Still having trouble with an old friend and his/her inability to define fascism in the wake of the racist violence in #Charlottesville, VA. On top of that, my old friend is a bit über obsessed with both-siderism, a common problem for Americans these days that are unable grasp why things have turned out the way they are. After proposing that he/she read Umberto Eco’s fourteen-point definition of fascism, all I got back was this question: “So is this guy a communist?”
Here’s my response.
Your insistence to toe-the-line of the alt-right/alt-left, i.e. both-siderism, is worrisome. But I guess I’ve said that already. Defining fascism isn’t that difficult—unless one is ideologically tainted. Perhaps its time for you to try and separate yourself from the belief that there is merit in “business”, which was obviously such a big part of your life. Any rational mind should be able to see through what’s really going on—that political far-right conservatism, embodied in the Republican party, fox news, Rush Limbaugh, etc.—which has duped so many Americans to the hilt–is the essence of the problem. The quintessence, though, is the ideology of hate, i.e. fascism. Obviously it’s difficult for the duped to wake up to this reality. The reason for that is because it would mean having to admit collusion. But back to your problem of both-siderism. The ideology of neoliberalism embodied by Clinton Democrats is not part of the fascist problem. This is also what makes die-hard republicans so vehement. Accepting the fact that Bill Clinton was the better republican–minus the fascism–is a hard pill (reality) to swallow. That’s why the republicans had to move even further to the right with George W’s stolen election in 2000. Hence fascism. The republican party is and has always been fascist at its core! Just read up on the southern strategy that got Nixon elected. Because Americans are so preoccupied with their inflated moneyed-interests and their minds have been drilled full of merit as a deception, the only answer is for things to explode through the simplest and most mundane form of retribution. In this case, the deep seeded anger and hate which stems out of recognising ones collusion with a system must run amok and it must show its true nature in the simplemindedness of racism. As far as Umberto Eco being a communist…? Perhaps. But at this point, considering the state of capitalism, it doesn’t matter. But allow me to put it another way. How’s this? Fascism is like porn—you know it when you see it. Unless, of course, you live in it. By-the-buy, I just read that Trump is doubling down on his attempt at what you would call re-writing history. He just compared Robert E. Lee and Andrew Jackson (traitors and losers) with George Washington and Thomas Jefferson (winners and founding fathers). There is only one side from which fascism can be judged, old friend. That side is not the side that embodies it.