Oswald Mosley on the Misrepresentation of Fascism

“In all countries, Fascism has been led by men who came from the Left and the rank and file has combined the Conservative and patriotic elements of the nation with ex-Socialists, ex-Communists and revolutionaries who have forsaken their various illusions of progress for the new and orderly reality of progress.”

OSWALD MOSLEY

Oswald Mosley, British Fascist on the misrepresentation of Fascism, charges of political and ideological inconsistency, and the way Fascism will be seen. Fascism takes an interesting development in Britain, as well as in other countries, which can be compared to the republican revolutions of the prior centuries. American philosopher, Paul Gottfried’s Fascism and the Right: Fascism as a Counter-Revolutionary Imitation of the Left fighting the Revolutionary Left or the “Liberal Order,” is added, because it provides a refutation of agenda-driven views and arguments of Fascism as of the Left, or of the Right. The issue, clearly is not that simple.


“All new movements are misunderstood. Our British Union of Fascists will without a doubt be misrepresented by politicians of the older schools. The movement did not begin with the wiseacres and the theorists. It was born from a surging discontent with a regime where nothing can be achieved. The Old Gang holds the stage; and, to them, misrepresentation is the path of their own salvation.

Such tactics may delay, but they cannot prevent, the advance of the movement. Nevertheless, every incident in every brutal struggle, in countries of completely different temperament and character, will be used against us. We are also faced by the fact that a few people have misused the name Fascism in this country, and from ignorance or in perversion have represented it as the “White Guard of reaction.” This is indeed a strange perversion of a creed of dynamic change and progress. In all countries, Fascism has been led by men who came from the Left and the rank and file has combined the Conservative and patriotic elements of the nation with ex-Socialists, ex-Communists and revolutionaries who have forsaken their various illusions of progress for the new and orderly reality of progress.

“The movement did not begin with the wiseacres and the theorists. It was born from a surging discontent with a regime where nothing can be achieved.”

In our new organization we now combine within our ranks all those elements in this country who have long studied and understood the great constructive mission of Fascism; but we have no place for those who have sought to make Fascism the lackey of reaction, and have thereby misrepresented its policy and dissipated its strength. In fact Fascism is the greatest constructive and revolutionary creed in the world. It seeks to achieve its aim legally and constitutionally, by methods of law and order; but in objective it is revolutionary or it is nothing. It challenges the existing order and advances the constructive alternative of the Corporate State. To many of us this creed represents the thing which we have sought throughout our political lives. It combines the dynamic urge to change and progress with the authority, the discipline and the order without which nothing great can be achieved.

This conception we have sought through many vicissitudes of parties and of men: we have found it in the Movement which we now strive to introduce to Great Britain. That pilgrimage in search of this idea has exposed me, in particular, to many charges of inconsistency. I have no apology to offer on the score of inconsistency. If anything, I am disturbed by the fact that through fourteen years of political life, and more than one change of Party, I have pursued broadly the same ideals. For what in fact does a man claim who says that he has always been consistent? He says that he has lived a lifetime without learning anything; he claims to be a fool. In a world of changing fact and situation, a man is a fool who does not learn enough to change some of his original opinions. The essence of Fascism is the power of adaptation to fresh facts. Above all, it is a realist creed. It has no use for immortal principles in relation to the facts of bread-and-butter; and it despises the windy rhetoric which ascribes importance to mere formula. The steel creed of an iron age, it cuts through the verbiage of illusion to the achievement of a new reality. ”

—see British Union of Fascists: Doctrine and Propaganda Collection, 1940

Paul Gottfried’s, Fascism and the Right: Fascism as a Counter-Revolutionary Imitation of the Left

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