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Historical Context of Fascism

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Posts

  • ronyaronya Arrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    NSDFRand wrote: »
    ronya wrote: »
    he could federalize the national guard and order them to do foolhardy things

    There are limits to Title 10 Orders (Federal orders for National Guard components). Not only are there time limits (in case of war or declared national emergency duration of the national emergency or war plus 6 months) but they cannot be put on Title 10 Orders for domestic actions. When National Guard units respond to domestic emergencies it's under the authority of the governor of their state. Reserve components don't respond to domestic emergencies because they aren't under the authority of whatever state they are in.

    fair. but aren't a majority of governors both Republican and nervous of primary challengers screaming RINO?

    aRkpc.gif
  • SparvySparvy Registered User regular
    edited February 2017
    This is I think required reading for a thread like this:

    "Ur-Fascism" by Umberto Eco http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1995/06/22/ur-fascism/?utm_source=sumome&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=sumome_share
    1. The first feature of Ur-Fascism is the cult of tradition. Traditionalism is of course much older than fascism. Not only was it typical of counter-revolutionary Catholic thought after the French revolution, but it was born in the late Hellenistic era, as a reaction to classical Greek rationalism. In the Mediterranean basin, people of different religions (most of them indulgently accepted by the Roman Pantheon) started dreaming of a revelation received at the dawn of human history. This revelation, according to the traditionalist mystique, had remained for a long time concealed under the veil of forgotten languages—in Egyptian hieroglyphs, in the Celtic runes, in the scrolls of the little known religions of Asia.

    This new culture had to be syncretistic. Syncretism is not only, as the dictionary says, “the combination of different forms of belief or practice”; such a combination must tolerate contradictions. Each of the original messages contains a sliver of wisdom, and whenever they seem to say different or incompatible things it is only because all are alluding, allegorically, to the same primeval truth.

    As a consequence, there can be no advancement of learning. Truth has been already spelled out once and for all, and we can only keep interpreting its obscure message.

    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 most influential theoretical source of the theories of the new Italian right, Julius Evola, merged the Holy Grail with The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, alchemy with the Holy Roman and Germanic Empire. The very fact that the Italian right, in order to show its open-mindedness, recently broadened its syllabus to include works by De Maistre, Guenon, and Gramsci, is a blatant proof of syncretism.

    If you browse in the shelves that, in American bookstores, are labeled as New Age, you can find there even Saint Augustine who, as far as I know, was not a fascist. But combining Saint Augustine and Stonehenge—that is a symptom of Ur-Fascism.

    2. Traditionalism implies the rejection of modernism. Both Fascists and Nazis worshiped technology, while traditionalist thinkers usually reject it as a negation of traditional spiritual values. However, even though Nazism was proud of its industrial achievements, its praise of modernism was only the surface of an ideology based upon Blood and Earth (Blut und Boden). The rejection of the modern world was disguised as a rebuttal of the capitalistic way of life, but it mainly concerned the rejection of the Spirit of 1789 (and of 1776, of course). The Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, is seen as the beginning of modern depravity. In this sense Ur-Fascism can be defined as irrationalism.

    3. Irrationalism also depends on 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. Therefore culture is suspect insofar as it is identified with critical attitudes. Distrust of the intellectual world has always been a symptom of Ur-Fascism, from Goering’s alleged statement (“When I hear talk of culture I reach for my gun”) to the frequent use of such expressions as “degenerate intellectuals,” “eggheads,” “effete snobs,” “universities are a nest of reds.” The official Fascist intellectuals were mainly engaged in attacking modern culture and the liberal intelligentsia for having betrayed traditional values.

    4. No syncretistic faith can withstand analytical criticism. 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. For Ur-Fascism, disagreement is treason.

    5. Besides, disagreement is a sign of diversity. Ur-Fascism grows up and seeks for consensus by exploiting and exacerbating the natural 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.

    6. Ur-Fascism derives from individual or social frustration. That is why 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. In our time, when the old “proletarians” are becoming petty bourgeois (and the lumpen are largely excluded from the political scene), the fascism of tomorrow will find its audience in this new majority.

    7. To people who feel deprived of a clear social identity, Ur-Fascism says that their only privilege is the most common one, to be born in the same country. This is the origin of nationalism. Besides, the only ones who can provide an identity to the nation are its enemies. Thus at the root of the Ur-Fascist psychology there is the obsession with a plot, possibly an international one. The followers must feel besieged. The easiest way to solve the plot is the appeal to xenophobia. But the plot must also come from the inside: Jews are usually the best target because they have the advantage of being at the same time inside and outside. In the US, a prominent instance of the plot obsession is to be found in Pat Robertson’s The New World Order, but, as we have recently seen, there are many others.

    8. The followers must feel humiliated by the ostentatious wealth and force of their enemies. When I was a boy I was taught to think of Englishmen as the five-meal people. They ate more frequently than the poor but sober Italians. Jews are rich and help each other through a secret web of mutual assistance. However, the followers must be convinced that they can overwhelm the enemies. Thus, by a continuous shifting of rhetorical focus, the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak. Fascist governments are condemned to lose wars because they are constitutionally incapable of objectively evaluating the force of the enemy.

    9. For Ur-Fascism there is no struggle for life but, rather, life is lived for struggle. Thus pacifism is trafficking with the enemy. It is bad because life is permanent warfare. This, however, brings about an Armageddon complex. Since enemies have to be defeated, there must be a final battle, after which the movement will have control of the world. But such a “final solution” implies a further era of peace, a Golden Age, which contradicts the principle of permanent war. No fascist leader has ever succeeded in solving this predicament.

    10. Elitism is a typical aspect of any reactionary ideology, insofar as it is fundamentally aristocratic, and aristocratic and militaristic elitism cruelly implies contempt for the weak. Ur-Fascism can only advocate a popular elitism. Every citizen belongs to the best people of the world, the members of the party are the best among the citizens, every citizen can (or ought to) become a member of the party. But there cannot be patricians without plebeians. In fact, the Leader, knowing that his power was not delegated to him democratically but was conquered by force, also knows that his force is based upon the weakness of the masses; they are so weak as to need and deserve a ruler. Since the group is hierarchically organized (according to a military model), every subordinate leader despises his own underlings, and each of them despises his inferiors. This reinforces the sense of mass elitism.

    11. In such a perspective everybody is educated to become a hero. In every mythology the hero is an exceptional being, but in Ur-Fascist ideology, heroism is the norm. This cult of heroism is strictly linked with the cult of death. It is not by chance that a motto of the Falangists was Viva la Muerte (in English it should be translated as “Long Live Death!”). In non-fascist societies, the lay public is told that death is unpleasant but must be faced with dignity; believers are told that it is the painful way to reach a supernatural happiness. By contrast, the Ur-Fascist hero craves heroic death, advertised as the best reward for a heroic life. The Ur-Fascist hero is impatient to die. In his impatience, he more frequently sends other people to death.

    12. Since both permanent war and heroism are difficult games to play, the Ur-Fascist transfers his will to power to sexual matters. This is the origin of machismo (which implies both disdain for women and intolerance and condemnation of nonstandard sexual habits, from chastity to homosexuality). Since even sex is a difficult game to play, the Ur-Fascist hero tends to play with weapons—doing so becomes an ersatz phallic exercise.

    13. Ur-Fascism is based upon a selective populism, a qualitative populism, one might say. In a democracy, the citizens have individual rights, but the citizens in their entirety have a political impact only from a quantitative point of view—one follows the decisions of the majority. For Ur-Fascism, however, individuals as individuals have no rights, and the People is conceived as a quality, a monolithic entity expressing the Common Will. Since no large quantity of human beings can have a common will, the Leader pretends to be their interpreter. Having lost their power of delegation, citizens do not act; they are only called on to play the role of the People. Thus the People is only a theatrical fiction. To have a good instance of qualitative populism we no longer need the Piazza Venezia in Rome or the Nuremberg Stadium. 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.

    Because of its qualitative populism Ur-Fascism must be against “rotten” parliamentary governments. One of the first sentences uttered by Mussolini in the Italian parliament was “I could have transformed this deaf and gloomy place into a bivouac for my maniples”—“maniples” being a subdivision of the traditional Roman legion. As a matter of fact, he immediately found better housing for his maniples, but a little later he liquidated the parliament. Wherever a politician casts doubt on the legitimacy of a parliament because it no longer represents the Voice of the People, we can smell Ur-Fascism.

    14. Ur-Fascism speaks Newspeak. Newspeak was invented by Orwell, in 1984, as the official language of Ingsoc, English Socialism. But elements of Ur-Fascism are common to different forms of dictatorship. 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. But we must be ready to identify other kinds of Newspeak, even if they take the apparently innocent form of a popular talk show.

    EDIT: Actually my own commentary was kind of redundant. But I think the listed points above describe characteristics about the Trump movement (or breitbart, the anti-pc brigade, the assorted youtube personalities talking for hours about cultural marxism etc) remarkably well for something written in 1995.

    Though I do wonder about Trump himself. He does not appear to be a fascist by conviction, more stumbling towards it by sheer instinct.

    EDIT2: Bolded some parts that stood out to me in particular.

    Sparvy on
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  • KaputaKaputa Registered User regular
    edited February 2017
    I used to think that fascism arose when capitalism failed. Trotsky says:
    At the moment that the "normal" police and military resources of the bourgeois dictatorship, together with their parliamentary screens, no longer suffice to hold society in a state of equilibrium -- the turn of the fascist regime arrives. Through the fascist agency, capitalism sets in motion the masses of the crazed petty bourgeoisie and the bands of declassed and demoralized lumpenproletariat -- all the countless human beings whom finance capital itself has brought to desperation and frenzy.

    And broadly speaking that's how I viewed it as well. The early 1900s were an extremely tumultuous period in history. World War I had devastated the Western world. Socialist and Communist parties and organizations were real threats to the capitalist order and in some countries were attempting revolution; class conflict was at heights that are difficult to imagine today. Germany saw the revolution at the end of WWI and the Spartacist revolt a few years later, both of which were defeated (or perhaps partially defeated, in the first case) with the help of the newly organized Freikorps paramilitary. My impression is that the formation and deployment of the Freikorps was a major factor behind the Nazis' ability to form and deploy their own paramilitary/street violence organization. The KPD (Communists) were growing in power despite the self-destructive decisions of the party leadership, who followed the Stalinist line. I haven't read as much about the situation in Italy, but the broad picture seems similar in that the liberal capitalist state was under threat by both socialists and, later, fascists, and the latter eventually won. In each case, the capitalists themselves would naturally side with the fascists over the socialists, even if they prefer liberal democracy over fascism, because fascism does not call for the complete overthrow of capitalism.

    But if that's all true (and maybe it isn't; if someone thinks my description or framing is inaccurate please correct me), what the fuck is happening today? There is war across much of the world, but the war isn't ravaging Europe or the US like WWI did. We're not seeing massive socialist movements and revolts across the Western world to spur such a reactionary movement; the bourgeoisie largely won the class war and seem to me to be in a pretty secure position (outside of the potential for catastrophes arising from global war/environmental collapse). If the current system is failing, the nature of the failure seems subtler, or at least very different. Is my perception of fascism as a reaction to the subversion or breakdown of the prevailing social order inaccurate? I can think of some ways to modify the theory in order to better fit current events - perhaps by expanding the conception of "social order" from solely economic to also include racial and sexual division/oppression - but I wonder if my general framework is off base here.

