The Political Economy of Fascism: Myth or Reality: or Myth and Reality?
This is a working draft of an article published in New Political Economy, Volume 11, Number 2, June 2006. pp. 227-250.
"No comparative study exists of fascist economic systems. Nor is this surprising. For one can legitimately doubt whether it is appropriate to use so distinctive a term as system when discussing fascist economics. ...... Nor, in the economic field, could fascism lay claim to any serious theoretical basis or to any outstanding economic theoreticians. Were fascist economics.....anything more than a series of improvisations, of responses to particular and immediate problems? Were not the economic actions of any single fascist regime .... so contradictory as to make it difficult to speak of a coherent and consistent economic policy in one country, let alone of a more general system."
S. J. Woolf: Did a fascist economic system exist? in Woolf (Ed) The Nature of Fascism, Random House, NY, 1968, p. 119.
It is almost forty years since Woolfs observations, yet they remain pertinent. At the time of writing, a search for the term political economy in the index of almost any serious work on fascism, or via a web search engine, yields distinctly thin results.[*] Equally, there is still no major comparative monograph dealing with the question, aside from Charles Maiers magisterial general political economy of the period, which concluded:
"...if it advanced any economic program, fascism proposed an economy geared for national self sufficiency and war. Autarkic policies represented a natural outgrowth of their political premises. They seemed all the more attractive to the dictators as ways to cut through contradictory interests at home. Faced with a tug of war among conflicting priorities and bureaucratic agencies, Mussolini in 1925 and 1936 and Hitler in 1935-6 seized upon autarky to impose a more comprehensive authority over disputing factions..... In a larger sense, fascist economics was not really economics at all. As Hitler wrote, economic issues were problems to be overcome by political will. The original appeal of fascism consisted in part of its promise that ordinary people need not be powerless against what often seemed inevitable and overpowering economic trends."Fascisms economic doctrines and aspirations have, therefore, remained amongst the least researched elements of classical fascism. They also represent one of the most difficult components of the value-matrix of fascism to probe, encapsulated in vague statements of the corporate state and of restoring blood and soil agricultural communities, largely abandoned in practice. Equally, a supposed adherence to forms of third way economics, between individualism and collectivism, appear little more than mobilising myths to separate fascism from its chief enemies and rivals - liberalism and socialism/communism rather than any developed political economy. There were also glaring contradictions and inconsistencies in the economic pronouncements of fascist leaders towards market capitalism and the proper functions of the state."
Further, neo-Marxist scholars consistently conceptualise fascist movements, parties and regimes as licensed defenders of the interests of monopoly capital, seeking to rescue the capitalist system from the rising forces of the organised working class and inherently falling profits, while furthering the international Imperialist purposes of monopoly capitalism. Frankfurt School Members Horkheimer, Adorno, Neumann, and Pollock, viewed fascism as a system in which capitalists increasingly acted through the medium of the authoritarian state. Such a society could eventually abandon market commodity production and its law of value, as it was replaced by the state bureaucracy, allowing capitalists to extract surplus value directly through the state. The market would be completely replaced by a state-owned and managed economy, and capitalists would no longer be capitalists, but rather owners of the state economy through their permanent control of the state. As Maier put it, fascism represented crisis capitalism with a cudgel.
As a result, it is often assumed by marxists and non-marxists alike, that classical fascism lacked a properly developed political economy, resorting to an empty rhetoric of the third way and corporative state to cover more basic autarkic and authoritarian-Imperialist intentions, driven ultimately by intolerant and perverted political impulses. The two major recent monographs in the field reinforce this impression. Evans concludes that corruption, extortion, expropriation and downright robbery [were]... the hallmarks of the [nazi] regime and its masters and servants at every level. While Bosworth suggests that Economic life doubtless had its special style and rhythms but conditioning all activity in Fascist Italy was charisma. This study may, therefore, prove to be a paradigm example of the proverbial search in a darkened room for a black cat that simply isnt there.
Nevertheless, Gregor has long argued that: Fascism, [in Italy] prior to its advent to power, advertised a specific program addressed to immediate problems that afflicted the national economy..... [and] entertained a long-range economic program .... articulated in the doctrinal literature of 1921 and 1922........ those programs were autonomous, originating among its principal ideologues before allies previously unattached to the movement joined forces with Fascism. Whatever accommodation there might have been with the established economic interests ... this accommodation was a contingent, rather than a constituent, characteristic of Fascist economic policy. Equally, the leading scholar of French fascism, Zeev Sternhell, has argued powerfully for the sincerely held and relatively sophisticted economic philosophies of nascent French fascism. 
When attempting to evaluate classical fascist economic doctrines, it is important to understand classical fascists aversions to traditional concepts of political economy, due to an inbuilt ideological bias against materialist based arguments and an associated hostility towards structural-economistic interpretations of events in history. Marxism and socialism are inherently materialistic, embracing the need to have a highly developed understanding and appreciation of the interaction of the economic side of human existence upon the forms of politics and civil society they support. Liberal beliefs also derive from forms of political economy a term which emerged in liberal thought in order to explain the natural rise of market-based individualism and liberal notions of the innate value of freedom of action in civil society.
In his Fascism: Doctrine and Institutions, (1935) Mussolini explicity rejected all such economic conceptions of history:
Fascism, now and always, believes in .... actions influenced by no economic motive, direct or indirect.... Fascism denies the materialist conception of happiness as a possibility, and abandons it to its inventors, the economists of the first half of the nineteenth century ..Fascism has taken up an attitude of complete opposition to the doctrines of Liberalism .... in the field of economics...... If the nineteenth century was a century of individualism ..... it may be expected that this will be a century of collectivism and hence the century of the State.
Fascist anti-materialism ruled-out allocating a key role to any independent economic causation, either the disciplines of the free market, or materialist/structuralist class-based forms. The roots of fascist ideology lay principally in pseudo-Nietzschean superman myths, expressed first through the apocalyptic meta-historical writings of Oswald Spengler, and vitalistic opera plots of Wagner, which denied the significance of mere economics in dictating the upward (and downward) movement of peoples and civilizations. Fascist philosophy was centred on an anticipated triumph of the will of the chosen leader and his devoted disciples over mere material/structural obstacles. For fascists, when an economy failed, or succeeded, someone not something was responsible.
This anti-materialist aspect of classical fascist political economy was clearly visible in nascent form in fin de ciecle France where Sternhells extensive researches have born rich, if contested, fruit. For Sternhell, it was the rightist revolutionaries of the turn of the century that had laid the first foundations for French fascism, through a violent anti-democratic ultra-nationalist new right, marked by its concern for the deteriorating condition of all distressed classes, represented at first in Barresian nationalism and later by the Maurrassians and the Jeune Droite. But it was a linked mutation of the ideology of the French revisionist neosocialist left, which gave birth to fully-fledged fascist ideology. A new authoritarian-left emerged, inspired by revolutionary syndicalism and a revolt against historical materialism, founded on the anti-rationalist elements of Nietzsche, Bergson, Pareto, Le Bon and Freud. And between the wars this dissident faction was represented by the neosocialist (Planist) revisions of Marxism of by Henri De Man, Marcel Dat, and their dirigiste, and futurist allies. They combined mystical nationalism with socialism (i.e. revolutionary syndicalism and corporatism) to produce forms of socialist nationalism and national socialism, as expressed through the writings of Sorel, Berth, Lagardelle (a syndicalist, influenced by Proudhon), and Herve (a reformist Anarcho-syndicalist) centred around Le Mouvement socialiste: He concluded:
The theory of ethical socialism developed by the revolutionarysyndicalist school now spearheaded this revolt against both liberal democracy and social democracy. .......The Sorelian synthesis of the two forces opposed to liberal democracy socialism and nationalism..... began ... transcending Marxism, which reached its culmination with Henri De Man's Audela du marxisme and Marcel Dat 's Perspectives socialistes. Going beyond Marxism in practice generally led to positions outside Marxism and very far away from it...... a conception of socialism in vitalist, intuitive, Nietzschean, and Bergsonian terms.....To Sorelian revolutionary syndicalists..... socialism was more pedagogic than economic, and relatively indifferent to .... class conflict.... 
