AskDefine | Define neofascism

Extensive Definition

This page specifically pertains to fascism after World War II. For Nazi movements after World War II, see Neo-Nazism
Neo-fascism is a post-World War II ideology that includes significant elements of fascism. The term neo-fascist'' may apply to groups that express a specific admiration for Benito Mussolini and Italian fascism. Neo-fascism usually includes nationalism, anti-immigration policies or, where relevant, nativism (see definition), anti-communism, and opposition to the parliamentary system and liberal democracy. Allegations that a group is neo-fascist may be hotly contested, especially if the term is used as a politic epithet. Some post-World War II regimes have been described as neo-fascist due to their authoritarian nature, and sometimes due to their fascination with fascist ideology and rituals.
Latin America's tradition of populism and authoritarian regimes includes the caudillos of the 19th and early 20th centuries, and the various military juntas that took power during the Cold War. Most of the juntas were traditional military dictatorships, and some of these regimes provided refuge to former Nazis (such as Adolf Eichmann), and supported neo-fascist movements (e.g. the Argentinian Triple A).


Argentina (1946-1955 and 1973-1974) - Juan Perón admired Mussolini and established his own pseudo-fascist regime, although it has been more often considered a right-wing populist. After he died, his third wife and vice-president Isabel Perón was deposed by a military junta, after a short interreign characterized by support to the neo-fascist Argentine Anticommunist Alliance (la Triple A) terrorist group. Videla's junta, which participated in Operation Condor, supported various neo-fascist and right-wing terrorist movements; the SIDE supported Meza Tejada's Cocaine Coup in Bolivia and trained the Contras in Nicaragua.


The Bolivian Socialist Falange party founded in 1937 played a crucial role in mid-century Bolivian politics. Luis García Meza Tejada's regime took power during the 1980 Cocaine Coup in Bolivia with the help of Italian neo-fascist Stefano Delle Chiaie, Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie and the Buenos Aires junta. That regime has been accused of neo-fascist tendencies and of admiration for Nazi paraphernalia and rituals. Hugo Banzer Suárez, who preceded Tejada, also displayed admiration towards Nazism and fascism. Since the popular election of Evo Morales, Bolivia has seen a resurgence of far right politics in opposition to his Movement Towards Socialism government, policies, and reforms.


See also Neo-Nazism in Greece
Neo-fascism in Greece has been present in Greek politics since the authoritarian regime of Ioannis Metaxas, though with limited popularity among the public. During the 1950s and 1960s, Greek neo-fascists composed extremist fractions, one of which was responsible for the killing of politician Gregoris Lambrakis. In 1967, the Greek military Junta of George Papadopoulos found inspiration in the Metaxas period (Greek fascism) of 1936-1941 and gathered many Greeks of a neo-fascist mentality to power.
A decade after the restoration of democracy in 1974, former Junta leader George Papadopoulos founded and lead the National Political Union, a party supporting, if not neo-fascism, at least authoritarian views and the ideal of "Ellas ton Ellinon Christianon" (Greece of Greek-Orthodox Greeks).The Greek neo-fascists were greatly alienated though, but continued to existed in fringe minority parties, very rarely achieving parliament seats. In the early 80's Nikolaos Michaloliakos, a former Greek Army parachutist and youth leader of the National Political Union founded Hrisi Avgi. Colonels' Junta in Greece (1967-1974) - This regime was often adjectived as "fascist", even if the regime's nature was not fascist, but military-based, anti-communist, ultra-nationalist and authoritarian. The Greek Communist Party in exile proclaimed the junta to be a "monarcho-fascist" instigation of the United States. The Grey Wolves share a racist and supremacist ideology, and have taken part in murders and other violent attacks, including false flag attacks aimed against the Kurdish PKK. Mehmet Ali Ağca, a Grey Wolves member who would try to assassinate the Pope John Paul II in May 1981, had for example assassinated Abdi İpekçi, editor of Milliyet newspaper, in 1979. He escaped from prison with the help of Abdullah Çatlı, who himself has been in contact with Stefano Delle Chiaie among other international terrorists; Türkeş and Çatlı have both been accused of being prominent members of "Counter-Guerrilla", the Turkish branch of Gladio, NATO's stay-behind anti-communist organizations set up during the Cold War officially to counter an eventual Soviet invasion . The Grey Wolves are also thought to have carried out various Anti-Armenian activities, including supporting Azeri forces in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and preventing the showing of Ararat, a film about the Armenian Genocide, in Turkey.
Groups identified as neo-fascist in the United States generally include neo-Nazi organizations such as the National Alliance and the American Nazi Party. The presence or absence of elements of fascism in the United States since World War II has been a matter of dispute.

