anti-Fascism: Britain in the Inter-War Period
    Varieties of Anti-Fascism: Britain in the Inter-War Period Varieties of Anti-Fascism: Britain in the Inter-War Period
    Varieties of Anti-Fascism: Britain in the Inter-War Period Varieties of Anti-Fascism: Britain in the Inter-War Period
    Varieties of Anti-Fascism: Britain in the Inter-War Period Varieties of Anti-Fascism: Britain in the Inter-War Period
    Varieties of Anti-Fascism: Britain in the Inter-War Period Varieties of Anti-Fascism: Britain in the Inter-War Period
    Varieties of Anti-Fascism: Britain in the Inter-War Period Varieties of Anti-Fascism: Britain in the Inter-War Period

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