Charisma and Fascism

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Fascism remains a topic that fascinates both academic and general audiences. This is the first book to look systematically at the leaders of fascism and related movements in the inter-war era. It shows how fascist leaders came to personify their movements and why the Fuhreprinzip was applied in all fascist organizations. It also explains how fascist leadership was of a very particular kind: It was almost unlimited in political discipline and required complete subordination. The legitimacy was based on a very vague notion of 'the organic unity of the state and the people', giving the leaders competence to rule without accountability to a party organization or state bodies. Thus, we can observe in all fascist parties/movements a practical form of leadership where policies of 'split and rule' were common in absence of principles of representation and opposition feedbacks. The fascist fuhrer was the leader, the party, the ideology - and when in power: the state itself. This book was previously published as a special issue of Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions.