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).
Well, that’s a good point. One tends to think that Fascist = Hitler. That’s not true, of course. At any rate, my thought was that terms like Call to martyrdom is rather subject to situational reality and subjective opinion. Politicians since Washington have extolled the virtues of “dying for one’s country”; we tend not to elect pacifists. Trying to parse through the “good” calls to martyrdom from the “bad” ones is rather difficult. And, sorry, but the example you used about Trump in this category was, to me…..really not the same thing.
Hence, I view “call to martydom” as rather vague, and attaching it to a particular politician as “subjective”. OTOH, “We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare” is very specific and OBjective. (Further, it’s a a desire — if not a demand — of every Democratic politician in the US, and I hardly would consider them “fascists”. Well, not all of them. :-) ).
This feels like a generalization lacking in nuance.
Yes, probably. I think for most concerning statements Trump has made, there’s probably a statement of assurance made somewhere else that mitigates the original. Today was a great example, where he has said what you’ve said about the press, took the action that was taken today at Sean Spicer’s informal press session……and then mitigated his comments at his CPAC speech, drawing a distinction between “news” and “fake news” in clearer terms than he has before.
I don’t think we’re going to be able to label Trump based on what comes out his mouth. I think we have to wait for actions. Otherwise, he’ll have us chasing our tails for four to eight years. I remain more optimistic than most concerning this Administration, mostly because I gave up listening to him long ago and instead kept focused on what was written on the campaign website, most of which (if not all, I’m not in the mood to re-read) was pretty centrist conservative stuff.
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.
I actually have done it more than rhetorically, but you have to again consider nuance, as you mention before. McCain is as authoritarian as Trump is in certain areas; he’s going to insist that we should be terrified of the outside world and cough up to defend ourselves from it, whether we agree with him or not, whilst waving the flag. Economically, Obama’s regulatory environment, measured in terms of compliance costs, was and is staggering; and his refusal to discuss my own religion’s nutcases by the names we ourselves use for them certainly has the odor of “newspeak”. Bill Clinton in many ways was the most libertarian president of my lifetime, so there you may have a point, but his wife was quite a bit more authoritarian; I largely viewed her as John McCain in a dress, mostly because I didn’t buy off on the neoliberalism she was espousing when trying to appeal to the Sanders voters.
But, we’ll never quite know, in that case.
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.
I’’ll have to disagree. Economics and governance systems cannot be separated, although this is a common point of contention between those with a leaning towards economics (moi) and the historians/political scientists. To be honest, when I hear of anyone trying to understand the functioning of a political system without understanding the economics attached to it, my jaw hits the floor; it’s not possible, in my view.
Fascism is about CONTROL, control of populations, control of institutions, and therefore by definition, control of the economy. I don’t think a politician can be accurately called a “fascist” if they’re not trying to control the behavior of the primary economic actors (corporations). If they don’t control the corporations, their claim to control over the society is rather weak.