On Fascism and Capitalism
AbstractThis article attempts to shed light on the relation between fascism and capitalism. The former is represented here by German Nazism, whereas the latter is understood primarily in Marxist terms as a mode of production based on wage labour and the private ownership of the means of production, although Boltanski and Chiapello’s diagnosis of how capitalism’s “spirit” is changing constitutes another important point of reference for the discussion. From the perspective of class relations, fascism is based on the brutal suppression of all manifestations of workers’ self-organization, and on channelling the frustration of declassed petty bourgeoisie. The capitalist’s transition from the position of owner-entrepreneur to that of owner-rentier, and the transfer of management into the hands of a new class of managers is described in the context of a larger process of transformations that were changing capitalism in the 1930s in Germany and elsewhere.
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