One key to understanding fascist rhetoric is to understand fascists’ relationship to truth. Considerations of truth are central to fascism, and they are central to how fascists use rhetoric. Identifying key distinctions between factual and fascist truth contextualize fascist investments in “honest” mendacity. The distinctions between these two kinds of truth illuminate the grounds of fascist truth—specifically the development of a transhistorical myth, fascism’s reliance on the leadership principle, and the persuasive significance of authenticity in fascist rhetoric. Rhetorical considerations in performances of authenticity, in particular, explain fascists’ efforts to recruit people to their cause—and that suggests entry points for thinking about resisting fascist movements by exposing the appeal(s) of fascist rhetoric.

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