Bourgeois nation

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Bourgeois nation was a term coined by adherents of fascism.[citation needed] Fascism views a nation led by standard bourgeois culture as being associated with unfit sedentary lifestyle, individualism, plutocracy, and economic exploitation of proletarian people and proletarian nations, that fascism views as inconsistent with virile nationhood.[1][2][3]

Benito Mussolini denounced bourgeois nations for being based on the plutocratic rule of the rich and for engaging in oppressive economic exploitation of proletarian nations such as Italy, and in particular negatively referred to Britain as "the fattest and most bourgeois nation in the world".[3] Mussolini described bourgeois nations as seeking to assert hegemony over the ability to pursue imperialism while hypocritically denying proletarian nations from being allowed to pursue imperialism.[3] Mussolini described such plutocratic bourgeois nations as seeking to dominate the world economy at the expense of proletarian nations.[4] From 1937 to 1939, Mussolini openly encouraged Italians to foster an anti-bourgeois attitude by having Italians send in anti-bourgeois cartoons to be published in newspapers, and by denouncing "social games, five o'clock tea, vacations, compassion for Jews, preference for armchairs, desire for compromise, desire for money" as indulgent bourgeois practices.[5] In 1938, Mussolini escalated a public relations campaign against Italy's bourgeoisie, accusing them of preferring private gain to national victory.[6]

Germany's Nazis also rejected the bourgeois culture of states associated with materialistic consumption, profiteering, and exploitative plutocracy.[7] Adolf Hitler was personally disgusted with the ruling bourgeois elites of Germany during the period of the Weimar Republic that he obscenely referred to as "cowardly shits".[8]

Fascism's conception of the bourgeois nation was influenced by the political and economic theories of Vilfredo Pareto, who criticized capitalism for causing moral disintegration of societies that deteriorates the political order of societies.[4] Pareto's criticism of capitalism was focused on its moral aspects, but Pareto did not criticize capitalism for economic inequality.[4] Pareto argued that as wealth increases, idealism decreases, causing both money and individuals to soften in strength.[9] Pareto claimed that the only means to rectify this weakening of strength was violence, war, or revolution.[9]

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  1. ^ Robert O. Paxton. The Anatomy of Fascism. Vintage Books edition. Vintage Books, 2005. Pp. 10.
  2. ^ Zeev Sternhell. Neither Right nor Left: Fascist Ideology in France. Princeton University Press edition. Princeton, New Jersey, USA: Princeton University Press, 1996. Pp. 259.
  3. ^ a b c Simonetta Falasca-Zamponi. Fascist Spectacle: The Aesthetics of Power in Mussolini's Italy. First paperback edition. Santa Barbara, California, USA: University of California Press, 2000. Pp. 163.
  4. ^ a b c Richard Bessel. Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany: Comparisons and Contrasts. 4th edition. Cambridge, England, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2000. Pp. 171.
  5. ^ "LIFE on the Newsfronts of the World". LIFE magazine. 9 January 1939. p. 12.
  6. ^ Smith, Denis Mack, Modern Italy: A Political History (University of Michigan Press, 1997) p. 394.
  7. ^ Stacke Roderick. Hitler's Germany: Origins, Interpretations, Legacies. Pp. 124.
  8. ^ Kritika: explorations in Russian and Eurasian history, Volume 7, Issue 4. Slavica Publishers, 2006. Pp. 922.
  9. ^ a b Richard Bessel. Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany: Comparisons and Contrasts. 4th edition. Cambridge, England, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2000. Pp. 15.