Fascist Political Economy: A Two Regime Model
What scholarly effort has been devoted to understanding fascist political economy has naturally concentrated on the regime phases of fascism in Italy and Germany, the only examples of mature fascist dictatorships. The problem with regime models, however, is that the realisation of the economic intentions of regimes depends upon their relative autonomy from the existing socio-economic structures and power blocs inherited from of the previous state, and the degree of pragmatism and/or force of will shown by the new leadership in overcoming a variety of external economic barriers to their plans. In both cases the wishes and desires of both dictators were undoubtedly modified by the inherited exigencies of the pre-existing economies and by external forces in the international economy, undermining any genuine fascist political economy (in the case of Italy producing shallow corporatism and in Germany single-minded preparations for total war). Besides, Milward argues that:
economic policy .... remained not only subordinate to but also an integral part of the ideological and political ambitions of the fascist movement....the ideological framework within which economic decisions were made often had even more weight than the practical questions of satisfying the economic wishes of those groups which supported the regime.
Nevertheless, if elements of fascist political economy can be discerned behind regime practices, this may partly explain the nature of the Italian and German economies under their dictatorships. In order to investigate this, a comparative analysis of the two regimes is undertaken below, divided into three idea-typically discrete historical phases, to capture the multi-layered ideological and/or contingent practices underlying fascist economic policies.
Phase One Radical Ideas and Reformist Leaderships.
Early fascism was militantly anti-big-capitalist and violently anti-Bolshevik, strongly for reclaiming and unifying the lost national territories, and located on the left of the fascist spectrum in the more radical elements within the early movements, many of which emerged from authoritarian-leftist and anti-capitalist rightist splinter groups. Consequently, such impulses produced programmes which were extremely anti-market-capitalist, authoritarian and ultra-nationalist.
The Italian fascist programme of 1919 demanded a heavy capital levy, a tax on war profits, generous minimum wage rates, participation by workers in management, confiscation of church property and surplus land to be allocated to peasants cooperatives. Leading Italian Fascist intellectuals spoke of a postcapitalist economic system with collective ownership of a corporative economy.
The Nazi programme of 1920 sought the abolition of unearned income, outright confiscation of excess war profits, nationalization of trusts, land reform, and the strengthening of the middle orders. Calls were also made for closing the stock exchanges and nationalising the banks. While: On taking power, radical Nazis launched a campaign against department stores which were hit with special tax legislation and by consumer boycotts.  Artisan and small business groups sought to ban certain services from large chain stores and cooperatives. Even the concept of the industrial corporation was challenged by Nazi populists who dreamed of a return to the old system of patriarchal management. In both countries, early fascists displayed a visceral mistrust of big capital, especially rapacious finance capital in Germany, contrasted with creative industrial capital, while fascists in Italy distinguished between the productive and the parasitic elements of the bourgeoisie and promised wholesale nationalisation of industry and commerce.
In Italy, the revolutionary syndicalism and corporativism of the more radical Ras (regional fascist leaders) lay behind such anti-capitalist beliefs, while in Germany nationalbolshevist left-Strasserism of the North German faction was responsible for much of the high profile argumentation within the nazi movement. But, arguably, the most important doctrine of this kind was the ordoliberalism of Wilhelm Roepke, Walther Eucken and Carl Schmitt. Schmitt, in particular, theorised the possibility of a natural compatibility between liberal economics and a total state.[**] But he was far from alone.
To achieve a healthy economy within a strong state, Rstow and others tolerated, even proposed to use authoritarian means. Mller-Armack, who was later to become the first section chief of the newly founded Grundsatzabteilung (planning section) of the ministry of economic affairs and state secretary under Ludwig Erhard from 1958 to 1963, sympathized with Italian fascism ...... and after 1933 warmly welcomed the new order ........ He joined the Nazi party the very same year. Eucken had become a sympathizer of the National Socialist party as early as 1931 ...... His 1932 article was nothing less than a total damnation of the system of Weimar. For Eucken, parliamentarism and particularism had become synonyms. He shared with Rstow, Mller-Armack and Rpke the profound distaste for the amorphous mass and favored a strictly elitist conception of political leadership.
Of course, these were authoritarian liberal intellectuals Roepke was driven into exile by nazism but in terms of the impact of their ideas on nazi thinkers and bureaucrats, there is a case perhaps to be made for a distinctive German authoritarian doctrine of national economic development.
But in neither case did this potential radicalism pass far into the regime stage of fascism. When close to gaining power, both leaders condemned wasteful commercial capitalism, but praised the entrepreneurial virtues of big business. In his address at Udine in September 1922, and again on October 16, Mussolini suggested to business leaders that fascism actually proposed an end to state intervention: Basta con lo Stato ferroviere, con to Stato postino, con to Stato assicuratore: (Enough of the railroad state, the postal state, the state as insurance agent.)
Hitler famously made similar overtures to Ruhr magnates at the Dusseldorf Industrieklub in January 1932. Praising German entrepreneurial skills, he claimed that, like him, they were men of decision who needed liberation from bureaucratic restrictions on their freedom to control their businesses. And both men appealed to technocratic myths and lauded engineers and businessmen above valueless financiers and commercialists. This productivism stressed the virtues of productive industrialists (portrayed as engineers or technocrats) over the parasitic rentier.
Significantly, Hitler (a studied agnostic on economic affairs) quickly moved against the leftist economic aspirations within the movement after taking total control of the party in 1925-6. Mussolini had also purged or sidelined most of his more extreme technocratic economic zealots by 1935. 
Phase II Practical Accommodations, Syndical States and Proto-Autarky.
Faced with the realities of power having made extravagant bread and work promises to their voters and activists, both leaderships recognised that large private industrial and financial complexes could only be challenged by massive direct state intervention, at considerable risk of destabilising their economies. Against vocal protests from leftist and anti-capitalist fascists, both regimes abandoned any attempt to radically alter the structure of economic organisation, and instead modified and worked within inherited liberal macro-economic structures to further their long term economic aims. The Nazi word for this was Wehrwirtschaft denoting a defensive domestic-based economy geared ultimately to warfare and strategic self-sufficiency. In the process, three major goals dominated: full employment, ruralism, and autarky.
The Nazis conducted their electoral campaigns around promising Arbeit und Brot and in June 1933, the Law to Reduce Unemployment was enacted. Thereafter unemployment fell rapidly from nearly 6 million to, officially, almost nothing - with conscription eventually absorbing over 1 million and concentration camps, forced emigration and summary executions literally removing others. Full employment was a core ideological component of Nazi political economy, rather than just an expedient introduced to fulfil an election promise, or overcome any present crisis. Otto Dietrich, the economist heading Hitler's press bureau, identified German national socialism with the right to work: Our socialism is no utopia, alienated from the real world, but natural life, full of pulsating blood ... the sole egalitarian economic demand it grants all the people is the right to work. Indeed, this commitment lay at the heart of most varieties of fascist economics, since unemployment and underconsumption were viewed by fascists as the result of the selfish materialistic and internationalist forces of the era. Mass unemployment was the endemic scourge of capitalism in this period and therefore a key concern of many of the radical anti-democratic leftist and rightist currents that flowed into early fascism. Unemployment also sapped national strength, of course.
The breakdown of the international capital market with the world depression, coupled with fears inherited from past depressions, and a threat of the flight of capital abroad was, in both regimes, checked by exchange controls, while credit institutions were employed to absorb public debt. Although envisaging the gradual reintegration of Germany into the international trading and financial system after a full recovery, the co-opted liberal Nazi Economics Minister, Hjalmar Schacht, was faced with immediate credit shortages, consequently government orders were paid for by bills accepted by MetallurgichenForschungs GmbH (Mefo), created jointly by industry and the Nazi government. Mefo bills circulated as payment for other goods and were also employed by banks to expand credit. Such policy was also generated by the refusal of fascist governments to contemplate foreign loans, which violated their vehement rejection of liberal rentier capitalism and achieving closed, self-sufficient, militarised economies.
The creation of corporativistic QUANGOs in Italy, was largely justified to rationalise and modernise the fascist economy, presented as a temporary expedient to counter the impact of the continuing world depression. As in Germany, the industrial sector was allowed to remain in private hands, but charged with meeting national needs. Corporativism was Mussolinis answer to curbing and developing capitalism, not abolishing it, allowing the claim that Fascism possessed an economic strategy that separated it from traditional liberal-capitalism. The system of compulsory sectoral organization and government of industry was proclaimed as eliminating the opposed interests of capital and labour, in contrast to the divisive class concepts of capitalism and communism, since it controlled and integrated not only workers, but capitalists. But corporativism was often bypassed by other state organs, or the dictator himself, in practice and ultimately the public contract was probably the most effective instrument of state control over industry. By 1944, 71% of banking assets were held in government securities, against 20% prior to 1933. Ultimately, corporatismo centred mainly on the brutal dismantling of the independent trade unions and obligatory incorporation of workers within corporations under fascist peak organisations an essential component of both economic systems.
