Alessandro Della Casa

Joseph de Maistre's Two Modernities. Isaiah Berlin and the Interpretation of Fascism

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The article focuses on the analysis of the Berlinian interpretation of the genealogy of Fascism and of Joseph de Maistre's thought, which Isaiah Berlin considered one of the major intellectual forerunners of Fascism. The purpose of this essay is twofold. Firstly, it demonstrates that Isaiah Berlin's interpretation of the Savoyard as a modern thinker has to be referred not only to the influences that his anti-rationalism had on the theory of right-wing totalitarianism, but also to the role that Maistrian historicism, contextualism and realism played in the formulation of Berlinian liberalism itself. Secondly, the article shows that Berlin not only affirms a link between Fascism and Maistrean or Romantic irrationalism and pluralism, but also dwells on the monistic (even rationalistic) roots of Fascism.

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