    Kaputa on
  • cckerberoscckerberos Registered User regular
    The Ender wrote: »
    the most traditional fascist states (Italy, Japan & Germany)

    Not many scholars today would label wartime Japan as fascist. It attempted to adopt some of the trappings of fascism later on, but the Japanese experience was quite different and, most importantly, continuous, stretching back prior to the rise of fascism in Europe.

    There was an actual Japanese fascist movement, but it was crushed by the other factions of the Japanese military.

    DarkPrimusFencingsaxShortyGennenalyse RuebenEdith UpwardsElldren
  • jothkijothki Registered User regular
    Kaputa wrote: »
    I used to think that fascism arose when capitalism failed. Trotsky says:
    At the moment that the "normal" police and military resources of the bourgeois dictatorship, together with their parliamentary screens, no longer suffice to hold society in a state of equilibrium -- the turn of the fascist regime arrives. Through the fascist agency, capitalism sets in motion the masses of the crazed petty bourgeoisie and the bands of declassed and demoralized lumpenproletariat -- all the countless human beings whom finance capital itself has brought to desperation and frenzy.

    And broadly speaking that's how I viewed it as well. The early 1900s were an extremely tumultuous period in history. World War I had devastated the Western world. Socialist and Communist parties and organizations were real threats to the capitalist order and in some countries were attempting revolution; class conflict was at heights that are difficult to imagine today. Germany saw the revolution at the end of WWI and the Spartacist revolt a few years later, both of which were defeated (or perhaps partially defeated, in the first case) with the help of the newly organized Freikorps paramilitary. My impression is that the formation and deployment of the Freikorps was a major factor behind the Nazis' ability to form and deploy their own paramilitary/street violence organization. The KDP (Communists) were growing in power despite the self-destructive decisions of the party leadership, who followed the Stalinist line. I haven't read as much about the situation in Italy, but the broad picture seems similar in that the liberal capitalist state was under threat by both socialists and, later, fascists, and the latter eventually won. In each case, the capitalists themselves would naturally side with the fascists over the socialists, even if they prefer liberal democracy over fascism, because fascism does not call for the complete overthrow of capitalism.

    But if that's all true (and maybe it isn't; if someone thinks my description or framing is inaccurate please correct me), what the fuck is happening today? There is war across much of the world, but the war isn't ravaging Europe or the US like WWI did. We're not seeing massive socialist movements and revolts across the Western world to spur such a reactionary movement; the bourgeoisie largely won the class war and seem to me to be in a pretty secure position (outside of the potential for catastrophes arising from global war/environmental collapse). If the current system is failing, the nature of the failure seems subtler, or at least very different. Is my perception of fascism as a reaction to the subversion or breakdown of the prevailing social order inaccurate? I can think of some ways to modify the theory in order to better fit current events - perhaps by expanding the conception of "social order" from solely economic to also include racial and sexual division/oppression - but I wonder if my general framework is off base here.

    A big part of it might be related to how strong fake news bubbles have gotten. There doesn't actually need to be a crisis, there just needs to be enough people who believe there's a crisis.

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  • ronyaronya Arrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited February 2017
    The KPD had been badly hurt by the staggering level of unemployment - if its members are not on the factory floor, then the threat of a general strike has no teeth. Its general strike in 1932 only brought out twenty thousand workers. It is for this reason there was a coordinated attempt to collapse the SPD-dominated Prussian government in 1931, the red-brown plebiscite. It failed, but the Berlin transport strike led by Goebbels and Ulbricht in 1932 was much more violent and more influential.

    Both the KPD and the Nazis sought the same socialist-leaning, populist/nationalist vigilante street-fighters - the former for the RFB, the latter for the SA. This did not make them allies, but a pact of convenience is nothing unusual given the KPD eventually allying with the supposedly "social fascist", "greatest champions of the bourgeosie" SPD later as the tide turned against them.

    They were not alone in summoning unemployed veterans to the cause of street fighting - the SPD-dominated Reichsbanner (nominally in coalition with the German conservatives in the Centre, intelligentsia of the Democrats, and mainstream trade unions), formed in response to the failed Beer Hall putsch from the right and the Hamburg uprising from the left, also established paramilitaries in the critical 1930-1932 period. The fact that these were mainstream parties was reflected in their numbers: the Reichsbanner had three+ million people. But it only began militarizing in 1931, when the SA was already a hundred thousand strong. By 1932 the Reichsbanner's Schufos had two hundred thousand militants - but the SA was already four hundred thousand strong. And then, of course, Hitler becomes President in January 1933 and communists supposedly set the Reichstag on fire in Feburary. Within two years he would purge the KPD leadership, imprison or exile the SPD, purge unreliable conservatives, incapacitate his own SA, and direct the urges of remaining vigilante Nazis - beefsteak or not - onto Jews.

    ronya on
    aRkpc.gif
  • SparvySparvy Registered User regular
    edited February 2017
    jothki wrote: »
    Kaputa wrote: »
    I used to think that fascism arose when capitalism failed. Trotsky says:
    At the moment that the "normal" police and military resources of the bourgeois dictatorship, together with their parliamentary screens, no longer suffice to hold society in a state of equilibrium -- the turn of the fascist regime arrives. Through the fascist agency, capitalism sets in motion the masses of the crazed petty bourgeoisie and the bands of declassed and demoralized lumpenproletariat -- all the countless human beings whom finance capital itself has brought to desperation and frenzy.

    And broadly speaking that's how I viewed it as well. The early 1900s were an extremely tumultuous period in history. World War I had devastated the Western world. Socialist and Communist parties and organizations were real threats to the capitalist order and in some countries were attempting revolution; class conflict was at heights that are difficult to imagine today. Germany saw the revolution at the end of WWI and the Spartacist revolt a few years later, both of which were defeated (or perhaps partially defeated, in the first case) with the help of the newly organized Freikorps paramilitary. My impression is that the formation and deployment of the Freikorps was a major factor behind the Nazis' ability to form and deploy their own paramilitary/street violence organization. The KDP (Communists) were growing in power despite the self-destructive decisions of the party leadership, who followed the Stalinist line. I haven't read as much about the situation in Italy, but the broad picture seems similar in that the liberal capitalist state was under threat by both socialists and, later, fascists, and the latter eventually won. In each case, the capitalists themselves would naturally side with the fascists over the socialists, even if they prefer liberal democracy over fascism, because fascism does not call for the complete overthrow of capitalism.

    But if that's all true (and maybe it isn't; if someone thinks my description or framing is inaccurate please correct me), what the fuck is happening today? There is war across much of the world, but the war isn't ravaging Europe or the US like WWI did. We're not seeing massive socialist movements and revolts across the Western world to spur such a reactionary movement; the bourgeoisie largely won the class war and seem to me to be in a pretty secure position (outside of the potential for catastrophes arising from global war/environmental collapse). If the current system is failing, the nature of the failure seems subtler, or at least very different. Is my perception of fascism as a reaction to the subversion or breakdown of the prevailing social order inaccurate? I can think of some ways to modify the theory in order to better fit current events - perhaps by expanding the conception of "social order" from solely economic to also include racial and sexual division/oppression - but I wonder if my general framework is off base here.

    A big part of it might be related to how strong fake news bubbles have gotten. There doesn't actually need to be a crisis, there just needs to be enough people who believe there's a crisis.

    That, and to quote Eco again
    Ur-Fascism derives from individual or social frustration. That is why 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. In our time, when the old “proletarians” are becoming petty bourgeois (and the lumpen are largely excluded from the political scene), the fascism of tomorrow will find its audience in this new majority.

    Even small amounts of economic anxiety (as it was called during the election) can balloon into something else when you feel your status disrespected by the establishment and threatened by lower (read browner) social groups at the same time.

    Sparvy on
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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Kaputa wrote: »
    I used to think that fascism arose when capitalism failed. Trotsky says:
    At the moment that the "normal" police and military resources of the bourgeois dictatorship, together with their parliamentary screens, no longer suffice to hold society in a state of equilibrium -- the turn of the fascist regime arrives. Through the fascist agency, capitalism sets in motion the masses of the crazed petty bourgeoisie and the bands of declassed and demoralized lumpenproletariat -- all the countless human beings whom finance capital itself has brought to desperation and frenzy.

    And broadly speaking that's how I viewed it as well. The early 1900s were an extremely tumultuous period in history. World War I had devastated the Western world. Socialist and Communist parties and organizations were real threats to the capitalist order and in some countries were attempting revolution; class conflict was at heights that are difficult to imagine today. Germany saw the revolution at the end of WWI and the Spartacist revolt a few years later, both of which were defeated (or perhaps partially defeated, in the first case) with the help of the newly organized Freikorps paramilitary. My impression is that the formation and deployment of the Freikorps was a major factor behind the Nazis' ability to form and deploy their own paramilitary/street violence organization. The KDP (Communists) were growing in power despite the self-destructive decisions of the party leadership, who followed the Stalinist line. I haven't read as much about the situation in Italy, but the broad picture seems similar in that the liberal capitalist state was under threat by both socialists and, later, fascists, and the latter eventually won. In each case, the capitalists themselves would naturally side with the fascists over the socialists, even if they prefer liberal democracy over fascism, because fascism does not call for the complete overthrow of capitalism.

    But if that's all true (and maybe it isn't; if someone thinks my description or framing is inaccurate please correct me), what the fuck is happening today? There is war across much of the world, but the war isn't ravaging Europe or the US like WWI did. We're not seeing massive socialist movements and revolts across the Western world to spur such a reactionary movement; the bourgeoisie largely won the class war and seem to me to be in a pretty secure position (outside of the potential for catastrophes arising from global war/environmental collapse). If the current system is failing, the nature of the failure seems subtler, or at least very different. Is my perception of fascism as a reaction to the subversion or breakdown of the prevailing social order inaccurate? I can think of some ways to modify the theory in order to better fit current events - perhaps by expanding the conception of "social order" from solely economic to also include racial and sexual division/oppression - but I wonder if my general framework is off base here.

    The failure is the slow collapse of white supremacy in the US. Over the past few decades (and especially over the last eight years), we've seen a slow breakdown of the various norms and legal policies that were used to justify the cultural primacy of whites in the US. This, in turn, has engendered a feeling of collapse in a section of the white population, which is unsurprising - from their view, what they saw as their normal position is being taken away from them. One commentary I red recently described their politics as one of grievance against the change in society.

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  • ronyaronya Arrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    The population of Germany in 1930 was about 60 million people, so for context, imagine if the US Democrats had a million militants on the streets and the trumpotrons had two million, and these were clashing bloodily on the regular.

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  • SparvySparvy Registered User regular
    I also suspect that public perception, when you talk large scale opinion type thing, has a lot inertia. A sense of optimism or pessimism can be based on a reality years in the past, partially because not everybody is carried along by a rising tide and not everybody immediately affected by a crash.

