Recommended Read

The Anatomy of Fascism

by Robert O. Paxton
(2004)
The ANatomy of Fascism by Robert Paxton: Review

Pros

Clear definition of Fascism

Cons

Yeah, no cons.

Why it matters

As we sit, confused about the political spectrum, thinking that everything has flipped upside down, or that the political compass has changed, it is more important than ever that people become aware of how this works. This book will make you more alert to what is happening right now.

Every day, both online and in the news, it seems as though words have no meaning anymore. Everyone is everything and nobody is anything. Reality is a construct and fantasy is reality. But, through all the smoke and mirrors and outright stupid bullshit that is online discourse, remain definitions, empirical evidence, historical fact, and a clear and ever-present danger that goes unaddressed: the threat of fascism.

It is pretty clear that there are people and institutions that benefit from the blurring of terms. Especially when the real goal is and always has been the unhinged war on “communism” coming out of the United States. And, the United States’ redefinition of important political concepts and domination of the internet serves that end.

So, defining fascism, understanding what happened over what some centrist bro heard what happened on YouTube, is critical. Because we are in precarious times.

This is the best book I have read on the topic of fascism, and helps you get crystal clear on what it is, what it does, and most importantly, the context in which is thrives. What is most critical for ‘the left’ and those who think that fascism is only coming from Trump (even though it is being pushed by his crew), is to understand how well-meaning socialists and academics have been hoodwinked into supporting fascism in its early stages. We are seeing this with a lot of the working class vs “elites” rhetoric, and the hijacking of legitimate anger and rhetoric coming out of the YouTube left. This is a dangerous path, and history is repeating with this unholy alliance between the populist left and populist right.

You will see parallels with history and the current climate. Chillingly, this was written pre-COVID, and Paxton says (quite rightly) that some major event could bring this about in the United States. If you’ve been paying attention to my stuff, you’ll know that I have been saying for some time that the United States is in the grips of fascism. Whether it succeeds or fails remains to be seen.

Key Points

1.

Fascism is not a traditional 'ism', in terms of having a fixed ideology, like other 'isms' like socialism or capitalism.

2.

Focusing on what fascist movements do, rather than what they believe, makes it easier to nail down a clearer definition.

3.

It doesn't always succeed, or progress, and looking at failed fascist movements (e.g. in France) shines light onto how it takes hold, and what prevents it.

Hey there, good looking.

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Please choose your donation amount. If it is more than $250 you can edit the amount in the checkout. It's a user experience thing and I don't want to make anyone feel bad.
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