First off, let me say that arguing whether Trump hits the definition of “fascist” or not is a…
Kady M.

“Subjective and growingly unfruitful enterprise.”

Some truth to that. But I feel like this particular approach was about as close to objective as one can get. I received a good measure of feedback from my original post (I put this on my primary channel on Quora before copying it here) that suggests it caused a few in the middle to take the question more seriously. Small victories are victories nonetheless.

  1. Eco’s list seemed the best as an introduction to the subject. No framework is perfect. But how one writes a survey is different than how one might attempt to definitively answer the question.
  2. I would suggest that Hitler’s list is far too contextual to contemporary issues within post-WWI Germany to be useful for our purposes. As with Eco, I think defining “ur-Fascism” is far more helpful.
  3. I’m a little confused by your use of terms (“objective”, especially). Eco’s list is based on a meta-reading of movements in the plural. Hitler’s list is a narrow party platform (one of many considered by Eco). By essence, that makes Hitler’s more subjective (i.e., it is more narrowly representative of one man’s opinions).
  4. This feels like a generalization lacking in nuance. When Trump speaks about policy in terms of what he will do, he has nearly always followed up accordingly (even if half-heartedly at times). Additionally, words are a form of action. Publicly naming several press outlets as “enemies of the American people” is as much an act as was barring several of those named from his press conference today.
  5. First, that’s an assumed prior I can’t grant you (which I think you’ve made a weak case for). Second, I’d encourage you to try applying the same framework to say McCain or Romney or Clinton or Obama. You might find it far more difficult and far less compelling than it sounds when suggested rhetorically.
  6. There is no necessary connection between fascism and economics. This goes back to your over-reliance on a singular example (Hitler) rather than the meta-study of ur-Fascism as a diverse set of historical movements.
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