Individualism and Fascism
Modern political thought has given a considerable amount of attention to the conception of the individual's function in modern society. In this paper, I will discuss the fascist philosophy on individualism. Using the Italian philosopher Alfredo Rocco's arguments on this topic, I will consider how Liberalism, Democracy and Socialism are closely related, while Fascism can be seen as the true antithesis to Liberalism. In this process I will review Fascism and its principles. I will also elaborate upon the similarity of Ernst Huber's personal liberty and Karl Marx's ideas of personal property and the need to eliminate these freedoms for the benefit of the ...view middle of the document...
He affirms that the State cannot limit itself for the defense of liberty, but it must become active in support of its citizens for their welfare. He believed that the State must intervene to improve the conditions of its masses. He holds that it is a contradiction to have a State governed by a small minority, that a true State is governed by all.
Rocco goes on to elucidate the relationship between Liberalism, Democracy and Socialism. He states that "Logically developed Liberalism leads to Democracy; the logical development of Democracy issues into Socialism" (282). He ties the three theories together by their common purpose, "the welfare of the individual members of society" (282). He further supports this by asserting that there is no antithesis between either of the three, or even an alteration as to the nature of the State and the connection of the individuals to society, only in their methods.
The "true antithesis" Rocco believes is to be found in the doctrine of Fascism. He explains that the disagreements between Liberalism and Democracy, and Liberalism and Socialism lie in the disagreement in method (as has been stated), but these theories all differ from Fascism not only by method, but also by concept.
Rocco develops the fundamental concepts of Fascism. First, he upholds Aristotle's belief that man is a political animal. He states that a human being that is outside of a society is a non-man. Adding to this thought, he notes that humans have formed many distinct and different societies. Therefore he believes that humanity is a biological concept, and that society is the unity of both its biological and social contents (283). Socially considered, Rocco believes that these fractions of the human species are united for the purpose of achieving a particular end (culture, religion, tradition, customs, economic interests, living conditions, territory, etc. p.284).
He believes to be true that these fractions of the human species possess distinct characterizations that in short, can be considered a life of its very own. He further supports this idea with the notion that these fractions of the human species must retain the same fundamental traits of the species, which means to Rocco that they must be seen as "a succession of generations and not as a collection of individuals" (284). So therefore, it can be inferred that these fractions (or societies) are not composed of the individuals living in it at the present moment, but rather the generations that compromise the past, present and future. This exemplifies his Fascist belief that the conception of the State gives the society a ceaseless life beyond the mortality of the individuals.
Rocco supposes that the Fascist relationship between state and individual is at opposition to the other political doctrines. He declares that rather than the liberal-democratic formula being one of "society for the individual"; Fascism promotes "individuals for society".
Rocco then goes...