Hello all, now that I finally have some time on my hands, I can finally bring to you an essay on the topic of if fascism was revolutionary or reactionary. Before we get started, I just want to make it clear that my answer isn't definitive and will only touch on Italian fascism.
But without further ado, lets us get right into it.
A question that contemporary historians and intellectuals have been asking for decades regarding fascism is whether the movement was a revolution or a reaction to the liberal establishment. Although a fair question on the surface, they always fall short of a satisfying answer.
The rise of Zaibatsus and Industrial Japan: To start, I should briefly cover a phenomenon in the late 1800s and early 1900s. This was the influx of Western ideas about self-improvement and initiative which was encapsulated in a man called Samuel Smiles with his Smiles magazine.
This first started to gain traction from missionaries and foreign officials expressing ideas that soon became a national curiosity among the young men of Meiji Japan. To the radical Meiji aristocrat, this was a perfect idea to foster creativity to push economic growth further.
A great example comes when a Japanese University student talks about him and his friends challenging themselves to read the most books within a set amount of time. The contest became so intense that they would lose sleep just to keep up with their friends who stayed up reading.
The Rising Sun and Eagle: To start this journey off, I deem it necessary to give a comparison simply because of how unique the Japanese people are from the rest of the world other than Germany on a very deep and fundamental level.
For the Japanese, they did this through isolationist policies. The Germans did it in a more indirect way through the Protestant revolution against Rome, a highly decentralized system that promoted ancient German princely liberties and general reactionary zeal.
Another aspect to look at is the way the social hierarchy works in both cases. The similarities are quite shocking as in both societies, the upper classes achieved a total cultural hegemony over their people and became the vanguard driving force of society. No one else was left.