Xenophobia and populism have been on the rise globally, from Brazil to the United States. Even European nations have not been immune to these trends, despite the continent’s painful history with the far right and fascism. Rick Steve’s has a new documentary, The Story of Fascism in Europe, which provides a concise study of this movement, which might be useful for an introductory class. The documentary begins with an examination of Mussolini’s rise to power, then moves to the tactics adopted by Hitler. Simplistic solutions, the promise of rapid change, economic growth funded through public debt, attacks on unions, rhetoric that emphasized peoples’ fears, the use of intimidation, and the othering of minorities proved to be a successful political strategy. While the majority of the documentary deals with Europe’s history, the final five minutes makes a link to the present.
If you are interested in hearing more about global topics, please listen to my podcast, Dispatch 7. You can find it on Spotify here, or by searching whichever podcast platform you prefer.