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In discussing the modern movements which threatened democracy, a distinction can be made between those which were anti-revolutionary and those which were counter-revolutionary. In practice, they often blur into one another. Differentiation between the two types does help to distinguish between those backward-looking elements which offered little more than mere negation of the democratic and radical movements of the preceding century, and those which used certain democratic devices against democracy itself. The Franco regime in Spain is essentially anti-revolutionary, except for the group running the single party, the Falange, which is counterrevolutionary. Latin American dictatorships generally belong in the first group, with Argentina's Peron an exception. [excerpt]

Additional Resources

Excerpt from Adolf Hitler's book, Mein Kampf, have been removed from this section due to copyright restrictions. A later edition of his book is available here.


This is a part of Section XVIII: The Western World in the Twentieth Century: The Historical Setting. The Contemporary Civilization page lists all additional sections of Ideas and Institutions of Western Man, as well as the Table of Contents for both volumes.

More About Contemporary Civilization:

From 1947 through 1969, all first-year Gettysburg College students took a two-semester course called Contemporary Civilization. The course was developed at President Henry W.A. Hanson’s request with the goal of “introducing the student to the backgrounds of contemporary social problems through the major concepts, ideals, hopes and motivations of western culture since the Middle Ages.”

Gettysburg College professors from the history, philosophy, and religion departments developed a textbook for the course. The first edition, published in 1955, was called An Introduction to Contemporary Civilization and Its Problems. A second edition, retitled Ideas and Institutions of Western Man, was published in 1958 and 1960. It is this second edition that we include here. The copy we digitized is from the Gary T. Hawbaker ’66 Collection and the marginalia are his.