A Refresher Course on Contemporary Fascism

Richard Stanley

Administrator
On Wednesday Breitbart published an interview with Trump where he made the below statement. This is 'merely' a reiteration of what he has been saying all along, as witnessed by the compilation and a discussion of such here. While we might be hopeful that the Republicans have started to demonstrate some spine in their recent votes on the fake national emergency and the demand that Congress gets to see the Mueller Report, historically police and the military are of a mindset to go along, as they have demonstrated. Bikers were originally something of an anarchist mindset, but Trump's bikers are wannabe, fake bikers.

...
“So here’s the thing—it’s so terrible what’s happening,” Trump said when asked by Breitbart News Washington Political Editor Matthew Boyle about how the left is fighting hard. “You know, the left plays a tougher game, it’s very funny. I actually think that the people on the right are tougher, but they don’t play it tougher. Okay? I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump – I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough — until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad. But the left plays it cuter and tougher. Like with all the nonsense that they do in Congress … with all this invest[igations]—that’s all they want to do is –you know, they do things that are nasty. Republicans never played this.” ...
 
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Richard Stanley

Administrator
Bikers were originally something of an anarchist mindset, but Trump's bikers are wannabe, fake bikers.

...“So here’s the thing—it’s so terrible what’s happening,” Trump said when asked by Breitbart News Washington Political Editor Matthew Boyle about how the left is fighting hard. “You know, the left plays a tougher game, it’s very funny. I actually think that the people on the right are tougher, but they don’t play it tougher. Okay? I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump – I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough — until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad. But the left plays it cuter and tougher. Like with all the nonsense that they do in Congress … with all this invest[igations]—that’s all they want to do is –you know, they do things that are nasty. Republicans never played this.” ...https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/03/13/exclusive-president-donald-trump-paul-ryan-blocked-subpoenas-of-democrats/
It seems from the excerpted article below that Vlad the Putin has his own biker gang, the so-called Night Wolves, funded by the Russian Ministry of Defense:

...
Trump, you will recall, learned his special brand of politics from the promoters and crowds at pro wrestling events, where violence in the ring is staged, but that’s not always true in the stands. So he’s not likely to give up on the tough-guy iconography offered by bikers, or the way it can be used to incite others. And Russia remains a great example for him.
Here, the Night Wolves are familiar figures, and have been since the 1990s. Their tall, burly, bearded leader Alexander Zaldastanov, nicknamed Khirurg (surgeon), often hugs Putin on camera, usually being careful not to make him look too short. (On bikes they look the same height.)
The Wolves originally copied their tattoos, leather pants and vests covered in pins from world famous American biker movements like Hell’s Angels, who have been rolling around for most of a century. But if the oldest U.S. biker empires were full of revolutionary outlaws, Putin tamed the men in leather, who act according to the programs approved by the Kremlin’s administration and say things appropriate for the state-controlled television channels.
One day you can see them posing with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Orthodox priests, next day they zoom with flapping Russian flags through European countries or open a base in an abandoned military town in Slovakia, a NATO country.
The pro-Putin bikers have been spreading their wings all over the European Union and also finding friends in the mostly Trumpist Russian community of Miami Florida millionaires. The team of Transparency International researched the connection between a group called the “Alfa Anticriminal” organization made up of Russian special service officers, the group’s founder Svyatoslav Mangushev, and a biker club he founded in Miami, called after Russian special forces, Spetsnaz LE [for Law Enforcement] Spetsnaz.
...
According to Levada Center opinion polls 68 percent of Russians say the United States is their country’s main enemy. Yet the Night Wolves enjoy American-made bikes; even their ideological leader Vladimir Putin rode with them on a Harley Davidson.
And the Night Wolves love Trump, too.
Last January, Zalstantanov the Surgeon had a costumed Trump visit his immense birthday show. The Trump character addressed Zaldastanov with a sweet speech: “You are the president and I am the president, I like that you support Vladimir Vladimirovich, “ said the imitation Trump. “We are both against hostility and hate.”
“The Night Wolves is nothing but another corrupt scheme. I do not believe in their patriotism,” ex-MP Dmitry Gudkov told The Daily Beast.” To open a university in Europe for people to learn to speak Russian would be a much more effective act of soft power then these bikers who today ride for Putin and tomorrow, depending on how good is the pay, would ride for, say, Michelle Obama.”
Or maybe they will just join Bikers for Trump.

