In a world shaken by ecological, economic and political crises, the forces of authoritarianism and reaction seem to have the upper hand. How should we name, map and respond to this state of affairs?
Late Fascism turns to theories of fascism produced in the past century, testing their capacity to illuminate our moment and challenging many of the commonplaces that debate on this extremely charged term devolves into. It can be tempting for any contemporary assessment of fascism to reach for historical analogy. Fascism is defined by returns and repetitions, but it is not best approached in terms of steps and checklists dictated by a selective reading of Italian Fascism or National Socialism.
Rather than treating fascism as an unrepeatable phenomenon or identifying it with a settled configuration of European parties, regimes, and ideologies, Toscano approaches fascism as a problem and a process, one that is intimately linked to capitalism's demands for domination. Drawing especially on Black radical and anti-colonial theories of racial fascism, Late Fascism makes clear the limits of identifying fascism simply with the political violence of bygone European regimes. Developing anti-fascist theory is a vital and urgent task. From the "Great Replacement" to campaigns against critical race theory and "gender ideology", today's global far-right is launching lethal panics about the threats to traditional political, sexual and racial regimes. Late Fascism allows us to rediscover some truly inspiring anti-fascist thinkers, rooted in their turn in largely anonymous collective practices of worldmaking against domination, traditions of the oppressed that remain a resource for those set on dismantling the hierarchies and segregations that the partisans of Order and Tradition seek to revive and reimpose.