How Fascism Works, Part 1
One of the books I’ve been reading is Jason Stanley’s How Fascism Works. Stanley is a philosophy professor, and that describes the approach this book takes - it’s a deep dive into the strategies used by fascist regimes to take power. (Read an interview with Stanley at Vox)
Fascist thinking is part of American history: Slavery, Jim Crow, the pre-WWII “America First Committee”, and the forebears of many of the last two decades’ conservative politicians. Stanley starts with a definition of fascism, calling it an ultranationalist movement or regime which is represented by an authoritarian leader who speaks on its behalf. He uses examples from modern Hungary and the U.S. as well as 1930s Germany, layering them together like the flavors in pan bagnat.
My biggest problem overall with this book, as informative as it is, is that it describes the strategies, but doesn’t comment on counter-strategies. Which is not the intent - the intent of the book is to name the strategies so that the reading audience can identify them when they see them in real life. I guess that makes it something like the Audubon’s guide to fascism.
And these are hard strategies to source counters for - where I’ve come up with counters, I’ve pasted them together like a ransom note from a variety of sources (I’ll share those later, as I get into specific topics). And… maybe that’s how it has to be, right now, because Google isn’t real useful in finding how to counter them.