Thus, while Italian corporativist theories urged this as a solution to Italys economic underdevelopment and as a modernization strategy, its Nazi equivalent sprang from social protectionist impulses in which the Mittelstand - small businesses, handicrafts organisations and the small farmer, would be shielded from unfair competition from both big business and organized labour. In neither case, therefore, did Homo Corporativus replace Homo Economicus.
In practice, direct state interventionism and public ownership was extended piecemeal by both regimes, but often made necessary (especially in Italy) to maintain the stability of the industrial/financial systems. The much-hyped Industrial Reconstruction Institute (IRI) was hastily created to forestall the imminent collapse of the core banking system, which controlled a considerable sector of heavy industry and only belatedly trumpeted as fascist. This system was also employed to create new industries where capital was naturally risk averse, or its product central for purposes of armament. Thus, both fascist states intervened directly to create enterprises to exploit fuel and chemical deposits and/or develop replacement synthetic materials (in Italy AGIP, Ente Nazionale Cellulosa). Nazi direct investment in the chemical industry, especially I. G. Farben, increased after 1936 to replace private capitals unwillingness to develop the substitute materials required for the drive towards autarchy. In Germany, the paradigm example was the huge Reichworks Hermann Goering, created by the state to exploit the uneconomic lowgrade Salzgitter ore, to the disbelief of traditional Iron Masters.
Major expansions of each states bureaucratic machinery were one major consequence of this mixture of corporatism and state intervention. A matrix of multi-level governing departments, agencies, and corporations was created, which nominally controlled the infrastructural and demand elements of the fascist economies. But this proved a far from coherent system, containing a multitude of quasi-autonomous bodies, and strong local leaders Ras or little Hitlers. In both systems the power remained partially located in local interest groups especially in areas such as Catholic Bavaria and the rural and remote South of Italy. Achieving influence, or the need to repay local support, often weighed more heavily than national economic assessments and corruption was rife in the Italian system (in continuity with the liberal regimes that preceded it) and in Germany where the Reichworks Hermann Goering degenerated into a system of rank corruption.
Trade patterns were highly deformed by the increasingly closed economies, especially in Germany. German imports fell from 14.5 milliard RM in 1928 to 4.75 milliard in 1938, and exports fell in similar measure. Bilateral trade became the norm, based on hugely complex clearing/barter agreements and heavily subsidised exports. As a result, German trade patterns shifted increasingly to underdeveloped SouthEast and South-West Europe and Latin America. In Italy the regime introduced, and closely policed, a similar mixture of high tariffs, barter/bilateral trade agreements, strict exchange controls, and draconian import licences.
Ruralism a return to the land and its peasant values - was a long held shibboleth of fascist propaganda in both countries. But, in reality, both regimes spearheaded drives to increase agricultural production and achieve selfsufficiency in bulk foodstuffs, which undermined this restorationist aim. Italys much hyped battle of wheat pushed up production considerably, at the cost of greatly reducing local production of vital export cash crops. Consequently, neither economy was in any way ruralised, with the trend of movement of rural populations into the cities accelerating as war approached. However, Milward contends that fascist economic policy under both regimes was extraordinarily favourable towards the agricultural sector [landowners] as it was unfavourable to industrial labour. Both in direct subsidies and in indirect financial benefits agriculture was one of the main beneficiaries of the public purse in both countries.
In a major break from any totalitarian identity with communism, private property in industry was, by and large, the norm in Fascist Italy and the Third Reich. German firms, despite rationing and controlled licensing activities by the state, had ample abilities to choose their own production and investment patterns. Even in warrelated projects freedom of contract was often respected and, instead of force, the Nazi state offered firms a bundle of contract options to choose from as an incentive. Buchheim and Schemer suggest that this was in part a belief that private property provided important incentives for increasing efficiency. Indeed:
"The ideal Nazi economy would liberate the creativeness of a multitude of private entrepreneurs in a dominantly competitive framework gently directed by the state to achieve the highest welfare of the Germanic people. But this directed market economy... had not yet been perfected because of the exigencies of war. Therefore a way to characterize the actual.... economy of the Third Reich ...... would probably have been statedirected private ownership economy instead of using the term market.
Otto Ohlendorf, a highranking SS officer in the Reich Economics Ministry (bizarrely, under the circumstances) attacked Speer's quasi-cartel/slave war economy in 1943 for undermining small and medium firms. In his opinion, the aim of National Socialist economic policy should be: to restrict as little as possible the creative activities of the individual. [...] Private property is the natural precondition to the development of personality. Only private property is able to further the continuous attachment to a certain work..
The Social Darwinian survival of the fittest ideology was perfectly suited to the Nazi mentality and was used to set up rival Einsatz-commando killing squads in the occupied east. Evidence of this attitude can also be found in the re-privatization of state enterprises. As Buchheim and Schemer observe: the Nazi regime did not want at all a German economy with public ownership of many or all enterprises: Therefore it generally had no intention whatsoever to nationalize private or to create state firms. On the contrary the reprivatization of enterprises was furthered wherever possible .... In 1940 the Genshagen airplane engine plant operated by DaimlerBenz was privatized; DaimlerBenz bought the majority of shares held by the Reich earlier than it wished to. Private competition, under state direction, was central it seems!
During phase two, therefore, the structures of the two fascist economies were created partly in an ad hoc and defensive manner reacting to external events rather than controlling them and certainly not according to any economistic blueprint espoused by fascist ideologues. Policies were initially constructed in response to the effects of the depression, and to reassure existing elites that fascism was not root-and-branch radicalism in the economic field, but also to achieve national independence and the essential growth (and full-employment) promised in their respective rise to power. In reality, of course, there were deep autarkic and imperialist intentions behind such macro economic policies.
The Third Phase Autarkic Economies.
Only in this third and final period, and especially in Germany when the regime initiated an all-out armaments drive, can a temporary mastery of economic circumstances be demonstrated. Nazi autarky was always latent within the ideology of Lebensraum, while by 1926 Mussolini had created centralised state controls over banking and foreign exchange, provided tariffs and subsidies for the Battle for Grain and stabilised the lire at 90 lire per pound, undermining market-oriented export industries, while favouring the chemical and electrical businesses with protection and government contracts.
But there remained a sharp contradiction between their respective political and the economic aims, reflected in the lack of toplevel coordination in the quasi-centrally controlled economies and the urgent autarkic requirement for direct ownership as well as tight control. Indeed, the political motivations which underlay the entire reshaping of these economies proved contradictory to the continued expansion of both. For the political aim was expansion by military aggression, while the economies of the fascist countries were geared to defensive rearmament and self sufficiency, but insufficiently rapidly for total war, as the Nazi state still required 40 per cent of its raw materials importing in 1939.
Kershaw accurately concluded that the underpinnings of the political economy of Third Reich are best viewed through an alliance of power-cartels, comprising the army, big business, the inner Nazi group and, from 1936, an increasingly powerful SS/police state bloc. But although the Nazi/SS/SD bloc enhanced its position in this cartel during the late 1930s, policy remained at least partially linked to the broad interests of sections of big capital. With regard to the primacy of politics model embodied in the full scale genocide after 1941, Kershaw, while admitting that this did contradict the aims of big business, argues that it was also the consequence of the broader policies of war and brutal conquest which were framed partly in their interests. He also brilliantly encapsulates the relative bureaucratic anarchy of the Nazi regime in his model of working towards the Fuhrer, in which lower level officials could win personal power by authoritatively claiming to have properly interpreted the Fuhrers wishes. Thus initiatives were taken, pressure created, legislation instigated . . . without the dictator necessarily having to dictate and Hitler directed one of the most repressive regimes in history through this invisible mechanism. The Nazi system was also infused with economically costly neo-Darwinian competitions, across deliberately constructed overlapping competencies between organisations operating in the same administrative area.
By 1939, the measures adopted had arguably created two exceptional authoritarian capitalist states in Italy and Germany and Woolfs summation appears accurate:
....if one adopts so broad a categorization, it is essential to note the intermediary nature of the fascist economic system as one stage (though not, of course, the only possible stage) of capitalist development. For in no full sense was the fascist economy planned a further distinction from the Soviet economy. It was a closed, centrally controlled economy, which could be regarded as effectively planning investment, production and wages and less effectively distribution and prices. Where it failed most significantly was in manpower planning.
