What Fascism Is Not: Thoughts on the Deflation of a Concept

Some 30 years ago I first read Gilbert Allardyce’s article in The American Historical Review, Vol. 84, No. 2 (Apr., 1979), pp. 367-388. With the interim years the piece has come to be regarded as somewhat of a classic: it was most useful then and even more so now. It certainly seems that even then Allardyce (and other prominent names such as Ernst Nolte) were well aware of the phenomenon that has recently come to be known as concept creep. Here are a couple more popular explications of the problem by Jane Caplan in History Workshop Journal and Brendan O’Neill in Spiked. Below are some excerpts from Allardyce’s article.

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