  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    enc0re wrote: »
    Let me kick this off with a question. What is a good term to describe today's Chinese brand of authoritarianism? They call it Communism™, but obviously it isn't any more. And it is gaining admiration from strongmen the world over.

    In the darkest timeline I wonder if we are inching towards a similar system. Democracy with American Characteristics. If so, what is this beast even called?

    Bureaucracy. The bureau is simply the party. And frankly I am not sure it's not the best system. With China simply beholden to institutional inertia and the normal failings of any system of government.

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  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    Kaputa wrote: »
    I used to think that fascism arose when capitalism failed. Trotsky says:
    At the moment that the "normal" police and military resources of the bourgeois dictatorship, together with their parliamentary screens, no longer suffice to hold society in a state of equilibrium -- the turn of the fascist regime arrives. Through the fascist agency, capitalism sets in motion the masses of the crazed petty bourgeoisie and the bands of declassed and demoralized lumpenproletariat -- all the countless human beings whom finance capital itself has brought to desperation and frenzy.

    And broadly speaking that's how I viewed it as well. The early 1900s were an extremely tumultuous period in history. World War I had devastated the Western world. Socialist and Communist parties and organizations were real threats to the capitalist order and in some countries were attempting revolution; class conflict was at heights that are difficult to imagine today. Germany saw the revolution at the end of WWI and the Spartacist revolt a few years later, both of which were defeated (or perhaps partially defeated, in the first case) with the help of the newly organized Freikorps paramilitary. My impression is that the formation and deployment of the Freikorps was a major factor behind the Nazis' ability to form and deploy their own paramilitary/street violence organization. The KDP (Communists) were growing in power despite the self-destructive decisions of the party leadership, who followed the Stalinist line. I haven't read as much about the situation in Italy, but the broad picture seems similar in that the liberal capitalist state was under threat by both socialists and, later, fascists, and the latter eventually won. In each case, the capitalists themselves would naturally side with the fascists over the socialists, even if they prefer liberal democracy over fascism, because fascism does not call for the complete overthrow of capitalism.

    But if that's all true (and maybe it isn't; if someone thinks my description or framing is inaccurate please correct me), what the fuck is happening today? There is war across much of the world, but the war isn't ravaging Europe or the US like WWI did. We're not seeing massive socialist movements and revolts across the Western world to spur such a reactionary movement; the bourgeoisie largely won the class war and seem to me to be in a pretty secure position (outside of the potential for catastrophes arising from global war/environmental collapse). If the current system is failing, the nature of the failure seems subtler, or at least very different. Is my perception of fascism as a reaction to the subversion or breakdown of the prevailing social order inaccurate? I can think of some ways to modify the theory in order to better fit current events - perhaps by expanding the conception of "social order" from solely economic to also include racial and sexual division/oppression - but I wonder if my general framework is off base here.

    The failure is the slow collapse of white supremacy in the US. Over the past few decades (and especially over the last eight years), we've seen a slow breakdown of the various norms and legal policies that were used to justify the cultural primacy of whites in the US. This, in turn, has engendered a feeling of collapse in a section of the white population, which is unsurprising - from their view, what they saw as their normal position is being taken away from them. One commentary I red recently described their politics as one of grievance against the change in society.

    That does not explain Europe, though. I imagine the truth is that the combination of globalization deindustrializing Western societies and the global collapse of labor power has allowed rightwing forces to focus more generalized feelings of displacement and insecurity on immigrants and minorities. The idea that this is simply the result of latent mass racism in white populations is just a comfortable deflection by liberals since a broader analysis leaves both liberals and conservatives complicit in allowing this situation to fester for decades.

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  • LawndartLawndart Registered User regular
    ronya wrote: »
    The KPD had been badly hurt by the staggering level of unemployment - if its members are not on the factory floor, then the threat of a general strike has no teeth. Its general strike in 1932 only brought out twenty thousand workers. It is for this reason there was a coordinated attempt to collapse the SPD-dominated Prussian government in 1931, the red-brown plebiscite. It failed, but the Berlin transport strike led by Goebbels and Ulbricht in 1932 was much more violent and more influential.

    Both the KPD and the Nazis sought the same socialist-leaning, populist/nationalist vigilante street-fighters - the former for the RFB, the latter for the SA. This did not make them allies, but a pact of convenience is nothing unusual given the KPD eventually allying with the supposedly "social fascist", "greatest champions of the bourgeosie" SPD later as the tide turned against them.

    They were not alone in summoning unemployed veterans to the cause of street fighting - the SPD-dominated Reichsbanner (nominally in coalition with the German conservatives in the Centre, intelligentsia of the Democrats, and mainstream trade unions), formed in response to the failed Beer Hall putsch from the right and the Hamburg uprising from the left, also established paramilitaries in the critical 1930-1932 period. The fact that these were mainstream parties was reflected in their numbers: the Reichsbanner had three+ million people. But it only began militarizing in 1931, when the SA was already a hundred thousand strong. By 1932 the Reichsbanner's Schufos had two hundred thousand militants - but the SA was already four hundred thousand strong. And then, of course, Hitler becomes President in January 1933 and communists supposedly set the Reichstag on fire in Feburary. Within two years he would purge the KPD leadership, imprison or exile the SPD, purge unreliable conservatives, incapacitate his own SA, and direct the urges of remaining vigilante Nazis - beefsteak or not - onto Jews.

    In addition to becoming militarized far too late to combat the SA, the existence of the Reichsbanner, an extra-legal paramilitary that was aligned with the democratically elected SPD majority, helped both undermine the public's faith in the democratic process and led to instances where the SPD agreed to mass amnesties of imprisoned SA members because they wanted imprisoned Reichsbanner members let out as well.

    Of course, the SPD was in a no-win situation anyway if they didn't have the Reichsbanner trying to fight against both the KPD paramilitary and the SA, since both the Weimar-era military and police were extremely conservative and not very likely to support the Social Democrats when putsch came to shove.

  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Kaputa wrote: »
    I used to think that fascism arose when capitalism failed. Trotsky says:
    At the moment that the "normal" police and military resources of the bourgeois dictatorship, together with their parliamentary screens, no longer suffice to hold society in a state of equilibrium -- the turn of the fascist regime arrives. Through the fascist agency, capitalism sets in motion the masses of the crazed petty bourgeoisie and the bands of declassed and demoralized lumpenproletariat -- all the countless human beings whom finance capital itself has brought to desperation and frenzy.

    And broadly speaking that's how I viewed it as well. The early 1900s were an extremely tumultuous period in history. World War I had devastated the Western world. Socialist and Communist parties and organizations were real threats to the capitalist order and in some countries were attempting revolution; class conflict was at heights that are difficult to imagine today. Germany saw the revolution at the end of WWI and the Spartacist revolt a few years later, both of which were defeated (or perhaps partially defeated, in the first case) with the help of the newly organized Freikorps paramilitary. My impression is that the formation and deployment of the Freikorps was a major factor behind the Nazis' ability to form and deploy their own paramilitary/street violence organization. The KDP (Communists) were growing in power despite the self-destructive decisions of the party leadership, who followed the Stalinist line. I haven't read as much about the situation in Italy, but the broad picture seems similar in that the liberal capitalist state was under threat by both socialists and, later, fascists, and the latter eventually won. In each case, the capitalists themselves would naturally side with the fascists over the socialists, even if they prefer liberal democracy over fascism, because fascism does not call for the complete overthrow of capitalism.

    But if that's all true (and maybe it isn't; if someone thinks my description or framing is inaccurate please correct me), what the fuck is happening today? There is war across much of the world, but the war isn't ravaging Europe or the US like WWI did. We're not seeing massive socialist movements and revolts across the Western world to spur such a reactionary movement; the bourgeoisie largely won the class war and seem to me to be in a pretty secure position (outside of the potential for catastrophes arising from global war/environmental collapse). If the current system is failing, the nature of the failure seems subtler, or at least very different. Is my perception of fascism as a reaction to the subversion or breakdown of the prevailing social order inaccurate? I can think of some ways to modify the theory in order to better fit current events - perhaps by expanding the conception of "social order" from solely economic to also include racial and sexual division/oppression - but I wonder if my general framework is off base here.

    The failure is the slow collapse of white supremacy in the US. Over the past few decades (and especially over the last eight years), we've seen a slow breakdown of the various norms and legal policies that were used to justify the cultural primacy of whites in the US. This, in turn, has engendered a feeling of collapse in a section of the white population, which is unsurprising - from their view, what they saw as their normal position is being taken away from them. One commentary I red recently described their politics as one of grievance against the change in society.

    That does not explain Europe, though. I imagine the truth is that the combination of globalization deindustrializing Western societies and the global collapse of labor power has allowed rightwing forces to focus more generalized feelings of displacement and insecurity on immigrants and minorities. The idea that this is simply the result of latent mass racism in white populations is just a comfortable deflection by liberals since a broader analysis leaves both liberals and conservatives complicit in allowing this situation to fester for decades.

    How doesn't it explain Europe? All of the European parties pushing this resurgence (UKIP, FN, etc.) are heavily ethnocentric in nature. Also, in the US, the collapse of labor is directly linked to white supremacy, as white laborers turned their backs on their natural allies in order to reinforce white supremacy, working with the capital class to break the left on social issues.

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  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    ronya wrote: »
    I will say again that Trump lacks the extraparliamentary street machine that made the Nazis so dangerous.

    But a lot can change across an eight year term, and who knows how resilient the cosmopolitan conventional wisdom is, really? It is only too easy to distract civil society with inconsequentialities whilst undermining the political independence of the civil service and judiciary.

    But they do have an Internet machine. And that might be the same thing in this day and age.

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  • ronyaronya Arrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    It is not the fault of the SPD if they are tainted by the communists in the RFB leading a majority of the violence prior to the Depression striking in 1929 -- but it is certainly unfortunate.

    aRkpc.gif
  • ronyaronya Arrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    Goumindong wrote: »
    ronya wrote: »
    I will say again that Trump lacks the extraparliamentary street machine that made the Nazis so dangerous.

    But a lot can change across an eight year term, and who knows how resilient the cosmopolitan conventional wisdom is, really? It is only too easy to distract civil society with inconsequentialities whilst undermining the political independence of the civil service and judiciary.

    But they do have an Internet machine. And that might be the same thing in this day and age.

    hard to assassinate people over the internet, or disrupt opposition party gatherings

    aRkpc.gif
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  • NinjeffNinjeff Registered User regular
    ronya wrote: »
    Goumindong wrote: »
    ronya wrote: »
    I will say again that Trump lacks the extraparliamentary street machine that made the Nazis so dangerous.

    But a lot can change across an eight year term, and who knows how resilient the cosmopolitan conventional wisdom is, really? It is only too easy to distract civil society with inconsequentialities whilst undermining the political independence of the civil service and judiciary.

    But they do have an Internet machine. And that might be the same thing in this day and age.

    hard to assassinate people over the internet, or disrupt opposition party gatherings

    Physical assassination no, but the internet is the perfect vehicle for character assassination.
    Look at...pretty much everything said about Clinton in the last 12 months.

