This week’s video essay argues that fascism is a sort of technology of myth and sign which mobilizes power in the register of racism, xenophobia, misogyny and fatality. To argue this, the video draws on semiotician Umberto Eco’s seminal 1995 essay “Ur-Fascism,” which you should definitely read here if you get a chance.
Eco grew up in Italy in the 30s and 40s, experiencing Benito Mussolini’s Fascist regime first-hand. He writes about it in the essay, emphasizing that “even though political regimes can be overthrown, and ideologies can be criticized and disowned, behind a regime and its ideology there is always a way of thinking and feeling, a group of cultural habits, of obscure instincts and unfathomable drives.”
This video makes an attempt to explain how that works, and what we can do about it.