Circus Maximus MMXVI: We are the sultans

7 12 2015

Now, I’m not one of those who thinks Trump is a fascist*, largely because I have a(n overly?) strict definition of fascism, though I do concede that he’s plucking those führer chords pretty hard.

Still, this is brilliant:

h/t Jeffrey Goldberg

*At the most basic level, I think fascists are highly ideological, which Trump is not: he’s merely opportunistic. This isn’t to say one can’t be a cynical fascist—Göring comes to mind—but he lacks any ideology beyond “winning” and himself.

I think the better descriptor for his politics is Juan Linz and Alfred Stepan’s concept of sultanism:

[A] sultanistic ruler characteristically has no elaborate or guiding ideology. There may be highly personalistic statements with pretensions of being an ideology, often named after the sultan, but this ideology is elaborated after the ruler has assumed power, is subject to extreme manipulation, and, most importantly, is not believed to be constraining on the ruler and is relevant only as long as he practices it.

Doesn’t that sound like Trump to you?

But like I said, still a brilliant photo crop.