A general view of the progress of ethical philosophy,: by James Mackintosh

By James Mackintosh

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Before the relations of Spann and his followers to the fascist movements are described, it will be useful to understand Spann’s position in the sociology of the time. Spann did not think much of his scientific colleagues and, when visited by the American sociologist Earle Edward Eubank in 1934, spoke nearly exclusively of himself and his works (K sler 1991:100–106). He criticized contemporary sociology on the grounds that it concentrated on individualism and naturalism. Spann considered Weber’s idea that sociology can arrive at a causal explanation by interpretive understanding of social action an incomprehensible contradiction.

The forming of a fascist mentality was promoted by the violence and devastation of the First World War, but also by the dictated peace of 1919, which caused nationalism to escalate again in the defeated countries. The supporters of fascism are drawn above all from the professional, rural and intellectual middle classes. This accounts for the anti-capitalist sloganeering of fascism which contradicts the interests of the industrial bourgeoisie. The best strategy against fascism was to defeat it before it came to power.

Vienna: Böhlau. Lichtenberger-Fenz, B. ) Kontinuität und Bruch 1938–1945–1955, Vienna and Munich: Jugend und Volk, pp. 69–82. Longert, W. ’ Nationalwirtschaft 2:292–320. SOCIOLOGY RESPONDS TO FASCISM 39 Lundgreen, P. ) (1985) Wissenschaft im Dritten Reich, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp. Matthes, J. (1973) Einführung in das Studium der Soziologie, Reinbek: Rowohlt. Menzel, A. (1935) Der Staatsgedanke des Faschismus. Eine geistesgeschichtliche Untersuchung, Leipzig and Vienna: Deuticke. Mises, L. (1927) Liberalismus, Jena: Gustav Fischer.

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