Trump may not currently be in possession of storm troopers or planning genocidal acts, but he represents a form of fascism that is distinctive to the United States and needs to be remembered, analyzed and engaged for the lessons it can teach us about the present. While these ghosts of fascism can be terrifying, they can also educate us and imbue us with a sense of civic justice.
In the age of Trump, history neither informs the present nor haunts it with repressed memories of the past. It simply disappears. Memory has been hijacked. This is especially troubling when the “mobilizing passions” of a fascist past now emerge in the unceasing stream of hate, bigotry, lies and militarism that are endlessly circulated and reproduced at the highest levels of government and in powerful conservative media, such as Fox News, Breitbart News, conservative talk radio stations and alt-right social media. Power, culture, politics, finance and everyday life now merge in ways that are unprecedented and pose a threat to democracies all over the world. This mix of old media and new digitally driven systems of production and consumption are not merely …read more