Do antifascists really understand the fascism of the ordinary? (Or care?)

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Fauve Noir
Do antifascists really understand the fascism of the ordinary? (Or care?)

As I see it, the hypernormalization is the actual real fascism happening around us. Of course there's no denying of the sick cultist hatred and violence of neofascist fringe groups, but it isn't as dangerous as a mass-based culture and dynamics of extensive and UNchallenged conformity to the same old social institutions that anarchists -before the age of millenials at least- have been pitted against.

These days I'm seeing far too many younger people around getting married and making babies -like a huge collectivized baby factory, proven to be the biggest since the '40s- being headstrong and proud of it, and my impression is that since this is a mass effect (hey there's even a series of video games named like this!). But who's questioning the very practice of marrying and making babies? Or gimme any fucking damn reason to fuck, marry, and fuck again to make babies. Or not fuck but get babies through in-vitro process. I don't see, especially in today's world, any logical reason to produce more babies, beyond subconscious reasoning like prolonging the lineage, or worse, the race, or nation. Not that there's anything wrong, inherently, with having babies... but big fucking "why?".

Saying that, I’m sure to be sounding like some retrograde pastor of the Deep South talking about how drugs and rock and roll corrupting the kids, but now through some funny reversal. There might be also my irritation at the social pressure put over my shoulders, of having failed, after roughly 20 years of adulthood, to «find love» and then build a nice yuppie family, as if these were system commands issued by some cybernetic, invisible directorate...

It’s somewhat understandable for me to feel sick when looking at this, as my "youth" was in the '80s and '90s, where having kids and marrying was seen as a quite dumb and burdensome practice and pattern. The stats related to divorce and single families were tremendous, and I don't recall having seen a gen-X family not having broke up at some point. And perhaps that's also what's in store for the millenials for whom apparently the world has been starting anew, where they falsely believe to have invented "nobody cares" (lol), doing this amnesiac tabula rasa with all the contradictions and insanity of the past (FAIL).

Yet the liberal reformists pushing for legal acceptance of gay marriage in some parts of the West has greatly helped in "saving the boat" of these institutions, whereas all the people with this paper-thin values and worldview tend to be suddenly seeing marriage as politically correct, instead of some old retrograde institution.

But how is this relating to fascism, or its many weird contemporary iterations? Well, I think what we have here is a kind of social fascism (as opposed to the much-abhorred political fascism), or a "shadow fascism". Consisting of a mass culture that is over-formatting our behaviors through new grand schemes of mindless subservience to the traditional authorities, hierarchies and dominant institutions, yet those that have shifted their power to a more global and lesser democratic power. à

(Read "Empire" by Negri/Hardt for a better explanation of this new, reified global State, especially the parts on sovereignty and administrative power)

The problem in mass culture is, as always, rooted in people who don't question themselves but rather are following bandwagons as a cheap excuse for critical thinking. And there's also the aspect of influence through cohesion, or influence through peers. You can have people who enthusiastically voted for Trudeau, for instance, that you're finding really nice and end up having as good friend/lovers in your daily life. But what is the end result of this? More people crowding up on the State's side, as the authentically antiauthoritarians are staying or getting lonely, and radical groups are eroding/disbanding.

It's quite clear, with a good look at the social landscape of your liberal city, that the common people are winning (once again). Stuff that the commies would be cheering and having toasts over... but as we all know the wine in their glasses is poisoned. You know it's actually not the people themselves who're winning... Humans are losers against their own social machinery more than ever. They're just expendable workforce serving a system they don't really understand (like you know... supporters of past fascist regimes, and their wars, among other despotic rules of history), and still can't be distinguishing from "life" or "human nature".

Part of our failure to powerfully assert anarchy in today's world has to do with us being maybe too nice and flattened by the daily interactions and relations. Understand that the anarchy insurrection cannot just be about broken windows and casual stick-fights with a bunch of boneheads from the social fringe.

The insurrection has to be everywhere I am (you are?). Not just in obvious conflict with that is widely recognized as conservative culture, but more importantly with what made conservatism into being the dominant culture... now reformed under "better", "nicer", "more diverse" definitions; thus making something way tougher and pervasive in the minds of people than the more traditional racist and machist configuration (that’s been in no way taken down, but only added to, accumulated upon).

