Re-examining the rise of Fascism

Alessandro Drago, Emmanuel Guay, Julian Torelli

The current rise of populism in North America and in Europe has alarmed academics and activists alike. Furthermore, we have seen a corresponding increase in the levels of fascist groups (such as Casapound in Italy and the Golden Dawn in Greece). The election of Donald trump has given rise to fears about his fascistic tendencies and the impetus this will give to xenophobic, fascist and violent groups. With these current events in mind, this proposal seeks to evaluate and discuss fascism as a political and philosophical concept from several different theoretical perspectives. Julian Torelli’s presentation will discuss a little known and discussed scholar Erich Fromm. Fromm’s perspective will be put in conversation with Walter Benjamin’s thoughts on fascism. Emanuel Guay’s intervention will discuss Marxian and Weberian perspectives on fascism. Furthermore, he will put these perspectives in juxtaposition with Hannah Arendt’s very own perspective . Finally, Alessandro Drago will discuss the relevance of the classical Marxist approach to explaining the rise of fascism. The theories of Nicos Poulantzas will be used. All of the interventions will discuss the strengths and pitfalls of these perspectives. Furthermore, an emphasis will be placed on how the articulation and understanding of these philosopher’s perspectives on fascism can help us combat the ever growing presence of fascism in our world today.

Alessandro and Julian will do their interventions in English and Emanuel will do his intervention in French.