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Democratic Discourse as the Foundation of Fascist Ideology: Interpreting the simultaneously illiberal and democratic thought in the work of Charles Maurras and Oswald Mosley
The majority of studies on fascistic thought center on fascism in Germany or Italy and, as a result, fail to fully encapsulate the way fascistic thought appears in states that are more grounded in democratic experience. Consequently, our ability to analyze recent extremist right-wing activity - such as the popularity of openly racist political candidates like Donald Trump or Marine Le Pen, or the recent terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand - is limited. This thesis adds to the understanding of fascistic discourse as it manifests in historically democratic communities by analyzing the work of French proto-fascist Charles Maurras and British fascist Oswald Mosley. Considering each of their published works from before the end of World War II, this study suggests that these authors use the language of democracy to articulate and justify their illiberal agendas. This argument adds nuance to the ongoing project of defining and understanding fascistic thought and provides an alternative framework of analysis for recent extremist activity.