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How Trump’s campaign meets the 4 ‘primary characteristics’ of fascism: author

In his new book, “The Wannabe Fascists: A Guide to Understanding the Greatest Threat to Democracy,” historian/author Federico Finchelstein examines authoritarian movements around the world — and cites Donald Trump’s MAGA movement as an example.

Casey Michel of The Human Rights Foundation applauds the book as informative, if imperfect, in a review published by the conservative website The Bulwark on May 14.

Finchelstein, according to Michel, identifies four “primary characteristics” of fascism and lays out some reasons why “Trump and the other budding autocrats rising alongside him” are “so dangerous.”

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“As Finchelstein ably argues, it’s only in properly defining Trump — and properly understanding his historical context, American and otherwise — that we can truly understand the threat he poses and navigate the world he’s ushered in,” Michel explains. “Indeed, much of the book is devoted to definitions, and to identifying where the lines between populism and fascism truly lie.”

The four pillars of fascism that Finchelstein identifies in his book are xenophobia, propaganda, political violence, and dictatorship.

According to Michel, Trump has “clearly built out planks” of the first three but “has been unable to construct a full dictatorship.”

“In that sense…. Trump is simply an aspiring fascist, rather than a fully realized one,” Michel argues. “He is, as Finchelstein writes, a ‘populist aspirant to fascism’ — or…. a ‘wannabe fascist.'”

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Finchelstein’s book, according to Michel, underscores the dangers of Trump possibly winning the United States’ 2024 presidential election.

“Right now, with a U.S. election less than six months away, the American wannabe despot is eager to take power once more in Washington — this time without any need for a self-coup,” Michel warns. “It’s for Americans themselves to decide whether they’d like to offer Trump the opportunity, as a would-be fascist, to finally get what he wants.”

Source: Raw Story – Celebrating 20 Years of Independent Journalism

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