Madeleine Albright posits that “Fascism should perhaps be viewed less as a political ideology than as a means for seizing and holding power.” In her view, ”what makes a movement Fascist is not ideology, but the willingness to do whatever is necessary to achieve victory and command obedience.” Albright highlights the tactics of fascist leadership in the pathways to power in the cases of Italy, Germany, North Korea, Russia, Venezuela, Hungary, Turkey, and the United States, as well as the socio-economic conditions that foster fascist responses that erode democratic institutions and active citizen participation.
Albright states that Fascist leaders often outperform democrats in generating popular fervor with fast moves that make them seem more decisive and apt to restore order and security through authoritarian measures which undermine, postpone, or outright deny democracy. She distinguishes populist movements from fascist movements, and points to covert signs that should alert us to threats to democracy. Albright’s warning is against the degradation of political conversation. She encourages readers “to be mindful of our own bad habit – which is to look for and expect easy answers.”
Panel presentation: Sun., Oct. 14, 1:00-2:00 pm. With Jose Luis Sanchez, Peter Montgomery, etc. Open to public.
Discussion series: Mondays, Oct. 15, 22, 29, Nov. 5, 12. Facilitator: Jose Luis Sanchez.
Please register if you want to attend the discussion series.