    SleepGiggles_FunsworthCaptain Inertia
  • ronyaronya Arrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    I think that was a pre-Internet phenomenon, really.

    aRkpc.gif
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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    ronya wrote: »
    Goumindong wrote: »
    ronya wrote: »
    I will say again that Trump lacks the extraparliamentary street machine that made the Nazis so dangerous.

    But a lot can change across an eight year term, and who knows how resilient the cosmopolitan conventional wisdom is, really? It is only too easy to distract civil society with inconsequentialities whilst undermining the political independence of the civil service and judiciary.

    But they do have an Internet machine. And that might be the same thing in this day and age.

    hard to assassinate people over the internet, or disrupt opposition party gatherings

    More to the point, they don't actually control any of the tools that they use online, excepting their own base forums. What's aided them is the fact that Silicon Valley, for a number of cultural reasons, tends to trend hard towards free speech absolutism. This has left many of these services both unprepared and slow to react. But slow to react is not unable to react, and if Twitter/Facebook/other social media change up their policies, that could very well pull the rug out from under them.

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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    ronya wrote: »
    I think that was a pre-Internet phenomenon, really.

    Yeah, she's been the target of nearly four decades of character assassination, and yet she routinely ranks among the most admired women in the world.

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  • Mr KhanMr Khan Not Everyone WAHHHRegistered User regular
    ronya wrote: »
    Goumindong wrote: »
    ronya wrote: »
    I will say again that Trump lacks the extraparliamentary street machine that made the Nazis so dangerous.

    But a lot can change across an eight year term, and who knows how resilient the cosmopolitan conventional wisdom is, really? It is only too easy to distract civil society with inconsequentialities whilst undermining the political independence of the civil service and judiciary.

    But they do have an Internet machine. And that might be the same thing in this day and age.

    hard to assassinate people over the internet, or disrupt opposition party gatherings

    More to the point, they don't actually control any of the tools that they use online, excepting their own base forums. What's aided them is the fact that Silicon Valley, for a number of cultural reasons, tends to trend hard towards free speech absolutism. This has left many of these services both unprepared and slow to react. But slow to react is not unable to react, and if Twitter/Facebook/other social media change up their policies, that could very well pull the rug out from under them.

    Facebook's getting there slowly, and Twitter will likely collapse on its own given time (only to be bought out by somebody who thinks they can monetize it, of course, but new leadership would want change, and encouraging a bare modicum of civil discourse might be part of that).

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Kaputa wrote: »
    I used to think that fascism arose when capitalism failed. Trotsky says:
    At the moment that the "normal" police and military resources of the bourgeois dictatorship, together with their parliamentary screens, no longer suffice to hold society in a state of equilibrium -- the turn of the fascist regime arrives. Through the fascist agency, capitalism sets in motion the masses of the crazed petty bourgeoisie and the bands of declassed and demoralized lumpenproletariat -- all the countless human beings whom finance capital itself has brought to desperation and frenzy.

    And broadly speaking that's how I viewed it as well. The early 1900s were an extremely tumultuous period in history. World War I had devastated the Western world. Socialist and Communist parties and organizations were real threats to the capitalist order and in some countries were attempting revolution; class conflict was at heights that are difficult to imagine today. Germany saw the revolution at the end of WWI and the Spartacist revolt a few years later, both of which were defeated (or perhaps partially defeated, in the first case) with the help of the newly organized Freikorps paramilitary. My impression is that the formation and deployment of the Freikorps was a major factor behind the Nazis' ability to form and deploy their own paramilitary/street violence organization. The KDP (Communists) were growing in power despite the self-destructive decisions of the party leadership, who followed the Stalinist line. I haven't read as much about the situation in Italy, but the broad picture seems similar in that the liberal capitalist state was under threat by both socialists and, later, fascists, and the latter eventually won. In each case, the capitalists themselves would naturally side with the fascists over the socialists, even if they prefer liberal democracy over fascism, because fascism does not call for the complete overthrow of capitalism.

    But if that's all true (and maybe it isn't; if someone thinks my description or framing is inaccurate please correct me), what the fuck is happening today? There is war across much of the world, but the war isn't ravaging Europe or the US like WWI did. We're not seeing massive socialist movements and revolts across the Western world to spur such a reactionary movement; the bourgeoisie largely won the class war and seem to me to be in a pretty secure position (outside of the potential for catastrophes arising from global war/environmental collapse). If the current system is failing, the nature of the failure seems subtler, or at least very different. Is my perception of fascism as a reaction to the subversion or breakdown of the prevailing social order inaccurate? I can think of some ways to modify the theory in order to better fit current events - perhaps by expanding the conception of "social order" from solely economic to also include racial and sexual division/oppression - but I wonder if my general framework is off base here.

    IMO it's a combination of actual but very focused economic malaise from deindustrialization and just a general feeling that the norms and standards of culture are breaking down. As Eco put it (and now quoted above):
    That is why 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.

    There doesn't have to be real suffering, only the perception of it. There is plenty of real suffering though. But it's also driven in huge part by ethnic, racial and gender-based sentiments and a bunch of other cultural markers. Look at the groups supporting it, look at the language used. There's a reason today's fascism is the fascism of old people complaining about "PC culture".

    Like, if you had to break this larger mass of general political movements down, I would say it's overall a radical reactionary movement, largely by the older and the less educated (both groups that lag behind social and cultural change) against the social and cultural changes that have been slowly sweeping the western world for the past 50-60 years.

    People's place in society has changed and those that saw it change or that feel they were promised the old way and aren't getting it are fucking mad about it. White folk feeling their societally-supported racial superiority is being challenged, working class people feeling like the kind of work they view as intrinsic to their identity is no longer as valuable, men and women feeling the gender constructions they believe are just and correct falling apart in the face of feminism, groups that were lesser being given the protection of both the law and society, etc, etc.

    And all of this built and supported by a profit-driven media system that is rewarded when it feeds back these anxieties to these people, reinforcing a world-view disconnected from actual reality but which the feelings, beliefs and anxieties they already have.

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    The interesting thing about the above though, as it relates to fascism, is that this seems to make today's fascism fundamentally different from that of like 80-90 years ago. It's supported in different numbers by different groups that make it's rise to power different and it's attempt to seize full control, imo, alot more tenuous. As noted in the US, the pro-fascist mobs aren't gonna be taking to the streets in numbers anytime soon given their numbers and demographic profile. They will continue to wear badges though.

    The real threat more then anything I think is that before these idiots can be stopped they will have fundamentally destroyed the current global political and economic order and also the ability for human's to easily survive on this planet.

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  • Mr KhanMr Khan Not Everyone WAHHHRegistered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    The interesting thing about the above though, as it relates to fascism, is that this seems to make today's fascism fundamentally different from that of like 80-90 years ago. It's supported in different numbers by different groups that make it's rise to power different and it's attempt to seize full control, imo, alot more tenuous. As noted in the US, the pro-fascist mobs aren't gonna be taking to the streets in numbers anytime soon given their numbers and demographic profile. They will continue to wear badges though.

    The real threat more then anything I think is that before these idiots can be stopped they will have fundamentally destroyed the current global political and economic order and also the ability for human's to easily survive on this planet.

    The new fascists play by the letter of the law (even often in total violation of the spirit of it) and abuse the unwillingness of their opponents to violate the law in opposing them. Instead of taking to the streets to beat liberal democracy to a bloody pulp, they're doing a damn good job of discrediting liberal democracy by showing how easily it can be abused and subverted by bad-faith actors.

    The weird thing is that it's a revolution of the pre-elderly, of 50-65 year olds who should nominally be in control, or who *are* in control but they don't feel like they are so they're burning it all down anyways.

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  • Senna1Senna1 Registered User regular
    Kaputa wrote: »
    I used to think that fascism arose when capitalism failed. Trotsky says:
    At the moment that the "normal" police and military resources of the bourgeois dictatorship, together with their parliamentary screens, no longer suffice to hold society in a state of equilibrium -- the turn of the fascist regime arrives. Through the fascist agency, capitalism sets in motion the masses of the crazed petty bourgeoisie and the bands of declassed and demoralized lumpenproletariat -- all the countless human beings whom finance capital itself has brought to desperation and frenzy.

    And broadly speaking that's how I viewed it as well. The early 1900s were an extremely tumultuous period in history. World War I had devastated the Western world. Socialist and Communist parties and organizations were real threats to the capitalist order and in some countries were attempting revolution; class conflict was at heights that are difficult to imagine today. Germany saw the revolution at the end of WWI and the Spartacist revolt a few years later, both of which were defeated (or perhaps partially defeated, in the first case) with the help of the newly organized Freikorps paramilitary. My impression is that the formation and deployment of the Freikorps was a major factor behind the Nazis' ability to form and deploy their own paramilitary/street violence organization. The KDP (Communists) were growing in power despite the self-destructive decisions of the party leadership, who followed the Stalinist line. I haven't read as much about the situation in Italy, but the broad picture seems similar in that the liberal capitalist state was under threat by both socialists and, later, fascists, and the latter eventually won. In each case, the capitalists themselves would naturally side with the fascists over the socialists, even if they prefer liberal democracy over fascism, because fascism does not call for the complete overthrow of capitalism.

    But if that's all true (and maybe it isn't; if someone thinks my description or framing is inaccurate please correct me), what the fuck is happening today? There is war across much of the world, but the war isn't ravaging Europe or the US like WWI did. We're not seeing massive socialist movements and revolts across the Western world to spur such a reactionary movement; the bourgeoisie largely won the class war and seem to me to be in a pretty secure position (outside of the potential for catastrophes arising from global war/environmental collapse). If the current system is failing, the nature of the failure seems subtler, or at least very different. Is my perception of fascism as a reaction to the subversion or breakdown of the prevailing social order inaccurate? I can think of some ways to modify the theory in order to better fit current events - perhaps by expanding the conception of "social order" from solely economic to also include racial and sexual division/oppression - but I wonder if my general framework is off base here.

    The failure is the slow collapse of white supremacy in the US. Over the past few decades (and especially over the last eight years), we've seen a slow breakdown of the various norms and legal policies that were used to justify the cultural primacy of whites in the US. This, in turn, has engendered a feeling of collapse in a section of the white population, which is unsurprising - from their view, what they saw as their normal position is being taken away from them. One commentary I red recently described their politics as one of grievance against the change in society.

    That does not explain Europe, though. I imagine the truth is that the combination of globalization deindustrializing Western societies and the global collapse of labor power has allowed rightwing forces to focus more generalized feelings of displacement and insecurity on immigrants and minorities. The idea that this is simply the result of latent mass racism in white populations is just a comfortable deflection by liberals since a broader analysis leaves both liberals and conservatives complicit in allowing this situation to fester for decades.

    How doesn't it explain Europe? All of the European parties pushing this resurgence (UKIP, FN, etc.) are heavily ethnocentric in nature. Also, in the US, the collapse of labor is directly linked to white supremacy, as white laborers turned their backs on their natural allies in order to reinforce white supremacy, working with the capital class to break the left on social issues.

