«Instead, he sees fascism as a mass-based form of militant nationalism, one working in uneasy alliance with the usual elites, which pursues policies of internal cleansing and external expansion so as to unify and regenerate what it regards as a victimised, humiliated nation. It springs from a major crisis of the liberal capitalist order, and elevates cultural particularism over democracy, individualism and universal rights.
Given that fascism is among other things a carnival of unreason, it would be odd to expect from it a coherent theoretical case. As Paxton recognises, its approach to ideas is shamelessly pragmatist: truth is whatever works to inspire the Volk and unite the nation. At the same time, however, fascist movements ascribe an extraordinary priority to ideology - far more so than with conventional modern politics.»