There is the massification of hypernormalization mechanisms, brought to you by the onslaughts of social media and internet TV (how to NOT think of Game of Thrones as sheer neoliberal, also crypto-fascistic capitalist propaganda?), the phenomena that is even scarier -while also related in some way- to the rise of the so-called alt-right, an amalgamation of the liberal and the conservative values and views, or shall I say an historical reunification of these. Not completed, but rather a still-ongoing process.

So for how it seems to be putting people into molds that are reformatting and flattening decades of counterculture in a whim -the only aspect that’s significantly new here, beyond technological evolution- there's something to question about what is and will be the place of the individual in an evermore hypernormalizing social reality, or how can we be different -and more importantly «ourselves» - any longer, without falling in one of the false "differences" now endorsed by the State institutions. The existence of the person -as opposed to the imperson created by these social dynamics- is an ever greater enigma. How can you be a person, in a world so heavily dominated, from all sides, by those manufactured, reified, social-political identities?

...but I feel that it's not even the more pressing question to this problem.

You're not forced to read beyond that... but the more urgent question here was nicely represented in the Formula E championship, that took over a vast portion of Montreal's downtown very recently. The event was both promoted through social media and mainstream State media, being mostly located at the very foot of the Radio-Canada/CBC compound. The event was, of course, for the hordes of bored, clueless tourists and locals, an attraction as big as any other summer festival. Masses of people far greater than most protests that happened downtown over the recent years... Mass, mindless procession not unlike the ultra-dumb traditional Catholic Easter processions I had the displeasure of having to go through when I was in Granada, Spain.

The events of mass ritual has always been powerful in wiping critical thinking and questioning. Of making them seem boring or useless, when they are not see as outright disturbing, offensive or "triggering". Like I attempted to talk with my new roommate from Spain about the nonsense of having a car racing event in the middle of downtown area over a busy summer weekend. If you know Spain, especially the south, you'd know it's still somewhat of a developing country. The car industry is pretty new over there, just like other industries.

So to him, this sounded like promoting a kind of social progress over the destructive oil industry that is contaminating the Earth, and causing climate change. To me, the dindon de la farce was the irony of having a supposedly "green" car racing championship to be actually causing MORE car pollution and noise in the city by blocking the traffic on several main streets. Ideally, I'd like roads everywhere to be deprived of cars and trucks, but that's not what the mainstream (mass-driven) discourse is about these days. There's still no consideration in anybody's newspeak about how cars and trucks will remain destructive even when electric-powered... how many lives -mostly non-human- they'll keep destroying under their wheels. But as you're guessing, even that is liberal talk. The car industry is a big part of capitalist industry, but it ain't capitalism; only is low-hanging fruit. There's also still no consideration of how cars as commodity fetish are typically part of this dumb old macho subculture like celebrated on/around Crescent St early June.

Any despotism thrives on the abolition of critical thinking. Not only thriving, it NEEDS it. Authoritarian relations are always undermined by people asking the "wrong" questions, or behaving "disorderly", especially in contradiction with some alleged consensus, or status quo, or both.

My point here is that through the ever-evolving mass media schemes, the hypernormalization it creates, it is being wiped and swapped out, just as in traditional fascism, by a renewed system of morals and ideology that works in a way as to be the only way to think and behave, the only "cool" and likeable. It defines ethics by enforcing the aesthetics and cosmetics. This is the dark side of consensus... the part where thinking rationally and questioning no longer is repressed through guns, hangings, torture and gas chambers, but made uninteresting, dislikeable, even repulsive or distasteful to the senses of the many. You are only expected to discuss and agree. Or be nothing. Or be non-existent. Or be a quidam. This is the "soft fascism" of the ordinary, in a neoliberal capitalist society.

shadow of fauve (not verified)

"that since this is a mass effect" to "that this is a mass effect"

"but it ain't capitalism; only HIS low-hanging fruit"

Anonymous (not verified)
Sure, I get where you're

Sure, I get where you're going (taking your sweet time to get there too) but why call it "soft fascism"? Curtis already dredged up a much better term from Yurchak. Wasn't that the point?