    The difference is whether you believe racism is a cause, or symptom, of the problem - because the solution changes depending on that. Economic policy can't 'cure' racism, but it sure as hell can cure (or at least combat) joblessness in the manufacturing and working class sectors that is a result of offshoring and automation.

    If the Rust Belt was simply irretrievably racist White Nationalist territory, and that was that, it wouldn't have voted (D) for decades (and especially not for Obama). I agree with @Phillishere - to throw up your hands and declare, "well, they're all racist white nationalists after all" absolves the left of any responsibility for the changes that occurred that put us in a position where blatant racism would work as a political tool on anyone other than bone fide Neo Nazis. Both parties have been in power for swathes of the last 30 years, and neither one has done a whole lot for the cause of the average working guy.

    NobodyElvenshaeCaptain Marcus
  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    Senna1 wrote: »
    Kaputa wrote: »
    I used to think that fascism arose when capitalism failed. Trotsky says:
    At the moment that the "normal" police and military resources of the bourgeois dictatorship, together with their parliamentary screens, no longer suffice to hold society in a state of equilibrium -- the turn of the fascist regime arrives. Through the fascist agency, capitalism sets in motion the masses of the crazed petty bourgeoisie and the bands of declassed and demoralized lumpenproletariat -- all the countless human beings whom finance capital itself has brought to desperation and frenzy.

    And broadly speaking that's how I viewed it as well. The early 1900s were an extremely tumultuous period in history. World War I had devastated the Western world. Socialist and Communist parties and organizations were real threats to the capitalist order and in some countries were attempting revolution; class conflict was at heights that are difficult to imagine today. Germany saw the revolution at the end of WWI and the Spartacist revolt a few years later, both of which were defeated (or perhaps partially defeated, in the first case) with the help of the newly organized Freikorps paramilitary. My impression is that the formation and deployment of the Freikorps was a major factor behind the Nazis' ability to form and deploy their own paramilitary/street violence organization. The KDP (Communists) were growing in power despite the self-destructive decisions of the party leadership, who followed the Stalinist line. I haven't read as much about the situation in Italy, but the broad picture seems similar in that the liberal capitalist state was under threat by both socialists and, later, fascists, and the latter eventually won. In each case, the capitalists themselves would naturally side with the fascists over the socialists, even if they prefer liberal democracy over fascism, because fascism does not call for the complete overthrow of capitalism.

    But if that's all true (and maybe it isn't; if someone thinks my description or framing is inaccurate please correct me), what the fuck is happening today? There is war across much of the world, but the war isn't ravaging Europe or the US like WWI did. We're not seeing massive socialist movements and revolts across the Western world to spur such a reactionary movement; the bourgeoisie largely won the class war and seem to me to be in a pretty secure position (outside of the potential for catastrophes arising from global war/environmental collapse). If the current system is failing, the nature of the failure seems subtler, or at least very different. Is my perception of fascism as a reaction to the subversion or breakdown of the prevailing social order inaccurate? I can think of some ways to modify the theory in order to better fit current events - perhaps by expanding the conception of "social order" from solely economic to also include racial and sexual division/oppression - but I wonder if my general framework is off base here.

    The failure is the slow collapse of white supremacy in the US. Over the past few decades (and especially over the last eight years), we've seen a slow breakdown of the various norms and legal policies that were used to justify the cultural primacy of whites in the US. This, in turn, has engendered a feeling of collapse in a section of the white population, which is unsurprising - from their view, what they saw as their normal position is being taken away from them. One commentary I red recently described their politics as one of grievance against the change in society.

    That does not explain Europe, though. I imagine the truth is that the combination of globalization deindustrializing Western societies and the global collapse of labor power has allowed rightwing forces to focus more generalized feelings of displacement and insecurity on immigrants and minorities. The idea that this is simply the result of latent mass racism in white populations is just a comfortable deflection by liberals since a broader analysis leaves both liberals and conservatives complicit in allowing this situation to fester for decades.

    How doesn't it explain Europe? All of the European parties pushing this resurgence (UKIP, FN, etc.) are heavily ethnocentric in nature. Also, in the US, the collapse of labor is directly linked to white supremacy, as white laborers turned their backs on their natural allies in order to reinforce white supremacy, working with the capital class to break the left on social issues.

    The difference is whether you believe racism is a cause, or symptom, of the problem - because the solution changes depending on that. Economic policy can't 'cure' racism, but it sure as hell can cure (or at least combat) joblessness in the manufacturing and working class sectors that is a result of offshoring and automation.

    If the Rust Belt was simply irretrievably racist White Nationalist territory, and that was that, it wouldn't have voted (D) for decades (and especially not for Obama). I agree with @Phillishere - to throw up your hands and declare, "well, they're all racist white nationalists after all" absolves the left of any responsibility for the changes that occurred that put us in a position where blatant racism would work as a political tool on anyone other than bone fide Neo Nazis. Both parties have been in power for swathes of the last 30 years, and neither one has done a whole lot for the cause of the average working guy.
    A person can be racist and vote Democrat or for Obama. Racist white southerners continued to vote Democrat years after the party on a national level started to confront the more open racism, but they still eventually stopped, first on the presidential level, then state representatives in Congress, and then on a state and local level. The shift wasn't complete until some point in the 1990s. Why is the Rust Belt necessarily different?

    Edith UpwardsElldren
  • Senna1Senna1 Registered User regular
    edited February 2017
    I'm worried this is derailing the thread, so maybe we should curtail this discussion; all I'll say is this:
    Couscous wrote: »
    Senna1 wrote: »
    Kaputa wrote: »
    I used to think that fascism arose when capitalism failed. Trotsky says:
    At the moment that the "normal" police and military resources of the bourgeois dictatorship, together with their parliamentary screens, no longer suffice to hold society in a state of equilibrium -- the turn of the fascist regime arrives. Through the fascist agency, capitalism sets in motion the masses of the crazed petty bourgeoisie and the bands of declassed and demoralized lumpenproletariat -- all the countless human beings whom finance capital itself has brought to desperation and frenzy.

    And broadly speaking that's how I viewed it as well. The early 1900s were an extremely tumultuous period in history. World War I had devastated the Western world. Socialist and Communist parties and organizations were real threats to the capitalist order and in some countries were attempting revolution; class conflict was at heights that are difficult to imagine today. Germany saw the revolution at the end of WWI and the Spartacist revolt a few years later, both of which were defeated (or perhaps partially defeated, in the first case) with the help of the newly organized Freikorps paramilitary. My impression is that the formation and deployment of the Freikorps was a major factor behind the Nazis' ability to form and deploy their own paramilitary/street violence organization. The KDP (Communists) were growing in power despite the self-destructive decisions of the party leadership, who followed the Stalinist line. I haven't read as much about the situation in Italy, but the broad picture seems similar in that the liberal capitalist state was under threat by both socialists and, later, fascists, and the latter eventually won. In each case, the capitalists themselves would naturally side with the fascists over the socialists, even if they prefer liberal democracy over fascism, because fascism does not call for the complete overthrow of capitalism.

    But if that's all true (and maybe it isn't; if someone thinks my description or framing is inaccurate please correct me), what the fuck is happening today? There is war across much of the world, but the war isn't ravaging Europe or the US like WWI did. We're not seeing massive socialist movements and revolts across the Western world to spur such a reactionary movement; the bourgeoisie largely won the class war and seem to me to be in a pretty secure position (outside of the potential for catastrophes arising from global war/environmental collapse). If the current system is failing, the nature of the failure seems subtler, or at least very different. Is my perception of fascism as a reaction to the subversion or breakdown of the prevailing social order inaccurate? I can think of some ways to modify the theory in order to better fit current events - perhaps by expanding the conception of "social order" from solely economic to also include racial and sexual division/oppression - but I wonder if my general framework is off base here.

    The failure is the slow collapse of white supremacy in the US. Over the past few decades (and especially over the last eight years), we've seen a slow breakdown of the various norms and legal policies that were used to justify the cultural primacy of whites in the US. This, in turn, has engendered a feeling of collapse in a section of the white population, which is unsurprising - from their view, what they saw as their normal position is being taken away from them. One commentary I red recently described their politics as one of grievance against the change in society.

    That does not explain Europe, though. I imagine the truth is that the combination of globalization deindustrializing Western societies and the global collapse of labor power has allowed rightwing forces to focus more generalized feelings of displacement and insecurity on immigrants and minorities. The idea that this is simply the result of latent mass racism in white populations is just a comfortable deflection by liberals since a broader analysis leaves both liberals and conservatives complicit in allowing this situation to fester for decades.

    How doesn't it explain Europe? All of the European parties pushing this resurgence (UKIP, FN, etc.) are heavily ethnocentric in nature. Also, in the US, the collapse of labor is directly linked to white supremacy, as white laborers turned their backs on their natural allies in order to reinforce white supremacy, working with the capital class to break the left on social issues.

    The difference is whether you believe racism is a cause, or symptom, of the problem - because the solution changes depending on that. Economic policy can't 'cure' racism, but it sure as hell can cure (or at least combat) joblessness in the manufacturing and working class sectors that is a result of offshoring and automation.

    If the Rust Belt was simply irretrievably racist White Nationalist territory, and that was that, it wouldn't have voted (D) for decades (and especially not for Obama). I agree with @Phillishere - to throw up your hands and declare, "well, they're all racist white nationalists after all" absolves the left of any responsibility for the changes that occurred that put us in a position where blatant racism would work as a political tool on anyone other than bone fide Neo Nazis. Both parties have been in power for swathes of the last 30 years, and neither one has done a whole lot for the cause of the average working guy.
    A person can be racist and vote Democrat or for Obama. Racist white southerners continued to vote Democrat years after the party on a national level started to confront the more open racism, but they still eventually stopped, first on the presidential level, then state representatives in Congress, and then on a state and local level. The shift wasn't complete until some point in the 1990s. Why is the Rust Belt necessarily different?

    Sure, 'a racist' from the Rust Belt could vote D, or even for Obama, but you'd still have to explain
    1: why this would happen en mass &
    2: why they changed course in 2016 vs 2008 and '12

    If your argument is going to be that's what happened.

    The voting patterns of the South can be directly explained by the Civil War, its aftermath, and the role the Republicans as a party played in those events. That context does not exist for the Rust belt.

    To bring this back around on topic; fascists are great at getting otherwise 'reasonable' people to go along with their policies not because they convert them all to true believers, but because they spend a great deal of effort 'normalizing' extreme viewpoints and exploiting perfectly legitimate fears (usually of economic uncertainty/failure) and redirecting those fears onto their target(s). Very few prosperous and highly employed countries go fascist simply because, "hey, fuck brown people!". It requires an underlying societal/economic change that the existing power structures have failed to deal with effectively to create a vacuum suitable for their rise.

