Authoritarianism, Fascism, and National Populism 0878552413, 0878556427

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Authoritarianism, Fascism, and National Populism
 0878552413, 0878556427

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T ra n sa c tio n B ooks N ew B ru n sw ick , N ew Je rse y

Copyright© 1978 by Transaction, Inc. New Brunswick, New Jersey 08903 All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. No part of this book may be reproduced or transm itted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any inform ation storage and retrieval system, w ithout prior permission in writing from the publisher. All inquiries should be addressed to Transaction Books, Rutgers—The State Univer­ sity, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08903. Library o f Congress Catalog Number: 77-80871 ISBN: 0-87855-241-3 (cloth); 0-87855-642-7 (paper). Printed in the United States of America Library o f Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Germani, Gino. Authoritarianism, fascism, and national populism. Includes index. 1. Authoritarianism. 2. Fascism. I. Title. JC481.G42 321.9 77-80871 ISBN 0-87855-241-3 ISBN 0-87855-642-7 pbk.




Part I: Theoretical Background 1 2 3 4

Authoritarianism in Modern S ociety............................ 3 Social Mobilization and Political Change........................13 Middle-Class Authoritarianism and Fascism: Europe and Latin Am erica.................... 43 Lower-Class Authoritarianism and National Populism............................................................... 85

Part II : A Case Study o f National Populism and a Comparison with Classic Fascism 5

6 7 8

Political Traditions and Social Mobilization at the Root o f a National Populist Movement: Argentine Peronism...........................................................125 Structural Change, Fascist Attempts, and the Rise o f Lower Classes and NationalPopulism..............153 Political, Cultural, and Structural Changes in the Rise o f Liberal Populism and National Populism. . . .209 Middle Classes, Working Classes, and Social Mobilization in the Rise o f Italian Fascism: A Comparison with the Argentine Case............................ 225

Part III: Mobilization From Above 9


Political Socialization o f Youth in Fascist Regimes: Italy and Spain................................................. 245 281


In the social sciences the choice o f a subject—when it expresses more than a passing interest—often finds its roots in some personal experience. In my case it was the rather unhappy encounter with the first instance of modern author­ itarianism. I was a child when fascism reached power in Italy, and still a teen­ ager when it established a totalitarian state. In my early youth I experienced the total ideological climate involving the everyday life o f the common citi­ zen, and more strongly so, the younger generations. Later, in Argentina, where I went as a political refugee, I m et another variety o f authoritarianism. Both Italian fascism and Argentine Peronism came to power as an outcome of the crisis o f liberal-democratic regimes hitherto considered fairly well established. Though quite different in their social structure and political history, the two countries presented similarities and divergences which made it possible and useful to conduct comparative studies on the social and political experiences leading to different forms o f authoritarianism . This book, mostly based on re­ cent research, finds its origins in this lifelong experience. In the study o f authoritarianism I have adopted several theoretical and methodological assumptions only partially discussed in the book. I believe it will be useful to m ention some o f them . To consider totalitarianism as a form o f modern authoritarianism is the first o f such assumptions. In chapter 1 the distinction between modern and vii



nonm odern authoritarianism is introduced. M odernity is here defined not as a necessary or universal evolutionary stage in human society, achieved by West­ ern culture before all others, but as the particular line o f development histor­ ically taken by this culture and peculiar to it. The diffusion and imposition of m odernity to the rest of the planet was possible because o f the type o f knowl­ edge and technology developed by the West, both primarily oriented to the control o f nature. But there is no proof that this type o f knowledge and tech­ nology represents the only possible line o f development o f human potentiali­ ties, nor th at it is the best. My ideas on authoritarianism have changed over the years, but the pecularity o f modern authoritarianism was clear to me since its beginnings. The pessimistic climate o f the twenties and thirties was the most im portant intellectual influence. However, the personal experience o f growing up in a totalitarian society as a form o f normal everyday living provided an emotional and existential background far more effective than any conceptual construct. Totalitarianism was not a peculiarity o f certain societies and cul­ tures, nor a mere regression or restoration o f previous forms o f absolutism, but an expression of trends rooted in the modern social structure itself. This was not a very popular view at that time: most scholars and politicians regarded fascism as a purely Italian phenom enon. But since the turn of the century there were philosophers and social scientists who expressed their pessimism on the future o f liberal dem ocracy. Many disturbing com ponents in modern societies had been disclosed in the analysis o f the classical sociolo­ gists—from Comte to Durkheim , Toennies, Weber, or Pareto. In a different context this view could also be translated in Marxist terms, provided that Western m odern industrial society be interpreted as capitalist, and the authoritorian solution as a probable outcom e o f the internal contradictions of weak capitalist economies, or perhaps o f all capitalist systems at a certain stage o f development. A fter nazism came into power, the close connection between totalitarianism and m odernity became more diffused, particularly in the late thirties and forties with theories o f mass society and the notion o f totalitari­ anism equally applied to leftist and rightist political regimes. The rise o f Ar­ gentine Peronism, its interpretation as the fascism of the working class, the role o f the military in developing countries, and in general the spread of authoritarianism in the Third World seemed to confirm the modernization hypothesis. In many cases, however, such a connection was conceived as in­ terpreting authoritarianism as one o f the possible paths towards moderniza­ tion, and the m ost appropriate for latecomers. It was also considered a result o f “weaknesses” or peculiarities in the first steps taken by some countries in their way towards economic development and a m odern industrial structure. The assumption adopted here is different: it regards the existence o f certain traits in all m odern social structures, which under given circumstances may originate totalitarian solutions. A second assumption regards the problem posed by the great variety of theories concerning authoritarianism in its nonm odern and modern forms.



The many contrasting interpretations reflect the variety o f totalitarian or authoritarian regimes, no less than opposed ideological orientations. But often the contrasting approaches may be at least partially integrated when perceived from a broader perspective. Divergences will remain, but some may be attenuated or disappear once it is recognized that they are the consequence of different levels o f analysis. The distinction between them according to degree o f generality in terms o f time and sociocultural settings presented in chapter 1, has the purpose o f establishing the limits of the validity of the dif­ ferent theories and hypotheses on the nature and causes of modern forms o f authoritarianism. An illustration o f this may be found in the hypothesis of the relation between structural contradictions inherent in modern society and the propensity toward totalitarian outcomes at times of crisis. Such a hypoth­ esis may be valid and useful only at the most general level, but it is of limited help in studying specific cases o f totalitarianism . This more general hypothesis must be combined with shorter-range theories, both with regard to historical epoch and to specific countries and sociopolitical cultures. In this book the general assumption on totalitarianism and modernity is combined with hy­ potheses on the role o f stratification structure, particular classes, and other social groups, within more specific sociocultural contexts, and degree and type of modernization processes. A third theoretical and methodological assumption is used at the interme­ diate and short-range levels o f generality: the theory o f social mobilization, conceived here as a special form o f social change linked to sudden accelera­ tion or deceleration o f com ponent processes, and to the consequences of traumatic events. Though the discussion o f social mobilization is far from complete, the second chapter provides the necessary introduction to its appli­ cation to the Argentine and (partially) the Italian cases. Finally I must m ention some implicit theoretical orientations regarding the notion o f evolution, or more generally, history and social change under­ lying (at all levels o f generality) the analyses included in the book. This is not the place to provide even a summarized discussion of this subject, and I will restrict this mention to a few brief remarks. The concept o f social change im­ plicitly adopted is not determ inistic, or its determinism is only partial. At the macro level social change may be perceived as a set of partially correlated (or even uncorrelated) com ponent processes whose convergence at a certain point in history (within the sociocultural unit assumed in the analysis) may generate a new (partial or total) sociocultural form ation (one or more institu­ tions, social groups, entire subsystems, or a new type o f global social struc­ ture). Such a new form ation becomes in turn part o f the basic background out o f which a new historical trend may be initiated. This is a turning point, an “ em ergent” in history which cannot be explained in terms of separate com ponent processes. It is the particular gestalt formed by component proc­ esses which may originate new sociocultural configurations, the turning points in the global historical process. It seems impossible to ascertain whether



such a combination is the only one capable o f generating the particular new historical trend observed. But more specific hypotheses may be suggested on that question, and the nature o f the change may be considerably clarified. On the other hand, the peculiar com bination of com ponent processes is the result not only o f the nature o f the preceding turning point (usually assumed in concrete analyses as the “ starting point” ), but also o f the nature, rates, and sequences o f the single com ponent processes themselves, and quite often also of traum atic events produced by the sudden acceleration and/or deceleration of such processes and by accidental causes. {Accidental refers to events or processes which cannot be explained solely on the basis o f the factors and variables taken into account in the analysis.) Finally causality is always un­ derstood as a circular process, th at is including all kinds o f reciprocal effects among factors assumed as independent or dependent variables.1 Another im portant feature of the analysis o f change regards the relation between social and cultural dimensions. The former include mainly the economic, demographic, and ecological aspects o f the global social structure (approximately what in Marxist terms is usually called “ infrastructure” ; the latter consists o f attitudes, feelings, and behavior patterns o f individuals and social groups. The distinction is obviously analytical. In the analysis of change I gave methodological priority to the structural dimension, but took very much into account the cultural dimension. In many cases the particular form assumed by the total process cannot be explained w ithout the interven­ tion o f the cultural dimension, since the form assumed by events and proces­ ses in turn becomes incorporated into the new configuration determining a novel historical trend. In this sense no causal priority is im puted a priori to the structural (or infrastructural) dimension, but a continuous reciprocal in­ fluence is assumed between both. Most o f the analysis in this book is devoted to the Argentine case, Italian fascism being taken as a contrasting example to highlight the peculiar nature of national populism. At the theoretical level the first part o f the book attem pts to provide a more general model designed to contribute to an explanation o f both similarities and differences between the two types o f authoritarianism. The discussion o f Italian fascism is then re­ stricted to these limited purposes, except for the analysis of the peculiar form of m obilization which I call “ mobilization from above,” where attem pts to create a fascist political culture among the young in Italy and Spain are com­ pared, I believe for the first time. The book was made possible by the support and cooperation o f several persons. Among them I want to m ention in the first place Irving Louis Horowitz, w ithout whose intellectual encouragement I would never have given final form to the materials gathered and the many notes whose publica­ tion I was procrastinating about for too long. The cooperation o f Professor Malvina Segre made possible the analysis and the use o f demographic and other statistical data on Argentina. Katherine Williams and Danielle Salti worked very hard in editing a difficult m anuscript, originally w ritten in



different approxim ations o f Spanish, English, and Italian. Special thanks must also go to my secretary, Seddon Johnson.

NOTES The research conducted on Argentina and Italy were made possible by the support of the National Science Foundation and the Ford Foundation, the latter through the Comparative Program on Latin Societies, conducted at the Institute for Social Research, University o f Michigan, Ann Arbor. Only part o f the research material gathered in the program is used in this book. 1 1. See G. Germani, “Stages o f Modernization in Latin America,” Studies in Com­ parative International Development 5 (no. 8, 1969-70): 155-74.




LEVELS OF ANALYSIS In this book I intend to examine some aspects o f recent and contemporary political authoritarianism , using primarily a theory of social mobilization and stressing the role o f the classes and the characteristics of stratification in the genesis of such movements. The historical and empirical material has been taken from a case o f national populism (Argentina) with comparisons with “classic” fascism (Italy). Both countries provide examples and illustrations highly useful for a preliminary test o f some hypotheses relevant to a better understanding o f these forms o f contemporary authoritarianism. The theory o f mobilization and the hypotheses on the role o f social classes do not exhaust the analysis o f the genesis o f authoritarian movements and regimes in the modern world. O ther alternative or complementary hypotheses and theories should be used and the studies here exposed, needless to say, do not pretend to be but a partial contribution to the examination of political authoritarianism . The theoretical analysis developed here is placed at a specific level o f gen­ erality, both in terms o f sociocultural contexts and o f historical epoch. Most of the theoretical and interpretive contrasts concerning authoritarianism, as well as other social and political phenomena, derive from the use o f theoreti3



cal fram eworks whose validity is lim ited to particular sociohistorical areas. So, for exam ple, fascism was initially interp reted as an expression o f charac­ teristics peculiar to Italian society, or as an alm ost accidental phenomenon created under exceptional historical conditions. Later, o th er interpretations o f a wider range o f generality were form ulated, n o t bound to a single national society b u t to a type o f society and to certain stages in its developm ent (cap­ italist society and its “ m onopolistic” phase), or to the form assumed by this type o f society in a particular national setting (thesis o f the “ more vulnerable spot” o f the capitalist system). With the spreading o f totalitarian movements and regimes in the w orld, especially after the advent o f Nazism and the emer­ gence o f the Stalinist form o f the Soviet regime, the discussion was consider­ ably enlarged: there appeared hypotheses based on the role o f the middle classes, mass society, psychosocial changes induced in all industrial societies, and other theorizations o f a much wider range o f application. Above all, the theme o f m odernization appears in various ways, in which it is assumed that the causes for authoritarianism may be found in particular conditions charac­ terizing the transition to a m odern structure, as well as in the characteristics o f the “point o f departure” in preindustrial society, e.g., in the types o f ab­ sence o f feudalism and other features o f the “ initial” social context. Finlly, in this widening o f the explicative schemes, the historical specificity o f fascism or o f modern authoritarianism may become com pletely lost, as for instance when the repressive character o f culture or even hum an nature is considered the es­ sential factor underlying every kind o f authoritarianism . To the extent to which these interpretations reveal real aspects o f the phenom enon, they are valid w ithin different levels o f generality. The peculiar characteristics o f a given national society exercise a rem arkable influence on the rise o f authoritarian m ovem ents and regimes, or on the form s they assume and their developm ent. This notw ithstanding, underneath the specific histor­ ical determ inants (or conditions) o f a single social context may be acting fac­ tors o f a more general order, th at is, related to a type o f social structure comprising various national societies, even those different in their historical and sociocultural peculiarity. The notion o f “ ty p e,” then, also comprises levels o f generality. For instance we may distinguish successive phases in the developm ent o f a given type, and/or different varieties o f the same type. With the developm ent o f capitalism (and its transform ation) and w ith the appear­ ance o f a variety o f noncapitalist forms, the notion o f m odern industrial so­ ciety as opposed to other types o f society remains useful as a necessary analytical instrum ent, but it is to be applied only at a wide range o f generality. Conversely, it is less useful or even misleading when one deals w ith a more specific area at a given historical or sociocultural level. Table 1.1 summarizes these considerations. In it, like in all schemes, one simplifies (and thus de­ forms) the extrem e com plexity o f analyses and theories. But the scheme helps to clarify the level at which we place the present studies. The theories on authoritarianism which emphasize the role o f social classes




Level o f Generality in Terms of Historical Time

Level of Generality in Terms o f Sociocultural Context

Generic Type of Society

Specific Sociocultural Characteristics

long range

Structural contradictions in modern society

Cultural area or nation

medium range

Stage and forms of the process of transition from nonmodern to modern

Specific configuration for a given country of the stage of the process o f transition (including the state of the inter­ national system)

short range

Cycle o f mobilization (general characteristics)

Cycle o f mobilization and nature o f the trau­ matic changes that have initiated it

are placed in the medium range, here identified with the process of national development o f the countries used as an illustration. It must be noted that in the case of Italy the nature o f the process is only briefly described. The scheme of social mobilization regards instead the short range; that is, it tends to supply the theoretical instrum ents for a comparative analysis centered on the period in which the authoritarian movements and regime emerge or im­ mediately preceding it, attem pting to explain their form, success, or failure. With respect to the degree o f generality o f the sociocultural context, the ex­ amination o f both cases refer to national peculiarities (both in terms of social change and structure, and in terms of culture). The whole analysis is based on the assumption o f the specificity of modern authoritarianism, which at a level of wider generality is considered different from nonmodern authoritarianism. Analyses conducted at a given level cannot neglect the factors and their consequences to be observed at other levels. In this sense the analyses inter­ twine, and considered separately they would be quite partial. Within the limits of the subject m atter I shall therefore m ention some components related to different levels and correspondingly different analytical schemes. For this purpose in the following sections of the present chapter I shall be concerned with a distinction corresponding to a more general level of analysis: the na­ ture o f modern versus traditional authoritarianism . This is necessary to clarify some general premises on which the theoretical schemes and analyses are



based. Special chapters will consider the theo ry o f social m obilization and the hypothesis on the role o f social class in the rise o f fascism. AUTHORITARIANISM AND STRUCTURAL CHARACTERISTICS OF MODERN SOCIETY My definition o f m odern society is based on the concept o f secularization in the sociological sense (which I shall define shortly), referring to other writ­ ings for a m ore exhaustive ex p o sitio n .1 In synthesis it is this: Modern society differs from all o th er types o f society in th a t there is a predom inance—or at least a very vast area—o f behavior regulated w ithin the norm ative framework o f elective action, or by individual choice rather than by prescriptive action prevailing in nonm odern societies. To this characteristic we m ust add two others derived from it: (1) in stitutionalization o f change (in lieu o f institu­ tionalization o f tradition); and (2) the increasing specialization o f institutions (therefore o f roles, values, and norm s) and the autonom ization o f values of the various sph eres o f action and partial structures or subsystem s. Action by choice is still a form o f socially regulated behavior, b u t it differs from pre­ scriptive action in th a t w hat the norm s indicate are criteria o f choice and not models o f behavior assigned in a rigid m anner to every “ socially defined situa­ tio n ” (to use T hom as’s famous expression). The criteria o f choice may be ra­ tional (in an instrum ental sense) or em otional. Thus in science, the econom y, and technology we find choice w ith “ instrum entally” rational criteria, but in o ther choices rational criteria are often com bined w ith em otional ones (for example in the choices for marriage, or in occupational vocations, where cri­ teria include the effort to reach, given certain conditions, the m axim um ex­ pression o f individuality, o f w hat one w ants to do and w hat one is capable of doing). We m ust also rem em ber th at the three principles o f action, change, and increasing specialization constitute a description o f m odernity which in different expressions and concepts is found in the classic sociological tradi­ tion and generally in social thought from Marx to D urkheim , Toennies, Weber, and others, and adopted by contem porary sociology in its diverse and frequently contrasting interpretations. These characteristics (translated ab­ stractly into the three “ principles” ), are the outcom e o f the confluence, at a certain point in time and space, o f a series o f single or analytically distin­ guishable processes, which though they may be to a certain extent intercorrelated do not always or necessarily converge. In some historical epochs the convergence was only partial, and the particular configuration o f structural and psychosocial traits found in the West, particularly since the Renaissance, failed to crystallize. These are the cases o f “ unsuccessful” m odernization, such as “ ancient” capitalism or the Italian communes. The m inim um requirem ent for the rise and developm ent o f m odern society is the extension o f secularization to three areas: knowledge, technology, and the econom y. A lthough traditional traits usually remain or may be fused with m odern structures, it is still true th a t secularization tends to be extended to



the rest o f a society, to all areas of behavior and all subsystems. No society can do w ithout a certain central prescriptive nucleus to ensure a minimum but sufficient basis for integration: a core of values and norms in which are rooted the criteria for choices and those regulating change. Even the central core, however, according to the logic intrinsic to m odernity, could be changed; but then mechanisms should exist to carry on such changes w ithout destroy­ ing the society itself. From this basic condition springs a potential factor (at a level of maximum generality) for the rise o f authoritarianism in its modern sense. Modern society is characterized by a tension intrinsic to its particular form o f integration. This tension is the consequence o f the conflict between the expansive character o f secularization and the need to maintain a univer­ sally accepted central core w ithout which the society ceases to exist as such. It is not surprising that the philosophy o f history usually locates the begin­ ning o f the fall o f the great civilizations exactly in the phases of acute secu­ larization. Toynbee, Spengler, and Sorokin give the clearest examples of this. Historically, modern societies o f Western or non-Western origin have found the basis o f their stability in the conservation or transform ation o f preexisting prescriptive nuclei, or sometimes in the creation o f new ones. Such stability was always interrupted by acute conflicts when some aspect o f the prescrip­ tive basic nucleus required for social integration was weakened or dissolved. For instance, in political m odernization the nation, and the values, norms, and symbols related to it, turned out to be one o f the essential prescriptive nuclei. And in the crises of modern or modernizing societies, even where the predominant ideology was strongly internationalist, modern authoritarianism always tended to be rooted in the nation and in nationalism (while the class element, which according to the ideology should have replaced the national one, played a secondary role or combined in different ways with nationalism). One can hence formulate the hypothesis that the structural tension inherent

in all modem society between growing secularization and the necessity o f maintaining a minimal prescriptive central nucleus sufficient fo r integration, constitutes a general causal factor in modem authoritarian trends. Such trends and the historical processes leading to them , as well as the manner in which societies confront these crises, will depend on a series of other conditions studied at medium-range level, in terms o f epoch, time, and sociocultural specificity, that is, within given sociohistorical contexts. As an example we may mention theories imputing authoritarian propensities in a society to the nature o f the preindustrial structure, or to the characteristics of the transition, or to the class structure and its changes. At the short range, theories explain­ ing the process directly related to authoritarian attem pts (and possible “ solu­ tions” ) would be required. The theory o f social mobilization is an illustra­ tion. As we shall see in another chapter, social mobilization may take the form o f a cycle, whose outcom e may be the reestablishment, modification, or creation o f new prescriptive nuclei, capable of obtaining consensus at least within the limits necessary and sufficient for the functioning of a modern



society. A uthoritarian “ solutions” are possible, and under certain conditions probable, in any o f the crises generated by structural tensions inherent in m odern society. Their outcom e will depend upon the medium- and shortrange causal and conditioning factors. MODERN AND TRADITIONAL AUTHORITARIANISM The notion o f secularization enables us to distinguish between traditional and modern authoritarianism . In the different areas o f activity, or in the sub­ systems, in which the prescriptive kind o f action prevails, human behavior will follow internalized models for which alternative or different answers are “unthinkable.” Authoritarianism is therefore implicit in culture, and is not re­ garded as such by the subjects, for whom the behavior patterns they follow in their actions remain beyond any possible doubt or discussion. To take an ex­ treme example, the taboo o f incest is not perceived as an im position by an external authority, but as an “ instinct,” “ law o f nature,” or other similar attitudes. In contrast, where elective action predom inates (even if prescrip­ tive elements, such as criteria o f choice, persist), any coercion that tends to hinder it and is felt as an imposition from an external authority will be con­ sidered as an expression o f authoritarianism . In the prescriptive situation, social control takes place “ naturally” by means o f models o f behavior in­ ternalized mainly through primary socialization. In this case authoritarian­ ism expresses itself through “ spontaneous” mechanisms, even when external social control remains necessary to deal with deviations. In the elective situa­ tion, as we defined it, internal control is limited to the criteria o f choice, not to the choices themselves. Increasing specialization and autonom y o f the in­ stitutional spheres and subsystems, the legitimacy o f change, and the dynamic character o f the technological society often interfere with the internalization of basic norms and values or make them problem atic. The very processes of socialization in the various spheres become less spontaneous and more delib­ erate (choice with rational or other criteria). What used to occur naturally be­ comes subject for handbooks (a typical example is the handbooks for m other on child rearing). Under these conditions authoritarian solutions, which tend to reestablish or create new prescriptive nuclei, cannot avail themselves—or only in p art—o f the spontaneous mechanisms o f preindustrial society. External controls must be used, in two different ways: (1) violent repression, but this cannot be normally exercised on the mass o f the population; (2) forms of “artificial” socialization (or resocialization), that is, in forms deliberately in­ duced, using the means provided by modern science and technology. The po­ litical socialization o f the young in totalitarian regimes is an example o f this kind. And the creation o f “ total psychological and ideological clim ates” in which the individual is submerged in his everyday life, also belongs to the same kind o f planned reconstruction o f prescriptive behavior patterns. Some­ times the result o f such “ to tal” climates may turn into a “norm ality” th at to an external observer seems an illusion or madness.



What is essential in modern authoritarianism , above all in its “ pure” form (totalitarianism proper), is that the aim of this planned socialization and re­ socialization is the transform ation o f the population into ideologically “ mili­ tan t,” active participants. This derives from the fact that the modern indus­ trial structure, in its several varieties, requires a level o f active participation of all the inhabitants o f a country. Growing specialization and the high degree of interdependence generated by it finally involve the whole population in areas of activity which tend to increase continuously. Political participation is not excluded from this process. While in the preindustrial structure the great majority o f the population remains outside politics, which for the common man is still regulated by prescription, in m od­ ern society secularization and elective action have a strong tendency to be extended to the masses and their participation in politics. Such extension is perhaps not functionally required for the operation of a modern economy, but the concrete historical processes leading to the rise of the new industrial cultural complex, under the form of capitalism, and having as its main actors the bourgeoisie, was bound by necessity to include the extension o f political rights to the new emerging ruling class, and this was done in the name of universalistic principles,that is, choice in the political area: freedom and equality. On the other hand, both the process of increasing individuation (as an histor­ ical psychological development) and individualism (so basic to the ideology of the new capitalist order) also have an intrinsic tendency to be extended to all areas of behavior. If religion and revelation could interfere neither with knowledge nor with the econom y, it is very difficult to imagine how the di­ vine rights of kings or any other equivalent could be maintained. Also, we have seen that the nation and loyalty to it became the new prescriptive nu­ cleus on which most norms and values were built, and as a consequence, par­ ticipation in the nation’s life (mostly expressed through politics and military action) became an essential part o f the new cultural model. Perhaps in the in­ terest o f the ruling class political participation could be limited by excluding part of the population from full citizenship. And this in fact occurred. But such an exclusion itself became much more difficult to maintain once all the population was required to actively intervene in the nation, not only as sol­ diers but also in increasingly differentiated and qualified occupational roles. This meant the need for more education for all, which in turn eliminated most of the justification for excluding the lower classes. The history of the progressive extension o f rights (civil, political, and social) with all its conflicts is well known, and it confirms that many factors, all o f them inherent in the structure and ideology o f the emerging industrial society, contributed to the enlargement o f political participation. In any form of modern society the in­ dividual ceases to be considered a “ subject,” or a nonparticipant. He is sup­ posed to have opinions based on rational choice (or at least on individual de­ liberate choice), while the subject o f nonmodern society has beliefs based on faith, religion, revelation, etc. Consensus is beyond any discussion; it is



“naturally” there, w ithout possible alternatives. The legitimacy o f the rulers need not be formally approved by the subjects. Insofar as the nation becomes the prescriptive nucleus on which social integration rests, and the active pres­ ence o f all members o f the national com m unity is functionally necessary be­ cause o f the connection with many other forms o f participation in most areas o f social life, some form o f active political participation will also be required, even if to some extent it remains purely formal or symbolic. Here we find one o f the most paradoxical aspects o f the totalitarian sys­ tem. Modern authoritarianism in its pure form does not reduce individuals to passive subjects; in a sense, it wants them to be citizens. Its aim is not depo­ liticization (though this may occur), but politicization according to a certain specific ideology. The citizens have political opinions rather than beliefs. They must exercise choice and reach a certain conviction, but its content must correspond to the official ideology. There is choice, but it is openly manipulated. The external controls, repression and terror, are also necessary, but when the totalitarian state is successful, they are mostly applied to a re­ duced part o f the population, mainly the intellectuals. It is true th at this de­ scription may fit totalitarian communism more closely than fascism in its various forms. But it is certainly correct for some cases o f classic fascism. The difference may be due to the historical roots o f the ideology and the his­ torical meaning of each regime, both o f which are considerably different in the two types o f authoritarian systems. In the definition o f fascism I have distinguished between the historical meaning and the basic aims o f the regime and the political form it may assume. This is a confusion often made and which introduces serious consequences in the interpretation. Fascism may as­ sume two political forms: authoritarian and totalitarian. The form er achieves the demobilization o f the lower classes through their depoliticization, their reduction to subjects (as in traditional society); the latter tends to transform the m entality, to resocialize individuals making them active participants w ith­ in the limits o f the official ideology. It is also possible for communism to as­ sume one o f these two forms. In the Soviet Union the totalitarian model was adopted, but because of the high degree o f traditionalism in society the re­ gime became a mix o f traditional (or cultural) authoritarianism (for the large mass o f population), and totalitarianism based on resocialization along with external controls (repression and terror) for intellectuals and other actively participating sectors. The mix o f the two forms is common to all empirical cases, and the proportion o f one or the other may vary according to degree and form o f modernization in society. In national populism we may find that to the extent that it is based on the spontaneous mobilization o f the lower classes, representing a majority o f the population, there will be no need for totalitarian resocialization and control. The political form will tend to be authoritarian, insofar as it is solely aimed at keeping the opposition within certain limits. Nonetheless, it will not lack totalitarian elements, though these will be limited not only by the



existence o f a supporting mobilized mass, but also by the traditionalism o f the society, which is often likely to be relatively high, since the nationalpopular form o f primary m obilization is more viable where modern political participation is relatively recent. The subject o f this chapter will not be examined further. I considered it necessary for the understanding of the studies included here to state some o f the assumptions on which they are based, at the level o f higher generality. The studies themselves are concerned with medium- and short-range analysis.

NOTES 1. G. Germani, Politica y sociedad en una epoca de transicion (Buenos Aires: Paidos, 1962); idem, Sociologia de la modernizacion (Buenos Aires: Paidos, 1969); idem, Urbani­ zation, Modernization, and the Urban Crisis (Boston: Little, Brown, 1973); idem, Indus­ trialization and M odernization,” Encyclopaedia Brittanica, 3rd ed. 1974.


