National socialism, the National Party and the radical right in South Africa, 1934-1948 / by Patrick Jonathan Furlong
Includes bibliographical references (p. 566-585)
Although there have been several attempts to demonstrate the influence of Fascism and, more particularly, of German National Socialism, on Afrikaner nationalism, these have been either journalistic exercises or have been severely limited in their source material. Moreover, supporters of the ruling Nationalist Government in South Africa have demonstrated the significant differences and even periodic hostility between the National Party, then in Opposition, and the various pro-Fascist radical Right groups operating there during the thirties and forties. They conclude that critics have failed to demonstrate any substantial links between the National Party and the European radical Right. No attempt has been made to take up the debate from that point. This study acknowledges the important distinction between the mainstream nationalism of the National Party and the ideology of its overtly pro-Nazi rivals. The dissertation examines the complicated relationship of the National Party itself both to metropolitan Fascism, especially Nazism, and to South African variants thereof, using an archive-based methodology that attempts to steer clear of either apologetic or polemic. Apart from newspapers, the principal sources for this study are the records of Afrikaner nationalists active in the thirties and forties, Nazi records, Jewish materials relating to anti-Semitism and wartime South African Government intelligence records. No previous work in this area has made use of all four types of sources. Although no attempt is made to assess mainstream Afrikaner nationalism on the basis of some general theory of Fascism or some minimum "Fascist standard," the study concludes that the National Party gradually accommodated itself in several important respects to the ideology of the radical Right in complex and often subtle ways. The Nationalists never adopted National Socialism or Fascism as such. Nevertheless, many of the premises underlying these political systems were adapted to the needs of Afrikaner nationalists during the years leading up to their 1948 victory and were combined with indigenous authoritarian models drawn from the old Boer republics to form a new type of authoritarian nationalism, one which substantially affected the nature of post-1948 Nationalist rule.
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