In How To Stop Fascism, award winning journalist Paul Mason warns the Capitol Hill riot was no one-off. It is evidence of a global trend: the convergence of right-wing populism with a new kind of fascism.

Though the far-right groups number maybe tens of thousands, their thought-patterns are spreading to millions of people, via conspiracy theories like QAnon, through Telegram and Discord channels and through acts of symbolic violence.

We are no longer dealing with ‘tribute bands’ to Nazism: fascism has been regrown from its philosophical roots, in pre-1914 Europe – scientific racism, irrationalism and power worship. And while the first fascism was focused on racial hierarchies, today’s far right is equally obsessed with gender – at war with feminism and liberalism as well as the left.

To stop their rise, Mason argues we need to do three things:

• revive the anti-fascist ethos, so that instead of a small group of activists, the whole progressive wing of society identifies as anti-fascist;

• build a political alliance of the left and centre, to keep figures like Trump, Bolsonaro and Orban permanently out of power;

• and enact strict laws and regulations to suppress hate speech, end the amplification of fascist ideas on social media, and silence those advocating genocide.

The new fascist fantasy revolves around a coming catastrophe – Day X – in which a combination of climate change, migration and religious conflict triggers a global, ethnic civil war. To stop them we need to learn the lessons of the failures of the 1920s and 1930s, when both the political centre and the left totally misjudged the nature of the threat.

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