The term social mobilization is quite popular in contem porary social sci­ ences. Its meaning, as is usual in these disciplines, varies a great deal. Probably the most diffused is the definition used by Karl Deutsch, as the process by which the old social, psychological, and political loyalties and commitments are broken, causing people to become available for the acceptance o f new forms o f behavior.1 In this sense social mobilization is considered a central aspect of m odernization, one o f its most im portant components. The indica­ tors of m obilization, according to the same author, are the same as those usual­ ly adopted to measure or define m odernization, or at least its social dimen­ sions (as distinguished from the purely economic ones). Processes o f mobili­ zation are part o f the “great transform ation,” insofar as they represent a mechanism o f rapid incorporation o f large sectors o f the population into the modern way o f life. The definition presupposes the coexistence o f a modern with an archaic sector, m obilization consisting o f the passage o f large masses from the latter to the former. At the same time the concept possesses other meanings and can be enlarged to cover a more general set o f processes. In its origins we may find three main roots. 1. The process o f successive extension o f legal, social, and political rights to all inhabitants o f a state, that is, their incorporation into the nation as citizens rather than subjects. The word itself is part o f this tradition: 13



the m obilization o f all men into the arm y, as part o f their obligations and rights toward the nation as a symbol and an essential fact of their participation in national life. From this perspective the concept o f mobilization corresponds to what Karl Mannheim called “funda­ m ental dem ocratization” and to M arshall’s extension o f civil, political, and social rights.2 Such rights also include access to goods and services and to material and nonm aterial cultural objects. All o f these rights and obligations, and access to goods and services are reflected in the usual indicators o f mobilization as defined by Deutsch. 2. The frequently conflictive nature o f m obilization. The extension of rights and forms o f participation is not the result o f a process o f mere cultural diffusion. Certainly it was in some cases. But m ost often the extension was the result o f a struggle, violent conflicts, or even revolu­ tions. Rights were conquered against the interests o f ideologies of powerful social groups, against the will o f ruling elites, higher strata, or other privileged or previously established sectors. In any case, they were obtained under the threat o f conflict or as part o f a compromise, through class alliances, and in general through some type o f confron­ tation and risk-taking, to achieve the integration o f the marginal group through cooptation into the system. 3. Social mobilization constitutes a very complex process involving the disintegration of a preexisting structure, some kind o f response or re­ action to it, availability o f people for new forms o f behavior, the act­ ing out o f such readiness, and finally reintegration into society. It may be perceived as a change in the nature and extent o f participation de­ fined as the role-set that an individual fulfills by virtue o f the statusset in which he finds himself placed in society. These roles include not only those corresponding to structural positions in various institutions and groups, but also those defining the individuaTs access to consump­ tion o f goods and services and the exercise o f rights and fulfillment of obligations. Though D eutsche definition and indicators are very helpful in describing the level of modern participation at a given m om ent in time, and for a sim­ ple static comparison o f different societies in term s o f proportion o f partici­ pant or nonparticipant population in the m odem sector, they do not repre­ sent analytic tools for the study o f processes o f m obilization, its causes, con­ sequences, and particular nature, which may be very different under varying social and historical conditions. T o achieve this purpose, the three aspects mentioned above should be taken into account, considering the complexities o f each and always emphasizing discontinuities in the process. This is im por­ tant since the uneven, asynchronous nature o f change3 may create the co­ existence not only of different degrees o f m odernization at the ecological or geographic level (modern and archaic regions within the same nation), but also among, and within social groups (more or less m odernized), among and



within institutions (some aspects o f the same institutions more modernized than others), and even within the same individual (some area of behavior or aspect o f the personality more archaic or more modern). The concept o f mo­ bilization or analogous constructs have been used in connection with processes of change not directly included in the “archaic to m odern” transition but which involve relevant modifications in the nature and extent o f the partici­ pation o f groups, social categories, and individuals. That is, mobilization may affect sectors o f the population already totally or partially participant in the modern structure. Furtherm ore, it may affect masses and elites and may be caused by a variety o f factors—structural, psychosocial, or cultural. The phenomenon o f disintegration and successive reintegration in different struc­ tures, with changes in the form and extent o f participation, takes place in all types o f societies—modern or traditional—and the process presents many common elements which may help to clarify its nature, while making possible useful comparisons. Also, to define mobilization in terms of level, form, and nature of participation, or as modification, actual or desired, o f the normatively regulated role-set o f social groups located in given positions within the social structure has many advantages, the most im portant o f which is to highlight the fact that changes in the participation of one group may deeply affect others, for instance through invasion o f status, relative deprivation, and the like. In this way, the frequently conflictive nature o f the process can­ not be ignored, as occurs when using a purely descriptive definition. Since the term social mobilization is usually employed in connection with the archaic-modern transition, it is necessary to introduce some distinctions. First, between primary and secondary m obilization, the former to be used to indicate the process associated with m odernization; the latter, the process affecting already modern or modernized sectors. Second, between modern and nonm odern types. A form o f nonm odern or traditional mobilization may occur within nonm odern, nonindustrial societies, when the process is not part of the transition towards m odernity or directly or indirectly related to it. This case corresponds to changes in the participation of groups, occurring in historical epochs preceding the first rise o f modern-industrial society, or in regions completely isolated from areas already affected by the transition.4 In this chapter I shall deal mainly with primary mobilization, although the concept of secondary mobilization will also be used and considered in another section. INTEGRATION, DISINTEGRATION, AND SOCIAL CHANGE An integrated society has the following characteristics: (1) The various portions o f the normative structure, i.e., the systems and subsystems o f norms, statuses and roles, are in a state o f relative reciprocal adjustment. There is a certain degree o f com patibility among the various parts, sufficient to assure the normal functioning o f a society (there may be conflicts, but these are



either foreseen and resolved w ithin the structure itself, or else they are not so intensive as to prevent such functioning). (2) The expectations, roles, and atti­ tudes are internalized, corresponding to w hat is dem anded and foreseen by the normative structure (there is thus a degree o f reciprocal compatibility and congruence among the various internalizations o f individuals and between such internalizations and the norm ative fram ew ork. (3) The circumstances within which the individual behavior takes place correspond sufficiently to the predictions, expectations, and definitions o f the situations, as they arise from the system o f social norm s and their related internalization in the in­ dividuals. (These circum stances result n o t only from interaction between members o f society, b u t also the physical and environm ental facts and proc­ esses, and from any interference by other relevant external societies and subsystems w ithin the same society.) To understand this we shall call the first aspect o f integration normative integration, the second aspect psychosocial integration, and the third environmental integration. The last category is re­ sidual, and it depends on the boundaries o f the society or subsystem as­ sumed as the unit o f analysis (in this sense all th at which is generated by the action o f other societies and/or subsystems is included in environment). We shall define disintegration as any situation in which it is possible to observe a degree o f adjustm ent to one or more o f the three aspects which fails to reach at least the minimum level o f com patibility m entioned above. The concept o f an integrated society is an ideal construct. All real societies display a certain degree o f disintegration or nonintegration. There will be periods in which it becomes particularly intense, or affects essential areas of human activity, and other periods in which the lack o f integration, or disintegration, remains restricted to smaller areas. Every social change, defined as a transform ation o f the social structure, implies a certain degree o f disintegration. This is due to the asynchronous nature o f change in various parts o f the structure. This is the phenom enon of cultural and social lag, understood in broader term s than in Ogburn’s original formula. Only if all parts o f the social structure were to vary at the same time and in the same direction, would it be possible to maintain the adjustm ent or congruence at the normative and psychosocial levels. The phys­ ical circum stances within which the social structure operates would also have to undergo congruent transform ations. The m ost frequent situation is asynchronism , the loss o f adjustm ent on some or all three levels, causing disinte­ gration.5 This disintegrative process may be perceived from a num ber o f conflict­ ing perspectives; the conflict may concern both the mere diagnosis o f the process (meaning and orientation o f change) and its valuational (or ideologi­ cal) analysis (the m ost desirable type o f social change). Two opposite points o f view may arise: (1) that o f the structure from which the change operates; and (2) th at o f the structure toward which the change is oriented. Each of these perspectives gives rise to attitudes o f acceptance or rejection o f the proc-



ess. When change is viewed from the point o f view o f some future structure, other divergencies may arise: different diagnoses regarding the orientation of the process itself (i.e., what type o f society or partial structure is going to re­ sult from the change), and different concepts concerning the structural model toward which the tendency ought to lead. These are precisely the divergent points o f view which occur in the form o f contrasting political ideologies. THE CYCLE OF SOCIAL MOBILIZATION Mobilization is defined as a cycle o f rapid social change constituted by sev­ eral analytically different moments, but which empirically may occur succes­ sively or simultaneously. The moments are: (1) a state o f integration (within a specific structural pattern); (2) a process o f breakdown or disintegration (af­ fecting some aspect o f the existing structure); (3) displacement or release of individual (and social groups); (4) response to the release (withdrawal or avail­ ability, i.e., psychological mobilization); (5) objective mobilization (actual manifest behavior); and (6) integration, which may occur within a modified structure differing to some degree from the preexisting structure. When the modification is slight, and it is the mobilized groups which adjust to the exist­ ing dominant structure (normative and environmental levels), we can speak o f reintegration through assimilation. When it is the previous dominant structure (and its hegeonomic groups) which changes considerably, then reintegration has occurred through major social change. In both cases the mobilized groups are legitimately integrated into society. Finally, if the mobilized group is force­ fully obliged to accept or comply to the preexisting normative structure and be satisfied with the preexisting environmental level, then a more proper term would be reintegration through demobilization. The cycle o f mobilization is com pleted when from the initial integration and beginnings o f disintegration a state o f reintegration is achieved in one way or another (often a com bination o f the possibilities m entioned above). Other types o f phases may also be distinguished in the cycle: phases o f differ­ ent intensity and/or speed in the structural change, preceding or accompany­ ing social mobilization, or differing intensity and speed of psychosocial change, in terms o f rise o f awareness, ideologization (if any), overt behavior modifica­ tion, and organized or nonorganized action. Taking into account the contin­ uous flow o f change going on in every society and the acceleration charac­ terizing the cycle o f m obilization, we can usually distinguish a first phase of preconditioning, during which structural changes occur at a faster rate than usual but are not clearly perceived. During these phases the majority o f con­ temporary actors are not aware that fast and im portant cultural and/or social changes are taking place and that major societal modifications are building up. These will be dramatically perceived in a successive phase, perhaps triggered by a traum atic event, in which the rate o f change is even more accelerated, particularly at the psychosocial and behavioral levels. In this phase social and



political action becomes p rom inent; religious or ideological conflicts explode, followed or not by violence b u t nearly always by institutional change. We may call this second phase (or phases) o f overt psychosocial and behavioral m obilization the “ acu te” phase, in contrast w ith the “preconditioning” one. Both types o f phases may differ greatly, or even be interrupted by periods of stasis (very slow or norm al social change) caused either by the particular his­ torical course or by the outcom e reached by the process (i.e., demobiliza­ tion). There may be overlapping o f phases, such as a psychosocial acute phase taking place sim ultaneously with an acute phase o f structural change. In any case, discontinuities between phases, changes in rates o f acceleration or in their intensity as well as the scale o f changes will significandy affect the nature and outcom e o f the process. Before considering other aspects o f the process, some clarification should be introduced regarding the causes o f social m obilization. A satisfactory analy­ sis o f this problem would be beyond the scope o f this discussion, since it would involve a com plete theory o f social change. I shall lim it myself to state that both structural (cultural and social) changes and psychosocial ones must intervene. The process is best described as a chain o f interrelated factors in which none o f them taken in isolation can be considered the cause. It is not only a question o f generic m ulticausality, b u t o f specific configuration of com ponent factors which may vary under different historical (cultural and social) conditions. Structural changes may generate m odifications in the condition o f life (role-set) o f large sectors o f the population; but a rise of awareness m ust take place for behavior changes to occur. Such changes do not necessarily or autom atically follow structural change: ideologization (diffusion o f new ideas and attitudes) may be another precondition. Converse­ ly, propaganda, indoctrination, education, deliberate resocialization (as in the case o f mobilization from above) are n o t likely to be transform ed into powerful psychosocial drives towards new form s o f behavior, organized or unorganized, or into collective action endow ed with the necessary strength and persistence to produce institutional changes, w ithout the basis o f struc­ tural change. These changes may have occurred w ithout individuals* awareness —as during the preconditioning phase—but it m ust be sufficient to create a strong propensity for new ideas, attitudes, m otivations, and behavior patterns, so that when an external stimulus is received, it will generate a dynamic re­ sponse. O ften a traum atic event constitutes the precipitating factor in the onset o f the acute phase o f m obilization, usually at the psychosocial level, but sometimes at the structural level as well. In Argentina and elsewhere, the crisis o f 1929 and the Great Depression represented a traum atic event which created a strong acceleration o f both structural and psychosocial changes. World War I had similar effects in Europe, particularly in Italy and in Central and Eastern Europe. In any case, both the structural and the psychosocial levels m ust be deeply affected, but the patterns o f the process will depend on the particular sequence, delays and discontinuities, and overlappings in



which these changes occur. At the present state o f knowledge no generaliza­ tion may be advanced, except perhaps that the lower the awareness during the preconditioning period, and the less expected and the more intense the change in acceleration, the more traum atic the precipitating event is likely to be. In such a case, m obilization is likely to take some form o f collective behav­ ior-m ajo r historical revolutions have been characterized by these conditions. In another case, such as the structural and psychosocial changes causing mass migration, the rate o f m obilization may be much slower and the changes less cataclysmic, but a process o f disintegration and reintegration will nonetheless take place. In the course o f national development o f most if not all societies, several cycles o f m obilization occur, and in analyzing any one o f them it is necessary to take into account the preceding one, if any. ASPECTS AND FORMS OF MOBILIZATION, DISINTEGRATION, AND INTEGRATION When a group is integrated it will function in a normal manner within so­ ciety; its participation will be that predicted and expected in line with the normative structure. In view o f the internalized expectations and as a result of environmental circumstances, the roles, expectations, and attitudes within various spheres o f behavior will be legitimized and will be so perceived by the other groups in society. Such normality does not imply absence o f con­ flicts. It means that the conflicts will be those predicted and expected by the normative and psychosocial structure. Different types o f social structures may be characterized by different degrees and forms o f participation of the var­ ious groups in multiple spheres o f human activity. In particular, in traditional societies participation o f a m ajority o f the population is restricted with re­ spect to: (a) geographic location (limited to small communites); (b) occupa­ tion (isolation in the economic sector); (c) power (e.g. nonparticipation in political decision making); and (d) access, in terms o f knowledge, experience, and enjoym ent, to the material and non-material culture o f the larger society (as occurs when a considerable portion o f the inhabitants is limited to the confines o f their respective folk cultures). Industrial society is characterized by a high and increasing degree o f mass participation in many social activities at the national level. Traditional and industrial societies, therefore, have different kinds o f integration. But in both cases the extent and nature o f participation will correspond to role expecta­ tions and will be legitimate and accepted by the various groups. In both types of societies environmental circumstances will be sufficient to ensure the de­ gree o f participation normatively and psychologically expected. It is im portant to distinguish this type o f integrated participation from nonintegrated participation. The former takes place under conditions o f nor­ mative, psychological, and environmental integration. The latter occurs when there is no correspondence between the degree, form, and extension of par­ ticipation required or tolerated by prevailing norms (and powerful sectors o f



society), and th at which actually takes place. This lack o f correspondence may result in tw o opposite situations, either one o f excess or one o f deficien­ cy, in term s o f norm atively and psychologically expected participation or the participation which is possible in term s o f existing environm ental circumstan­ ces. The concept o f m obilization results from the application o f this distinc­ tion together with the ideas developed in preceding paragraphs. All social change, to the ex ten t th a t it is characterized by lags or asynchronisms, implies disintegration or loss o f integration, perceptible both from the point o f view o f the preceding structure and from th a t o f the desired or anti­ cipated structure. The process o f participation implies th a t groups affected by change relinquish the level, degree, or form o f integrated participation, and move on to other types o f activity n o t dem anded or tolerated by the norma­ tive and psychosocial structure o f society prior to the change, or by groups which have n o t been affected or have been affected in a different way by the process. Change in participation may im ply either a reduction or an increase in its level and extension. A group may find itself displaced in relation to a preexistent structure. This displacem ent m ay initiate withdrawal, apathy, abandonm ent o f activities, or on the contrary, availability for increased par­ ticipation or for changes in its nature. O f special im portance in the analysis o f social transition is the increase an d /o r change in the nature o f participa­ tion. This process we call “m obilization,” defined as the excess (in degree, extent , or form ) o f group participation in relation to the level considered

normal by the old society. There is an im portant distinction betw een psychological and objective mobilization. The first is w hat is really im plied in the concept o f availability, that is, readiness for an active response, in term s o f an increase or change in participation. In more general term s it could also be defined as an active propensity to reestablish the equilibrium betw een the psychosocial and the normative and environmental levels, which m ay involve a change in social structure (in its norms and environment). Objective m obilization is the ex­ pression o f the active response in term s o f actual behavior (for instance mi­ gration to the city, participation in a new political or social movement). Objective and psychological m obilization often occur sim ultaneously. But psychological mobilization may precede its objective expression. An opposite phenom enon may also take place: environm ental changes may produce a dis­ placement in the group, which is forced to some objective m obilization (for instance, emigration from a rural area). Only later, insofar as the group reacts with changes in attitudes to the physical displacem ent, does psychological m obilization take place (as a kind o f new awareness). In any case the distinc­ tion is necessary insofar as objective and psychological m obilization may occur at different times. In some cases psychological m obilization is translated into action (objective m obilization) only if and when another active stimulus in­ tervenes, for instance an elite, which gives expression and leadership to a so­ cial movement.



The term excess is used not only to emphasize that the change in role-set (participation) implies a substitution o f some roles for others, but above all includes the invasion o f roles which had been reserved for other sectors of so­ ciety. Change in the degree and com position o f participation (like the roleset) could be expressed in a more general and neutral way w ithout emphasizing the aspect o f invasion in the exercise o f roles thus far denied to the group be­ ing mobilized. It is preferable to use a more highly loaded concept, to high­ light two im portant facts in the analysis o f the process o f transition: (1) the expansion in participation and (2) the fact that expansion frequently appears as invasion o f roles and statuses previously reserved to other groups. The notion o f defective or negative participation in relation to expected and normatively legitimate participation is used in the present scheme to point out the possible anomic effects o f disintegration on certain groups and in certain aspects o f behavior manifested in terms of withdrawal or apathy. This defective participation can be observed (1) from the point o f view of the level o f participation normatively expected in the disintegrating social structure or (2) in relation to new types o f participation which could be expected in terms o f the emerging social structure. An example o f the first case could be a lack o f religious participation. An example o f the second is found in the delay with which recent immigrants, transformed from peasants into industrial workers, participate in labor-union or political activities. The process o f m obilization is closely related to social mobility. In cer­ tain circumstances some types o f m obility can be considered as special forms of mobilization. But this concept is much broader and implies a different per­ spective. First, while m obilization includes any form o f displacement—hori­ zontal, vertical, etc.—social mobility only refers to a displacement—ascending or descending—in the system o f stratification. In this sense the concept of social mobility is much more restricted than mobilization. Second, upward or downward m obility implies the abandonm ent o f a certain status and the acquisition of a new one, corresponding to positions higher or lower than those occupied before. In mobilization a new status can be acquired with­ out loss o f the old, or a previous status can be lost w ithout acquiring a new one. Third, there are certain forms o f mobility clearly different from mobili­ zation, as in the case o f individual m obility. Let us remember the distinction between exchange m obility (or m obility by replacement), in which some in­ dividuals ascend replacing others who are descending, and collective mobility, the mass mobility which affects entire strata, ascending or descending. The first is a phenom enon clearly different from mobilization. In the second, collective mobility can in certain circumstances be considered a special form of mobilization. More specifically, collective mobility can be thought of as mobilization when we are dealing with an intragenerational process (and in some cases an intergenerational one) which occurs very rapidly and which was neither expected nor predicted by the normative structure of society or by the internalized attitudes o f other groups, especially hegemonic



groups. When a stratum , because o f stru ctu ral alterations or psychosocial changes, is displaced rapidly (w ithin one or tw o generations) from its posi­ tion inside the system o f social stratificatio n , and this displacement is not part o f a legitim ate m echanism for change, then vertical m obility presents a special case o f m obilization. If collective vertical m obility is normatively ac­ cepted, we cannot speak o f m obilization. This w ould be the case with mobility by growing participation, a norm al process in developed countries, where social m obility has acquired the character o f a self-sustained mechanism. (We are dealing here with integrated m obility, which occurs in the type of society which includes it in its norm ative system , internalizes it as an attitude and m otivation, and furtherm ore provides real o pportunities for its realiza­ tion.)6 In contrast, de facto m obility, which is n o t legitim ized by operating social norms and is n o t integrated, co n stitutes a phenom enon o f mobilization when it is collective m obility, rather than merely a case o f individual devia­ tion. Analogous distinctions may be applied when considering ecological m obility (i.e., migration). Certain forms o f m igration are clearly a form of m obilization, while others are norm al processes, th at is, they do not involve rapid change. The form er are those forms o f mass m igration involving the abandonm ent o f the preexisting way o f life and the acquisition o f a different one. This is typically the case in rural to urban m igration. Som etim es this type o f demographic m ovem ent takes place w ithout the in tention on the part of the emigrant group to change its way o f life. For instance, in the past the overseas emigration o f rural population from Europe had as the main or only purpose to earn enough money to buy land in the m other country and resume the traditional way o f life. However, the psychosocial displacem ent caused by the emigration itself operated as a traum atic event conducive either to social m obilization or to personal disorganization. In the form er case the emigrant experiences a psychosocial, change, is m obilized into new forms o f participa­ tion, and may even turn out to act as a dynam ic agent o f change for the host society, as occurred in some Latin American countries. W hatever the initial intentions and expectations, mass migration represents a form o f mobilization. The impulse to recover the traditional way o f life, the decision to emigrate in a social setting where emigration is not an established p attern , is always a sym ptom o f some breakdown in the traditional structure, displacem ent and availability for new behavior (emigration being a form o f nonhabitual behav­ ior). A different situation occurs with forms o f m igration institutionalized at the normative level, expected at the psychosocial level, and possible and re­ quired at the environm ental level. These are the cases o f nom adic people, o f seasonal migration, and m odern geographic m obility. With the latter, the physical space which the individual considers his natural, legitim ate, or ex­ pected habitat is now much larger than the local com m unity, being instead the whole nation, and for an increasing variety o f occupational groups, other larger supranational areas, whose limits and scope are given by occupational



or professional networks. In this sense individuals are located in a profes­ sion or occupation rather than in a city or even a nation. Their base may be in one place or another, but they are always ready to move, and their personal life is adjusted to it. This case is similar to the self-sustained social mobility discussed above. It does not involve structural change, since it is one of the characteristics o f the structure o f this particular society that in­ dividuals and groups cease to be rooted in a limited geographical space to become located in a functional network covering a very large space, national or international. As an ideal type mobilization is a cycle, starting with original integra­ tion in a given type o f social structure and ending with reintegration in a new type o f social structure, passing through stages o f disintegration, avail­ ability and readiness for new forms o f participation, and achievement of such new forms both actually and normatively. However, reintegration may fail because o f successful opposition by other groups, so that mobilization is canceled through demobilization. Or, reintegration may be achieved with minimal changes through assimilation. Any other legitimate, expected, and normally recurrent changes in type o f participation do not constitute mobili­ zation as defined here. The cycle of mobilization is characterized by an initial disintegration of the preexisting structure, or by a traum atic event causing the displace­ ment of entire social groups or sectors (of masses or elites) with regard to the social space (role-set) previously allocated to them. When such displace­ ment results in availability and this turns into a different kind of participa­ tion-m o re intense or in spheres previously closed to them —can we speak of mobilization. When changes have occurred which permit legitimization and also offer effective possibilities for the realization of this increased de­ gree of participation o f the mobilized groups, we can speak o f integration. Reintegration may result from assimilation (modification o f the mobilized sector so that it acquires the necessary traits to win the acceptance of the hegemonic groups, and be legitimized in the social structure) or from struc­ tural change (modification of the social structure to make the new partici­ pation possible, that is, viable and normatively and psychosocially legitimate). But it may also fail and the whole process be closed by demobilization. We have distinguished various “m om ents” of the process. They may take place in a temporal sequence (and frequently do). For instance, first a struc­ tural change (or traum atic event), then displacement, etc. But there will always be overlapping, delays, sim ultaneity, and other variations. They must be considered analytical m om ents rather than empirical stages. In any case, in accordance with the general phenom enon o f asynchronism, simultaneity occurs very rarely. In the first phase, some groups become available through the partial disintegration o f certain sectors of the preexisting society, and when they respond with additional active participation in any sector not corresponding to their sphere o f participation in the previous structure,



we can say th at they have been m obilized. This active response will not necessarily occur, and another possible alternative is apathy. Because o f the asynchronous nature o f change, displacem ent, mobiliza­ tion, and integration m ay n o t occur at the same time in all sectors of be­ havior in the same social group (or in all sectors o f the structure in which the group participates). The result is th a t very different situations may co­ exist: displacem ent with apathy in certain sectors, m obilization in others, integrated participation in some spheres o f action, and persistence of the previous pattern in the rem ainder. This scheme simplifies the actual proc­ esses th at occur, because even w ithin w hat we consider analytically as a given area o f behavior (such as w ork, the fam ily, political activity, recrea­ tion, etc.), one may have com binations o f old and new elements. This phe­ nom enon, which has elsewhere been term ed the “ fusion effect,” 7 is present in many transitional situations. This variety o f possibilities is influenced by the causes o f and forms taken by availability and m obilization (when and if the form er leads to the latter). In principle, availability arises from the loss o f integration in one or more o f the three levels m entioned in the definitions: (1) alteration in the internal correspondence among socially valid norm s; (2) alteration in the correspondence betw een norm s on the one hand and internalized atti­ tudes on the other; (3) alteration betw een norm s and attitudes on the one hand, and effective possibilities o f application on the other. The specific forms which these phenom ena may assume are extrem ely varied, and al­ though the process may begin on any o f the three levels, it will always tend to extend to the others. In each instance there are tw o essential aspects which should be men­ tioned. In the first place, availability will always imply th at somehow a loss o f correspondence has directly or indirectly affected the level of at­ titudes; and in the second place, whatever may be the particular sector o f attitudes in which the loss o f adjustm ent has taken place, it will tend to extend more or less rapidly to other fields. These m inimal and generic assertions merely indicate th at the groups affected m ust notice the change and perceive it as an alteration which makes form ed prescriptions inap­ plicable. Such an alteration can be m atched by form s o f anom ic and in­ dividual disorganization or by attitudes which tend to construct new roles implying participation, and it is this active response th at we call mobili­ zation. Within this scheme we do not necessarily assign causal priority to objec­ tive changes (in the normative system or environm ental circumstances) over subjective ones (alterations in attitudes or internalized roles). An in­ creased level o f com m unication o f ideas may become one o f the causal factors no less than objective alterations in the population equilibrium , economic structure, etc. These are always circular processes in which changes on one level stim ulate and facilitate changes on other levels, which may in



turn react on the former. These reactive processes can facilitate or inhibit further circular causation o f changes with in the social structure. MOBILIZATION AND CONFLICT: COUNTERMOBILIZATION, SECONDARY MOBILIZATION, DEMOBILIZATION, AND MOBILIZATION FROM ABOVE The notion o f secondary m obilization—mobilization within already modernized structures—as well as the concept o f demobilization are particu­ larly related to conflicts originating from mobilization processes during the transition towards m odernity or in already advanced societies. Secondary mobilization often occurs as a reaction to the primary mobilization o f ex­ cluded or partially marginal sectors. That is, it corresponds to counterm o­ bilization. The classic case is the displacement affecting the European middle classes in the 1920s due to inflation and proletarianization. Their active answer to the impact o f displacement was a form o f mobilization which originated a new political movement: facism. O ther illustrations are the reaction o f an already established working class to newcomers, immigrants from abroad or other ethnic groups from different regions o f the same country, or the activation o f marginal sectors which had hitherto passively accepted exclusion, segregation, or discrimination. The reaction does not always develop into a process o f full m obilization: this depends a great deal on the nature o f the society, historical epoch, rate o f assimilation o f sectors in the process o f primary m obilization, and/or the rate o f creation o f the necessary symbolic and nonsymbolic resources to make viable new forms of participation. Also, counterm obilization is not always antidemocratic in ideology or conscious intention. The counterm obilization of the Argentine middle class against the primary m obilization o f the lower class was be­ lieved to be, and in a certain sense really was, ideologically democratic. However, to use a term o f Marxist jargon, it also partly served antidemocratic, elitist interests. Because both types o f mobilization belong to the same general category, many writers have failed to introduce the distinction, considering primary and secondary m obilization to be the same. This may lead to very serious errors o f judgm ent. Movements generated on the basis of primary m obilization are very different from those caused by secondary mobilization. Demobilization m ust also be defined in terms o f conflicts. In the course o f the process some social groups may oppose the m obilization of others, or even feel threatened by their already legitimized participation in certain areas of the social structure. If they succeed in the struggle they will try to reestab­ lish the status quo, that is, to demobilize recently mobilized or participating sectors. This has occurred several times in recent history in Europe and Amer­ ica. Fascism based on the secondary m obilization o f the middle classes (and the power o f the elite) achieved the dem obilization o f the lower classes. In



Latin America, many m ilitary m ovem ents after the 1930s were aimed at the dem obilization, in one way or anoth er, o f the m iddle or lower classes, depend­ ing on circum stances. (For instance, the m ilitary coup o f 1930 in Argentina was an attem p t to dem obilize the m iddle class, as was the military interven­ tion against APRA in Peru. The 1945 coup against Vargas, the 1955 coup against Peron, and m any successive m ilitary coups in both countries were staged as attem pts to demobilize the w orking class.) Particularly since the mid­ sixties, m ilitary dem obilizing coups sup p o rted by secondary mobilization (counterm obilization) o f the m iddle classes and established elites, became again particularly frequent: such are the cases o f the Ongama regime in Ar­ gentina (which failed), the 1964 coup in Brazil (which succeeded), and the Chilean coup o f 1973, which m ost closely resem bled the classic fascist case, particularly in its Spanish version. Elsew here8 I have advanced the hypothe­ sis th at many Latin American countries are passing through a stage o f nation­ al developm ent similar to the situation o f Europe betw een the two world wars. In th at epoch the middle classes, under the double th reat from below (rising m obilized working classes) and from above (increasing economic concentration and capital m onopoly), becam e the basis for countermobilizing regimes, or at least provided civilian support. A nother form is m obilization from above: the deliberate attem pt to in­ duce large sectors o f the population, or all o f it, in to some form o f social, often political, participation. This is so w idespread, particularly in develop­ ing countries, th at the term m obilization regimes is often used. This is not the place to elaborate on such a com plex phenom en o n ;how ever, it is essential to note th at two different meanings may be found in it. The first is direcdy re­ lated to the will to m odernize: this is the case o f m odernizing authoritarian regimes in very traditional countries, where m odern nation building must start from tribal society or from advanced cultures which differ considerably from Western culture and m odern society. The second purpose is to signifi­ cantly or radically modify the ideological orientation, and even the basic per­ sonality, o f large sectors o f the population or even its totality . Its first appear­ ance came with the fascist totalitarian regimes, where the essential aim of a stricdy controlled m obilization from above was to generate an active con­ sensus in those groups whose dem obilization had been violendy imposed. That is, the aim was to transform the lower classes from a M arxist antination­ al, anticapitalist ideology to a nationalist one, with some kind o f participa­ tion aimed at increasing productivity and obedience, with a rigid or militaris­ tic hierarchical subordination to the upper classes and under the total control o f the state. Certainly in some cases fascism took authoritarian rather than totalitarian forms; that is, it was more concerned with the neutralization of the rebellious lower strata, trying to achieve their reconversion from citizens to subjects. This was the case o f Spain, for instance, and some o f the military bureaucratic regimes in Latin America (no-party system ).9 Typically, fascism takes a totalitarian form , th at is, a new kind o f authoritarianism (quite differ-



ent from the traditional one) in which the functional requirements of an in­ dustrial structure demand the active intervention o f many people in the com­ plex machinery of the technological society. From these demands stems a contradiction: on the one hand, the need to demobilize and control the pop­ ulation, while on the other, the need to obtain the active and creative coop­ eration o f many people in activities requiring some autonom y, choices, and decision making. Hence the attem pt to resocialize adults (and socialize the young), radically transforming their personality, creating the “fascist m an.” In this respect totalitarianism as a sociopolitical form o f organization may be applied to a variety o f ideological orientations: fascism, national socialism, soviet type o f communism, and others, though the raison d ’etre, o f these regimes may vary a great deal and even be opposed to one another. What they have in common is the totalitarian form and the attem pt at mobilization from above.10 DISPLACEMENT, AVAILABILITY, AND MOBILIZATION OF ELITES The terms elite and mass are imprecise, and a detailed analysis would re­ quire a rigorous definition. But for present purposes, let us simply state that by the first term we mean the groups and individuals at the top o f the various institutions and hum an activities, and by the second term, the bulk of the people. Perhaps this distinction could be given a simple statistical ex­ pression, such as referring to the top 10 or 15 percent as opposed to all the rest. In any case, it is understood that the “ to p ” does not necessarily coin­ cide with the higher levels in the stratification system. Some persons or groups may be at the top o f given activities or institutions and at the same time fail to belong to the higher social classes. Furtherm ore, in the defini­ tion we include potential elites and counterelites, that is, groups which in the present structure are not located in privileged or top positions, but which because o f their leadership o f some segment o f the population, may eventually reach those top positions, or at least attem pt a collective action to reach them . We are pointing here to a very im portant factor in the behav­ ior o f elites: their congruent or incongruent position within the system of stratification (the well-known case o f the successful businessman deprived of political power or prestige, the impoverished aristocracy, the proletarianized intellectual, and so forth). With this definition in m ind we see that the mechanisms o f release from the previous social structure, availability, apathy, mobilization and rein­ tegration apply both to masses and elites. It is true that in many discussions of mobilization the term seems to be specially used in relation to the former; however, the disintegration o f the preexisting structure may well affect elite groups; they may find themselves displaced and react by withdrawal, apathy, or by different forms and extent o f participation. Such participation may be legitimate or not, accepted or conflictive.



