Conservatism vs. fascism
While conservatives often identify with nationalist movements, there is a clear distinction between conservative nationalism and the ultra-nationalism of fascism. Conservatism, at its root, is an attitude of political and social quietism. The big plans of the Big Man, the noisy and levelling mass movements, the Führerprinzip, the personality cults, and the strong propensity toward totalitarianism that are central to fascism, are antithetical to the positions of classical conservatism. Conservatism stands for learning from the mistakes of the past, and primum non nocere is an essential conservative principle.
Nonetheless, historically, some conservative traditionalists have been drawn to Fascist movements, just like some liberal have been drawn to Communism and Stalinism during the 1970s. Some may have admired the moral and military renewal that Fascist leaders promised. Others may have merely thought fascism a more palatable alternative to socialism or communism. For example, in mid-1930s Britain, conservative media baron Lord Rothermere‘s Daily Mail enthusiastically backed Sir Oswald Mosley‘s British Union of Fascists, whilst a number of Tory peers and MPs supported closer ties with Nazi Germany. For a more contemporary example, in a 2003 article in National Review, John Laughland accuses contemporary neoconservative Michael Ledeen of “flirting with fascism”, citing examples of the latter’s praise for Italian fascist Gabriele D’Annunzio.