“One of the most typical features of the historical fascism was the appeal to a frustrated middle class, a class suffering from an economic crisis or feelings of political humiliation and frightened by the pressure of lower social groups,”
This is something I’ve long noted. Maps of the Salem witch hysteria show that accusers mostly came from the rural exurbs and the victims from the growing port, whose growth and worldliness threatened the order of things. Ku Klux Klan 1.0 after the Civil War and 2.0 in the 1920’s and 1930’s appealed to an insecure middle class. And so did the McCarthy era Red Scare and the “hard-hat” opposition to Sixties activism. And of course, Hitler. Moral: don’t radicalize the middle class. It gets real ugly. (Actually, it was the lower middle class, but often the upper middle class quietly approved. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to remain silent,” but what can really grease the skids is for the silent ones to approve in secret.)
But liberals have plenty to answer for in creating this state of affairs. You can’t say the system is rigged and then complain when people say the government no longer represents “the Voice of the People.” You can’t sing “Ticky Tacky Houses” — the actual title was “Little Boxes” — and then complain that the middle class hates you. You can’t argue that journalists should abandon objectivity and become advocates, then complain when they do just that. You can’t diss the idea of truth in science and then complain when people no longer believe in the truth of science. Liberals laid the groundwork for our toxic intellectual climate. Conservatives are cranks. Liberals are often meta-cranks. They don’t need to deny facts because they can spin them into some meta-reality like colonialism, racism, sexism “blaming the victim,” science as myth, “microaggression” or “cultural appropriation” that seamlessly accommodates and neuters them. (http://stevedutch.blogspot.com/2013/02/conservative-cranks-and-liberal-meta.html)
Surely the weirdest feature of recent political discourse has been the tendency of some on the right to redefine fascism as an economic policy. In this definition, fascism is when industry is privately owned but government directs it. Thus, Obamacare is “fascism.” To the trivial extent that all governments have economic policies, all governments would be fascist. But as Eco’s checklist makes clear, fascism is principally defined by traditionalism, opposition to modernity, appeals to violence and male dominance.
Bush II was criticized for his use of “Islamo-fascism,” but comparison of ISIS, al-Qaeda and the Taliban with Eco’s list shows they are fascist in every detail. Not only at present, but a number of Middle Eastern leaders in the 1940’s openly admired and even sided with Hitler. Hitler met with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem in 1941, who told Hitler they shared common enemies: the English, Communism and the Jews. “Islamo-fascism” is precisely the correct technical term.