British Catholics and Fascism: Religious Identity and by T. Villis

By T. Villis

Drawing considerably at the options and phrases of Catholic writers and cultural commentators, Villis sheds new mild on spiritual id and political extremism in early twentieth-century Britain. The e-book constitutes a accomplished research of how during which British Catholic groups reacted to fascism either at domestic and out of the country.

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22 Such a justification attempted to balance traditional foreign policy realism with limited admiration for Mussolini’s regime. Even more strikingly, the view of Hitler in the new Herald actually became more positive after the Night of Long Knives. While the paper did not actually condone Hitler’s methods, it praised the ‘moral purging of Germany’. 25 This change in the editorial line was accompanied by articles which started to present Hitler as a better alternative to Weimar democracy or communism: all thinking observers, German and otherwise, will admit that an authoritative government is more in accordance with the present political education of the German people than a democracy like the former incompetent and hesitant Weimar republic.

Barnes was born in India in the 1890s, but after the death of his mother when he was very young he was brought up by his grandparents in Italy. 94 Tempting as it is to present Barnes as an irrelevant eccentric and outcast, however, he was in other ways at the centre of the establishment. He was educated at St Aubyn’s prep school in Rottingdean, then at Eton, before spending a year at Sandhurst and at Cambridge. 95 Barnes spent his evenings during the war ‘in riotous living – ragging, drinking, playing cards, excellent bawdy talk’ and used to fly with a Veuve Clicquot 1904 cork for a mascot.

124 As such, Barnes saw the presence of a state church independent of state authority – ideally the Catholic Church – as being central to universal fascist ideology not particular to the circumstances of Italy. Barnes also stated that the Fascist state respected ‘the General Will’ but claimed there were numerous ways of doing this other than through democracy. 131 While this description of fascism is an interesting early attempt at defining a generic fascism, it was clearly aimed at making the ideology palatable to British conservatives.

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