OK Jerry, you've got more splaining to do.
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
OK Jerry, you've got more splaining to do.
'Splain what? The Zalstantanov show is like a cross between Saturday Night Live, and a 4th of July fireworks event.

And I'd say Zalstantanov is poking fun at fascism, not whipping up fervor. Their imitation Trump has got the orange hair down right, and generally appears to be taking the same approach as Alec Baldwin.

Zalstantanov is definitely a nationalist though, and unrepentant homophobe. Just like Putin.

And, in Crimea and Ukraine, the bikers have taken on a paramilitary role.

Here's a 2015 interview with Zalstantanov (or Zaldostanov?)...

https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/gynz5j/the-surgeon-we-spoke-with-the-leader-of-putins-favorite-biker-club-the-night-wolves

The Night Wolves chief, a former facial reconstructive surgeon, has gone from helping to introduce Western biker culture to Russia to being one of the leaders of a wave of anti-Western posturing and patriotic fervor in the country. This year, Zaldostanov started an "Anti-Maidan" movement to protect the Kremlin from dissent in the mold of the Euromaidan protests that rocked Kiev, which he believes the United States incited to overthrow pro-Russia Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
He also has the ear of his close friend Putin. In his first sit-down interview with an American publication, he told VICE News that he had been encouraging the Russian president to take over Crimea for years.
To that end, members of his bike club helped to storm a natural gas facility and naval headquarters in Sevastopol shortly after unmarked Russian troops took over Crimea in February and March. Several of the club's Ukrainian members are now fighting with Russia-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine, according to Zaldostanov.
"My goal was to do everything so that Sevastopol would be returned to Russia," he said, referring to the port city in Crimea that had hosted a naval based leased by Russia since 1997. "That was my small contribution to all this. I now have something to go to God with."
....
Although Zaldostanov played a key role in bringing Western biker culture to Russia, he argues that the Night Wolves are focused on patriotism and faith rather than the crime and violence characteristic of other clubs. The Night Wolves make a motorcycle pilgrimage to holy Russian Orthodox sites several times a year.
"We're going from Satan to God — we're driving the other way," he said. "We're ready to fuck someone up, but not because of some drugs or something. We have different values. We're for the motherland."

His admiration for the motherland extends to Joseph Stalin, whom he often quotes during his bike shows and considers a hero.
"The people who yell about repressions are those who destroyed more people than Stalin did," he remarked. "Across the world, American democracy killed more people — everywhere they brought to life new wars, the new theory of controlled chaos. They use technology as a weapon, they destroyed the governments of Libya, Syria, Iraq, and Serbia.… Not one of these wars brought something good."

In case you missed the video link embedded in the article quoted above, here's the circus...

 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
Listen to what you're saying Jerry. If this isn't fascism I don't know what is. Perhaps you are denying this because they are also proud Stalinists as well? Did America's ever rigged 'democracy' really kill all those people, or rather the actual and ever global Deep State that Trump and Putin (and Zalstantanov, the useful idiot) work for?

Besides being Christian 'fake' biker gangs, just like TrumAmerican Christian 'fake' biker gangs, how do the Night Wolves differ much from such as the German Freikorp, that became the Nazi Sturmabteilung (SA)? And don't tell me their love for Stalin, as Hitler was a fake socialist as well.

And I'd say Zalstantanov is poking fun at fascism, not whipping up fervor.
Zalstantanov is definitely a nationalist though, and unrepentant homophobe. Just like Putin.

And, in Crimea and Ukraine, the bikers have taken on a paramilitary role.
The remander of the quotes are from the Vice article Jerry linked to:
to protect the Kremlin from dissent
He also has the ear of his close friend Putin.
members of his bike club helped to storm a natural gas facility and naval headquarters in Sevastopol
Several of the club's Ukrainian members are now fighting with Russia-backed rebels
His admiration for the motherland extends to Joseph Stalin,
"We're ready to fuck someone up, but not because of some drugs or something. We have different values. We're for the motherland."
It appears to me that the Russian 'circus' is importantly different from Alec Baldwin's SNL appearances in that the circus is supportive of Trump's and Putin's respective fascism, while it seems that SNL tries to satirize it, albeit it's all likely part of the Big Show, fucking with all our minds - more divide and conquer.

