Know Your Enemy: Did It Happen Here?

Know Your Enemy: Did It Happen Here?

Is Donald Trump a fascist? A breakdown of the long-roiling debate.

(Shay Horse/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Know Your Enemy is a podcast about the American right co-hosted by Matthew Sitman and Sam Adler-Bell. Read more about it here. You can subscribe, rate, and review to the show on Apple Podcasts and Stitcher, and receive bonus content by supporting the podcast on Patreon.

Matt and Sam take up the question that’s dominating The Discourse: Is Donald Trump—and the movement he leads—fascist? To provide an answer, they turn to the rich historiography of fascism and some key essays on the subject published since Trump’s election. Along the way, they break down different approaches and sets of criteria for evaluating fascism, consider the similarities—and differences—between the 1920s and ’30s and today, and ponder whether or not the “fascist question” is the right one to be asking. Listen to the end to find out where Matt and Sam finally land!

Sources Cited:

Robert O. Paxton, The Anatomy of Fascism (Vintage, 2004)

Friedrich Reck, Diary of a Man in Despair (New York Review of Books, 2013; originally published in 1947)

Federico Finchelstein, From Fascism to Populism in History (University of California Press, 2017)

Kathleen Belew, Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America (Harvard University Press, 2019)

Jason Stanley, How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them (Penguin, 2018)

Aimé Césaire, Discourse on Colonialism (1950)

George Jackson, Soledad Brother (1970)

Robert O. Paxton, “I’ve Hesitated to Call Donald Trump a Fascist. Until Now,” Newsweek, Jan 11, 2021

Richard Evans, “Why Trump Isn’t Fascist,” New Statesman, Jan 13, 2021

Dorothy Fortenberry, “Can’t Fight This Feeling Anymore,” Commonweal, Nov 5, 2020

Dylan Riley, “What Is Trump?” New Left Review, Dec 1, 2018

Gabriel Winant, “We Live in a Society,” n+1, Dec 12, 2020

Alberto Toscano, “The Long Shadow of Racial Fascism,” Boston Review, Oct 28, 2020

Angela Davis, “Political Prisoners, Prisons and Black Liberation,” Verso, Feb 21, 2018

Jairus Banaji, “The Political Culture of Fascism,” Historical Materialism, Feb 19, 2017

Richard Seymour, “Inchoate Fascism,” Patreon, Nov 13, 2020

Samuel Moyn & David Priestland, “Trump Isn’t a Threat to Our Democracy. Hysteria Is. New York Times, Aug 11, 2017

Corey Robin and David Klion, “Almost the Complete Opposite of Fascism,” Jewish Currents, Dec 4, 2020

Peter Steinfels “The Semi-Fascist Candidate,” Commonweal, May 16, 2016

. . . and don’t forget to support KYE on Patreon to listen to an extensive catalogue of bonus episodes.

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