The role o f a displaced or partially displaced elite in social change and es­ pecially in the process o f m odernization has been emphasized in various theories. Blocked m obility, status incongruency, w ithdraw al o f status respect, are assumed to create in one way or an o th er partially subordinate groups. These well-known concepts refer to the same processes o f displacement, avail­ ability, and m obilization discussed here. B ut we m ust rem em ber that leader­ ship may also be provided by integrated elites, by groups fully established w ithin the existing social order. In the process o f m obilization (and som etim es also in the stage of release and disintegration) elites generally assume th e m ost active role; theirs is the initiative, leadership, and eventually the organization (when the process has an organized expression at all). B ut this statem en t is still imprecise and ambig­ uous; it is based on the assum ption o f the functional necessity o f an innova­ tive elite, or o f leaders for any change to occur, failing to clarify the origin and nature o f such an elite, its specific role and its relations to the mass of the followers. Also the very assum ption o f the functional requirem ent of an elite could be questioned. A related problem here concerns the induced, spon­ taneous, or m ixed nature o f the whole process or o f some o f its stages. The role o f elites will be quite different in a situation o f spontaneous change than in one caused by varying degrees o f planning or deliberate inducem ent. One o f the m ost com m on situations is the release and availability o f large sectors o f the population as a consequence o f spontaneous changes in society; th at is, a situation in which whatever the factors o f change may have been, its consequences on the release and availability o f certain groups were neither ex­ pected nor foreseen. In such a situation we may distinguish three different forms in which conversion from availability in to m obilization may occur: (1) through the intervention o f an external elite; (2) through the generation o f an internal elite; or (3) as a leaderless process. In the first case the elite is provided by outside groups or categories of the population (that is, not belonging to released sectors) which assume the leader­ ship and the necessary ideological weapons inducing m obilization among the available masses. The elite itself may be a displaced group in a situation of availability, b u t in any case its differentiation from the available masses ante­ dated the situation o f release and availability. Or the external elite could be a well-established group, which may find it convenient to lead the mobilization o f the displaced large sectors in order to integrate them into the status quo and/or use them as an instrum ent in their conflicts with other groups. In the second case no outside elite will intervene and the leadership which will activate the released and available large sectors into m obilization is gener­ ated from inside. Here the elite is differentiated after or sim ultaneously with the process o f release, possibly as another consequence o f this same process. Finally, certain forms o f mobilization may occur w ithout the intervention o f a clearly differentiated leadership, Rural-urban m igrations—som etim es con-



sidered a substitute for revolution—or a good illustration of such a leaderless process, as are the rise o f new aspirations, strivings for social m obility, needs, attitudes, and behavior patterns which provide some concrete orientation for the displaced masses, giving them the means o f expressing in a structured way new participation patterns and channeling them into positive reaction instead of withdrawal and apathy. Even in this case the process requires the media­ tion of innovators, the personal influence o f informal leaders, but we do not refer to them as an elite insofar as they are not clearly differentiated and still operate at the primary group level. Similar situations may be found in the case of other types o f nonpolitical m obilization, such as social banditry, millenarian or other religious movements, and forms o f collective behavior (insofar as they may be an expression o f social mobilization). In any process o f mobilization the three forms will combine in different proportions and some im portant aspects o f the process itself will vary accord­ ing to the type of com bination. The nature o f such a process will be condi­ tioned by the existence, nature, and availability o f elites in relation to the existence, nature, and availability o f larger sectors o f the population. The combination o f available (and mobilized) elites and o f available (and at least mobilizable) masses seems to provide the most favorable conditions for the appearance of radical anti-status quo political movements. For example, it has been argued, according to a well-known thesis, that a truly revolutionary movement will always require the intervention o f an outside elite provided by intellectuals, “ the educated representatives o f the propertied classes.** Even this thesis does not deny the alternative o f an internal elite, but the movement arising from it will be quite different.11 The requirement o f an outside elite for channeling a process o f mobiliza­ tion into a political movement will vary according to the characteristics o f the mass sectors involved and the speed o f the process. This may explain differences between lower-class movements in countries industrialized earlier and those presently developing. In the former, the importance o f internal elites was perhaps greater, even if outside leadership was provided and did have a role. In the latter, the internal differentiation o f a “working-class aristocracy** becomes very difficult because o f the more traditional char­ acter of available sectors and the speed o f the process. Also, the existence of an available elite ready to assume leadership o f available large sectors may speed up the crystallization o f a political movement, and prevent the spon­ taneous form ation o f an internal elite which otherwise could have occurred much more slowly in the absence o f external intervention. While under certain conditions the existence o f available elites is not a necessary requirement for the political mobilization o f the larger strata in a situation o f availability, the opposite situation—available and mobilized elites without potential masses o f followers—is not likely to give rise to large ideo­ logical and political movements. The political action o f the mobilized elite



must take some other form , if any at all. An im p o rtan t aspect is the ability of elites to perceive the situation correctly, their realism or utopianism. Utop­ ian approaches to political action may tu rn o u t to be the m ost realistic ones under certain circum stances. But in a situation in which m ost o f the popula­ tion is still integrated in to the existing social order, the political possibilities of a displaced and m obilized elite group will be lim ited. The only realistic procedure to originate a large mass m ovem ent w ould be to induce the dis­ integration o f the existing social order and cause the release o f large sectors. Illustrations o f these various cases are found in m any guerrilla movements, particularly when they acquire considerable im portance, as in the case of Argentina since 1973. Even in the absence o f an available and m obilized elite or o f other leader­ ship groups provided by an established elite, the m obilization process may well originate an internal leadership or assume some other spontaneous lead­ erless form. CONDITIONS FO R POLITICAL O R NONPOLITICAL EXPRESSION OF MOBILIZATION: THE ROLE O F IDEOLOGIES, STRUCTURAL CHANGE, AND COLLECTIVE BEHAVIOR In the preceding sections m ost o f the discussion was conducted on the im­ plicit assum ption o f the political m eaning o f social m obilization. While it is true that this process, whichever its kind or form , always has direct or indirect political im plications, in some cases social m obilization acquires a dominant and direct political expression, while in other instances this will be lacking. Given the very general definition I have adopted and the abstract level of the present approach, it would be difficult, if n o t im possible, to form ulate a con­ ceptual framework sufficient to clarify under which set o f possible conditions a process o f social m obilization will be translated in to direct political expres­ sion, and under which different conditions the process will assume other forms perhaps indirectly related to politics. Therefore this section will be limited to a few general observations on the topic. It has long been recognized, by politicians and political scientists that a mobilized or mobilizing group can be neutralized or deviated from direct political expression by providing it with alternative outlets. T hat is, the readi­ ness for different forms o f participation may be absorbed into nonpolitical channels by offering the possibility o f acting o u t new roles adequate to the new expectations. Emigration is perhaps the best o f such alternate channels, particularly rural to urban m igration. Spain, Italy, Ireland, and other Euro­ pean countries found in overseas emigration the safety valve to release the pressure o f actual or potential m obilization o f large sectors o f marginal “surplus” population. In the present Latin American situation as well as in several countries in post-World War II Europe, large m igration from less de­ veloped to more advanced areas was one o f the major expressions o f mass



social mobilization. The recently inmigrated sectors in the urban centers may provide the social basis o f im portant political movements, but this outcome is not autom atically caused by migration. O ther essential con­ ditions must obtain, and the nature and scope o f the political expression to be taken by the m obilization process will depend on these conditions. The urban migrant is not particularly prone to participate in political move­ ments or to express politically his propensity for increased participation.12 Closely related to migration and in conjunction with it, various forms of mass social m obility may function as adequate channels for the absorption of mobilized sectors. Here the structural change is provided by the produc­ tive system, and often by some redistribution o f income. Through increase in the access to goods and services and to status symbols (through consump­ tion and/or educational and occupational upgrading), the mobilized masses are absorbed into the national society. Here integration occurs through as­ similation, which in turn is made possible through the expansion of society, which often assumes the form o f a veritable change o f scale. The whole pro­ cess will have political implications, but not necessarily direct political ex­ pression, such as a new movement, party, or regime, or a drastic change in political alignments. Before coming to a brief analysis o f the conditions required to transform these types o f social mobilization into political mo­ bilization, it is convenient to m ention two other forms of the process which lack direct political meaning. They are found most often in nonmodern societies and are the outcom e o f traditional m obilization, typically occurring in rural settings, b u t also to be observed sometimes in urban areas. I refer here to millenarian movements or other similar religious or quasi-religious phe­ nomena, as well as to social banditry. Both may turn into full-fledged politi­ cal movements, which often include religious or millenarian components, as well as expressions which could be compared to social banditry. The same process o f social m obilization under different circumstances may turn into a political movement, a millenarian cult, or give rise to forms o f social banditry. There are examples o f mixed types in which all these components coexist. What makes the difference, in addition to the general nature o f the historical and social context, is the presence and characteristics o f two key factors: elites and ideologies. Often the process o f mobilization, especially when following a precipitating event, may originate various forms o f collective behavior. This phenomenon is closely related to social m obilization as defined here, and for some authors it seems to coincide with it as a process o f déstructuration and restructuration of social action,13 that is, o f behavioral and institutional innovation. How­ ever, collective behavior usually refers more directly to the m om ent o f acute behavioral mobilization (political or nonpolitical), through a wide range o f observable phenom ena. Their m ost typical traits are: large number o f people involved (crowds, mob action, panic,riots, fads, fashions, etc.);overt behavior sharply deviating from institutionalized norms and values and causing wide,



highly visible social disturbances o f short d u ratio n; although indirectly they may originate new institutions or new form s o f social structure, their outcome is not structural change unless through the m ediation o f an organized political movement. Collective behavior per se is n o t a cause o f social and cultural structural innovation or social change as defined here. Social mobilization, instead, is conceived here both more restrictively and more extensively than this definition o f collective behavior. It is m ore comprehensive insofar as it includes the m om ent o f structural changes, both as a cause and as conse­ quence, b u t it is more restrictive because it always involves demands for the institutionalization o f new forms o f participation or the legitimization of a different role-set allocated to some sectors o f the national society. Its conse­ quences are more enduring, while such collective behavior as m ob actions or riots may remain sporadic events which do not introduce any noticeable change in the social structure as a whole or in to partial structures, nor cause institutional changes unless they give rise to a political and social movement firmly based on the stable psychological and structural form ations preceding and accompanying the m obilization process. The theoretical framework o f social m obilization m ust include explicit references to collective behavior, since in its acute phase it will originate phe­ nom ena o f this type;how ever, to produce lasting effects in the social structure and the institutional configuration, these phenom ena m ust evolve into social and/or political organization and action; th at is, they m ust become institu­ tionalized. And finally, such institutionalized action m ust give legitimization to the new role-set and new types o f participation. The political culture o f the country is an im portant determ ining condition for the form to be assumed by mobilization (psychological and behavioral) and its outcom e (be this assimilation, reintegration, or dem obilization). No abstract generalization may be advanced at this point. It can only be stated that with the same type o f structural changes and psychosocial mobilization, quite different political expressions may be originated depending on the nature o f the preexistent (and still operating) political culture, both in the mobiliz­ ing groups and other relevant sectors o f society. MOBILIZATION AND INTEGRATION AS SOURCES O F TENSION (WITH SPECIAL REGARD TO THE LATIN AMERICAN SITUATION) The three phenom ena which we have endeavored to define—availability, mobilization, and integration—may now be taken as starting points for the analysis o f tensions, to the extent that they center around the fact o f a sudden active participation o f groups formerly characterized by their passivity, (or routine conform ity to their normatively patterned and expected role-set). This awakening is perceived (and received) by the various sectors o f the pop­ ulation in different ways, and in their attitudes in this respect—often in vio­ lent contrast or opposition to one another—one main source o f tensions is



found. The term revolution o f growing expectations refers to facts o f this type. The analysis thus far has been aimed at formulating the meaning o f this process with a certain am ount o f precision, and relating it to change as a whole. Our purpose has also been to stress th at this revolution o f expectations is by no means restricted to economic sectors, to a demand for higher levels of consum ption. It is all o f this, b u t much more: it is a new attitude o f gen­ eralized participation which enters into conflict with preexisting attitudes, and also with the empirical possibilities o f finding relatively adequate satis­ factions. Interpretation in the strict economic sense o f growing expectations of large sectors o f the population in Latin America is a source o f serious misunderstanding and error, not only by dom inant national elites but also by many foreign observers. This m isunderstanding leads to the appraisal o f the success or failure o f a m ovem ent merely on the basis o f what it offers in terms of economic im provem ent. However, what might be term ed an “experience in participation ” in other spheres (often a mere illusion o f participation) may be as effective in assuring the support o f recently mobilized groups as an expansion in consum ption. Intergroup tensions and conflicts depend upon two kinds o f variables. The first is related to group structure, including the system o f social stratification, ethnic structure (if any), population distribution throughout an area, and the central or peripheral position occupied by various groups. This position is re­ lated to the hegemony o f certain areas within the national territory, and the distribution o f power. As regards the second kind o f variable, aspects o f a dif­ ferent kind should be listed: (1) the sphere o f human activity within which availability, m obilization, and possible subsequent integration take place; (2) the rate o f the process o f change; (3) the existence o f mechanisms o f integra­ tion within society which are adequate for the groups in the course o f mobili­ zation; (4) independent o f the above, existence o f possibilities making inte­ grated participation viable. These last tw o aspects also include the rate at which mechanisms o f integration, where nonexistent, may be created on the basis o f transform ation o f the existing structure and the social cost o f such mechanisms. The same applies to the creation o f circumstances perm itting such participation. Finally, there is (5) the proportion o f the populalation al­ ready mobilized, still to be m obilized, integrated, or in the course o f integra­ tion, that is to say, the stage o f the overall process in which the various groups comprising the population are engaged. Latin American countries present considerable differences with respect to the above, which makes it difficult to lay down precise propositions applicable to all. The causes which have produced the breakdown o f the traditional pat­ tern are well known and m ight be m entioned in passing. They consist o f the growing division o f the national population into isolated layers; breakup o f local communities, disappearance o f the closed-in or isolated economies, and their growing incorporation into the national and international econom y; transform ation o f traditional forms o f work into wage labor, either by the es-



tablishm ent o f industries or by changes in the prim ary agricultural or extrac­ tive sector, and hence the disappearance o f the old prim ary or community forms o f social relationships in the sphere o f w ork as well as in other sectors of com m unity life, such as recreation ; grow th o f m eans o f transportation and greater accessibility o f “cen tral” zones from “peripheral” areas ; universal pen­ etration o f mass media o f com m unication; increasing educational facilities and their dissemination am ong larger sectors o f the population; disequili­ brium in population, caused by the persistent high birth rates and falling death rates. These and other phenom ena disrupt the traditional order on a scale not comparable with what has occurred in past centuries. During the struggle for independence and throughout the nineteenth and p art o f the present century, with but a few exceptions, m odernization affected only small groups o f elites, in central areas o f each country. The process o f developm ent today affects the entire population and invades the whole national territory. Furthermore, the process has acquired unprecedented velocity. Conflicts and tensions arise as a consequence o f the incongruence in aspira­ tions, attitudes, m otivations, and corresponding behavior o f each group com­ prising the social structure. The m ost evident conflicts are those between re­ cently mobilized groups in the middle and low er strata, and groups possessing political and economic power, inasmuch as the new found attitudes o f partici­ pation on the part o f the form er are n o t accepted as legitim ate by the older elites, which continue to follow an orientation in line w ith traditional expec­ tations. Resistance to change by traditional families and their allies, the army and the church, was presumably the classic form o f conflict in Latin America in the past, and is m anifested in innum erable ideological form s. As the tran­ sition proceeded, conflicts and tensions became far m ore com plicated than one simple model can indicate. There are a num ber o f aspects which make the situation far more com plex: 1. The incongruences—and hence the conflicts—do not arise merely be­ tween groups located in different situations within the hierarchy o f power, prestige, and econom y, but sometimes occur within the same elite. The role of the nascent bourgeoisie and other middle-class strata in con­ fronting groups which formerly m onopolized pow er is well know n. In many cases, new entrepreneurial groups oriented tow ard industrizlization challenge traditional families, whose power and vitality are based on the concentra­ tion o f land or export of raw materials. Similar conflicts are faced by the church and army. Different sectors within the bourgeoisie and the higher middle classes may take conflicting positions. Such is the case betw een older sectors o f the middle class and new industrial entrepreneurs. In emerging configurations o f sectors, a growing im portance is acquired by foreign eco­ nomic, political, and military sectors. The position o f the middle classes in the m ost advanced countries in the region is approaching now a condition similar to th at o f their European coun­ terparts during the first half o f the century. The am biguous position of



these strata—captured between the growing forces o f the organized lower classes and the m onopolistic national and foreign bourgeoisie—originates am­ bivalence, contradictions, and fragm entation. In some countries, the military coup, as a functional substitute o f fascism, is supported by the middle classes, though these seldom reach the intense condition o f secondary mobilization which provided the social basis o f classic fascism. Situations created by rapid change may produce all kinds o f lineups, not only among various groups but also intram ural conflicts. It would be a mis­ take, for example, to consider the army as a monolithic sector favoring or committed to one solution; quite the contrary, in may countries (excepting Brazil and Peru) the army is fragmented into a num ber o f factions which to some extent reflect the cleavages existing in the society (although in gen­ eral the intervention o f the army has favored the preexisting order rather than opposed the existing socioeconomic status quo). The same can be observed in relation to the church, which in most coun­ tries has been affected by new currents oriented towards radical social re­ forms. New motives for conflict usually become superimposed on former struggles between factions o f a purely personalistic type which characterized the early political history o f most Latin American countries. Nor would it be correct to speak o f the lower strata as a m onolithic block facing the holders o f power. The process o f transform ation into an in­ dustrial social structure tends to differentiate, within these strata, certain sectors with special characteristics, such as different educational levels, roles in the productive process, and living standards. Mobilization occurs at different rates in the various groups, which introduces another differentiation between more and less m odernized sectors. To all this must be added ethnic differences which sometimes play a role in the conflicts, particularly within the lower strata, in addition to being an im portant aspect o f interclass conflicts. Finally, there are conflicts which arise outside the system o f social strati­ fication. Such is the case o f the conflict between generations, which obvious­ ly becomes more acute in times o f rapid change. In Latin America the high degree o f political involvement o f university students has made them a source of im portant leadership in movements aimed at providing revolutionary an­ swers (often contradictory ones) to new situations created by the process o f transition. Here may also be found one o f the roots o f widespread guerrillas in Latin America. There is another source o f tensions and conflicts inside the different groups, classes, strata, and social sectors, partly related to generational conflict. This is the differentiation created by the fact that the processes o f mobilization and integration usually affect the different sectors o f the population in suc­ cessive cycles. For example, the m obilization o f sectors o f the working class can take place in various stages which may be two or three decades apart. When a second cycle in the m obilization o f the working class is taking place, the sectors affected by the first cycle some thirty years earlier are in some



ways already integrated in to the system . There will thus be tw o modern pro­ letariats: an old one, resulting from the first cycle o f m obilization and already totally or partially integrated, and a new one whose m obilization is just be­ ginning and w ho will n o t necessarily ad o p t the same channels o f expression, especially in regard to political p articipation, as did previously mobilized sec­ tors. Depending on the existence o f a valid political tradition for the working class, the existence o f these tw o stages in the form ation o f the proletariat can cause tensions and internal conflicts w ithin the group. Similar processes can take place in the m iddle sectors and the bourgeoisie. When these strata have emerged in different and successive phases, sectors o f the middle class (or of the bourgeoisie) already integrated can coexist w ith newly emerging and mo­ bilized sectors not yet integrated. This will n o t be a peaceful coexistence, since the process will cause tensions and conflicts w ithin each stratum . Elsew here,14 I have n oted th at tw o principal cycles o f mobilization have taken place in Latin America, in addition to those peculiar to each national society. The first cycle, less im p o rtan t from the p o in t o f view o f extension and penetration, occurred in several countries as a m odernizing effect of the prim ary export econom y during its period o f dom inance. The second and more extensive cycle began in w hat I have called the period o f mass mobiliza­ tion (usually after 1930), under the im pact o f the collapse o f the internanational m arket and the rise o f industrialization maigre soi, with the great internal m igrations, the demographic explosion, and o th er related phenomena. Each o f these stages stim ulated the grow th o f m odern sectors in the cities, the proletariat, the middle classes, and the bourgeoisie. Frequently the older strata had already been partially assimilated in to the system while the appear­ ance o f a newer proletariat was taking place, as well as new m iddle sectors and a new bourgeoisie. Many sociopolitical phenom ena which took place after the G reat Depression and World War II should be explained in light o f these strata o f differing age and historical form ation. Many ambivalences and contradic­ tions o f the Latin American middle classes are n ot only a response to their interm ediate position in the stratification system (sim ultaneously facing the urban proletariat and traditional elites), but also to their heterogeneity of com position regarding age o f form ation and e x ten t o f integration into the system. 2. Incongruences arise not only among and w ithin groups, but also at a psychological individual level, where certain “mobilized*’ traits m ay coexist with persisting traditional attitudes. For instance, the rural im m igrant may become transform ed into an industrial w orker, b u t the paternalistic or partic­ ularistic orientation which defined his form er situation may continue to in­ fluence his relations tow ard the firm or labor union. Equivalent asynchronisms may occur between entrepreneurs, politicians, old and new governing elites, the emerging middle class, and emerging industrial bourgeoisie. 3. Aspirations tow ard participation in consum ption often do n o t encoun­ ter adequate possibilities o f satisfaction within existing circum stances. The



prevailing degree o f economic development does not allow for a higher stand­ ard of living; and distribution o f the national product is very unfavorable to mobilized groups o f the lower strata. The well-known demonstration effect affects the lower strata ju st as much as the middle and upper strata. It leads toward a consum ption orientation imitative o f highly developed countries, under conditions in which the productive machinery is still underdeveloped. These aspirations correspond to a stage o f mass consumption in a period in which takeoff has not yet occurred. This dem onstration effect, as far as it concerns attitudes of the higher strata, implies emphasis on consumption rather than production. Here we find an inversion o f the order observed in the historic development according to the Western model (capitalist asceti­ cism and the Protestant ethic in the stage o f accumulation, according to Weber’s form ulation). The backwardness o f economic development or the acceleration o f the processes of social modernization also lead to this situation. These asynchronisms cause conflicts to the extent that they produce con­ trasting expectations among groups and stimulate certain desires not comple­ mented by an acceptance o f the corresponding costs. Similar considerations might be made regarding ideological expressions adopted by movements aris­ ing among the recendy mobilized middle and lower strata. One o f the charac­ teristic features of these expressions is the adoption o f unrealistic and intern­ ally contradictory attitudes. Overexpansion o f the urban middle classes, par­ ticularly pronounced in Argentina and Uruguay,15 is closely related to their contrasting social and political expressions, including the high propensity to become a preferential basis for the recruitm ent o f urban guerrillas. An analy­ sis of the ideologies o f development o f differing or even contrary orientation might lead to the discovery o f such internal incoherences. This makes it pos­ sible to relate them to contradictions inherent in the position o f groups sustaining them. The above provides a partial explanation of a rather diffused characteristic of social conflict in Latin America: the extreme fragmentation o f the various groups, strata, and sectors o f the population. This is observed not only in the field of political struggle but also in many others: a multiplication of factions with varied and even incoherent features. We have seen that integration o f mobilized groups may occur by assimila­ tion or change in the social structure. These forms are not mutually exclusive but may be combined in various ways. In Latin American countries the latter form predom inates; through mass mobilization o f large strata of the population, the structure o f society is subm itted to radical transformation. Whereas the general direction o f the process is toward m odernization, that is, toward some form o f industrial society, there are three aspects which vary fundamentally: (1) the type o f industrial society assumed as a goal by the various groups; (2) the type o f industrial society actually possible in view of existing conditions; and (3) the form, gradual or revolutionary, o f the process itself.