    Senna1 on
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Senna1 wrote: »
    Kaputa wrote: »
    I used to think that fascism arose when capitalism failed. Trotsky says:
    At the moment that the "normal" police and military resources of the bourgeois dictatorship, together with their parliamentary screens, no longer suffice to hold society in a state of equilibrium -- the turn of the fascist regime arrives. Through the fascist agency, capitalism sets in motion the masses of the crazed petty bourgeoisie and the bands of declassed and demoralized lumpenproletariat -- all the countless human beings whom finance capital itself has brought to desperation and frenzy.

    And broadly speaking that's how I viewed it as well. The early 1900s were an extremely tumultuous period in history. World War I had devastated the Western world. Socialist and Communist parties and organizations were real threats to the capitalist order and in some countries were attempting revolution; class conflict was at heights that are difficult to imagine today. Germany saw the revolution at the end of WWI and the Spartacist revolt a few years later, both of which were defeated (or perhaps partially defeated, in the first case) with the help of the newly organized Freikorps paramilitary. My impression is that the formation and deployment of the Freikorps was a major factor behind the Nazis' ability to form and deploy their own paramilitary/street violence organization. The KDP (Communists) were growing in power despite the self-destructive decisions of the party leadership, who followed the Stalinist line. I haven't read as much about the situation in Italy, but the broad picture seems similar in that the liberal capitalist state was under threat by both socialists and, later, fascists, and the latter eventually won. In each case, the capitalists themselves would naturally side with the fascists over the socialists, even if they prefer liberal democracy over fascism, because fascism does not call for the complete overthrow of capitalism.

    But if that's all true (and maybe it isn't; if someone thinks my description or framing is inaccurate please correct me), what the fuck is happening today? There is war across much of the world, but the war isn't ravaging Europe or the US like WWI did. We're not seeing massive socialist movements and revolts across the Western world to spur such a reactionary movement; the bourgeoisie largely won the class war and seem to me to be in a pretty secure position (outside of the potential for catastrophes arising from global war/environmental collapse). If the current system is failing, the nature of the failure seems subtler, or at least very different. Is my perception of fascism as a reaction to the subversion or breakdown of the prevailing social order inaccurate? I can think of some ways to modify the theory in order to better fit current events - perhaps by expanding the conception of "social order" from solely economic to also include racial and sexual division/oppression - but I wonder if my general framework is off base here.

    The failure is the slow collapse of white supremacy in the US. Over the past few decades (and especially over the last eight years), we've seen a slow breakdown of the various norms and legal policies that were used to justify the cultural primacy of whites in the US. This, in turn, has engendered a feeling of collapse in a section of the white population, which is unsurprising - from their view, what they saw as their normal position is being taken away from them. One commentary I red recently described their politics as one of grievance against the change in society.

    That does not explain Europe, though. I imagine the truth is that the combination of globalization deindustrializing Western societies and the global collapse of labor power has allowed rightwing forces to focus more generalized feelings of displacement and insecurity on immigrants and minorities. The idea that this is simply the result of latent mass racism in white populations is just a comfortable deflection by liberals since a broader analysis leaves both liberals and conservatives complicit in allowing this situation to fester for decades.

    How doesn't it explain Europe? All of the European parties pushing this resurgence (UKIP, FN, etc.) are heavily ethnocentric in nature. Also, in the US, the collapse of labor is directly linked to white supremacy, as white laborers turned their backs on their natural allies in order to reinforce white supremacy, working with the capital class to break the left on social issues.

    The difference is whether you believe racism is a cause, or symptom, of the problem - because the solution changes depending on that. Economic policy can't 'cure' racism, but it sure as hell can cure (or at least combat) joblessness in the manufacturing and working class sectors that is a result of offshoring and automation.

    If the Rust Belt was simply irretrievably racist White Nationalist territory, and that was that, it wouldn't have voted (D) for decades (and especially not for Obama). I agree with @Phillishere - to throw up your hands and declare, "well, they're all racist white nationalists after all" absolves the left of any responsibility for the changes that occurred that put us in a position where blatant racism would work as a political tool on anyone other than bone fide Neo Nazis. Both parties have been in power for swathes of the last 30 years, and neither one has done a whole lot for the cause of the average working guy.

    I'm sorry, but how can you say that the Democrats haven't done a lot for the working class, given that a) a large part of the working class are minorities and women, and b) they proposed a number of policies that improved the lot of the working class as a whole, like the ACA. It's hard to argue that this isn't about race when things like "economic anxiety" routinely track on racial, not economic lines. Again, I'd argue that what's driving these grievances isn't the economic issue in of itself, but how it interplays with the improvement of conditions for minorities - and improving their economic situation won't solve the issue (just take a look at Elkhart, IN for a good example of that dynamic at work.)

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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Senna1 wrote: »
    Couscous wrote: »
    Senna1 wrote: »
    Kaputa wrote: »
    I used to think that fascism arose when capitalism failed. Trotsky says:
    At the moment that the "normal" police and military resources of the bourgeois dictatorship, together with their parliamentary screens, no longer suffice to hold society in a state of equilibrium -- the turn of the fascist regime arrives. Through the fascist agency, capitalism sets in motion the masses of the crazed petty bourgeoisie and the bands of declassed and demoralized lumpenproletariat -- all the countless human beings whom finance capital itself has brought to desperation and frenzy.

    And broadly speaking that's how I viewed it as well. The early 1900s were an extremely tumultuous period in history. World War I had devastated the Western world. Socialist and Communist parties and organizations were real threats to the capitalist order and in some countries were attempting revolution; class conflict was at heights that are difficult to imagine today. Germany saw the revolution at the end of WWI and the Spartacist revolt a few years later, both of which were defeated (or perhaps partially defeated, in the first case) with the help of the newly organized Freikorps paramilitary. My impression is that the formation and deployment of the Freikorps was a major factor behind the Nazis' ability to form and deploy their own paramilitary/street violence organization. The KDP (Communists) were growing in power despite the self-destructive decisions of the party leadership, who followed the Stalinist line. I haven't read as much about the situation in Italy, but the broad picture seems similar in that the liberal capitalist state was under threat by both socialists and, later, fascists, and the latter eventually won. In each case, the capitalists themselves would naturally side with the fascists over the socialists, even if they prefer liberal democracy over fascism, because fascism does not call for the complete overthrow of capitalism.

    But if that's all true (and maybe it isn't; if someone thinks my description or framing is inaccurate please correct me), what the fuck is happening today? There is war across much of the world, but the war isn't ravaging Europe or the US like WWI did. We're not seeing massive socialist movements and revolts across the Western world to spur such a reactionary movement; the bourgeoisie largely won the class war and seem to me to be in a pretty secure position (outside of the potential for catastrophes arising from global war/environmental collapse). If the current system is failing, the nature of the failure seems subtler, or at least very different. Is my perception of fascism as a reaction to the subversion or breakdown of the prevailing social order inaccurate? I can think of some ways to modify the theory in order to better fit current events - perhaps by expanding the conception of "social order" from solely economic to also include racial and sexual division/oppression - but I wonder if my general framework is off base here.

    The failure is the slow collapse of white supremacy in the US. Over the past few decades (and especially over the last eight years), we've seen a slow breakdown of the various norms and legal policies that were used to justify the cultural primacy of whites in the US. This, in turn, has engendered a feeling of collapse in a section of the white population, which is unsurprising - from their view, what they saw as their normal position is being taken away from them. One commentary I red recently described their politics as one of grievance against the change in society.

    That does not explain Europe, though. I imagine the truth is that the combination of globalization deindustrializing Western societies and the global collapse of labor power has allowed rightwing forces to focus more generalized feelings of displacement and insecurity on immigrants and minorities. The idea that this is simply the result of latent mass racism in white populations is just a comfortable deflection by liberals since a broader analysis leaves both liberals and conservatives complicit in allowing this situation to fester for decades.

    How doesn't it explain Europe? All of the European parties pushing this resurgence (UKIP, FN, etc.) are heavily ethnocentric in nature. Also, in the US, the collapse of labor is directly linked to white supremacy, as white laborers turned their backs on their natural allies in order to reinforce white supremacy, working with the capital class to break the left on social issues.

    The difference is whether you believe racism is a cause, or symptom, of the problem - because the solution changes depending on that. Economic policy can't 'cure' racism, but it sure as hell can cure (or at least combat) joblessness in the manufacturing and working class sectors that is a result of offshoring and automation.

    If the Rust Belt was simply irretrievably racist White Nationalist territory, and that was that, it wouldn't have voted (D) for decades (and especially not for Obama). I agree with @Phillishere - to throw up your hands and declare, "well, they're all racist white nationalists after all" absolves the left of any responsibility for the changes that occurred that put us in a position where blatant racism would work as a political tool on anyone other than bone fide Neo Nazis. Both parties have been in power for swathes of the last 30 years, and neither one has done a whole lot for the cause of the average working guy.
    A person can be racist and vote Democrat or for Obama. Racist white southerners continued to vote Democrat years after the party on a national level started to confront the more open racism, but they still eventually stopped, first on the presidential level, then state representatives in Congress, and then on a state and local level. The shift wasn't complete until some point in the 1990s. Why is the Rust Belt necessarily different?

    Sure, 'a racist' from the Rust Belt could vote D, or even for Obama, but you'd still have to explain
    1: why this would happen en mass &
    2: why they changed course in 2016 vs 2008 and '12

    If your argument is going to be that's what happened.

    The voting patterns of the South can be directly explained by the Civil War, its aftermath, and the role Republicans played in those events. That context does not exist for the Rust belt.

    It doesn't? Racism was not just a Southern phenomenon, and in some ways Northern racism was more pernicious (read up on MLK's failed attempt to combat segregation in Chicago sometime - it's an eye-opener.)

    As for your two questions:

    1. It didn't happen en masse, but had been going on for decades. All three of the Rust Belt States that flipped (PA, WI, MI) have long had racial tensions between minority dominated urban cores and white-dominated rural and suburban regions. There's a reason the nickname "Pennsyltucky" is routinely used to refer to the area between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
    2. There are many different reasons given, but one I've heard is that racism is a luxury. Paradoxically, the economic issues in 2008 may have precluded them from being able to vote on social issues, while the improved economy gave them that leeway.

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  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited February 2017
    Senna1 wrote: »
    Kaputa wrote: »
    I used to think that fascism arose when capitalism failed. Trotsky says:
    At the moment that the "normal" police and military resources of the bourgeois dictatorship, together with their parliamentary screens, no longer suffice to hold society in a state of equilibrium -- the turn of the fascist regime arrives. Through the fascist agency, capitalism sets in motion the masses of the crazed petty bourgeoisie and the bands of declassed and demoralized lumpenproletariat -- all the countless human beings whom finance capital itself has brought to desperation and frenzy.

    And broadly speaking that's how I viewed it as well. The early 1900s were an extremely tumultuous period in history. World War I had devastated the Western world. Socialist and Communist parties and organizations were real threats to the capitalist order and in some countries were attempting revolution; class conflict was at heights that are difficult to imagine today. Germany saw the revolution at the end of WWI and the Spartacist revolt a few years later, both of which were defeated (or perhaps partially defeated, in the first case) with the help of the newly organized Freikorps paramilitary. My impression is that the formation and deployment of the Freikorps was a major factor behind the Nazis' ability to form and deploy their own paramilitary/street violence organization. The KDP (Communists) were growing in power despite the self-destructive decisions of the party leadership, who followed the Stalinist line. I haven't read as much about the situation in Italy, but the broad picture seems similar in that the liberal capitalist state was under threat by both socialists and, later, fascists, and the latter eventually won. In each case, the capitalists themselves would naturally side with the fascists over the socialists, even if they prefer liberal democracy over fascism, because fascism does not call for the complete overthrow of capitalism.

