Welcome to our book of the month! Each month, we put forward a book for our Book Club, collecting your questions and comments and taking them to the author for their response. In September, we’re speaking to former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright about her new book Fascism: A Warning.
Madeleine Albright was the first female Secretary of State, serving in the Clinton administration from 1997 to 2001. We asked you to send us in questions for her back in August. The central thesis of her book is that we need to learn the lessons of the past in order to avoid repeating the same mistakes. She traces the development of fascism in Europe in the early 20th century, before discussing its legacy after the Second World War (and continuing up to today).
Fascism: A Warning draws parallels between the dictators of the past and some of the “strongman” leaders in 2018, including Russia’s President Putin and Turkey’s President Erdoğan. She’s not the only person sounding the alarm; in September 2018, Pierre Moscovici, the European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, warned of the emergence of “little Mussolinis” across Europe. Could fascism ever have a comeback?
What do our readers think? We had a comment from Frankie saying she thinks the experience of fascism in the early 20th century is still vivid enough to prevent it re-emerging again. Is she right? Wasn’t the experience of fascism in the 1930s so bad that nobody in a democratic system would ever want to adopt it again?
Next up, we had a comment from Proactive thinks people are too quick to use the word ‘fascism’ today. He says it seems like ‘fascist’ is just a common insult people use against their political opponents, no matter what they believe. How would Madeleine Albright respond?
Is Donald Trump a fascist? Several reviewers have interpreted Madeleine Albright’s book as a veiled attack on the current state of US politics. Yet we had a comment sent in from Yannick who argues that Donald Trump is not a fascist. He argues that Mr Trump doesn’t hold any ideology at all beyond political self-interest. Is that right?
Finally, we had a comment from Viviana asking what we can do to resist the resurgence of fascism, especially when the tools to spread far-right propaganda online via social media and ‘fake news’ are so readily available?
Could fascism really re-emerge today? Or are the memories of the 1920s and ’30s too strong? Are people too quick to use the word ‘fascist’? And what can we do to resist the spread of fascist propaganda online? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!