Friday, January 27, 2017

Fascinating Fascism

The left — & I use that term very advisedly—has always been subject, marked, perhaps even defined by factionalism. Less so the right. The left, moreover — loosely, on average, and with notable exceptions — tends to display, at least in the context of the United States, some respect for democratic niceties, norms, goals, and aspirations.

The right, not so much, if at all.

For example: Gore could have damaged the long-term unity of this country in 2000 had he opposed the Supreme Court decision awarding the presidency to GW Bush, urging supporters to do likewise. Instead, Gore knuckled under, urging followers to get over it.

Trump, on the other hand, was going to denounce the 2016 election as rigged if he lost, as he said publicly, shamefully and maybe border-line treasonously.

That particular shit didn't hit the Constitutional fan. But it goes on from there: Trump denounces everything opposed to him as conspiratorial, rigged, and Bannon declares the whole of American media to be an opposition.

Opposition to what? To the right's seizure of absolute power?

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Say you're interested in history, want to see fascism in the making, American style? OK, maybe it shouldn't be called fascism — that's such an Italian, early twentieth century brand, when all they had was radio, can you imagine?

But fascism or DIY version it is being minted right now, here.

Maybe historians will call it Trumpism. And maybe it will fizzle out, though in my opinion we've got a long way extraordinarily hard way to go before arriving at that happy conclusion.

Fascism's allure is about power, all about power, the ongoing lust for and seizure of it.

Susan Sontag's marvelous essay, "Fascinating Fascism" got it well, as it showed itself once upon a time, but fascism by whatever a name, goes on.


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