Rather than eliminating a major cause of right-wing extremism, the collapse of Communism triggered its resurgence throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Not since the Third Reich had such a virulent and enraged Right made its presence felt in so many countries. Tracing the rise of Adolf Hitler, George Mosse observed that “one of the Nazis’ principle victories before seizing power “ was that they forced centrists and leftists to “argue on terrain occupied by the racist right.” European and American neofascists posing as right-wing populists could claim a similar victory half a century after World War II. Even when they lost elections and were not formally part of the government, far Right politicians had a significant influence on public policy. To a great extent, their scapegoating rhetoric framed key debates and shaped the post-Cold War political agenda.
Fascism is on the march again. No simple formula, however, can predict how strong contemporary fascist movements (or their functional equivalents) will become. A vibrant democratic culture is not conductive to the growth of fascism. But unchecked corporate power has, to a significant degree, stultified the democratic process, and fascist groups in Europe and the United States feed upon this malaise. British scholar Roger Griffin likened fascism to “a supervirus which constantly evolves to accommodate changes in its habitat, producing a wide variety of new strains resistant to traditional prophylactics.”
…neofascist groups, in turn, were symptomatic of a much wider authoritarian malaise, according to Theodore Adorno, whose mid-century diagnosis retains its relevance in the fin de siecle 1990’s. Adorno viewed “the continued existence of National Socialism within democracy [as] more threatening than the continued existence of fascist tendencies against democracy.” His studies suggest that the potential for fascism was embedded in the fabric of mass consumer culture, which typically engenders weak personalities with high dependency needs that could easily be manipulated by commercial advertisers and political demagogues. Seen from this perspective, fascism has persisted as a permanent possibility in advanced industrial societies, including post-Cold War Germany.
Martin A. Lee . The Beast Reawakens : Fascism's Resurgence from Hitler's Spymasters to Today's Neo-Nazi Groups & Right-Wing Extremists. Little, Brown & Company 1997. Pgs389,391