Fascism and culture

In certain circles it is fashionable to assert that fascism is anti-cultural. This curious conception, engendered in the shadowy minds of vague, white-fingered intellectuals and trumpeted forth by legions of bourgeois intelligentsia, is in reality as misshapen as their art and as puerile as their utterances.

The artists and intellectuals of today have elevated false and graceless conceptions and sought unlovely forms. Their work is harsh and dry and uninspired. Their culture is shapeless and inanimate. It is true that Fascism would sweep away the cult of ugliness and distortion in art, music and literature which is the product of neurotic post-war minds, sickened by long incarnation in dim cities. For theirs are the stunted achievements of the megalopolitian mentality, the blind groping of the imprisoned soul.

They are the inevitable products of these sordid centuries of bourgeois-capitalist domination. We have established false values and gross conceptions in our social, economic and political life, are we dismayed to find them also in our art?

Culture is the supreme achievement of a nations conscious communal effort. It is the sum total of the races spiritual and intellectual strivings, but in its essence it is super racial. A healthy civilisation, in which culture flourishes and art is alive and beautiful, is a civilisation in which men may lift their eyes to something nobler than themselves, in which the conceptions and ideas of men never disturb the happy rhythm of communal life, in which men are not the servants of personal greed, nor the slaves of effete and unfair institutions. A healthy civilisation is one in which men are ever conscious of a high communal purpose, towards which are bent their daily energies of mind and muscle. In such a civilisation men have the strength and courage to grasp their own destiny, and laugh in the face of chaos. Such is the new civilisation which Fascism would bring.

Today in Britain our patriotism and our culture is sick. To revive them we have first to build a state which men may proudly serve without shame or discontent, then we have to give back to labour its nobility and its honour, so that men may work gladly and produce things worthy to survive. Then we have also gradually to undermine the monstrous power of wealth, which sets up a standard of metallic values, and makes of culture a commercial enterprise.

Very important to the biological well being of the race is the aspect of Fascism towards cultural tradition, folk-lore, dialect and language, the observance of ancient festivals and customs. It is healthy for a people to remember its heroes, its poets, its great men, and to revere the traditions of its fathers. Realising this Fascism solves the problem of increased leisure, which the rapid advance of technology allows for, by organising local recreational institutes, with the object of reviving enthusiasm in such cultural traditions. Folk songs and dances, plays and literature in dialect, lectures in local history etc. Such activities help to awaken the people from the stupor of individual self absorption into which they have sunk, to a new communal consciousness.

It is a pity that the establishment intellectuals who see in Fascism no more than the revolt of the lout and the domination of the thug have never troubled to investigate this other, and infinitely more significant aspect of the modern movement.

James Stark