Equally, the modernist dynamism and economic prosperity of both states was largely an illusion, since their economies had been distorted and deformed by the deliberate emphasis on rearmament, and its necessary complement, closed autarchy.
After that point, the war economies of the two regimes was mirrored by those of the Allies, as they too were forced to take direct command and control of their economies to prosecute and win a total war. But the Nazi economy remained exceptional, underpinned by the genocidal SS state under the guidance of Hitlers near-suicidal primacy of politics directives. In the death throws of the Nazi regime Richard Grunberger aptly describes the attitude of German big business as that of: A conductor of a runaway bus who has no control over the actions of the driver but keeps collecting the passengers fares right up until the final crash..
As with Italian fascism, the chief aim of nazism by 1937 was to achieve autarky and a closed economic system designed to wage war and conquest. But in contrast, the Nazis inherited the power and dynamism of a supremely advanced technological economy and society. In addition, the gradual demolition of rival power blocs outside the inner core of the Nazi power cartels (which after 1936 included I. G. Farben and some other big industrial interests) chiefly represented by Hitlers inner circle, the SS and the army, allowed the Nazi leadership to move towards a grotesque genocidal primacy of politics once war had broken out in the East. Hitlers brutal superhuman volkisch economics (basically a genocidal slave and permanent-war economy) had taken the nazi state far beyond the practice of Mussolinis Fascism. However, the exigencies of meeting bread and work demands and sealing off an economy formerly embedded in the world system, had deformed any novel forms of nazi political economy long before the lurch to total war. Hardach suggests:
.....during the peace years ... the German version of fascism, aimed in general at the creation of a new economic system that would be an alternative of capitalism and communism, combining socalled responsible economic selfadministration with comprehensive guidance by the state.. [however] such attempts had to take a back seat to the solving of the more pressing problems of the day. Surmounting the domestic consequences of the world economic crisis, initiating rearmament, and developing safeguards against economic warfare without significant upward pressure on prices and impairment of the standard of living took priority until September 1939.
Thus, peacetime fascism in Germany failed to deliver an economic system that differed, at root, from that the Western liberal economies were forced to implement to face successively, world slump, depression and war. Only the advent of total war changed this, as the nazis lurched towards an SS-slave state and a genocidal primacy of politics over economics, driven by social Darwinian competition and Kershaws posited decentralised decision making. This finding undermines the claims of a Nazi totalitarian state paralleling Stalinist state communism, but it also fails to establish a distinctive and authentic political economy of fascism, because pure politics was clearly the impulse behind this departure.
The Role of Political Culture and Epoch.
All forms of political economy are indelibly coloured by the epoch and political culture in which they emerged. Liberalism emerged from the absolutist state at the start of the growth of the market and the burgeoning freedom of the individual in Britain and Holland. Socialism arose in the era of exploitative capitalism, rival imperialisms, mass societies and the growing power of the industrial proletariat in Germany, France, Russia and England. Fascism emerged in the era of early mass-democracy, revolutionary marxist internationalism, triumphant materialism and endemic capitalist depression, and its various political economies reveal this legacy, with a rejection of both liberal and marxist forms of materialism, faith in authoritarian state planning, corporatist organisation at the purely national level, and an obsession with ending class warfare through national reconciliation, full employment, and ethically constrained consumption.
Sternhell suggests: [f]ascism, like liberalism, socialism, and communism, was a universal category with regional and cultural variants. Thus, fascists differed as much as communists, socialists, conservatives, and liberals, on the key ontological principles upon which they should base their ideals. Giovanni Gentile, the philosopher of Italian Fascism, acknowledged that fascism contained a wide spread of beliefs and motivations and openly acknowledged that some fascists were willing to violate acceptable ethical codes of fascism in pursuit of personal gain. And therefore, some forms of classical fascism contained developed forms of political economy, while others bore only traces of economic rationale.
Hitler provides a case in point: although a fanatical fascist, he was largely innocent of economics, by choice and inclination, and did not base his beliefs on such thinking. In October 1935, Price Commissioner Goerdeler sent Hitler a highly critical analysis of Germany's increasingly untenable economic position, explaining that drastic market-based remedial action should be taken, for which Hitler ignored and later dismissed him. Instead, Hitler reoccupied the Rhineland, to widespread popular acclaim, and Goering unveiled the autarkic Four Year Plan, putting the economy firmly on a rearmament and war footing.
Hitler cared little that the policies the Nazi state had pursued had created the crisis of food production and acute currency instability. This simply confirmed his preconceptions of the primacy of politics. In the secret memorandum on which Goerings Four Year Plan was launched, he wrote:
Above all, it is not the task of the governmental economic institutions to rack their brains over production methods. This matter does not concern the Ministry of Economics at all. Either we have a private economy today, then it is its task to rack its brains about production methods, or we believe that the determination of the production methods is the task of the government; then we do not need the private economy any longer. Again, in a speech in 1937:
A lot is talked about the question of a private enterprise economy or a corporative economy, a socialised economy or a private property economy. The decisive factor is not the theory but the performance of the economy.It is in the nations interests for its economy to be run only by able people and not by civil servants I place orders. Who completes them I regard as irrelevant.
Hitler was unconcerned as to whether the Nazi economy was entirely private and state directed, or entirely publicly owned and directly state controlled, as long as it delivered the military hardware and kept the German industrial machine turning over and was Jew-Free. For him, the correct political ends justified any (non-Jewish) economic means able to deliver them.
This was largely due to the fact that the Hitlerien variety of fascism arose out of the occultist, irrationalist, ultranationalist, militarist and biologically racist traditions of the German extreme right, honed in the trenches of 1914-18. Hitlers obsessions lay in Germanic culture, art and architecture emerging from the semi-bohemian underside of German society, rather than imbued with the Germanic autarkic economic ideals of Sismondi, Saint-Simone, List, Fichte, Robertus, and Hildebrand, as filtered through the academic writings of the Katheder Sozialisten (Historical Economists).
But the British fascist Fhrer, Oswald Mosley, was obsessed with the economics of plenty in contrast to the cultural idealist fascism of A.K. Chesterton, his Director of Publicity and Propaganda, and first leader of the post-war National Front. Mosley's fascist political economy was based on rational thought, rather than instinct and emotion, and this marked an unbridgeable gap between the two men's ideals. What Skidelsky characterised as Mosleys cold, rational, logical cast of mind, coupled with an acceptance of certain tenets of materialist philosophy, caused him to become an authoritarian modernizer and pioneer of Keynesian interventionism, publishing in 1925 Revolution by Reason, which cut through contemporary financial orthodoxy and proposed the raising of living standards through consumer credits, and stimulating purchasing power in order to match the power of industry to produce.
Throughout his wayward career in British politics, Mosley was concerned above all with the degraded material circumstances of most of his fellow Britons, and his decision to form the British Union of Fascists (BUF) in 1932, rested largely upon his despair at the economic inertia and timidity of conventional liberal and social democratic politicians, when faced with depression and long term mass unemployment (a classic fascist preoccupation).
Mosleys economic side made him a technocratic fascist, concerned to seek and apply rational solutions to pressing economic and social problems via authoritarian means, having lost his faith in liberal democracy, and socialism during the depression years. Consequently, he tended to place less emphasis on the spiritual and irrational appeal of the Fascist creed and his vision of the fascist utopia ended (as with De Man, Dat, and Gentile) with the technocrat in control of the planned statistical state. With his leading intellectual subordinate, Alexander Raven Thompson, Mosley fitted well the Italian and French fascist traditions - a belief in the technological prowess of a modern managerial elite able to create class harmony and enter an age of wealth and prosperity beyond the wildest dreams of the old gangs of liberal and social democratic politicians.
What emerged from this was a wide range of attitudes to economics and the technocracy encountered not just between different fascist movements, but also within individual movements. In addition, there exists clear continuity between Hitler, Mussolini, and Mosley in terms of their shared belief in the possibility of reversing decadence and the perceived crisis of national confidence through the exercise of heroic will. Nietzsche and Spengler informed Mosleys voluntarist attitude towards the capability of a leader-led movement to institute a new historical epoch. As Thurlow suggests: Behind the pragmatic action necessary to cure unemployment in a reborn Britain, Mosleys fascism is dripping with the palingenetic quest to create the new man......[seeking to] synthezise Nietzschean dynamic activism with the Christian ideal of service, to create a new society at a higher level of civilization.
