11 Lessons from Historical Fascism

Hawaii Intelligence Digest, 19 March 2017, 03:25 hrs, UTC, Post #145.



Accessed on 19 March 2017, 03:25 hrs, UTC.

Author:  Anis Shivani (“Salon”).

Please click link to read the full analysis.


In this thought-provoking and somewhat disturbing analysis of the Trump administration, “Salon” correspondent Anis Shivani compares the rise of Donald Trump to the emergence of Italian politician and fascist leader Benito Mussolini.  Shivani says Trump and Mussolini shared many common political and personal traits and began their rise during the collapse of liberalism and socialism in their respective countries.  Shivani believes Italian style fascism, which predates the more militaristic version under Germany’s Adolph Hitler, is the real model for Trump’s draconian domestic and foreign policy.  Like Mussolini’s Italian fascism of the 1920s and 1930s, Trump’s vision of the future is “adaptive, pragmatic, rooted in reality, and also uninspired, ineffectual, and half-hearted.”

In Shivani’s analysis, Mr. Trump’s desire for media exposure and displays of personal bravado only disguise his distaste for representative government and individualism:

“The thing to notice is that fascism, in all the places it’s been known to arise, converts an admittedly minority point of view into a mass energy that soon overwhelms every civilized instinct. Perhaps Trump doesn’t need to do this footwork; perhaps much of this foundational work was already accomplished in the Bush era. What should really concern us is that fascism now seems to have a certain stability that we have not seen in earlier models that relied on a single charismatic leader. Despite the Obama interlude, Trump has resumed where George W. Bush in his most feverish mood had left off. This suggests that fascism has become permanently stabilized in this country. It is the most worrisome aspect of the present situation.”

“Fascism would never have gotten such traction here had liberalism not already succumbed, over the course of 40 years, to various abridgments of rights in the name of community or security or risk-aversion, which defines much of liberal discourse today. Fascism cannot thrive on true individualism, which is inherently opposed to mass delusions, but liberalism took the lead long ago in giving up individualism for forms of imagined community. This is ultimately the breeding ground for fascism, and this is why it is an affair that envelops all of us, not just a certain segment of the population that we can condemn as fascist and be done with it.”


Shivani’s article paints a chilling future where U.S. citizens will have already lost their freedom without knowing in. Whether this future will be realized is unknown. Anis Shivani offers a cautionary political tale that should deeply disturb all of us.

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Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest