Notes: Episode 126, Fascism (Part 1)

As with every show, I’ll list any corrections or clarifications here. If there’s anything I’ve overlooked, please contact me by email or in the comments and I’ll edit the notes to reflect the new information.

13:41 – This 125 year period is often known in history (and other disciplines) as the long 19th century – the idea being that the events that take place are thematically related in meaningful ways. This framing views the First World War as something of a long-term consequence of the French Revolution. Like the framing exercise we’re doing in this episode, this isn’t false; however, it does belie an assumption of causality.

1:04:43 – This is only partially true – Smith used the phrase “the invisible hand” many times in his writing, and it was more poetic than prescriptive. While he did use it to refer to unseen manipulation of markets making them volatile, the more popular usage refers to an idea that self interest in a market economy will, when generalized, result in societal goods. It’s essentially the economic version of the political idea we spoke about in regards to liberalism and nationalism.

1:59:09 – I think I’ve overstated the likelihood of soldiers returning home in 1918 not being able to vote – in most cases they could – and I worry that it’s impacted my argument here. There are other aspects in which liberal society was frequently failing soldiers, with medical care being an important one, and a lack of perceived valuation being another. A sense of abandonment was extremely common in the years following the war.

2:03:38 – I say that the voting in fascist countries never stopped – this isn’t true. My point that the ones that were held were shams holds, however. Germany held elections in 1936 and 1938, but they were single-question referendums on whether voters approved or disapproved of a proposed slate of candidates. This was, of course, rigged. Elections would cease with the outbreak of war. In Italy, similarly suppressed referendums were held in 1929 and 1934, with elections suspended in 1939 at the outbreak of war.


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