Like the hillbilly morons that watch American professional 'fake' wrestling, these particular Russians are just as debauched and deluded. Of course, at the opposite end of the social spectrum we have elites and wannabe elites scamming their way to get their children (ala the elite Trump grifter family) into elite educational institutions, where these already fucked up children might become just as fucked up, or more so, as their status obsessed parents.
 
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Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
Listen to what you're saying Jerry. If this isn't fascism I don't know what is.
I quoted the Vice article as evenhandedly as I could, so you (and other readers) can reach your own conclusions. The article obviously wanted to paint Zalstantanov in a negative way. But I have considered what I'm saying. I don't like what I see in this biker gang, but I don't call it fascist.

Since we're saying that America is going Fascist under Trump, do we also mean that it wasn't fascist before? When exactly did America become fascist? Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, JFK, Bush II, Obama? Or has it just now made the transition? Not yet?

Hunter Thompson's "Hells Angels" was published in 1966. It depicts biker culture as a misogynistic, toxic masculine freak show. But is it evidence of Fascism in America since the 1960's? I've met bikers hanging out at the Oregon Country (Hippy Nudist) Fair, and they didn't really fit the stereotype. They were just guys who liked bikes and leather jackets.

I saw some happily deluded Russians in that video to be sure. They looked like fans at any Super Bowl or rock concert in America since the '60's. They weren't goose stepping and they weren't making the Roman salute.

I saw a big skull. The skull-and-crossbones is an old Freemason / pirate symbol, as Long John Silverman has recently pointed out. Is freemasonry or piracy the same thing as Fascism? I didn't see any swastikas or wolfsangels prominently displayed, though I wouldn't be surprised if there are a few of those tattoos scattered around.

Pro "entertainment" fake wrestling has been a thing since the 19th century, and it's a global billion-dollar industry. Has the entire globe gone Fascist?

Do all Americans who have served in foreign wars, deserve the label "fascist"? And does it count for anything that these Russian bikers were serving in Russia's back yard fighting off what they saw as an Euro/American invasion -- analogous to Americans fighting off foreign invaders of Canada or Mexico?

Zalstantanov sees Stalin as a Russian nationalist hero? Well, get used to it. Lots of Russians see Stalin primarily as the wartime leader who saved Russia from Hitler's German hordes. And just between you, me and Suchender, we know he was more of a traitor secretly aligned with Hitler, than he was a true Russian hero. But in the end, Stalin won and Hitler lost.

Did Zalstantanov say that Stalin was some sort of saint who never killed anyone? No, he compared the body counts and said that America has killed more. How big, exactly, is Stalin's body count? Do we trust Robert Conquest, from the far-right Hoover Institute, to give us an accurate number?

Is Zalstantanov's Trump impersonator poking fun at Trump, or expressing sincere admiration? It looked like satire to me, but I don't know any Russian, so how should I know?
 
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Richard Stanley

Administrator
I quoted the Vice article as evenhandedly as I could, so you (and other readers) can reach your own conclusions. The article obviously wanted to paint Zalstantanov in a negative way. But I have considered what I'm saying. I don't like what I see in this biker gang, but I don't call it fascist.

Since we're saying that America is going Fascist under Trump, do we also mean that it wasn't fascist before? When exactly did America become fascist? Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, JFK, Bush II, Obama? Or has it just now made the transition? Not yet?
Perhaps there are different gradations of fascism, eh? I say that there is overt fascism when such as a bike gang willingly becomes a propaganda and paramilitary organization for the country's political leader, especially when it is admitted that there is money flowing from the government to the group.

The USA became fascist from day one, but it chose to be more subtle in hiding it behind such as Manifest Destiny, "protecting Freedom and (rigged) Democracy", and the 'divine' Constitution. In this way elite businessmen and investors profit from government actions against the better good of the demos, using false pretenses. Admitting so does not justify what Putin is doing in making Russian behavior equivalent to ours, they're just other 'Westerners', and their Orthodox priests even attend the ('western') Vatican's Council on pedophile priests.
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
I think it's time for a refresher course on Russian fascism, and their 'Eurasian' policy of Today Crimea, Tomorrow Eurasia. This, of course, 'seems' to be a restatement of Uncle Stalin's expansionist ambitions (that he purposefully fucked up by tipping his hand to his frenemy, Adolf Hitler).

