Theories of Antifascism in the Interwar Mediterranean Part I

Fascism in the Longue Durée


  • Kristin Plys University of Toronto



World-Systems Analysis, Anti-Fascism, Mediterranean, Workers Self-Management, Café Culture, Anarchist theory, Postcolonial theory


The current proliferation of authoritarianism across both core and periphery is one political articulation of the current crisis of the capitalist world-system. Authoritarianism similarly proliferated in previous periods of crisis, in the 1970s and 80s in the peripheries, and in the 1930s and 40s in the core. In Part I of this essay, I detail how world-systems analysts have long been attuned to describing and analyzing chaotic moments in between systemic cycles of hegemony, but less attention has been given to the rise of authoritarianism in these chaotic phases. The multiple crises of hegemonic transition engenders an ideological contestation between Fascism and Communism revealing the limitations of Liberalism, the foundational ideology of the world-system. In such periods of hegemonic breakdown, anarchists developed autonomous strategies of resisting authoritarian rule at both the point of production (the worker-occupied and self-managed workplace) and at the point of leisure (the autonomous zone of the infoshop or café as resources and interventions in the joint struggle against capitalism and authoritarianism. These theories are important to recover for the contemporary fight against a resurgent authoritarianism across the world-system in the current conjuncture.

Author Biography

Kristin Plys, University of Toronto

Kristin Plys is an assistant professor in the departments of sociology and history at the University of Toronto specializing in critical theory and political economy of the Global South. She is the author of Brewing Resistance: Indian Coffee House and the Emergency in Postcolonial India (Cambridge University Press 2020), and Capitalism and Its Uncertain Future (with Charles Lemert, Routledge 2022), winner of the 2022 Global Sociology Book Award from the Federation for the Social Sciences and Humanities.


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How to Cite

Plys, K. (2022). Theories of Antifascism in the Interwar Mediterranean Part I: Fascism in the Longue Durée. Journal of World-Systems Research, 28(2), 344–358.