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Dispatches From the Culture Wars - February 2, 2021

Fascism, conspiracy theories, the GOP, theocracy, white nationalism, loneliness, burnout, and other fun stuff

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Pro-Trump Proud Boys raise a cross at the Michigan State Capitol, January 6, 2021. Credit, Ryan Garza

The F Word

By Rebecca Hill

While historians may agree that all fascisms are authoritarian and nationalist, few claim that all forms of authoritarianism and nationalism are fascist.

Emotions on Strike

By Sarah Jaffe

Burnout is not a problem we can individually solve. It is a symptom of a world set up to exhaust us to the point where we cannot resist.

Republican Unity = Confederacy + Theocracy

By Philip Gorski
NBC News

White Christian nationalism and the “Lost Cause” myth used to exist in opposition to each other. But now they’re a singular danger to our democracy.

Xenophobe Conspiracy in Party Politics

By Zachery Karabell

Conspiracy theories are as American as apple pie — as are their entanglement with nativist politics. The American Party, the “Know Nothings,” may not have seized the White House in the mid-19th century, but it mirrored today’s Republican Party.

How Neoliberalism Breeds Individualism

By Grace Blakeley

Decades of neoliberal policies have reshaped our world – but perhaps their deepest impact has been to corrode the bonds which underpinned society: replacing the collective with the individual.

When Antisemites Raise the Israeli Flag

By Ben Lorber

The U.S. white nationalist movement’s admiration for the Jewish state’s supremacist values fits comfortably with its deep antisemitism.

“QAnon Destroyed My Life”

By Eva Andersen, Zach Sommers, Hollie Schlesselman, Stephanie Angleson and Sarah Beckman
We Are Iowa

QAnon had told followers that Biden would be arrested on live TV and Trump would reveal himself as president and declare martial law. When that didn’t happen, many broke apart from the conspiracy, but those who remained grew in their intensity. 

The Pandemic and Friendship

By Amanda Mull
The Atlantic

The pandemic has evaporated entire categories of friendship, and by doing so, depleted the joys that make up a human life—and buoy human health. But in the coming months, as we begin to add people back into our lives, we’ll now know what it’s like to be without them.

The Hero Cop of J6

By Holly Honderich
BBC News

A US Capitol police officer, Eugene Goodman, is being called a hero for singlehandedly steering a mob away from the Senate chambers during the deadly riots.