My understanding of at least some of the discussion around the ITS death cult is this notion of whether or not you can attack the entire social fabric and what that would look like or mean. I personally tend to think that you can't and trying is just a downward spiral in to paranoid psychosis, which is … not an entirely unattractive choice for some and who am I to judge? Just kidding, I DO judge! Like, a lot.

Seems to me that if the enemy becomes everyone, you've derailed, gotten lost in the abyss and become like all the other monsters of history. Clearly defined enemies have a way of clearly defining us, at least temporarily. This can be a good thing in the moment, provided you don't get too invested in that identity.

you (not verified)
I know that "soft fascism"

I know that "soft fascism" doesn't feel quite right, but it's the closest thing to what antifascists can be pitted against. I didn't read Yurhcak and I should, but from his quotes it appears to be about an assumed fakeness (within the decaying, late Soviet world), whereas the fake we got in this society is still most unassumed. I don't think there is a way, at this point, that society's contradiction would generate by themselves the entropy and void necessary to cause that kind of mass disenchantment. They'll always be finding mechanisms of cultural integration of people... just look at the neverending re-use of '60s kitsch commodity culture.

Anyways, for the more important subject... yes, there are quite easy and efficient ways to at least disrupt the social fabric. You just gotta look at what connects and ties the masses together under the technocratic State. Don't look to deep for sophisticated structures. You don't even need to be a hacker. It is a major weakness of our civilization that everything and everyone appears to have become all interconnected. Al Qaeda or Daesh, with all the means and resources they got, could have actually taken down the Western civilization if they had really wanted to... same for ITS, and this would have barely involved murder. This would have created a very dangerous situation domestically, but one that the jihadists would be able to exploit in order to take control.

But their true intents or goals are not what they seem, or pretend to be. Attacking people, blaming it on the average proles just because they are taking part in some way in the techno-industrial society will not take down the Western world. This is just gratuitous murder, for basically nothing. That is not the goal of the crazy fanatics doing that, or at least their leaders.

Anonymous (not verified)
New title for this thread:

New title for this thread: Did Fauve really have a point here? Or care?

Anonymous (not verified)
Title for this content-free comment:

Did above anon #5 made any point at all about the text's pointlessness? Or care?

Anonymous (not verified)
Yeah, I'm the same anon as

Yeah, I'm the same anon as before … this thread apparently exists so Fauve can talk to themselves. Strange use of the format IMO ...

Anonymous (not verified)
Hey now, bro... It's like

Hey now, bro... It's like only your elite pals should have the privilege exhibit their discussions online, and not like individuals talking to themselves!? Haha.

It's very funny the hypocrisy that makes people suddenly believe they're not insane or dumb just because they're with others, so they can be insane or dumb together and yet believe they're the center of the world and so edgy.

Anonymous (not verified)
My "elite pals"? Do you sound

My "elite pals"? Do you sound like Alex Jones on purpose or unconsciously?

Anonymous (not verified)
You don't have to be part of

You don't have to be part of the "NWO Illuminati Globalist Elite" spook to be an elitist, dumbo. It's a widely-spread social pattern which reproduces relations of privilege and division between people.

In the new, improved '80s of today, everyone can be dehumanized, careless capitalist slime with a golf-ball consciousness. And so many people turn out to be just that. But to me, you're all the same.

Anonymous (not verified)
Right, you have a greasy

Right, you have a greasy little sack of halfwit meme shit that you throw at random people from your tree. Understood.

Anonymous (not verified)
tl;dr all I saw was someone

tl;dr all I saw was someone justifying fascism again. Why? This site needs to get these people out of here.

The conspiracist (not verified)
From what I understand, IGD

From what I understand, IGD and all their company are all dupes to the FBI, which is mimicking destabilizing efforts in Russia between fascism and antifa. These are state manufactured issues from the ground up and I wouldn't touch either with a ten foot pole. You are just asking for it.

Anonymous (not verified)
That's a theory, rather

That's a theory, rather difficult to prove. What's the guy's name again? Plays in to the usual conspiracy narratives about invincible states that pull the strings on all serious dissent. I've been called an agent of the state almost every single time I've donned the mask but never seen any evidence of this machiavellian scheming. It IS however, a great narrative to divide radicals and keep them suspicious of each other, which is much cheaper than funding elaborate psych-ops campaigns.

