"Never Again?" How fascism hijacks democracies over and over

Fascism very much could be alive and well in America in today's toxic political climate. After all, the appeal of fascism breeds in unhealthy democracies. We can’t be too careful, says political expert Rob Riemen.

Rob Riemen — founder and president of the Nexus Institute — posits that the type and level of toxicity in today's political climate is a breeding ground for fascism. He argues that most people in fully democratic Germany in the early 1930s didn't think that by decade's end they'd be a fully fascist country, and goes further to say that perhaps history will look back on the 2016 American election in the same way. Is he correct? You be the judge. Rob Riemen's latest book is To Fight Against This Age: On Fascism and Humanism.

How the Nazis Hijacked Nietzsche, and How It Can Happen to Anybody

Nietzsche's ideas were used by the Nazi's to justify their atrocities, but did Nietzsche actually support Fascism? 

Nietzsche, by Munch

If there was one philosopher the fascists of the mid-20th century loved, it was Nietzsche. He was so adored by them that Hitler gifted Mussolini the complete works of Nietzsche for his birthday. The Nietzschean ideals of anti-egalitarianism, the Superman, and the will to power inspired them to act, and millions died because of it. They adored his ideas, and anointed him as the prophet of their ideology.

And most of it was due to misunderstandings and willful changes.

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Is There a Personality Test for Tyrants, Fascists, and Authoritarians?

When you see Nazis in the streets chanting things like “Jews will not replace us," it can be difficult to comprehend why they would believe such horrid things.

A young girl gives the fascist salute during the 39th anniversary of the death of Spanish dictator General Francisco Franco at Plaza Oriente square on November 23, 2014 in Madrid, Spain. (Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

When you see Nazis in the streets chanting things like “Jews will not replace us” and throwing around slurs at blacks, leftists, and other minority groups, it can be difficult to comprehend why they would believe such horrid things. While simple answers such as ignorance or stupidity are attractive, they are too basic to apply generally. After all, the white supremacist leader Richard Spencer has a master’s degree, ruling out the explanation of stupidly in at least one case. While not every Nazi has an education, the root cause of finding such an ideology attractive must lie elsewhere.

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Watch the Post-WWII Short Film Warning Americans about Neo-Nazis

The newest viral video is from... 1947?

A still from the War Department's "Don't Be a Sucker" educational video.

Imagine a world where Nazis were just in the streets. Where violence shocked society to its core. A place where the specter of racial bigotry and demagoguery was ever present. Where the US military is fighting with an army that discriminates not on merit, but on social policy.

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10 Women of Philosophy, and Why You Should Know Them

You might think philosophy is a boy's club. We are here to correct that misconception. 

While a great idea can come from anybody anywhere, sometimes a different perspective is needed for progress to be made. In that mindset, today we have ten of the greatest female philosophers of all time.

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