1. This aspect involves on the one hand the real goals o f the different groups and sectors involved in the process, and on the other their ideological expression. The two do not necessarily coincide. An analysis in terms of real goals is difficult both theoretically and em pirically. The notion o f real goals is extremely com plex. Most often such goals will n o t reach a conscious expres­ sion and can only be inferred from the g roup’s actions. Or they may be ex­ plicitly or implicitly stated by the leaders. Finally, the group may not have any real goals, its actions being quite inconsistent. The distinction between goals and their ideological expressions is necessary because the possibility al­ ways exists o f a purely instrum ental use o f ideologies. I do not accept the Paretian notion o f a universal and necessary hiatus betw een ideologies and the real purpose o f concrete action; in fact, such a contrast may vary a great deal according to different historical situations and groups. In Latin America the degree o f deliberate m anipulation is often quite high, though I do not assume that the choice o f ideologies is arbitrary. Furtherm ore, the ideologies used are not irrelevant to the course o f action. First, there is the problem o f choosing appropriate ideologies for achieving certain purposes and the possibility of a wrong choice; second, once p u t into operation, the ideology itself may affect the course o f action, causing it to deviate from the original real goals as en­ visaged by the mass or elites. Major factors determ ining the existence and nature o f real goals will be the group position within the social structure: its central or peripheral location, how it has been affected by the process o f release, availability, and mobiliza­ tion, and the historical conditions characterizing the social co n tex t in which it occurs. These factors will probably put some limits on the choice o f ideolo­ gies, and the choice itself will probably be affected by three other conditions: first, the nature o f other available and mobilizable groups or sectors o f the population; second, the nature and content o f available ideologies; and third, the political culture o f the society and the m obilized sector. O ften the politi­ cal expression o f the m obilization process in Latin America gives rise to im­ plicit or explicit alliances between different groups and sectors, as well as the use and m anipulation o f one sector by another. The anlaysis o f these phe­ nom ena will require the distinctions I have tried to indicate. 2. We will not explore the question concerning the type o f industrial so­ ciety viable within the existing historical conditions o f each country. There is a definite range o f possible outcom es determ ined by the preceding historical process and the general international context. The fit between viable changes and the ideologies assumed by mobilized groups is one o f the determ ining factors shaping the consequences o f their social and political action. Also relevant here is the existence o f both elites and masses, whose m obilization is expressed in the chosen ideologies and proper goals. Utopianism o f the elites may work insofar as it interprets the needs o f m obilized masses and adopts realistic goals. The case o f urban guerrillas in Argentina and Uruguay is an il­ lustration o f failure in terms o f realistic goals, since the countries’ historical



development and present social structure do not satisfy the requirements of a drastic socialist revolution. The relatively widespread diffusion of the phe­ nomenon (for a guerrilla m ovement) is a sym ptom o f a serious process of displacement within the middle classes (particularly the highly educated sec­ tors), which failed in the choice o f goals and their ideological expression. 3. Regarding the nature, violent or otherwise, o f the process of mobiliza­ tion and reintegration, the faster the phase o f release and the greater the proportion o f the population which becomes available and mobilizable, the fewer the possibilities o f channeling mobilized sectors through legitimate mechanism o f participation, the deeper the tensions, and the higher the probability o f open and violent conflicts. These may reach their highest intensity when the power elites and other groups threatened (subjectively and/or objectively) by the newly mobilized sectors attem pt their violent de­ mobilization. In these cases counterm obilization (or secondary mobilization) of the threatened group will occur, and the more likely outcome is dictator­ ship and dem obilization o f the losing sectors.16 Other essential aspects are the respective proportions between that part of the total population o f a country which is wholly mobilized and integrated into modern forms o f life, the segment still submerged in the traditional order, and finally, those in the actual process o f mobilizing. One im portant element for determining the character o f conflicts consists o f the possibility of long­ term social change taking place in successive cycles. In other words, is their sufficient time and opportunity between one cycle and the next to integrate those sectors o f the population which have been mobilized? Such time and opportunity did exist in many countries in the West, both with respect to political integration and other forms o f participation. In each cycle the exist­ ence or rapid form ation o f legitimate and adequate channels o f participation makes it possible to integrate th at part o f the population which is going to be mobilized. The equilibrium o f the system at the end o f each cycle o f mo­ bilization is assured by the fact th at the population not yet included does not exert pressure (or at least not a dangerous amount) because it remains passive, and the sequence is such that when it later becomes active, there should be existing mechanisms capable o f chaneling participation without causing catastrophic disturbances to the system (although obviously not with­ out relatively sharp conflicts and structural changes). A channel may be considered adequate when it expresses at least symbolically the new forms of participation, or gives the mobilized sector a legitimate way o f expressing its demands and obtaining some satisfaction from them. The typical case of adequacy is offered by a political party accepted by the newly mobilized masses as a viable expression o f their aspirations and attitudes (meaning that it must be compatible with their political culture) and legitimate in terms of the existing social and political structure (accepted or tolerated by the rul­ ing elites and other relevant groups in the society). Finally, the degree o f discontinuities in the structural and/or psychosocial



process o f change is o f great causal relevance. These discontinuities are related to the rate o f release (availability) and acting o u t. High rates o f change, sud­ denness in tiie m odification o f such rates, trau m atic events—all o f these may have disruptive consequences in a process o f m obilization, with a high inci­ dence o f violence. This m odel has been applied to the fo rm atio n o f the political structure of the m ost advanced countries o f the W estern w orld. It could be applied to other form s o f m obilization and in teg ratio n ; n o tab ly , the consequence of ex­ pansion o f the technical and econom ic apparatus for mass production and the aspirations to mass consum ption follow ed precisely this setup in the countries which industrialized early. The sequence o f cycles m entioned above (low rate o f m obilization com­ bined with a m arked elasticity in the social stru ctu re, dem onstrated by the willingness o f the governing class to accept change and the attitudes of the lower classes tow ards m odifying their dem ands) has been an essential feature in the developm ent o f several countries in the West and also in several major Latin American nations, (mainly under lim ited o r enlarged democracy but n o t total or mass participation) although transition has also been characterized by serious conflicts, some o f a revolutionary n atu re. In others, the rigidity of the preexisting structure m anifested itself through massive attem pts at demo­ bilization, which became stabilized during various periods and led to pro­ longed interruptions in the process o f m odernization. NOTES 1. K. Deutsch, “Social Mobilization and Political D evelopm ent,” American Political Science Review 55 (1961): 493-514. 2. K. M annheim, Man and Society in an Age o f Reconstruction (New York Harcourt Brace, 1940), pp. 44-49; T. H. Marshall, Citizenship and Social Class (Cambridge Univer­ sity Press, 1950). 3. G. Germani, Politica y sociedad en una epoca de transicion, ch. 3. 4. In Latin America some cases o f caudilloism may be based on this type o f mobili­ zation. 5. This interpretation was first applied by the author to the rise o f Peronism: cf. Germani, “Algunas repercusiones de los cambios econom icos y sociales en la Argentina, 1940-1950,” Cursos Conferendas 40 (1952): 559-78; idem ,Ld intergracion de las masas a la vida politica y el totalitarismo (Buenos Aires: C.L.E.S., 1956)? and later expanded on a broader interpretive level in idem, “Social Change and Intergroup C onflicts,” in The New Sociology, ed. I. L. Horowitz (New York: Oxford University Press, 3 964). 6. Self-sustained mobility occurs when continuous technological change and con­ tinuous increases in productivity and per capita GNP generate a flow o f occupational upgrading (lower prestige and less paid tasks are taken over by m achines, or migrants from more depressed areas), and on a process o f consum ption upgrading (creation of new needs and new products which circulate from top to bottom o f the stratification pyram id). This continuous upgrading involves the circulation o f status sym bols and ersatz satisfactions which give the majority o f the population the experience o f upward m obility, or at least the illusion o f it. This is the model o f consum er society reached under neocapitalism and in the more industrialized areas o f the Third World. See G er­ mani, “Social and Political Consequences o f M obility,” in Social Structure and M obility in Economic D evelopm ent, ed. S. M. Lipset and N. J. Smelser (Chicago: A ldine, 1966). Also chapter 3 below.



7. Germani, Politica y sociedad, ch. 3. 8. See chapter 3 and Germani, Sociologta de la modernizacion, ch. 7. 9. See Juan Linz’s definition o f the authoritarian regime in “ An Authoritarian Regime: Spain,” in Cleavages, Ideologies, and Party Systems, ed. Erik Allardt andY rjo Littunen (Helsinki: Academic Bookstore, 1964). 10. A typical case o f mobilization from above is the political socialization o f youth in Italy and Spain. For a case that failed see chapter 9. 11. V. I. Lenin, What Is to Be Done? (New York: International Publishers, 1929),pp. 32-33. Lenin states that the history o f all countries shows that the working class, by its own and isolated efforts, is only capable of developing a syndicalist consciousness, a type of political organization which is reformist and gradualist; but not an ideological move­ ment with real class-consciousness (in the Marxist sense). Some sectors o f the nationalist Left have recognized that because o f the dependent situation o f new nations, by they colonial or neocolonial, the only group capable o f assuming the leadership o f liberation movements is the petitie bourgeoisie o f each country. (See Amilcar Cabral, “ L’Arme de la theorie,” Partisans, nos. 26-27. This singular thesis, as it is termed by Luis Mercier Vega, has also been adopted, with reservations, by orthodox communism (in Problemas de la paz y del socialismo 9 (no. 1, January 1966). 12. See the comprehensive review o f the literature on this topic by Joan M. Nelson, Migrants, Urvan Poverty, and Instability in Developing Nations (Harvard University; Center for International Affairs, 1969). 13. N. J. Smelser, Theory o f Collective Behavior (New York: Free Press o f Glen­ coe, 1963). 14. Germani, “Stages o f Modernization in Latin America,” Studies in Comparative International Development 5 (no. 8, 1969-70). 15. See on overexpansion, Germani, Sociology o f Modernization, ch. 7. 16. A scheme o f the possible configurations o f established, apathetic, available, and mobilizing sectors may be found in Germani, Hi concepto de marginalidad (Buenos Aires: Nueva Vision, 1973), p. 90.


SOCIAL CLASSES AND CHANGING INTERPRETATIONS OF FASCISM Within the general framework set forth in the Introduction, the purpose of this chapter is to examine the role o f middle-class authoritarianism and sec­ ondary mobilization in the rise o f fascist movements and regimes under dif­ ferent historical and sociocultural conditions. Fascism is not the only possible expression o f middle-class authoritarianism , but in the first half of the tw enti­ eth century it turned out to be the most typical reaction of these social strata. The discussion requires first a brief survey o f the changing interpretations of fascism, which may provide a broader background for its definition from a comparative perspective. The level o f analysis regarding the role of class is mostly located in the medium range of generality in sociocultural context and historical epoch, though references will be made to the other two levels, particularly to the short range (social mobilization and traumatic event) in the case o f historical fascism (European fascism of the twenties and thirties). To focus attention on the role o f the middle classes does not mean excluding the intervention o f other factors in the complex causality o f this social phe­ nomenon. We know that within the medium level of analysis fascist move­ ments and regimes result from the convergence o f a set of trends within which 43



changes in the structure o f stratificatio n is only one o f the components (though a very im p o rtan t one). In terp retatio n s o f fascism have developed over tim e from the more specific sociocultural co n tex t (the “ u n iq u e ” historical case) and the short temporal range (the “ accid en t” ), tow ard a m ore general and widening perspective: from one country to entire categories o f societies; from a few years to an en­ tire epoch. This can be clearly seen in the “ first” case o f fascism: Italy. To the great m ajority o f its contem poraries, Italian fascism appeared as an unexpected and unforeseen pro d u ct o f the w ar, a com plete deviation from the main stream of history. It is true th at the faith (or the illusions, as Sorel put it) in unending progress had been shaken n o t only am ong intellectuals b u t also in the larger public by the outbreak o f the first w orld conflict and even earlier. However, the possibility o f a perm anent or prolonged breakdow n o f democracy and freedom in a European country was considered m ost unlikely by the great m ajority o f people in the W estern countries. The intellectual climate of Europe had been changing since the beginning o f the century. The wellknown “ prophecies” o f B urkhardt or Tocqueville, approaches as those of Pareto, Mosca, or Michels, and some theories elaborated by m odern sociology included many elem ents which threw a disturbing light on the future shape o f m odernity, as contrasted w ith the popular dream s o f the tim e. In the 1920s when fascism first came to pow er, Soviet communism had not reached the totalitarian stage, and G erm an nazism was still in the making, many politicians and intellectuals both in Italy and abroad tended to inter­ pret fascism on the basis o f either accidental or relatively tem porary factors (early versions o f the so-called parenthesis hypothesis), or o f the peculiar traits o f Italian history (the historical hypothesis).1 Even the M arxists, though interpreting fascism as an expression o f class struggle w ithin capitalist society, did not fail to stress the specific historical conditions o f capitalism in Italy.2 In m ost explanations, specific sociological and psychosocial approaches were insufficient, and political and econom ic theories or history o f ideologies pre­ dom inated. This does not mean that Italian classes were n o t m entioned or specifically analyzed, as in Cappa and Salvatorelli.3 In the thirties, especially after the rise o f the T hird Reich, new dimensions were added to these earlier interpretations. It was recognized th at the crisis of dem ocracy was an expression o f the more general crisis o f our times, per­ haps the breakdow n o f the m odern world. Such new approaches provided psychosocial explanations, often strongly influenced by Freudian or neoFreudian psychology, as well as sociological hypotheses stressing particular structural traits and historical trends in m odern society. T heoretical con­ structs such as the authoritarian personality, social disintegration, anom ie, dis­ placem ent o f large sectors o f society, breakdow n o f com m unity, the changing position o f elites and the rise o f the masses, became the more strategic tools in the analysis o f all kinds o f totalitarianism . Psychological theories o f the



authoritarian syndrome, sociological and psychosocial theories of mass so­ ciety, and formal definitions and typologies of the totalitarian state were applied to a variety o f cases, from fascism or nazism to communism and mass regimes in developing nations.4 The role of class as an explanatory factor, either in the origin or developm ent and maintenance of totalitarianism, was not denied but often occupied a secondary place in such general analytical frameworks. Totalitarian societies and movements were interpreted as a result of widespread disintegration o f processes really involving all classes alike, thereby attributing lesser meaning or in some cases even accidental im por­ tance to class recruitm ent, class orientation, and class interests. Historical ex­ planations emphasizing national peculiarities also followed new approaches. Such peculiarities tended to be interpreted in psychosocial and culturalanthropological terms, as expressions o f a national character or as specific cultural com ponents.5 Finally, the historical analysis of ideologies provided a different perspective, by which the rise o f totalitarianism was interpreted in light of the development o f European social and political thought, espe­ cially since the French Revolution.6 Many new approaches stressed similari­ ties between different brands o f new states by constructing a model o f totali­ tarianism which included both Right and Left. Though the identification of Soviet communism as just another type o f totalitarian state was partly induced by the changing pattern o f foreign alignments and international con­ flicts (especially the cold war), it may be considered nevertheless as a pre­ dominant trend among non-Marxist writers. In the fifties this interpretation was extended to the new mass states which had emerged in developing coun­ tries. It was especially the Latin American cases which, given certain similari­ ties in cultural traditions, seemed to conform more closely to such generali­ zations. The interpretation o f fascism and totalitarianism then tended to merge with the broader problem o f the conditions for the existence of representative democracy and the relations between m odernization, economic development, and political change. The whole problem o f mass regimes and monolithic versus competitive party systems could then be seen in the context of political development.7 STRUCTURAL (MARXIST) VERSION OF THE CLASS HYPOTHESES One may distinguish at least two major orientations in the use of the class hypothesis: the purely Marxist, and what for lack of a better term we may call “ psychosocial.” This categorization is a gross simplification. Not only are there many other variations o f the same basic orientations, but Marxist and psychosocial theses may also be used either as contrasting or as mutually complementary approaches. Theories o f mass society have also used and rein­ terpreted in various ways the contribution o f class theories, especially the psychosocial variety. The Marxist approach was perhaps the first attem pt to explain fascism on



the basis o f a general theory. Such au th o rs as F. N eum ann, Μ. B. Sweezy, R. A. Brady, P. T ogliatti, and o th ers,8 considered fascism (and nazism) as the final stage in the evolution o f capitalism —an outcom e deterministically conditioned by the internal dialectics o f the system itself. In one of the earlier and more com prehensive discussions o f this ty pe, G uerin9 tried to relate fascism directly to some classic M arxist notions, such as the fall o f capitalist profits. In its ascending stage, capitalism could find dem ocracy advantageous, but such favorable conditions sharply change in the m ore advanced stages of the system , in its descending phase. The need to counteract the increasing fall o f the rate o f profits and the ever m ore severe cyclical crises demanded drastic reduction or w ithdraw al o f all the “ concessions” made to the working class. Such political, econom ic, and social concessions were granted at a time when they were both possible and necessary. T hey were possible since the econom y was growing, and necessary as a pow erful m eans for the stability of the system under representative dem ocracy. But the drastic reduction or elim ination o f political, econom ic, and social rights could n o t be accomplished under a regime o f free political participation; hence the need o f some form o f dictatorship or “ strong state.” Though G uerin observed divergences of interests among different sectors o f the bourgeoisie (nam ely between heavy industry and light, or consum er goods industry), he concluded that class interest w ould finally prevail. However, fascism, even where it remained a m inority as com pared w ith the to tal p opulation, was nonetheless a mass movem ent counting on the active participation o f a considerable sector of society. Where could the bourgeoisie find its “ tro o p s” ? An easy answer could be given w ithin the fram ew ork o f M arxist th eo ry . The lower middle classes and certain deteriorated or too traditional sectors o f the proletariat could provide the hum an basis for fascism, to serve the interests o f capitalists. The middle classes, according to Marxism, are n o t real classes. Under the threat o f proletarianization (an unavoidable outcom e o f capitalist evolution) they were exposed to opposing pressures, and false consciousness could be invoked to explain their alliance with capitalism , despite their anticapitalist leanings (mostly inspired in precapitalist attitudes am ong the old middle classes or in resentm ent among the new white-collar categories). As for the proletarians attracted by fascism, such “ deviance” could be explained in terms o f factors which in one way or another prevented the form ation o f a class consciousness among them . In this respect, the M arxist notion of lum penproletariat could be usefully integrated to the analysis. Marxist writers did not fail to notice a num ber o f additional im portant traits, not to be directly deduced from orthodox assum ptions, and which were greatly stressed in non-Marxist theories. It is w orthw hile to m ention some o f these traits. In the first place, the com ponent sectors o f both fascism and nazism could not be reduced to lower middle classes and lum penprole­ tariat; an assorted variety o f categories took an active part in it: veterans, unem ployed, young people, peasants. For all these groups a com m on trait



was recognized: their uprootedness. That is, the human basis of fascism was provided by a process o f displacement, caused by the deterioration o f the capitalist system and accentuated by the upsetting conditions o f the w ar.10 The role o f displacement could hardly be overlooked. Even in the popular image in Italy, for instance, we find a word which clearly describes such con­ ditions: fascists were seen as spostati , literally “ displaced” persons. Further­ more, it was recognized th at uprootedness, both among fascist leaders and masses, could not be regarded as a mere accident. The specific totalitarian solution could not have been generated by the preexisting capitalist estab­ lishment. A body o f outlaws, to use Laski’s term, was required for that task.11 This led to two further observations, not uncommon among Marxist writers: first, that fascist rule achieved a degree o f independence and auton­ omy vis à vis the old ruling class, th at it m eant at least the partial removal of the established political elite;12 and second, that fascism originated an un­ precedented type o f state, the totalitarian state. The central role o f charisma and other peculiar traits o f the new regimes were also clearly recognized by several authors.13 In the long run, fascism was nothing more than the last de­ fense of capitalism in its advanced and declining phase, but both the means— the displaced sectors—and its immediate outcom e—the totalitarian state— went beyond the initial purposes o f the bourgeoisie and could not be fully ex­ plained in Marxist terms. Finally, Marxist interpretations of totalitarianism involved a sharp differentiation between fascism and nazism on one side and communism on the other, and this occurred even for the noncommunist analysis.14 PSYCHOSOCIAL VERSION OF THE CLASS HYPOTHESIS Participation o f the lower middle classes in totalitarian movements o f the Right, which played a complementary role in the Marxist interpretation, was turned into a central factor in the psychosocial version o f the class hypothe­ sis. Resentment, moral indignation, envy and insecurity, fear, were the most common notions used in connection with psychoanalytic mechanisms. The whole construct o f the authoritarian personality was formulated mostly in relation to lower-class behavior. The psychosocial approach was comple­ mented by sociological analysis. The process of displacement, uprootedness, anomie, were more precisely analyzed and refined, also in connection with basic historical trends inherent in modern society since the Renaissance. The role o f other sociological factors, such as status incongruency, status panic, and status deprivation, was also noted. The notion o f resentm ent as an im portant com ponent o f attitude and value form ation, as well as a m otivation and a behavioral factor, has a relative­ ly long history in European thought. Slave morality as described by Nietzsche was further elaborated by Scheler. In his phenomenology of resentment Scheler suggests a num ber o f typical roles and social situations likely to gen-



erate resentm ent: women (especially “ the spinster,“ the “ mother-in-law“), the older person, the priest, and the declining traditional interm ediate class, such as artisans (in contrast to the modern proletarian, w ho has far less pro­ pensity to resentm ent). Translated into present-day sociological terminology, these social roles and situations are characterized by Scheler as particularly unbalanced in terms o f present status versus unrealistic aspirations. In the thirties, these suggestions were further elaborated and developed by Svend Ranulf and others. Ranulf built on the classic contributions to the history of capitalism by Weber, Sombart, and G roethuysen, but he also conducted a series o f more detailed and systematic case studies o f different groups to de­ termine the nature and social conditions o f resentm ent. Resentm ent ex­ presses itself as a “disinterested tendency to inflict punishm ent,“ and has always been especially strong in that social class which may be loosely de­ scribed as small bourgeoisie or lower middle class.15 Resentm ent is related to the stresses, conflicting reference groups, inferiority feelings, and basic inse­ curity originated in the intermediate position o f these social strata. Though resentment and its expression is endemic to lower-middle-class positions, it may be greatly activated in times o f crisis. In Italy and Germany they were threatened by the rising proletariat and increasing concentration of power and wealth o f the bourgeoisie. As indicated by Lasswell,16 such a threat was not identical to the objective proletarianization seen by Marxist writers. It is not necessarily caused by reduction o f income and economic security, but by psychological impoverishment due to decreasing distance in relation to both the lower and upper strata. Perhaps the most complete and integrated formulation o f this approach has been given by Erich From m .17 His interpretation is based on assump­ tions involving an analysis o f the long-range level, at the root o f modernity. At the middle range, his model o f social character in dynamic interrelation with social structure and change is also a powerful analytical tool. It provided the framework to unify in a coherent form ulation the structural and psycho­ social approaches as well as some contributions o f classic sociological theory, such as the transition to new forms o f integration (from com m unity to soci­ ety or from mechanic to organic solidarity) and its consequences in terms of social and individual disorganization. It also incorporates an analysis of dis­ placement, atom ization, and other processes emphasized by the mass society hypothesis. The crisis o f freedom in the contem porary world is examined within a broad historical context. The growth o f rationality and individuation, the two essential traits of the “great transform ation,“ are at the origin o f the psychological strains inherent in modern society: alienation, isolation, inse­ curity, and fear. Breakdown o f the primary links of the traditional pattern originates a higher level of individuation and freedom, but at the same time deprives the individual of any sense o f belonging and its em otional support. It leaves the individual in isolation and insecurity. The emergence o f a society increasingly dom inated by huge organizations, and the decreasing importance



or disappearance o f interm ediate structures, tends to intensify such feel­ ings.18 To confront this threatening situation, the individual may develop various defense mechanisms: authoritarianism , destructiveness, and autom a­ ton conform ity. The form er two correspond to the well-known model of the authoritarian personality, later used in empirical research by Adorno and many others.19 Which defense mechanism will be activated depends on the particular social conditions prevailing in the different social classes. Such conditions will pattern a typical social character. In the case o f the lower middle classes, the tendency will be authoritarianism and destructiveness, the psychology o f resentm ent here being reinterpreted in terms of psycho­ analytic mechanisms. The whole process is highly intensified in a time o f crisis because of the consequences o f displacement, normlessness, and the resulting mass insecurity and fear. Within the working class, the predominant mecha­ nism is autom aton conform ity, a character structure which also prevails in advanced modern society. A utom aton conform ity represents a form of aliena­ tion and partial loss o f identity, a tendency to conform to the expectations of others, in a fashion quite similar to the other-directed personality later de­ veloped by Riesman.20 Fromm reconciles the Marxist interpretation with the psychosocial approach, not only by integrating structural and psychological levels, but also in the specific historical interpretation o f nazism as an expres­ sion of class struggle in a period o f declining capitalism. This process becomes more specific in certain countries, to the extent to which underlying psycho­ social processes are a universal condition patterned by the specific social structure o f each modern industrial society. The authoritarian personality trend became fashionable in the late forties and fifties, especially after publication o f the series on that subject by Adorno and his group.21 This later development, however, failed to represent a sig­ nificant advance. In the first place, the conceptual framework became frankly psychologistic, losing From m ’s more productive approach. Further, despite its highly sophisticated m ethodology and techniques, it did not escape ideo­ logical distortions. Especially noticeable was the unilateral emphasis on right­ ist authoritarianism . As Shils pointed out, the authoritarian syndrome could also be expressed in extrem e leftist ideologies.22 In this sense too it repre­ sented a step backward, since Fromm had clearly perceived the general nature of the process in modern society. MASS SOCIETY AND THE RISE OF TOTALITARIANISM Theories o f mass society have a prom inent place in contemporary soci­ ology; the contribution of the classic sociological tradition in its origins has also been outstanding, and critical literature on the subject is abundant. Ref­ erences will be restricted, therefore, to what is most relevant to the present discussion. Many themes considered in the preceding review will appear again in the context o f this theory. Once more, assumptions are expressed in



terms of the long-range level of analysis, though distinctions in levels are neglected, thus introducing misunderstandings in interpretation. The starting point is the transition from traditional to m odern, with its familiar implica­ tions in terms of growth o f rationality and high individuation. As usual, nega­ tive consequences are emphasized, such as individual and social disorganiza­ tion, anomie, alienation and isolation, weakening o f primary links and in­ creasing deterioration of intermediate structures. These processes, together with the growth of monolithic organization, bureaucratization, forms of standardized mass leisure and mass consum ption, lead to the massification of individuals; that is, to their atom ization, deindividuation, and loss of identity. These traits o f advanced modern society are paradoxical in that they represent the very opposite of the individuation process characterizing the rise of modern society, and the denial o f its higher values: reason, freedom, and individuality. To these traits, stressed also by the psychosocial hypotheses, must be added another central theme: the changing relationship between masses and elites. There are two sides to this process: increasing participation of the masses and decreasing isolation of elites. The former corresponds to what Mannheim called “ fundamental dem ocratization,” a process by which “modern industrial society stirs into action those classes which formerly played a passive part in political life.” Fundam ental dem ocratization brings into the forefront groups characterized by a lower level of rationality and at the same time threatens the exclusiveness o f elites. Fundam ental democrati­ zation, along with other trends in modern society, tends to modify relations between elites and masses. Multiplication of elites and forms o f recruitm ent, changes in their composition, and destruction o f their exclusiveness deteri­ orate the conditions required to maintain their proper function, that is, cre­ ativity and a higher level of rationality.23 The invasion o f elite roles by the masses had been noted since the nineteenth century, especially by conserva­ tive and “elitist” writers.24 Mannheim was more concerned with the break­ down o f democracy and liberalism as a consequence of massification than with the maintenance of aristocratic values. Fundam ental democratization, when it reaches the point of massification, will be turned into its very oppo­ site, negative democratization, that is, an inversion of modernization. Its typ­ ical form is the totalitarian state. Mass society may be considered a necessary but not sufficent pre­ condition for the rise of totalitarian movements and, eventually, totalitarian regimes. We again find here the notion of displacement as another required factor. Masses and elites must be available for action.25 Kornhauser, in an illuminating systematization o f mass theory in relation to totalitarianism , sug­ gests that release and high availability are originated by “major discontinui­ ties in social process” due to a high rate o f change.26 Later reformulations o f the mass society hypotheses, as in the case of Kornhauser, could enlarge their generalizations to mass movements in developing societies. Some of the previous concepts acquired additional



meanings. The notion o f social m obilization, interpreted as a release from the traditional pattern and the entrance into modern forms of behavior,27 was closely related to M annheim’s “ fundam ental dem ocratization.” It could also be interpreted as a form of displacement and a factor for availability, under conditions o f rapid change and lack o f proper channels for integra­ tion.28 This concept, in turn, evoked another im portant trend: the analysis of the extension o f civic, political, and social rights to the lower classes, and finally, to the whole population, as described for England in the well-known article by Marshall.29 A rapid rate o f m obilization was not in itself a sufficient cause for dis­ placement and availability: lack o f or inadequate channels for integration was also a necessary condition. Such channels are provided not only by legitimi­ zation of rights, but also by the existence o f parties or other organizations able to absorb the newly mobilized masses within the broad context of the political and social order, whatever the manifest ideology o f such organiza­ tions may be. These considerations have now provided a suitable framework for interpreting mass movements and regimes in developing countries.30 The partial or total rejection o f the class interpretation is a common fea­ ture of mass theory. Mannheim, for instance, recognizes the role of the mid­ dle classes in the rise o f fascism, but stresses much more the general trends and conflicts inherent in modern society. Lederer and others grant a nearly exclusive emphasis to the role o f the masses. One class or another may pre­ dominate in the first stage o f the movement, but the regime itself is a domi­ nation over the masses by the masses.31 The facts o f differential class re­ cruitment in the various fascist and totalitarian movements could hardly be denied.32 However, this could be interpreted in two ways. First, one could look at the other com ponents o f mass movements. As usually happens, in “normal” political parties as well (even in a society with high class cleavages in political life), there is always a proportion o f supporters with deviant so­ cial origins. This is true for fascist, nazi, communist, and other mass move­ ments.33 Or, one could recognize the difference in composition but consider that “mass society theory is not contradicted by this class difference be­ tween fascism and communism. . .since common mass characteristics may subsist along with different class characteristics. On the contrary, just because fascism and communism are not similar in class composition, we cannot use class theory to account for their similarities, especially their totalitarianism .” 34 We mention elsewhere working-class authoritarianism as linked mostly to a traditional social setting. In another direction, Lipset, using data for a vari­ ety of nations, has shown that authoritarianism is not necessarily a middleclass phenomenon. Specific environmental conditions (e.g., family structure, early socialization, isolation, lack o f intellectual stimulation) may explain authoritarian attitudes among proletarians. Lipset does not conclude from this a deterministic propensity among the lower classes for totalitarian move­ ments. Living in a simplified, rather inarticulate mental environment, the



worker is likely to choose the less complex alternative, which may or may not be a totalitarian movement.35 Another variety o f theoretical approach, also related to mass society theory, has focused on the common formal characteristics o f the totali­ tarian state. Here, class is not considered relevant to the problem. The differences observed in movements based on contrasting class bases fail to establish im portant differential traits. Even if leftist and rightist movements are not alike, “ they are sufficiently alike to class them together and contrast them, not only with constitutional systems, but also with former types of autocracy.” 36 The problem is not purely one o f definition or classification: this approach leads to blurring all differences in terms o f economic, social, and political impact as well as its historical meaning. Mass theory does not necessarily rule out a more appropriate position regarding the general relationship between class and authoritarianism. Lipset, for instance, accepts that under given conditions, all classes alike may turn authoritarian; but he does not deny class as a meaningful factor since it would be “impossible to understand the role and varying success o f extremist movements unless we distinguish them and identify their distinctive social bases and ideologies much as we do for democratic parties and movements.” 37 Finally, another criticism must be mentioned: mass theory has exaggerated the “loss of com m unity” effect. Both theoretical thinking and research findings, especially in the Field o f urban sociology, have shown that primary links subsist to a great extent in urban or metropolitan society. They are certainly modified, but do not fail to perform the same functions in giving emotional support and feelings of belonging to individuals. This is true not only of countries which have resisted totalitarianism, but also of those in which it has trium phed. In the latter, most of the impact of displacement was created by specific conditions affecting particular classes and not by general conditions o f mass society. Mass theory may provide an im portant and necessary theoretical framework for the analysis o f totalitarianism. But it is incomplete, and its main shortcoming does not lie solely in its relative neglect o f class, but also in the fact that it fails to distinguish between different forms of mobilization and displacement, especially between social processes occurring in the context of modernized societies (or some of their com ponent sectors) and those taking place in developing countries. Perhaps class and mass theories should be re­ considered in a different theoretical framework. First, they should be based on a broader view of the structural changes experienced by the stratification system in connection with the successive transformations of capitalism, if, as Barrington Moore has shown, the nature o f class formations in the transi­ tion from feudalism to capitalism was certainly a most significant factor in es­ tablishing different propensities towards democracy or authoritarianism, no less relevant is the changing nature of classes (and of the stratification system as a whole) from early capitalism in its first takeoff in England (to use Rostow ’s doubtful but useful terminology) to present-day neocapitalism.



