Both the modern-day left and right wings use it as a buzzword for anything that they consider to be threatening, be it increased state authority or socialized medicine.
Fascism is some ways quite a visionary ideology, but is also quite traditionalist, built around the principles of nationalism, authoritarianism, and mass action.
Ultimately, the American news media were and are like the troglodytes in Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave,” comforted by the dark because their eyes would be hurt by the light of the truth.
Throughout the campaign, comparisons of Trump to fascist leaders have been treated as unserious and even irresponsible. Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” is an expression of longing for an America in which black folks knew their place and gay people didn’t dare leave the closet; when the country’s residents and immigrants were whiter and almost uniformly Christian; when identity politics (which we have had since this country’s founding) centered on white male identity.
Now, as we watch him assemble a cabinet of frightening far-right nationalists, white supremacists, militarists, and free-marketeers, Eco’s list emerges as a must-read. The slogan is often coupled with Trump’s promise to “take back our country,” implying it has been stolen by the blacks, the browns and the gays. Eco points out that this is not a rejection of modern technology, as much as modern ideas and thinking.
Because liberals and progressives belong to a centuries-long tradition with origins in the Enlightenment, they are unprepared to deal with the primitive thinking and irrationality that drives Donald Trump’s political movement and contemporary conservatism more generally.
Community Q&A Fascism (from the Latin word fascis) is an oft-misunderstood ideology, equated with war and violent tyranny.