I imagine Madeleine Albright is a very interesting professor and I always admired her work and status when she was Secretary of State. Her pop history here of the rise of Fascism in a host of different countries, and representing a variety of different methods tells an important and thoughtful story. She tells us of the rise of Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, Ergodan, Un, Putin, Trump (kind of), Chavez, and other Fascist autocrats, focusing on their rise to power, to maintaining of power, and their methods of control. It’s a limited study and tells a (too) balanced version of events.
And alongside this, she tells a story of a centrist vision for a future.
She almost lost me at the end in terms of wanting to simply stop reading, or in my case stop listening to her narrate, her book because this notion that we have arrived on the doorsteps of seedlings of Fascism goes on to resent a vision that includes the possibility of a Left takeover and PC police state. It was a minor part of the book, and I get it…being a centrist means looking at extremes with a real worry, but she warns about autocrats making false equivalences and well, there she goes.
I do agree that in general Fascism is often devoid of strict ideology and instead is a will to power of those seeking power on its own. But at least for the US those movements that put into effect Fascism have never been the Left. The American Left has never even been close…so to bring up Black Panthers or Antifa in order to try to paint a picture of “both sides” is ridiculous. To hint at the idea of Bernie Sanders even rhyming with Trump is absurd, and this is coming from me, who tends to be pretty critical of Sander and his followers in general. He’s a lot of things, but he’s not a budding Fascist. And so the book has some frustrations, and I think it pretty just wasn’t written with me as the intended audience.