How to Spot a (Potential) Fascist

An introduction to The Authoritarian Personality study.

Timestamps:

0:00 Fascisticus Potentialicus
01:51 Introduction
05:07 Defining Fascism / Ur-Fascism
07:03 Antisemitism and Ethnocentrism
11:31 Fascism, Conservatism and Religion
16:09 The Authoritarian Personality
23:18 Conclusions

This month’s episode of What the Theory? is an introduction to the Authoritarian Personality study, carried out by T.W. Adorno (a key member of the “Frankfurt School” and central force in the development of Critical Theory), Else Frenkel-Brunswick, Daniel J. Levinson and R. Nevitt Sanford at the University of California, Berkeley in 1950.

Following the end of World War 2, these four psychologists were interested in finding out what had motivated so many supposedly ordinary citizens in Germany (and elsewhere in Europe) to participate in the awful designs of the fascist regimes that had taken hold there.

Eventually, they laid out what they called The Authoritarian Personality, a set of personality traits which they argued might make some people more susceptible to fascist ideology than others.

This is what they found out…

A Conversation with Chris Hedges: Corporate Totalitarianism

Chris Hedges, writer and commentator, was a member of the Pulitzer-winning team reporting on global terrorism for The New York Times. Hedges received an individual award from the Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism. An online columnist and the host of an Emmy-nominated television show, Hedges has been a war correspondent for The New York Times, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The Christian Science Monitor, reporting from Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has written 12 books including the bestsellers “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America” and “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle” and “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt,” His book “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning” was a National Book Critics Circle finalist and his most recent book is “America: The Farewell Tour.”

Hedges talks about the rise of corporate power and the danger of fascism around the globe, based on personal experience as well as academic scholarship. He has been a teacher inside the American prison system for the past ten years; a reporter on the front line at violent coups and successful revolutions in foreign countries for the preceding two decades; and an ordained Presbyterian minister and competitive boxer in earlier years. Hedges is a graduate of Harvard University and has taught at Columbia University, New York University, Princeton University and the University of Toronto.

Moderator:
Diane Fener, Co-Chair, Senior Lawyer Committee

Sponsoring Committees:
Senior Lawyers, Diane Fener and Gertrude Pfaffenbach, Co-Chairs
Task Force on the Rule of Law, Stephen L. Kass, Chair
Business and Human Rights Working Group, Irit Tamir and Viren Mascarenhas, Co-Chairs
International Human Rights, Lauren Melkus, Chair

Antifa Is Trouble, but Not Terrorism

Antifa Is Trouble, but Not Terrorism

.. There is a huge difference between countering foreign terrorists, who have no constitutional rights, and domestic ones. The federal government is constitutionally empowered to fight foreign threats. The states are supposed to fight crime, even domestic terrorist violence.

..There is a huge difference between countering foreign terrorists, who have no constitutional rights, and domestic ones. The federal government is constitutionally empowered to fight foreign threats. The states are supposed to fight crime, even domestic terrorist violence.

.. Although treating American radicals and vigilantes the way we treat foreign members of the Islamic State or al-Qaeda might play well in certain corners of the populist Right these days, serious conservatives should be very skeptical about granting the federal government new police powers, which could be used to other ends in future administrations.

.. Elevating Antifa to the category of terrorist organization would fuel the worst trends in our politics. It would entice President Trump to indulge his strongman shtick, and it would give Antifa the stature it clearly craves. It would also likely accelerate vigilante violence among the white nationalists. Launching a federal crusade against domestic enemies would only fuel the fallacy that anyone Antifa attacks is a fascist.