This chapter considers three political doctrines, racism, fascism and populism and their similarities. Racism and antisemitism were the defining characteristics of the German variant of fascism, carried by Hitler’s Third Reich to hitherto unimaginable extremes. Populism is more diverse. It is a term that has been applied to political movements across the left right spectrum, but particularly the far left and far right. It commonly involves (like fascism) charismatic leadership and ethnic nationalism Do any of them really qualify as political ideologies? They are all theoretically thin. Yet ideologies are actionoriented (see Chapter 1). They have implications for political behaviour. Thus while racism may no longer be intellectually tenable, as the whole concept of race lacks scientific validity, its political impact remains massive.
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