"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.

Politics & Current Affairs

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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Culture & Religion

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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Politics & Current Affairs

What were Hitler's religious views?

Hitler is commonly thought to have been an atheist, a claim that's often used in debates about the perils of atheistic belief on a mass scale. But was he?

Photo credit: Fox Photos / Hulton Archive / Getty Images
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Politics & Current Affairs

Why CRISPR Gene Editing Gives Its Creator Nightmares

Has CRISPR co-creator Jennifer Doudna invented the Pandora's Box of genetic engineering, or can CRISPR be used for the forces of good?

Jennifer Doudna was a pioneer of CRISPR, which is a gene-editing technology that is being increasingly studied and used across the world. Jennifer relates the genesis of CRISPR to us and explains the pros and cons of giving birth to such a potentially world changing process. On the positive side, she tells us how scientists are already combining her technology with stem cell research to potentially rid the world of sickle cell anemia. On the negative side, she describes a vivid nightmare she had early on in the process wherein she meets Hitler with a pig nose—a David Lynch-ian vision that represents the negative possibilities of what could happen if CRISPR falls into the wrong hands. While the Pig Hitler scenario is a lot less likely to actually happen, Jennifer understands the duality of her role in CRISPR's creation.

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Surprising Science