The Ultranationalist International: Fascism in Global Historical Perspective
The following is an effort to conceptualize fascism as a global historical problem. Given its ultra-nationalistic bent, approaching fascist movements as a phenomenon entirely distinct to particular national contexts seems logical. However, fascist regimes and movements emerged simultaneously across the world in the interwar period. Therefore, studying fascism in global historical terms can reveal different aspects of the oft-nebulous subject of fascism that are not as readily apparent when studying fascist movements strictly in terms of the peculiarities of their specific national manifestations. The first chapter outlines the dimensions of the global historical approach to fascism in historiographical terms, highlighting some of the problems of boundaries and definition that have plagued the study of fascism as well as the limits of studying fascist regimes entirely within the confines of particular national movements and the unique national factors which shaped their emergence. The second chapter develops an analysis of the emergence of ultra-nationalistic politics especially in the contexts of India and Argentina, where fears of degeneracy and the dissolution of the social order were shaped by allegedly anti-national groups and movements that were seen as posing an imminent and existential threat to the national community. Finally, the third chapter locates fascism within the broader political spectrum in global terms, taking advantage of multiple cases to evaluate broad similarities across different fascist movements in terms of general political orientation. While fascism can be characterized as a retreat from the global and to the nation, viewing fascism as a global historical problem reveals the ways in which this orientation towards ultra-nationalist politics was in fact reflective of the powerful influence of global processes and transnational movements on national politics in the interwar period.