Edward Conze and Ellen Wilkinson 1935

Why Fascism?

Source: Book published by Selwyn and Blount, London, no date, internal evidence suggests it was published in 1935. Scanned and prepared for the Marxist Internet Archive by Paul Flewers.

Publisher’s Foreword

However one may feel inclined to regard it, Fascism has become one of the most powerful, persuasive elements in the world of today. In this book Miss Ellen Wilkinson and Dr Edward Conze have produced an arresting, provocative study of the whole movement.

The dominant note that the authors sound here is that Fascism must be understood. It is no use denouncing a movement with almost fanatical passion, unless one can substantiate with solid criticism and knowledge. In these days no one can afford to be ill-informed or unconcerned about a movement which has established itself in several powerful countries, and which has made an appearance in this island.

Miss Wilkinson was, until the last election, a Member of Parliament; she was a member of the Committee on Delegated Legislation set up by the Lord Chancellor to study the effects of the growing power of Executive over the House of Commons – the problem of democracy and dictatorship in contact with the events in Germany and was in Berlin at the time of the burning of the Reichstag. She writes fearlessly and pungently.

Edward Conze, Miss Wilkinson’s collaborator in this work, is a Doctor of Psychology and Philosophy of the University of Cologne, and the author of several standard works in German on political and philosophical subjects. In addition to his knowledge of the rise and growth of the Nazi movement in Germany, Dr Conze has a close and first-hand knowledge of Fascism in Italy.

Why Fascism? is an important book. Its appeal is to all thinking men and women whose desire is to act reasonably and with judgement, but who, amidst so much hysteria, find it difficult to discover the facts.



Part I: How Fascism Comes

Chapter I: How Fascism Came in Italy

Chapter II: How Fascism Came in Germany

Chapter III: Fascism Comes to Britain

Part II: What Fascism Does

Chapter I: Fascism As a System of Contradictions

Chapter II: Fascism As a Form of Capitalism

Chapter III: Fascism Versus Capitalism

Chapter IV: National and Proletarian Socialism

Chapter V: The ‘Socialist’ Achievements of Fascism

Chapter VI: The Conflict Between Capitalism and Socialism in Fascism

Chapter VII: The Tendency of Fascism Towards a Village Economy

Chapter VIII: Democracy and Dictatorship

Chapter IX: Nationalism and Internationalism

Chapter X: The Weakness of the Marxist Parties

Part III: Fascism and Britain

Chapter I: The Chances of Fascism in Britain

Chapter II: The Necessity of Planning

Chapter III: What is Planned?

Chapter IV: The Social Forces Behind Planning

Chapter V: The Difference Between Socialist and Fascist Planning

Chapter VI: The Middle Classes

Chapter VII: The Choice Before Us