Whether Donald Trump is a full-fledged fascist or “merely” a proto-fascist depends on which historian’s definition of fascism you prefer. Part three of a series.
Click here for all the other parts of this series
Fascism according to Roger Griffin
Roger Griffin, historian and author of “The Nature of Fascism” and numerous other fascism-related books in the 1990s and 2000s, has defined fascism as follows:
Fascism is a political ideology whose mythic core in its various permutations is a palingenetic form of populist ultra nationalism.(from “The Palingenetic Core of Fascist Ideology,” a chapter in A. Campi (Ed.), Che cos’è il fascismo? Interpretazioni e prospecttive di richerche (pp. 97-122). Rome: Ideazione editrice, 2003., via libraryofsocialscience.com)
This statement is Griffin’s attempt to create an objective definition of a “fascist minimum,” the minimum criteria that all fascisms share. Unfortunately, this single sentence is so nuanced and uses enough academic language that it takes Griffin several pages to explain what it means. Continue reading
Fake apology. Fauxpology. Unpology. Non-apology apology. It’s all bullshit and you’re an idiot if you play along.
I’ve spent decades in the corporate world, and way too much of that time has been dedicated to crafting artful PR bullshit. I’m not proud of the fact, but truth is I’m good at it. And when making the language behave unnaturally is your stock in trade, you get really, really good at spotting it when other people start force-feeding perfectly honest words into the sausage grinder.
Which brings us to the much-discussed Ryan Lochte “apology.” Which, by the way, was written for him by some weasel in his agent’s office. Said weasel understands the basics, but sadly has all the grace and nuance of a hyena on a Cialis bender.
Didn’t work, though. See the fat, middle-aged guy with an open sore on his mouth loitering by the edge of the dance floor? That’s Lochte. See all the sorority girls easing away from him? Those are his former sponsors.
Whether Donald Trump is a full-fledged fascist or “merely” a proto-fascist depends on which historian’s definition of fascism you prefer. Part two of a series.
Click here for all the other parts of this series
Fascism according to Stanley G. Payne
Stanley Payne is a historian from the University of Wisconsin and the author of “Fascism: Comparison and Definition.” He has generated a list of 13 characteristics that he thinks are necessary for a political movement or ideology to be fascist, and he classified them into three groups – ideology and goals, negations, and style/organization.
- Espousal of an idealist, vitalist, and voluntaristic philosophy, normally involving the attempt to realize a new modern, self-determined, and secular culture
- Creation of a new nationalist authoritarian state not based on traditional principles or models
- Organization of a new highly regulated, multiclass, integrated national economic structure, whether called national corporatist, national socialist, or national syndicalist
- Positive evaluation and use of, or willingness to use violence and war
- The goal of empire, expansion, or a radical change in the nation’s relationship with other powers
Trump shows aspects of the first characteristic in that he supports an idealistic philosophy in pursuit of a new modern and self-determined culture that is rooted in the idea of American exceptionalism. Voluntarism is “a theory that conceives will to be the dominant factor in experience or in the world,” and while Trump’s language has echos of the national and personal ambition and aggression that comes with the concept of Will to Power as described by Nietzche, Trump hasn’t explicitly called for his supporters to exert their will upon the nation to change it. Continue reading
Whether Donald Trump is a full-fledged fascist or “merely” a proto-fascist depends on which historian’s definition of fascism you prefer. Part one of a series.
Click here for all the other parts of this series
In 1994, I took a class titled “The History of Fascism and Nazism.” It remains one of the most profound educational experiences of my life, and ever since then I have been extremely careful about referring to someone as a Nazi. In a 2010 post about my experiences in this class, I wrote
This class taught me that some things are just so bad, so legitimately evil, that making bullshit comparisons cheapens that evil. And I cannot stand by and let true, legitimate evil be cheapened. As a result, if I ever use the word “Nazi,” you know I mean it and I’m not joking.
And as my record here at S&R has shown, I have taken many people to task for misusing references to the Nazis (and, more recently, to fascism in general).
The class also taught me to be on the lookout for the rise of fascism in the United States, and impressed upon me an ethical responsibility to identify fascism if I ever saw it. I see fascism in the candidacy and person of Donald Trump.
Let me be perfectly clear, so there is no possibility of confusion about where I stand on this point: Donald Trump is a fascist.
This eight part essay explains how I have reached this conclusion, based first on what I learned from my “History of Fascism and Nazism” class in 1994, followed by an investigation of historians’ more recent expert opinions on what characteristics define fascism. Continue reading
I’m not disappointed in Ryan Lochte.
