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dilluns, 7 de novembre de 2016

El fascismo no volverá, pero la actual crisis institucional es sorprendentemente parecida a la de la República de Weimar


FINANCIAL TIMES.- ...probably fascism will not return because it was after all a product of its times. But the racism and anti-immigrant feeling at its heart never went away. They became less acceptable to voice for a while, a trend which may now be going into reverse.

There is at least one other crucial respect in which the interwar years and ours mirror one another uncomfortably. What we should probably be thinking about is not so much who became a fascist as who lost faith in parliamentary government, in its checks and balances and basic freedoms.

Underpinning the rise of fascism was a profound crisis of liberal democracy. The real lesson waiting to be learned is from this interwar crisis of democratic institutions.

Before the first world war, people fought hard to expand the powers of parliaments and enshrine constitutions. Afterwards, with startling speed, these things lost their allure.

Across Europe, many blamed the power of the legislature for society’s woes and wanted to see more power in the hands of a single leader. Parliaments were written off as façades that rubber-stamped what unaccountable lobbies and elites demanded.

The most striking parallel of all: political parties moved to the extremes and spoke about one another as if they were fundamentally illegitimate. Judiciary and police became politicised. It is this crisis of institutions that provides the most striking parallel between Weimar and the US today.

Dictatorship never went away and may even be coming back. The latest example is in Turkey where President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s assault on the media and the universities marks a new low for basic freedoms in his country. But fascism was always about more than the dictators. Indeed, as the conservative political thinker Michael Oakeshott wrote decades ago, it is a kind of liberal illusion to focus on the figure of the dictator, as though one person was the only problem.

The real problems lie in the dictator’s shadow, in the conditions that enable the leader’s rise. The hollowing out of those basic institutions without which no modern state or society can govern itself, the extremism of political discourse — these things are already with us. And seem set to persist in the US.| Mark Mazower
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