On the 4th June 2020, Benjamin Zachariah spoke to The Einstein Forum about the global development of fascisms, with a particular focus on the Indian Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
There has been a curious resistance among scholars, and to a lesser extent amongst political practitioners, to the fact that fascism is not a European phenomenon alone nor even necessarily of purely European origins. The ideas that went into European fascisms were present in an international public domain from the late 19th century. Outside of Europe, these ideas sometimes persisted without having been discredited long after the dominion of fascism ended in Europe in 1945.
Although fascism initially emerged as a set of ideas in a public domain that was structured by a widespread cooperation and exchange of ideas across the world, this has seldom been accepted; in part because claims of the authentic genius of each people or nation are integral to fascist movements and their cooperation is, thus, often veiled or disavowed.
This lecture uses primarily Indian examples to show the long-term connections between fascist movements and the persistence of the ideas these movements represent.
Benjamin Zachariah followed up his lecture with The Einstein Forum with a second discussion revolving around audience questions from his lecture. You can see the full video of this discussion below.
Benjamin Zachariah - Senior Research Fellow, University of Trier
Dr. Benjamin Zachariah is a senior research fellow within the DFG Leibniz Research Group, The Contemporary History of Historiography, at Trier University.
Before moving to Germany, he read history at both Presidency College, Calcutta, and at Trinity College, Cambridge, and taught for several years at Sheffield University (UK). Zachariah's current research interests include historiography and historical theory, the movement of ideas in the twentieth century, international revolutionary networks and global fascism.
Zachariah's publications include Nehru (2004), Developing India: an Intellectual and Social History, c. 1930–1950 (2005; 2nd edn 2012), Playing the Nation Game: the Ambiguities of Nationalism in India (2011; 2nd edn. 2016), and After the Last Post: the Lives of Indian Historiography in India (2019). He was also a co-editor of The Internationalist Moment: South Asia, Worlds and World Views 1917–1939 (2015).
Mischa Gabowitsch - Sociologist & Historian, The Einstein Forum
Dr. Mischa Gabowitsch is a sociologist and historian, was born in Moscow in 1977. He studied at Oxford University and the Ecole normale supérieure in Paris and holds a PhD from the Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris. He is also an alumnus fellow of the Princeton University Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts and the former editor-in-chief of the Russian journals Neprikosvenny zapas and Laboratorium: Russian Review of Social Research.
Gabowitsch's most recent English-language publications are Protest in Putin’s Russia (Author, Polity Press, 2016) and Replicating Atonement: Foreign Models in the Commemoration of Atrocities (Editor, Palgrave, 2017). He is currently working on a history of Soviet war memorials.
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