Fascist Threat Needs Study

Editor’s Note: In the May issue (print edition only), Political Affairs ran a brief discussion of the threat of fascism and the right danger. PA contributing editor Gerald Horne continues that discussion here.

Fascism – or more precisely, the 'threat' of fascism – is a phenomenon that drives political strategy in this nation and abroad as evidenced by May’s PA discussion. Yet, despite its major importance, fascism has received surprisingly scant historical and theoretical attention on this side of the Atlantic in recent decades; this is akin, in a sense, to colonialism driving political strategy in Africa, though this phenomenon dissipated years ago while imperialism has assumed profound importance.

Yes, fascism will not necessarily arise in the same way in all nations. At times, however, certain forces on the left tend to gravitate toward the now discredited right-wing creed of 'American Exceptionalism' in detecting a rising threat of fascism under every bed, though this is terribly demobilizing and disorienting and inconsistent with global patterns. In any event, it would be quite useful – given the centrality of fascism’s threat as a pivot of many political strategies on the left – for someone or some group to conduct a systematic and thorough analysis of the roots and prospects of this phenomenon in the US. In the absence of such an analysis, the US left is akin to a pilot that may be flying into perilous weather but blithely oblivious to the dangers ahead.

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