From my prior post here, the following is an excerpted from it related to Alexander Dugin and Steve Bannon:

...
He isn’t alone. Before Trump came along, the clearest example of Traditionalist political influence was in Russia. Vladimir Putin’s chief ideologist, Alexander Dugin— whom Bannon has also read and cited—translated Evola’s work into Russian and later developed a Russian-nationalist variant of Traditionalism known as Eurasianism. Trump’s affinity for Putin has been well documented, Dugin’s affinity for Trump less so. But Dugin has produced a series of propaganda videos extolling Trump and seeking to enlist “American friends” in what he calls our “common struggle”.
Although Dugin’s Eurasianism and Bannon’s Traditionalism differ in many regards, Sedgwick is struck by their backward-looking commonalities. “In the end, Bannon and Dugin agree about some very fundamental things that most other people would disagree with them about,” he says. “Most people think that things are getting better, or at least should get better, while they think that things are inevitably getting worse. Most people think that new ideas are worth listening to and may hold the solution, while they know that new ideas are by definition old ideas. Most people think that conflict is to be avoided. Bannon and Dugin think it has already started.”
The global surge of nationalism has breathed new life into Guenon’s and Evola’s ideas, while the rise of political strategists such as Dugin and Bannon has given Traditionalism a proximity to power not seen since the 1930s and ’40s. To someone whose life’s work is studying this obscure and secretive intellectual tradition, it’s all very heady, though also a bit disconcerting. “I find intellectuals like that fascinating, and I respect them,” Sedgwick says. “But they still terrify me.”

This level of ideological affinity extends down into the lowest ranks, albeit there seem to be some signs of strain there, as between the frenemies, Trump and Putin.

After they were barred from entering the U.K., far-right darlings Lauren Southern and Brittany Pettibone decided to head to a different country altogether: Russia.
Southern and Pettibone — the latter of whom has described herself as “one of the leading authorities on Pizzagate” — announced the trip late last week, and have already released their first video from the visit. Instead of speaking with local politicians or opposition activists however, they settled on sharing the thoughts of one of Russia’s most well-renowned neo-fascists, Alexander Dugin.
Dugin has gained a fair bit of coverage over the past few years. Much of that attention stems from his advocacy of the geopolitical theory of “Eurasianism,” positing Russia — which he describes as “Eternal Rome” — not only as a country entitled to control all nations that made up the Soviet Union, but as one eternally at war with the West, which he refers to as “Eternal Carthage.”
...
Not only have other Russian fascists referred to him as the “St. Cyril and Methodius of Fascism,” but Dugin also initially made his name at Pamyat, described by one analyst as the “most significant anti-Semitic organization during perestroika.” Or as one of Dugin’s friends said, he was “looking for any sort of elevator to the top, and [he] found it in fascism.” He even named his alter ego after the former Nazi official in charge of paranormal research, and helped introduce a number of prominent anti-Semitic conspiracy theories to Russian audiences.
Dugin further acted as one of Russia’s primary supporters during its invasion of Ukraine, calling for Moscow to annex more territory throughout Europe. As Dugin memorably said a few years ago, Ukrainians were a “race of bastards” who needed to be “cleansed.” He also urged the killing of antiwar demonstrators in Russia. ...

Of course, no one has ever said such sheepish people are remotely capable of deep thought, except in their own minds, that is. That the 'Western' Russia (at the eastern fringe of the West) would be at eternal war with "Eternal Carthage" repeats the same false dialectic trope that the Catholic Church has cynically employed in the relationship of Joseph to subservient brother, Judah. "Eternal Rome" indeed. All fruit from the same poisonous tree.

Just like anti-Semitic 'Christians' who yet worship their Jewish Son of God, these American white nationalists worship their 'Jewish' Trumps (nee Zelnickova). The 'supremicist' wannabes are getting punked (as always) and we all have to pay the price. Just imagine, Ivanka sits in Putin's 'chair' while they watch Daddy take a golden shower to the tune of "This is How We Do It".
 