Second, the role o f the middle classes in the onset and growth o f a fas­ cist movement cannot be explained only in terms of their changing situation within the social structure. A political movement may result merely from a long slow growth, in connection with structural and psychosocial changes in the social group or groups constituting the social actor, protagonist of the movement. But this was not the case o f classic fascism: here some sort o f social mobilization seemed to be a necessary condition. When this did not oc­ cur, the typical form o f classic fascism failed to crystallize, and if a fascist­ like phenomenon nevertheless did take place, the dynamic actor was a differ­ ent social sector—usually the arm y—while the role o f the middle class was more that o f a passive supporter. Certainly such support is always a necessary component, but so are others—in particular the ruling elite (or more generally the essential sectors o f the establishm ent)—necessary ingredients if a fascist movement is to succeed or a fascist-like regime be established. In the next sections, I shall suggest some elements which could be useful in constructing a middle-range theory o f fascism, focused on the role o f the middle classes and social m obilization processes. The conceptual framework proposed has comparative purposes, particularly for possible application to the most developed Latin American countries. It is based on a stage scheme of the evolution o f the class system under capitalism. At the short-range level, the theory o f social m obilization already discussed seems to be the most ap­ propriate, and no further elaboration is needed, since there are examples of its application in other chapters. In the final section, I shall advance a defini­ tion of fascism, for the purpose o f locating the role of the middle classes in relation to the total configuration o f factors and conditions likely to crystal­ lize in fascist (or fascist-like) movements and regimes. STAGES IN THE EVOLUTION OF STRATIFICATION AND THE MIDDLE CLASSES IN CAPITALIST SOCIETIES In analyzing the role o f the middle classes in the rise of fascism, I shall use a conceptual scheme based on three stages in the transformation o f the strati­ fication system: palcocapitalist, transitional, and neocapitalist, a process which includes the usual unevenness and asynchronies which are a universal feature o f social change. Such unevenness involves the coexistence of social formations o f different periods, a phenom enon often called “dualism.” In this sense, the history o f all presently developed societies includes a phase of structural dualism, which may have disappeared or decreased during the process, but which reappears under new forms in the future. For this reason, notions similar to those o f declining or archaic classes and new, modern, or emerging classes have been used currently (with the same or other terms) in the analysis o f the transform ations o f presently advanced societies. Some clarifications should be added. The term dualism should be under­ stood in a broad sense as the coexistence of two or m o re s tru c tu ra l fo rm s



(strata, characteristics of the system, such as norms, values, etc.) correspond­ ing to classes of different ideal-typical societies. Usually, this differentiation exists by virtue of the asynchrony in social m odernization; for this reason archaic (declining) forms are spoken o f in contrast to modern (emerging) forms. Nevertheless, it may be convenient to introduce a tripartite classifica­ tion: declining, basic, and emerging forms. Within a scheme o f analysis which supposes (1) asynchrony, (2) permanent change, and (3) rapidity of change, we may distinguish three coexisting forms corresponding to societies (or structural configurations) o f different ideal-typical models; the declining forms correspond to the remaining archaic or traditional society, the basic form to modern society as it can be defined in a given m om ent of the transition, (in the present), and the emerging form to the society towards which present society seems to be oriented, its following stage (the future modern society). This terminology supposes the contemporaneity o f past, present, and future. We should also show that the terms declining, basic, and emerging do not necessarily refer to decline, hegemony, or emergence, in terms o f numerical proportions. They are used here to indicate an orientation o f the historical course in the sense of transformations which the society (and the stratification system) are experiencing. This orientation is deduced or inferred by means of a model (or system of hypotheses) constructed by the observer (social scientist) carrying out the analysis. Its pertinence, objectivity, and predictive capacity are in great part determined by the general state o f theory and the quality and quantity of data used at the time o f form ulation, which is to say by the historical level achieved by the discipline at the tim e.38 For this reason, the situation o f the observer is different when he analyzes a process which has already taken place than when he is confronting one which is occurring: in the first case, in attem pting to explain what happened he already knows what specific orientation the transform ation assumed. He can identify more clearly, for example an emerging class, if it has come to affirm itself in successive epochs. His predictions about the future are more un­ certain than his retrospective predictions. In referring to the meaning o f the terms declining, basic, or emerging sec­ tor within each class these, according to the case, can include estimations in regard to future growth or decline, in number, or in position o f power, wealth, or prestige, or several o f these attributes at one time. A declining upper class may have been the basic class in a previous phase, but may maintain great power for a long time in its declining phase, including a hegemonic power seriously threatened in the declining phase. In the future, however, continu­ ing the tendency in function o f which the distinction has been formulated between basic and declining upper class, the latter should experience a lessen­ ing or even disappearance, through fusion with the basic class, because of processes o f descending m obility, individually or o f the entire strata. Ana­ logously, an emerging class can grow in number and/or power (prestige,



wealth, etc.) and eventually be transform ed into the basic class, in a succes­ sive stage, to the extent th at the foreseen tendency is effectively realized.39 The distinction between basic, emerging, or declining classes tends to disap­ pear, and there is a tendency towards the fusion o f these groupings. Fusion means here a loss o f identity, or sufficient loss so that the distinction be­ comes unim portant from the analytical point o f view.40 This means that it should be ignored as an instrum ent o f analysis in those cases where the dis­ tinction between emerging, basic, or declining classes has little explanatory power. Taking into account these tw o observations—of substantive and m eth­ odological order—we will speak o f declining, basic, or emerging sectors within each class, leaving open the possibility o f fusion or identification for certain aspects or circumstances, and remembering the analytical convenience o f maintaining the distinction or not. In the description o f the three stages, I shall first be concerned with the occupational structure and then focus the analysis on changes in the stratifi­ cation system.

The Occupational Structure from Paleo- to Neocapitalism I shall follow here the well-known model suggested by Colin Clark, distin­ guishing among prim ary, secondary, and tertiary activities. Whatever its short­ comings, it offers a suitable scheme for present purposes. # 1. In the paleo capitalist stage, the primary sector is declining but still in­ volves an im portant proportion o f the active population. For example, Eng­ land in 1841 still had more than one-fourth o f the economically active popu­ lation occupied in agriculture and mining; in 1870, the United States re­ corded more than 52 per cent in these primary activities. The secondary sector, industry, is basic for this phase, insofar as it represents the central ele­ ment of the economic-industrial system. Statistically, it is growing, and it is in this sector (and corresponding social sectors) in which the technicaleconomic transform ations are operating which will produce the fundamental characteristics o f paleoindustrial society. This society or phase o f industrial development can be called “ secondary,” and applies also to the socialist type of industrial development. 2. In the transitional stage, the primary sector has decreased statistically, but still has a certain im portance, as in the case of the United States in 1920, when it included one-third o f the active population, in Germany between 1910 and 1930, when it included a little more than one-fifth, or in the Euro­ pean countries developed under the capitalist system but with a later or slow­ er transition, where the primary sector maintained a major proportion (for example, in France we find nearly 30 per cent in the 1920s, and in Italy from 46 to 40 per cent in the same period, despite the heavy industry developed before the turn o f the century). In this phase, the secondary sector has al­ ready reached its peak and tends to stabilize. But it has experienced (and



continues to experience) strong internal transform ations following the same basic tendency observable in the paleocapitalist stage, a tendency towards greater technical-economic concentration. Finally, the phase of transition registers a notable increase in the tertiary sector. For example, in 1871 Eng­ land had almost 36 per cent working in commerce, transportation, and vari­ ous services, while 30 years earlier this proportion barely surpassed 30 per cent. In the United States, the difference is more pronounced, from 23.3 per cent in 1870, to 37.7 per cent in 1920. The internal com position of the sec­ tor was fully transformed: accelerated reduction of traditional services (do­ mestic and others) and increase of modern services. 3. In the neocapitalist stage, the primary sector is reduced to a minimum, the secondary sector has diminished or stabilized at the level achieved in the preceding phase, and the tertiary sector expands until it becomes the largest sector in the composition of the active population. Production of goods and services follows the tendency towards high technical-economic and financial concentration. It is the period o f great corporations, conglomerates, and multinationals.4 1

The Changing Class Composition from Paleo- to Neocapitalism Changes in class structure follow a parallel pattern o f stages, but several different*aspects must be considered: on the one hand, the composition of the various classes in terms o f occupational sectors, their proportions, their socioeconomic and cultural traits; on the other hand, the nature o f stratifica­ tion as a whole, that is, its systemic characteristics. The latter task will be un­ dertaken by using a scheme to be introduced later. 1. In the paleocapitalist stage, we find in the upper class the declining sector, connected with primary production and the preexisting class system (the aristocracy). It is considered declining in relation to its historical destiny, although it may continue to exert considerable economic and political power during this and following phases, and may still enjoy predom inant prestige. Sharing this hegemonic position we find the bourgeoisie as the basic sector in the sense of historical future, that is, as a protagonist of the industrial trans­ formation of the economy and society. At the other extreme o f the system, in the lower positions, we observe a rural declining sector (which can still be preponderant in numerical volume) composed o f small tenants, poor propri­ etors, and landless peasants, as well as surviving pockets of the subsistence economy which have still not been integrated into the national market or are partially connected with it. In some countries there can be sectors radically excluded from national society, as in the case of Negroes (during slavery) and other marginal sectors, as occurred later with this and other ethnic minorities. The basic sector of the lower class is formed by the urban prole­ tariat, but their degree of social and political mobilization is still low and partial. Even if industry and the new modern services have already created



an occupational working-class sector (also modern) numerically im portant in many spheres o f life, its members may still continue to be socially tradi­ tional during the paleocapitalistic stage. Whatever violence or intensity of social protest has taken place at certain times, the politically mobilized or unionized portion o f the working class remains very small. We can consider it as the emerging sector o f the lower strata in paleocapitalist society, a sec­ tor which will grow and becom e basic in the following stage o f transition. Finally, in the interm ediate strata o f the paleocapitalist stage there is a de­ clining and an emerging sector, b u t it is less easy to identify its basic sector. Declining in volume and power is the segment o f the middle strata con­ nected to primary production (where it exists). This is true even where, as in the United States, the rural middle class represented one of the most power­ ful actors in the political scene in the beginnings o f industrialization. Even in this case, its decline will be inevitable. Also declining are intermediate sectors connected with archaic form s o f production o f smaller middle-sized business. In the emerging sector we find categories o f public and private function­ aries, white collar, and dependent professionals, who were then perceived as one stratum under the term new middle class. This segment of the active population, still very small in the paleocapitalist stage, is destined to grow in­ cessantly through the three phases. Old middle class was the name to be given in following periods to the basic sector o f the intermediate strata in paleo­ capitalist society. In reality, they belong to the same occupational cate­ gories of the bourgeoisie: they are industrial entrepreneurs, businessmen, self-employed professionals. But economically and technologically they should belong to the basic sector only when their activity is modern. Thus, small and middle industrial entrepreneurs constitute a typical element o f this group. Two other characteristics are o f interest. On the one hand, we are deal­ ing with individuals (or families) o f descending or ascending mobility. The great industrial, commercial, and financial bourgeoisie will find in this sector one of its most im portant bases o f recruitm ent. But at the same time, they occupy a social place which is seriously menaced; they also can become proletarianized. “The members o f the middle classes,” writes Geiger, “ can be defined as persons who fight to arrive at being capitalists.”42 Though this definition is applied with greater exactitude to the transitional stage, it can also be appropriate for the preceding one. This sector of the modern middle classes, while not growing in proportion or in their position (according to income, power, and status), does not decrease either, except at times of crisis. The great corporations (public and private) may occupy a more hegemonic position in the economy but still will leave space for (or will re­ quire) the existence o f a num ber o f small enterprises, mostly as subsidiaries or complementing the operation o f the giants. 2. In the transitional stage, while most general characteristics of the strati­ fication system have remained unchanged, the trends already visible in the



previous phase are intensified: increase in technological-economic concentra­ tion at the top, with growing predominance of large financial and industrial organizations, and a retreat of landed interests, which are losing economic and political weight, though retaining sufficient power to continue to repre­ sent a threat to the other components o f the elite. At the bottom , the urban working class, both in industry and services, is increasing its organizational force through massive unionization and political parties, and often the same process is occurring among rural labor (though steadily declining in size). The middle strata also continue to be modified in the same direction as in the first stage: continuous proportional growth of the dependent (or new) middle classes and some decrease in the independent sector, with im portant changes: (a) more widespread modernization of small and middle enterprises in all branches o f activity; (b) lower degree o f autonom y vis a vis big business, insofar as the small firm tends increasingly to become a subsidiary of the giant corporation in many fields, and technological advances and the logic of economies of scale tend to greatly threaten the independent survival of small business even of the modern type. 3. In the neocapitalist stage, a new kind o f dynamic equilibrium is reached, in which the whole stratification systçm seems to be continuously upgraded, and some tensions o f the transitional stage to be alleviated. But a meaningful description o f it requires a more holistic approach.

The Changing Nature o f the Stratification System from Paleo- to Neocapitalism To analyze changes in the stratification system in the neocapitalist stage and compare it with the preceding stages, one should look more to the na­ ture o f the system than to the composition and traits of each single stratum. To this purpose, we will consider the structural properties o f the stratifica­ tion system, following the indications given in Table 3.1. 1. In paleocapitalism, the profile of stratification is significantly deter­ mined by the fact that a large part o f the population is located in the lower classes. A conjectural typical distribution, carried out based on various his­ torical studies,43 assigns to the upper class 4 per cent o f the total, 11 per cent to the urban middle class (secondary and tertiary), and 35 per cent to the lower urban strata. The remaining 50 per cent is rural, and the structure of this sector will depend upon the existence and size o f a middle rural class. The system is also characterized by high degrees o f discontinuity among strata, hierarchization, interpersonal relations, and consequently high insti­ tutionalization o f the stratification system’s image. The manual/nonmanual line is profoundly marked, and the restricted middle urban class (old and new) tends to identify with the upper classes. (This is the false consciousness which Marxism attributes to it, especially to the dependent middle class.) Although the possibilities of mobility are now considerable (also because of





Profile o f stratification: proportion o f the population located in each stratum.


Degree o f discontinuity between strata: ranges from maximum discontinu­ ity, with clear cleavages between strata coupled with gross differences and inequalities in all dimensions, to minimum discontinuities in all dimensions and a stratification continuum .


Degreee o f hierarchization o f interpersonal relations: ranges from maximum to minimum emphasis (overt or covert) on status inequalities in most or all social situations.


Degree o f institutionalization o f the image o f the stratification system: ranges from maximum to minimum degree o f institutionalization involving also maximum to minimum clarity o f the image o f each stratum , and of ideal congruence.


Mobility norms: predominance o f inheritance or o f achievement among stratification dimensions, with various intermediate possibilities.


Mobility values, beliefs, and attitudes: ranges from a maximum emphasis on stability and inheritance to a maximum emphasis on mobility and achievement (combined with varying degrees o f consensus in the different strata).


Real possibilities o f m obility: ranges from very few, unequally dis­ tributed among the strata, to many, equally distributed among the strata.

*G. Germani: “ Social and Political Consequences o f Mobility,” in Social Struc­ ture and M obility in Economic D evelopm ent, cd. N. J. Smelser and S. M. Lipset (Chicago: Aldine, 1966).

structural changes, ascriptive norm s o f mobility and corresponding attitudes and aspirations continue to be diffused in a great part o f the society, coexist­ ing with emerging norm s and attitudes favorable to mobility and to criteria of success. 2. In transitional capitalist society the systemic traits o f stratification are the same as in the preceding stage, but there are changes in the profile o f the system and com position o f the strata, and above all in the rate of mobility and the process o f primary social m obilization o f the lower classes. There is a continuous dim inution o f all rural classes, but in this transitional stage the great landowning interests may continue to share power with the bourgeoisie (in a situation o f partial fusion, alliance, or conflict). Interm edi­ ate rural strata can still play a significant role in national politics, and typical­ ly display the reactive or defensive actions o f sectors in retreat. The basic sector of the upper classes is the same as in the preceding stage, but now the managing and bureaucratic elem ent acquires im portance. The process of



concentration continues. More im portant changes can be found in the urban lower and middle classes. In the first, the urban proletariat has been con­ solidated and is now completely mobilized and organized and has increased in power; it can now be identified as a new emerging sector o f a “working aristocracy,” which through its income, level o f consum ption, and integra­ tion in national life, announces the new working class characteristic of the neocapitalist phase. While numerically the lower class has decreased (chang­ ing nevertheless its composition; less rural and more secondary and tertiary), the middle class as a whole has increased considerably. But the entire change corresponds to the new middle class, the dependent bureaucratic, profession­ al, and technical sector, while the urban independents of the old middle class have decreased in proportion and are located in the economic structure in positions of growing dependence relative to the large enterprises and the pub­ lic sector o f the economy. The considerable growth o f the middle strata has modified the profile o f the system, but this continues to be highly stratified, with deep cleavages among the classes, particularly along the manual/nonmanual line. The persistence o f marked discontinuity between classes, high hierarchization o f interpersonal relations, strong institutionalization of the image of the stratification system (corresponding to the paleocapitalist stage), and most im portant, of ascriptive values and norms regulating access to statuses and classes, all enter now into conflict with the rising rate of mo­ bility from the lower strata and the acceleration o f their primary social mobil­ ization. Social mobility is likely to assume in this stage different forms simul­ taneously. There will be more exchange mobility (upward mobility, intergenerational and in trage ne rational, from the working class, and downward mobility from the middle classes), structural mobility caused by enlargement of the middle positions (because it requires recruitm ent from the lower classes), and mobility by growing participation (an aspect o f social mobiliza­ tion), that is, increasing standard o f living o f the urban lower classes, which are now given access to forms o f consumption hitherto restricted to the midcle classes. Such increase in the access to goods and services (particularly edu­ cation) which were also status symbols particularly im portant for the lower layers of the middle class, was assured fairly rapidly in certain countries, and should be considered one aspect o f the primary mobilization of the lower classes, along with their increased political power, through extensive unioniza­ tion and electoral strength. Such changes are perceived as highly threatening by the middle classes, who still cling to the old sharp hierarchical distinction from manual workers, and still identify with the bourgeoisie and reject unionization as a respectable means to defend or increase their real salary and social benefits. The intermediate strata, in all its sectors, feel most affected by the rising proletariat. Such is the crisis o f the middle classes. They feel threatened from above by the growing concentration of economic and polit­ ical power, and from below by the advances o f the organized working classes, and even though close to becoming proletarianized in relative and absolute



terms, they still m aintain the old aspirations and cultural com ponents typical of intermediate strata in the highly stratified paleocapitalism. They are par­ ticularly exposed in this stage to status panic, that is, the threat o f depriva­ tion of status. This was in some cases intensified by particular situations of displacement produced by strongly traum atic processes such as World War I inflation, or the Great Depression. 3. In the third stage, neocapitalism, manifest tendencies in the transi­ tional period reach their maximum expression. Besides the processes already indicated referring to drastic reduction o f the primary sector (in some coun­ tries to under 3 or 4 per cent and the lessening or stabilization of the second­ ary sector, changes in the upper class include the extension o f so-called sep­ aration of property and control, accentuated concentration, and the follow­ ing advance o f the technocratic element (civil and military, public and private). There are other m odifications interesting to the present analysis. Nonmanual strata are now half or more o f the total active population; internal heterogeneity o f the strata has increased considerably in occupational terms as well as in terms o f social and ecological origins (with a great increase of status incongruence, now transform ed into a characteristic of the system); the manual/nonmanual cleavage tends to lose importance or at least visibility, and the whole system o f stratification now tends to be perceived as a con­ tinuum rather than a hierarchy o f well-differentiated strata. Although the underlying reality can be different, this is the image which predominates in the consumption, or neocapitalist society, as it is called here. Finally, the whole system is dom inated by what we have called “selfsustained m obility,” through continuous circulation o f status symbols from above to below (relative to occupational and consumption symbols). Not only do these changes increase consensus and social integration, they also tend to stabilize the middle classes. All the strata, propelled by the mecha­ nism of self-sustained m obility, perceive themselves as in a forward move­ ment or, more precisely, this collective process is experienced as an individual ascent. It is possible th at a real decrease in inequality is taking place, especial­ ly in the middle range o f the stratification profile, which now includes the majority; but this is not as im portant as the fact o f self-sustained mobility. This forward m ovem ent—real or apparent—gives stability to the middle strata. The continual invasion o f status by the lower strata ceases to generate status panic, since the middle strata is compensated by its own ascent. Two other components contribute to this stabilizing effect: on the one hand, the changes already shown, the decrease o f visible cleavages in the “great gray zone” of urban society, the generalization of the incongruence of status and the experience o f m obility, the diffusion o f ideologies and more egalitarian attitudes; on the other hand, the fact that in this phase the situation of real economic dependence—whatever its legal definition—has been institution­ alized, tends to be more a guarantee than a menace to middle-strata security.



The middle class is composed on the one hand largely o f salaried workers, and these dispose differently of means o f defending their interests (in particular trade unions for the lower levels). On the other hand, the sur­ viving sector of businessmen and independent professionals has found subsidiary roles in an economy dom inated by great conglomerates, which permit them to subsist, although sometimes directly dependent upon them. But this very dependence has been transform ed into a mechanism of security. The stability o f the middle class in the neocapitalist phase depends on the stability of the stratification system, and obviously, on the global social system. A first menace to the stratification system resides in the persistence and actual or potential im portance o f marginal sectors which have remained marginal both to the system and to national society. The most typical example is that of the United States, with a sector of its population below the poverty line, and its Black, Puerto Rican, and other categories mostly enclosed in the cities. A nother example is in underdeveloped areas in various European countries, or in foreign immigrant workers which in countries like Switzerland are replacing the national working class. In all these cases, the marginal sectors are to be incorporated, but under certain circumstances the process can be highly conflictive. Much more decisive for the stability o f the stratification system is the maintenance of the process o f self-sustained m obility and the possibility of indefinitely continuing the forward movement. Both processes are condi­ tioned by the capacity o f the global social system to follow w ithout appre­ ciable interruptions a continual process o f technological innovation, growth, and diversification o f production. We are not dealing only with the long-run viability of the economic neocapitalist system, but with a set o f economic, social, and political circumstances on the national and international level. The existence o f an external proletariat which takes in the great m ajority of the population o f the planet is one o f the significant elements o f this configura­ tion of factors. We have om itted all reference to the socialist systems, but it may be mentioned that although their evolution and present situation is obviously different, it may be possible to distinguish in them different successive phases, and their future stability depends on the capacity o f the global system to secure processes of self-sustained mobility and an uninterrupted forward movement.44 This continuous growth, both in socialist and neocapitalist societies, should not take place only in terms o f goods and economic services, but also as a function of the satisfaction of preexisting needs and the creation and satisfaction of new and nonm aterial ones; in socialist societies—and in a different form also in neocapitalist ones—the problem o f liberty and individuation, creativity and self-realization, are assuming central importance.



ROLE OF THE EUROPEAN MIDDLE CLASSES IN THE RISE OF CLASSIC FASCISM In the second or transitional phase o f capitalist development the middle classes go through their greatest period o f instability. It is the epoch in which, especially in Europe, the crisis o f the middle classes is spoken o f (from the be­ ginning o f the century through World War II). If in all countries this crisis has originated im portant sociopolitical movements, it was not always expressed in classic fascist forms, and only in a few o f them did such movements reach power and establish a relatively stable regime. For the rise o f a massive fascist movement several conditions are necessary, and I shall enumerate them in terms of social mobilization theory.45 First and most im portant, the crisis must be deep enough to generate a strong displacement of a sizable portion of the middle strata, so th at these masses (that is, a considerable number o f individuals even if they are a m inority o f the population) become available to participate in some new form o f political action, for which no suitable, legitimate channel (such as an established political party) exists. The dis­ placement is usually, on the one hand, the consequence of structural changes such as those so prom inent in transitional capitalism, while on the other it is triggered by some traum atic event involving an immediate social and political threat, real or so perceived. The traum atic event itself (World War I, rapid in­ flation, the Great Depression) is expressed in terms of the political activa­ tion of the lower classes or some im portant segment of them. In Italy and Spain for instance, there was clearly a form o f primary mobilization. In Ger­ many the integration o f the lower classes—particularly urban—into the na­ tional society was at the time larger than in Italy, with the Socialist party channeling the political participation o f the industrial proletariat. Similar consequences as those in Italy were induced by the extraordinary new con­ ditions following World War I: military defeat, the fall o f the monarchy, and the spread o f leftist upheavals among urban and rural masses, as in the Russian Revolution, and—though unsuccessfully—in most of Central and Eastern Eur­ ope. New groups were affected by primary mobilization, or this process was greatly accelerated, and extrem e leftist factions and revolutionary attem pts coupled with the rise o f a strong Communist party were the typical expres­ sion of such new conditions. With the Weimar Republic democratization and secularization reached their highest point in German history up to that time, and both were experienced and feared as the dissolution o f national society and the breakdown o f essential values deeply rooted in the traditional elites and among those who identified with them , particularly the established mid­ dle classes. The conditions were set for secondary mobilization or countermobilization, aimed at reestablishing the threatened values through what was regarded as a new social order. A social order which could be seen quite dif­ ferently—and even in contradictory ways—by the various social groups inter­ vening in the fascist movement. In most o f them , anti-big business populist



components were strong or relatively strong, though with the institutionaliza­ tion of the regime they usually turned out to be a mere propagandists ap­ pendage. To these conditions and determinants regarding the role o f the middle classes many others must be added in order to explain the rise and eventual success of fascism. In the first section I have examined several theories em­ phasizing the meaning of such factors, and in the final section a definition of fascism will be suggested which includes a brief enum eration of most of them. For the moment, let us state that the role of the middle classes in classic fascism is to provide the main social basis for the recruitm ent of a mass movement and for a significant majority o f its elite. But the rise of a movement, and eventually a party, is a necessary but insufficient condition for the establishment of a fascist regime. Many other internal and external factors must also converge to make this outcome possible. Among the former, the coalition of the various components of the hitherto ruling class is particu­ larly crucial; a coalition whose essential purpose is to curb the political and social mobilization o f the lower classes. Among the latter, an attitude o f the ruling classes of the hegemonic countries favorable to a return to “ law and order” is also a significant factor, particularly for the survival o f the new regime. LATIN AMERICAN MIDDLE CLASSES AND THE FUNCTIONAL SUBSTITUTE OF FASCISM After this rather long excursion on the evolution o f the European middle classes, we can turn to the consideration o f similar processes occurring in Latin American countries, as they may be perceived in light o f the European experience: how and to what extent the changing nature and conditions of the middle classes in that region may be considered a determining factor in recent forms of authoritarian regimes. Several observers have spoken about a crisis o f the middle classes in Latin America. Graciarena has provided an excellent description o f it,46 and I interpret this process as similar to that experienced in Europe during the transitional stage. This does not mean to ignore that great differences do exist between the Latin American experience and that of the Western coun­ tries of earlier development. However, there is a common pattern with regard to the location of the middle classes within the national society and in the structure of the stratification system. Despite the differences, which are many and arise both from external and internal factors, certain equivalences can be found. In particular, the stage o f outward economic development in Latin America should be compared with the paleocapitalist stage, and the stage of inward development (after 1930) with the transitional stage. Some of the differential features are obvious. Latin American paleocapitalism was not founded on industrial development but on the production o f primary prod-



ucts (food, tropical crops, minerals, oil) for export. Instead, the onset o f the transitional stage in Latin America coincided with the new industrialization induced after 1930 by the breakdown o f the international market, the stage of inward development. (I am referring here to a scheme of stages of m od­ ernization in Latin America published elsewhere and whose political aspects will be further examined in connection with the role of the lower classes in national populism.)47 The stage o f outw ard developm ent marked in Latin America the begin­ nings of economic and social m odernization through its insertion in the in­ ternational m arket. It corresponds roughly to the period in which a viable national state was established, in some countries under a unifying autocracy while in others under a regime o f limited democracy (or an enlarged one), and in both cases with the effective control o f a ruling oligarchy. It was de­ pendent development heavily conditioned by the requirements o f the inter­ national m arket and the central industrial economies (particularly Great Britain, at that tim e). It held back industrialization, since manufactured products were to be provided by the latter. But depending on the nature of primary production, natural resources, the previous colonial society, and the existence o f a large overseas immigration, the consequence of the primary ex­ port economy on the total social structure could vary a great deal. In all countries it induced a dualistic society and economy, differentiation be­ tween a center (more urban, absorbing most o f the national income, socially more modernized) and a backward periphery (regions o f internal colonialism), since dualism must be understood more in terms o f asymmetrical relation with the center than as a mere juxtaposition o f modern and archaic. But dual­ ism could take different forms and extent depending on the various factors indicated above. The center could be restricted to a leading city, usually the capital, sharply contrasting with an interior o f extreme backwardness, whose population would be hardly marginal to the market and the national society (as in the case o f subsistence agriculture) and usually represent a source of cheap labor and the provider o f additional surplus for the center and its network of interm ediary groups. Or, on the contrary, the center could be extended to a sizable part or even a majority o f the national population—as in the case o f Argentina and Uruguay—or if remaining proportionally a minor­ ity, it could still be politically and socially highly relevant when representing a concentration o f many millions o f inhabitants, a sort of developed or m od­ ernized country within a large area o f backwardness, as in the case o f Brazil or Mexico. In this sense, we may speak o f the rise of relatively modern mid­ dle classes as one o f the social modernizing effects o f the primary export economy, effects which remained restricted in some countries but were wide­ ly diffused in others. The dependent primary economy caused changes in social structure analogous though different from those induced by industrial development in Europe. It also induced some growth o f the industrial sector, but this was limited mostly to perishable consumption goods, except where a



large concentration of urban population and a less unequal distribution of the national income permitted a higher level o f industrialization. The enlarge­ ment of the market induced by increased demand for consumer goods was often sufficient to sustain a medium- to small-scale or artisanal local industry in the large cities, causing a first wave o f industrialization at the turn of the century. This further added to the expansion o f the middle classes and the first appearance of a small segment of industrial proletariat in the lower classes. Urbanization and the expansion o f modern or modernized middle classes are the two modernizing effects48 which most concern us in this discussion. Both processes went beyond what could be expected in terms o f the level and nature of economic development. What must be emphasized is that socially there was in the more advanced and larger countries an im portant mass of urban middle classes and sometimes the beginnings o f an industrial prole­ tariat. While the latter was far smaller and less politically relevant than in European paleocapitalism, the urban middle classes turned out to be a highly significant factor in the political development o f those larger and more ad­ vanced nations in the region. There have been long discussions about the nature of the Latin American middle classes. A number of writers are inclined to consider them very differ­ ent from their North American and European counterparts. The cultural components (prestige, identification with higher classes, etc.) so heavily im­ puted to the middle strata in Latin America were no different from what could be found in all the bourgeois nations o f the West, particularly in paleocapitalist and transitional societies.49 Differences in intensity could be ob­ served, but the range of such variations was certainly larger among countries within the same cultural area (Latin America, the United States, or Western Europe) than among these cultural areas themselves. In the Latin American immigration countries (such as Argentina and Uruguay) the cultural compo­ nents were far less prominent than in Latin Europe. But because o f the par­ ticular type of national and political development in Latin America, the overexpansion o f the middle classes, and their basically modern nature, their role during the primary export economy was somewhat different from the Euro­ pean case. This may be explained to a great extent by the conditions under which most Latin American countries became national states. Though we may not speak o f a violent rupture with the traditional past, a sort of revolu­ tion from below may be noted at the source o f their nationhood. The parti­ cipation o f the lower classes in the wars of independence was certainly more prom inent than in the creation of the national state in some European countries, as in the case o f Italian or German unification. Independence did not destroy the archaic and hierarchical social structure, but the breakdown of colonial rule often involved a sort of traditional mobilization of large masses o f the population. There were exceptions, such as Brazil, where con­ tinuity with the colonial era was not abruptly and violently destroyed, but it is certainly true o f the most important former Hispanic colonies.



