1930 02 The Worldwide Fascist Surge (not just the future Axis Powers, but worldwide)


With regards to Finland… I would add that the Suojeluskunta organization (White Guard or Civil Guard) had existed until the events of Mäntsälä as a paramilitary group distinctly separate from the actual Finnish military or civil authorities. It could be called for service by the Finnish military but it would have its own units (until about 1934). However after Mäntsälä the White Guard started to attain for more ‘civil guard’ style stance and was gradually integrated into a branch of actual military - becoming kind of like the US National Guard. Former suojeluskunta districts were turned into sort of local branches of the military facilitating the mobilization and the separate command structure they used to have was taken over by the actual Finnish military for example. Also this meant that separate Suojeluskunta units were abolished and instead the better equipped and trained members of Suojeluskunta were used to forms sort of a cadre or core for mobilized reservist units.

Not really strictly related to the fascist surge but shows how the things worked the other way around as well - that is the fascist surge in a way led to former right wing paramilitary group to be reduced into a military branch without its own say any longer.


A lot of the “fascist surge” had to do not just with economic conditions but also with the horror stories emanating from the Soviet Union by émigrés (many true stories, some false, some exaggerated). There seems to have been a genuine fear of communism (certainly not unwarranted) because of its revolutionary nature and the terror practised against civilians.

This led people to lean towards fascism more and more as the “lesser of two evils” or maybe as something people thought would work. Plus, the fascist experiment in Italy (despite some repression and even some terror) seemed on the surface to be working pretty well (emphasis on “on the surface”) which was in direct contradiction with the red terror in Stalin’s Russia. Mussolini’s concordat with the pope even earned him praise from FDR.

I believe many fascist supporters of the early 1930s may have been more anti-communist than they ever were pro-fascist.