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Unless you've been living under a rock, you'll know that the world is in a difficult place right now.

Even discounting the global Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, far-right leaders across the world, from Brazil to Hungary, are striking fear into the hearts of marginalised people everywhere.

But how can we know that fascism is approaching? Where do we draw the line?

In January 2017 an image of 14 early signs of Fascism, which hangs in the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, went viral.

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A comparison was made by comedian Felonious Munk (real name Dennis Banks), between Donald Trump and fascist dictator Adolph Hitler.

Munk posted a series of tweets, based in part on the list of ‘Early warning signs of fascism’ in the US Holocaust Museum.

  • Powerful and continuing nationalism
  • Disdain for human rights
  • Identification of enemies as a unifying cause
  • Supremacy of the military
  • Rampant sexism
  • Controlled mass media
  • Obsession with national security
  • Religion and government intertwined
  • Corporate power protected
  • Labor [sic] power suppressed
  • Disdain for intellectuals & the arts
  • Obsession with crime & punishment
  • Rampant cronyism & corruption
  • Fraudulent elections

With the list, Munk offered this challenge:

"Tell me you can’t check most if not all of these off."

Munk began his thread by making reference to the 2017 removal of Sally Q. Yates, the acting attorney general, and cabinet member in charge of the US department of justice.

Yates was fired by Trump after instructing her department not to defend the president’s controversial "Muslim travel ban" against legal challenges.

Munk likened the firing of Yates to a fascist action.

"Replacing officials who refuse to follow unlawful orders is another step towards blatant, outward, fully-realized fascism. It’s not hidden."

In 2017, just 100 days into Trump's presidency, he also stated he did not consider the Trump parallels, but intentional acts.

At the time, Munk also said, chillingly: “It’s not coming. It’s here.”

The list was retweeted over 118,000 times and liked over 160,000 times in 2017. And it's likely that many more people would agree today.

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