The transition to m odernity was largely initiated under the protection of modernizing oligarchies, in the form o f autocracy or restricted democracy (as in the European case), but always within the rigid limits o f their class horizons. These limits were to a considerable extent determined not only by their own position as m onopolizers o f power and the desire to maintain themselves as such, but also by a form o f development based on the primary export economy and not on industry. This is an almost complete inversion o f the European situation. We are also dealing with a bourgeoisie whose interests were closely tied in a relationship o f dependence to the interests of the indus­ trial bourgeoisies o f the central countries. Although their desires for political and social m odernization were generally sincere, they inevitably had to ex­ perience the double lim itation o f their position in the social structure and in the historical situation on the international level. The Latin American modern middle classes were first a subproduct o f this special type o f modernization based, as was upper-class prosperity, on the fruits of the primary export economy. As a group situated in a given position in society and within a given (and dated) historical situation, their horizons were equally limited. The pro­ gressive enlargement o f political participation was the outcome of their social and political action to gain pow er—they had to fight the ruling oligarchy which had excluded them . Their ideological expression did not differ substan­ tially from the one manifestly professed by the oligarchy itself, and especially during the phase o f the primary export economy, it only proposed to realize the constitutional model form ulated by the ruling class. They created and developed multiclass movements o f the populist type; this was possible be­ cause they did not have a threatening organized proletariat under them. It was easy at that time for the middle classes to function as a progressive sector of society. From this purely political point o f view, the Latin American mid­ dle class was perhaps more democratic and progressive than its European counterpart (especially in Latin European countries). Although in Europe many leaders o f the new working class movement in the paleocapitalist phase were of middle-class origin, no widespread multiclass populism was induced by the middle classes themselves. This sharply contrasts with the progressivedemocratic multiclass parties with strong populist components that the mid­ dle classes were able to generate in many Latin American countries. Only in other new Western countries (like the United States and Canada) do we have a similar phenom enon (but with less populism). Though the middle classes limited themselves in Latin America to the affirmation of formal democracy, they never lacked com ponents o f social justice, and these tended to become accentuated towards the end o f the outward development and affirmed above all during the following stage (after 1930), characterized by mass mobilization. In the same way as occurred with the modernizing oligarchic elites, the middle classes never perceived clearly the limits of the economic structure that facilitated their own existence and expansion until this same structure collapsed under external impacts. The industrializing impulse was generated



from outside by the Great Depression and most o f the middle class supported it, but then even the old landed oligarchy led in some countries the first phases o f the process of im port substitution, through support o f domestic enterprise. During the stage of outward expansion (primary paleocapitalism), the mid­ dle classes in Latin America were an emerging class being rapidly transformed into a basic one. Declining intermediate strata were not lacking, particularly the archaic artisanships destroyed by the im port o f manufactures from indus­ trialized countries. Nor was absent a declining segment o f the upper class, such as the marginal sectors of latifundists who could not adapt to commer­ cial agriculture and export economy or who remained marginal to changes in precapitalist or “ feudal” conditions (as they were called at the time, using the term feudal loosely). Aside from the aforem entioned declining sector, the Latin American middle classes were in ascent during primary paleocapitalism; ascent both in sociopolitical and numerical terms. There was not in this stage a middle-class problem in Latin America, and their position appears firmer and less ambiguous than in Europe, where even in the paleocapitalist phase, within and outside of Marxism, these strata were discussed as proble­ matical and of ambiguous and contradictory political behavior. This does not imply that in Latin America their identification as a class was not strong­ ly influenced by cultural components o f prestige and identification (aspira­ tion) with the upper class, as occurred with the European middle class. The stratification system in Latin America approxim ated the paleocapitalistic stage, especially in central and southern Europe, in regard to the degree of hierarchization and distance of cleavages among classes. But these elitist fea­ tures of the system did not necessarily limit the progressive political orienta­ tion of the Latin American middle class, since in its confrontation with the ruling elite it could make use of the support o f the popular urban classes. Such support was possible because at this time the industrial proletariat was still in a process of formation and constituted an even less mobilized and organized sector than its European counterpart during the phase o f industrial paleocapitalism, or, as in Argentina, was mostly foreign-born and could not exercise direct political influence. The working class was not large and mature enough to organize into a class-oriented party. During this phase the urban middle class began to overexpand in Latin America; a continuing process that was accentuated during the following stage of industrial development. This overexpansion was caused in part by general factors which affect most coun­ tries of later transition: increase of services, the necessities o f organization, public and private bureaucracy, and technocracy, to an extent unknown in the history o f European paleocapitalism. Expansion also resulted from other causes. In part, it was a consequence of the middle class’s success in incor­ porating itself into national life; recent power was used to favor its own quantitative expansion and open new channels o f mobility, especially through secondary and higher education. In part, it was a result of the flexibility



shown by the oligarchic upper class; it was a form of cooptation, not delib­ erate and in many cases not desired, but perhaps more or less clearly per­ ceived by some o f the m ost foresighted and realistic groups of the oligarchy. This cooptation paid o ff through the reformist m oderation o f the movements and regimes o f the middle class. After 1930, Latin America entered a new stage of modernization. It was determined by many different trends which converged in one o f the central traits characterizing the new epoch: the era of mass mobilization. Breakdown of the primary export economy and World War II fostered the upsurge o f in­ dustrialization, in some cases at a very accelerated rate. Demographic change (itself an expression o f the modernizing process o f previous decades) brought high birth rates with a rapid lowering o f death rates. It was the beginning o f the population explosion in the region. This demographic increase, the push factors from rural areas, the onset o f industrialization, and the awakening of long-ignored and -suppressed needs and new attitudes in at least a substantial portion of the still marginal rural population, brought a sharp acceleration in urban growth. Urbanization (which had always preceded industrialization in Latin America, contrary to the European model) advanced at an increasing rate and originated large masses now available for the Erst time for political participation. Though the revolution o f rising expectations was not a real threat to the established social order, since the all too recent urban lower class was neither ready nor had a particular propensity for revolutionary ac­ tion, still it was a socially mobilized mass which could be politically activated through some sort o f populism, supported by the appeal of charismatic leadership. Under given circumstances it could be perceived as a serious threat by the middle classes and ruling elites. The middle classes benefited from the new course taken by the economy with industrialization, particularly during the rapid economic growth induced in certain periods. They provided a considerable proportion of the new man­ agement, the executive bureaucratic and administrative sector required by in­ dustrial activity from its very first phase of im port substitution. This demand was not limited to the historical level observed in the first phases of industri­ alization in Europe, but w ent closer to the structure of the bureaucratized industrial enterprise o f advanced capitalism. Industrialization, accelerated urbanization, and other changes accentuated the necessity for services, contributing even more to the expansion o f the middle class, increasing their possibilities o f mobility and their participation in consumption. At the same time, the whole process was likely to produce new tensions, internal conflicts within the class and conflicts external to it, insecurity and threats from above and below. In the stage o f the primary export economy, the middle class was not more homogeneous than its European counterpart. It was a conglomerate of heterogeneous sectors with contrasting economic interests. Nevertheless, perhaps even to a greater extent than in various European countries, the mid-



die classes of many Latin American countries showed a degree o f political co­ herence. It was not only the consequence o f their common location within the social structure, or their common cultural com ponents, aspirations, and identi­ fications, but above all the experience o f common struggles against the ruling oligarchy, their capacity to achieve significant participation in national life and the nation’s political leadership. But the heterogeneity and internal contradic­ tions which could remain partially latent during the period o f ascent tended to erupt in times of crisis. Even during the expansion o f the middle sectors induced by industrial development, other divisive elements were added to the old ones. The entrepreneurial-industrial component o f the middle classes had to confront the now unionized white collars; chronic inflation accompanying economic growth caused transfers of income among the various occupational groups of the middle strata, since their corresponding sectors were differentially af­ fected by the decline in purchasing power o f the currency. The dependent lower middle classes in large cities could defend themselves much better in Latin America than their counterparts in Europe, since while the former were unionized, the latter were not: here the old pattern of purely individual rela­ tions with the employer persisted (an expression o f their identification with the bourgeoisie still predominated in the European transitional stage). The relative­ ly higher political autonomy o f the white collar vis a vis other components of the middle classes was then another source o f internal cleavage. The internal fragmentation and threatening pressures from above and be­ low combined in a very similar form to that observed in the transitional phase of European capitalism. Certainly, at both extremes the composition and na­ ture o f the upper and lower strata in Latin America present different aspects. But the structural situation o f the middle classes was still analogous, con­ fronted with this double pressure o f groups whose power was growing. Par­ ticularly after 1930, the upper classes in Latin America became increasingly heterogeneous, a conglomerate formed by the old landholding oligarchy, the old established industrial bourgeoisie (to the extent that it was con­ nected with primary production), and the newly formed bourgeoisie risen from recent industrialization. The internal cleavages of the upper class did not necessarily work in favor o f the no less fragmented middle classes. Be­ sides, in Latin America there was an im portant com ponent: a considerable part of the larger of the more modernized industries was under foreign con­ trol, and this is a current and potentially menacing circumstance for the na­ tional middle sectors. At the other extreme, the urban working class, al­ though (with exceptions) not yet able to form working-class parties, was ac­ quiring considerable strength, not only through its unions but also through the new populist formations of national-popular type, which though includ­ ing middle-class elements, were far more affected by the influence o f workingclass components than had occurred in preceding populist parties, where the lower strata formed a smaller proportion and remained much more subordi­ nate to middle-class orientations and goals.



There is also a constitutional problem o f the middle classes in Latin America: their existence and expansion was partly due to a policy of com­ promise with the existing order. This policy under certain circumstances can be convenient and favorable for ordered change, but in the long run diminishes the potential for change in these sectors which benefit from this for too long or under less appropriate conditions. All these and other factors configure the crisis of the middle classes in Latin America. Their contradictions, ambiguity, backslidings, and more generally in recent times, reactions o f apathy and alienation, are the expression o f such a crisis. In Europe during the transitional phase, the conjunction o f various cir­ cumstances—stagnation o f the econom y, struggles among sectors of the upper class, mobilization of the working class, and highly traum atic events which led to the displacement and secondary mobilization of the middle classes— originated the fascist regimes and other authoritarian escapes from the im­ passe created by the many conflicting groups. In Latin America, since the crisis of the export econom y destroyed the bases of the old equilibrium, there have not lacked attem pts at classic fascist solutions. But all these have failed until the present, due to various factors. In the first place, the ideo­ logical climate was no longer favorable to this type of solution, and the cor­ responding ideologies ceased to be viable. Second, the Latin American middle classes were still perm eated in the more modernized countries with demo­ cratic beliefs. Third, they did not have to confront or were not affected by traumatic events o f the scale that occurred in Europe, particularly the World War I. And where comparable events did take place, like in Chile, fascist-like regimes did arise. We may rem em ber that in the thirties fascist attem pts oc­ curred in Chile, Argentina, and Brazil, but the middle classes failed to be mo­ bilized and provide sufficient support. The crisis o f the middle classes assumed the form o f a slow deterioration, interrupted by periods o f recovery, rather than o f precipitous decline. It tended to follow the stop-and-go course typ­ ically taken by the econom y, particularly after the phase of import-substitu­ tion industrialization had been exhausted and a higher and more complex stage was to be reached. An entirely different kind of dilemma was to be con­ fronted by the middle classes with the crisis o f the national-popular regimes. These movements and regimes, resulting from the alliance (virtual or ex­ plicit) between the new industrial bourgeoisie, some segments of the de­ pendent and unionized middle classes, and the new urban proletariat found their structural base and raison d ’etre in the requirements o f the rising in­ dustrial econom y, particularly in the phase of im port substitution. Per capita GNP was improving fast; new consumers created a demand for the kinds o f manufactures the society had the technical and economic capacity to gener­ ate; therefore, the national-popular solution benefitted even if in different degree a large proportion o f the population with the exception of the landed interests (urban and rural) and some sectors o f the old middle classes. The rest of the middle classes, particularly the lower dependent and unionized



sectors, did not fail to increase their standard o f living, even if often such in­ crease was comparatively lower than among industrial workers. The national popular movements thus found a divided middle class. Even in Argentina, where historical circumstances gave a fascist-like image to the Peronist version of national populism, middle-class opposition to it was not monolithic and tended to decrease with the clarification of the historical misunderstanding of the real nature of the populistic movement, as in fact occurred after the downfall of the first Peronism (1946-55). The rise of the industrial and serv­ ice sectors and the expansion in consumption created in the more urbanized areas some effects of the self-sustained mobility we have described as typical of neocapitalism. The invasion of status by increased social and political par­ ticipation of the urban lower classes was at least partially compensated for by a feeling of generalized upward mobility and increasing opening up o f society and new opportunities for the middle classes. Nonetheless, there was fear and opposition among them vis a vis the social and political rise o f urban workers. This opposition did not assume the classic fascist ideology of hierarchy and law and order, but while still using a democratic and liberal language, it ex­ pressed a sort of incoherent resistance to the threat perceived in the new emerging urban groups.50 Once the potentialities for economic growth provided by the phase of im­ port substitution were exhausted, when new challenges were posed by the need to advance to a more mature form o f industrial structure, old and new economic and social problems, internal and international, cropped up, intro­ ducing considerable instabilities in the economies of most Latin American countries. At this time the underlying middle-classes crisis reached a deeper level, intensified by changes and events occurring in the region and the world. At the international level, the establishment and consolidation of the first so­ cialist state in the subcontinent, the rise of a highly m ilitant extreme Left in most countries, and the renewed open or secret political and military inter­ vention by the United States were the most obvious political symptoms of rising tensions and conflicts. The internationalization o f national markets also modified the conditions under which the higher stages o f industrializa­ tion were to take place, also shaping the role o f the local bourgeoisies and the state. Other crucial factors in the changing scene were the high demographic increases, failure to absorb the rapidly expanding labor force and consequent growth o f marginal population (rural and urban), the continuation of mass in­ ternal migration, the urban explosion, and the deteriorating balance of pay­ ments and lower import capacity, at a m om ent o f high need for foreign cap­ ital goods and raw materials induced by the requirements of a more advanced industrial economy. The acceleration o f inflation greatly intensified internal sectoral clashes at the socioeconomic level, shattering the party system, and highlighting the insecure position of the middle classes, whose heterogeneous composition and particular location in the socioeconomic structure made them especially vulnerable to internal and international impacts. Although



one cannot speak o f a mass m obilization of the middle classes as a conse­ quence of the stress and displacement caused by these processes, they created to a varying extent, depending on national historical conditions, a propen­ sity for authoritarian solutions. The beginnings of a middle-class mass mobili­ zation could be observed in Brazil in 1964, when the dying national populism of Joao Goulart was perceived as a potential threat to the social order. Much more prominent was the reaction o f a portion of the middle class in Chile, confronting the leftist coalition in government. In both cases the decisive fac­ tor in achieving the violent demobilization o f the lower classes was the army (with the open or secret encouragem ent and concrete intervention o f United States political and econom ic interests), while middle-class civilian groups, though approving and accompanying in different ways and degrees the mili­ tary action, were not directly involved in it. The main difference betw een the Latin American variety and the classic type of fascism consists in the fact th at the active role in promoting and even­ tually establishing an authoritarian regime was usually assumed by the mili­ tary, not by the middle classes, which, however, under certain conditions gave their support to it. This would not be sufficient to classify Latin Ameri­ can military regimes as forms o f fascism. We may distinguish at least several types of authoritarian outcom es stemming from participation crises. We may speak of a fascist-like regime only when it is established in a modernized so­ cial context, and confronting (as a reaction) a sustained primary mobiliza­ tion of the lower classes, th at is, during the stage o f mass mobilization initi­ ated in Latin America roughly after the Great Depression and in correspon­ dence with drastic structural changes in Latin American societies. The examples given above—Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, and Chile—best fit the model o f w hat I call “ functional substitutes of fascism /’ insofar as while they all show significant differences with the classic ideal type, they have in common what is at least one o f its basic aims, namely, the forced demobiliza­ tion of the recently mobilized lower classes. Here, as in the classic case, other factors are essential, such as the decline of the old oligarchy, the struggle be­ tween industrial and nonindustrial sectors, and the coexistence of various economies: the m onopolistic or nonm arket economy composed of both public and foreign m ultinational corporations intermingled in various fashions, the market economy o f middle-size modern or modernized national enter­ prises, and the marginal or hidden economy based on large urban marginal population, which is blended with the surviving rural subsistence sector, and reaches in some countries a high proportion o f the national population. In the particularly delicate transition to a more mature industrial economy and under the constraint o f foreign dependence—in economic, military, and tech­ nological term s—the sectoral clashes plus the threat (often more perceived than real) o f rising m obilization o f the lower strata and o f urban guerrillas create a power vacuum which reinforces propensities for an authoritarian solution. Increasing fragm entation o f society caused by pressure on the state



by organized interests and their high diversification and conflictuality has the same consequences. Here the functional substitute o f the middle classes is the army, as the active agent in bringing about the violent demise o f representa­ tive democracy and the installation of the new regime. Mobilized middle classes not being available (or insufficiently so), military intervention repre­ sents the natural agent. Political participation o f the army is a deeply in­ grained trait o f the Latin American culture, and this facilitates its new role (these interventions and the resulting regimes are quite different from the traditional stereotype o f South American military rule). The army may offer the illusion o f a stable technocratic-bureaucratic solution, seemingly neces­ sary to achieve “development w ithout breakdown” 51 o f the existing status quo. Such a solution suits not only the internal establishment but also U.S. interests and the type o f international equilibrium m aintained by world powers since the cold war. The construct o f a functional substitute of fascism finds some confirma­ tion of its usefulness when one compares aspects of Latin American cases with their European counterparts. In both regions fascist (or fascist-like) regimes came into power after the failure of a real (or perceived) threat of leftist revolution. The more the political situation leading to the crisis preced­ ing the breakdown of democracy resembled the European cases, the more the authoritarian solution approximated classic fascism. I will leave aside the Bra­ zilian Estado Novo and the failed fascist attem pts of the thirties in Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay, which I believe tend to confirm the hypothesis but whose analysis would take us too far from the present concern. Taking in­ stead more recent cases, we may note that Chile in 1973 was the only coun­ try to have strong Marxist parties, and a considerable portion o f the middle classes were ready for mobilization against organized urban and rural prole­ tariat. The military intervention went very near to triggering a civil war. Had the portion o f the armed forces opposed to the coup been able to initiate a resistance, civilian participation on both sides could have exploded. That is, the middle classes would have participated in a similar fashion as in Spain, where organized fascist movements were too weak, but the failure o f the mili­ tary rebellion and the ensuing civil war unleashed the participation of most of the middle classes on the Franco side. There is an inverse relationship be­ tween the role of organized middle classes and that o f the military. Every­ where the army supported the rise of fascism. This is true o f Germany and Italy, where military participation was disguised or indirect; of Spain and Chile, where it was manifest and decisive; and in Brazil (1964), Uruguay (1966), and Argentina (1976), it was the only visible active agent. Similarly, the middle classes everywhere supported the fascist or fascist-like regimes, but the degree o f their intervention varied in inverse proportion to the role of the military: central in Germany and Italy; complementary in Spain and less so in Chile; and mostly passive in Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina in that order.



ELEMENTS FOR A DEFINITION OF FASCISM The preceding discussion, as well as the theoretical framework suggested in the first chapters, provide a basis to formulate a definition of fascism whose main purpose is not merely taxonom ic, but aims at offering a useful theo­ retical orientation in the comparative study of this political phenomenon. The general assumption adopted here is to consider fascism as one o f the pos­ sible forms o f m odern authoritarianism , that is, authoritarianism considered as specific to m odern society, rooted in some o f the contradictions inherent to its typical structure. These contradictions, which derive mainly from the process o f growing secularization, can be translated, in a given historical con­ text, into conflicts among classes or among sectors o f the same class, and they often generate—sometimes with the intervention of external traumatic events—cycles o f m obilization. N ot all forms of modern authoritarianism are the direct result o f class struggles and mobilization processes, but a theoretical scheme o f this kind seems particularly useful for the study o f classic fascism (1919-45) and other similar phenom ena, particularly the more recent func­ tional substitutes o f fascism. The definition underlines the conditions necessary for the emergence of fascism, the basic aims (the historical, social, and political meaning o f fascism), and the form or political regime it can assume—in terms o f a model general enough to cover the classic types and several other variants. The definition is synthetic, and therefore om its essential distinctions such as those between regime and movement and a detailed analysis o f political form as distinct from the content or basic aims. Conditions. Fascist movements (or their functional substitutes) are likely to acquire a mass basis and eventually develop into a regime when all or most of the following conditions are met: 1. The transition towards m odern industrial society has been initiated under some sort o f capitalist form. 2. The process has advanced beyond the initial steps and the society is located within the middle range o f modernization. Such a range is conceived here as rather large, including both more and less ad­ vanced countries, and a variety o f possible configurations resulting from the coexistence within each society o f more and less advanced stages, in terms o f the partial processes which compose the total process o f economic, social, and political m odernization. 3. In terms o f this com ponent, the society must have been, at least for a period o f time, under a regime o f representative democracy (at least from the legal or formal point o f view). 4. The process o f m odernization was initiated more on the basis o f a rev­ olution from above than under conditions created by a revolution from below (of the bourgeois-democratic variety).




The process of national integration has been delayed, or at least has failed to reach an adequate degree o f consolidation. 6. The interclass and intraclass conflicts related to stresses and strains in­ duced by the transition have reached a high level o f intensity, or at least their resolution has become exceedingly difficult. 7. Primary mobilization o f the lower classes is advancing at a fast rate and is perceived as a serious threat (real or not) beyond democratic control, by the various sectors of the elites. 8. The crisis of the middle classes is reaching a most acute phase, as these strata feel particularly threatened by the rise of the lower class, the danger o f material and/or psychological status loss, and growing con­ centration o f economic power in the upper class (such as big business and in certain cases big landowners). 9. In countries where the middle classes have suffered the effects of par­ ticularly traumatic changes, their displacement and availability may cause their mobilization (secondary mobilization) through political movements which provide a mass basis for fascism. Where this process is lacking, the rise o f a fascist regime will require the intervention of other forces, usually the military. But the middle class will still pro­ vide substantial support (perhaps through acquiescence) for the emer­ gence o f the regime and its consolidation. 10. The state o f the international system and particularly the interests of the hegemonic powers are opposed to radical changes in the preexist­ ing social order and to a real modification of the economic and po­ litical establishment. Such opposition may be rooted in ideological interests and/or in foreign-policy strategies. Basic aims. Under these circumstances, some form o f fascist regime is like­ ly to be seen as a solution to the threatening and unresolved conflicts. Typ­ ically, the classic solution (but not necessarily some o f its variants) consists of a compromise between the declining rural sector and the emerging indus­ trial bourgeoisie. Other powerful sectors composing the establishment also intervene: the church, the military, the aristocracy and the monarchy, and segments of the intellectual and professional elites and o f the political class more closely connected (in terms of common ideologies, life styles, and so­ cial origins) with the other components of the establishment. Though the dy­ namic factor in their alliance is the aim to induce forced demobilization of the lower class, the compromise also tends to reach a truce (and if possible a lasting peace) in intraelite, intra-upper-class conflicts. The basic raison d’etre of the regime is to consolidate a state of affairs able to enforce, for a consid­ erable period o f time, both lower-class demobilization and a moratorium on all aspects o f modernization that may threaten the interests of the coalition, even at the cost of prolonged economic and social stagnation. Since this ar­ rangement may fail to protect the interests o f the middle classes or help solve their “problem” in a rational way, some substitute satisfactions may be given



them, in terms o f stability, nationalist goals, prestige symbols, and rituals. Another com ponent which in certain cases may assume real importance, or may in others be reduced to a mere ideological appendage, is the technocratic orientation proclaimed as the more effective answer to the dilemma o f m od­ ernization, capable o f giving the best solution to the interclass or general in­ tergroup conflicts posed by economic and social development. Finally, among the basic aims we must remember protection of the economic, polit­ ical, military, and ideological interests o f the hegemonic nations which have directly or indirectly supported the rise o f the regime. Changing international conditions may alter this role. Political form. Fascism, defined here in terms of its main functions in a given social context, may assume different political forms compatible with such functions. The specific kind o f political system and its ideological ex­ pressions will be determ ined by several internal (national) and external (in­ ternational) factors: 1. The ideological climate predom inant at the national and international level in the period in which the regime is established. 2. The position o f the country within the international system, the characteristics o f this system in terms o f economic, political, and mili­ tary power differentials among nations, and current international cleavages and conflicts. 3. The degree o f m odernization (economic, social, and political) achieved by society (within the middle range broadly defined above). 4. The characteristics o f the culture, social structure, and especially of the stratification system, as it has emerged from the previous transi­ tion, and as shaped by other long-term historical factors. 5. The nature and composition o f the coalition among various segments of the upper class and elites. 6. The role o f the middle classes (varying from a dynamic one, as a mass basis for the fascist movement, to a rather passive participation in support o f the regime). 7. The role o f the army (to a great extent determined by historical socio­ cultural factors m entioned in [4 | above). Classic European fascism, in the countries where it succeeded in consoli­ dating itself over a relatively long period, has assumed the form of a oneparty totalitarian state. Such was the case in nazi Germany and fascist Italy. Another form assumed by fascism is the authoritarian state. Other European cases of aborted or short-lived fascism may have assumed peculiar variations of the authoritarian form. Finally, in Latin America, since the 1930s (and with increasing frequency in the last decade), another form of a military func­ tional substitute for fascism has been attem pted. This type of regime, if it achieves some stability, may assume an authoritarian rather than totalitarian form. A suitable definition o f the totalitarian state (as an ideal type) has been



proposed by Friedrich and Brzezinski. It consists of a syndrome of six inter­ related traits: (1) an official ideology “ covering all vital aspects of man’s existence, to which everyone is supposed to adhere, at least passively;” (2) a single mass party typically led by one man, the dictator; (3) a system o f ter­ roristic police control; (4) a complete or nearly complete technological monopoly o f control over all effective means o f mass communication; (5) similar control o f all effective means o f armed combat; (6) central control and direction of the econom y.52 A nother aspect, especially im portant in the context of this analysis, is the type of consensus demanded by the system. Although for the masses passive conformity may be acceptable, active ideo­ logical identification and participation is required o f a minority within the party, especially the elite and the segment of the population from which the future elite will be recruited. In adopting this definition it is of the utmost importance to stress the distinction between historical meaning, that is, the substance of fascism, and the political form it may assume. On the one hand, fascism may assume forms other than the totalitarian w ithout losing its sub­ stance; on the other, regimes with an entirely different historical meaning may adopt the totalitarian form. Franco’s Spain presented some traits o f the totalitarian state. However, many observers are convinced that this regime cannot be considered totalitari­ an, or at least that in its evolution since the end o f World War II the totali­ tarian components were increasingly obliterated. At the theoretical level, Linz has advanced a model of the authoritarian state which in his opinion is much more valid for the Spanish regime than the totalitarian model. Authori­ tarian regimes—in Linz’s form ulation—“are political systems with limited, not responsible, political pluralism: without elaborate and guiding ideology (but with distinctive mentalities); w ithout intensive nor extensive political mobili­ zation (except some points in their development); and in which a leader (or occasionally a small group) exercises power within formally ill-defined limits but actually quite predictable ones.” 53 This model may prove very useful in the analysis o f other regimes as well. But the same provisos emphasized re­ garding the distinction between substance and form must be observed. The basic aims and the historical meaning o f Franco’s regime are typically fascist. That its political form may be characterized as authoritarian is certainly rele­ vant, but no more (and perhaps even less) than its fascist substance. Authoritarian forms may also be assumed by the functional substitutes of fascism. We find a good example o f this in many Latin American countries and their military bureaucratic regimes. However, the different structural con­ figuration characterizing Latin American societies, the differences in ideo­ logical climate and other internal and international factors are likely to gen­ erate other—as yet unknown—forms o f fascism or some functional substitute for it. Until now, though the crisis o f the middle classes remains a key factor as much as it was in the European cases, lack o f highly traum atic experiences has prevented the occurrence o f secondary mobilization o f these strata and



their role in a mass fascist-like movement. Nonetheless the middle classes, through their present ambivalence and incoherence, are contributing, in con­ junction with the Latin American equivalent of the conditions enumerated in the text, to the required political and social context favorable to the emer­ gence of some sort o f fascist solution. The dynamic factor here is provided by the military, and their intervention replaces the mass movements o f classic fascism in establishing regimes likely to achieve and maintain lower-class demobilization and protection o f the higher class from the risks involved in certain aspects o f m odernization. Not having recognized the distinction between the basic aims or historical raison d ’etre o f fascism and the political form assumed by it, some theories, especially those that place the totalitarian political model in the center of analysis, assign very different socioeconomic systems to the same category, for example, systems whose aim is the demobilization of subordinate classes and systems th at represent the primary mobilization of these same classes. Even if the totalitarian form is the most typical of modern authoritarianism insofar as it constitutes one o f the possible answers to contradictions inherent in modern society (and in this sense is connected to the causes of the phe­ nomenon over a long period o f tim e), the confusion implies a serious error from the point o f view o f evaluation of the historical meaning over a short or a medium-range period.

