How Fascism Works

How Fascism Works

The Politics of Us and Them

Book - 2018
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Fascism means dividing a population to achieve power. Jason Stanley understood this as a scholar of philosophy and propaganda and as the child of refugees of WWII Europe, but even he was surprised by its prevalence at home. First with the rise of the birther movement and later the ascent of Donald Trump, he observed that not only is the rise of fascist politics possible in the United States, but its roots have been here for more than a century. Drawing on history, philosophy, sociology, critical race theory, and examples from around the world from 19th-century America to 20th-century Germany (where Hitler was inspired by the Confederacy and Jim Crow South) to 21st-century India- Stanley identifies the ten pillars of fascist politics that leaders use to hold onto power by dividing populations into an us and a them- the mythic past, propaganda, anti-intellectualism, unreality, hierarchy, victimhood, law and order, sexual anxiety, appeals to the heartland, and a dismantling of public welfare and unity. He uncovers urgent patterns that are as prevalent today as ever and pins down a creeping sense that fascist tendencies are on the rise. By recognizing them, he argues, readers might begin to resist their most harmful effects.
Publisher: New York :, Random House,, [2018]
Edition: First Edition
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780525511830
Branch Call Number: 321.94 STA


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Mar 23, 2019

The below comments perhaps illustrates why we need this book. I'm not sure why they felt the need to call Jason Stanley, a Yale professor and author of "How Propaganda Works," a "radical Jewish author," but the review smacks of anti-Semitism. They should probably have picked up conservative writer Jonah Goldberg's "Liberal Fascism," although he's also Jewish. In further response to the commentator, Stanley is not comparing Trump to Hitler, but ably demonstrating how he uses techniques associated with fascism (demonizing the other, manipulating the press, nationalism). Read it for yourself and decide. Also see Timothy Snyder's "On Tyranny" and Hannah Arendt's classic "The Origin of Totalitarianism."

Dec 31, 2018

Radical Jewish author Stanley warns Jews that Trump is another Hitler. Facts: Hitler took office at age 43, Trump at age 70. Hitler had a huge private army; Trump has none. Hitler vowed to reverse WW1; there is no parallel with Trump. Jews are a dominant group with whom Trump has always had strong ties; they have nothing to fear from him. Stanley says further --
--- Repubs wickedly pander to straight White males, Christians, farmers, employers, employees, US citizens, and other bigots. Christianity bred lynching. Repubs funnel money to the few (an old criticism of Jews), and teach their children to hate, p 192. Small inland towns are fascist; virtue resides in the big Dem-controlled coastal cities.
--- US national preservation is racist. Ridicules Christian civilization and the defense of Europe from Persians, Moors, Mongols and Turks. Current defenders are fascists. Refugees abroad are as much our neighbors as Iowans, p 184. Republicans fear Muslim takeover because of "sexual anxieties".
--- Warns of genocide. Supports extermination of 50,000,000 through abortion since ROE. Upholds "human status and dignity" except for unborn babies. Reverence for women demeans them; preserving unborn life and praising motherhood are fascist.
--- Upholding the law is racist. Black crime results from "stereotyping". Repubs oppose crime merely "to exploit fascist tactics for electoral gain." See pp 169-170. "[S]omeone who commits a crime is not thereby a criminal," p 113. [If you murder someone, you're not a murderer, but if you vote Repub you're a fascist.] Black riots are legitimate protests; White demonstrators are neo-Nazis. Repubs drove Blacks to crime by cutting welfare, p 168.
--- Hard work and self-reliance are fascist concepts. Lazy people are just as deserving. Right-to-work laws are fascist. Hitler praised personal achievement: private enterprise is Hitlerian. Racist Republicans offer a level playing field; Blacks need welfare, not opportunity, pp 174-180, 184.
--- Fascists label people and spread conspiracy theories. Sees Repub conspiracies everywhere. (Ignores $2,975,000 Russians paid Clintons for uranium sale, etc, and Clinton/DNC plot against Bernie.)
--- Fascists claim victimhood. Women, Blacks, gays are victims of Repub oppression, and Jews biggest victims per Holocaust.
--- Liberals should control mass-thought lest it turn fascist. "False beliefs" must be suppressed. First Amendment is no excuse to let Repubs speak on campus. Intelligence tests are racist. Rewarding smarter people is wrong. Denounces "anti-intellectual" Repubs who cannot see that boys are really girls, and two husbands make a married couple. Tuition-free universities must bring enlightenment.
--- Stanley's signs of fascist mentality apply especially to Israel: (1) master race ideology (Chosen People), (2) self-justifying mythology (God gave the Hebrews Canaan/Palestine and told them to exterminate the natives), (3) focus on victimhood to excuse current aggression (Holocaust). If he really hates fascism, he should urge US Jews to withhold support from Israel till she frees the native people, junks her nuke hoard, evacuates Syria, and stops bombing and assassinating others. He repeatedly ridicules notion of US as "chosen nation", but has only token criticism of Israeli "right" (p 106). Wants US to admit Muslims, but does not demand Israel let Palestinian refugees return. Seems to blame current Gentiles for Holocaust through inherited guilt.

Nov 27, 2018

The contents of this book exactly fit the title: it's a useful, if somewhat flatly written, description of fascist tactics. It barely touches on fascist ideology, but that's not its purpose -- it's essentially a description of symptoms that allow the reader to recognize the disease (fascism). There's very little new here, but "How Fascism Works" is a good primer.

Oct 12, 2018

This book clearly explains the major elements that can gradually convert our American democracy into a fascist state. Fascist proponents repeatedly proclaim that we need to change the country to what it once was - an America ruled by white Christians. The former slaves are again to be made "invisible" second-class servants. The "poorly educated" whites will be convinced that their lives will be enhanced once the unwanted immigrants are deported. Along with these changes, women will return to their natural state as bearers of children and homemakers. All for the glory of the fatherland.

Sep 28, 2018

This is a powerful book to help you understand politics today.

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