#First100Days Crash Course: Week 4

Coinciding with Trump’s first 100 days in Office — a period of time historically used as a benchmark to measure the potential of a new president — PRA will share readings, videos, and tools for organizing to inform our collective resistance based on principles for engaging the regime, defending human rights, and preventing authoritarianism. Daily readings will be posted on our Facebook and Twitter accounts and archived HERE.

Week 4: Fascism, Authoritarianism, Right-Wing Populism

Fascism and neofascism: Fascism is an especially virulent form of far-right populism. Fascism glorifies national, racial, or cultural unity and collective rebirth while seeking to purge imagined enemies, and attacks both revolutionary movements and liberal pluralism in favor of militarized, totalitarian mass politics. Fascism first crystallized in Europe in response to the Bolshevik Revolution and the devastation of World War I, and then spread to other parts of the world. If it is a post-WWII occurrence it should be called neofascist or neofascism unless it solely involves participants in older movements. Neofascists reinterpret fascist ideology and strategy in various ways to fit new circumstances. 

Right-wing populist movements target superficial or false symbols of elite power, reinforces systems of social privilege and oppression, and is built around a backlash against liberation movements, social reform, or revolution. Right-wing populist movements feed partly on people’s grievances against their own oppression but deflect that anger away from positive social change. Right-wing populism is a form of repressive populism. 

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“The best defense against fascism is a truly democratic alternative to the status quo. Human rights organizers working for social and economic justice need to encourage forms of mass political participation, including democratic forms of populism, while simultaneously opposing scapegoating and conspiracism that often accompanies right-wing populism.” Continue reading “Challenging the Right” by Chip Berlet HERE.