Mass Mentality and Fascism
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
PhD Student, University of Sussex