Mass Mentality and Fascism

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I argue that mass culture and fascism imply each other. Culture as a collective identity relies on demonizing “the other” as a way of self-differentiation which is the essential base of identity. My paper shows how mass culture constantly searches for enemies in order to maintain its unity as a collective identity of the group. It creates images of enemy whenever it fails to find an actual enemy. Minorities are usually the best candidates for the project of enemy-image making. Minorities are seen as the extension of the external conspiracy. Minorities are held responsible for diluting the purity of the collective spirit in which mass culture strongly believes. My paper shows how a fascist force desperately needs the existence of other fascist forces, which are depicted as enemies, in order to justify its own injustice. I examine Islamism as an example of a fascism that uses other fascists and is used by other fascist forces in order to generate more violence. I make frequent references to Adorno and Horkheimer. My paper will be published in Kritike, an online peer review journal of philosophy, in the June issue of this year.


Keywords: Fascism, Islamism, Stereotype, Minorities, Culture Industry, Mass Mentality, Mass Individual, Critical Theory, Baath Regime in Iraq and Syria, Mass Psychology, Popular Culture
Stream: Identity and Belonging; the Politics of Diversity; Globalisation
Presentation Type: 30 minute Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Saladdin Ahmed

PhD Student, University of Sussex
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

I hold BA in Philosophy (Carleton University) and MA in Philosophy (Brock University). I am admitted in the DPhil in Philosophy at University of Sussex. I have been publishing continually since 1997. I have published three books: Disputes of Two Debates (in Kurdish), Prometheus’s Hymns (in Arabic), and Exiles of Time (in Kurdish). I have also published more than 40 journal and newspaper articles in several Arab countries. My articles are about fascism, Islamist fascism, political philosophy, cultural studies and criticism. I have translated a book and a series of articles on federalism from English into Kurdish for the Forum of Federations, a non-profit international organization based in Ottawa. I translated a collection of studies on violence against women in North Africa and the Middle East. I have held numerous seminars on a variety of philosophical and cultural topics in three languages, English, Kurdish and Arabic. My most recent activity was a seminar on Foucault in The Foucault Circle of Canada Conference that was held at Brock University on March 14, 2008. My essay, “Mass Mentality and Fascism,” will appear in the June issue of Kritike, an online peer review journal of philosophy.

Ref: D08P0380