    But if that's all true (and maybe it isn't; if someone thinks my description or framing is inaccurate please correct me), what the fuck is happening today? There is war across much of the world, but the war isn't ravaging Europe or the US like WWI did. We're not seeing massive socialist movements and revolts across the Western world to spur such a reactionary movement; the bourgeoisie largely won the class war and seem to me to be in a pretty secure position (outside of the potential for catastrophes arising from global war/environmental collapse). If the current system is failing, the nature of the failure seems subtler, or at least very different. Is my perception of fascism as a reaction to the subversion or breakdown of the prevailing social order inaccurate? I can think of some ways to modify the theory in order to better fit current events - perhaps by expanding the conception of "social order" from solely economic to also include racial and sexual division/oppression - but I wonder if my general framework is off base here.

    The failure is the slow collapse of white supremacy in the US. Over the past few decades (and especially over the last eight years), we've seen a slow breakdown of the various norms and legal policies that were used to justify the cultural primacy of whites in the US. This, in turn, has engendered a feeling of collapse in a section of the white population, which is unsurprising - from their view, what they saw as their normal position is being taken away from them. One commentary I red recently described their politics as one of grievance against the change in society.

    That does not explain Europe, though. I imagine the truth is that the combination of globalization deindustrializing Western societies and the global collapse of labor power has allowed rightwing forces to focus more generalized feelings of displacement and insecurity on immigrants and minorities. The idea that this is simply the result of latent mass racism in white populations is just a comfortable deflection by liberals since a broader analysis leaves both liberals and conservatives complicit in allowing this situation to fester for decades.

    How doesn't it explain Europe? All of the European parties pushing this resurgence (UKIP, FN, etc.) are heavily ethnocentric in nature. Also, in the US, the collapse of labor is directly linked to white supremacy, as white laborers turned their backs on their natural allies in order to reinforce white supremacy, working with the capital class to break the left on social issues.

    The difference is whether you believe racism is a cause, or symptom, of the problem - because the solution changes depending on that. Economic policy can't 'cure' racism, but it sure as hell can cure (or at least combat) joblessness in the manufacturing and working class sectors that is a result of offshoring and automation.

    If the Rust Belt was simply irretrievably racist White Nationalist territory, and that was that, it wouldn't have voted (D) for decades (and especially not for Obama). I agree with @Phillishere - to throw up your hands and declare, "well, they're all racist white nationalists after all" absolves the left of any responsibility for the changes that occurred that put us in a position where blatant racism would work as a political tool on anyone other than bone fide Neo Nazis. Both parties have been in power for swathes of the last 30 years, and neither one has done a whole lot for the cause of the average working guy.

    I'm sorry, but how can you say that the Democrats haven't done a lot for the working class, given that a) a large part of the working class are minorities and women, and b) they proposed a number of policies that improved the lot of the working class as a whole, like the ACA. It's hard to argue that this isn't about race when things like "economic anxiety" routinely track on racial, not economic lines. Again, I'd argue that what's driving these grievances isn't the economic issue in of itself, but how it interplays with the improvement of conditions for minorities - and improving their economic situation won't solve the issue (just take a look at Elkhart, IN for a good example of that dynamic at work.)

    The ACA does not really benefit large sections of the working class, if you're making $30,000 a year you probably hate the ACA, as it's simply a requirement for you to buy your employer's shitty insurance you can't actually afford to use

    Yes it still means if you have a preexisting condition you're going to be fine
    Yes it means your adult kids can still use your care
    Yes it means your shitty workplace insurance has to pay for actual care

    But for millions and millions of people, all they see of the ACA is a fine if they don't buy insurance they wouldn't have otherwise bought because they're never going to have two grand for the deductible anyway

    It is effectively a regressive tax to make sure they don't put strain on the healthcare system

    override367 on
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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Senna1 wrote: »
    Kaputa wrote: »
    I used to think that fascism arose when capitalism failed. Trotsky says:
    At the moment that the "normal" police and military resources of the bourgeois dictatorship, together with their parliamentary screens, no longer suffice to hold society in a state of equilibrium -- the turn of the fascist regime arrives. Through the fascist agency, capitalism sets in motion the masses of the crazed petty bourgeoisie and the bands of declassed and demoralized lumpenproletariat -- all the countless human beings whom finance capital itself has brought to desperation and frenzy.

    And broadly speaking that's how I viewed it as well. The early 1900s were an extremely tumultuous period in history. World War I had devastated the Western world. Socialist and Communist parties and organizations were real threats to the capitalist order and in some countries were attempting revolution; class conflict was at heights that are difficult to imagine today. Germany saw the revolution at the end of WWI and the Spartacist revolt a few years later, both of which were defeated (or perhaps partially defeated, in the first case) with the help of the newly organized Freikorps paramilitary. My impression is that the formation and deployment of the Freikorps was a major factor behind the Nazis' ability to form and deploy their own paramilitary/street violence organization. The KDP (Communists) were growing in power despite the self-destructive decisions of the party leadership, who followed the Stalinist line. I haven't read as much about the situation in Italy, but the broad picture seems similar in that the liberal capitalist state was under threat by both socialists and, later, fascists, and the latter eventually won. In each case, the capitalists themselves would naturally side with the fascists over the socialists, even if they prefer liberal democracy over fascism, because fascism does not call for the complete overthrow of capitalism.

    But if that's all true (and maybe it isn't; if someone thinks my description or framing is inaccurate please correct me), what the fuck is happening today? There is war across much of the world, but the war isn't ravaging Europe or the US like WWI did. We're not seeing massive socialist movements and revolts across the Western world to spur such a reactionary movement; the bourgeoisie largely won the class war and seem to me to be in a pretty secure position (outside of the potential for catastrophes arising from global war/environmental collapse). If the current system is failing, the nature of the failure seems subtler, or at least very different. Is my perception of fascism as a reaction to the subversion or breakdown of the prevailing social order inaccurate? I can think of some ways to modify the theory in order to better fit current events - perhaps by expanding the conception of "social order" from solely economic to also include racial and sexual division/oppression - but I wonder if my general framework is off base here.

    The failure is the slow collapse of white supremacy in the US. Over the past few decades (and especially over the last eight years), we've seen a slow breakdown of the various norms and legal policies that were used to justify the cultural primacy of whites in the US. This, in turn, has engendered a feeling of collapse in a section of the white population, which is unsurprising - from their view, what they saw as their normal position is being taken away from them. One commentary I red recently described their politics as one of grievance against the change in society.

    That does not explain Europe, though. I imagine the truth is that the combination of globalization deindustrializing Western societies and the global collapse of labor power has allowed rightwing forces to focus more generalized feelings of displacement and insecurity on immigrants and minorities. The idea that this is simply the result of latent mass racism in white populations is just a comfortable deflection by liberals since a broader analysis leaves both liberals and conservatives complicit in allowing this situation to fester for decades.

    How doesn't it explain Europe? All of the European parties pushing this resurgence (UKIP, FN, etc.) are heavily ethnocentric in nature. Also, in the US, the collapse of labor is directly linked to white supremacy, as white laborers turned their backs on their natural allies in order to reinforce white supremacy, working with the capital class to break the left on social issues.

    The difference is whether you believe racism is a cause, or symptom, of the problem - because the solution changes depending on that. Economic policy can't 'cure' racism, but it sure as hell can cure (or at least combat) joblessness in the manufacturing and working class sectors that is a result of offshoring and automation.

    If the Rust Belt was simply irretrievably racist White Nationalist territory, and that was that, it wouldn't have voted (D) for decades (and especially not for Obama). I agree with @Phillishere - to throw up your hands and declare, "well, they're all racist white nationalists after all" absolves the left of any responsibility for the changes that occurred that put us in a position where blatant racism would work as a political tool on anyone other than bone fide Neo Nazis. Both parties have been in power for swathes of the last 30 years, and neither one has done a whole lot for the cause of the average working guy.

    Bullshit. The democrats have done a ton for the average working person. They are, just as the easiest example, still trying to get the minimum wage raised. They've pushed for assistance programs like food stamps that a ton of the people you are talking about are on. None of it matters though because that's not what it's about. It's not what they want.

    It's also about the only solution though since low-skill jobs of the type they are talking about at the level they want aren't coming back. They aren't viable. Certainly not in smaller communities. -That's why they went away in the first place.

    But if you wanna talk about the reasons for it, well, there's a reason "economic anxiety" like this is largely a white phenomenon. And why a guy advocating explicit white supremacy got their votes over someone advocating for programs that would actually help them. It's very much an ethno-cultural issue more then economic because the economy sucked for these people 4 and 8 years ago too.

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  • Senna1Senna1 Registered User regular
    edited February 2017
    Senna1 wrote: »
    Kaputa wrote: »
    I used to think that fascism arose when capitalism failed. Trotsky says:
    At the moment that the "normal" police and military resources of the bourgeois dictatorship, together with their parliamentary screens, no longer suffice to hold society in a state of equilibrium -- the turn of the fascist regime arrives. Through the fascist agency, capitalism sets in motion the masses of the crazed petty bourgeoisie and the bands of declassed and demoralized lumpenproletariat -- all the countless human beings whom finance capital itself has brought to desperation and frenzy.

    And broadly speaking that's how I viewed it as well. The early 1900s were an extremely tumultuous period in history. World War I had devastated the Western world. Socialist and Communist parties and organizations were real threats to the capitalist order and in some countries were attempting revolution; class conflict was at heights that are difficult to imagine today. Germany saw the revolution at the end of WWI and the Spartacist revolt a few years later, both of which were defeated (or perhaps partially defeated, in the first case) with the help of the newly organized Freikorps paramilitary. My impression is that the formation and deployment of the Freikorps was a major factor behind the Nazis' ability to form and deploy their own paramilitary/street violence organization. The KDP (Communists) were growing in power despite the self-destructive decisions of the party leadership, who followed the Stalinist line. I haven't read as much about the situation in Italy, but the broad picture seems similar in that the liberal capitalist state was under threat by both socialists and, later, fascists, and the latter eventually won. In each case, the capitalists themselves would naturally side with the fascists over the socialists, even if they prefer liberal democracy over fascism, because fascism does not call for the complete overthrow of capitalism.

    But if that's all true (and maybe it isn't; if someone thinks my description or framing is inaccurate please correct me), what the fuck is happening today? There is war across much of the world, but the war isn't ravaging Europe or the US like WWI did. We're not seeing massive socialist movements and revolts across the Western world to spur such a reactionary movement; the bourgeoisie largely won the class war and seem to me to be in a pretty secure position (outside of the potential for catastrophes arising from global war/environmental collapse). If the current system is failing, the nature of the failure seems subtler, or at least very different. Is my perception of fascism as a reaction to the subversion or breakdown of the prevailing social order inaccurate? I can think of some ways to modify the theory in order to better fit current events - perhaps by expanding the conception of "social order" from solely economic to also include racial and sexual division/oppression - but I wonder if my general framework is off base here.

