There is no doubt that Donald Trump's win in November is sending shudders throughout the United States, particularly among Democrat voters, politicians and the party's leadership. The anger on the left side of the political spectrum has led to this:
You will note that the group refers to the "Call to Action". Here's part of the text of the "Call":
In particularly found the "We, the undersigned, know in the depths of our beings, the catastrophe that will befall the people of the world should the Trump/Pence regime assume full power..." line interesting.
Here is a list of the founders of the New York City-based Refuse Fascism:
Here is what the group is about:
"1. Trump won the Electoral College vote – a legacy of slavery, and used to embed inequality in voting rights since. He lost the popular vote, by well over 2 and a half million votes. Trump has no “mandate”, and his victory is illegitimate.
2. More fundamental: the illegitimacy of the entire fascist regime Trump is moving to install. Trump promises to inflict repression and suffering on people in this country, to deport millions, to increase violence up to the use of nuclear weapons on people across the globe, and to inflict catastrophes upon the planet itself.
3. He is assembling a “Legion of Doom” cabinet of white supremacists, woman haters, science deniers, religious fundamentalist zealots, and war mongers. NO! His regime must not be allowed to consolidate. We REFUSE to accept a Fascist America!"
Since the organization regularly refers to "fascism", let's look at the Dictionary.com definition of fascism:
1. (sometimes initial capital letter) a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.
2. (sometimes initial capital letter) the philosophy, principles, or methods of fascism.
3. (initial capital letter) a political movement that employs the principles and methods of fascism, especially the one established by Mussolini in Italy 1922–43."
There are three main aspects of fascism;
1.) authoritarianism or the rule of a strong central government.
2.) nationalism or the pride in one's country.
3.) xenophobia - the fear of unknown peoples or entities.
As we all know, the 20th century saw the rise of fascism in both Germany under Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist movement and Italy under Benito Mussolini prior to and during the Second World War, both in circumstance where their homelands had experienced a long period of economic hopelessness. It is actually Benito Mussolini who coined the term "fascism" after the Latin word "fasces" which was the symbol of bound sticks used as a symbol of power in ancient Rome. Here's what Mussolini had to say about fascism:
"Fascism, the more it considers and observes the future and the development of humanity quite apart from political considerations of the moment, believes neither in the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace. It thus repudiates the doctrine of Pacifism -- born of a renunciation of the struggle and an act of cowardice in the face of sacrifice. War alone brings up to its highest tension all human energy and puts the stamp of nobility upon the peoples who have courage to meet it. All other trials are substitutes, which never really put men into the position where they have to make the great decision -- the alternative of life or death....
...Fascism [is] the complete opposite of…Marxian Socialism, the materialist conception of history of human civilization can be explained simply through the conflict of interests among the various social groups and by the change and development in the means and instruments of production.... Fascism, now and always, believes in holiness and in heroism; that is to say, in actions influenced by no economic motive, direct or indirect....And above all Fascism denies that class-war can be the preponderant force in the transformation of society....
After Socialism, Fascism combats the whole complex system of democratic ideology, and repudiates it, whether in its theoretical premises or in its practical application. Fascism denies that the majority, by the simple fact that it is a majority, can direct human society; it denies that numbers alone can govern by means of a periodical consultation, and it affirms the immutable, beneficial, and fruitful inequality of mankind, which can never be permanently leveled through the mere operation of a mechanical process such as universal suffrage" (i.e. the vote).... (my bold and comment in brackets)
By using the term "fascism" in association with Donald Trump and his chosen insiders, the group behind Refuse Fascism has used our innate fears of another Adolf Hitler to raise opposition to the Trump Administration. The media has played right into this with banners like these:
1.) Slate which found Donald Trump not completely guilty of fascism:
3.) The Washington Post which actually graded Donald Trump as a 26 out of a possible 44 Benitos (i.e. he doesn't completely fit the profile):
4.) Vox which actually found Donald Trump "not guilty" of fascism:
Given that the term "fascist" is one of the strongest political epithets that one can use, the very mention of the word in conjunction with the Trump name is a rather convenient way of getting readers to associate the two, particularly given that most readers don't read much past the first few paragraphs of any news item.
The one key point missing in the Trump as a fascist claim is that fascism is deeply suspicious of capitalism because it divided nations and destroyed national traditions. It advocates strong state intervention in the economy to maintain control of the "fatherland". One definitely cannot term Donald Trump as an anti-capitalist.
In closing, let's see who the Refuse Fascism signatories are:
Among the names you will find actresses Debra Messing and Rosie O'Donnell as well as filmmaker John Landis and actor Ed Asner.
Just in case you are interested, you can contact or make a donation to Refuse Fascism here.