Fascism in Asia
Fascism in Asia refers to political ideologies in Asia that adhered to fascist policies, which gained popularity in many countries in Asia during the 1930s.
Fascism in Iran was organised SUMKA (Hezb-e Sosialist-e Melli-ye Kargaran-e Iran or the Iran National-Socialist Workers Group), a neo-Nazi party founded by Davud Monshizadeh in 1952. SUMKA copied not only the ideology of the Nazi Party but also that group's style, adopting the swastika, black shirt and Hitler salute while Monshizadeh even sought to cultivate an appearance similar to that of Adolf Hitler. The group became associated with opposition to Mohammad Mosaddegh and the Tudeh Party while supporting the Shah and were ultimately absorbed into the 'Arya' movement of Hasan Arfa, a group that, while maintaining some Nazi ideals, was of a more basic militaristic bent than SUMKA.
The Revisionist Maximalist short-term movement formed by Abba Achimeir in 1930 as a right-wing fascist faction within the Zionist Revisionist Movement (ZRM). Achimeir was a self-described fascist who wrote a series of articles in 1928 titled "From the Diary of a Fascist". Achimeir rejected humanism, liberalism, and socialism; condemned liberal Zionists for only working for middle-class Jews; and stated the need for an integralist, "pure nationalism" similar to that in Italy under Mussolini. Achimeir refused to be part of reformist Zionist coalitions and insisted that he would only support revolutionary Zionists who were willing to utilize violence. Anti-Jewish violence in 1929 in the British Mandate of Palestine resulted in a rise in support for Revisionist Maximalists and leading Achimeir to decry British rule, claiming that the English people were declining while the Jewish people were ready to flourish, saying:
We fought the Egyptian Pharaoh, the Roman emperors, the Spanish Inquisition, the Russian tsars. They 'defeated' us. But where are they today? Can we not cope with a few despicable muftis or sheiks?... For us, the forefathers, the prophets, the zealots were not mythological concepts...." Abba Achimeir.
In 1930, Achimeir and the Revisionist-Maximalists became the largest faction within the ZRM and called for closer relations with Fascist Italy and the Italian people, based on Achimeir's claim that Italians were deemed the least anti-Semitic people in the world.
In 1932, the Revisionist Maximalists pressed the ZRM to adopt their polices, titled the "Ten Commandments of Maximalism", made "in the spirit of complete fascism". Moderate ZRM members refused to accept this and moderate ZRM member Yaacov Kahan pressured the Revisionist Maximalists to accept the democratic nature of the ZRM and not push for the party to adopt fascist dictatorial policies.
In spite of the Revisionist Maximalists' opposition to the anti-Semitism of the Nazi Party, Achimeir was initially controversially supportive of the Nazi Party in early 1933, believing that the Nazis' rise to power was positive because it recognized that previous attempts by Germany to assimilate Jews had finally been proven to be a failure. In March 1933, Achimeir wrote about the Nazi party, stating, "The anti-Semitic wrapping should be discarded but not its anti-Marxist core...." Achimeir personally believed that the Nazis' anti-Semitism was just a nationalist ploy that did not have substance.
After Achimeir supported the Nazis, other Zionists within the ZRM quickly condemned Achimeir and the Revisionist Maximalists for their support of Hitler. Achimeir, in response to the outrage, in May 1933 reversed their position and opposed Nazi Germany and began to burn down German consolates and tear down Germany's flag. However, in 1933, Revisionist Maximalist' support quickly deteriorated and fell apart, they would not be reorganized until 1938, after Achimeir was replaced by a new leader.
Within Lebanon two pre-war groups emerged that took their inspiration from the fascist groups active in Europe at the time. In 1936 the Kataeb Party was founded by Pierre Gemayel and this group also took its inspiration from the European fascists, also using the Hitler salute and a brown shirted uniform. This group also espoused a strong sense of nationalism and a leadership cult but it did not support totalitarianism and so could not be characterised as fully fascist. Both groups are still active although neither demonstrate the characteristics of fascism now.
The Syrian Social Nationalist Party was founded in 1932 by Antun Saadeh with the aim of restoring independence to Syria and taking its lead from Nazism and fascism. This group also used the Hitler salute and a symbol similar to the swastika while Saadeh took elements of Nazi ideology, notably the cult of personality and the yearning for a mythical, racially pure golden age. A youth group, based on the Hitler Youth template, was also organised.
In 1952, the Syrian dictator and military officer Adib Shishakli founded the Arab Liberation Movement, based on the ideas' of "Greater Syria" (similar to the SSNP, the Shishakli former party) and Arab nationalism, but also with fascist-type elements. After the 1963 Syrian coup d'état the party was banned.
