A strong leader will rise up to solve all of our problems by sheer force of his will. We easily succumb to that kind of promise in businesses and even in churches. And even in national governments. This trust in an all-powerful leader is called Führerprinzip. Yes, it was refined in Nazi Germany, but it has manifested itself ever since in popular movements that hand over power to a dictator. But also in kinder and gentler forms of authoritarians and in a particular kind of political superstition that puts the person of the leader over any particular policies, ideologies, Constitutional processes, or limits on government.
The leader that people are looking to today is Donald Trump. Is he that kind of leader? Jeffrey Tucker is arguing that “Trumpism” is a revival of fascism. Not the insult that the left freely throws around, but an actual return of the political and economic ideology that was rampant in the 1930s, not just in Germany, Italy, and Spain but with advocates in virtually every European nation. (I’ve written about what those fascists believed. There is more to it than Mr. Tucker gives here, but it’s true that fascism is not just a shorthand term for evil, but an actual thing, which did not disappear with the end of World War II.)
Another article applies the Führerprinzip in another, though related way, arguing that Donald Trump is America’s Vladimir Putin (who has also been described as a Russian fascist). See excerpts from the Fascism and Putin arguments after the jump. Do you think Trump rises to the level of that kind of leader? Those of you who like Trump, how would you defend him from these charges? [Read more...]