Jason Stanley: How Fascism Works

How Fascism Works The Politics Of Us And Them, by Jason Stanley. A vital read for a nation under Trump.-The Guardian

Charles Lindbergh
Charles Lindbergh

New York Times Book Review Editor’s choice-Fascist politics and running rampant in America today-and spreading around the world. A Yale philosopher identifies the ten pillars of fascist politics, and charts their horrifying rise and deep history.

“No single book is as relevant to the present moment-Claudia Rankine,”author of Citizen.

Aviation, Geography, And Race-An Essay By Charles Lindbergh

In 1939, in an essay entitled “Aviation, Geography, and Race, Lindbergh embraced something close to Nazism for American:

“It is time to turn from our quarrels and to build our White ramparts again. This alliance with foreign races means nothing but death to us. It is our turn to guard our heritage from Mongol and Persian and Moor, before we became engulfed in a limitless foreign sea.’ Lindbergh states in essay.

The Author Writes:

“The year 1939 was also when my father, Manfred, then six years old, escaped Nazi Germany, leaving Tempelhof Airport in Berlin in July with his mother, Isle, after spending months in hiding. He arrived in New York City on August 3,1939, his ship sailing past the Statue of Liberty on its way to dock. We have a family album from the 1920s and ’30s. The last page has six different pictures of the Statue of Liberty gradually coming into view.”   Fascism

“The America First movement was a public face of pro-fascist sentiment in the United States at that time. In the twenties and thirties, many Americans shared Lindbergh’s views against immigration, especially by non-Europeans. The Immigration Act of 1924 strictly limited immigration into the country, and it was specifically intended to restrict the immigration of both non-whites and Jews. In 1939, the United States allowed so few refugees through its borders that it is a miracle that my father happened to be among the,.’

Donald Trump Revives, “America First”

In 2016, Donald Trump revived “America First” as one of his slogans, and from his first week in office, his administration has ceaselessly pursued travel bans on immigration, including refugees, specifically singling out Arab countries. Trump also promised to deport the millions of non-white Central and South American undocumented workers in the United States and to end legislation protecting the children they brought with them from deportation. In September 2017, the Trump administration set a cap of forty-five thousand on the number of refugees that will be allowed into the United States in 2018, the lowest number since presidents began placing such limits.

Trump sworn inIf Trump recalled Lindbergh specifically with “America First” the rest of his campaign also longed for some vague point in history-to “Make America Great Again.’ But when exactly was America great, in the eyes of the Trump campaign? During the nineteenth century, when the United States enslaved its black population? During Jim Crow, when black Americans in the south were prevented from voting? A hint about the decade that was most salient to the Trump campaign emerges from a November 18,2016, Hollywood Reporter interview with Steve Bannon, the then president-elect’s chief strategist, in which he remarks about the era to come that “it will be as exciting as the 1930s.’ In short, the era when the United States had its most sympathy for fascism.

Stanley: Child Of Refugee’s Of World War II-Europe

Jason Stanley
Jason Stanley

As the child of refugees of World War II-Europe and a renowned philosopher and of propaganda. Jason Stanley has a deep understanding of how democratic societies can be vulnerable to fascism: Nations don’t have to be fascist to suffer from fascist politics. In fact fascism’s roots have been present in the United States for more than a century. Alarmed by the pervasive rise of fascist tactics both at home and around the globe, Stanley focuses here on the structures that unite them, laying out and analyzing the ten pillars of fascist politics-the language and beliefs that separate people onto an “us” and “them.’ He knits together reflections on history, philosophy, sociology, and critical race theory with stories from contemporary Hungary, Poland, India, Myanmar, and the United States, among other nations. He makes clear the immense danger of under-estimating cumulative power of these tactics, which include exploiting a mythic version of a nation’s past; propaganda that twists the language of democratic ideals against themselves; anti-intellectualism directed against universities and experts; law and order politics predicted on the assumption that members of minority groups are criminals; and fierce attacks on labor groups and welfare. These mechanisms all build on one another, creating and reinforcing divisions and shaping a society vulnerable to the appeals of authoritarian leadership.

In Conclusion

By uncovering disturbing patterns that are as prevalent today as ever, Stanley reveals that the stuff of politics-charged by rhetoric and myth-can quickly become policy and reality. Only by recognizing fascists politics, he argues, may we resist its most harmful effects and return to democratic ideals.

The Trump administration has been working to create a fascist or even authoritarian government with all who work for, with, or even those who have an invested interest, like keeping their senate or representative seats, that they have pledged their oath to the man (Trump) instead of to The Constitution, this is a scary thing and not the way that a democracy is, we have freedoms where if you do talk against the president, or just disagree with him, you should be able to do that without fear of being attacked or retribution in any way, like on twitter or Fox News. To lead with fear is how kings, authoritarians, dictators led their government, this is not America and we as the people that elect our leaders need to know before we go to the polls in November, 2020.

How Fascism Works, bookIf you have any questions or want to leave a comment, please do below and I will get back with you as soon as I can.

All The Best,


EMAIL: bobbi@greatpoliticalbooks.com

4 thoughts on “Jason Stanley: How Fascism Works”

  1. Fascism is iniguitous. It creeps into the many weaknesses of democracy until the system is fatally damaged. In How Fascism Works, Jason Stanley lists the various ways that fascism undermines democracy.The appeal of facism lies in its radical authoritarian ultranational stance. Immigrants and minorities, in other words those not like the major population, are the first to be blamed for woes facing the nation.

    1. Thank you David for your comment, fascism does gradually creep into democracy, and then moves full steam ahead in some cases, which will damage our democracy and hopefully we don’t get to that point, but if we rely on history, it will guide our leaders and our nation to not allow an authoritarian to ruin our democracy. We are a nation created by immigrants, however I do believe in tightening the borders, this does not mean we treat people with no dignity or respect, but fully vet them before entrance.

  2. Great Analysis indeed! A problem known is half solved. The author has carefully called out an underlying issue which can be nipped in the bud if more awareness is created just as he has encouraged. Well meaning leaders may overstep and create other problems almost unintended, hence the need for frequent opinion polls and accessment. Jason Stanley has carefully laid a foundation for action and as more people bare their views it would be notable and possible solutions may be attained. The power of history can be employed to avert a negative reoccurance in this situation. Thanks for this article and more grease to your elbows. Regards.

    1. Thank you for your comment, and yes we do need more awareness of fascism and how it works, the problems from the past are huge and our leaders need to pay attention to them so we don’t make the same mistakes from the past.

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