Fascist political Economy: A Preliminary Assessment.
Reviewing PaxtonsThe Anatomy of Fascism,Adrian Lyttleton considered the author had dismissed fascist macro-economic policies too readily:
"Certainly the aim of fascism was not welfare but power. But it was just this emphasis that makes it possible to speak of a distinctive fascist political economy, which can best be summarized as the creation of a wartime economy in peacetime. ....The consortialist state would be a more accurate name for it..... Productivism and an appeal to innovation and managerial engineering....Ultimately, the closed economy could only be maintained through conquest."
For Littleton, therefore, fascist political economy represents a consortialist state based on power seeking, managerialism, autarky and war economics, conducted in peacetime. Yet, as we have seen, in its doctrinal and practical dimensions, fascist political economy was genuinely intended to provide for the welfare of its own citizens (although citizenship was invariably defined narrowly and prejudicially).
Both in theory and practice, mature fascist political economy was broadly favourable towards controlled forms of capitalism, (Buchheim and Schemers statedirected private ownership economy) rather than state ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, which fascism only adopted when the market would, or could, not intervene. At Nuremberg Funk volunteered that Hitler had opposed state socialist intervention and a planned economy. In Hardachs view this system: combin[ed] socalled responsible economic selfadministration with comprehensive guidance by the state. While Barkai claims that the Nazis:
were not altogether unprepared with regard to an overall economic philosophy; they .... adopted proposals for immediate economic measures in order to relieve unemployment. ....and .... their success also arose from their ability to integrate new concepts in economic theory with their [novel] notion of the state's role in society and the economy.
But, as Axis Europe edged towards another military catastrophe, an increasingly autarkic political economy deformed both Italian and German fascist directed neo-capitalism into closed, centrally controlled economies, increasingly reliant upon state contracts and war production (with Italy increasingly dependent on German military contracts). Both had become exceptional capitalist states which could no longer have operated in the developing international economy. As a military-industrial complex formed an increasingly important element of fascist political practice and dominated foreign relations, autarky grew in importance. Sarti captures the deforming nature of autarkic policies on the Italian state:
Italian Fascism was orientated towards autarchy by international developments that no single nation could control. But fascist fondness for total solutions, and the emotional reaction to the economic sanctions imposed by the league of nations during the Ethiopian war, transformed what might have been simple economic adjustments into a crusade for political independence [in international affairs]. The economically wasteful diversification of production stimulated by the pursuit of autarchy increased the interdependence between different sectors of the economy and between various geographical regions.. [Thus e]conomic and social stability was achieved at the expense of mobility and dynamism.... The faade was totalitarian; the reality atomistic.
Thus, if one judges fascist political economy exclusively in terms of actual policies in Italy and Germany then, as Milward points out: the central importance of war [has] ... to be incorporated. But this is not essential when judging fascism in purely ideological terms, as the single-minded push for autarky and war emerged from the political, rather than the economic, impulses of fascism.
In fact, an open system of compulsory sectoral organization and government control of industry was proclaimed by leading fascist ideologues as a genuine method of eliminating of the opposed interests of capital and labour, in deliberate contrast to the narrow class concepts of capitalism and communism, by integrating both workers and capitalists under the neosocialist theory of intermediate regimes.
Indeed, all forms of fascist political economy divided the world between good capital (i.e. nationally and productionist based) - and parasitic capital considered international, profit maximizing and anti-nationalistic (in its racist-conspiratorial forms closely linked to anti-semitism.) In Guidos view:
[t]hese classical fascisms were ultimately centred on a belief in achieving a utopian synthesis in the socio-economic realms, combining free-enterprise with state control, and elitism with egalitarianism. ...... the latter was not an authoritarian version of the paternalist and organicist economic tradition, but a peculiar and original application to economic problems of a statist tradition of political thought. This tradition was alternative, as a language and a discursive practice, both to individualistic economic liberalism and to the moderateliberal, antiindividualistic vision of social organisation.
In short, there existed a genuine fascist desire, as Roger Eatwell argues, to transcend both capitalism and socialism, and to produce a macro economic third way . And such beliefs went beyond any simple autarkic siege-economy to prepare for conquest and war. Edward Tannenbaum best summed this up when he wrote of the Italian Fascist leadership:
Balbo and Farinacci, Rossini, and Lanzillo hated the existing [liberal capitalist] political, social, and cultural orders, whose leaders looked down on them as low-class rabble-rousers and who were only interested in using them in order to quell those revolutionaries who wanted to destroy the economic order as well... Their goal was not counter revolution but another revolution.......
Equally, the evidence confirms that no single form of classical fascist political economy existed. Early left wing fascism was virulently anti-materialist and sought the complete overthrow of big capitalism and landlordism, as much as it did Bolshevism. Other forms simply offered the planned and centralised national state and corporatist forms of political economy as the answer to materialism and class conflict, while some, including De Man in Belgium, Dat in France, Balbo in Italy and Mosley in Britain, were authoritarian modernisers, seeking to abolish capitalist depressions and improve the material (and thereby the spiritual) health of their classless unified nations through a new nationalistic elite of political managers and elite technocrats.
Chronic unemployment, and underemployment, which shrank markets and caused underconsumption, was a common obsession of classical fascist beliefs. This also emerged via the beauty of work aspects of fascist ideology. Fascist political economy was often a genuine fight against what appeared to be the endemic economic diseases of unfettered capitalism, characteristic of the period, as well as a useful propaganda weapon to attack its established political enemies.
But, unsurprisingly, those most animated by the promised economic benefits of fascism were never amongst the most influential fascists, in either the German and Italian regimes. Instead, classical fascism was dominated by largely a-economic racial and cultural ultranationalist fascists. They sought to synthesize the state and civil society into a single mobilised and militarised nation/race and forge a powerful primary producer-based war economy as an instrument of steel for ruthless conquest, to achieve a pure-race/culture unification and gain greater living space for their specially chosen peoples.
In its Hitlerien/SS state manifestation, this created and sustained a genocidal war economy intended to purge the earth of Jewry, operating under an exclusive primacy of politics. In Hitlers view: The Volk does not live on behalf of the economy, its economic leadership, or economic and financial theories, but rather, finance and economy, economic leadership, and every theory exists only to serve in the struggle for our people's self determination. Hitlerien Nazism emerged from anti-materialist impulses, lacking meaningful economic justifications with its promises of distributive plenty fostered to achieve sinister occult political ends. As Feldman suggests, the Nazi leadership was often characterised by its purely instrumental and decisionist approaches to economic problems. These dangerous epiphenomena emerged between 1918-23 through the impact of the unexpected and humiliating military defeat and catastrophic economic collapse had upon the vitalistically inclined and anti-democratic elements in German culture. Once in power, this irrational political impulse became an obsession and Kershaw correctly concluded that: [u]ltimately, the madly escalating nihilistic dynamic of Nazism was incompatible with the lasting construction and reproduction of any economic order. 
Roger Eatwell first argued for the existence of an authentic fascist political economy, in his important definition of generic fascism in the early nineteen nineties. Here it is fascisms syncretism which chiefly explains the political success of Italian and German fascism: since both sought to merge what was regarded as the best elements of capitalism (the naturalness of private property, its competitive dynamism) and socialism (its concern for the general good of the community and its welfarism) into a genuine Third Way. Far from being irrational as a strategy for power, at that time fascism was able to project such principles as being based on a scientific understanding of human nature through: its syncretic ideologys ability to be interpreted differently by different groups: it could appeal to those who sought some form of collective rebirth and to those whose concerns were essentially individualistic fascism succeeded where it achieved syncretic legitimation, the ability to appeal to affective and more individualistic voters, and to convince at least a section of the mainstream elites that it could serve their purpose better than existing parties.
Eatwells holistic third way model succinctly captures fascisms project to escape the twin evils of individualistic liberalism and materialistic communism, which was clearly a major binding element of most forms of fascist political economy. But the difficulty is that it was seldom expressed in such a recognisable or logical form and was deformed in practice by everyday economic realities, necessary political accommodations, and the clamour of the war-obsessed factions pushing for crude autarky and rapid conquest.
Fascist Political Economy - A Doctrinal Model
Expressed through the two regimes, fascist economics certainly produced two exceptional forms of capitalism, even when drifting into autarky and war economics (although not the form Poulantzas ascribed to them.) Both Mussolini and Hitler tolerated an economic discourse, but viewed economics largely instrumentally. In practice, therefore, fascist political economy was largely a myth. And, from the evidence reviewed above, the ideological premises of fascist political economy did not significantly shape fascist economics in practice.