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Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
Vladimir Putin’s chief ideologist, Alexander Dugin
First question: is Dugin really Putin's "chief ideologist"? What sort of a job title is that?

In 2014, Dugin published a book, "Putin vs. Putin: Vladimir Putin Viewed from the Right". The publisher's blurb says that in the book, Dugin complains that "Throughout his career as the President of Russia, Putin has attempted to balance two opposing sides of his political nature: one side is a liberal democrat who seeks to adopt Western-style reforms in Russia and maintain good relations with the United States and Europe, and the other is a Russian patriot who wishes to preserve Russia’s traditions and reassert her role as one of the great powers of the world" and argues that Putin needs to move further to the latter role.

The blurb says that Dugin is "an informal advisor to Putin and a Kremlin insider". Again, I ask, what kind of job title is that? For all we know, he could be standing "inside" the Kremlin courtyard waving a sign.

The publisher's website includes several links to Amazon websites. But all those links are dead, and a search for all Dugin's books in English comes up dry, apparently at english-speaking Amazon sites worldwide. So Dugin has been purged.

Amazon stands for free speech, and their catalog includes everything available in the world, right? Not anymore.

Second question: is Dugin really a fascist? English Wikipedia puts it in the very first sentence of the lede, with seven footnotes to prove it, including Anton Shekhotsov and Andreas Umland. Russian Wikipedia (via Google Translate) doesn't mention fascism at all in the lede paragraph, but in the section on Dugin's political views, it opens by saying: "Anton Shekhovtsov (former member of the ECM ) and Andreas Umland believe that Dugin’s views are close to fascism". The remainder of the section is devoted to an exploration of the ways in which Dugin's views are similar to fascism, and in what respects they're different.

The cited paper by Shekhotsov does indeed argue that Dugin is some sort of fascist. And what is a fascist, according to Shekhotsov? He is working with a definition given by Roger Griffin, who says that Fascism is 'a genus of political ideology whose mythic core in its various permutations is a palingenetic form of populist ultra-nationalism'. 'Palingenesis' is fancy academic-speak for "rebirth" or "re-creation". So, Dugin is a populist calling for national rebirth, and the shoe fits Trump too. But is the "MAGA" slogan all we need to know, to identify Trump (or for that matter Dugin) as a fascist? Or is it something deeper than that?

Not to worry... Shekhotsov ominously quotes Dugin himself, who wrote:

Fascism - this is nationalism yet not any nationalism, but a revolutionary, rebellious, romantic, idealistic [form of nationalism] appealing to a great myth and transcendental idea, trying to put into practice the Impossible Dream, to give birth to a society of the hero and Superhuman, to change and transform the world.

Sounds like Dugin must be a fascist after all. But let's check the context...

http://www.my.arcto.ru/public/templars/arbeiter.htm#fash via Google Translate (with some garbled syntax, but hopefully still comprehensible), Dugin said:

In the history of pure, ideal fascism has not received a direct embodiment. In practice, the pressing problems of coming to power and restoring economic order forced the fascist leaders — Mussolini, Hitler, Franco, and Salazar — to enter into alliances with conservatives, national capitalists, large owners and corporate leaders. But this compromise always ended in failure for the fascist regimes. Fanatical anti-communism of Hitler, fueled by the German capitalists, cost the German defeat in the war with the Soviet Union, and believed in the King honesty (representative of the interests just the big bourgeoisie) Mussolini was by him delivered in 1943 in the renegade Bardoli and Chano, dropped out of the Duce into prison and then throwing himself in the arms of the Americans.
Franco managed to survive the longest, and this was at the expense of concessions to liberal-capitalist Britain and the USA and refusal to support the related ideologically regimes of the Axis countries. In addition, Franco was not a real fascist. National capitalism is the internal virus of fascism, its enemy, the guarantee of its degeneration and death. National capitalism is by no means the essential characteristic of fascism, being, on the contrary, an accidental and contradictory element in its internal structure.
...
It is completely wrong to call fascism an "extremely right" ideology. This phenomenon is much more precisely characterized by the paradoxical formula "Conservative Revolution". This combination of "right" cultural and political orientation - traditionalism, loyalty to the soil, roots, national ethics - with the "left" economic program - social justice, restriction of market forces, getting rid of "percentage slavery", prohibiting speculation, monopolies and trusts honest labor.

