After World War Two, ‘fascist’ became the F word of political debate to be applied liberally against anyone who left-wing polemicists disliked. But what did it really mean and what did its British supporters really stand for? In this pre-War book written in convenient Question and Answer form by Oswald Mosley, the Leader of the British Union of Fascists challenges the simplistic nature of the stereotypical image.
It acknowledges that if he had been elected to power political party warfare would have been brought to an end. Instead of voting for different party labels General Elections would be based on an occupational franchise. Under this system everybody would vote according to their vocation: miners voting for a choice of mining candidates; farm workers for agricultural candidates; health workers for doctors and nurses; and textile workers for textile worker candidates. There would even have been occupational candidates for housewives and pensioners. In this way, Mosley believed that a government of experts elected by experts would be created: a body far better equipped to provide good government than one based on a multi-party geographical franchise.
Other questions and answers covered by Mosley in equal depth include freedom of speech; reform of the banking system; and the roles of trade unions in the modern workplace.
Fascism may have lost the war of semantics but its true nature deserves closer scrutiny.