The Origin of Fascism, a Spirit & Place Festival Event




The Origin of Fascism: Divide and Rule Tactics is a panel discussion designed to tell the origin story of fascism as it is fueled by the successful use of divide and rule tactics. The idea was inspired by the desire for people to feel empowered to both understand and be able to discuss difficult topics, providing them with the information needed to have meaningful and effective conversations with others with whom they may believe they have nothing in common. The goal is to turn political arguments into constructive dialogues about what we have in common. This is a particularly important idea to consider, as this event will take place immediately following the 2020 election, the current political climate is rife with divisiveness, and the world is clutched by the fear of a global pandemic. We are living in a volatile time, and people who attend events such as this one are looking for positive ways to enrich their lives and make their communities better. The guests of our event will walk away feeling emboldened to connectwith people with whom they may have previously been unable to have a political conversation.

The evening will begin with our panelists being asked to comment on a basic prompt such as, “The elite/elected divide the masses using fear of ‘the other’ and illusion of privilege. Tell us how this relates to/fuels fascism, historically and right now.” This will be followed by a short discussion between panelists, ending with questions from the audience.


The Athenaeum, formerly known as the Das Deutsche Haus, preserves and enhances its historic German-American landmark to advance the “sound mind in a sound body” values of its founders through programming that lifts spirits and engages diverse communities. Built in 1894, it serves as a community center for many cultural, business and nonprofit groups, including the YMCA, Young Actors Theatre and The Rathskeller restaurant. The Athenaeum is listed three times in the National Registry of Historic Places for architecture and historical significance as part of the Massachusetts Avenue Commercial District and as being within the Lockerbie Square historic district.

The ArtSpace gallery will open at 5pm for a reception to view Aaron Scamihorn’s exhibit, The Ronlewhorn Political Circus.

Indiana City Brewing Co. is supporting this event and Aaron Scamihorn’s exhibit with the creation and release of a fruited hazy pale ale.

Many thanks to Nichole Neumann and the Max Kade German-American Center at IUPUI for co-sponsoring this event.


The Spirit & Place Festival (Nov. 5-15) celebrates the powerful role the arts, humanities, and religion play in community life. Housed in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, Spirit & Place is celebrating its 25th year. Learn more at


We are taking every precaution we can to ensure the health and safety of our guests. We expect event attendees to do their part to control the spread of Covid-19 by:

  1. Not attending the event if you are not feeling well.
  2. Maintaining at least a 6-foot distance from any person not in your party.
  3. Utilizing the hand sanitizer that will be readily available at the event.
  4. Complying with our mask policy, which is as follows. Masks will be required in all parts of the building and throughout the duration of the event. Parties will be seated a minimum of six-feet apart, and unless a person is actively eating or drinking, they will be expected to keep their mask on – even when seated.
  5. Additionally, we are asking that you arrive to the event in the time slot you have chosen. These time slots were created to allow staggered ingress, which will minimize the number of people with whom you come into contact.