What We Don’t Understand About Fascism

Using the Word Incorrectly Oversimplifies History—And Won't Help Us Address Our Current Political Crisis

At the moment, fascism has to be the most sloppily used term in the American political vocabulary. If you think fascists are buffoonish, racist, misogynist despots, the people who support them are deplorable, and a political leader who incites paramilitary forces against protestors is not much different from Mussolini unleashing his black-shirted thugs against unarmed workers, you may be tempted to call the current president of the U.S. a fascist. But then the president, too, has taken to labelling his enemies fascists. And who wants to argue about semantics in …

How Deprivation and the Threat of Violence Made Sweden Equal

War and the Great Depression Spurred Its Embrace of the Welfare State

Sweden is almost universally regarded as a bastion of sensible people, temperate social policies, and steady, evenly distributed economic growth. So it surprises many to learn that the Scandinavian country …

When the President’s Best and Brightest Were Also the Richest

The Practice of Tapping the Moneyed Elite Began with WWI—and Was Surprisingly Scandal-Free

From our earliest days we Americans have embraced leaders from among the ranks of the nation’s moneyed elite. Voters set the tone when they chose George Washington, the wealthiest …

Those Jingoistic, Nationalistic, Patriotic Cartoons

From World War I to the War on Terror, Cartoons Have Served as Propaganda, Entertainment, and Political Tools

Cartoonists are propagandists and satirists, artists and writers. They make us laugh—in recognition and shame—and enrage and offend. At an “Open Art” event co-presented by the Getty in conjunction with …

The Next War

War’s a joke for me and you,
While we know such dreams are true.
–Siegfried Sassoon

Out there, we’ve walked quite friendly up to Death,–
Sat down and eaten with him, …