With the growth of the Alt-Right and the Trumpist movement in the US, the Left has grappled with how to understand and define fascism in the 21st century context. The conditions, players, and tactics are fundamentally different than its first manifestations, and so many antiquated studies have left inarticulate descriptions or inadequate culprits as roadmaps for understanding fascism today. Instead, these twenty-five statements are a proposal for how to understand the essential core of fascism–what binds it together as a modern impulse despite its different manifestations across cultures and time
- There are, perhaps, two initial challenges that an anti-bourgeois experiment faces: first, the participants need to learn how to enjoy failing in the bourgeois Olympics and to stop running after the tin medals that, once pinned into our flesh by various authorities, promise us their eternal respect and love. This failure involves learning how to enjoy the discomfort of being a disappointment to mom and dad, teachers, sergeants and bosses, to God, the superego, the prime minister, to “people” and the laws of Nature. The bourgeois world makes a lot of seductive offers – protection, recognition, tenderness, copulation, uniqueness, the status of rebel, a pat on the back, a diploma to hang around our necks or therapy. But bourgeois comfort comes at a price too high to pay; we need to cut its throat.
Welcome to the anews podcast. This is episode 28 for September 8. This podcast covers anarchist activity, ideas, and conversations from the previous week.
Editorial: Definitions of Fascism
TOTW - Scarcity of Labor
A101 question: What role do games play in anarchy?
"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." This quote, which has often been misattributed to Sinclair Lewis, is wise in its recognizing the authoritarian potential of both nationalism and organized religion. In slight contrast, Professor Halford E. Luccock of the Divinity School of Yale University said in a 1938 interview , "When and if fascism comes to America it will not be labeled 'made in Germany'; it will not be marked with a swastika; it will not even be called fascism; it will be called, of course, 'Americanism.'" Luccock's view was that of a Christian theologian during the height of Nazi Germany, likely meant to not only downplay the role of religion but perhaps more so warn against the false idolatry of nationalistic reverence.
By Magpie, via Birds Before the Storm
When the nazis came to town, a friend of mine got in her pickup truck and drove around the entire night. Not just to keep track of the fascists, but to give rides and offer safety to anyone and everyone who felt threatened by them. I know without a doubt she would have climbed out of her truck and intervened more bodily if it had been required of her.
She’s also white and has a rather large and prominent tattoo of Mjolnir, “Thor’s hammer.” She listens to black metal, writes in runes, tends towards misanthropy, and draws strength from the old gods. These are all things a lot of nazis do too. Which is to say, my friend spends a lot of her time in contested cultural terrain. I love her for it.
Alexander Reid Ross is right that he attended my anti-civ discussion group at Dry River Anarchist Collective several years ago. It's about all he gets right in either of his recent pieces insinuating sinister affinities between fascism and post-left anarchists. But then, he always had the attention span of a flea-hop.
I'm also one of the writers identified as post-left in “Egomania,” along with Fredy Perlman, John Zerzan, and others.
From Destroy Everything
What is fascism?
For maybe the first time since World War II, the word “fascism” has entered the popular lexicon. For years, relegated to poorly thought out anarchist screeds, or used by punks to describe any sort of authority at all, “fascism” has once again entered the mainstream. Donald Trump’s candidacy and election has put the word on more tongues since figures like Mussolini and Hitler actually ran fascist governments. Bolstered by “alt-right” figures such as Steve Bannon and Milo Yiannopoulos, it would appear to many that fascism is an immediate threat, and many have already mobilized with this in mind.
UPDATE: The squat was evicted this afternoon by 12 vans of riot police, a few hours after being announced in the morning. See report on the eviction here. 8 people have been arrested. The Calais authorities clearly intend to enforce their “zero tolerance” clampdown on migrant and other autonomous spaces in the town centre, and with hundreds of CRS now stationed in Calais they have the force to do so.