I am no longer human. I am a Titan. A god!

The Fascist Quest to Regenerate Time
  • Roger Griffin


Some two decades ago, Mona Ozouf’s Festivals and the French Revolution1 provided impressive testimony to the centrality of myth and ritual in the dynamics of even a ‘modern’, ‘rational’ revolution purportedly carried out in the name of Enlightenment principles. Now that, at long last, some scholars are taking seriously the proposition that Fascism2 as well as Nazism3 attempted to create a new type of culture, it seems an appropriate moment to consider whether the conspicuously ritualised, theatrical component of both Fascism and generic fascism can be illuminated by the concept of ‘the revolutionary festival’. As we shall see, applying such a concept has a particular heuristic value when applied to fascist ideology and practice, despite the radical differences which clearly separate the largely spontaneous explosion of populist mythic energies unleashed by the French Revolution from those deliberately engineered in ordinary citizens by Fascist and Nazi elites. By the time he wrote Mein Kampf Hitler was already aware of the need to emulate the power of the mass demonstrations held by communists which

burned into the small wretched individual the proud conviction that, paltry worm as he was, he was nevertheless part of a great dragon, beneath whose burning breath the heated bourgeois world would one day go up in fire and flame and the proletarian dictatorship would celebrate its ultimate final victory.4


French Revolution Ordinary Time Fervent Supporter Fascist Regime Sacred Time 
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© Roger Griffin 2008

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  • Roger Griffin

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