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Fascism has a complicated history -- Mark Condon

October 30, 2017

The letter to the editor in Wednesday’s State Journal ” Fascism is a movement of the left ” is wrong.

Fascism is widely considered to be far right of the center of the political spectrum. It is not a well-defined doctrine as is the case with capitalism, socialism or communism. This is one reason why fascism as a term is so frequently and loosely thrown around.

It is easier to understand the enduring characteristics of fascism regimes when one looks at the actual historical events of the 20th century -- especially the regimes in Italy and Germany.

Historically, fascism had roots in both anti-capitalism and pro-socialism movements. But in power, fascist regimes attacked socialist and communist groups and won the support of capitalists. What does help us understand fascism is how deeply rooted it is in nationalism, antisemitism and anti-intellectualism.

Fascists rally around charismatic leaders and a blind obedience to popular feelings about ethnic supremacy, and the emotional appeal of rituals such as torch-lighted marches with chants of “blood and soil.”

Fascism is more likely to define the cult-like and right-wing support of Donald Trump.

Mark Condon, Madison

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