One might cite as not inherently violent the Faisceau in inter-war (1918-39) France.
The following extract will take us into the subject:
Fascism, violence and storm troopers: in the popular mind the
three are inseparable. The same could be said, on a more
sophisticated plane, of the scholarly discourse on fascism. In an
area in which so little consensus reigns, this seems to be one of the
few points of near-universal agreement. Most catalogues of 'fascist
minima' have, for example, included paramilitary formations; and
fascism has been seen to have a predilection for violence both on
the level of ideology and that of tactics.
Despite occasional offhand suggestions by a limited number of
scholars that fascists might not always have enjoyed a monopoly of
violent talk or behaviour, or even of paramilitary organization,
the general assumption that fascist movements were always the
most violent actors in their political environment has remained. At
the same time, rather than systematically investigating the precise
circumstances and functions of fascist violence, scholars have
generally preferred to explain the causes of such violent behaviour,
be they, for example, authoritarian personality or generational
An examination of the conditions and circumstances of violence
involving France's first fascist movement, the Faisceau, will show
that though these French radical rightists were occasionally caught
up in violence, they were rarely directly responsible for it. To gain a
more balanced view of Faisceau violence, therefore, we must begin
by asking whether these fascists were always the aggressors, as one
might suspect, or whether they were more often the victims of
violent acts. Similarly, we must examine the conditions under
which this violence appeared. What circumstances provoked it?
What purposes (or whose) did it serve? This discussion of violence
and the Faisceau will also allow us to assess not only the role of violence in the politics of the relatively stable society that was
interwar France, but also the conditions under which a radical
movement, and particularly a fascist one, had to operate. (Allen Douglas, 'Violence and Fascism: The Case of the Faisceau', Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 19, No. 4, Reassessments of Fascism (Oct.,
1984), pp. 689-712: 689-90.)
Contacts and conflicts between fascists and communists took
place not only outside but also inside meetings. In these cases,
however, the nature of the contacts and of the circumstances
governing them were more varied than outside. This was because
the communists, far from being unwelcome, were often invited.
The invitations stemmed from Valois's consistent policy of trying
to recruit communists into his organizations. (A. Douglas: 698.)
[Georges Valois - Alfred-Georges Gressent - 1878 – 1945, journalist and political activist.]
There undoubtedly was occasional violence between the Faisceau and its left-wing opponents but to follow Douglas further:
Violence and politics, particularly radical politics, were familiar
bedfellows in the France of the 1920s; and the conflicts of this more
peaceful era clearly prefigured the more frequent clashes of the
1930s. Such regular employment of violence as part of the political
process included much more than the occasional heckling with
which any experienced speaker was expected to be able to deal, and
extended to the systematic disruption of meetings. And while it was
usually radical groups which were exposed to such practices, a few
constitutional politicians, like Georges Mandel, were similarly
victimized. Nor was this condition a new one in interwar France.
Though one observer has suggested that these 'deplorable mores'
started with the conflicts over the separation of church and state,
they would be better dated to the Dreyfus Affair if not to
Boulangism, that is to the rise of mass politics in France. By
contrast, since 1945, political violence of this kind (but not of
others) has probably declined. It remains, thus, properly a
characteristic of Third Republic France.
Though this environment explains much, it does not fully
account for the Faisceau's general restraint. One cannot simply
look to the relative stability of French society. Other right-wing
groups, like the Jeunesses Patriotes and the Action Franfaise,
engaged in symbolic violence, and in the case of the royalists, a regular programme of political violence. Nor does it make sense to
argue that the Faisceau was not really fascist. Besides formally so
labelling itself, it possessed virtually every other major
characteristic of fascist movements except anti-semitism. The
Faisceau's general avoidance of violence is a fact.
Finally, the Faisceau's relative pacifism is probably not an exception on the French right, or at least not a unique one. The Croix de
Feu seemingly also avoided aggressive violence. In other countries,
with other political environments, violence could be largely
avoided, as it was by the pre-war Belgian Rex. Stanley Payne's
suggestion that radical rightist groups were at least as violent as
'core fascist' ones also deserves investigation. All this should lead
us to take a more nuanced view of fascist violence, assessing each
movement in its historical and political context. (A. Douglas: 707-8.)
Allen Douglas, 'Violence and Fascism: The Case of the Faisceau', Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 19, No. 4, Reassessments of Fascism (Oct.,
1984), pp. 689-712.
Stanley Payne, Fascism: Comparison and Definition (Madison, 1980).