Stephen Kotkin: Sphere of Influence II


    ‘What, if anything, is the Difference between Fascism and Communism?’

    Do we really know the answer? Two opposing political projects have framed that question. One equates fascism and communism as totalitarianism; the other proffers a heroic portrayal of communism as anti-fascism. The first delegitimates the left, the second legitimates it. But there is a different story, one rooted in a history that has always been there, if less visible. That history has to do with the stabilities and instabilities of illiberalism, of the interplay between authoritarianism, private property, and aggrieved nationalism, which is always more populous and passionate than any transnational ideology. Is there really something new going on now today?