Donald Trump is a Fascist. Now that we’ve set the tone of this essay, let’s prove the argument.

First. What is a fascist? What is Fascism? Well, this isn’t as simple to define as some people may think. For one thing, the overuse of the word by laymen to describe any seemingly repressive or authoritarian person or regime has watered down the phrase. One party or another has declared Gerald L. K. Smith, Senator Joseph McCarthy, Senator Eastland, Barry Goldwater, the Minutemen, the John Birch Society, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George Wallace to all be fascists.

Forms of government that rely on fear, oppression, the elevation of demagoguery, the preoccupation with victimhood, cults of nationalism, unity, purity and redemptive violence are legion. Historically, differences between authoritarian, fascist governments abound, German National Socialism and Italian Fascism did not wear the same face at all. Additionally, if we take matters to the extreme, we can define just about any authoritarian government as fascist to at least some degree. Was Ghengis Khan a fascist? Was Napoleon? Was Ataturk? The answer to those questions remain fuzzy.

However, we do have some guidance. In 1968, Ernst Nolte, the highly noted German Historian, published Die Krise des lib- eralen Systems und die faschistischen Bewegungen (Roughly translated: The Crisis of the Liberal System and the Fascist Movements), a massive tome that explored, effectively all extant historiography related to fascism. Nolte recognizes that there are many different views of fascism. The Conservative sees it as a revolt of the masses. The Liberal sees it as totalitarianism (Making liberals incapable of distinguishing fascism from Stalinism – this same blind spot applies to nearly all Americans). Nationalists see it as either a high point, or a low point in their nation’s history. Marxists view it as a product of the contradictions of advanced capitalism and fall prey to the ultra-right-wing, Neo-conservative nostalgia baiting for “better days.” Finally, Christians see it as part of the secularization and De-deification of society. Nolte however argues that these subjectively ideal definitions are inadequate to accurately define what fascism is. Nolte focused on an epochal definition of fascism as a phenomenon (I am greatly simplifying here for my intended audience who are almost certainly not – as I am not – Heideggarian theorists). Nolte does not concern himself with the social dynamics at play in the various Fascist nations of what he called the Fascist Period (1919-1945), and argues that Fascism as a phenomenon no longer exists after 1945 (which is distinctly different from merely declaring that Fascism no longer exists – it is merely no longer the mystery that it was before, and during this period).

Nolte further argues that Fascism could easily come to America (remember the period in which he wrote) if black Americans were considered agents of communism (They often were), foreign political failures (such as Bay of Pigs, The Korean War, Vietnam, etc.), and internal strife convinced Americans to give up the liberal ideals that the nation was founded upon in favor of greater internal security.

After all this groundwork, Nolte disappoints. The esteemed historian defines Fascism as; “”anti-Marxism which seeks to destroy the enemy by the evolvement of a radically opposed and yet related ideology and by the use of almost identical and yet typically modified methods, always, however, within the unyielding frame- work of national self-assertion and autonomy.” This is hardly different, excepting its defined opposition to the ultra-left wing Marxism than any totalitarian government. The professor has a lot more to say about what Fascism is and is not, he never gives the student a single, solid definition. Nolte, therefore, is a starting point, not the finish line.

Interestingly, it may be Karl Marx himself that provides an adequate, interesting, though hardly unbiased definition of Fascism. In his 1895 Class Struggles in France, Marx calls Fascism; “…an authentic mass enthusiasm…of populist emotions [created by] the reactionary Right or by capitalism in crisis.” Gosh, that seems awfully familiar in this election cycle. Further, Michael A. Ledeen argues that such populist Fascism lacks an element of proselytization. In other words, the true believers do not export their beliefs. After all, that would lessen the “purity” of the faith. That also is familiar given the treatment of “outsiders” by the supporters of our Fascist.

I know, I know, I know… we STILL have not defined Fascism. Well, there is not clean definition beyond what one may find in a dictionary (which is wildly inaccurate for the purposes of true comprehension). Probably the best way to define Fascism is by defining the characteristics or the “mobilizing passions” of the Fascist person, society, or government. There are seven (though there are variations on this as well).

