Myth, Crowd Psychology, and Utopian Fantasy in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany: An Understanding of the Relationship Between Theory and Practice

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Hitler, Mussolini, Fascism, Nazism, Social Theory, Georges Sorel, Gustave LeBon


Community Psychology | History | Psychology | Social Psychology


Historians have attempted to uncover how and why authoritarian regimes are able to sway the masses in accordance to their plans. It can be argued that Hitler and Mussolini were emphatic and dedicated leaders. The two men were also brutal and immoral.

This creates quite a paradoxical situation in that the inhabitants of the countries these men ruled both admired them and were terrified of them. Moreover, the two great dictators were able to persuade their respective populaces to adhere to their doctrine of Fascism - historically one of the most inhumane political parties - as the correct path for their nations' future. The questions arises, "how could the two leaders create the ideal situation needed to make their populaces believe in their governments?" I seek to uncover the means that both Hitler and Mussolini used in order to create the environment necessary for the doctrine of Fascism and Nazism to seem so appealing. Using the social theories of two individuals (Georges Sorel and Gustave LeBon) as a link to the Fascist and Nazi practices, I attempt to uncover just that.

Department 1 Awarding Honors Status


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