Grappling with the F-word in disunited States

Grappling with the F-word in disunited States. By Adam Creighton.

At his inauguration last year, US President Joe Biden called for unity no fewer than nine times … He urged Americans to “treat each other with dignity and respect … join forces, stop the shouting, and lower the temperature … (to avoid) bitterness and fury”. …

But as the November midterm elections approach, it’s a strategy that has been jettisoned in favour of the politics of division and hate, which apparently stands a better chance of riling up the base.

In a first for a US president, Biden employed the F-word, the ultimate insult, to describe his main political opponents: fascist. “What we’re seeing now is the beginning or the death knell of an extreme MAGA philosophy,” he said, speaking at a Democrat rally in Maryland last week. “It’s not just Trump, it’s the entire philosophy … it’s like semi-fascism.”

Fascism is a fusion of communism and nationalism. It was formed by communists coming back from WWI trenches — where they noticed working people fighting for their nation ahead of class solidarity.

Fascism refers to the aggressively nationalist, radical, often racist, totalitarian political movements that sprang up in Europe, Japan and elsewhere in the early 20th century. The “good of the people”, as defined by governments supported by relentless propaganda, prevailed over silly old-fashioned ideas about free speech and innate human rights. …

Are the Dems or Republicans more fascist?

Neither of America’s main political parties reflects these ghastly models. But which is closest, the Republican or Democratic party?

To be sure, Trump’s Make America Great Again movement has mopped up America’s sliver of ultranationalists. But Trump Republicans typically advocated withdrawing US forces and economic subsidies from the rest of the world, a far cry from the militarism and imperial ambitions that characterised actual fascism. … Democrats these days are more inclined to maintain US power abroad. …

Democrats look at least as fascist as Republicans. Take Benito Mussolini’s definition, as good as any given he pioneered it, that the merger of state and corporate power defines fascism.

The US government and regulators increasingly control corporations without the need for nationalisation. The explosion of environmental, social and gov­ern­ance rules in US boardrooms, typically imposed by regulators, have turned corporations into ideological drones, railroading how and where they can invest, and who they can hire, and demanding fealty to a social agenda alien to most Americans.

Fascism, historian Stanley Payne writes in his magisterial A History of Fascism (1995), aims to “change class and status relationships in society and use more radical forms of authoritarianism to achieve that goal”. He could have been anticipating the aggressive woke agenda that has captured parts of the Democratic Party.

It doesn’t get more radical than denying biology and seeking to change the way people speak. And how else but as a merger of power would you describe the unprecedented alliance between government and big pharma in the US, where Washington has regulated to force or push Covid-19 vac­cines, treatments and masks on children … ? …

“Fascist movements projected a sense of messianic mission, typical of utopian revolutionary movements,” Payne writes, foreshadowing the religious obsession with climate change and Covid-19 that has developed in Washington, New York and other elite Democrat strongholds. “(Fascism) emphasises meetings, visual symbols and ceremonial or liturgical rituals … (aiming at) a new visual framework for public life,” he goes on, in what could be a description of the behaviours and symbols held dear in such cities: recycling, masking, elbow bumping, plastic barriers, testing, electric cars and batteries. …

Whatever criticisms can be levelled at Trump’s supporters … being fascist isn’t one of them. Sure, some Republicans might want to clamp down on abortion rights, loosen gun laws, stop teenagers reading pornography in the school library or introduce voter ID. But this is a lot less fascist and scary, for me at least, than paving the way for a biomedical, Brave New World-style security surveillance state where big tech and government are in cahoots over who can say what.

The strongest feature of the political spectrum is that the right prefers individualism and the left prefers collectivism.

Communists are 99% collectivists. The fascists allow private property, but a fascist government reserves the right to commandeer it or override property rights whenever it wants — for the “good for the people.” Thus fascists are collectivists, so they are left-wing.

How many Nazis stood up for individual rights and private property? None.

hat-tip Stephen Neil