Author: Lena Berggren

The focus of this article is the ideological formation of so called ‘New-Swedish Socialism’, an indigenous form of fascist thought formulated by the Swedish ideologue Per Engdahl (1909–1994) in the early 1930s. New-Swedish Socialism should not be equated with either Italian-styled Fascism or National Socialism, but must be seen as an original form of fascist thought. This fascist variant can be described as comparatively flexible, low-key and intellectual. The present analysis of the formation of New-Swedish Socialism follows the model for ideological analysis suggested by the British political scientist Michael Freeden. Freeden’s analytical mode defines an ideology in terms of a core cluster of interrelated and ineliminable political concepts which are essentially contestable. Starting from a definition of generic fascism and using the core concepts that can be identified from this definition, the presence, de-contestation and interrelatedness of these core concepts within New-Swedish Socialism is studied and analyzed. This article addresses whether New-Swedish Socialism can correctly be labelled fascist as well as capturing its special character as a fascist variant in its own right. The study has been limited to the ideological formation process in the early and mid-1930s but Engdahl remained an important influence on Swedish as well as European fascism throughout his life.

In: Fascism