by Jason Stanley edited by O Society August 24, 2019
The 10 Pillars of Fascism
Number One: A Mythic Past
A great mythic past, to which the leader harkens back.
“‘Made in America. It’s not just a slogan but a way of life,’ Donald Trump said to steelworkers.
“I remember when I was growing up, ‘Made in the U.S.A,’ it was on everything. It was on everything. A country, Czeckolosavkia, a long time ago, people used to take single dollar bills and they used to paint them and paste them onto the windshield of their car because it represented America. That’s all coming back. That’s what’s happening. Made in the U.S.A., made in America. We’re proud of it again.
Of course, in terms of a slogan, the greatest perhaps ever in the history of politics, ‘make America great again.’ That’s the best. That’s the best.
And in a couple of years, we change that slogan — I hate to tell you this, to ‘keep America great’ because that’s what’s happening. Keep America great. So your hat will be a little bit obsolete, but that’s OK.”
Number Two: Propaganda
There’s a certain kind of fascist propaganda where everything is inverted. The news is the fake news. Anti-corruption is corruption.
Number Three: Anti-Intellectualism
As Steve Bannon said, it’s emotion—rage gets people to the polls. We got elected on “Lock her up!” and “Build the wall!” Hitler, in Mein Kampf, says you want your propaganda to appeal the most to the least educated people.
Number Four: Unreality
You have to smash truth. So, reason gets replaced by conspiracy theories. I first started writing, got out of my academic shell in 2011, when I wrote a piece about birtherism, because I saw conspiracy theories coming, and that’s a deeply concerning sign. Unreality. So, you smash every—smash truth, so all that remains is loyalty.
Number Five: Hierarchy
In fascist politics, the dominant group is better than everyone else. They were like the loyal—the great people in the past who deserve respect just for being them.
Number Six: Victimhood
In fascism, the dominant group are the greatest victims. The men are the greatest victims of encroaching feminism. Whites are the greatest victims of blacks. Germans are the greatest victims of Jews.
Number Seven: Law and order
What are they victims of? They’re victims of the out group, who are criminals.
Number Eight: Sexual anxiety
What kind of criminals are they? They’re rapists.
“Well, somebody’s doing the raping, Don. I mean somebody’s doing it,” he said. “Who’s doing the raping?”
Number Nine: Sodom and Gomorrah
The real values come from the heartland. The people in the city are decadent.
Number Ten: ”Arbeit macht frei“—work shall make you free
The out group is lazy. They’re not just criminals; they’re lazy. And social Darwinism. It’s all about winning.
by Paul Street
My suggestion to Jason Stanley is to include anti-socialism as one of his top ten chapter-worthy lynchpins of fascist ideology.
Historical fascism is first and above all an organized assault on working class resistance and the socialist Left – an assault embraced by the reigning Italian and German capitalist classes in the name of stopping Marxism, socialism, Bolshevism, and communism.
Anti-socialism remains so fundamental to fascist politics and ideology, contemporary neofascist politicos like Trump, Mitch McConnell, Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, Wayne LaPierre, and Sean Hannity feel the need to concoct a socialist menace where very little if any real radical Left exists.
In the United States, we have a grand total of three politicians in elected federal office – Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Rashida Tlaib – who identify as “democratic socialists.” People who call themselves socialists make up less than one percent of the total Congressional delegation of a (not-so) Democratic Party deeply beholden to Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley Chase, Lockheed Martin and the broad “billionaire class” Sanders regularly denounces and refuses to take money from.
The party’s leaders proudly embrace capitalism and, including Warren, applauded when the Neofascist-in-Chief made his neo-McCarthyite call for Congress to pledge the United States would “never be a socialist country” during his State of the Union Address last winter. And the three self-declared Congressional “socialists” aren’t even real socialists. They are progressive Democrats: social-democratish progressive neo-New Dealers trying to add some modest measure of social and environmental decency to late capitalism.
But, well, so what? Orange Skull, “Moscow Mitch,” Field Marshal Miller, Princess Kellyanne, the National fascist Rifle Association, Herr Hannity, Lieutenant Limbaugh, and the rest of the white nationalist noise machine rail and warn constantly against the “radical Left” and “socialist” Democrats. Neofascists need a big socialist Left specter to justify their sickening existence. They need the socialist foil so badly they’ll invent it even where it barely exists.
Dollar Dem Donny Deutsch(land): “This Company is Not Denmark”
There’s a nauseating irony here. The neofascist project of Donito Assolini and his allies curiously aided and abetted by a “liberal” media, who can’t use to the F-word – fascism (or at least “neo-fascism” or “fascist-style”) – when describing the actually fascistic politics of Trump, his party, and his base.
Yet this same media can’t stop using the S-word, socialism, in complaining and warning about the supposed “far left” menace in its own party. Listen to the ridiculous retired multi-millionaire advertising executive and current MSDNC Saturday night show-host Donny Deutsch on “Morning Joe” last March :
“I find Donald Trump reprehensible as a human being, but a socialist candidate [Bernie Sanders] is more dangerous to this company, country, as far as the strength and well-being of the country, than Donald Trump. I would vote for Donald Trump, a despicable human being…
I will be so distraught to the point that that could even come out of my mouth, if we have a socialist[Democratic presidential candidate in 2020] because that will take our country so down, and we are not Denmark. I love Denmark, but that’s not who we are. And if you love who we are and all the great things that still have to have binders put on the side. Please step away from the socialism.”
To quote paraphrase Happy Gilmore’s one-armed golf instructor, spoken like a true asshole. Oh yes, Donny Deutsch, what a ruinous nightmare it would be if the world’s richest nation granted all its people quality health care as a human right like they do in Trotskyist Denmark – and if we started trying to save the human race from extinction by introducing large-scale green jobs programs.
Bernie Sanders, he of the essential Green New Deal and Stalinist-Canadian Single Payer, is “more dangerous to this company, country” than the fascist Donald Trump. That’s telling some harsh truths, Donny boy: standing up for your company, country!
Never mind 57% of U.S. Democrats now prefer “socialism” to “capitalism” – this for some very good reasons.
To repeat: the establishment Democrats would rather lose to the right, even to a proto-fascistic white-nationalist and eco-exterminist right, than lose to the left, even to a mildly progressive social democratic and environmentalist left within their own party.