Stanley G. Payne

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Stanley George Payne (born 1934 in Denton, Texas) is a historian of modern Spain and European Fascism at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He retired from full time teaching in 2004 and is currently Professor Emeritus at its Department of History. Payne is one of the most famous modern theorists of fascism. He is a specialist in Spanish fascism and he has also produced comparative analysis of Western European fascism. Payne is known for his typological description of fascism. He also asserts that National Socialism and Communism are closely related.

In the 1960s, his books were published in Spanish by "Ruedo Ibérico", an illegal publishing company at the time, based in Paris, as his work was censured by Franco. His position regarding the Spanish Civil War has been that of shedding light on the conflict's origin and addressing its related myths. One of his more famous books is Spanish Civil War, The Soviet Union and Communism, which analyzes Stalin and the Soviet government's intervention in Spain. He also wrote The Franco Regime, The Spanish Civil War and A History of Fascism 1914-1945.

Regarding the Spanish Civil War, Payne has defended the work of Pío Moa, a revisionist writer who has argued that the Spanish Civil War was caused by radical Left factions who had destroyed all democratic notions by 1934 (see Asturian miners' strike of 1934) Payne himself has also stated that "If that (loyalty to constitutionalism) had been the scrupulous policy of the left, there would have been no revolt and civil war". In Payne's view, what he calls political correctness, i.e. a general pro-leftist bias in academia has led to an underestimation of the guilt of the Republican side in the war.

Payne uses a lengthy itemized list of characteristics to identify fascism, including the creation of an authoritarian state; a regulated, state-integrated economic sector; fascist symbolism; anti-liberalism; anti-communism, and anti-conservatism. He sees elimination of the autonomy or, in some cases, complete existence of large-scale capitalism as the common aim of all fascist movements.

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