HC431H - Psychology of Fascism

Professor: Robert Mauro

4.00 credits

  • CRN 23501: Monday & Wednesday, 2:00-3:50pm @ CHA 201

Fascism is an ideology, a system of government, and a way of relating to other people in which the individual is subservient to the state.  It often combines elements of authoritarianism, totalitarianism, nationalism, and corporatism.  Before World War II, many groups in Europe and the United States openly touted fascism.  Because of the war crimes committed by the Nazis, few groups today would accept the label “fascist.” However, the key components remain attractive to many – the glorification of strong leaders and the military, the denial of individual civil rights, ethnocentrism, scapegoating, and the suppression of dissent through propaganda, censorship, and violence.  Why are so many enamored of fascism?  Why are people so willing to give up their rights and independence to follow a “strong” leader? Many psychologists, sociologists, political scientists, and historians have sought to understand the attraction of fascism.  In this course, we will read texts from a variety of disciplines, but we will focus on trying to understand the psychological and social psychological roots of the phenomenon.  We will watch and discuss relevant films and hear from guest speakers and discuss their insights with them.