The Threat of Fascism Won't End with Trump

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 2226 ... October 27, 2020
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The Threat of Fascism Won’t End with Trump

Betsy Hartmann

Is Donald Trump a fascist?

In the increasingly perilous build-up to the November 3 presidential election, that question is on many people’s minds, including my own. Four years ago, when Trump was first elected, I read up on German and Italian fascism to prepare myself for such a possibility here. While historical comparisons are difficult to make -- Hitler and Mussolini’s rise to power took place almost a century ago -- there are some striking parallels. These include the following:

The strategic deployment of fear and loathing -- The fascist project defines itself in opposition to both internal and external enemies who ostensibly threaten the purity of the community/race and very survival of the nation. Fascist propaganda uses demonization, dehumanization, and disinformation to spread hate and justify violence against the Other. Conspiracy theories feed the frenzy. Sound familiar? Just as European fascists drummed up fear of communists to secure political power, the Trump administration’s current bogeyman is antifa. The Justice Department recently named... New York City, Portland, and Seattle as "anarchist jurisdictions" subject to the possible withdrawal of federal financial support.

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