October 28, 2002

Anis Shivani: Is America Becoming Fascist?

Liberals who say that demographics work against a Republican majority in the early twenty-first century do have a point; but fascism can occur precisely at that moment of truth, when the course of political history can definitely tend to one direction or another. A mere push can set things on a whole different course, regardless of underlying cultural or demographic trends. Nazism never had the support of the majority of Germans; at best about a third fully supported it. About a third of Americans today are certifiably fascist; another twenty percent or so can be swayed around with smart propaganda to particular causes. So the existence of liberal institutions is not necessarily inconsistent with fascism's political dominance.

I don't particularly want to agree with this, but the comparisons between the Weimar Republic and pre-2000 United States are worth making and thinking about at the very least. Though I hear that such comparisons are not allowed these days.

Shivani is far from the first to point out the rather grim implications of America's new ultra-nationalism. Anatol Lieven pointed out similar possibilities in The Push for War.

posted by dru in us