The New Zealand Legion was a political organisation founded in New Zealand during the Great Depression. Its ideology was a mixture of nationalism, individualism, and social conservatism. It is sometimes considered to be a fascist (or at least crypto-fascist) group, although the group itself did not see itself in this light.
New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, and the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal, fungal, and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression that took place mostly during the 1930s, beginning in the United States. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations; in most countries it started in 1929 and lasted until the late-1930s. It was the longest, deepest, and most widespread depression of the 20th century. In the 21st century, the Great Depression is commonly used as an example of how intensely the world's economy can decline.
Nationalism is a political, social, and economic ideology and movement characterized by the promotion of the interests of a particular nation, especially with the aim of gaining and maintaining the nation's sovereignty (self-governance) over its homeland. Nationalism holds that each nation should govern itself, free from outside interference (self-determination), that a nation is a natural and ideal basis for a polity, and that the nation is the only rightful source of political power. It further aims to build and maintain a single national identity—based on shared social characteristics such as culture, language, religion, politics, and belief in a shared singular history—and to promote national unity or solidarity. Nationalism, therefore, seeks to preserve and foster a nation's traditional culture, and cultural revivals have been associated with nationalist movements. It also encourages pride in national achievements, and is closely linked to patriotism. Nationalism is often combined with other ideologies, such as conservatism or socialism for example.
The New Zealand Legion was a successor to the New Zealand National Movement, which had been founded by a group of people dissatisfied with the United-Reform coalition government, who broke away soon after 1930. The group included John Ormond,a former Independent Reform candidate influenced by Albert Davy (although Davy himself did not join the Legion).
The United–Reform coalition government of New Zealand was the government of New Zealand from 1931 to 1935. It was a coalition between two of the three major parties of the time, the United and Reform, formed to deal with the Great Depression which began in 1929. The Labour Party refused to join the coalition, as it believed that the only solution to the depression was socialism, which United and Reform did not support. Rather, they attempted to solve the country's economic problems by cutting public spending. This, the policy of making the unemployed do relief work for the unemployment benefit, and other cost-cutting policies, made the government the most unpopular of its era, and it was defeated in the 1935 election.
Sir John Davies Wilder Ormond was a New Zealand businessman and farmer.
Albert Ernest Davy was a New Zealand political organiser and campaign manager; and at the height of his career, was regarded as one of the best in the country. He was a strong opponent of socialism, and spent most of his life fighting what he saw as socialist tendencies in New Zealand politics.
In particular, the government was accused of adopting "socialist" policies to combat the Depression,and of attempting to appease left-wingers rather than resist them. The New Zealand Legion presented itself as an alternative solution to the Depression, winning support from conservatives who believed that action was necessary but who rejected the socialist approach.
The Legion reached its height in late 1933, when it is believed to have had around 20,000 members. Much of its support came from smaller provincial towns, particularly in the Hawkes Bay area. The Legion had little in the way of organisation, however, and rarely set out any detailed programs. By the end of 1934, the Legion had dwindled away to virtually nothing.
The New Zealand Legion used a number of themes in its campaigning. One was nationalism, with the Legion arguing for greater self-reliance (particularly from Britain) and national unity. Another was individualism — harshly critical of "state paternalism", the Legion promoted what it saw as the right of people to be free from (and if necessary, to resist) government interference in their affairs. There were also calls for greater public morality and self-sacrifice "for the sake of the country". Although the Legion was involved in politics, it did not see itself as a political party, and professed itself opposed to the party system.
The United Kingdom (UK), officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.
A political party is an organized group of people, often with common views, who come together to contest elections and hold power in the government. The party agrees on some proposed policies and programmes, with a view to promoting the collective good or furthering their supporters' interests.
Some, particularly on the left, accused the Legion of being a fascist organisation, but this is a contentious claim. In particular, the Legion's belief in individualism is pointed out as contrary to fascist principle. After the Legion's eventual demise, Robert Campbell Begg, its one-time leader, was approached by the Nazis while on a world trip, but is reported to have found their philosophy "absurd".
Robert Campbell Begg was a New Zealand doctor and politician. He was born in Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand on 11 April 1886. He studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, qualifying M.B., Ch.B. After serving as a medical officer during the First World War, for which he was awarded the military cross, he returned to Edinburgh, gaining an MD in 1923.
The National Socialist German Workers' Party, commonly referred to in English as the Nazi Party, was a far-right political party in Germany that was active between 1920 and 1945, that created and supported the ideology of National Socialism. Its precursor, the German Workers' Party, existed from 1919 to 1920.
Fascism is a form of radical, right-wing, authoritarian ultranationalism, characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society and of the economy, which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe. The first fascist movements emerged in Italy during World War I before it spread to other European countries. Opposed to liberalism, Marxism, and anarchism, fascism is placed on the far-right within the traditional left–right spectrum.
George William Forbes was a New Zealand politician who served as the 22nd Prime Minister of New Zealand from 28 May 1930 to 6 December 1935.
William Ferguson Massey, commonly known as Bill Massey, was an Irish-born politician in New Zealand who served as the 19th Prime Minister of New Zealand from May 1912 to May 1925. He was the founding leader of the Reform Party, New Zealand's second organised political party, from 1909 until his death.
