Neo-fascism is an ideological movement inspired by Mussolini’s fascism but which, due to the social, political and economic changes that arose after the Second World War, undergoes some modifications. The original Italian movement emerged from the hand of Mussolini after the First World War. In fact, the National Fascist Party was founded in 1921, and the work The doctrine of fascism, published in 1932.
On the other hand, the historical period of neofascism is not at all limited. “Neo” means that the movement is new, recently created. But the fascist movements and parties continue from the end of the Second World War and the defeat of the axis to the present day, which makes their temporal determination difficult.
All of them are called neo-fascists, regardless of whether they operated in the 1970s or 2010.
Principles of fascism
It is convenient to highlight the most important features of fascism, since it is the basis on which the most recent neo-fascist movement is inspired.
Some of them are the following:
- Exacerbated nationalism: The nation is a superior value, all the citizens of the State are subjugated to it. The national will is overwhelming, nothing must contradict the objectives of the nation.
- Totalitarianism: The regime that articulates fascism is totalitarianism, characterized by the nullity of democratic elements.
- Rejection of liberal principles: That the population enjoy political rights and civil liberties is something that corrupts the nation.
- Racism and xenophobia: Fascism defends the existence of a superior race that must be above the rest, exterminating or subduing them if necessary.
- Illegalization of parties and unions: The government party is the only legal one, as well as the regime’s union. In this way, the opposition is put to an end and the working class is dissuaded from practicing revolutionary practices.
- Militarism: The formation of a strong army and the development of special police forces is necessary to ensure control of the population and the eradication of dissent.
- Propaganda: It is necessary to control education and the media, as well as opinion, to deepen the ideology of citizens.
- Messianic leader: Fascist regimes, and totalitarian regimes in general, need a great charismatic figure who attracts the masses only because of his person.
Characteristics and principles of neo-fascism
Now that we know the characteristics of fascism, we can see which elements or characteristics are more typical of neofascism:
- Empty ideology: Just as we speak of fascism as a fully defined ideology, we cannot speak of neo-fascism in the same terms. This movement is completely residual in all countries and its political doctrine is not well defined. It is more about isolated groups that, in the limited margin of action that democracies leave them, dedicate themselves to making noise and denouncing economic, social and political problems.
- Populism: This lack of an ideological body is transformed into the elaboration of vague proposals and with little practical veracity. They seek to persuade the voter by taking advantage of the discouragement generated by times of economic or social crisis.
- Racism and xenophobia: This racism, which already existed in the first fascist regimes, is practically the only weighty element that neo-fascists have. They blame a large part of the country’s problems on foreigners who, according to them, take away jobs from nationals and corrupt the culture of the country.
- Rejection of democracy: From the second half of the 20th century, democracy began to spread as the predominant form of government in Europe. The followers of neo-fascism reject the functioning of the system, and are strongly against the political class, especially the left-wing parties.
- Esthetic: The aesthetic has also changed a lot, the neo-fascists have numerous differentiating elements that did not exist during the first half of the 20th century. Shaved heads, use of denim and dark clothing, tattoos, Nazi and fascist symbols on clothing, etc. are some of its differentiating elements. Although, of course, having some of these traits does not make one belong to these groups.
- Violence: Since sports, especially soccer, often generate controversy and numerous confrontations, many neo-fascists tend to form groups within the hobbies of the teams in order to face other fans in street fights. They also often beat up minority components, such as foreigners or LGTB people.
Neo-fascism in Spain
The neo-fascist presence in Spain has always been residual. In the general elections of 1979 it was where it had the greatest presence, and only one deputy, Blas Piñar, was obtained through the Fuerza Nueva party.
Spain 2000 is another party with these characteristics, and it only has one mayor and six councilors in the entire national territory. The Falange is another political force that is currently left with this political cut, its electoral result is reduced to 606 votes in the 2019 general elections.
With regard to the civilian population, they meet by forming small groups and attending events such as football matches, demonstrations or counter-demonstrations. What usually generates altercations on numerous occasions.