International networks

In 1951, the New European Order (NEO) neo-fascist Europe-wide alliance was set up to promote Pan-European nationalism. It was a more radical splinter-group of the European Social Movement. The NEO had its origins in the 1951 Malmö conference when a group of rebels led by René Binet and Maurice Bardèche refused to join the European Social Movement as they felt that it did not go far enough in terms of racialism and anti-communism. As a result Binet joined with Gaston-Armand Amaudruz in a second meeting that same year in Zurich to set up a second group pledged to wage war on communists and non-white people.
Several Cold War regimes and international neo-fascist movements collaborated in operations such as assassinations and false flag bombings. Stefano Delle Chiaie, involved in Italy's strategy of tension, took part in Operation Condor; organizing the 1976 assassination attempt of Chilean Christian Democrat Bernardo Leighton. Vincenzo Vinciguerra escaped to Franquist Spain with the help of the SISMI, following the 1972 Peteano attack, for which he was sentenced to life. Along with Delle Chiaie, Vinciguerra testified in Rome in December 1995 before judge Maria Servini de Cubria, stating that Enrique Arancibia Clavel (a former Chilean secret police agent prosecuted for crimes against humanity in 2004) and US expatriate DINA agent Michael Townley were directly involved in General Carlos Prats' assassination. Michael Townley was sentenced in Italy to 15 years of prison for having served as intermediary between the DINA and the Italian neo-fascists.
The regimes of Franquist Spain, Augusto Pinochet's Chile and Alfredo Stroessner's Paraguay participated together in Operation Condor, which targeted political opponents worldwide. During the Cold War, these international operations gave rise to some cooperation between various neo-fascist elements engaged in a "Crusade against Communism". Anti-Fidel Castro terrorist Luis Posada Carriles was condemned for the Cubana Flight 455 bombing on October 6, 1976. According to the Miami Herald, this bombing was decided on at the same meeting during which it was decided to target Chilean former minister Orlando Letelier, who was assassinated on September 21, 1976. Carriles wrote in his autobiography: ''I became conscious that (...) we the Cubans didn't oppose ourselves to an isolated tyranny, nor to a particular system of our fatherland, but that we had in front of us a colossal enemy, whose main head was in Moscow, with its tentacles dangerously extended on all the planet. The battle-field, therefore, was as much on the Cuban territory that as in any other point of the Earth where the enemy was present or tried to penetrate in order to enlarge its dominions. Without knowing it nor proposing it to myself, I converted myself into a universal soldier in service of whatever could contribute to cutting the monster's tentacles away, if possible beginning with my own fatherland.


Further reading

  • The Beast Reawakens by Martin A. Lee, (New York: Little, Brown and Company, 1997, ISBN 0-316-51959-6)
  • Fascism (Oxford Readers) by Roger Griffin, 1995, ISBN 0-19-289249-5
  • Fascism in Britain: A History, 1918-1985 by Richard C. Thurlow (Olympic Marketing Corp, 1987, ISBN 0-631-13618-5)
  • Fascism Today: A World Survey by Angelo Del Boca (Pantheon Books, 1st American edition, 1969)
  • Free to Hate: The Rise of the Right in Post-Communist Eastern Europe by Paul Hockenos (Routledge; Reprint edition, 1994, ISBN 0-415-91058-7)
  • The Dark Side of Europe: The Extreme Right Today by Geoff Harris, (Edinburgh University Press; New edition, 1994, ISBN 0-7486-0466-9)
  • The Far Right in Western and Eastern Europe by Luciano Cheles, Ronnie Ferguson, and Michalina Vaughan (Longman Publishing Group; 2nd edition, 1995, ISBN 0-582-23881-1)
  • The Radical Right in Western Europe: A Comparative Analysis by Herbert Kitschelt (University of Michigan Press; Reprint edition, 1997, ISBN 0-472-08441-0)
  • Shadows Over Europe: The Development and Impact of the Extreme Right in Western Europe'' edited by Martin Schain, Aristide Zolberg, and Patrick Hossay (Palgrave Macmillan; 1st edition, 2002, ISBN 0-312-29593-6)
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