But fascist economistic ideology was a reality, as expressed in a variety of non-zero-sum, single race/culture/nation/ utopianisms, represented by a multiplicity of heterogeneous doctrines. These emerged in the economistic and nationalistic utopias of left-fascists, revolutionary syndicalists, planists, dirigists, productivists, modernist-managerialists, futurists, corporativists, authoritarian modernists, neomercantilists, actualists, neo-Hegelians, statists, and neosocialists.
Such ideals were drawn from the disparate writings of Saint-Simone, Nietzsche, Sorel, Pareto, Michels, Spengler, Proudhon, Bergson, Le Bon, Taylor and Freud and were often promoted most forcefully by smaller and politically less influential proto-fascist groupings of anarcho-syndicalist and corporatist intellectuals, as in France and Italy. Thus, the sources of fascist political economy did not lie in the regime phases in Italy and Germany, but rather within certain intellectual elements of fascist movements and parties (later sidelined in the two regimes).
Thus, as Sternhell observed, French fascism: remained theoretical, and never had to make the inevitable compromises that to some degree always falsify the official ideology of a regime. Thus ...one is able to apprehend the true significance of the phenomenon... in examining its ideology in its origins. On this premise, Sternhell definitively traced the economistic side of French fascism back to its intellectual roots, and while his final conclusions - that generic fascism excludes Nazism because of its core racial dynamics and lack of in vitalist, intuitive, syndicalist-socialism - are questionable, his detailed analysis of the ideological traditions of political economy from which French (and Italian) fascism drew their inspiration, remains a highly significant indicator of the location and nature of fascist economistic based models.
In Italy these ideas were promoted and popularised by Arturo Labriola, Enrico Leone, Ugo Spirito, Giovanni Gentile, Alfredo Rocco, Bertrando Spaventa, Filippo Carli, Massimo Fovel, Gino Arias and Arnaldo Fioretti, and in France by the founders of neosocialism Dat, Marquet, and Montagnon, and by the social nationalists Henri De Man, Bergery, and Jouvenel. In Germany, the autarkic ideals of Sismondi, List, Fichte, Robertus, and Hildebrand were filtered through the academic writings of the Katheder-Sozialisten and embodied in the left-nazi programmes of Otto and Gregor Strasser, and the Ordo liberals, while in England fascist political economism emerged through the writings of Hobson, Lamarck, Keynes and Spengler, as filtered through Mosley and Raven Thompson in their quest to create a new man.
Fascist models of state interventionism differed considerably from their liberal counterparts, promoting this as a comprehensive alternative system to market capitalism and collectivist socialism, by uniting all the victims of hypercapitalism against big business and high finance, under a corporative and authoritarian state, placing national objectives before international ones. Corporatism, variously interpreted, often lay at the core of the fascist/neosocialist systems the key element in a new intermediate regime between capitalism and communism in which, for some, a new breed of state-technicians would replace the politicians state with a rationalised and purely national composite economy organised on authoritarian Taylorist managerial principles. The corporation itself was regarded as a public association intimately connected with the whole national community, invested with the task of eliminating the wild, disloyal competition of liberalism, because a concern for the general interest is undoubtedly a matter for its authorized guardian, the state ..... The state has the right to intervene, which it does by means of its agents.
Corporatism also offered the possibility of creating an equilibrium of forces between employers and workers since, as Sternhell suggests: it sought to create a new, modern, efficient world, a civilization of producers, fascism (here one sees the influence of Sorel) required a working class that is enthusiastic, eager for progress, headed by bold captains of industry who will lead the whole national economy toward a prosperity that today we can hardly imagine. In Reflexions sur l'economie dirigee De Man suggested that Planism represented a rationalization of capitalism which would transform it into a productive and antiparasitic system. 
One of the most significant points to emerge from this analysis, is that left-fascism often underlay the more economistic forms of classical fascist ideology, since such ideas emerged from the reformist traditions of the revolutionary left in Europe after 1890, seeking to transcend Marxist and liberal forms of materialism by offering a third option of intermediate regimes between full-blooded capitalism and proletarian revolutionism. De Man, Dat, Mosley and Gentile were exemplars of this left-leaning fascist political economy. In France this strand combined mystical nationalism with revolutionary syndicalism and corporatism, to produce socialist nationalism and national socialism in the writings of Sorel, Berth, Lagardelle, and Herve as expressed through Le Mouvement socialiste. In short, established distinctions between Left and Right (always a crude typology) became blurred as democratic socialist impulses declined.
These ideologues believed passionately in genuine (if utopian) grand schemes to create new forms of relationship between contemporary economic and political life, able to transcend both the biased class-based politics of communism, and the atomistic inequalities and vagaries of market capitalism. Most forms of fascist political economy were also based upon controlled forms of capitalism, Buchheim and Schemers statedirected private ownership economy and Woolfs closed, centrally controlled economy. It might, therefore, be more accurate to describe it as a closed, state directed, quasi-private ownership, economy.
Ultimately, most significant examples of fascist political economy appear to represent, in varying degrees, the anti-materialistic triumph of politics over economics, since both the Italian Syndicalists and French Planists placed their centrally planned economies under the strict control of a politically directed authoritarian and ethical state. They were also ultra-nationalist in their thrust, offering a non-zero-sum vision in which there were to be no domestic losers (i.e. amongst those designated as the chosen race/culture).
Together these beliefs represented one element of broader fascist economic beliefs, including the common aspirations of fascists to eliminate depression, unemployment and resulting underconsumption, and to maximise purely national wealth through authoritarian state direction and territorial expansion. Finally, it was generally agreed that hypercapitalist forms of finance and mass conumptionist capitalism were positively dangerous to any nations economic health.
To return to the central question posed; classical fascist political economy was a myth if judged purely in terms of regime practice, where it proved little more than opportunistic rhetoric designed to capture and mobilize support, but was a reality when viewed as an authentic if, in practice, marginalised component of broader fascist ideology. In short, such beliefs represented authentic (albeit utopian) forms of fascist political economy, in contrast to the fascist dictators false claims that their regimes were driven by meaningful economic motives. And as the politically inspired expansionist impulse of fascism led towards war, the increasing primacy of politics in both regimes finally silenced any meaningful voice of economistic fascist ideology.
The only remaining linkage between the political and economic lay in the Social Darwinian beliefs of most fascists who viewed the wider world as the mere object of conquest, domination, and exploitation, through an inevitable clash of inferior and superior nations and civilizations. This allowed many fascists to rationalise authoritarian state intervention (corporativism) and even the nazi slave economy (seen as a continuation of the great slave civilisations of the past Egypt, Greece, Rome) in order to inaugurate a new age in which domestic liberal-humanist culture would also be swept away.
[*] Political economy is understood here in its modern sense - to analyze economic choices in terms of political and ideological predilections and assess how power relations dictate particular economic structures and outcomes. A political economy approach interrogates economic doctrines to disclose their sociological and political premises.... in sum, [it] regards economic ideas and behaviour not as frameworks for analysis, but as beliefs and actions that must themselves be explained. Charles S. Maier In search of Stability: Explorations in Historical Political Economy, pp. 3-6. See also Gerald D. Feldman The Economic Origins and Dimensions of European Fascism in H. James and J. Tanner (Eds) Enterprise in the Period of Fascism in Europe, London, 2002, p. 5. Roger Griffins pathbreaking study, The Nature of Fascism, (Routledge, 1993) has no indexed entries under economic factors.
 Classical fascism refers to the phenomenon which existed between 1919 and 1945. Fascism, large F, is reserved for the original Italian movement/party and small f for the generic concept. The author considers nazism a form of Germanic fascism in line with the extensive writings of Roger Eatwell, Roger Griffin, and Stanley Payne..
 Francos Spain is regarded by the author as a Catholic authoritarian monarchist regime and contemporary Japan as an emperor worshipping form of pre-modern authoritarianism and excluded from any fascist typology.
[**] German/Austrian liberalism is not synonymous with laissez faire liberalism alone. During the Austrian Empire classical liberal ideas evolved, but as the national question came to dominate Austrian politics, this developed in an ultranationalist direction. This liberal Pan-Germanism and adherence to a strong state later emerged in the Austrian Republic. Thus, the Austrian Freedom Party, created in 1955, combined economic liberals with German ultra-nationalists of the far right.
