“Fascism alone will save this country” : presentations of decline, rebirth and the enemy in the newspapers of the British Union of Fascists. (2019)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Degree NameBachelor of Arts (Hons)
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
This dissertation examines the ways in which the two main newspapers of the British Union of Fascists (‘BUF’), Action and the Blackshirt, presented ideas of social decline, the need for regeneration and the enemy. It builds on the theoretical scholarship of Roger Griffin and Robert Paxton, who highlight the fascist obsession with social decline and the need for rebirth, using archival evidence to analyse these theories in practice, in an English language context. It demonstrates a high level of correlation between Griffin and Paxton’s analysis and the practices of the BUF. By examining Action and the Blackshirt, the paper highlights the BUF’s ongoing obsession with decline and regeneration, and analyses the idea of the enemy, or who was presented as responsible for social decline. It discusses the purpose of these presentations, and highlights changes over time. In particular it demonstrates a rhetorically changing treatment of Jews over time, and provides potential explanations for these changes. The paper seeks to provide wider insight into the mechanics and function in practice of fascist propaganda.