I. WHAT’S IN A WORD:
Why is fascism more analytically helpful than alternative verbiage?
Because Fascism “bundles” together the worst ideologies known to humans:
- State-Corporatism (predatory and destructive, oligarchic, state-sponsored capitalism);
- White Supremacy: the belief that White people are inherently superior to non-White people and should, therefore, dominate all other groups in the U.S.: BIPOC, immigrants, Jews, and those who identify as Queer (LGBTQ+);
- Religious-Nationalism (power-centered fundamentalism within all major religions, driven by billionaire-class manipulators and their enablers, demanding obedience from God-fearing followers, based on false claims that God favors the super-rich over worker rights and environmental protection, while espousing business regulation and social safety net programs as “unbiblical” and abortion as unconditionally “evil.”
The offspring of these core tenets is manifestly cynical and violent in all forms of xenophobia, misogyny, racism, anti-intellectualism, corruption, myth-making, cult leader worship, stolen elections, subversion of human rights, and more.
II. WHY DID FASCISM DEVELOP INTO A MASS FORCE IN THE AFTERMATH OF WORLD
The emergence of Fascism, i.e., revenge-seeking hyper-nationalism, was in direct response to a mythical narrative that Germany, Italy, and Japan had been betrayed in the war’s aftermath. As with all myths, there are grains of truth to be found, but then expounded upon with Big Lies, scape-goating “defeat” or “loss” onto the “outsider” (as opposed to the ruling class culprits), and tearing down any and all liberal institutions by whatever means necessary.
III. WHY IS FASCISM DEVELOPING INTO A MASS FORCE NOW?
Actually, its antecedents, which I date back to the failed revolutionary year of 1968, and the proto-Fascist counter-revolution that followed (see Nixon, Wall Street, rise of Neolibs and Neocons, Powell Memo, Koch brothers-funded James McGill Buchanan blueprint) need to be understood first, as critical context.
Also important is how exposed government lying during the Vietnam War (see especially LBJ’s Gulf of Tonkin manipulation) and Watergate (see Nixon’s repeat efforts to cover up the initial break-in crime), declining numbers of union members, and economic instability which followed postwar, unparalleled U.S. growth — all of which caused distrust toward all liberal institutions, starting with the government, the media, and American education — a distrust played upon by anti-democratic demagogues and thought leaders.
The so-called Reagan Revolution delivered a severe blow to workers and the middle class, rolled back most of gave rise to the cult of entertainer-personality, modeled disciplined messaging in the GOP, doubled down on Nixon’s racist Southern Strategy that turned the South and Southeast from Blue to Red, and fortified a political alliance (begun with Nixon and Billy Graham) between the GOP and Christian Nationalists. Not to let the Democrats off the hook as enablers, let’s not forget that Jimmy Carter, after a human rights-centered foreign policy from 1977-1979, tried to out-Reagan Reagan in 1980 by doubling military spending (from $100B to $200B) and reigniting the Cold War over 1979 crises in Iran, Afghanistan, and Nicaragua.
Bill Clinton gets special love, as the co-founder of the neoliberal Democratic Leadership Council and two-term Democratic president who coddled Wall Street by ending FDR’s Glass-Steagall consumer protections, at the same time he criminalized Black lives and declared war on welfare for poor people, not corporations. And then there are the GOP stolen presidential elections of 2000, 2004, and 2020 (see GregPalast.com), which resulted in our preemptive, perpetual war-by-choice state, radical economic inequality, disappearing middle class, surveillance state, standardized test-centered schools, Federalist Society/Corporatist/White Supremacist SCOTUS.
Fueling the fires of fear and cynicism is the “if-it-bleeds-it-leads” monopolistic Mainstream Media, out-of-control Social Media, cult worship (politics, religion, entertainment), hyper-partisanship, dysfunctional governance, climate change and pandemic polarization, and the conflation of passionate opinion with objective truth.
So what we have now is the culmination of the above factors, combining with a clique of Fascist ideologues (Steven Miller, Steven Bannon, Roger Stone, et al.), an authoritarian, opportunistic, megalomaniacal, win-at-all-costs, grifter, ex-president and family who has hijacked the national Republican Party, and an ongoing Fascist coup d’etat/movement that started 01-06-2021, and that continues to grow at all levels of governance and Party structure, centered especially on voter suppression laws and election outcome controls, from state legislatures to the Supreme Court.
III. WHY WEREN’T THE FASCISTS STOPPED THE FIRST TIME? WHO WERE THEY THE FIRST TIME?
1. Fascism rose out of the ashes of defeat and humiliation that accompanied the course, conclusion, and postwar diplomacy.
2. Fascism grew out of the myth that Germany, specifically, had been “stabbed in the back” by women, Socialists and Jews (aka, “outsiders”) who found a new political home in the Weimar Republic.
3. The failure of the victorious Entente Powers to occupy Germany at the end of the war helped fuel the myth that Germany didn’t actually lose on the battlefield but was betrayed by “outsiders” who accepted a one-sided peace treaty.
4. Fascism is a deceptive and cynical ideology; fascists never admit to what they’re actually doing (e.g., preparing for war while declaring peaceful intentions), and are prepared to engage with any ruthless tactics which secure, consolidate, and expand political power.
5. In the aftermath of the Great War, the Treaty of Versailles blamed Germany, in particular, and its allies, for igniting and perpetuating the war. The “war guilt” clause then justified saddling Germany with land loss, demilitarization, reparations, and the imposition of the Weimar Republic’s democratic principles in a society accustomed to authoritarian systems of government.
6. Because of devastating reparations and diplomatic humiliation, the Weimar Republic was doomed to fail. Only a 1924-1929 Golden Era, based on US bank loans which were then recalled with the 1929 Stock Market crash, provided some relief and stability. The Great Depression caused severe economic instability, wiped out what remained of the middle class (previously devastated in the 1923 hyperinflation precipitated by the Ruhr crisis), and caused a revolving door of coalition governments until President Hindenberg appointed Adolf Hitler Chancellor in January 1933, whereupon he used Conservative industrialists money to win a national election, and manipulated the Reichstag Fire crisis to suspend the Weimar constitution and consolidate all power over the next two years.
7. For the United States and Great Britain, also suffering with economic calamity, pro-capitalist Fascism appeared to be a bulwark against anti-capitalist Soviet Communism, until Hitler’s deceptions were revealed in the Second World War. Desperate to avoid a repeat of the First World War, preoccupied with domestic finances, and blinded by anti-Communist ideology, British PM Neville Chamberlin policy of appeasement (alarming to the French but relented to by the U.S.) allowed Hitler’s territorial expansion (Rhineland, Austria, Sudetenland, Czechoslovakia) to proceed unchecked, right up to the joint German-Soviet invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939.
8. Perhaps a few words about the Axis Alliance of Germany, Italy, Japan, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, and Croatia? Arguably the Second World War started in Asia, with the Japan’s assault on Nanking, China in 1937.
IV. WHO ARE THEY IN TODAY’S AMERICA?
The Republican Party, White Supremacists, State-Corporatists, Religious Nationalists
V. THE FIGHT AGAINST FASCISM IN THE 20TH CENTURY
VI. THE FIGHT AGAINST FASCISM IN THE 21ST CENTURY
Fear of Civil War
Is Revolution the Solution?