The left-wing road to fascism : an investigation of the influence of 'socialist' ideas upon the political ideology of the British Union of Fascists
The primary conclusion drawn by the thesis is that the political ideology of the BUF clearly exhibited a left-wing strand which is described as the BUF's brand of fascist 'socialism'. This strand (whilst a travestic and heretical form of socialism) considered the BUF to be more radical and virile than the Labour movement and, alone amongst political movements, capable of bringing about a national revolution which would contain a socio-economic reorientation of the country along classic socialist lines - an end to poverty, the building of houses and job creation - with Trade Unions taking a central role, within the framework of the Corporate State, in the industrial decision making process. It is not suggested that this strand was a self-contained concept within the BUF. The thesis has simply taken the heuristic step of grouping together these ideas in order to highlight the presence of an identifiable strand within the BUF's political ideology. The thesis supports the school of academic thought which believes that fascism must be taken seriously as a genuine political ideology if it is to be understood. Fascism is viewed as an eclectic political ideology containing a clear potential (although one not necessarily realised) to exhibit a strand of thought which was at base a fascistic revision of socialism. In regards to the methodology adopted by the thesis, the generic theories of fascism devised by Griffin, Sternhell, Eatwell and Payne, it was concluded that in tile context of this thesis all proved capable of predicting the potential inherent in fascist ideology to grow from left-wing roots and exhibit a brand of fascist 'socialism'. In terms of the theories' use as research tools it is Griffin's which stands out, due to its combination of profundity and lucidity, which gives his theory an operational simplicity, flexibility and heuristic quality.