Apartheid, authoritarianism and anticolonial struggles viewed from the Right

Critical perspectives on A. James Gregor’s search for fascism in the Global South


  • Phillip Becher University of Siegen




anticolonialism , apartheid, developmental dictatorship, fascism, A. James Gregor


After his commitment to the eventually failed defence of segregation in the United States during the 1960s, political scientist A. James Gregor (1929-2019) created an extensive oeuvre on the history of Fascism and its ideology. While personally remaining an éminence grise, his ideo-centric approach proved influential in international academic discussions. He helped foster an approach centred on the representation of ideological aspects of Fascism at the expense of the critical analysis of other historical elements, thus obscuring Fascism’s societal roots. Moreover, Gregor’s definition of Fascism, intrinsically linked to his understanding of a developmental dictatorship, blurs the line between colonialism and anticolonial struggles. In his works on Fascism in the Global South, written during the Cold War, Gregor does not find developmental regimes akin to the Mussolini dictatorship among the largely pro-Western right-wing authoritarianisms that emerged in the Tricont, but rather within the largely left-wing national liberation fronts and the political systems they built up. This peculiar verdict is linked to Gregor’s own apologia of historical Italian Fascism and more recent right-wing dictatorships in the so-called Third World, like, for instance, the Apartheid regime, and to his simultaneous denigration of anticolonial struggle as it was pursued i.a. by the anti-Apartheid movement. Through a critique of ideology which delineates and analyses Gregor’s argument evolving around these themes, this article contests his political compass in his search for Fascism in a historical-critical manner and offers an alternative proposition on how to identify the historical and contemporary role of far-right politics in the world system of capitalism.


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