  1. The primacy of the group, toward which one has duties is superior to every right, whether universal or individual.
  1. The belief that one’s group is a victim, a sentiment which justifies any action against the group’s enemies, internal as well as external. This is the most glaring characteristic of those who support demagogues, VICTIMHOOD – so you see, VICTIMS vote for people like Trump because he makes them feel powerful. It’s NOT strength, nor is it courage; it is weakness – their own weakness – that attracts people to monsters like Trump.
  1. Dread of the group’s decadence under the corrosive effect of individualistic and cosmopolitan liberalism.
  1. Closer integration of the community within a brotherhood (fascio) whose unity and purity are forged by common conviction, if possible, or by exclusionary violence if necessary.
  1. An enhanced sense of identity and belonging, in which the grandeur of the group reinforces individual self-esteem.
  1. Authority of natural leaders throughout a fascist society, culminate in a national chieftain who alone is capable of incarnating the group’s destiny. These leaders are always male (the term Fem-Nazi is a complete misnomer that only exists in the genre of exploitation fiction), they are also always visibly heterosexual (though behind closed doors, who knows – how does one explain a baby-blue general’s uniform?) always of the “correct” religion. There is also generally a strong-female auxiliary with corresponding characteristics.
  1. The beauty of violence and of will, when they are devoted to the group’s success in a Darwinian struggle

Fascism, as defined by American political scientist and historian Robert Paxton; “A form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.”

Finally, another, possibly the most authoritative definition available is; “Fascism is an organized, centralized, authoritarian democracy that rejects the absurd conventional lie of political equalitarianism (.sic), the habit of collective irresponsibility, the myth of felicity and indefinite progress. It is definitely and absolutely opposed to the doctrines of liberalism, both in the political and the economic sphere.

The keystone of the Fascist doctrine is its conception of the State, of its essence, its functions, and its aims. For Fascism the State is absolute, individuals and groups relative. Individuals and groups are admissible in so far as they come within the State. Instead of directing the game and guiding the material and moral progress of the community, the liberal State restricts its activities to recording results. The Fascist State is wide awake and has a will of its own. For this reason, it can be described as ‘ethical’.” – The Doctrine of Fascism – Benito Mussolini (1932)

Benito Mussolini was born at Dovia di Predappio on July 29, 1883.  His father was a blacksmith and a socialist. Despite having what his teachers called a ‘sharp and lively intelligence’, Benito developed a reputation for violence and belligerence which interfered with his education. Even so, he eventually earned a diploma di maestro and taught secondary school briefly. After a two-year self-exile to Switzerland, Benito returned to Italy with well-developed, if not well informed ideas about politics based on the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche, Georges Sorel, and Max Stirner, the advocates of force, will, and the superego.

Mussolini expressed, in his words, a “…thirst for military glory…”Originally a revolutionary Socialist, by 1914 he had abandoned the Socialist party. He then forged the paramilitary Fascist (Fighting Fascists, or the National Fascist party (PNF), the Fasci di Combattimento) movement in 1919, becoming prime minister in 1922. This right wing movement – Let me say that again – THIS RIGHT WING MOVEMENT (There is a spate of revisionist out there claiming Fascism was left wing – it most certainly was not) was a reaction to the failure of Italian socialism. His 1922 “March on Rome”, with the promise to mobilize middle-class youth, repress the workers violently, and set up a tough central government to restore “law and order,” was supported by wealthy industry, agriculture, the military, the monarchy and the church. By 1925, the new Caesar had seized dictatorial power.

Mussolini’s wishful thinking, megalomania, and Fascist dogma overcame any semblance of good sense he may have had, and he viewed himself as a military genius. Even so, Mussolini’s military adventurism in Libya, Somalia, Ethiopia, and in the Spanish Civil War left his country exhausted both militarily and financially. National poverty, resource deficiencies, and scientific-industrial weakness, combined with inflexible commanders, plagued the Italian forces.