Fauvenoir (not verified)
I won't be the one pushing

I won't be the one pushing conspiracy theories. But yes, I have met and known to some extent people in the insurrecto and antifa milieus who are really spooky, and not exactly because they're so insecure about the snitches. On the other hand this is also the impression I might have been giving others (lol)... so it's hard to tell.

But long-term snitches are a thing. At least they have been. And yes they definitely can be revered personalities that are very active among some networks, like defended and even somewhat worshipped. There's acknowledging this fact, and there's wild speculating about potential undercovers, which can be harmful to some specific people who'd be wrongfully accused.

Anonymous (not verified)
It wasn't just a theory in russia

"long term snitches" doesn't equate to this theory the commenter is referring to. A significant portion of the conflict between the far left and far right was supposedly being heavily financed on both sides by state intelligence services in an attempt to destroy the population's sense of what was real. HUGE difference and with a dizzying spiral of implications.

Anonymous (not verified)
Yet I'm looking at

Yet I'm looking at Charlottestown, and I'm seeing here what looks like the result of an intricate, mass-scale operation of manipulation, sustained through several years. This is more obvious on the far-right side -which could have been manipulated by Russia- but there's this unavoidable enforcement of cartoonish discourse on the Left antifa side, with all the paper-thin identity politics and 'us and them' mindset about fascism. I don't hear a lot of questionning of how all this can play within a deeper, wider totalitarian control agenda.

There's some sick and twisted control freaks in the intel agencies East and West.... I wouldn't be too surprised.

Anonymous (not verified)
That's all just speculation …

That's all just speculation … sure, there's a chance but it's a small one. Occam's razor says otherwise. The alt right and it's transition from online rhetoric to goose-stepping in the streets is probably just the new nomad for ideologies forming and travelling virally through social media. You'd rather rush down the rabbit-hole but the example from russia included a confession for what they'd done to undermine the social fabric. I'll wait until the confession comes before I callously dismiss all these people fighting the good fight as dupes.

Anonymous (not verified)
I meant ^the new normal

I meant ^the new normal

Le Way (not verified)
One thing for sure is that most

One thing for sure is that most antifa don't recognize their own selfish narcissistic tendencies because they are unable to reconcile their individualization with the startling realization that their inner essential being is still a slave to a strict and severe morality no matter how many times they declare their impartiality, empathy and liberated awareness of the human condition. Basically they are control freaks with an idealistic totalitarian agenda,,,,and they're boring also..

I've been looking some Charlottesville videos

And all I see is police herded controlled 'war'. What a fucking spectacle having nothing to do with anarchy.

Le Way (not verified)
PS And also the diversity of geographical

PS And also the diversity of geographical influences impart unique differences in moral and ethical codes, yet all share a slavery to order and righteousness which weighs heavily upon the pre-ideological youth of any culture, and the antifa can be seen to further restrict the free development of zones of autonomy for the youth in their attempt to unite and form a mass identity movement based on what they consider a universal consciousness, a pseudo-god for the new millennium.

Is there such a thing as mass culture?

To me that's a basic thing you should ask yourself first as this is an assumption that goes back to the critical theorists who like many Marxists before them got things wrong. What I see is an integrated totality of various analogue and digitally created cultures but nothing mass and homogeneous. Also does THE insurrection have to be everywhere? Insurrection is inherently plural and non local. It is where it needs to be to release tension.

Anonymous (not verified)
Yes, there is.

Loads of socio-demographic data can testify of its existence. There's no need to go through some Marxist spook paradigms to see that mass culture is a thing.

What is it quality and quantity?

I'll point to a breakdown given by Thaddeus Russell min 27-34. It seems to me this all goes back to Marxist assumptions of materialist base/surface level spookery.

Fauvenoir (not verified)
Still, mass culture exists as

Still, mass culture exists as a mass sociological phenomenon, not as the "popular consciousness" that the Marxists used to be trying to tap into. Mass culture basically and likely has always been shit. Not because "it's the under-educated proles" like neo-aristocrats like to believe, but because of the very impersonal, memetic and cultist nature of the mass-based relationship. That cult-ure of commodity worship which ties the proles together, from the dishwasher in a shitty restaurant to Charlize Theron.

I get what the postmodernists have criticized rightfully, but there's something that exists, which is a social mold, distributed and enforced in some ways, at a mass-scale, through the commodity system that even Marxists themselves used to celebrate.