NOTES 1. This terminology is used by some writers in Italy. See Costanzo Casucci “ Fascismo e storia” in II Fascismo, ed. C. Casucci (Bologna: II Mulino, 1961), p. 425. Croce called fascism a parenthesis o f twenty years (in C. Casucci, p. 174). However, Croce also saw the implications of fascism. The historical interpretation was stressed by most Italians. G. A. Borgese, though he recognized the universal implications o f fascism, inter­ preted it within the context o f the historical development of the Italian spirit since the Middle Ages in Goliath, The March o f Fascism (New York: Viking Press, 1937). “Fas­ cism was Italy’s autobiography” wrote G obetti in 1922, and the same words were re­ peated a few years later by Rosselli, who considered fascism a “gigantic return to the Italian’s past.” See P. G obetti, La rivoluzione liberale (Milan: Einaudi, 1949), p. 185; and C. Rosselli, Socialismo liberale (Roma: Edizioni U, 1945), pp. 109-12. Along with this emphasis on the historical characteristics of the Italian nation, other aspects o f its long history were mentioned. A common theme is the weakness o f the Risorgimento in terms of economic and social modernization. 2. See P. Togliatti, “ A proposito del fascismo,” in Λ fascismo, ed. C. Casucci (Bolog­ na: II Mulino, 1961). Both Togliatti and the Communist party rejected the thesis o f the last stage of capitalism (as in Guerin and others). They accepted the idea of the weakest link in the capitalist world. See “Theses o f the Third Congress o f Italian Communist Party in 1926,” Rinascita (1951): 94-98. 3. Until recently, the contributions o f Italian scholars to the study o f fascism re­ mained in the field o f history. The lack o f sociological dimensions was noted by Renato Treves, “ Interpretazioni sociologiche del fascismo,” Occidente (1953) : 371-91. This situ­ ation is changing now, more by a sociologizing of history than by sociology itself. For these and other pioneering interpretations in terms of class (specifically the crisis of the middle class), see Renzo De Felice, Le interpretazioni del fascismo (Bari: Laterza, 1972), pp. 157-67.



4. Bibliographic references regarding these contributions will be given in the second section. 5. An illustration of this trend is P. R. Viereck, Metapolitics (New York: Knopf, 1941) , tracing the historical origins o f the two souls o f Germany. An analysis of ideo­ logies may be found in F. R. Stern, 'Die Politics o f Cultural Despair (Berkeley: Univer­ sity of California Press, 1961). 6. See for instance J. L. Talmon, The Origins o f Totalitarian Democracy (London: Seeker and Warburg, 1951). 7. In the thirties, the problem was posed in the context of modernization in Western countries, and in terms o f the conflict between rationality and irrational and traditional trends. A more complete example o f this approach was given by K. Mannheim in Man and Society in an Age o f Reconstruction. The problem of the economic and social con­ ditions required for the emergence and maintenance of representative democracy, and new formulations o f totalitarianism both in earlier industrialized (Western) areas and in presently developing ones, became prominent in the late fifties. Lipset, Political Man (Garden City: Doubleday, 1960) is one o f the central contributions along this line. At this stage of world history and scientific knowledge (or at least intellectual awareness), the totalitarian oligarchy (to use Shils’s term) was seen as an alternative to moderniza­ tion in underdeveloped countries. See E. Shils, “ Political Development in the New States,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 2 (1959-60). 8. In “The Decay o f German Democracy,” Political Quarterly (1953), F. Neumann states: “German National Socialism is nothing but the dictatorship o f a monopolized industry and of big estate owners, the nakedness of which is covered by the mask of a corporative state.” But his Behemoth: 'Die Structure and Practice o f National Socialism, 1933-1944 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1942) gives a more elaborate view. Other illustrations of this trend are Μ. B. Sweezy, 77ie Structure o f the Nazi Economy (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1941); and R. A. Brady, 'Die Spirit and Structure o f German Eascism (New York: Viking Press, 1937). In Italy, a formulation o f the class hypothesis inspired in the Mosca-Pareto tradition but also similar to the Marxist ap­ proach, can be found in G. Dorso, Dittatura, classe politica, e classe dirigente (Einaudi, 1949); and P. Togliatti, Lezioni sui fascismo (Rome: Ed. Riuniti, 1970); and many pres­ ent writers. 9. Daniel Guerin, Fascisme et grand capital (Paris: Gallimard, 1945). 10. Guerin, ch. 2. 11. Harold Laski, Reflections on the Revolution in Our Time (London: Gollanes, 1942) . f 12. Guerin, ch. 6. Guerin sees the process occurring in two stages: the first in which the “ plebeians” (an equivalent o f Laski’s outlaws) conquer all power and at least partial­ ly remove the old ruling class, and a second stage characterized by the elimination of plebeians and the rise o f a bureaucratic-military dictatorship. This change in fascist leadership in Italy and the trend towards a bureaucratic and police dictatorship has been recently documented in an excellent study by Alberto Aquarone, L ’organizzazione dello stato totalitario (Turin: Einaudi, 1965), ch. 3. 13. The role o f charisma was stressed by F. Neumann, Behemoth. The evaluation of early Marxist thought on fascism has been described and analyzed by John M. Cammet, “Communist Theories of Fascism, 1920-1935,” Science and Society 31 (1967): 149-63. 14. I have omitted here an explicit reference to Barrington Moore, Social Origins o f Dictatorship and Democracy (Boston: Beacon Press, 1966) mainly because I have lim­ ited my interest to middle and short-range levels o f analysis. Moore’s central concern lies in the long range, in the forms o f transition from feudalism to capitalism. The hy­ potheses formulated by Moore seem compatible with the theoretical orientations adopted here. Conditions characterizing the first steps in modernization as studied by Moore in­ troduce predispositions favorable to either democratic or authoritarian solutions to the dilemma o f modernization. However, they are not sufficient. Such predispositions will be translated into historical reality only through other factors working at middle and short range, such as those analyzed here. The entire process takes place in the context o f structural contradictions inherent in modern society. 15. Max Scheler, El resentimiento en la moral (Buenos Aires: Espasa Calpe, 1938),



esp. pt. 1. For Scheler, situational factors are only one condition o f resentment; race and heredity are the main determinants. In this as in other works, Scheler shares, along with other representatives o f the German irrationalist orientation, many traits of nazi ideology. Svend Ranulf, Moral Indignation and Middle Class Psychology (Copenhagen: Levin and Munksgaard, 1938), introduction. Ranulf and the predominantly German tradition are not the only source o f this type of analysis. One may mention Eugene Raiga, L ’Envie: son role social (Paris: Alcan, 1932), who drawing mostly on French in­ tellectual background, described a variety of social settings originating resentment. 16. Harold D. Lasswell, Ih e Analysis o f Political Behavior (London: Routledge &c Kegan Paul, 1947), pp. 235-45 (from an article published in 1933 in Political Quarterly). 17. Erich Fromm, Ih e Pear o f Ereedom (London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1942), published in the United States in 1941 as Escape from Ereedom. 18. The im portant distinction between total fear and diffused anxiety, as opposed to ordinary fear, was noted by K. Riezler, “The Social Psychology o f Fear,” American Journal o f Psychology 40 (1944): 489-98. See also G. Germani “Anomia y desintegracion social/‘Boletm del Instituto de Sociologia 4 (1945): 45-62. 19. T. W. Adorno, et al., The Authoritarian Personality (New York: Harper, 1950). 20. D. Riesman, The Lonely Crowd (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1950). Riesman related this type to the marketing orientation described by Fromm in Man fo r Himself 21. Adorno and some of his collaborators and Fromm belonged to the same scien­ tific tradition. With Horkheimer, they were at the Institute for Social Research in Ger­ many, where Fromm first conducted an inquiry into the German middle and working classes. His whole theory o f authority stems from these early studies. The research was published later in France: M. Horkheimer (ed.), Autorität und Eamilie (Paris: Alcan, 1936). 22. Edward A. Shils, “ Authoritarianism: ‘Right’ and ‘Left’,” in Studies in the Scope and Method o f the Authoritarian Personality, ed. R. Christie and M. Jahoda (Glencoe: Free Press, 1954). An attem pt to operationalize the distinction between right-and leftwing authoritarianism was undertaken by H. J. Eysenck, dividing authoritarianism into two dimensions: tendermindedness/toughmindedness and radical/conservative. H. J. Eysenck, Ihe Psychology o f Politics (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1954). In the literature on the psychology o f authoritarianism, another interesting attem pt may be found in the studies published by Milton Rokeach et al., Ih e Open and Closed Mind (New York: Basic Books, 1960). 23. K. Mannheim, esp. pt. 1, sect. 3 and pt. 2. 24. In the twenties, one o f the earliest versions was La rebelion de las masas, first published by Jose Ortega y Gasset in 1926, in a series of articles. This, as did other works of Ortega, exercised a deep influence in Latin America. In Italy at that time theories of mass society were not frequently discussed in these terms. One may mention G. Perticone, “Osservazioni sul regime di massa,” Rivista internationale di Eilosofia del Diritto 19 (1939); and idem, Studi sul regime di massa (Milan: Bocca, 1942). 25. R. Aron, L'H om m e contre les tyrans (New York: Maison Française, 1944). 26. W. Kornhauser, The Politics o f Mass Society (Glencoe, 111.: Free Press, 1959). 27. W. K. Deutsch, “ Social Mobilization and Political Development,” ch. 2, n. 1. 28. Germani, “ Algunas repercusiones” ; and idem, “La integracion de las masas,” ch. 2, n. 5. 29. T. H. Marshall, Citizenship and Social Class (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1950). 30. An interpretation o f political development in Latin America based on this model may be found in Germani, “Démocratie representative et classes populaires en Amérique latine,” Sociologie du Travail 3 (1961): 96-113 (now incorporated in a revised version in ch. 4). 31. E. Lederer, Ih e State o f the Masses (New York: Norton, 1940). 32. For a comparison between the composition o f the Nazi party in 1933 and 1935 and the occupational distribution o f the population, see H. Gerth, “The Nazi Party: Its Leadership and Composition,” American Journal o f Sociology 45 (1940): 517-41. The only figures available for the Fascist party are those given in a report to the party con-



gress in November 1921. These have been published by many historians, from Rossi, La Naissance du fascisme (Paris: N RF, 1938), to the recent biography o f Mussolini by R. De Felice, Mussolini il fascista (Turin: Einaudi, 1966). The works of Kornhauser and Lipset provide information concerning different countries. For Peronism, see Ger­ mani, Estructura social de la Argentina (Buenos Aires: Raigal, 1955), ch. 16, and ch. 6 in the present volume. On the Italian elite see H. D. Lasswell and R. Sereno, ‘T he Fas­ cists: The Changing Italian Elite,” American Political Science Review 31 (1937): 914-29; on the Nazi elite see D. Lerner et al. The Nazi Elite (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1951). Both studies indicate the middle- and lower-middle-class origins o f these elites. The conclusion cannot be invoked by the class hypothesis since middle-class intellectuals were also the predominant sector in communist elites. An im portant conclusion of the Nazi study was the high proportion o f marginal men in the elite—both socially and ecologically. 33. This is the thesis maintained by R. Bendix, “ Social Stratification and Political Power,” in Class, Status and Power, ed. R. Bendix and S. M. Lipset (Glencoe: Free Press, 1953). Bendix also points out that most o f the support for the Nazi party could have come from persons who in previous elections were nonvoters (younger persons and “alienated individuals” ). The social background of these persons, however, is not known. 34. Kornhauser, pp. 179-80. 35. Lipset, ch. 4. Also, S. M. Miller and F. Riessman, “Working Class Authoritari­ anism: A Critique of Lipset,” The British Journal o f Sociology 12 (1961): 263-76, and Lipset’s reply in the same issue. 36. C. J. Friedrich and Z. K. Brzezinski, Totalitarian Dictatorship and Autocracy (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1956). 37. Lipset, pp. 175-76. 38. Germani, La sociologia en America Latina (Eudeba, 1964, last chapter). 39. The distinction between sectors of a class as a function o f its historical future is partly inspired by the principle of “ fundamental stratification” o f Theodor Geiger. See Paolo Farneti, Theodor Geiger e la conscienza della societa industriale (Turin: Giappichelli, 1966, pp. 76ff.). 40. On this fusion effect, see Germani, Politica y sociedad, ch. 3, sect. 10. 41. All preceding data are taken from C. Clark, The Conditions o f Economic Progress (London: MacMillan, 1957); and R. Girod, Etudes sociologiques sur les couches salariées: ouvriens et employes (Paris: Riviere, 1961). According to Girod, in the middle of the nineteenth century (in correspondence with the phase we have called paleocapitalist), distribution in the three sectors was the following: 50 per cent primary, and the other half secondary and tertiary (but with strong predominance o f the former). 42. Quoted by Farneti, p. 79. 43. R. Girod, p. 102 (Girod’s estimates are only applicable to the paleocapitalist and neocapitalist phases). 44. This was written in 1968 (Sociologta de la modemazacion, p. 216). The oil crisis and the recession after 1973 are putting on trial this requirement o f the uninter­ ruptedness of growth as a condition for the stability o f the industrial system in its pres­ ent advanced stage. 45. See ch. 2. 46. J. P. Graciarena, Poder y closes sociales en el desarrollo de America Latina (Buenos Aires: Paidos, 1968). 47. Germani, “ Stages of Modernization in Latin America.” 48. By “ modernizing effects,” I refer to the acceleration o f different aspects of social modernization under the impact of economic growth. Such acceleration may, under some circumstances, cause a different sequence among the various component subprocesses o f modernization and development. Decline in the death rate, for instance, induces great population growth, which in turn causes internal migration and urban growth. Higher urbanization will then precede industrialization, contrary to the “firstcomers” experience in Europe and the United States. See “Stages o f Modernization.”



49. Germani,Sociologia de la modernizacion, ch. 7. 50. For an analysis o f this phenomenon see Germani, “ Social and Political Conse­ quences o f M obility,” in S. M. Lipset and N. J. Smelser. 51. I am using here Oscar Lewis’s well-known expression “urbanization w ithout breakdown.” 52. C. J. Friedrich and Z. K. Brzezinski, Totalitarian Dictatorship and Autocracy, pp. 9-10. The definition has been summarized. 53. Juan J. Linz.


LOWER-CLASS POLITICAL IDEOLOGIES The main purpose here is to analyze the role o f lower classes in national populist movements and regimes both in the Latin American context and in comparison with the European experience. As in the case o f the middle classes, whose authoritarianism takes differ­ ent ideological forms, national populism is only one ideology which may have authoritarian com ponents. Also, it represents one of the channels through which primary m obilization may be expressed. At the more general level, analysis must also deal with the peculiar location of lower-class ideologies both in the European historical context and in Latin America. The present discussion will be conducted at the middle range of analysis. In the Western European tradition—at least up to the 1930s—urban lower classes, particularly industrial workers, were considered the natural social basis o f the Left. The com m on notion o f such a left wing included socialism (of Marxist and non-Marxist orientation), internationalism, and often l ib e r ­ tarian (but not necessarily liberal) attitudes. Political apathy was widespread not only within rural lower classes, but also among urban groups. In the former, revolts occurred, but more often as in southern Italy,social protest 85



took the form of millenarian movements or social banditry. In the latter, political mobilization o f lower classes proceeded slowly. Not only was the right to organize in unions not recognized and had to be won through long struggles, but also ideological social protest and political activism required first the formation o f a working-class culture. This means the development of a new type of social character, adapted to respond dynamically to the struc­ tural conditions o f urban industrial life under capitalism. This process involves much more than the resocialization o f the peasant migrant to the city, since it must be rooted in the primary socialization o f two or more successive gen­ erations o f workers’ children. The urban working-class culture created under early capitalism was alien­ ated from national society; socialism, internationalism, and anarchism were the most appropriate ideologies for the more advanced sectors o f the working class. Even for the less politicized, the dichotom ous vision o f the social struc­ ture, the deep cleavage between “us” (the poor, the working class) and “them ” (the rich, the bourgeoisie, the authorities), made the rising political and syn­ dicalist organizations o f the Left the natural political expression o f the lower urban strata and the awakening rural worker. Maybe the complex ideologies, Marxist and non-Marxist alike, were not understood by the less educated or by most o f the lower class, but they were still perceived as representing the parties o f the poor rather than o f the rich. Centrist and rightist ideologies and parties were considered the normal political choice for middle and higher classes. A powerful image of class political alignments was thus incorporated into the political culture o f many European countries. How much this stereotype corresponded to the actual distribution of political attitudes and behavior cannot be precisely established. The meaning of class as a determinant o f political orientation varies according to social structure and political culture. It also changes in relation to historical epoch and ideological climate. But it is plausible that while European working classes tended to be politically leftist or supported movements so considered, the middle and higher classes leaned mostly towards parties and ideologies of the Right. Two observations must qualify the preceding statem ent. First, it is com­ mon among social scientists and historians to im pute certain ideologies to given social classes. This assumes that class is a historical actor, a unified sub­ ject, not a nominal category of concrete individuals. This assumption involves serious methodological problems which will not be considered here. When class is considered as a category, then the statistical distribution o f opinions among the members of each social category must be taken into account. Often the political opinions o f a majority o f the category will coincide with the ide­ ology im puted to it by the social scientist. But there will always be im portant deviations from the modal opinion. These must be interpreted either as collec­ tive phenomena (for instance, as peculiar to a specific segment o f the class) or as individual deviations.



Second, the meaning o f the terms Right and Left is not clear. In the first place they m ust be perceived in relative terms, on the basis o f national politi­ cal culture. Also, there have been im portant changes in the last seventy years. At the beginning o f the century, those terms seemed sufficiently clear. Since then, changes have considerably blurred a distinction which seemed so evi­ dent, above all the appearance o f movements and ideologies which included elements typical o f opposite tendencies. Let us examine the most im portant cases. Authoritarianism o f the Left. This includes totalitarian movements and regimes. Although tradition dating from the eighteenth century connects the Left with the affirm ation o f liberty, authoritarian forms o f the Left, even when they have kept the same terminology, adopt a very different orientation.1 Such an orientation is evidenced on two levels: first, in relation to indivi­ dual rights (liberty o f thought, o f expression, etc.); second, in relation to methods o f delegating and controlling power. Citizens within party organiza­ tions or within the state where these movements have gained power, lose the powers accruing to them in the scheme o f democratic organization.2 Nationalism o f the Left. Until World War I, the more leftist an ideology, the more it appeared linked to internationalism . Since then not only have movements appeared connecting the classic postulates o f the Left (especially in the socioeconomic terrain) with nationalist positions, but also most move­ ments o f the Left have lost their internationalist connotations and become more nationalistic. We are dealing with a new type o f nationalism, which on the Left and Right profoundly differs from nineteenth-century nationalism. Ideologies o f the Right with socialist content . Movements otherwise con­ nected to the rightist tradition have adopted socioeconomic ideologies o f a socialist or collectivist nature. Here also a long series o f reservations and clari­ fications are necessary in relation to the real character o f this socialism (pseudosocialism according to some). Nevertheless, where it has triumphed, it has given rise to social regimes very different from those postulated by what we identify as the traditional Right. The use o f the expression “ideologies considered to be leftist” in the main statement on working-class ideologies was intended to allow for the possibili­ ties indicated briefly in the above paragraphs. There are many more, o f course. To clarify this expression, it can be said that the empirically observed propen­ sity in working classes is to adopt ideologies and movements considered leftist (usually classified as leftist in the European political culture), although they may contain elements (at times o f major significance) assignable to the tradi­ tion of the Right. All this makes classification difficult. In any case, it is based more on the concrete political history o f each movement and its social mean­ ing than on its ideological content.

Changes over time within the same ideology and political organization. As sociostructural conditions change, internally as well as internationally, a given ideology and its party organization may substantially modify their politi-



cal practice while still maintaining the same name and manifest content. Such was the case of socialist parties and most labor unions organized in pre-World War I Europe. More recently, this process has culminated with Eurocommu­ nism. The phenomenon is an im portant aspect o f the increasing incorporation of lower classes into national society and a result o f modifications in the stra­ tification system (from paleo- to neocapitalist structure). New conditions are created which facilitate the democratization and liberalization o f hitherto more authoritarian ideologies and parties. Populism and the Right/Left dichotomy. It is in populist movements that the coexistence of opposite Right and Left ideologies are more prominent. But populism has a relation to pure rightist or leftist ideologies different from the mixed cases enumerated above. The difference lies in the fact that populism often becomes a mass movement only in societies where typical Western European leftist ideologies o f the working class fail to develop into mass parties. Populism itself tends to deny any identification with or classification into the Right/Left dichotomy. It is a multiclass movement, although not all multiclass movements may be considered populist. Populism probably defies any comprehensive definition. Leaving aside this problem for the m om ent, popu­ lism usually includes contrasting components such as a claim for equality of political rights and universal participation for the common people, but fused with some sort o f authoritarianism often under charismatic leadership. It also includes socialist demands (or at least a claim for social justice), vigorous defense of small property, strong nationalist com ponents, and denials of the importance of class. It is accompanied with the affirmation of the rights of the common people as against the privileged powerful interest groups, usually considered inimical to the people and the nation. Any o f these elements may be stressed according to cultural and social conditions, but they are all present in most populist movements. GENERAL CONDITIONS AND DETERMINANTS OF LOWER-CLASS AUTHORITARIANISM AND NATIONALISM The connection often established between lower classes and leftist and in­ ternationalist ideologies is a historical product peculiar to certain Western European countries and not to a universal law. This does not prevent the possibility o f a useful comparison between nineteenth-century European experience and other social and cultural contexts. The following statem ents, to be considered no more than plausible conjectures, are mostly originated from that European perspective. First in the urban-industrial societies whose transition from the preindus­ trial stage took place in the past century, the working class prefers parties placed to the Left. When a distinction is made between a democratic and an authoritarian Left, the latter is adopted by sectors located in lower and more



disadvantaged positions within the lower strata.3 The expression “more to the Left” alludes to the relative nature o f this political classification. In the United States, where im portant parties equivalent to European socialism or communism are lacking, the Left is replaced by the Democratic party. Second, in the same category o f societies, when the social composition o f the leftist party includes a diversified gamut o f positions, the modal attitude of subgroups socially lower than the party mass is comparatively more author­ itarian than that o f better situated groups. These propositions are fundamental for mass parties or significant national groups, and not for small parties in which different phenom ena can be observed. The rise o f nationalist authoritarian movements (classifiable as rightist) characterized by collectivist or socialist positions in the socioeconomic sphere (at least within egalitarian or pseudoegalitarian connotations), has usually oc­ curred in countries in which: (1) industrialization and urbanization came later or is in the process o f development; (2) the working class or large sectors thereof are acquiring political significance ; and (3) the achievement o f nation­ al independence is relatively recent or in the process o f development as regards the formation o f a national consciousness as well from the legal or economic viewpoint. It is not possible to cite here organized or relatively systematized empirical evidence. The generalization is supported, however, by well-known examples of countries in Europe, Asia, and, with certain reservations, Latin America. In these regions, movements have arisen supported by different ideological tradi­ tions which nevertheless united the features o f authoritarianism and national­ ism with partially or totally collectivist or statist forms o f economy. In all these cases, antibourgeois, anticapitalist, and antiimperalist positions have been adopted, whose meaning can vary considerably in the different movements. Before continuing, it is necessary to point out other im portant circumstan­ ces regarding the countries which have developed more fully and earlier the urban-industrial type of society. The incorporation o f the working class into the national society did not occur (de facto or de jure) at the same time for all subgroups. By virtue of mechanisms which were not specifically political (especially union organiza­ tions), and in part through formal and informal political mechanisms, the political integration o f the working class took place gradually, first for the better situated groups (specialized workers, etc.), the so-called working-class aristocracy, and only later for lower groups. The process passed through sev­ eral stages whose characteristics and duration varied according to the country. As described in another section, the sequence is often the following: first, a period o f lim ited democracy in which effective rights were exercised only by the upper class and the old middle class; the mechanisms o f public opinion correspond m ost closely to those postulated by the rationalist ideologies o f the eighteenth century.4 Then, the rise o f the elite o f the working classes; and finally, the universal extension o f political rights, which were not always ef-



fectively exercised at the same time by all groups. This process o f fundamental democratization (Mannheim) occurred in some cases slowly and at other times quickly. In some countries it occurred after a tenacious resistance on the part of the upper class, and in others by successive concessions, more or less paci­ fic. At times, the transition was made w ithout excessive traum a, at other times, in an almost explosive manner that accompanied or immediately fol­ lowed profound socioeconomic changes, as for example an immediate reper­ cussion of a transformation o f the social structure due to an accelerated process of urbanization and industrialization. In Europe, nationalist attitudes and even the sentim ent o f belonging to a nation were initially characteristic o f upper and middle classes (explaining their traditional linkages with positions o f the Right). Only later did nation­ alist sentiments spread among working classes (in accordance with Tarde’s principle o f downward diffusion o f cultural patterns and in connection with changes in the domestic and international situation). This coincided with the beginning of world conflict and the twilight o f the extrem e internationalist stance o f nineteenth-century leftist movements. This process o f nationaliza­ tion is another aspect o f fundamental dem ocratization similar to the political integration o f the masses.5 There is a third circumstance which occupies an essential place in this at­ tem pt to explain certain aspects o f working-class authoritarianism. We are referring to the change o f ideological climate between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. During the period o f the rise o f democratic regim escorresponding to certain structural changes in urban-industrial societies— the ideological climate could be defined as prevalently democratic. But since World War I and the violent forces produced by that conflict, the dominant ideology o f the previous period suffered a major decline. In countries where democracy was more firmly established, it could resist this decline, even when authoritarian or totalitarian movements appeared and when political phe­ nomena were produced which signified changes and adaptations in pre­ existing forms. But in other countires, democratic institutions were in open crisis and were replaced by regimes which constituted their negation. This change in ideological climate to which we alluded did not represent merely a modification of the psychosocial order or an alteration o f attitudes, but rather it was correlated to profound changes in social structure. It would be impossible to attem pt to describe these changes; we will only note that the great transformation which led to the present mass society funda­ mentally changed the relation between the elites and the rest o f the popula­ tion, accentuating the separation between both. This was joined with the growing depersonalization and instrum entalization o f interpersonal relations, the correlated tendency to consider them a technical problem o f manage­ ment or manipulation, and the change in the meaning and function o f ideolo­ gies used increasingly by the elites as technical means to facilitate or carry out such manipulation. We may recall here the im portance o f advertising and



