Federico Finchelstein

 

On his book Transatlantic Fascism: Ideology, Violence, and the Sacred in Argentina and Italy, 1919-1945

Cover Interview of October 18, 2010

A close-up

Transatlantic Fascism investigates how Mussolini’s propaganda endeavors included the fascist rethinking of Argentine history, fascist transatlantic flights and the extensive use of radio, cinema, cartoons and bribes.

However, if the Italians were selling fascism, the Argentines were not simply buying.  Interpretative appropriation was central to this reception. Argentine fascists developed an original appropriation of fascism that they understood as a generic version of their own political movement.  They saw European fascism as an example and not as a prefabricated model that simply needed to be assembled.

In chapter 3, for example, I address the question of Argentine fascist self-understanding.

This chapter pays special attention to the different fascist efforts to create a political doctrine. Without the presence of a leader and a regime such as those of fascist Italy, Argentine fascists had a greater autonomy in conceiving an ideological canon and defining their political culture in doctrinal and “sacred” terms.

Argentine fascists understood their fascism as a more complete ideology than their ideological counterparts in Europe.  They saw their political movement as a Christian army participating in a “crusade” against their conceived enemies.