Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Resurrection of Fascism in America



“…There are tens of millions of Americans, especially lower-class whites, rightfully enraged at what has been done to them, their families and their communities. They have risen up to reject the neo-liberal policies and political correctness imposed on them by college-educated elites from both political parties: Lower-class whites are embracing an American fascism. 

“These Americans want a kind of freedom—a freedom to hate. They want the freedom to use words like ‘nigger,’ ‘kike,’ ‘spic,’ ‘chink,’ ‘raghead’ and ‘fag.’ They want the freedom to idealize violence and the gun culture. They want the freedom to have enemies, to physically assault Muslims, undocumented workers, African-Americans, homosexuals and anyone who dares criticize their crypto-fascism. 

“They want the freedom to celebrate historical movements and figures that the college-educated elites condemn, including the Ku Klux Klan and the Confederacy. They want the freedom to ridicule and dismiss intellectuals, ideas, science and culture. They want the freedom to silence those who have been telling them how to behave. And they want the freedom to revel in hyper-masculinity, racism, sexism and white patriarchy. These are the core sentiments of fascism. These sentiments are engendered by the collapse of the liberal state…

“Fascist movements build their base not from the politically active but the politically inactive, the ‘losers’ who feel, often correctly, they have no voice or role to play in the political establishment. 

“The sociologist Émile Durkheim warned that the disenfranchisement of a class of people from the structures of society produced a state of ‘anomie’—a ‘condition in which society provides little moral guidance to individuals.’ Those trapped in this ‘anomie,’ he wrote, are easy prey to propaganda and emotionally-driven mass movements. Hannah Arendt, echoing Durkheim, noted that ‘the chief characteristic of the mass man is not brutality and backwardness, but his isolation and lack of normal social relationships.’

“As Arendt noted, the fascist and communist movements in Europe in the 1930s ‘… recruited their members from this mass of apparently indifferent people whom all other parties had given up as too apathetic or too stupid for their attention. The result was that the majority of their membership consisted of people who had never before appeared on the political scene. 

“‘This permitted the introduction of entirely new methods into political propaganda, and indifference to the arguments of political opponents; these movements not only placed themselves outside and against the party system as a whole, they found a membership that had never been reached, never been ‘spoiled’ by the party system.’

“‘Therefore, they did not need to refute opposing arguments and consistently preferred methods which ended in death rather than persuasion, which spelled terror rather than conviction. They presented disagreements as invariably originating in deep natural, social, or psychological sources beyond the control of the individual and therefore beyond the control of reason.’

“‘This would have been a shortcoming only if they had sincerely entered into competition with either parties; it was not if they were sure of dealing with people who had reason to be equally hostile to all parties.’”

“Fascism is aided and advanced by the apathy of those who are tired of being conned and lied to by a bankrupt liberal establishment, whose only reason to vote for a politician or support a political party is to elect the least worst. This, for many voters, is the best Clinton can offer.  

“Fascism expresses itself in familiar and comforting national and religious symbols, which is why it comes in various varieties and forms. Italian fascism, which looked back to the glory of the Roman Empire, for example, never shared the Nazis’ love of Teutonic and Nordic myths. American fascism too will reach back to traditional patriotic symbols, narratives and beliefs…



 “There is only one way left to blunt the yearning for fascism coalescing around Trump. 




  
It is to build, as fast as possible, movements or parties that declare war on corporate power, engage in sustained acts of civil disobedience and seek to reintegrate the disenfranchised—the ‘losers’—back into the economy and political life of the country. 

“This movement will never come out of the Democratic Party. If Clinton prevails in the general election Trump may disappear, but the fascist sentiments will expand. Another Trump, perhaps more vile, will be vomited up from the bowels of the decayed political system. 

“We are fighting for our political life. Tremendous damage has been done by corporate power and the college-educated elites to our capitalist democracy. The longer the elites, who oversaw this disemboweling of the country on behalf of corporations—who believe, as does CBS Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves, that however bad Trump would be for America he would at least be good for corporate profit—remain in charge, the worse it is going to get” (The Revenge of the Lower Classes and the Rise of American Fascism by Chris Hedges).


1 comment:

  1. THE DANGLING CONVERSATION
    And we speak of things that matter
    Of words that must be said
    Is Donald Trump a Fascist?
    Is the GOP really dead?

    And we sit and drink our coffee
    Cast in our indifference
    Like shells upon the shore
    We can hear their rallies roar

    Soon our dangling conversations
    And their superficial lies
    Will become the borders of our lives

    With thanks to Simon and Garfunkel

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