How Fascism Works
What is fascism? Michael Parenti, author and historian says, “Fascism historically has been used to secure the interests of large capitalist interests against the demands of popular democracy. Then and now, fascism has made irrational mass appeals in order to secure the rational ends of class domination.” Fascism flourishes in times of economic insecurity and cultural backlash. Opportunistic politicians offer up a platter of racism, xenophobia and hyper-nationalism. They stoke fear and resentment using simplistic slogans such as “Drain the Swamp” and “Build the Wall.” In the U.S. today, there is a whiff fascism in the air. Witness the march of white supremacists with torches held high in Charlottesville chanting “Blood and Soil,” an old Nazi slogan and “Jews Will Not Replace Us.” The president called them “very fine people.”
Jason Stanley is the Jacob Urowsky Professor of Philosophy at Yale University. He is the author of Knowledge and Practical Interests, Language in Context, Know How and the award-winning How Propaganda Works.
James in NM –
I was really struck by this talk by Jason Stanley, on “How Fascism Works”, on Alternative Radio. I’ve been thinking about it since I heard it. His point here is that the language of angry right-wing politicians like Trump is really no different from that of Hitler and Goebbels, just with different particulars. I have always resisted equating TrumpCo with the Nazis, but this makes it a little harder to do so.
David Beebe –
I have dear friends and relatives who reside on the opposite end of the (spiritual vs. religious/progressive vs conservative) spectrum than my own. I am astonished through careful questioning/listening (rather than debating) how their worldview requires astounding levels of denial that preclude rational inquiry and independent, critical thinking.
Jason Stanley helps us to understand the threats of independent critical thinking to those who’ve chosen to outsource their worldviews to sophisticated scaremongers .
How it is their politics come from the pulpits of Christianity and pushpits of social media and MSM spinmeisters is among the most disturbing revelations of cultural entrainment of the human psyche i have ever personally encountered.
How it is, that “Christianity” gets reconciled with fascism, racism, militarism, and genocide is one of the darkest revelations i know of. A revelation in which to fully grok how it all (the convergent and emergent existential threats triggered by our denial of natural laws and anthropocentrism) unfolded — as we collectively peer over the cliff while taking our final step off its edge.
I learned a lot from Jason Stanley’s speech “How Fascism Works”. I am aware that US President Trump is accelerating his authoritarian, demagogic dictatorship and fascism tactics. Dividing (more like splicing) the people up by race, by citizen or immigrant, red and blue states, “normal” vs LBGTQ, family and working-class vs socialism or communism, journalists vs Americans, family vs women’s reproductive rights, all of these elements are being spewed out daily. I hadn’t connected that the label communist is what they call those advocating for equality. The divisive tactics I mentioned above are the various elements of fascism, not easily recognized one at a time as fascist, but when you put all these elements together they form a structure. A structure has a function and when you change the structure, you change the function. Trump’s tactics form a formidable structure that should cause red-alert alarm because “there has always been a fascist influence in US politics and democracy is a fragile flower” to quote the speaker.
I was transfixed, still in bed, listening this Sunday morning. It all made sense and hit home, coming form one who was a child refugee after the Hungarian revolution, fleeing with my parents, who were fleeing the secret police. Everything Mr. Stanley says about the Communist system is on spot. My parents used to express similar ideas.
Ryan Sowers –
Trump never called neo Nazis fine people. Don’t be lazy. Go to the transcript. He condemned them. he said there were fine people on both sides of the Robert E Lee statue removal issue. There is plenty of real criticism that can be directed at President Trump. It’s not necessary or helpful to spread fake criticism. Intellectually lazy. Undermines basic credibility.
this podcast was for me some refresher course on fascism, as I’ve learned at a younger age. now roaming on this earth for more than 50 years, it is sad to see the global tendencies and raise to fascism, nationalism and nuclear ‘dick’ swinging has become the new normality. I only can recommend listening to the podcast and don”t believe the previous PhD review – “If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re mis-informed.” Mark Twain.
Richard Curtis, PhD –
He is right about right-left being simplistic. Helpful analysis is three dimensional. See policalcompass.org I think org or try com. But I find this odd that the speaker is not using this analysis. He seems unaware of it.