“Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such, for in their opinion fact depends entirely on the power of man who can fabricate it.”
Foucault used the term "fascism" to refer "not only historical fascism, the fascism of Hitler and Mussolini...but also the fascism in us all, in our heads and in our everyday behavior, the fascism that causes us to love power, to desire the very thing that dominates and exploits us
It was Umberto Eco who first described the essence of Ur or eternal Fascism. He observed that it was always present both within each society and each individual for all of us it is an uncomfortable issue and lies both with the political id or shadow. Over the last three years we have seen it rise here and across Europe. From the AFD to the Brexit party and UKIP it can be detected in the streets, on social media and in everyday discourse. It comprises of 14 points and I will examine each one and illustrate with examples.
1. The cult of tradition. “One has only to look at the syllabus of every fascist movement to find the major traditionalist thinkers. The Nazi gnosis was nourished by traditionalist, syncretistic, occult elements.” The essence of getting our country back can be seen here. It talks of a fictional, mythical past. It adherents talk of being a patriot and of being Christian. Its traditional values never existed bad its supporters can never tell you what the y mean or when. Overwhelmingly there is an ontological insecurity that is threatened by feminists, trans gender activists and lefties.
2. The rejection of modernism. “The Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, is seen as the beginning of modern depravity. In this sense Ur-Fascism can be defined as irrationalism.” There is clearly a rejection of all predictive disciplines. Psychology, Sociology, and Economics is dismissed as “bullshit” Time after time the replies are the same and yet there is no clear identification with who, when or where there was a time before modernism. To some it is the sixties to others it was “getting through the war” and yet it is a time in which its promotor never lived in or knew anything about. Modernism and multiculturalism is often conflated.
3. The cult of action for action’s sake. “Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, any previous reflection. Thinking is a form of emasculation.” The term remoaner is most apt here. Terms are used that quote the critic as being full of doom and gloom. There is no use in arguing historically, analytically or theoretically. The fictional` then` is elevated over the possibilities of the future with the phrase “well you don’t know that” Correlation and causation are ignored and simple binary oppositions are created. Simple answers for complex questions are promoted and all attempts to understand analogy and allegory confused.
4. Disagreement is treason. “The critical spirit makes distinctions, and to distinguish is a sign of modernism. In modern culture the scientific community praises disagreement as a way to improve knowledge.” Disagreement comes from disloyalty. If you challenge the dominant discourse is challenged, then you are told to use simpler words and stop showing off. Gove`s comments on exerts are a primary example. I was once told that `you learn nothing from books”
5. Fear of difference. “The first appeal of a fascist or prematurely fascist movement is an appeal against the intruders. Thus Ur-Fascism is racist by definition.” The threat is always the other, the Muslim, the lefty. Gender is simply the product of genitals while sexuality and culture is ignored or go comprehended. The threat is from “Cultural appropriation, or cultural Marxism yet the nature of the threatened culture is never described.
6. Appeal to social frustration. “One of the most typical features of the historical fascism was the appeal to a frustrated middle class, a class suffering from an economic crisis or feelings of political humiliation, and frightened by the pressure of lower social groups.” Things have gone on long enough, breaking point is here but we are never told what is broken or what has been lost. The appeal to a fictional past and structure that once was is never described or articulated. The insecurity of the personal is projected outwards. Once I saw on a Facebook group the phrase “If you don’t fit in fuck off”. Yet strangely the appeal of the individual never explored the difference between individuals that create a diverse society. There are no multiple explanations that are examined or discussed.
7. The obsession with a plot. “The followers must feel besieged. The easiest way to solve the plot is the appeal to xenophobia.” I have been accused on another Facebook page of belonging to a shadowy left wing organistaion. Its usually from old Conservative men looking for the enemy within or enemy without. The threat is the destruction of the epistemological and ontological identity of the individual sensing the plot. Yet once more they can tell you nothing of they feel they will lose.
8. The enemy is both strong and weak. “By a continuous shifting of rhetorical focus, the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak.” The enemy is gutless and cunning. Last week a member of the DFLA challenged me to a boxing match. He did not grasp that I was challenging his ideas and his fears. He could not distinguish himself from the perception of a vast plot and saw that physical violence was the only solution. He has no perception that as his individual life fell to pieces that it has nothing to do with himself but simply the enemy within.
9. Pacifism is trafficking with the enemy. “For Ur-Fascism there is no struggle for life but, rather, life is lived for struggle.” It’s about action, it’s about saving the veterans, the white homeless and those threatened by socialism. There is no time to ask structural questions there is just time to act.
10. Contempt for the weak. “Elitism is a typical aspect of any reactionary ideology.” The unemployed and disabled are not to be pitied. They are soft and should be dealt with. Hard work is the solution to everything. The academic and critical thinkers are no more than `snowflake`.
11. Everybody is educated to become a hero. “In Ur-Fascist ideology, heroism is the norm. This cult of heroism is strictly linked with the cult of death.” The heroes are gone, they died for the present and what they have achieved is under threat from the enemy within. There are no solutions but defense and action. The answers are racially contained. The nation state is an essential unit and all else is useless and without meaning. Class is ignored and right wing nationalism is the only chance of meaning.
12. Machismo and weaponry. “Machismo implies both disdain for women and intolerance and condemnation of nonstandard sexual habits, from chastity to homosexuality.” The Democratic Football Lads Alliance is a model of masculinity as is the EDL.
13. Selective populism. “There is in our future a TV or Internet populism, in which the emotional response of a selected group of citizens can be presented and accepted as the Voice of the People.” Popular democracy trumps representative democracy. A referendum is forever and elections are transitory and without meaning. Common sense is a statistical average of prejudice and the elite are the threat.
14. Ur-Fascism speaks Newspeak. “All the Nazi or Fascist schoolbooks made use of an impoverished vocabulary, and an elementary syntax, in order to limit the instruments for complex and critical reasoning.” Education is about work, or an idealized view of history. Critical history is threat written by Marxists, the unpatriotic and un British people. The enemy within is clever and a threat but is also weak as well. The words are the snares bad only physical violence is the solution to deal with them.
“A fascist is one whose lust for money or power is combined with such an intensity of intolerance toward those of other races, parties, classes, religions, cultures, regions or nations as to make him ruthless in his use of deceit or violence to attain his ends.”
Am I racially kin to this man? Baynes wondered. So closely so that for all intents and purposes it is the same? Then it is in me, too, the psychotic streak. A psychotic world we live in. The madmen are in power. How long have we known this? Faced this? And—how many of us do know it?”
― The Man in the High Castle
― The Man in the High Castle