Prof. Jason Stanley talks about the politics, tactics, and dangers of fascism, incorporating reflections on history, philosophy, sociology, and critical race theory.


The talk is streamed live on YouTube: https://youtu.be/4ph4mftdysc

Jason Stanley: "How Fascism Works"

YouTube Livestream / No registration necessary


The talk is streamed live on YouTube: https://youtu.be/4ph4mftdysc


This event is part of the event series This is America. Reflections on a Divided Country and part of the Munich Dialogues on Democracy Speaker Series.


As the child of refugees of World War II Europe and a renowned philosopher and scholar of propaganda, Jason Stanley has a deep understanding of how democratic societies can be vulnerable to fascism: Nations don’t have to be fascist to suffer from fascist politics. In fact, fascism’s roots have been present in the United States for more than a century.


Alarmed by the pervasive rise of fascist tactics both at home and around the globe, Stanley focuses here on the structures that unite them, laying out and analyzing the ten pillars of fascist politics - the language and beliefs that separate people into an “us” and a “them.” He knits together reflections on history, philosophy, sociology, and critical race theory with stories from contemporary Hungary, Poland, India, Myanmar, and the United States, among other nations.


He makes clear the immense danger of underestimating the cumulative power of these tactics, which include exploiting a mythic version of a nation’s past; propaganda that twists the language of democratic ideals against themselves; anti-intellectualism directed against universities and experts; law and order politics predicated on the assumption that members of minority groups are criminals; and fierce attacks on labor groups and welfare. These mechanisms all build on one another, creating and reinforcing divisions and shaping a society vulnerable to the appeals of authoritarian leadership.


By uncovering disturbing patterns that are as prevalent today as ever, Stanley reveals that the stuff of politics - charged by rhetoric and myth - can quickly become policy and reality. Only by recognizing fascist politics, he argues, may we resist its most harmful effects and return to democratic ideals.



Jason Stanley is the Jacob Urowsky Professor of Philosophy at Yale University. Before coming to Yale in 2013, he was Distinguished Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Rutgers University. He has also been a Professor at the University of Michigan (2000-4) and Cornell University (1995-2000). His PhD was earned in 1995 at the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at MIT (Robert Stalnaker, chair), and he received his BA from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1990.


Please note:

Following the talk, you may ask Jason Stanley your questions online. If you prefer to do so even before the lecture, you can write us an e-mail at event@amerikahaus.de – just include “Question for Jason Stanley” in the subject line.


Organizer: Bavarian American Academy and Amerikahaus, Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism in cooperation with Munich Dialogues on Democracy.


Contact: Dr. Margaretha Schweiger-Wilhelm


(Photo: Jason Stanley ©Center for Jewish History, NYC, flickr.com)


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