 See Kershaws excellent discussion of the issues raised by and for Marxists when dealing with Nazism in his Nazi Dictatorship: Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation, (4th edition, Arnold, London, 2000) Ch. 3 Politics and Economics in the Nazi State, especially pp. 48-56. Classic Marxist studies include: R. Palme Dutt, Fascism and Social Revolution (New York: International Publisher, 1935); Franz Neumann, Behemoth (New York: Oxford University Press, 1944); Gaetano Salvemini, Under the Ax of Fascism (New York: Howard Fertig, 1969); Daniel Guerin, Fascism and Big Business (New York: Pathfinder Press, 1973); James Pool and Suzanne Pool, Who Financed Hitler (New York: Dial Press, 1978); Palmiro Togliatti, Lectures on Fascism (New York: International Publishers, 1976); Significant neo-Marxist contributions include Nicos Poulantzas Fascism and Dictatorship (London: NLB, 1974); Jane Caplan: Theories of Fascism: Nicos Poulantzas as Historian. (HWJ (3) (1977) pp. 83-100; Ernesto Laclau, Fascism and Ideology, in Politics and Ideology in Marxist Theory. Capitalism, Fascism, Populism, (1977, London: Verso, 1982); Tim Mason, The Primacy of Politics. Politics and Economic in National Socialist Germany, in S. J.. Woolf (ed.), The Nature of Fascism (London: Random House, 1968); Martin Kitchen: Fascism, (Macmillan, London, 1976); David Beetham, Marxists in Face of Fascism, (Manchester, Manchester University Press, 1983); Walter Adamson, Hegemony and Revolution: a Study of Antonio Gramscis Political and Cultural Theory, (Berkeley : University of California Press, 1980); Tim Mason, Whatever happened to fascism?, Radical History Review, no. 49 (winter 1991), pp. 89-98; reprinted in Jane Caplan (ed.), Nazism, Fascism and the Working Class. Essays by Tim Mason, (Cambridge: CUP, 1995); Alex Callinicos, Social Theory. A Historical Introduction (Cambridge: Polity, 1999) especially pp. 214-26..
 Pollock, "State Capitalism," Studies in Philosophy and Social Science, IX, No. 3. For Adorno, Horkheimer and Neumann on this subject cf. Michael Harrington, The Twilight of Capitalism (Simon and Schuster, 1976) pp. 216-18.
 In a famous article published in 1979, the historian Gilbert Allardyce employed the metaphor of a black cat in a dark room to suggest that with regard to generic fascism there was indeed nothing to be found in the conceptually empty room. Gilbert Allardyce, What Fascism is Not: Thoughts on the Deflation of a Concept, American Historical Review. 84, 2, 1979.
 Gregor, A.J. (1979) Italian Fascism and Developmental Dictatorship Princeton, N.J.: Univ Press. pp. 126-127. In his most recent book Mussolini's Intellectuals (2005) Gregor demonstrates the impact of Spirito's corporatist agenda on Fascist policy that was oriented along liberal lines prior to the Matteotti Affair. See Sternhells two major statements on this subject: Neither left Nor Right: Fascist Ideology in France, (Princeton, 1995) and The Birth of Fascist Ideology: from Cultural Rebellion to Political Revolution (Princeton, 1994).
 Mussolini B. Fascism: Doctrine and Institutions (Rome, Ardita, 1935; published in Italian in 1932) Available at http://www2.bc.edu/~weiler/fascism.htm (07/03/2005) The anti-intellectualism of Mussolini was a form of antirationalism (as against irrationalism) a form of hostility to many Enlightenment views. He also considered that intellectuals were bourgeois safe and predictable.
 Sternhell has been rightly attacked for drawing the conclusion that a) France was the key incubator of classical fascist ideology, b) that Nazism is not a form of fascism, c) for overstressing the significance of fascist ideology in French political culture in the first half of the 20th century; and d) for seeing all true fascism as essentially a revision of Marxism. See Robert Soucy: French Fascism: The Second Wave, 1933-39 (New haven, 1995) Introduction passim; R. Wohl, French fascism Both Right and left: Reflections on the Sternhell Controversy, The Journal of Modern History 63 (March 1991), 91-98; A. Costa-Pinto, Fascist ideology Revisited: Zeev Sternhell and his Critics, European History Quarterly, 16 (1968), 465-83.
 The three founders of neosocialism were Dat, Marquet, and Montagnon. To critics who have suggested that such groups were never influential in France, Zeev Sternhell has repeatedly pointed out that the relative lack of impact of these ideas should not be allowed to disguise their significance as examples of authentic and early fascist ideology - qua ideology. He also points out that that while the true fascists were relatively small in number their existed a wide variety of quasifascist channels of transmission including intellectuals, movements, journals and study circles attacking materialist decadence and its liberal, Marxist, and democratic manifestations creating an intellectual climate promoting a fascist values. Neither left Nor Right p. 270 & p295.
 The key theoretical Enciclopedia italiana article by Mussolini and Gentile praised Sorel, Lagardelle and Le Mouvement socialiste, as amongst the chief inspirations of fascism. B. Mussolini: La Doctrine du fascisme Florence: Valecci, (1937), p. 24
 Ibid. p. 302 De Mans works aside the other main theoretical works underlying leftwing French fascism were Jouvenel's L'Economie dirigee, Montagnon's Grandeur et servitude socialistes and Dat 's Perspectives socialistes, as well as works of lesser importance by Hubert Lagardelle and Jean Luchaire and L'Etat moderne by Charles Albert and La Banque internationale by Mendes France. Ibid. p. 202
 On the general question of Fascism and Nazism in practice see: Avarham Barkai Nazi Economics: Ideology, Theory, and Policy (New Haven, 1990); Berenice Carroll, Design for Total War. Arms and Economics in the Third Reich (The Hague, 1968); Richard J. Overy, The Nazi Economic Recovery 19321938 (London, 1982); John R. Gillingham, Industry and Politics in the Third Reich: Ruhr Coal, Hitler and Europe (New York, 1985). For Italy, see Roland Sarti, Fascism and the Industrial Leadership in Italy (Berkeley, 1971) A. James Gregor; Italian Fascism and Developmental Dictatorship (Princeton University Press, 1979). David D. Roberts; The Syndicalist Tradition and Italian Fascism (Manchester University Press, 1979). For a rare political economy approach see Alan S. Milward: Towards a Political Economy of Fascism. In B. Hagtvet & R. Kuhnl (eds) Who Were The Fascists? Universitetsforlaget (1980)] p. 56.
 Philip Manow Modell Deutschland as an Interdenominational Compromise Working Paper 00.3 Program for the Study of Germany and Europe pp. 8-9. http://www.ces.fas.harvard.edu/publications/Manow.pdf 21/07/05 As Manow suggests this was a religiously inspired fundamentalism: the reference to the Catholic Ordo-concept by scholars like Rpke, Eucken and Mller-Armack was a very conscious attempt to build a bridge [from Protestant anti-liberalism and anti-pluralism] to Catholic social doctrine, expressed well in Mller-Armacks hope that the Ordo-concept would indeed provide the common fundament of a Christian social doctrine p. 11.
 I am grateful to Paul Petzschmann of St Anthonys College Oxford for discussing this idea with me. Paul adds that The reason why its affinity with fascism is not highlighted [in the literature] might be because of the important continuities with the Freiburg School and postwar conceptions of the German SocialMarket economy. Email to the author 19/05/05.
 Catholic industrialist Clemens Lammers critiqued the economic rationale of Nazism in his Autarkic, Planwirtschaft and berufstdrrdischer Staat? (Berlin: Heymann, 1932), cited in Turner, German Big Business, 251 and Mayer p. 79. For Catholic conservative resistance to Hitlers propaganda see Ian Kershaws Popular Opinion and. Political Dissent. Bavaria 19331945 (Oxford 1983).
