How Fascism Works

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7 mins read

How Fascism Works

How Fascism Works by Jason Stanley

Fascist politics is spreading in America. Can you spot it?

Joseph Stanley, a Yale Professor of Philosophy shows how in his book “How Fascism Works“.

Stanley explains how fascist politicians exploit 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 predicated on the assumption that members of minority groups are criminals; and fierce attacks on labor groups and welfare. Authoritarians create and reinforce divisions to seize power and destroy democracy. – Good Reads

Can you spot the similarities between the signs of fascism Stanley describes and MAGA Republicans? Click on any image for details.

Extremist MAGA Republicans at work

What is fascism? How do you spot it? Joseph Stanley, a Yale Professor of Philosophy explains how to spot the signs before it's too late in "How Fascism Works".
Share infographic freely with this link or as a GIF

How to spot a fascist

  1. Mythic past – “We” descend from a glorious, patriarchal past. “They” threaten that legacy.
  2. Propaganda – The language of democratic ideals takes on corrupted, opposite meanings. Freedom of speech claims are used to suppress speech.
  3. Anti-Intellectual – Expertise no longer has value. Universities are branded as incubators of liberalism, marxism and feminism.
  4. Unreality – Facts are debased. Reasoned debate becomes impossible without a common understanding.
  5. Hierarchy – Fascist politicians attempt to prove natural divisions between ‘us’ and ‘them’.
  6. Victimhood – Any gains for “them” are a loss for “us”.
  7. Law & Order – “They” are criminals in need of policing by “us”.
  8. Sexual anxiety – “We” support the family. “They” are deviant and threatening.
  9. Sodom & Gomorrah – “We” come from the rural heartland, the backbone of the country. “They” live in cities.
  10. Undeserving – “They” are lazy and undeserving. “We” are hardworking.

Claim grievance

Trump exploits victimhood and grievance to steal power while destroying democracy

Preying on people’s resentments and fears

“People are not naturally led to self-governance but rather seek a strong leader to follow. Democracy, by permitting freedom of speech, opens the door for a demagogue to exploit the people’s need for a strongman; the strongman will use this freedom to prey on the people’s resentments and fears. Once the strongman seizes power, he will end democracy, replacing it with tyranny.” Socrates in book 8 of The Republic.

Fascists have always been well acquainted with this recipe for using democracy’s liberties against itself; Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels declared, “This will always remain one of the best jokes of democracy, that it gave its deadly enemies the means by which it was destroyed.” Today is no different from the past. Again, we find the enemies of liberal democracy employing this strategy, pushing the freedom of speech to its limits and ultimately using it to subvert others’ speech. – Richard Derus

Professor Jason Stanley

Prof. Stanley understands fascism. He is a descendant of Holocaust survivors. His uncle served several years in Auschwitz, his mother was raised in a Siberian labor camp, and his father experienced the madness of Kristallnacht. The impact of his family’s experiences led him to dedicate much of his work to studying the ideology and structure around injustice and how it is enabled and concealed. In his book, How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them, Jason identifies the ten pillars of fascist politics, and charts their horrifying rise and deep history. – Good Reads

Understand how fascism works in Prof Jason Stanley's book
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Create an infographic

How do you take an important message like “How Fascism Works” and invite people to it, without overwhelming them lots of information immediately. One way to do it is on Twitter like this. Another is to create an infographic like this one which DemLabs created with the free Infogram app. It combines quotes from Professor Stanley’s book, cartoons from Political Cartoons and links to articles about Republican fascism. The infographic is:

  • Engaging – visually appealing to draw the reader into the topic
  • Interactive – so people can click on it for details
  • Online – can be changed at any time
  • Sharable – shared with a link or easily embedded in a website with the code below
  • Animated – the infographic was also converted into a GIF with the free EZGIF app
  • Downloadable – as a PDF or JPG (below) so it can be printed or shared by emai.

TakeAway: Understand how extremist MAGA Republicans are using fascism to spread fear in order to get elected.

Deepak
DemLabs

DISCLAIMER: ALTHOUGH THE DATA FOUND IN THIS BLOG AND INFOGRAPHIC HAS BEEN PRODUCED AND PROCESSED FROM SOURCES BELIEVED TO BE RELIABLE, NO WARRANTY EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED CAN BE MADE REGARDING THE ACCURACY, COMPLETENESS, LEGALITY OR RELIABILITY OF ANY SUCH INFORMATION. THIS DISCLAIMER APPLIES TO ANY USES OF THE INFORMATION WHETHER ISOLATED OR AGGREGATE USES THEREOF.

Code to embed infographic in a website: < div class=”infogram-embed” data-id=”a38932d0-87b8-4946-8e84-aff4ade022e3″ data-type=”interactive” data-title=”How Fascism Works”></div><script>!function(e,i,n,s){var t=”InfogramEmbeds”,d=e.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0];if(window[t]&&window[t].initialized)window[t].process&&window[t].process();else if(!e.getElementById(n)){var o=e.createElement(“script”);o.async=1,o.id=n,o.src=”https://e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js”,d.parentNode.insertBefore(o,d)}}(document,0,”infogram-async”);</script>

Make it easy for others to spot signs of fascism with an infographic based on Professor Joseph Stanley's book HOW FASCISM WORKS

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Reposted from Democracy Labs with permission.


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