“I have coined the term post-fascism to describe a cluster of policies, practices, routines and ideologies which can be observed everywhere in the contemporary world. Without ever resorting to a coup d’etat, these practices are threatening our communities. They find their niche easily in the new global capitalism, without upsetting the dominant political forms of electoral democracy and representative government. Except in Central Europe, they have little or nothing to do with the legacy of Nazism. They are not totalitarian; not at all revolutionary; not based on violent mass movements or irrationalist, voluntarist philosophies. Nor are they toying, even in jest, with anti-capitalism.
“I should define what I mean by the term “post-fascist”. I take the term “fascism” to refer to a break with the enlightenment tradition of citizenship as a universal entitlement; that is to say, with its assimilation of the civic condition to the human condition.
“It is this concept of universal citizenship that underpinned the notion of progress shared by liberal, social democrat and all the other assorted progressive heirs of the Enlightenment. Once the Enlightenment equated citizenship with human dignity in this way, its extension to all classes, professions, both sexes, all races, creeds, and locations was only a matter of time. Universal franchise, the national service, and state education for all had to follow. National solidarity demanded, moreover, the relief of the estate of Man, a dignified material existence for all, and the eradication of the remnants of personal servitude.”