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  1. International Politics
  2. US Election 2020
4 September 2020updated 06 Sep 2021 3:38pm

On the fascist tradition in American politics

Jeremy Cliffe writes: Sarah Churchwell, professor of American Literature and Public Understanding of the Humanities at the University of London, has an essay in this week's issue of the New Statesman on the fascist tradition in American politics. Churchwell sees elements of that tradition in Donald Trump's America.   "Trump is closing what is a very vicious circle, and tightening it into a noose."@sarahchurchwell on the long lineage of American fascism: https://t.co/cSAMPfdDn6 — New Statesman World (@StatesmanWorld) September 3, 2020 She writes:   "Whatever one’s opinion of Donald Trump, there is no denying that his political success to date represents its own kind of triumph of the will, one built on a political carnivalesque. Trump’s manifest need for the adoration of his crowd, his desire to exhibit to the world the cheering hordes of his political rallies, may seem like an ersatz copy of the authentic rallies of fascist leaders of yore. The fact that show business is at the heart of Trump’s unstable political ­project sometimes leads to the argument that Trump isn’t fascist, but merely an ­entertainer. Fascism was always about entertainment, however: the deep root of its poison was that it made hatred entertaining."   You can read her full essay here and listen to her discuss her arguments, and review the US presidential election campaign, on this recent episode of our World Review podcast.

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Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team.
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