In most definitions of Fascism that I've seen, the merger of state power with monopoly capitalism is the essence of the situation. Dugin is trying to come up with something else. And he wrote this in 1997... since then, he's been at least trying to distance himself from the F-word.

And furthermore, Lauren Southern herself assures us that Dugin is no fascist. Yes, I know, that's what they all say.
 
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Richard Stanley

Administrator
In most definitions of Fascism that I've seen, the merger of state power with monopoly capitalism is the essence of the situation. Dugin is trying to come up with something else. And he wrote this in 1997... since then, he's been at least trying to distance himself from fascism per se.

And furthermore, Lauren Southern herself assures us that Dugin is no fascist. Yes, I know, that's what they all say.
The term 'fascism' is problematic, because it has become, if it wasn't always, something of an umbrella term, meaning different things to different people. It has the economic definition, by many, of private ownership and capital merged with central state control over the former. And for some it is more a function of general autocratic power, usually under the guise of populism, the latter which is usually faux populism. With the latter definition, then, fascism is a 'mask', a 'front', a 'fascia', behind which there is an elite hidden agenda.

Yes, Dugin is trying to reframe fascism, as did the Nazis bait and switch, where the Nazi socialism was more of a 'Romantic' social abstraction than about economics, where they were receiving massive financial assistance from foreign (Allied) corporations before and during the war via the Bank of International Settlements.
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
Apropos this topic, Joaquin Flores ran a long editorial at Fort Russ this morning. In order to summarize, I'm going to take some quotes out of order.

If There Are Fascists, It’s CounterPunch And Jacobin – The Real Problem Is This System And Its Guardians

First point: Fascism, as it existed in the 20th century, is now obsolete. The ruling elite is not going to return to such primitive means.

Fascism is based on certain technologies in the social and technical sciences, technologies and social theories that have been superseded by newer technologies and social theories. Today, advanced surveillance tech, pharmaceuticals, school and credit card debt, social stigma en masse, state and NGO sanctioned cyber-bullying, sock puppet accounts, anti-sex laws parading as pro-sex laws, and so on, are the contemporary methods of social control.

Second point: The system that now exists, and has gradually taken shape over the last ~50(?) years, is just as bad in its own way as fascism was, as well as more stable.

The managers of this society learned from liberalism, it learned from fascism, it learned from Marxism – but only the worst things for people, whatever could better master the system of control. The present system is a hodgepodge of the ‘best’ components of those 19th and 20th century systems. It all is in place to keep capitalism and unjust hierarchies alive and going.
The result is this pharmacologic surveillance state. The science of sociology and medicine has been turned against people. Society and people have come to have opposing interests. Over 2,000 years ago, technology was at a more primitive stage, and so society and people meant roughly the same thing: if it was good for society, it was good for the people. But over time, as technologies changed society, society took on a life of its own. The interests of the classes in society moved farther and farther apart, until we reached the here and now. Society has come to mean the interests of the ruling class, and its at war with the very people it claims to act in the interest of.
Third point: the people now being criticized as "Fascist" are, for the most part, ordinary disenfranchised people who are looking to nationalist or populist traditions as a possible antidote to the "pharmacological surveillance state". And this includes (especially) Russian political philosophers.

The left is still correct that targeting immigrants is wrong, because it targets people and not the institutions compelling mass migration. Likewise, targeting other disenfranchised people, just because you can call them ‘alt-right’ or adjacent, NazBol, Duginist, Stalinist, Assad Fetishist, preppers, and so forth, is still just targeting people, and not the institutions that have broken the faith. There was a social contract, and the capitalist class broke it – they were bound to break it, always have and always will. This is the result. It’s not populism. Populism is what the genuine left always must seek communion with, it’s a hard course towards this ecumenism, but it’s essential to be in the right fight alongside the people. There is no fascist threat, there is only here and now. There is no fascist threat, it is only the people versus the unjust powers that be. Society lost its legitimacy.
Fourth point: Putting one's focus on a non-existent "fascist threat", amounts to a sort of conservative support for the status quo.

