Fascism Today Lays Out How Fascism Rose in America, and What We Can Do to Stop It

“Shane Burley’s book includes a wealth of information about today’s far right groups, ideologies, strategies, and subcultures…. It also says a lot about the need for a multi-pronged approach to antifascism, and illustrates this argument with numerous and diverse examples of antifascist activism, past and present. It is the kind of book we need to help us understand—and end—fascism today.” Matthew Lyons, from the foreword

We can no longer ignore the fact that fascism is on the rise in the United States. What was once a fringe movement has been gaining cultural acceptance and political power for years. Rebranding itself as “alt-right” and riding the waves of both Donald Trump’s hate-fueled populism and the anxiety of an abandoned working class, they have created a social force that has the ability to win elections and inspire racist street violence in equal measure.

Fascism Today looks at the changing world of the far right in Donald Trump’s America. Examining the modern fascist movement’s various strains, Shane Burley has written an accessible primer about what its adherents believe, how they organize, and what future they have in the United States. The ascension of Trump has introduced a whole new vocabulary into our political lexicon—white nationalism, race realism, Identitarianism, and a slew of others. Burley breaks it all down. From the tech-savvy trolls of the alt-right to esoteric Aryan mystics, from full-fledged Nazis to well-groomed neofascists like Richard Spencer, he shows how these racists and authoritarians have reinvented themselves in order to recruit new members and grow.

Just as importantly, Fascism Today shows how they can be fought and beaten. It highlights groups that have successfully opposed these twisted forces and outlines the elements needed to build powerful mass movements to confront the institutionalization of fascist ideas, protect marginalized communities, and ultimately stop the fascist threat.


Shane Burley is a writer and filmmaker based in Portland, Oregon.  His work has appeared at places like Jacobin, In These Times, Waging Nonviolence, ThinkProgress, Labor Notes, Roar Magazine, Upping the Anti, and Make/Shift.


From the introduction to Fascism Today:

White nationalists have a revolutionary vision, one that opposes the state and dominant white culture as much as it does the left and non-whites. It wants to reimagine this world as one that is exclusively for white interests, where the “strong” rule over the “weak,” where women know their place and gender is firmly enforced. They have reached into the culture and found a firm grasp and are going to use this moment in the sun to grow, to expand their influence, to make themselves a militant threat to the values of democracy and equality. The battle for those on the left, the organized faction interested in great human equality, is now to understand who the Alt Right are and what they want, and they must look past the contradictory phrasings and confusing tactics to do that. The incidents of reactionary violence, the mobilization that figures like Trump and his racial scapegoating has inspired in working-class people, and the mainstreaming of explicit nationalism has made real the threat that was only in the background of many political battles over the last sixty years. Fascism has never been silenced exclusively by its own ineptitude, but instead by the concerted efforts of organizers that risk everything to stop it. Fascism attacks all of our movements: from the labor movement to anti-racist struggle, the growth of the LGBT fight to that over ecological liberation. Fascism makes these battles intersectional since it acts as a orchestrated attack on the core values of all of these movements, making real the idea that all oppression has a common center. Fascism is an attempt to answer the unfinished equation of capitalism and, instead of challenging the inequalities manifested through this economic system, it hardens them. With the election of Donald Trump, this “worst case scenario”, Fascism taking a hold, now seemed possible, which added material impetus for movements on the left to link up and take charge. This changed everything.

Fascism Today is available for excerpt
Shane Burley is available for interview

Contact Colin Beckett, and you can also request an advanced copy: press@akpress.org

Fascism Today can also be pre-ordered at Amazon.

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4 thoughts on “Fascism Today Lays Out How Fascism Rose in America, and What We Can Do to Stop It”

  1. I grew up in a mixed family of Democrats and Republicans.
    Currently and lots of lively discussions. I see my political views as a Centrist leaning Libertarian at this point in time. I am struggling to understand where you are coming from since I have never met anyone that was an open Nazi or KKK, and just learned that there were even White Nationalist. I am researching and learning who is Richard Spensor, and the Alt Right. I don’t think I know any. I am a bothered a bit though by Antifa, as it is being reported to attacked people who are just simple Trump supporters not related to the Alt right. I think these attacks may be hurting what you are trying to communicate about businesses that have to much influence in big government.

    I know Trump did stop congress from being able to participate with lobbyist from corporation for the next couple years. I think that is something good. That is anti-facist I believe. I know though you must feel that is not enough. What could Trump supporters do or what needs to be communicated that would heal our nations wounds or help Antifa have common ground with innocent people with a different view on what is best for this nation? I hear a lot of slogans on TV protest, but it does not seem to represent all the people that are being protested against. Antifa is looking foolish, but I know there must be more there, to have such a huge following. Please guide me toward sites that express your views.
    Algorythms I feel on Google, You tube, and Face book can be biased and not providing the full picture to many users looking at political content. I think this might be an issue too as to why we are having so many difference in our total political make up. Thank you so much for your time in this matter. Please take care and be safe.

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    1. There is nothing simple about supporting the current occupant of the White House. He is a bigoted bully, a racist rapist, a misogynistic Islamaphobe, and more. His comments have demonstrated his opposition to several Constitutionally granted freedoms including freedom of speech and freedom of the press. His support of people like Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon make him an ally of white supremacy/white nationalism and an ally of those ideologies may as well wear a white hood or swastika themselves.

      As for Antifa–they are antifascists. Fascism is one of the most destructive ideologies mankind has ever created, as seen in the second World War. That ideology has evolved somewhat over the years and some would say that the “alt-right” is a mutated strain of fascism. Given the clearly destructive nature of fascism, it makes sense that there would be people who fight–literally–in opposition of fascists. In addition to punching Nazis, Antifa also serves and protects peaceful activists who protest right-wing extremism. They do the job the police should be doing, but the police are all too willing to protect fascists and right-wing extremists rather than the protesters.

      You’ve a lot more reading to do on the rise of fascism in this country. I suggest you develop your critical thinking skills a bit more before you delve any deeper though, bc you’re already falling for bullshit.

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  2. I have seen the websites, blogs and youtube but out of everyone I have ever asked friends, coworkers, family I have yet to find a single person who views the altright with any sympathies whatsoever. I think the altright is a network of conspiracy theorists writing about a supposed coming white genocide, pretty out there sci-fi-esque stuff. The mass media however loves to jump on stories like this and say kkk neo nazi America blah blah blah for the sensastionalism. But how many people were part of the Charlottesville racist collective? a few hundred at most? they were not even local to charlottesville they had to come in from all over just to get a number like a few hundred, the population of the USA is over 270 million, to say that fascism is rising in America today just cannot possibly be true.

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