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The Fascism Question

Alberto Toscano, Robin D. G. Kelley, Prabhat Patnaik, and more.

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Since Trump’s election in 2016, much ink has been spilled over the nature of the American right. How does the MAGA movement’s success compare to the rise of Nazism? What can we learn from historical analogies? Has fascism taken hold in the United States? These debates were recently reignited by the publication of an edited collection by historian Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins, Did It Happen Here?: Perspectives on Fascism and America.

This week’s reading list extends the conversation with BR’s deep archive on the fascism question—including Alberto Toscano and Charisse Burden-Stelly on Black radicalism’s theory of American fascism; Noam Chomsky and Prabhat Patnaik on today’s fascist formations; G. M. Tamás’s prescient analysis of “post-fascism”; Gerald Horne’s long view of U.S. history as counterrevolution; Thomas Pynchon’s underappreciated antifascist novel; and much more.

Historian Gerald Horne has developed a grand theory of U.S. history as a series of devastating backlashes to progress—right down to the present day.

David Waldstreicher

Noam Chomsky on lies, crimes, and savage capitalism.

David Barsamian, Noam Chomsky

And what today’s organizers can learn from them.

Jodi Dean, Charisse Burden-Stelly

On the first English translation of the Austrian poet’s critical writings, composed in the shadow of fascism.

Peter Filkins

We should blame conspiracy theories like QAnon on politics, not the faulty reasoning of individuals.

Nicolas Guilhot

We’re witnessing the last-ditch effort of neoliberal capitalism to rescue itself from crisis.

Prabhat Patnaik

As we confront rightwing extremism in our own time, the history of American fascist sympathy reveals a legacy worth reckoning with.

Justin H. Vassallo

Surveying Trumpland with Cedric Robinson

Robin D. G. Kelley

A debate is roiling about the aptness of comparing Trump to European fascists. But radical Black thinkers have long argued that racial slavery created its own unique form of American fascism.

Alberto Toscano

In Vineland, his underappreciated 1990 novel, Thomas Pynchon anticipated a United States in which security would become the greatest good. 

Peter Coviello

Germany’s official policy of shame about its past is a model the United States should adopt. But it won’t protect either country from far-right extremism.

Samuel Clowes Huneke

Far-right leaders often call for one nation united under one language. They have also always been good at using translation to spread their politics.

Yuliya Komska

Milo Yiannopoulos was the paradoxical poster boy for the alt-right—until he wasn't.

Daniel Penny

Most Recent

Jodi Dean responds to Ayça Çubukçu’s “Many Speak for Palestine.”

Jodi Dean, Ayça Çubukçu

So many simply leaving.

Daniel Halpern

Is partition the only path to self-determination?

Leila Farsakh

Can the nation-state serve social justice?

Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò leads a forum with Thea Riofrancos, Mariame Kaba & Andrea Ritchie, Ishac Diwan & Bright Simons, and others. Plus Leila Farsakh on Palestinian statehood, Astra Taylor and Leah Hunt-Hendrix on a “solidarity state,” Joshua Craze on rule by militia, and much more. 

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