Eröffnungsvortrag der Konferenz "Fascism And Antifascism In Our Time: Critical Investigations"

1. November 2017

Geoff Eley: Fascism and Antifascism, 1920—2020: Slogan, Impulse, Theory, Strategy

How might a history of fascism and antifascism in interwar Europe help us with an understanding of the dangers of the radical Right today? In this talk Geoff Eley will be moving back and forth between the early 20th century past and the 21st century present in order to establish what is equivalent and what is not, what is common and what is distinct in these two historical settings in order to build a usable concept for the purposes of politics today. Given the ease with which "fascism" can be used as a slogan, as an emotional rallying-point, as a language of recognition and abuse, and as a boundary of legitimate political thinking and action, it becomes vital to sort through the appropriate distinctions as carefully as possible. To lay the ground for effective politics, one needs historical grounded analysis that can avert tendentious conflations, merely formal and surface similarities, and chains of equivalence that seem outwardly plausible and may be emotionally satisfying, but stop short of showing how fascism is able to gain its purchase and build its appeal. One needs to grasp not just the specific ideas and practices that separate fascists from their rivals, but also the particular contexts that give them popularity and a credible claim on power. What are the circumstances that enable fascists to offer themselves as an effective and desirable "extra-systemic" solution for problems, as an alternative to the given practices of pluralism, negotiation, and coalition-building associated with democratic constitutionalism? What kind of crisis brings fascism onto the agenda? What is the character of the "fascism-producing crisis"? By historicizing fascism to the early 20th-century circumstances of its inception, Geoff Eley wants to abstract a workable general definition, one that can be "portable" across time and space and serve us for political action now.

Eröffnungsvortrag der Konferenz "Fascism And Antifascism In Our Time: Critical Investigations"

Professor Geoff Eley, Historiker; Interim Chair und Karl Pohrt Distinguished University Professor of Contemporary History am College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA) an der University of Michigan
Kommentar: Professor Robert Gerwarth, Historiker; Professor für Modern
History am University College Dublin und Gründungsdirektor des Centre
for War Studies

Ort: Zentralgebäude der Leuphana Universität Lüneburg
Beginn: 18.30 Uhr
Eintritt: frei