Forging an Anthropology of Neoliberal Fascism

In: Public Anthropologist
Adrienne Pine American University, Washington, d.c.

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In the late teens, the rise of racist, xenophobic nationalism in the United States and around the world has been frequently labeled fascist in popular discourse, and is being increasingly discussed as fascism by scholars as well. In this article, drawing on case studies from Honduras and the United States, I argue that—despite Orwell’s warning that the term has lost its meaning—anthropologists can still productively engage fascism as an analytical category. An anthropological engagement of contemporary fascism must help to elucidate the strong links between neoliberal capitalism and today’s global militarized nationalism. It also requires that anthropologists reframe our work as strategy, from a position of somatic (not pragmatic) solidarity with structurally vulnerable people everywhere.

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