Friendly Fascism (book)
First edition cover
|Publisher||M. Evans & Company|
|June 1, 1980|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover)|
Friendly Fascism: The New Face of Power in America is a book written by American social scientist and professor of political science at Hunter College Bertram Gross and published on June 1, 1980 by M. Evans & Company as a 419-page hardback book containing 440 quotations and sources. The book examines the history of fascism and based on the growth of big business and big government describes possible political scenarios for a future United States. According to a 1981 review in the journal Social Justice, the book is described as "timely" on a subject requiring serious consideration and is about the dangers of fascism, focusing primarily on the United States, but being aware that monopoly capitalism needs to be understood internationally since capitalism "is not a national mode of production".
In 2016, the book prompted the following response right after Donald Trump was elected President of the United States: "The next wave of fascists will not come with cattle cars and concentration camps, but they'll come with a smiley face and maybe a TV show. [...] That’s how the 21st-century fascists will essentially take over".
According to Jason Epstein, editor, publisher and book reviewer for The New York Review of Books, "Friendly Fascism [...] reflects what seems to be a widespread feeling among liberals as well as conservatives that democracy in America has played itself out: that soon Americans won’t be able to govern themselves". According to Gaddis Smith, professor emeritus of history at Yale University and an expert on American foreign relations, the book is an "insightful lament over the growth of centralized power by business and government in alliance under the direction of faceless managers who [...] are replacing democracy with a form of benevolent fascism". Writing on behalf of Eclectica Magazine, reviewer Dale Wharton comments that the book offers "faint hope of averting neofascism", but as a possible offset suggests raising aspirations, notably by "setting forth clear lofty goals, broad enough to embrace a great majority". Help may come from insiders since "bubbling upward from all levels of the Establishment are longings for fulfilling employment disconnected from consumer exploitation, environmental degradation, or militarism".
Reviewer Dennis Phillips notes in the Australian Journal of Law & Society that Gross wrote Friendly Fascism before Ronald Reagan had become President of the United States, but Reagan's United States, presumed in part to be a result of neofascist techniques described in the book, had "proven Bertram Gross to be an amazingly astute prophet . [...] The evidence for this [in the book] is stunning". According to a book review in the journal Social Justice by Gregory Shank of the Institute for the Study of Labor and Economic Crisis, "Friendly Fascism [...] is written to alert readers to a clear and present danger in the current trajectory of American politics".
More recently in 2016, the book prompted the following response from Michael Moore right after Donald Trump was elected President: "The next wave of fascists will not come with cattle cars and concentration camps, but they'll come with a smiley face and maybe a TV show. [...] That’s how the 21st-century fascists will essentially take over".
Fascism has been perceived to be a last resort weapon of the privileged to ensure the maintenance of wage slavery:
|“||No government fights fascism to destroy it. When the bourgeoisie sees that power is slipping out of its hands, it brings up fascism to hold onto their privileges.||”|
|— Buenaventura Durruti, quote from an interview with Pierre van Paassen, July 24, 1936|
- Epstein, Jason (October 23, 1980). "Is the Party Over?". The New York Review of Books. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
- Phillips, Dennis (1982). "Book Review: Friendly Fascism: The new face of power in America by Bertram Gross" (PDF). Australian Journal of Law & Society. 1 (1): 136–140. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
- Wharton, Dale. "A review by Dale Wharton: Frienndly Fascism: The New Face of Power in America by Bertram Gross". Eclectica Magazine. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
- Shank, Gregory (1981). "Book Review: 'Friendly Fascism: The New Face of Power in America' by Bertram Gross". Social Justice. 15: 71–79. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
- Jacobs, Matthew (November 14, 2016). "Michael Moore: Fascists Now Come With 'A Smiley Face And Maybe A TV Show'". HuffPost. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
- Smith, Gaddis (September 1, 1980). "Friendly Fascism: The New Face of Power in America (capsule review)". Foreign Affairs. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
- Durruti, Buenaventura (August 5, 1936). "Quote from an interview with Pierre van Paassen (July 24, 1936)". Toronto Daily Star. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
- C. W Mills (1958). "The Structure of Power in American Society" (PDF). British Journal of Socoiology. Vol. 9. No. 1.
- "The Doctrine of Fascism". Complete text of the essay "Dottrina" ("Doctrines"). A translation of the Benito Mussolini "Doctrines" section of the "Fascism" entry in the 1932 edition of the Enciclopedia Italiana. From the publication Fascism: Doctrine and Institutions (1935) by Benito Mussolini, Ardita Publishers, Rome. Footnote numbers inserted in the text and a footnote appendix (both not found in the 1932 encyclopedia article) are found in this 1935 publication. The footnotes contain excerpts from his speeches.
- "Benito Mussolini: What is Fascism?".
- Video (05:02) - Fascism in the USA? (The New York Times; October 15, 2018)