I was reading an article written by someone on Alternet titled Fascism and how to fight it. I read along and started wondering when we would get to the fascism part. Before I knew it we were on to the ways to fight it. The 1st way was to “Not let tea baggers intimidate us” – or some similar wording. So – the people who demonstrate are the fascists? That would mean that if they get their way, ridding the country of unconstitutional activity, we would fall into fascism? At this point I was lost.
From what I gathered from reading the author chose people and ideologies she didn’t like and said, “Their fascists…”. Can we do that? Just say – your it? I was reading the comments and realizing that no one was really interested in talking about fascism. All were stuck in their personal agendas, swatting and sniping at any who disagreed with them. Then I read this comment (below) and thought – he has some info on fascism. Maybe I should post it…I tried to track the author down and couldn’t. So I can’t link to him. But you can read it, it’s smart, so it’s a good read
RE: Fascism and how to fight it
Posted by: arala on Aug 15, 2009 9:19 PM
Sara dismisses all rational argument with her position by characterizing it as cranks, and ridiculing the argument that she doesn’t understand the US is already fascist since (insert date here). But the key point of these arguments is that you cannot defeat fascism with an appeal to alliance with liberalism or ruling capitalist parties.
The idea of opposing fascism in order to save the established order is part of the appeal of fascism. Identifying fascism, in the US context, exclusively with the right wing and the Republicans is hopelessly naive.
There are, roughly speaking, three views of fascism out there: 1) how fascism presents itself; 2) how competing rulers, and competing strategies and ideologies within imperialism present it; and 3) how working class revolutionaries, anarchist or socialist, have traditionally seen it. Sara, whatever her academic and intellectual credentials, basically falls into the second category.
These incorrect understandings of fascism reflect incorrect understandings of class society and colonialism as a whole.
Fascism falsely presents itself as revolutionary, anti-capitalist and anti-communist, nationalistic and militaristic, a vanguard that welds together a “volk” into a fighting machine in which a new state and social order is created that purges weakness, sentimentality, and “alien” influences, particularly insofar as it defends
Competing imperialist ideologies generally speaking, portray fascism as uniquely totalitarian, nationalistic, militaristic, racist, religiously rigid and xenophobic, to which anti-gay and anti-woman have been added more recently. These pro-imperialists portray themselves as a bulwark against fascism.
Communist and anarchist analysis have tended to portray fascism as reactionary, anti-working class but using racial and religious scapegoating to manipulate
workers into lining up behind an iconic “maximum leader.” Sexual repression, particularly latent or repressed homo eroticism, is often emphasized. All three
views portray fascism as the master of propaganda and spectacle, (and as noted, as nationalistic and militaristic).
What’s wrong with these views? How can a more correct understanding guide anti-fascist practice?
Fascists, rival imperialists, and euro/worker-centric communists and anarchists, all have, for purposes of their own, reasons to disguise the true nature of fascism, and to distinguish it categorically from other “less evil” forms of class society and oppressive, exploitative rule.
Fascists want to present themselves as revolutionary anti-capitalists (may even believe they are) in order to cement a mass base and mass participation in their effort.
Other rulers and imperial ideologies or strategies want to portray fascism as evil incarnate, the bogey man in comparison to whom their exploitation, oppression, militarism and repressive measures look benign or justified. They use fascism as a threat to dangle if resistance steps up — “Look how much worse things can be; we’re the best deal you’re going to get.” Kind of “apres moi, le deluge” — unite with your own bourgeoisie because fascists would be so much worse.
Euro/worker-centric socialists and anarchists are blinded to the true nature of fascism — and of their own projects — because they believe their approach will run their advanced industrial societies better (that is, deep down they still accept the empire). In some cases they are actually seeking an alliance with “their own” bourgeoisie, with whom they can make common cause against the fascists.