The liberals who want to defend ‘this’ society do so because they have something to defend. They have Co-Exist bumper stickers, and yeah they still have cars – Toyota Priuses, and they take canvas shopping bags to Whole Foods. That makes them not the radicals, but the ‘conservatives’ – the guardians and protectors of this society. Those holding onto society in the face of a populist upsurge in the past, we are told by the left themselves, is where fascism comes from.
Fighting fascists in the US today is for cowards, because the legitimating ideology of the police state you in fact live in is not fascism, but ‘this’, that calls itself progressive, liberal, conservative, capitalist democracy. It is all within the discourse nominally of liberalism, which includes liberal-conservatism – but not fascism.
I don't believe that Flores' article addresses the question of characters such as Trump and/or Putin, who are certainly subject to criticism for overtly fascist behavior, and yet seem to be at the pinnacle of power. But I do think this is correct that folks on the alt-right are not true fascists.

I would surmise that the editorial by Flores is a response to someone that called Flores himself a Fascist Threat, probably on Twitter. I have no idea who exactly he's talking about.
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
While I see several points of agreement with Flores in what you've quoted, the totality seems rather incoherent and furthermore, rather a 'reactionary', defensive, knee-jerk response, perhaps to what you suggest. And, we are again faced with the seemingly massive problem of definitional labels.

Case in point, 'Fascism is dead'? All depends upon what you mean by Fascism, I guess. As I stated before, I'll still go with the popular understanding of an autocratic leadership that bloviates highly distorted mass propaganda to justify its existence, and likely (corruptly) panders to elite private owners of industry and concentrated wealth.

As I have already allowed that such as the USA is rather historically Fascist (in effect), this more than implies that its real leadership has been veiled behind appearances of two-party democracy, both parties' national leadership in effective collusion with each other. But, now we have shifted to a phase of overt Fascism with the likes of Trump doing such as declaring that the other party is an enemy of the state, having previously completely co-opted the party of the 'republic'.

One can certainly say that 'progressivism' is a form of left populism, and this also points to the fact that our two-size-fits-all, binary form of right/left political identification is problematic. This, because both the right and left have elite components, some of which (not all) have separate retrograde agendas with respect to the wider populace. Such as Flores make Capitalism versus Socialism "The Dialectic" fulcrum when there is at least one other dialectic trend in play, that of Globalism (vs. Nationalism), of which could exist in either a Capitalist or Socialist milieu.

Obviously, such as the alt-right and nationalists feel threatened, as their world-views and lifestyles are challenged -- especially as the globalizers wittingly or unwittingly failed to accommodate adequately for the inherent transition consequences. There have been pockets of successful programs to transition local economies and their workers, which tells me that others have failed for various reasons; either out of lack of vision, apathy, or a resistance to change for whatever reason(s).

And, there is also the factor of Machiavellianism to contend with, but usually superficially ignored. As we looked at in the new thread on Fixing Democracy, the psuedo 'democractically' elected representatives (including the president) are the vulnerable points for external vectors of corruption, and such legislative leaders as Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and Nancy Pelosi make veiled external control even more possible.

I just finished watching the recent three part (August 2018) documentary, Trump and Russia, and I couldn't help seeing the whole tableau as Trump and Putin being raised to being the respective erect nipples of two figurative tits. The image being apropos because the west tit and the east tit are connected to the same body, but the respective tit suckers are too blind, for various reasons, to see this, or to care if they do. Others, equally aghast at the brazen tit sucking, also can't see one tit behind the other.

Trump, the corrupt fake capitalist, and Putin the former fake socialist, using similar appeals, for instance, to such as the opiate of their respective proletarian masses, religion. And in these cases, as I have discussed, both with strong hints of apocalypticism in the pastoral approaches, at least. The documentary discussed that the narrative provided us, is that somebody, Putin it is asserted, provided the intel "breadcrumbs" to demonstrate the plausibility that Russia desired to politically fracture the USA, and thus the greater 'West'. The irony here is that it is asserted that Putin et al. are messianically motivated by some form of inferiority complex towards the western West, while his defenders in the western West argue that the poor benighted eastern Westerners are indeed beleaguered by the evil, satanic western West, Deep State elites.