 See this important evidence by Jacques R. Pauwels: 'Profits uber Alles! American Corporations and Hitler', 2003: http://www.historycooperative.org/journals/llt/51/pauwels.html "The German branch plants of American corporations also made eager use of slave labour supplied by the Nazis, not only Fremdarbeiter, but also POWs and even concentration camp inmates. For example, the Yale & Towne Manufacturing Company based in Velbert in the Rhineland reportedly relied on "the aid of labourers from Eastern Europe" to make "considerable profits," 52 [= Lindner, Das Reichkommissariat, 118.]¸and Coca-Cola is also noted to have benefitted from the use of foreign workers, as well as prisoners of war in its Fanta plants. 53 [=Pendergrast, For God, Country, and Coca-Cola, 228.] The most spectacular examples of the use of forced labour by American subsidiaries, however, appear to have been provided by Ford and GM, two cases that were recently the subject of a thorough investigation. Of the Ford-Werke it is alleged that starting in 1942 this firm "zealously, aggressively, and successfully" pursued the use of foreign workers and POWs from the Soviet Union, France, Belgium, and other occupied countries — apparently with the knowledge of corporate headquarters in the US. 54 [="Ford-Konzern wegen Zwangsarbeit verklagt," Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, 6 March 1998 as cited in Antifaschistische Nochrichten, 6 (1998)] Karola Fings, a German researcher who has carefully studied the wartime activities of the Ford-Werke, writes: 46 [Ford] did wonderful business with the Nazis. Because the acceleration of production during the war opened up totally new opportunities to keep the level of wage costs low. A general freeze on wage increases was in effect in the Ford-Werke from 1941 on. However, the biggest profit margins could be achieved by means of the use of so-called Ostarbeiter [forced workers from Eastern Europe]. 55 [=Karola Fings, "Zwangsarbeit bei den Kölner Ford-Werken," in Felinska, Zwangsarbeit bei Ford, (Cologne 1996), 108. See also Silverstein, "Ford and the Führer," 14; and Billstein et al., 53–5, 135–56.]"
 Buchheim & Schemer The Role of Private Property in the Nazi Economy: The Case of Industry pp. 20-21. R. J. Overy, Heavy Industry and the State in Nazi Germany: The Reichswerke Crisis, European History Quarterly, 15 (1985) 31340.
I. Kershaw: Hitler: Nemesis1936-1945, Penguin, Harmondsworth, 2001 Also The Nazi Dictatorship: Problems & perspectives of Interpretation, 4th Edition, 2000, Chs 3-4. Kershaws thesis also explains why there is no solid evidence or paper-trail linking Hitler to the Holocaust.
 NUERNBERG MILITARY TRIBUNAL Volume VII Page 789/80 http://www.mazal.org/archive/nmt/07/NMT07-T0787.htm See also I Kershaw: Hitler, 1889-1936: Hubris, Penguin, 1999. Goering was a significant choice since he was equally innocent of economic theory but also equally familiar with war.
 Robert Skidelsky, Oswald Mosley, Macmillan, 1979, p. 137. See also Daniel Ritschel: The Political Economy of British Fascism: The Genesis of Sir Oswald Mosley's Modern Alternative (McGill University [Canada] MA, 1981) Mosley also provided his fascist movement with a comprehensive economic reform programme in his manifesto, The Greater Britain, (London, BUF) 1932.
 Another classic example is provided by Alexander Raven Thompson. See : Alexander Raven Thompson The Coming of The Corporate State, London, 1935 (BUF publications) John Beckett, and Alexander Raven Thompson, The Private Trader and Co-operator: The Fascist Solution to the Problem of the Distributive Trades, London, 1935 (BUF publications).
 Thompson also displayed the powerful influence of Spenglerian meta-historicism in his beliefs, see his Civilisation as Divine Superman London, (1932); also Peter Pughs: (2001) A Political Biography of Alexander Raven Thompson, Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of Sheffield.
 Richard C. Thurlow: Review. The Journal of Modern History, volume 76 (2004), pp. 182184. http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JMH/journal/issues/v76n1/76010515/76010515.web.pdf
 Adrian Lyttleton What Was Fascism? New York Review of Books Volume 51, Number 16 October 21, 2004 pp1-4.
 For an excellent analysis of Nazism as an autarkic phenomenon in foreign policy terms see W. M. Carr: Arms, Autarky and Aggression. A Study in German Foreign Policy, 1933-1939, London, 1979. See also R. J. Overy, Heavy Industry and the State in Nazi Germany: The Reichswerke Crisis, European History Quarterly, 15 (1985) 31340.
 See: Antonio Costa Pinto: Elites, Single Parties and Political Decision-Making in Fascist Era Dictatorships, University of Lisbon Working papers, WP 4-01, November 2001, passim. http://www.ics.ul.pt/publicacoes/workingpapers/wp2001/WP4-2001.pdf
 Marco E.L. Guidi: Corporatist Theory and The Italian Tradition of Political Economy: A Research Project, presented to the conference on International Economic Thought in Southern Europe, Porto, 27/28 November 1998. p. 27.
 Roger Eatwell pioneered this approach, see: Towards a New Model of Generic Fascism Journal of Theoretical Politics 4:1 (April 1992). pp. 1-68: On Defining the Fascist Minimum: the Centrality of Ideology, Journal of Political Ideologies 1, 3, (October 1996).
 In Italy the Military/SS/ secret Police state was less significant in the drive to autarky than the Industrialists, who promoted autarkic politics after 1935 because by then protectionism had driven the relatively weak Italian production system inwards upon itself and to turn back was now impossible. The high number of agricultural-Industrial cartels formed after 1935 was due their growing protectionist identity of interests. See R. Sarti: Fascism and the Industrial leadership in Italy 1919-1940: A Study of the Expansion of Private Power under Fascism, UCLA press, (1971), pp.104-112.
 Ian Kershaw: The Nazi Dictatorship Problems & Perspectives of Interpretation, 4th Ed, 2000, p. 67. This does not suggest, however, that Nazism is not fascism. See Roger Griffins extensive writings on this, especially: The Nature of Fascism, 1993, chs 2 p. 48 & 4, passim.
 Eatwell: Towards a New Model of Generic Fascism Journal of Theoretical Politics 4:1 (April 1992). pp. 1-68: On Defining the Fascist Minimum: the Centrality of Ideology, Journal of Political Ideologies 1, 3, (October 1996).
 Marco E.L. Guidi: Corporatist Theory and The Italian Tradition of Political Economy, 1998. p. 26 Productivism provided Mussolini with an ideology to transfer from socialism to Fascism, since it sounded leftist, but appealed to managerial elites and leading members of the Confindustria. This was paralleled in Germany by the Schtirtheit der Arbeit, which combined sober modernism and technological aesthetic even within the unpromising framework of National Socialism, with its other emphases on blood and race. Charles S. Maier: In search of Stability: Explorations in Historical Political Economy, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1987, pp. 77-78. See also Anson Rabinbach, "The Aesthetics of Production in the Third Reich: Schonheit der Arbeit," Journal of Contemporary History, 1(1976): 4374; Jeffrey Herf, Reactionary Modernism (Cambridge University Press), 1985. Non-zero-sum is also from Maier: In Search of Stability: Explorations in Historical Political Economy. p. 115
 As Maier suggests: This dichotomy was a venerable one and appeared in many of the critiques of capitalism at the turn of the century, Thorstein Veblen's Theory of Business Enterprise, Georges Sorel's praise of engineers, or the cruder Populist (American and German) separation of the parasitic banker from the creative inventor and entrepreneur. Overtones of the distinction still persisted in Schurnpeter's 1911 Theory of Economic Development. Debased versions would characterize the screeds of Gottfried Feder, Hitler's roustabout economic tutor in the early Munich years who preached the "breaking of interest slavery," and even Ezra Pound's paranoid pastoral written in Italian exile.. Maier In Search of Stability: Explorations in Historical Political Economy, p. 76.
 One interesting method of interpreting this is to adopt the model of Roger Griffin and Emilio Gentile in which politics itself was subordinated to a nebulous organicist myth of rebirth that embraced culture in the broadest sense, in order to create a new type of society and human being (homo fascistus) driven neither by materialism nor individualism. Gentile argues that fascism was a form of totalitarianism driven by a palingenetic myth designed to realise an anthropological, (Griffin would add, temporal) revolution, in order to achieve the transition to a new historical epoch. In this utopian vision economics, technology, culture and social life would be integrated within a reborn national community in total organic harmony. Both, in differing ways, argue that the ideal of a reborn national community created a core myth which accommodated many different fascist ideological currents including widely differing economic ones. See Roger Griffin: Gods Counterfeiters? Investigating the triad of fascism, totalitarianism, and (political) religion editorial introduction to special issue of Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions (Vol. 5, No. 3, Winter 2004); also Cloister or Cluster? The Implications of Emilio Gentiles Ecumenical Theory of Political Religion for the Study of Extremism for special issue of Totalitarian Movements and Political Religion Vol. 6, No. 2, (Summer 2005) edited by Marina Cattaruzza; and Emilio Gentile The Sacralization of Politics in Fascist Italy (Harvard University Press, 1996).