By May 1939, the dictator was aligned with the Third Reich and by May 1940 was executing a “parallel war” alongside his Nazi allies. By 1942, Mussolini knew he was in trouble and losing the war with the Allies, and Hitler’s refusal to make peace with the USSR led directly to the Allied invasion of Sicily and the eventual surrender of German and Italian forces in Italy in April 1945. Mussolini, hoping to escape, was captured and shot by the Italian resistance.

Much like Mussolini and Hitler (though much more like Mussolini than Hitler), Trump is a demagogue, he is a bigoted, misogynistic, racist dedicated to riling up the people (particularly neo-cons) with race baiting, false-traditionalism and strongman tough talk. What he is NOT is a leader, he is certainly not a president. He’s a BOSS and there is a distinct difference. Like Mussolini, he’s used to issuing orders, not negotiating to compromise, a required skill for a president, not so much for a dictator. Trump’s political message is pure, unadulterated xenophobia, misogyny, and outright racism. I do not exaggerate when I say that the GOP is becoming – if not HAS become either through their actions or their inaction in denouncing Trump solidly, vociferously, and repeatedly – the new fascist party.

According to Ryne A. Sherman, Ph.D., Donald Trump is calm under pressure (so are sociopaths), highly ambitions, highly sociable, and likes to be the center of attention, has a low threshold for interpersonal sensitivity (which is a fancy way of saying that he’s hostile and alienates people), he is very low on prudence which also makes him unconcerned for details. This also makes him low on diligence, low on dutifulness and impulsive. He ignores critics or attacks them to reduce their effectiveness. Randy Kreiger, an expert on Narcissistic Personality disorder says that he’s not just a narcissist, but a “grandiose narcissist” of the “malignant” type. clinical psychologist George Simon has said that he is archiving video clips of Trump for his lectures and seminars on manipulative behavior.

The fact of the matter is that in spite of the American Psychiatric Association rule that it is unethical for psychiatrists to comment on an individual’s mental state without examining him personally and having the patient’s consent to make such comments, many mental health professionals are so concerned about the concept of a Trump presidency that they are violating that rule. Psychiatric professionals are saying things like; “He’s very easy to diagnose.” “Remarkably narcissistic,” “Textbook narcissistic personality disorder.” One researcher of the condition was quoted calling Trump, “A dream come true.” His personality suffers from a low emotional intelligence as evidence by his inability to control his temper, at not understanding that inciting people to violence is indicative of a personality that either suffers from a lack of impulse control or is classically manipulative as most narcissists are. He treats people as pawns and is a high conflict personality who will seek the limelight before he seeks a solution, if he ever seeks a reasonable and realistic solution given his inability to comprehend highly complex situations thinking that he can just bull through them. This is not the personality of a political leader in a democracy, it is however that of a strong-man. His self-justification, constant lies (which are easily documented), inability to apologize or change his behavior is more indicative of a pre-pubescent child who has remained undisciplined than a normal adult. No normal adult would tolerate his behavior in a child.

If he were to gain the Oval office, he would be a disaster to the country. Possibly the end of the American experiment and the beginning of a fourth Reich destroying that which Abraham Lincoln fought to keep together. And as far as Trump would be concerned, it would all be OUR fault, not his, because everyone else is stupid and losers.


Three Faces of Fascism, p. 21; Zur Phänomenologie, p. 402.

MichaelA. Ledeen, Universal Fascism: The Theory and Practice of the Fascist International, 1928–1936 (New York, 1972).

Paxton, Robert O. 1998. “The Five Stages of Fascism”. The Journal of Modern History 70 (1). University of Chicago Press: 1–23. doi:10.1086/235001.

Kitchen, Martin. 1974. “Ernst Nolte and the Phenomenology of Fascism”. Science & Society 38 (2). Guilford Press: 130–49.

Paxton, Robert O. 1998. “The Five Stages of Fascism”. The Journal of Modern History 70 (1). University of Chicago Press: 1–23. doi:10.1086/235001.

Kitchen, Martin. 1974. “Ernst Nolte and the Phenomenology of Fascism”. Science & Society 38 (2). Guilford Press: 130–49.