For the first time in recent memory, the world’s hegemony is located in North America instead of in Europe or Asia. The shift in contemporary politics has encompassed sociopolitical issues that were meant to have been issues of the past. This is the rise of contemporary fascism.
The question does remain if the concern of rising global fascism is legitimate. Scholars in political science academia are grappling with the post-Trump victory in 2016 to determine whether or not classical fascism, defined by Griffin as “… a genus of political ideology whose mythic core in its various permutations is a palingenetic form of populist ultra-nationalism,” has reared its ugly head in the world’s hegemonic state of America and has created a trickle affect globally. Consulting fascist experts, Dylan Matthews has compiled a detailed overview of whether or not fascism is what Trump embodies in “I Asked 5 Fascism Experts Whether Donald Trump Is a Fascist. Here’s what they said.” The consensus is no. While Trump does have some elements, the fundamental ingredients to have a fascist government are absent in his governing bodies. Despite recent social media postings touting “Trump 2024” allude to the fascist fallacy (or at the very least a grotesquely uninformed stance on American democracy) and a swath of events inspired by Trump rhetoric, the academic consensus is that Trump, at his core, is not a fascist.
Fascism in academia is conclusive on its fundamental attributes: fascism calls for a violence renaissance of a nation, systemic revolution, groupism before individualism, and is not economically focused as a central point. Conflating Trump’s history since inauguration with these focal points does not conclusively suggest a fascism, however it does translate into a right-wing populism. Trump masquerades himself as “for the people,” but exclusively travels on private jet. He does call for “rebirth” of a nation through his MAGA campaign, but fascism calls for a violence-based approach instead of policy based, which is what Trump is embarking on in his regressive legislature tendencies. Trump is an economic machine first, and an individualist second. These and fascism do not correlate for their fundamental characteristics of groupism and nationalism over individualism and economics.
Matthews employs a contemporary analysis of the American hegemonic impact on a broader political scale. The rise of right wing movements in Europe as a continental whole are not a new concept as evidenced by a series of systemic violent movements throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. What is new is what appears to be its renaissance, and the timing of recognized fascist political movements (especially those in France and Greece) have had a much more dramatic rise post-2016 which can be attributed to the hegemonic rhetoric espoused in accessible platforms. “Fascist” may not be the most accurate moniker for the Trump era on a federal and personal level for “the Donald,” but those who espouse his ideologies and commit violent acts in the name of revolution certainly continue the debate over if neo-fascism can be transferred from government to individual levels.
Some questions not answered by this article revolve around the author’s absolutist position on that the Trump regime is not fascist. While there is an acknowledgement of his extreme right wing stances, Matthews does not elaborate on the spectrum and gradients of a fascist or quasi-fascist political organization.