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Crypto-fascism is a pejorative term for the secret support for, or admiration of, fascism. The common usage is "crypto-fascist", one who practices this support. The term is used to imply that an individual or group keeps this support or admiration hidden to avoid political persecution or political suicide.
The term is largely credited to Gore Vidal. In a television debate during the chaos of the 1968 Democratic National Convention, Vidal described William F. Buckley, Jr. as a "crypto-Nazi", later correcting himself as meaning to say "crypto-fascist". However, the term had appeared five years earlier in a German language book by the sociologist Theodor W. Adorno, Der getreue Korrepetitor (The Faithful Répétiteur).
- Adorno, Gesammelte Schriften, vol. 15, p. 191.
- Political Animals: Vidal, Buckley and the ’68 Conventions - Page dedicated to the debate in which the crypto-Nazi statement was made by Gore Vidal.
- Soundtrack of the debate (MP3)