    The failure is the slow collapse of white supremacy in the US. Over the past few decades (and especially over the last eight years), we've seen a slow breakdown of the various norms and legal policies that were used to justify the cultural primacy of whites in the US. This, in turn, has engendered a feeling of collapse in a section of the white population, which is unsurprising - from their view, what they saw as their normal position is being taken away from them. One commentary I red recently described their politics as one of grievance against the change in society.

    That does not explain Europe, though. I imagine the truth is that the combination of globalization deindustrializing Western societies and the global collapse of labor power has allowed rightwing forces to focus more generalized feelings of displacement and insecurity on immigrants and minorities. The idea that this is simply the result of latent mass racism in white populations is just a comfortable deflection by liberals since a broader analysis leaves both liberals and conservatives complicit in allowing this situation to fester for decades.

    How doesn't it explain Europe? All of the European parties pushing this resurgence (UKIP, FN, etc.) are heavily ethnocentric in nature. Also, in the US, the collapse of labor is directly linked to white supremacy, as white laborers turned their backs on their natural allies in order to reinforce white supremacy, working with the capital class to break the left on social issues.

    The difference is whether you believe racism is a cause, or symptom, of the problem - because the solution changes depending on that. Economic policy can't 'cure' racism, but it sure as hell can cure (or at least combat) joblessness in the manufacturing and working class sectors that is a result of offshoring and automation.

    If the Rust Belt was simply irretrievably racist White Nationalist territory, and that was that, it wouldn't have voted (D) for decades (and especially not for Obama). I agree with @Phillishere - to throw up your hands and declare, "well, they're all racist white nationalists after all" absolves the left of any responsibility for the changes that occurred that put us in a position where blatant racism would work as a political tool on anyone other than bone fide Neo Nazis. Both parties have been in power for swathes of the last 30 years, and neither one has done a whole lot for the cause of the average working guy.

    I'm sorry, but how can you say that the Democrats haven't done a lot for the working class, given that a) a large part of the working class are minorities and women, and b) they proposed a number of policies that improved the lot of the working class as a whole, like the ACA.

    Because wages still stagnated, the factories still left, and the jobs went away. Frankly, who gives a flying fuck about the ACA when you've lost the job you had for the last 20 years, with no prospect of being rehired at anything equivalent?

    That's the point: all these great accomplishments the left points to mean nothing or less than nothing, when your livelihood's been taken away. It's perceived as "polticial elites" pursuing pet issues - it's not an accident that that's literally the language that's been tossed around by the right.
    It's hard to argue that this isn't about race when things like "economic anxiety" routinely track on racial, not economic lines. Again, I'd argue that what's driving these grievances isn't the economic issue in of itself, but how it interplays with the improvement of conditions for minorities - and improving their economic situation won't solve the issue (just take a look at Elkhart, IN for a good example of that dynamic at work.)
    See the edit to my above post. Without the economic issue, there's no engine to drive the fascist machine. There will always be a baseline of facsist a-holes, but they won't be able to escape the fringe in an otherwise healthy society.
    shryke wrote: »
    Bullshit. The democrats have done a ton for the average working person. They are, just as the easiest example, still trying to get the minimum wage raised. They've pushed for assistance programs like food stamps that a ton of the people you are talking about are on. None of it matters though because that's not what it's about. It's not what they want.
    Why on earth should they want to be on federal assistance and food stamps???? These people once made their own living, as did their parents, and their parents' parents. And they weren't making minimum wage. So that's no help either.
    It's also about the only solution though since low-skill jobs of the type they are talking about at the level they want aren't coming back. They aren't viable. Certainly not in smaller communities. -That's why they went away in the first place.
    That's certainly been the stock (D) answer.

    Which is probably why they sought out and supported someone with a 'better' one.

    Senna1 on
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  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited February 2017
    Like in the last 2 years I have had ACA subsidized health insurance which is fucking great, I loved it, $9 a month for healthcare and a $500 deductible? Not bad!

    In that time I've spent a total of $800 on care, so never exceeding the deductible, and now that I'm employed I'm compelled to spend almost 15% of my take home pay on health insurance at work or pay a fine, when it's profoundly unlikely that I'll spend enough money on care to justify that as opposed to just saving the money up, and if I have a catastrophic event I can't afford the deductible and copay of that anyway so I'm bankrupt regardless

    I'm still an ardent supporter of the ACA because it's probably the reason my niece is alive today, but the level of cheerleading for it could be seen to grate if you step outside of your own perspective, especially with continued increases in costs which everyone pretended wouldn't be nearly as much of a problem after its passage

    override367 on
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  • MeeqeMeeqe Lord of the pants most fancy Someplace amazingRegistered User regular
    Kaputa wrote: »
    But if that's all true (and maybe it isn't; if someone thinks my description or framing is inaccurate please correct me), what the fuck is happening today? There is war across much of the world, but the war isn't ravaging Europe or the US like WWI did. We're not seeing massive socialist movements and revolts across the Western world to spur such a reactionary movement; the bourgeoisie largely won the class war and seem to me to be in a pretty secure position (outside of the potential for catastrophes arising from global war/environmental collapse). If the current system is failing, the nature of the failure seems subtler, or at least very different. Is my perception of fascism as a reaction to the subversion or breakdown of the prevailing social order inaccurate? I can think of some ways to modify the theory in order to better fit current events - perhaps by expanding the conception of "social order" from solely economic to also include racial and sexual division/oppression - but I wonder if my general framework is off base here.

    I think that to the current right wing, the modern feminist movement counts as being sufficiently disruptive. It has reshaped our norms around sex, violence, gender roles, racial frameworks and a host of other issues including economic (women entering the workforce en masse) in an incredibly short amount of time, and Trumpism to me looks like the very definition of a reactionary social movement.

    I like children. Provided they go home with their parents at the end of the day.
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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited February 2017
    Senna1 wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Bullshit. The democrats have done a ton for the average working person. They are, just as the easiest example, still trying to get the minimum wage raised. They've pushed for assistance programs like food stamps that a ton of the people you are talking about are on. None of it matters though because that's not what it's about. It's not what they want.
    Why on earth should they want to be on federal assistance and food stamps???? These people once made their own living, as did their parents, and their parents' parents. And they weren't making minimum wage. So that's no help either.

    Thank you for making my point for me. See, it's not even about economics to you. You aren't looking at it in terms of economics, that's not the argument you are making here. You are arguing in terms of feelings. In terms of "making their own living" rather then just "making a living". It's not how they are doing, it's how it makes them feel.

    It's about identity and culture, not money.


    And you claimed neither party had "done a whole lot for the cause of the average working guy". Alot of those "average working people" make minimum wage bro.

    It's also about the only solution though since low-skill jobs of the type they are talking about at the level they want aren't coming back. They aren't viable. Certainly not in smaller communities. -That's why they went away in the first place.
    That's certainly been the stock (D) answer.

    Which is probably why they sought out and supported someone with a 'better' one.

    It's not the stock D answer, it's the answer. It's, like, what's actually going on.

    But the notable thing here is what the better answer was. It wasn't retraining for a new job, it was white identity politics.

    shryke on
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  • SparvySparvy Registered User regular
    If we are looking for the one true reason for the rise of the far right we are not going to find it I think.

    Like most things there a confluence of factors at work, different subgroups have different motivations yet enjoy being part of a larger movement. This even crosses international boundaries, trump supporters cheering on Le Pen or Brexit for example.

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  • Senna1Senna1 Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    Senna1 wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Bullshit. The democrats have done a ton for the average working person. They are, just as the easiest example, still trying to get the minimum wage raised. They've pushed for assistance programs like food stamps that a ton of the people you are talking about are on. None of it matters though because that's not what it's about. It's not what they want.
    Why on earth should they want to be on federal assistance and food stamps???? These people once made their own living, as did their parents, and their parents' parents. And they weren't making minimum wage. So that's no help either.

    Thank you for making my point for me. See, it's not even about economics to you. You aren't looking at it in terms of economics, that's not the argument you are making here. You are arguing in terms of feelings. In terms of "making their own living" rather then just "making a living". It's not how they are doing, it's how it makes them feel.

    It's about identity and culture, not money.
    So you're arguing there's no real economic difference between a decent full time factory job in manufacturing, and making minimum wage on an hourly basis?

    To quote yourself: bullshit.
    And you claimed neither party had "done a whole lot for the cause of the average working guy". Alot of those "average working people" make minimum wage bro.
    A lot of people in the manufacturing sector that was gutted were making minimum wage? Yeah, I'm going to ask for a source on that...

    It's also about the only solution though since low-skill jobs of the type they are talking about at the level they want aren't coming back. They aren't viable. Certainly not in smaller communities. -That's why they went away in the first place.
    That's certainly been the stock (D) answer.

    Which is probably why they sought out and supported someone with a 'better' one.

    It's not the stock D answer, it's the answer. It's, like, what's actually going on.

    But the notable thing here is what the better answer was. It wasn't retraining for a new job, it was white identity politics.
    [/quote]
    Trump hammered the idea that he was going to bring jobs back. Over and over. Again, people were (largely) not just like, "yay, racism! Elect him!"

    Like I've been saying, the economic fears are the lever by which the identity politics are accepted. Scapegoating combined with a simple promise to make it all better again.

    The (D) talk about "jobs retraining". For what? where? Tell me what you're going to retrain a 45 year old line worker from Flint into, and show me the programs doing it successfully on a large scale before you get too eager throwing around accusations of arguing purely on 'feelings'.


    Captain MarcusNobodyMrMister
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited February 2017
    Few working class people make minimum wage btw, min wage workers represent aprox. 5% of the work force, and people not super far above the minimum wage who work any kind of "skilled" work, eg: your $12-15 an hour set, feel threatend by min wage increases because as a party we have done a phenomenally poor job of selling the fact that when the min wage goes up, wages of jobs just above it also go up

    Most people haven't had an economics course!

    If you look at who is not in favor of a min wage increase, I think you'll find a substantial percentage of people who would not directly benefit from an increase in the minimum wage, but would benefit indirectly from it. People who ask the question "why would I keep wiping old people's assholes/answering calls and eating angry customer's vitriol/being an office gopher for $13 an hour if the minimum wage was $12 and I could just work at wal-mart?"

    Because they don't know that answer to that question is "well, you wouldn't, so your boss would have to pay you more than $13 an hour to keep you"

    override367 on
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  • ShortyShorty JUDGE BROSEF Registered User regular
    can't have a fascism thread without some Neiwert:

    http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/

    I will draw your attention to the sidebar on the left (scroll down a bit), in particular the essays The Rise of Pseudo Fascism, and Rush, Newspeak and Fascism: An Exegesis

    Tube wrote: »
    I was legit hoping that Shorty was somehow mistaken and the world wasn't that fucked
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