Kai-tsu p'ai faction of the Kuomintang
Wang Jingwei, a left-wing nationalist and anti-communist member of the Kuomintang (Nationalist Party of China), and in particular the left-wing nationalist Kai-tsu p'ai (Reorganization) faction, was originally hostile to fascism in Europe, but gradually drifted to be in favour of fascism, especially to the economic policies of Nazism in the late 1930s. Wang Jingwei visited Germany in 1936, and changed his views towards fascism, speaking positively about European fascist states, saying, "Several advanced countries have already expanded their national vitality and augmented their people's strength, and are no longer afraid of foreign aggression." Publicist T'iang Leang-Li of the People's Tribune newspaper associated with the Kai-tsu p'ai promoted the good nature of fascism in Europe while attempting to distance Kai-tsu p'ai from overtly negative aspects of fascism and wrote in 1937: "Whatever we may think about fascist and Nazi methods and policies, we must recognize the fact that their leaders have secured the enthuisiastic support of their respective nations." T'iang Leang-Li claimed that the "foolish, unwise, and even cruel things" done in the fascist states had been done in a positive manner to bring about "tremendous change in the political outlook of the German and Italian people". T'iang Leang-Li wrote articles that positively assessed the "socialist" character of Nazism. Similarly, Shih Shao-pei of the Kai-tsu p'ai rebuked Chinese critics of Nazism by saying "We in China [...] have heard too much about the 'national' and other flagwaving activities of the Nazis, and not enough about the 'socialist' work they are doing." Shih Shao-pei wrote about reports of improved working conditions in German factories, the vacations given to employees by Kraft durch Freude, improved employer-employee relations, and the provision of public service work camps for the unemployed. Other works made by the People's Tribune spoke positively about Nazism, saying that it was bringing the "integration of the working classes ... into the National Socialist state and the abolition of ... the evil elements of modern capitalism".
The Taisei Yokusankai (大政翼賛会 Imperial Rule Assistance Association) was created by Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe on 12 October 1940 and evolved into a "militarist" political party, which aimed at removing the sectionalism in the politics and economics in the Empire of Japan to create a totalitarian one-party state, which would maximize efficiency of Japan’s total-war effort during World War II.
National Socialist Workers' Party
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- Larsen, Stein Ugelvik (ed.). Fascism Outside of Europe. New York: Columbia University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-88033-988-8. pp. 364-365.
- Larsen, p. 377.
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- Larsen, p. 380.
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The Syrian Social Nationalist party (SSNP) was the brainchild of Antun Sa'ada, a Greek Orthodox Lebanese who was inspired by Nazi and fascist ideologies.
- Ya’ari, Ehud (June 1987). "Behind the Terror". Atlantic Monthly.
[The SSNP] greet their leaders with a Hitlerian salute; sing their Arabic anthem, "Greetings to You, Syria", to the strains of "Deutschland, Deutschland über alles"; and throng to the symbol of the red hurricane, a swastika in circular motion.
- Pipes, Daniel (1992). Greater Syria. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195060229.
The SSNP flag, which features a curved swastika called the red hurricane (zawba'a), points to the party's fascistic origins.
- Rolland, John C. (2003). Lebanon. Nova Publishers. ISBN 1590338715.
[The SSNP's] red hurricane symbol was modeled after the Nazi swastika.
- Johnson, Michael (2001). All Honourable Men. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 1860647154.
Saadeh, the party's 'leader for life', was an admirer of Adolf Hitler and influenced by Nazi and fascist ideology. This went beyond adopting a reversed swastika as the party's symbol and singing the party's anthem to Deutschland über alles, and included developing the cult of a leader, advocating totalitarian government, and glorifying an ancient pre-Christan past and the organic whole of the Syrian Volk or nation.
- Becker, Jillian (1984). The PLO: The Rise and Fall of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Weidenfeld and Nicolson. ISBN 0297785478.
[The SSNP] had been founded in 1932 as a youth movement, deliberately modeled on Hitler's Nazi Party. For its symbol it invented a curved swastika, called the Zawbah.
- Dongyoun Hwang. Wang Jingwei, The National Government, and the Problem of Collaboration. Ph.D. Dissertation, Duke University. UMI Dissertation Services, Ann Arbor Michigain. 2000, 118.
- Larsen, Stein Ugelvik (ed.). Fascism Outside of Europe. New York: Columbia University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-88033-988-8. p. 255.
- Larsen, p. 255.