Freethought Almanac

Lighting a candle in toxic air.

When Fascism Comes to America...


June 19

Дорогой Борис,

Regarding “explaining” the Wikipedia article, there is one focused on Antifa in the US, a second on Antifa in Germany, and a third on Anti-fascism generally. I’m not sure I have anything more to say on the subject of Antifa. I refer you to Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook, a book by Mark Bray, which I have read and find valuable in understanding the history of anti-fascism and its modern manifestations. The book is available in audible format, in case you would prefer it read to you. If you read the relevant “Letter to Boris,” you may have noticed that I answered one critic at great length.

There is a popular quote which goes, “When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” This has been attributed either to Sinclair Lewis (American novelist, short story writer and Nobel laureate) or Huey Long (assassinated American politician who thought Roosevelt’s New Deal didn’t go far enough). While each might have been sympathetic to the sentiment, the quote appears nowhere in their writings. In fact, Lewis was an atheist and wrote It Can't Happen Here (1935), a novel about the election of a fascist to the American presidency.

You might find this disquisition useful regarding the prospects of American fascism.

I draw your attention to this paragraph: “In 1917 and 1918 labor leader Eugene V. Debs did speak about oppressors and tyrants who wrapped themselves ‘in a cloak of patriotism or religion, or both.’ In the 1920s, the Ku Klux Klan was depicted as a movement that metaphorically cloaked itself with a flag and employed religious symbols.”

Other than agreeing that we appear to be on this path under Der Orangeführer, there is nothing more I can add.

Твой мирный друг,

LETTER TO BORIS is an occasional feature of this blog in which I try to explain to Boris, to the best of my understanding and ability, American culture, current events and the American language. Boris, a former Russian national, who grew up under the Soviet Union, is real, but Boris is not his name. Also, I do not claim to read, write or speak with competence any language but English.

NB: Дорогой = [My] dear [friend]; Твой мирный друг = Your peaceful friend. “Der Orangeführer” is my peculiar sobriquet for the 45th president.

Ronald Bruce Meyer

Our Fearless Leader.

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