Notes on Violence

ISSUE 3 | JAN. 2022

Fascism has taken hold in the United States – not Nazi thugs on the streets in their brown shirts perhaps, but the Americanized version of it, bloated and overwrought, with stars and eagles instead of a swastika bound by a thick circle that would keep anyone who isn’t anglicized, God-fearing, white and heterosexual at the bottom of an ever-deepening barrel.

Fascism, no matter the number of times it is burned to the ground, always manages to rise from the ashes. It forces its way back to the forefront of our societies and political systems like a cancer that refuses to remain in remission. We are seeing its aggressive return today. Fighting Fascism, in all its forms, remains one of the most crucial parts of Berlin Geist Literature mission.

fas·​cism ˈ

fa-ˌshi-zəm also ˈfa-ˌsi-


  1. a political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition
  2. a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control

It might seem strange that country that has for so long championed “freedom” as its greatest strength (the ironies, intricacies, inconsistencies, and inaccuracies of this notwithstanding), and still considers the fight against Fascism in Germany a great achievement, would be so welcoming of its mantras. Or – perhaps it is because of those inaccuracies and inconsistencies in the American definition of freedom that has allowed this to happen: Freedom has only ever truly been allowed for one certain type of person; the history of those not wealthy, white, cis-het and male in this country has always been a dark one.

A picture of Minneapolis police for Berlin Geist Literature Issue 3: Fighting Fascism
The Minneapolis Police Department, 2020

Freedom means power. When power is challenged, or the status quo helping maintain that power is challenged, violence at the hands of the state (police) is always the first response.

In Issue 3, we explore the rise of Fascism in Nazi Germany, perhaps the best known, and most extreme, example of Fascism in action, and how the United States’ refusal to address its history of slavery, genocide of Native Americans – as well as the advent and growth of right-leaning politics – has led to an increasingly-Fascist state today.

“Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such, for in their opinion fact depends entirely on the power of man who can fabricate it.”

– Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism

A drawing of a greedy businessman, representing liberalism and conservatism alike

We also explore the inextricable link between capitalism and Fascism – as Fascism is always supported by, and always protects the interests of, the economic elite. We also explore how, often as consequence of this, “merit-based” politics and institutions leads to authoritarianism in society as well.

“Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.”

– Benito Mussolini


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