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Friendly Fascism
Bertram Gross

Black Rose Books

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Friendly Fascism: The New Face of Power in America

Bertram Gross


The 8th November 2016 marked a startling new era in American political life. After the creeping ascent of Right wing authoritarian parties in the UK and Europe Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election brought an alarming form of “alt-right” neo-conservativism into the American political mainstream. Many aspects of this descent into the darkness of fascism was predicted by Bertram Gross in Friendly Fascism, a provocative and original critique of a subtle yet growing fascism in American political life. Gross shows that the chronic problems faced by the U.S. in the late twentieth century required increasing collusion between big business and big government to manage society in the interests of the privileged and powerful. The resulting “friendly fascism”, Gross suggests, lacks the dictatorships, public spectacles and overt brutality of 20th century fascism, but has at its root the same denial of individual freedoms and democratic rights. No one who cares about the future of democracy can afford to ignore the frightening realities of Friendly Fascism.

"This is the best thing I’ve ever seen on how America might go fascist democratically. Friendly Fascism offers a very clear exposition of where America is, and how we got there."
 -- William Shirer, American journalist and war correspondent and author of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.

"First-rate… a fascinating, provocative job. Bertram Gross has written an important book, and it deserves the widest possible audiences." 
 -- Michael Harrington, American democratic socialist, writer, and author of The Other America.

"At a time of escalating political uncertainty, when the forces of totalitarianism threaten once more to crawl out of the American woodwork, Friendly Fascism is a powerful tool -- better yet, a weapon -- that can help us avert a distinctly unfriendly future."
 -- Alvin Toffler, American futurist, businessman, and author of Future Shock.

"A clairvoyant classic."
-- Robert Kuttner,The Huffington Post


  • Acknowledgements
  • Preface to the paperback edition
  • Introduction: A Patriotic Warning
    • 1. The Rise and Fall of Classic Fascism
    • 2. The Takeoff Toward a New Corporate Society
    • 3. The Mysterious Establishment
    • 4. The Side Effects of Success
    • 5. The Challenge of a Shrinking Capitalist World
    • 6. Old Crises in New Forms
    • 7. The Unfolding Logic
    • 8. Trilateral Empire or Fortress America?
    • 9. The Friendly Fascist Establishment
    • 10. Friendly Fascist Economics
    • 11. Subverting Democratic Machinery
    • 12. Managing Information and Minds
    • 13. Incentives for System Acceptance
    • 14. The Ladder of Terror
    • 15. Sex, Drugs, Madness, Cults
    • 16. The Adaptive Hydra
    • 17. The Myths of Determinism
    • 18. It Hasn't Happened Yet
    • 19. The Long-Term Logic of Democracy
    • 20. The Democratic Logic in Action
    • 21. What Can You Do?
  • Notes
  • About the Author
  • Index

1989: 410 pages, index

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