Just some thoughts here

Here is something to consider from Portland folksinger David Rovics:

This David Rovics rant has content people today ought to absorb. But I do have some critical thoughts:

1) Should we really call the Trump, Bolsonaro etc. faithful "neofascists"? At one point in the video, Rovics calls them "wingnuts," and that seems more appropriate. The Fascists were far more ideologically organized than the authoritarian fools of today, who are often ideologically incoherent. The Fascists had a forward-looking authoritarianism: Hitler, for instance, anticipated a "thousand-year empire." Hitler's idea of utopia was the most ferocious Hell, but it was a utopia nonetheless. Today all mainstream political positions are based on nostalgic visions of various imagined pasts, as sold by historical drama on film and its fantasy equivalents, Star Trek and Star Wars. "Fascism" today seems more like von Papenism without Hitler than it does Hitlerism. Fascism existed in an era of expanding capitalism; today capitalism is in decline, and the fascism of our era is cosplay, accompanied by neoliberal Hell.

1a) Is there really anything to be said for the idea of "ideology" anymore, except that ideology is something the powerful say so that the less-powerful will like them? With Hitler you knew where he stood -- kill the Jews, ethnic-cleanse eastern Europe. It was coherently evil. He said he would do all that in 1925 and was granted an opportunity to conquer the world simply because the public face of the elites, bad then as now, was that they weren't taking this guy seriously. But now? The primary lesson of four years of Trump might be that ideology doesn't have to be coherent, as cult leader Trump is basically a rich lazy guy who mouths horrible nonsense and goes off to play golf. For that matter, leadership doesn't have to be mentally healthy even under so-called democracy, as Trump was an obvious narcissist. But, yeah, go up to some Trumpies and ask them what they think they're getting by trying to put a narcissist in the White House (when they got damned little of anything when they did it the last time). Don't expect a coherent response.

2) Aren't the "neofascists" also neoliberals? It seems to me that the primary difference between (D) and (R) neoliberalism is the especially rancid and authoritarian flavor to (R) neoliberalism. Neoliberalism is still neoliberalism; the general principle behind it is that the great mass of people are to be made impotent through mandatory participation in "markets" (in which they don't have the money to buy anything and in which their labor-power fetches no adequately-paying customers).

3) So what about the closest approximation to actual, pre-World War II Fascism we've seen in our lifetimes -- which is to say, the regime of George W. Bush? Perhaps one reason why ideology is now incoherent and economy is a free-for-all for powerful buzzards in human form is that discussing history is not allowed?

Share
up
14 users have voted.

Comments

Cassiodorus's picture

that politics is simpler than what even the so-called "Left" thinks. Start with this book. Certainly, however, Rovics is correct to point out that the permitted "rebellion" has itself become a promotional strategy for reactionaries.

up
6 users have voted.

"The West doesn't spend any time, or, our policymakers in Washington spend no time thinking about, like, what are the achievable goals here?" -- Tucker Carlson, on Project Ukraine

as far as I can tell. Debating differing points of view of history, on the other hand, is not
openly allowed on public forums for the most part. The versions of history taught in the
primary and secondary educational systems here are heavily flavored to condition the
curious minds with god, guts and guns. There is no questioning motives or morality.
War is for destroying evil. From the good-guy American perspective, anything like
socialism or communism is evil and therefore is justifiably destroyed. The framework
obviously goes much deeper than that in historical renditions. But the whole story has
morphed into capitalism is good. And most people buy it. Neo this and Neo that are
used primarily for distraction, as most people do not have not the educational background to
parse gray area topics.

up
7 users have voted.
Cassiodorus's picture

@QMS nostalgic visions of various imagined pasts, as I mentioned them above.

History would be stuff by actual historians.

up
4 users have voted.

"The West doesn't spend any time, or, our policymakers in Washington spend no time thinking about, like, what are the achievable goals here?" -- Tucker Carlson, on Project Ukraine

@Cassiodorus

The studied circles of the historical experts may have their own versions.
The nostalgic imaginary visions of the proles do not matter?

up
2 users have voted.
Cassiodorus's picture

@QMS But they matter as nostalgic visions. If you want to "make America great again," that means you have this notion that America was once "great," and you probably aren't reading that portion of history mentioned in the books of William Blum or Noam Chomsky.

up
4 users have voted.