It's all a veiled, fascist, shit-show. Thankfully, while the Pope is holding conferences on priest pederasty (for both the 'western' and 'eastern' Churches sake), his Vatican organs are telling us that someone is indeed coming from the heavens to save us ... 'Eventually', as 'soon' is in the mind of the beholder.
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
All depends upon what you mean by Fascism, I guess.
Indeed. And I also have to wonder whether Flores has considered the case of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil. Joao Carlos Magalhaes, writing in the Brazilian report, has this to say about the definition:

https://brazilian.report/opinion/2018/09/29/jair-bolsonaro-fascist/

"Fascisma is defined by the belief that social organization (politics) is built through physical violence against the "other", whether this other be "jews", "communists", "incapable people", "degenerates", "gays".... Order doesn't come from communication, but rather from the murder, torture or beating of the "other".
Magalhaes concludes that Bolsonaro's rhetoric is certainly fascist by this definition, promising "annhilation" to the opposition Workers' Party and leftists in general. I've been searching the news this morning for signs of what's actually happening in Brazil since Bolsonaro's election, as opposed to his rhetorical threats, and haven't turned up much. That is, aside from the new bromance between Trump and Bolsonaro. Putin must surely be jealous, if indeed he really cares.

At MSNBC, Alex Hochuli argues that Bolsonaro is farther out than Trump, Putin or Erdogan. This is based not only on more pervasive threats of domestic violence, but also on Bolsonaro's support base:

https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/brazil-presidential-election-who-jair-bolsonaro-popular-candidate-more-dangerous-ncna925011

The widely discussed case for “Bolsonarism” being a form of neo-fascism hinges not just on bigotry, violence and authoritarianism, but on the interests that have rallied to him. The nucleus of his support — as per classic studies on fascism — is a middle class made up of small business owners and independent professionals, plus members of the police and armed forces. Though sections of the poor have also voted for him — mobilized by a worsening public security situationthe rich and educated support him in much larger proportions; this has been a decisive factor in this success so far.
Although to get 55% of the popular vote, a candidate has got to have widespread support of the lower classes. I'm not sure why his opponent was so despised that the electorate would turn to Bolsonaro as the better alternative.

Glenn Greenwald says Bolosnaro is the most extremist candidate to be elected in a democracy in the last 20 to 30 years, which would presumably also include Putin, Trump and Erdogan.

 
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Richard Stanley

Administrator
Although to get 55% of the popular vote, a candidate has got to have widespread support of the lower classes. I'm not sure why his opponent was so despised that the electorate would turn to Bolsonaro as the better alternative.
Probably because the greater the 'perception', real or otherwise, that things have gone off the rails, the more likely that people of any class will look for extreme alternatives, even going against their best interests. It's like stampeding cattle.
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
As I stated before, I'll still go with the popular understanding of an autocratic leadership that bloviates highly distorted mass propaganda to justify its existence, and likely (corruptly) panders to elite private owners of industry and concentrated wealth.
If that's the definition, then the US has indeed been 'fascist' for awhile. But, from the Trump thread --

In the course of this unfolding, we have seen Trump overtly prepare his paramilitary fascists to come to his defense (and d'fence), the doing so will indeed be the de facto end of the republic, if not the de jure end.
However much we might dislike Bush II or Obama, they did not have paramilitary squads at the ready, threatening to mow down all political opposition. There were occasional incidents to be sure, like the shutdown of Occupy Wall Street or the attacks on the Standing Rock protests, but this was not pervasive. In general, "bloviated highly distorted mass propaganda" was sufficient to maintain order.

I am going to agree with Magalhaes above, who said that:

Fascisma is defined by the belief that social organization (politics) is built through physical violence against the "other"...
Not necessarily that this is a complete definition of 'fascism', but that it's a key element. Fascism involves internally directed violence, on a massive scale, against political opponents.

With Trump, we definitely have the threat of massive political violence. Whether it materializes, and in what form, is yet to be seen. If it does, I'd say it represents a significant deterioration, "the de facto end of the republic".

If I read Flores correctly, he's predicting that it's not going to happen, because it doesn't need to happen. And he doesn't want those of us liberals driving around in our Nissan Leafs and Teslas to take much comfort from that.
 
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