"Elias also defended the need to bund up a general developmental model of fascism, which could be checked constantly by comparing it to fascism in individual countries, but which would throw light on w hat happened in such different countries as Italy and Argentina. This constant. checking of the details in individual countries against the general model, and the consequent improvement of the model, enabled one gradually to arrive at a clear and precise general theory of a movement which for practical as weIl as theoretical purposes was useful. In constructing such a model of fascism, one was by implication discussing w hat we call democracy. Fascism, a one-party state, could not be understood unless one asked at the same time under w hat conditions a multi-party state in its parliamentary form could function. Similarly, in discussing fascism, one was asking such questions as in w hat respect the rule of an absolute sove- reign differed from that of an absolute dictator ? By asking such questions one could see that the whole structure of society on which absolute despotism rested was very different from the structure of society in which fascism came to the fore.


Elias also opposed an ideological interpretation of fascism, on the grounds that it left one with no vision of achanging social structure. He agreed with Organski that fascism could not be understood except in the context of an industrialization process. But he feIt it necessary to specify that the primary axis of con- flic t in the phenomenon of fascism was the coriflict between entrepreneurs and manual workers. Fascism was certainly the result of certain conflicts in society. In an industrial process there was not a revolutionary conflict, but a long-drawn-out struggIe between trade unions and employers, which sometimes resulted in a balance, but which could also be found at the roots of fascist development. As Organski had noted, there was an accretion of other strata around this rising main axis of conflict between workers and entrepreneurs. Hence it was important to analyse in this context the part played by the traditional strata, for instance by the nobility and land-owning classes in Germany."



Stuart Joseph Woolf: Discussion - Fascism and the Polity, in: idem (ed.): The Nature of Fascism, New York/N.Y./USA: Vintage Books, , S. 55, S. 58