propaganda, and the technical changes in mass communication which m odi­ fied persuasion techniques. N othing was more significant in this respect than the evolution o f the concept o f public opinion—a reflection o f changes in the social reality. While the eighteenth century postulated that political attitudes were the product o f individual rational and reflexive thought, many twentieth-century theories (the sociology o f Pareto, psychoanalysis, etc.), perceived them as ra­ tionalizations o f unconscious impulses, whose real purpose escapes the subject himself. The totalitarian current o f the Right, in its first doctrinal phase, and also in the affirm ations o f its leaders, frankly adm itted this situation; remem­ ber as typical the use o f m yths to channel the action o f the masses according to Sorel or Mussolini; and Pareto’s theory o f derivations.6 Although a certain degree o f Machiavellianism, a certain distinction be­ tween means and ends, is typical o f all political activity, the above elements contributed to a greater accentuation o f such a tendency, leading to an abso­ lute distinction between the tw o. It is significant that this indifference to the means with respect to the ends reached maximum intensity in the totalitarian movements o f the Right and Left. These events made possible the appearance of political movements in which the purposes o f the elites and those o f the masses they led could differ very greatly at times. We even find the affirma­ tion—with extreme clarity in totalitarian doctrines o f the Right—that the goal of political activity for the leader is simply to command. Power appears then as an end in itself which does not need another justification, and ideology thus reveals its role as a pure instrum ent for the domination or management of the masses. This change in the attitudes o f the elites also responds to modi­ fications in their sociological and psychological characteristics. This is clear in respect to rightist totalitarianism ; the social origin and other characteristics of these movements differed profoundly from previous conservative or right­ ist elites. It is not equally clear in leftist totalitarianism; perhaps this is due to its connection with political traditions o f the democratic Left. These changes in the elites depended to a high degree on changes which occurred in each national society. Democratization variously affected the po­ liticization o f both the masses and elites. Where the rise o f a mass society did not rupture or displace entire sectors o f the population (such as occurred in Germany and Italy), it did not lead to radical changes in the nature of elites. In many cases, especially when this process o f structural change coincided with the accentuation o f nationalism in the masses, or was combined with colonial or semicolonial situations in the economic or juridical spheres, change in the elites also exhibited some characteristics pointed out by Mann­ heim with reference to prenazi Germ any.7 For example, the process of coun­ tercolonization (M. J. Bonn) by which part o f the local elites (especially the intellectuals) isolate themselves from universalist cultural tendencies and in so doing abandon values typical o f modern thought for so-called local tradi­ tions. The proclam ation o f the principles o f race, blood, and soil, so charac-



teristic of the totalitarianism o f the European Right, is not exclusive to them. In colonial or ex-colonial countries with leftist or rightist ideologies very simi­ lar principles appear, although the manifest expressions vary. The affirmation o f local values and traditions at the expense o f and in contrast to values of modern society provides another essential element to comprehend the nature of authoritarianism in certain elites and lower classes, particularly in areas o f delayed m odernization. Modern society is the only one to include as a central ideology the affirm ation o f the individual, of liberty, and other contents found in democratic forms o f government. Among these, the inclusion of the ideology o f change as a normal social process is of particular importance. Two illustrations are found in the development o f sci­ ence (the temporary character o f its propositions and the existence o f a mech­ anism for change) and in the sociopolitical sphere (with the affirm ation and recognition of change in the organization o f society). The opposite often holds in other cultures. In them we do not find com­ parable affirmations about individual liberty or the legitimacy o f change. On the contrary, the affirmation of tradition, very strong even in the West before the Renaissance and the appearance o f modern urban-industrial societies, is an essential element for securing social stability. And the traditional in all so­ cieties includes a strong authoritarian com ponent. In denying m odern culture or some of its central values (perceiving it not as a universal acquisition, but as an alien cultural form which has predom inated by political, military, or economic means), and in affirming their respective national traditions, elites inevitably incorporate authoritarian elements o f tradition. Preexisting cul­ tural authoritarian features fuse with ideological authoritarian elements arisen from the processes indicated above. This mechanism is also observable in countries long incorporated to the West. Here, as was shown by Mannheim, the process is borne out by the ac­ centuation o f national peculiarities (including local folklore) and the return to pre-Renaissance forms, thereby idealizing traditional society and its af­ firmation o f stability, authority and individual submission. This phenomenon not only throws light on authoritarian attitudes as­ sumed by certain national elites but it also illuminates similar tendencies in the masses. Here too the dominance o f tradition is connected to preindustrial life forms. The transition to urban industrial society, especially it it occurs brusquely or with serious conflict, does not modify attitudes appropriate to the new way o f life. The old authoritarian cultural patterns viable in tradi­ tional society subsist in the new situations, but cannot be applied to appropri­ ate objects since the context has changed. Here authoritarian tendencies which arise in mass society can combine attitudes and m otivations o f the elites with the traditional authoritarian predispositions o f the lower classes. The authoritarianism which we term “traditional·* is fused here with ideological authoritarianism. If the former is in a passive or latent state—due to social changes—the latter can reactivate it and generate movements which tend to



implant non democratic forms. Similarly, ethnocentrism proper to a tradi­ tional society fuses with ideological nationalism. In this case, lower-class nationalism is not m ediated through the democratic nationalism of leftist parties inherited from the nineteenth-century liberal tradition.8 A last consideration involves a general characteristic o f contemporary political behavior. Numerous studies have proven the strength of political traditions in determ ining ideology. A party or political orientation which has been accepted by certain social groups and also becomes identified as an ex­ pression o f these groups, after a period o f time, usually more than a genera­ tion, acquires stability. It can resist even modifications of the social structure that change the social characteristics o f the groups with which it is identified. One essential mechanism in* this phenom enon is that, with time, political be­ havior acquires the same character—and stability—as cultural norms. This mechanism involves primary groups, in particular the family, that is, those which carry out the endoculturation o f individuals. The same political behav­ ior acquires the habitual forms appropriate to irreflexive cultural norms.9 This phenom enon is observed not only in given political orientations, but can refer to the ideology underlying the system o f political institutions. It is probably in this way that a democratic tradition is formed through which this generic political attitude becomes a part o f the culture. This throws light on the apparent paradox where, for example, psychologically authoritarian individuals in the United States or Switzerland appear to uphold democracy. Here we are dealing with a value inherent in the national culture, such as the “American way o f life,” for example. CONCLUSIONS ON LOWER CLASS AUTHORITARIANISM AND NATIONALISM 1 1. The integration o f the masses into politics was not carried out at the same time in all countries, nor for all subgroups o f the working class within a single country. In some cases the transition was brusque and traum atic, in others it was more gradual. 2. In Europe (and other firstcomers), nationalism diffused from the upper and middle classes to the workers. Consequently, internationalism o f the Left lost importance. 3. The ideological climate prevailing during the past century was demo­ cratic. It was later m odified, resulting much more favorable—under conditions of mass society—to authoritarian orientations. 4. The elites increased their separation from the masses. They increasingly tended to manipulate them employing ideology as a mere instrum ent of dom­ ination. A gap was created between the aims o f the elite and those o f the masses. Relations between ends and means became purely instrum ental, with an extreme Machiavellianism in political action.



5. The social and psychological characteristics o f the elites change. In a parallel process to that o f change in the masses (available masses, available elites), there are now groups psychologically and socially disposed to carry Machiavellianism to its ultimate limits. Furtherm ore, through the process of countercolonization, these elites base their national peculiarities on values of the local traditional society. This applies to the Left and Right. 6. In traditional societies, authoritarianism is also an essential element. The process o f modernization is largely one o f W esternization (as it was called in the nineteenth century). Modern values, insofar as pertaining to Western culture, are considered alien to national culture, and are rejected. This process takes place both in the masses and the elites; traditional values subsist (among them, authoritarianism), which through the effect o f the creation o f mass society and the political action o f the elites fuse with authoritarian ideologies. Thus, traditional authoritarianism and ideological authoritarianism reinforce each other in the lower classes. 7. In formerly colonial or dependent countries, the use o f nationalism to appeal to the masses was possible and highly effective insofar as the foreign dominant power could be singled out as a sort o f class enemy o f the common people. Class and national loyalties could be fused and rooted in the tradi­ tional ethnocentrism diffused in the society. 8. Finally, we must remember the strength o f political traditions, and the fact that once established a political culture becomes very stable. With all these elements, we are ready to examine certain authoritarian attitudes in the lower classes. The lower class in a country—or certain sub­ groups thereof—will be more disposed to support movements o f an authori­ tarian and nationalist orientation (rightist or leftist) the later their political integration and the more traumatic the transition from a preindustrial to an industrial society and the process o f fundamental dem ocratization has been. In countries in which democratic mechanisms started to function earlier and in a favorable ideological climate, these values were incorporated into the po­ litical tradition and maintained relative stability even when other transforma­ tions took place. In countries in which the incorporation into politics took place, later, the elites' character had changed and the ideological climate was very different. Consequently »authoritarianism and nationalism were used in the ideological struggle. This occurred not only due to structural changes in the society, changes in the elite, etc., but also because the preexisting authoritari­ an attitudes of masses, still impregnated by traditional culture, could be used. Thus, while in the case of firstcomers the political integration o f the masses helped transform the old attitudes rooted in traditional structure, in societies in which the process of democratization occurred later, the opposite process took place. Ideological action tended to reinforce and to fuse with cultural or traditional authoritarianism. This same scheme explains the differential political behavior o f workingclass subgroups in the same country. As m entioned above, the more authori-



tarian positions were usually adopted by sectors located in lower and more disadvantaged groups in the social structure when they achieved political rele­ vance. Their admission into national political life took place in an epoch in which the unchallenged predominance o f a democratic climate was a thing o f the past. Finally, let us rem em ber that an abrupt or traum atic transition process impedes the form ation o f a democratic tradition. It accentuates the problems of a mass society and makes adaptation to change difficult. POPULISM AND LOWER-CLASS AUTHORITARIANISM On the basis o f the previous discussion and the provisional definition o f populism already suggested (a multiclass movement expressed in some sort o f Left/Right heterogeneous ideology), we will now consider at a very general level the conditions under which the political participation o f the lower class is channeled through a populist movement. Some o f these conditions appear identical to those which prevent the lower class or some part thereof from being politically mobilized through a classbased movement or party or union organization. We may remember that the development o f a class consciousness capable o f being politically expressed is rooted in the form ation o f a working-class culture, a process that takes two or more generations. Rapid structural changes and/or traum atic events may trigger or accelerate the displacement o f large masses making them available for m obilization when a new social character has not yet developed and no working-class based political organization has attained enough visibility to be­ come the only or natural channel to express the political activism o f new mo­ bilizing masses. In a situation o f this type, lower-class mobilization may be expressed through a m ultiparty and populist movement. If this actually hap­ pens, the kind o f populism it will be depends on other conditons. Among those, I believe three are very im portant—at least if we take into account the Latin American experience. The first is the antagonism between the middle class (or im portant sectors of them) and the upper class (upper bourgeoisie or aristocracy) for control and participation in social, economic and/or cultural power. The second is the relatively recent form ation o f middle classes, particularly the urban middle class. Even if a small urban middle class existed for a longer time, along with archaic interm ediate strata, the growth o f its modern sectors must have proceeded at a fairly fast rate. That is, the stratification profile must have changed rapidly with the enlargement o f the middle positions in the social pyram id. This m odification necessarily causes a high rate o f upward mobility from the lower strata. High m obility in turn has a double effect. On one hand, middle classes are o f fairly recent origin and feel displaced and in an incongruent position within the society (i.e., higher education and occupa­ tion, low political power and prestige). On the other hand, lower classes (also



of recent origin as lower urban strata) are less isolated in a more open and less stratified society, both in terms o f opportunities for upward mobility and in terms of hierarchization of interpersonal relationships. The latter phenom­ enon is a side effect caused by the rapid ascent o f lower-class persons into middle-class positions. This means that most family and friendship networks continue to extend across class lines, and neighborhoods are less segregated and more heterogeneous in terms o f class. A third condition is that the original culture includes some more egalitar­ ian patterns, as compared with Western Europe. In most cases, this trait may be caused or reinforced by the weight o f mass foreign immigration in the formation of the national society, for example, the European (immigrant) colonies in the United States, Canada, Argentina, Uruguay, some Brazilian states, and Australia. The crucial factor is the uprootedness o f the population coupled with the open social and physical space which provides many op­ portunities to participate in the building o f a new society. The availability and propensity for an active and creative answer to existing challenges is matched by actual and concrete possibilities in social and economic activities. Given these three conditions, the rise o f multiclass populist movements is greatly facilitated by two factors. First by the isolation o f working class which prevents or delays the formation o f a well-structured social and political con­ sciousness of their own, and secondly by the rising middle class’ need to obtain mass support in their struggle against the ruling class and to win a larger and more egalitarian share of power, or satisfy their social, cultural or economic demands (that is, to obtain status reequilibration). All multiclass movements that include large lower-class support usually in­ clude specific populist ideological traits. These vary in weight and nature ac­ cording to the relative strength and weight o f the various class com ponents within the movement, the nature o f the demands, the historical epoch, and the peculiarities of the national social structure and preexisting political culture. In Latin America several types o f populism have occurred, but I will men­ tion here only liberal populism and national populism. Liberal populism, occurred when middle classes demanded political participation and urban lower classes were weak both in number and degree o f mobilization (or in some other way restricted in their political weight, as in the Argentine case), National populism evolved when demands were not only political but social and economic as well and the weight o f lower classes was m uch higher in number, degree of mobilization, and capacity to organize. The first type of populism was typical of the liberal historical epoch, that is, pre-World War I, while the second form occurred mostly after 1930 in the epoch o f mass mobilization. There are other kinds o f populism and national populism as well, partic­ ularly if we consider the potential for rural lower-class participation and the varying composition o f middle*class and elite com ponents. A very im portant



case o f agrarian participation is the Mexican Revolution o f 1910-20, in which middle class demands for political power coincided with a peasant rebellion for land, and the populistic coalition included the traditionally mobilized rural lower class. A nother illustration o f nonrural and rural lower class parti­ cipation would be the Bolivian MNR. A more elaborate analysis o f national populist movements requires clarification o f the diverse empirical cases, »but since the concept is discussed in the following sections and in the analysis of the Argentine case, the foregoing considerations are limited to the purpose of a general introduction to the subject.10 ENLARGEMENT OF POLITICAL PARTICIPATION AND PARTICIPATION CRISES IN LATIN AMERICA This and the following sections will analyze the place o f national populism in the political mobilization of Latin American lower classes and compare it to the analogous process in Europe. Lower-class mobilization must be per­ ceived within the context o f political development. In Latin America we may use a scheme o f transition that entails six successive stages. There are intrinsic limitations in this procedure. N ot only does it oversimplify a complex proc­ ess, but also it ignores many im portant differences and contrasts in the transi­ tion o f individual countries. For instance, while in some cases we may observe a clear succession o f the six stages, others overlap considerably. Furtherm ore, the fact that transition occurred under different historical conditions intro­ duces other im portant m odifications. However, provided one remains fully aware o f its lim itations, a construct o f this type provides a synthetic picture of the total dynamics o f the process. When comparing national historical processes it is useful in highlighting differences and similarities. Further­ more, these stages provide a basis for describing the present situation of var­ ious countries, which differ widely in their degree of political modernization and have reached one or another o f the different stages. Our analysis herein refers to the extension o f political participation. We are not dealing with the whole process o f political and social m odernization.11 The conceptual scheme regarding release, m obilization, and reintegration form ulated in a previous chapter will be applied here to the extension o f polit­ ical participation. We m ust also m ention as relevant the uneven nature o f tran­ sition. In Latin America, the phenom enon o f geographical and social asynchronism is great. The dual character o f the countries is expressed in the contrast between the socially developed higher and middle strata and the backward, more primitive, lower strata. It is also evident geographically by the cleavage between certain areas in which m ost o f the urban population industry, edicated people, wealth, and political power are concentrated, and the rest o f the country, predom inantly rural, that is economically subsistent, illiterate, and politically inactive and powerless. In Latin America the transition cannot be understood w ithout taking into account the repercussions o f this dual structure. Social development involves first, the extension o f the m odern way o f life



to a growing proportion o f the people living in the most favored areas. This entails the emergence o f an urban middle class and a modern industrial prole­ tariat in the “central” region o f a country. Second, development entails the incorporation of the marginal population living in “peripheral” areas by mas­ sive mobilization either in the form o f internal migration or through geo­ graphical diffusion of modernization. This tem poral succession involves that at any given m om ent different “geological” strata coexist within each given social class, formed by the successive waves o f mobilization. This geological stratification can be observed both within the middle and upper classes and in the proletariat. The degree o f homogeneity to be reached within each stra­ tum will finally depend on the historical and social conditions under which the mobilization and reintegration o f each successive wave occurred. The circumstances o f the process and especially its speed are o f the utm ost importance for the political equilibrium o f the country. The six stages which may be distinguished in the extension o f political participation are the following. 1. Revolutions, liberation wars, and formal proclamation o f independence. 2. Civil wars, caudilloism, and anarchy. 3. Unifying autocracies. 4. Representative democracies with limited participation (oligarchy). 5. Representative democracies with enlarged participation. 6. Three main alternative forms o f total participation may appear: (a) representative democracy with total participation, that is, effective voting o f at least 60-70 percent o f the adult population; (b) national populist movements and regimes, that is, some form o f plebiscite de­ mocracy under a charismatic leader with strong com ponents o f the old caudillo political culture; (c) authoritarian socialism under a char­ ismatic leader, with the same cultural com ponent. Stages i and 2. During the first two stages, o f different duration in differ­ ent countries, the traditional social structure tended to predom inate; a subsis­ tence economy largely isolated and a dual strata system characterized by little mobility and caste-like relationships. In the cities, some interm ediate groups perhaps did exist. However, their importance at the level o f the larger society was small. Spaniards and Portugese were the ruling group. Immediately below them we find the small creole elite o f European descent and mainly urban, who while deprived o f political power still belonged (subjectively as well as ob­ jectively) to the higher stratum and retained a dom inant economic and cultural position. This creole elite brought about the revolutions and achieved national independence with the support o f the lower strata, including the mestizos and even part o f the outcast group o f Negroes and Indians who filled the arm­ ies o f the independence wars. The creoles were inspired mainly by the Ameri­ can Revolution, the French Revolution, and eighteenth-century Enlighten­ ment. They attem pted to establish modern democratic states with their corres­ ponding symbols: the constitution, parliament, elected rulers. There were two basic limitations to their action. The first may be found in



creole elite itself. It was the expression o f a traditional structure, which des­ pite its ideology still perceived itself as an aristocracy widely separated from the popular strata. They dreamed o f a limited democracy o f wealthy, edu­ cated, well-bred men o f proper origins. On the other hand, the prevailing social condition was scarcely adequate for establishing representative demo­ cracy. Powerful geographic as well as ethnic, cultural, and economic factors made such an undertaking utopian. The outcome was that even before the end o f the long and harsh wars o f independence against the Spaniards, the constitutional fictions created by the urban elites broke down. The political and institutional vacuum resulting from the disappearance o f the colonial administration and the failure o f con­ stitutional fictions resulted in a geographic fragmentation o f political power: the rise o f local caudillos, often o f mestizo or even Indian or Negro origin, frequent local wars, and a rapid succession o f military coups. When compared with the autocratic and even monarchist tendencies of the liberal elites, the caudillos represented a form o f elemental democracy. It was based essentially on personal loyalty and admiration for the virtues o f the chief (frequently o f common origin and often belonging to the deprived ethnic groups—mestizos Indian, m ulatto, or Negro). This regime o f caudillos implied the maintenance of the traditional social structure: a primitive state o f economy and social isolation o f m ost o f the population. The army o f the caudillos was seldom more than an armed band under the leadership o f a self-appointed general. At this stage we do not find any pro­ fessional army in Latin America. The political position o f the caudillos often compelled them to adopt the symbols both o f an army and democratic re­ gimes. Geographic fragmentation took the form o f a federal state; the rule of the caudillo was absolute: he was both president and general o f the army. Stage 3. The struggle among caudillos within a country was replaced by the hegemony o f one o f them . The unity o f the state was restored and a de­ gree o f order and stability achieved. However, the character o f these unifying dictatorships differed very widely. For our purpose they may be classified in­ to two main categories: regressive dictatorships, which maintained the tradi­ tional pattern intact, and enlightened dictatorships, which introduced some modernizing measures. The most im portant difference between the two lies in the economic sphere. The former maintained their countries isolated from the world m arket, and the old subsistence economy continued to predomi­ nate. The latter fostered a minimum degree o f economic development through the construction o f means o f transportation and communication, moderniza­ tion o f agriculture, educational innovation, organization o f the public bureau­ cracy, etc. Generally, it was these enlightened authoritarian regimes and the limited democracies which marked the beginning o f the transformation o f Latin American countries into producers o f raw materials and their integration into the world market. Foreign capital was introduced, the beginnings o f industri-



alization took place, and these changes began to produce some im pact on the social structure. While they left untouched the main features o f the traditional pattern—the concentration o f land ownership, the two-class system, the isola­ tion of the great majority o f the population—they introduced dynamic fac­ tors which produced further changes. The integration o f the country into the world m arket and the degree o f economic m odernization often fostered the emergence of new urban middle occupational strata. While they remained a relatively small proportion o f the total population and continued to be iden­ tified with the traditional upper class, these urban strata also represented an essential precondition for further changes. Stage 4. The changes in the social structure under a lim ited democracy were often only slightly more pronounced than those introduced by the en­ lightened dictatorships. In other cases the m odification was more substantial. This happened chiefly when the modernizing attitudes o f the elites were bolder and the resulting economic and cultural changes more profound. In some cases, the contribution o f massive immigration from Europe (a part of the modernizing policy o f the elite) was a decisive elem ent in the transfor­ mation of the social structure. The most significant features o f this stage are the formal functioning o f democracy, the existence o f a party system, the periodic replacem ent o f the government through elections, and freedom o f the press and other constitu­ tional guarantees. A distinctive feature is the lim itation o f democracy to only a fraction o f the total population. This lim itation is tw ofold. On one hand, the existing deep cleavage between developed and backward areas within a given country involved the exclusion o f a substantial proportion o f the popu­ lation, practically all those living in the peripheral areas. On the other hand, a similar cleavage existed within the central areas, between elites and emerging middle strata in contrast to the lower groups. Often the cleavage had an eth­ nic basis (even if we cannot speak o f racial discrimination in Latin America). Both kinds o f cleavage, geographic and social, m eant the lack o f a common basis for real national identification on the part o f a substantial proportion of the population, and a lack o f cultural and economic participation. In consequence, the functioning o f democracy was lim ited in the sense that only the higher strata and the small newly form ed middle groups, living in the central areas identified themselves with the elite, and were able to par­ ticipate in the political process even at the level o f voting. The lower classes, even those living in urban areas and in the central regions, were still mostly traditional (or non-participating in national politics as in the case o f first generation immigrants). Stage 5. In some countries, the middle classes were able to originate po­ litical movements which fought for an enlarged democracy. This was possi­ ble when such strata had expanded to a larger proportion o f the total popu­ lation and had acquired a greater psychological and social autonom y. They no longer identified with the elites but became conscious o f their own



identity, even if sometimes such identity was based only on antagonism. Often these enlarged middle classes had different origins than the restricted middle classes o f the previous stage. O ften, their economic basis was differ­ ent, for example, industrial instead o f commercial activities or new types of manufacturing industries. But by far the largest increase in the middle classes was from the expansion o f the public and private bureaucracies and the ser­ vice sector, th at is, white collar employees. Enlarged participation was usually expressed by populism o f the type men­ tioned previously, that is, o f multiclass com position, including middle strata and the recently mobilized sectors o f the urban lower class (or in some coun­ tries, o f the rural population), and emphasizing the value o f the people as the repository o f higher values, rather than the oligarchic ethos. The people were considered more nationally authentic than the Westernized and cosmo­ politan upper class. At the same time, these parties and movements fully ac­ cepted the liberal-democratic ideologies usually embodied in the nineteenthcentury constitutions, formally accepted and proclaimed (although not prac­ ticed) by the ruling oligarchy. It was in this epoch, before the age o f the crisis of Western dem ocracy, that a sort o f liberal populism, endowed with strong nationalist propensities developed. Often it had the authoritarian traits linked to charismatic leadership. The typical structure corresponding to this stage is still that o f the dual society. The “central” region comprises most o f the urban population, indus­ try, literate people, the middle strata, and the modern urban proletariat, es­ pecially the industrial workers. This region contrasts sharply with other re­ gions which still remained outside o f this development. Democracy, and social and cultural participation, as well as national identification, mostly include people residing in advanced areas. The difference from the previous stage o f lim ited democracy is that now not only can the middle strata partici­ pate directly in the government or even control it, but the urban proletariat of the central region can also be included through unions and political parties. The spread o f nationalism —Right and L eft—and o f different ideologies of in­ dustrialization are also characteristic o f this phase. Stage 6 (Type A). The stage o f full nationhood is reached under the follow­ ing conditions: the growing integration o f previously marginal social groups; the incorporation o f new geographic areas into the cultural, economic, and political life o f the nation as a whole ; the acquisition of national loyalties and identification by all the inhabitants; and the resulting higher degree o f cul­ tural and economic hom ogeneity o f the various social groups. This stage is also characterized by a high degree o f urbanization, literacy, diffusion o f sec­ ondary and university education, and finally, occupational differentiation (the proportion o f the urban occupational middle strata may reach nearly 40 percent or more o f the active urban employed population). Mass consum ption, that is, mass participation in the material culture of the industrial society, may also be regarded as characteristic of the stage of



total participation democracy. From a political point o f view, it means effec­ tive full citizenship for the entire population, irrespective o f area o f residence, socioeconomic levels, or ethnic affiliation. As a result, an im portant indi­ cator of this stage is political participation at the voting level by a substantial majority of the adult population o f both sexes. Lower electoral participation even in advanced countries indicates the persistence o f large pockets o f mar­ ginal populations (as the blacks and minorities in the U.S.), along with par­ ticipant but apathie or alienated citizens. Stage 6 (Type B). This alternate form o f political participation is an effect o f delayed social m odernization. As we shall see, national populist movements and regimes are the outcome o f a configuration o f factors differ­ ent than the one which characterized the transition process in countries which industrialized at earlier periods. This is true o f the form, the rate, and the sequence of changes as well as the historical conditions under which the transition occurred. While the national populist regime has often denied the very values which are at the basis o f representative democracy, such as civil liberties, it does incorporate the old marginal strata into the national economic, cultural, and political life. It induces their compulsory participation in the nationalization process and results in a change from passive acceptance to active participa­ tion. These regimes adopt a model o f development through central planning and extensive if not total nationalization. They tend toward forced moderni­ zation. National populist regimes may emerge, under certain conditions, in countries which have reached the stage o f enlarged participation under repre­ sentative democracy. Often, but not always, they appear in countries whose social modernization is still low and where representative democracy even with limited participation did not succeed in reaching a certain level o f sta­ bility. In such situations, any increase in the rate o f release from the tradi­ tional pattern may originate a rate o f political mobilization far exceeding the capacity for legitimate participation. Institutional channels for such partici­ pation which were not formed during the previous stage will not exist or will be inadequate to absorb the newly mobilized masses. One crucial factor here seems to be the proportion and the size o f the nonparticipant sector. Thus, advanced nations like Argentina have produced a national populist movement (Peronism) at a time when a substantial propor­ tion o f the population was still not incorporated (it was about one-third, and a previous demobilizing regime had excluded large sectors o f the middle class and proletariat, who were politically active in the previous enlarged partici­ pation stage). Brazil is another example o f a country with a relatively large modern sector and a relatively long experience of national populism. Here the m odem sector—though large in size—was small in percentage and coexist­ ed with a very large (both in percentage and in absolute size) excluded sector. Even the participation o f the modern sector had remained limited for a long time (until the 1930 revolution), and the participation crisis triggered an auton-



omous mobilization o f the lower strata which was perceived as threatening by the middle class—the main actor in the struggle for the enlargement o f politi­ cal participation. This threat had some role in the breakdown o f representative democracy, as with the Estado Novo and the 1964 military revolution. Another im portant and necessary factor in the emergence o f nation­ al populism is a class alliance between the urban non agricultural proletari­ at and new or emerging sectors o f the industrial bourgeoisie. Such alliances may take different forms such as occurred in Europe. But when the forma­ tion of the m odern urban proletariat is relatively rapid and a proletarian po­ litical tradition such as a Marxist or working-class party is lacking, the chances of a national popular solution are much higher. Stage 6 (Type C). Under certain conditions, movements and regimes shar­ ing many o f the characteristics o f national populism may acquire a clearly socialist nature while retaining some o f the features o f populism, mainly the support o f the masses. The only example o f this type in Latin America is Cuba.

Participation Crises and Authoritarian Alternatives to Mass Political Participation Depending on the characteristics of each country, the level of economic and social m odernization, the existing political culture, and the historical epoch (ideological climate, political model in the central or hegemonic nations), the succession o f stages may be altered. Following Stage 3, one or more cycles o f participation crises may occur in which some form o f limited, enlarged, or total participation is established for a short time, followed by an anarchic period or a period o f high instability that is finally closed by an autocratic regime of some sort. However, the nature o f these crises and the types o f participation or autocratic regimes will vary considerably according to two main factors m entioned above: economic and social modernization and his­ torical epoch. The failure to establish a relatively stable representative democracy at a higher level o f participation, or the transition from a more restrictured to an enlarged level (as well as attem pts to extend participation into economic and social areas considered threatening to the established social order by the ruling sectors o f the society), may result in various types o f autocratic re­ gimes whose common feature will be some form o f demobilization o f the social sectors attem pting to gain new areas o f participation or to retain those recently obtained. In recent times, in the more advanced countries in Latin America, these forms may be described as military functional alternatives of fascism (i.e., Brazil 1964, Chile 1973, Uruguay 1972, Argentina 1966-70, and from 1976). Prior to World War II, the most common form was a re­ lapse to the typical military caudillo, but in the most advanced nations fascist regimes or systematic electoral fraud could be used to demobilize the



threatening sectors. In the age o f mass mobilization (after 1930), military bureaucratic-technocratic regimes could replace in less or partially modernized nations the caudillo type. The major differences with the former were not only the reduced role o f the caudillo political culture, but also the deliberate attem pts at modernization (particularly oriented towards increasing the feel­ ing o f national identification). A summary o f these alternatives to political participation are presented below :12 TABLE 4.1 ALTERNATIVES TO POLITICAL PARTICIPATION HISTORICAL EPOCH PRIOR TO MASS MOBILIZATION i13 ΛΟ ONV %0S HUM S3IXNDOO NV0>in SS33

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