Fascism after Fascism (GERMAN 237)
When World War II ended, most of the states that described themselves as "fascist" ended with it. Nevertheless, fascism haunted postwar democracy as an ever-present threat. The question of what exactly had characterized fascism, and what parts of it persisted within liberal democracies themselves, were continuously and contentiously debated. This question has emerged all the more forcefully in recent years as "illiberal," or "right-wing populist," movements and governments have begun to question the basic premises of liberal democracy. What was fascism, and what would it mean for it to return? This course considers writings by philosophers, historians, journalists and writers, and moves from early anti-fascist writings to critiques of online movements and neo-reactionaries.