Know Your Enemy

Did It Happen Here?

Episode Summary

Is Donald Trump a fascist? Matt and Sam break down the long-roiling debate and, at last, provide some answers. (Sort of.)

Episode Notes

Matt and Sam take up the question that's dominating The Discourse: Is Donald Trump—and the movement he leads—fascist? To provide an answer, they turn to the rich historiography of fascism and some key essays on the subject published since Trump's election. Along the way, they break down different approaches and sets of criteria for evaluating fascism, consider the similarities—and differences—between the 1920s and '30s and today, and ponder whether or not the "fascist question" is the right one to be asking. Listen to the end to find out where Matt and Sam finally land!

Further Reading: 

Robert O. Paxton, The Anatomy of Fascism (Vintage, 2004)

Friedrich Reck, Diary of a Man in Despair (New York Review of Books, 2013; originally published in 1947)

Federico Finchelstein, From Fascism to Populism in History (University of California Press, 2017)

Kathleen Belew, Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America Harvard University Press, 2019 

Jason Stanley, How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them (Penguin, 2018)

Aimé Césaire, Discourse on Colonialism (1950)

George Jackson, Soledad Brother, (1970)

Robert O. Paxton, "I've Hesitated to Call Donald Trump a Fascist. Until Now," Newsweek, Jan 11, 2021

Richard Evans, "Why Trump Isn't Fascist," New Statesman, Jan 13, 2021

Dorothy Fortenberry, "Can’t Fight This Feeling Anymore" Commonweal, Nov 5, 2020

Dylan Riley, "What is Trump?" New Left Review, Dec 1, 2018

Gabriel Winant, "We Live in a Society," n + 1, Dec 12, 2020

Alberto Toscano, "The Long Shadow of Racial Fascism," Boston Review, Oct 28, 2020

Angela Davis, "Political Prisoners, Prisons and Black Liberation," Verso, Feb 21, 2018

Jairus Banaji, "The Political Culture of Fascism," Historical Materialism, Feb 19, 2017.

Richard Seymour, "Inchoate Fascism," Patreon, Nov 13, 2020. 

Samuel Moyn & David Priestland, "Trump Isn’t a Threat to Our Democracy. Hysteria Is," New York Times, Aug 11, 2017

Corey Robin and David Klion, "Almost the Complete Opposite of Fascism," Jewish Currents, Dec 4, 2020. 

Peter Steinfels "The Semi-Fascist Candidate," Commonweal, May 16, 2016.

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