The extent to which socialism plays a part in modern New Zealand politics depends on which definitions of socialist are used, but few mainstream politicians would describe themselves using the word "socialist". The term "social-democrat" is more common, but the more general "left-wing" or "centre-left" are used far more frequently. New Zealand has a complicated assortment of socialist causes and organisations. Some of these play a considerable role in public activism—some commentators claim that New Zealand socialists are more prominent in causes such as the anti-war movement than in promoting socialism itself. Other groups are strongly committed to radical socialist revolution.
The United Party of New Zealand, a party formed out of the remnants of the Liberal Party, formed a government between 1928 and 1935, and in 1936 merged with the Reform Party to establish the National Party.
The New Guard was an Australian monarchist, anti-communist, and later fascist-inspired organisation founded in Sydney on 16 February 1931, during the Great Depression. The New Guard is known for its agitation against Premier of New South Wales Jack Lang. From its founding it was headed by Eric Campbell, a World War I veteran and former member of the Old Guard, from which it originated as an offshoot. At its peak, membership was estimated to be around 50,000.
This article gives an overview of historic liberalism in New Zealand. It is limited to liberal parties with substantial support, mainly proved by having had a representation in parliament.
The New Zealand Liberal Party was the first organised political party in New Zealand. It governed from 1891 until 1912. The Liberal strategy was to create a large class of small land-owning farmers who supported Liberal ideals, by buying large tracts of Māori land and selling it to small farmers on credit. The Liberal Government also established the basis of the later welfare state, with old age pensions, developed a system for settling industrial disputes, which was accepted by both employers and trade unions. In 1893 it extended voting rights to women, making New Zealand the first country in the world to enact universal female suffrage.
The Reform Party, formally the New Zealand Political Reform League, was New Zealand's second major political party, having been founded as a conservative response to the original Liberal Party. It was in government between 1912 and 1928, and later formed a coalition with the United Party, and then merged with United to form the modern National Party.
The New Zealand Democrat Party was a political party in New Zealand, founded in 1934 with the purpose of opposing socialist legislation by the government.
The People's Movement was a political party in New Zealand. It was active in the late 1930s and early 1940s, and was individualist in outlook. It campaigned for a reduction in the size of government, a reform of the civil service, a limit on the powers of political parties, and an end to the governing Labour Party's "socialist" policies.
Fascism in New Zealand has never gained much support, but the organised advocacy of fascist, neo-Nazi, white supremacist, and anti-Semitic views has often been present in New Zealand to a limited extent.
The history of Fascist ideology is long and involves many sources. Fascists took inspiration from sources as ancient as the Spartans for their focus on national purity and their emphasis on rule by an elite minority. Fascism has also been connected to the ideals of Plato, though there are key differences between the two. Fascism styled itself as the ideological successor to Rome, particularly the Roman Empire. The Enlightenment-era concept of a "high and noble" Aryan culture as opposed to a "parasitic" Semitic culture was core to Nazi racial views. From the same era, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's view on the absolute authority of the state also strongly influenced Fascist thinking. The French Revolution was a major influence insofar as the Nazis saw themselves as fighting back against many of the ideas which it brought to prominence, especially liberalism, liberal democracy and racial equality, whereas on the other hand Fascism drew heavily on the revolutionary ideal of nationalism. Common themes among fascist movements include; nationalism, hierarchy and elitism, militarism, quasi-religion, masculinity and voluntarism. Other aspects of fascism such as its "myth of decadence", anti‐egalitarianism and totalitarianism can be seen to originate from these ideas. These fundamental aspects however, can be attributed to a concept known as "Palingenetic ultranationalism", a theory proposed by Roger Griffin, that fascism is essentially populist ultranationalism sacralized through the myth of national rebirth and regeneration.
Elections to Spain’s legislature, the Cortes Generales, were held on 19 November 1933 for all 473 seats in the unicameral Cortes of the Second Spanish Republic. Since the previous elections of 1931, a new constitution had been ratified, and the franchise extended to more than six million women. The governing Republican-Socialist coalition had fallen apart, with the Radical Republican Party beginning to support a newly united political right.
Fascism in North America is composed of a set of related political movements in Canada, the United States, Mexico and elsewhere that were variants of fascism. Fascist movements in North America never realized power, unlike their counterparts in Europe. Although the geopolitical definition of North America varies, for the sake of convenience it can be assumed to include Central America and the Caribbean, where fascist variants also flourished.
Socialism in the United Kingdom is thought to stretch back to the 19th century from roots arising in the aftermath of the English Civil War. Notions of socialism in Great Britain have taken many different forms from the utopian philanthropism of Robert Owen through to the reformist electoral project enshrined in the birth of the Labour Party.
Entryism is a political strategy in which an organisation or state encourages its members or supporters to join another, usually larger, organisation in an attempt to expand influence and expand their ideas and program. In situations where the organization being 'entered' is hostile to entrism, the entrists may engage in a degree of subterfuge and subversion to hide the fact that they are an organisation in their own right.
The Centre Party, occasionally referred to as the Centre Movement, was a short-lived political party that operated in the Australian state of New South Wales. Founded in December 1933, the party's leader and most prominent figure was Eric Campbell, the leader of the paramilitary New Guard movement. That organisation had been established to oppose what its members perceived as the socialist tendencies of Jack Lang, the Premier of New South Wales, but declined following Lang's dismissal in early 1932.