That would be like getting disappointed at the sun for rising in the east. At squirrels for hoarding nuts. At Arsenal for finishing fourth. No, I’m not disappointed in Ryan Lochte. I’m disappointed in myself.
When I saw the headline – Ryan Lochte and three others robbed at gunpoint in Rio – my first thought was something like “damn, that’s awful.” But it should have been “wait – what’s the operative word in that sentence?” The answer, of course, is “Lochte,” and if I were even a little alert I’d have known, without question, that a raging, sideways douche-bro shitrain was a’fixin’ to blow up.
I should have known. You should have known. We all should have known, and the fact that we didn’t, that’s on us.
And it just keeps getting worse. First he made up the robbery story. Then we get video proving he lied and we learned that it all went down because he and some douche-bro teammates were trashing a store in the middle of the night. Then he lies some more. Continue reading
Bad science journalism is almost as bad as bad science, perhaps worse in some ways, insofar as it may popularize error where there had been none before. Carping about bad science blogging, on the other hand, should probably be beneath me, at least most of the time, because hey, at least there’s folks trying, right? Isn’t this just another case of XKCD’s “someone is wrong on the Internet?”
Well, here’s two examples. I’ll let the critical reader decided for themselves whether or not they serve to engender better critical reading more generally speaking. Continue reading
I’m voting for Trump because he’s the candidate I’d most want to have a radioactive beer with while sitting in an underground fallout shelter for the next 795 years.
Your Daily Devotional is a lightly-edited entry from my Twitter feed. Follow me at @jefftiedrich
I live in a time where people exchange high fives in celebration of dead black bodies.
by Derin Adesida
At 15, I related most to Ralph Ellison’s unnamed protagonist in Invisible Man. I was attending The Hotchkiss School, and for the first time, I thought of myself as a minority because of my race and class. Though young, I was being exposed to the world. While privilege buffers blocked possible hardships from me, I had an opportunity to be a carefree black child. I enjoyed math, string instruments, and new dance steps. I felt regular. I played and then matured to hanging out with friends. I laughed a large free laugh and experienced a childhood unaware of the limitations my race could impose. Continue reading
Bukowski would have been 96 today…
How do I pay tribute to a man who both enriched and destroyed my life? If I had never read his work I’d be less of a boozer than I am, but also less of a human being. Charles Bukowski would have been 96 years old today, and I have praised and cursed his very existence with every gulp of cheap beer or sip of fine rum that I have ever taken.
(↑Kiyokawa, Tokyo 2012)
If you haven’t seen it, there’s this wonderful photo going around of Usain Bolt looking back on his pursuers in (I think) last night’s 100m final. Which he won. Easily.
“He would never wish to see his son as he himself had been once, living discontentedly amidst men at the beck and call of masters.” – Jorge Ferretis
I’ve finally made my way through the lengthy collection of stories A World of Great Stories, I’ve found a number of the selections rather creaky (likely a fault of older translations) or by authors who are obscure outside their own countries. (I see this as a positive since it introduces American readers to talented authors they might not otherwise encounter.) There is a sincere effort by the various region editors to include representative work from most of the world – the U.S., British Isles, eastern and western Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, and Asia. Africa is not represented, an omission one feels more keenly now than might have been felt when the collection first appeared in 1948. Still, it is a collection that has reminded me about – or introduced me to – writers such as Sherwood Anderson, Rudyard Kipling, Rhian Roberts, Lauro de Bosis, Karel Capek, and Ryunosuke Akutagawa, writers who represent all the previously mentioned geographic regions except Latin America.
This essay on Jorge Ferretis, A Mexican author you may, like me, not be familiar with, completes the full tour of all the geographic regions covered by the story collection I’ve been blathering on about. He’s a good choice because he allows us to talk about Latin American literary history a bit. Continue reading
Transfusing youth, 21st century style…
(At the sound of wolves howling) – “Children of the night: what music they make!” – Dracula (in Tod Browning’s Dracula, 1931)
Several recent news items from reliable sources have explored the research of scientists into the benefits of blood transfusions from young persons to old ones. If you are like me and find this at its best macabre, at its worst Mengelean, then the following is, as a writer and TV host used to say, “submitted for your approval….”
A new company called Ambrosia is willing to offer
customers trial participants a series of blood transfusions from 16-25 year old donors. Recipients must be older than 35 to qualify for the deal trial. The purpose of these transfusions is to combat aging, particularly by improving brain function and muscle strength.
If you followed either of the links for the clinical trials, you’ve noticed that there are a ethical issues galore related to doing this kind of research and these kind of clinical trials, no matter how noble the aims might be. One of the issues causing real concern in the scientific community is that those who wish to participate in the trials are being charged $8,000. Yep. $8,000. Continue reading