Mass scale communicated culture

I would say there has been a significant scaling of culture and form differentiation due to the rise of machinery, but nothing that breaks the mold of the last 10000 years. I would still maintain that the Frankfurters came to erroneous conclusions on the supposed monolithic nature of modern culture.

There is commodity fetishism that takes the form of active ritual but that's because that's what humans have been doing for 5-10 000 years.

Le Way (not verified)
Fetishism is a conduit for social power, symbolic

Fetishism is a conduit for social power, symbolic and able to appease and replace an unavailable desire and maintain a common status amongst a population, giving a veneered appearance of equality and contentedness. The plethora of material objects and unleashed modern cravings all mix into the complex modern commodity fetish, from cargo cultists, stamp collectors to BDSM clubs food fanatics and fashion crazed image worshippers of the silver screen, all of these industrialized hollow followers of the affluent surplus of desire society become unified under this mass scale communicated culture you mention.

Le Way (not verified)
PS Forgot to agree, but yeah,

PS Forgot to agree, but yeah, nothings broken the mold in the last weary 10,000 yrs, and this may be because of innate physiological tendencies, for instance, the miracle of childbirth, yet so taken for granted amongst patriarchal cultures, when ancient ones worshipped the sun and the heavily pregnant idol of Mother Nature, there was a former mold which seemed to fade away with the emergence of the ancient Greek, Egyptian and Sumerian civilizations and the mercantile tendencies of the Semitic races which have gone on to dominate and create a global fetish for money..

Anonymous (not verified)
And why is it you didn't link

And why is it you didn't link to us that interview he did with neofascist shock-trooper Gavin McInnes.

Because it wasn't relevant duh

And how does that reflect on his views exactly? The fact that he makes leftards angry with whom he interviews is of no concern to me even though I myself can't stand Mcanus. Did you even read and listen to the point of his show?

Anonymous (not verified)
Let's just ignore the misuse

Let's just ignore the misuse of the word fascism, because from my reading this essay just uses the word to mean something bad. Instead the author seems to be angry at mass culture and rituals and how they create a sense of group belonging and are used to manipulate and control people. The author is upset that more people go to car races than protests and thinks that this is a bad thing and then suggests because people like these things that they find distasteful that they lack critical thinking and are being made tools of capitalism.

Now let's just think about this from outside of this author's experience. The last paragraph is telling in that it suggests that to the reader that the problem is people being converted to the new moral and ideology of this hypernormalization and nobody wants to hear the "critical thoughts" or else everyone ignores them and they become a person non-grata. To me this sounds like someone who constantly picks apart everything and criticizes all of the stuff that people enjoy and find escape from their dreary lives in getting upset that people are annoyed by them and their criticism of the mass cultural rituals that provide them with a sense of meaning.

One could argue that these rituals are manipulative and lead to people feeling like they are a part of a group and thus agreeing with the basic sentiment of the organizer of these rituals. In many ways the majority of protests that I have attended perform no other purpose other than solidifying group identity, providing a chance for people to meet each other and at best become a blip in the nightly news and/or a passing thought to the people in power. On some occasions there is violence and people get hurt and people shake their heads in disapproval.

Protests can be powerful group rituals but they are in my experience very similar to the aforementioned events. At times there have been various elements that have sought to turn protests from a spectacle to something akin to a semi-scripted paint-ball battle fought with chemical and non-lethal weapons where the police end up arresting various people and keeping them entangled in bureaucratic court fights and thus draining their energy.

Sure there are also opportunities for people to physically brawl in public, and turn their hatred into a physical manifestation of rage. But this piece seemed to be suggesting that people who wanted to fight nazis should instead be fighting against "mass culture" in general.

But really sure people are obsessed with stuff and engaging in rituals that are mainly organized by people who are in power and want to promote stuff. What could build up a counter to this in my brief opinion is the creation of events that build sense of meaning and contribution to projects that extend beyond the simplistic rituals of disapproval and instead focus on the creation of shared meaning and culture. Events that could be large but where individuals have a role to play outside of that of simple observer-participant. This can happen and should happen more often and if people are engaged with events such as this they may prefer them to the "mass events" that the author is so disgusted by.

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