"The West doesn't spend any time, or, our policymakers in Washington spend no time thinking about, like, what are the achievable goals here?" -- Tucker Carlson, on Project Ukraine

@Cassiodorus

that you recognize the present in relation to the almost well documented past
what made America great in the minds of the red hats is propaganda
and what makes America great in the present for the blue hats is the same
I'm not trying to mock the historians' attempt at educating the present mind-set,
only trying to point out you can not separate fallen ideas from the
framework that created this present. Clearly spoken truths have a limited
audience in the noise of present conditioning. You know this.

up
5 users have voted.
The Liberal Moonbat's picture

..."especially rancid and authoritarian flavor to (R)"?

Under Bush and for a very long time prior, no question about it - but as your source (thanks, as always, for the reminder of what they want us to forget) would be among the first to mention, Bush's (R)s have burst forth from the carcass of their old host and infested the (D)s so thoroughly that it is difficult to even notice whatever menace may now be emanating from (R), or even if there is any worth noticing relative to the in-your-face fascism of the Bushocrats.

(R)s may be as self-serving, sectarian, and hypocritical as ever, but for the last 8 years or so, they have decidedly ceased to be the ones leading the way in:

- disdain for the Bill of Rights

- Newspeak and cliocide (Who needs to burn books when you can just take away people's ability/willingness to read them?)

- presumption of guilt (this here's a BIGGIE, practically the linchpin for everything else)

- disregard for due process

- promotion of pseudoscience

- resurrecting, and cultivating new forms of, hate

- "public-private partnerships" (AKA political-level fascism as Mussolini himself described it)

- juicing up the police state (this is a must-read: https://taibbi.substack.com/p/the-fbis-transformation-from-national?publ...)

- warmongering (See Also: The Fraud Squad earning that epithet for good after That Letter)

I could go on.

Certainly, the (R)s finally achieved a definitively-authoritarian goal set in motion 40 years ago (and made practically inevitable by the other team's apparent edict to never solve any problem they could instead exploit), but other than that, there are real reasons THIS is happening: https://leightonwoodhouse.substack.com/p/up-for-grabs

up
10 users have voted.

In the Land of the Blind, the One-Eyed Man is declared mentally ill for describing colors.

Yes Virginia, there is a Global Banking Conspiracy!

We made 2 mistakes which are turning out to be fatal:
1, We have misjudged conservatism. Since the mid sixties we've confused the rank and file conservative with the corporatist - I'm oversimplafying, but conservatism is based on a simple concept, that people should not take money or "rights" from people who have earned them to give to people who haven't earned them. But instead of accepting this moral principle for what it is we condemn those who do as racists and reinforce true racism - by for example rather than supporting quality elementary education, then secondary, then higher education instead we have lowered the standards of education so that people who have not gotten the foundation to benefit from higher education can be falsely claimed to have. The same applies to housing. Neighborhood infrastructure is neglected while substandard "housing projects" are falsely claimed to be acceptable.
This is not actually true - it is mostly capitalist propaganda - but to the extent that it has truth it is "liberals" that are supporting it. What I'm saying is quit virtue signalling and treat people with sense and compassion and respect, not hypocritical fraud.

And 2, we allowed Obama (and Clinton before him) to get away with it. Obama said he would betray us, and he said how we could stop him, but all we did was make excuses for him. Obama wasn't the first, (NAFTA) but he was the worst, (NAFTA?) and he was at a critical time.

In the end what I am saying is that instead of elevating our opponents to the standards they claim we have demonized them like they demonized us.

up
6 users have voted.

On to Biden since 1973

@doh1304 Rep or Dem. Obama did not betray anyone. In war, one cannot betray the enemy.
You and I were always their enemy. You may have got caught up in the left/right propaganda but Obama,Clinton, Bush dynasty, Trump, Reagan and Biden have all been your enemy.
The same enemy.
Never lose sight of that.

up
5 users have voted.

@Battle of Blair Mountain
I live on SSDI, and when it was approved I lost MediCal and had to go on Medicare (with Part D - UGH!) I know who my enemy is. Just read my sig line and the one before it.

up
4 users have voted.

On to Biden since 1973