“Remember that there exists a certain malevolence about the formation of any social order. It is the struggle for existence by an artificial entity.”
~ Leto II, “God Emperor of Dune” by Frank Herbert
I don’t like Trump. Yes, for all the reasons everyone else that hates him does. But also because he spews so much bullshit that writing anything topical about him becomes obsolete in less than a day, let alone a two part article with over a month of time in between the parts. He is also an attention whoring bullshit faucet, and I hate giving him anything, let alone attention. Fortunately there is plenty of deeper material to get at once you’ve abandoned the shadow play of static that is the day to day of the Trump presidency. Yes! I hereby appropriate this article in the name of the people and the revolution. Fuck Trump, we’re talking about the nuts n’ bolts of Fascism.
First let me start by saying that I do not believe that Trump is a Fascist, a Nazi, or any other type of quasi-mystical totalitarian racist. Fascists are willing to kill, bleed, and die for Fascism. I do not believe Trump would do anything intentionally that caused itself a moment of discomfort on behalf of Fascism. Of course, the real Fascists don’t die for the cause. They leave their dumber compatriots to do that for them. Real Fascists escape the noose to continue on spreading their ideas and wait for the stars to be right once again. So no, Trump isn’t a Fascist, but I hear this idea repeated by liberals on a daily basis, and if you repeat something enough even people that ought to know better start repeating it too. So this is my attempt, probably a failed one, at putting a stop to that nonsense, but also to get people familiar with what Fascism is and what it looks like when it isn’t wearing it’s goose-stepping, swastika brandishing, cosmetics.
Fascist Theory 101: Carl Schmitt
Do you know who Carl Schmitt is? If not, then you’ve probably never familiarized yourself with the philosophy behind Fascism. This is both a good and a bad thing. Good in that it had no interest for you. Bad in that you now face an enemy you don’t understand. Also bad in that that enemy could be infiltrating whatever group you call home, or family, friends, with the purpose of subverting it. But I don’t offer you a boogey man to be impotently afraid of, so that you will do what I say. I offer you information with which you can take action, and overcome oppression as well as fear.
Carl Schmitt is the philosopher of Fascism. I know that Julius Evola and his Traditionalism is the hot pocket for liberals that have their sights on Breitbart News, Steve Bannon, and the Nazi youth that insist on trying to re-brand their new Fascism as “Alt-right”. Forget that shit. That’s pablum for the aforementioned kids. Herein, I will not explicate in detail on Carl Schmitt’s philosophy of the political, because you don’t need to hear the details to leave behind obsessing over the cosmetic trappings of Fascism and get to the meat and potatoes of what Fascism is. Once you see if for what it is, you will be better able to address the ideas, call people out that are trying to spread those ideas in your group, and maybe, you’ll be able to look into the mirror and ask yourself some hard questions about your own beliefs and maybe question just how you came about believing those beliefs.
Central to Schmitt’s philosophy is three ideas, the Dictator, the State, and the Enemy. Axiomatic to these ideas are two interrelated assumptions, that human beings are pieces of shit that will eat each other if not prevented from doing so, and that the basis of human interaction is conflict. These two axiomatic world views are throwbacks of the Victorian era. Social Darwinism was the half-assed combination of biblical ideas on race and the theories of Charles Darwin that weren’t understood if they were even read. Sigmund Freud thought that if human beings were left to their own devices, they would eventually tear society apart in a fury of Id unleashed that would destroy civilization. These two worldviews, which were staple reality tunnels in the Victorian age, are the foundation stones that Fascism builds on.
The Dictator in the philosophy of the political is the person who has the authority to act in contingency without restriction. In other words, the dictator is the person who steps in to provide order in a state of emergency. For reasons you will understand soon enough, the Fascist state is always in a state of emergency, recognized or not. On the 28th of February, 1933, Hitler’s government declared a state of emergency and that was pretty much the end of the Weimar Republic. Italy saw the slow removal of any power for the people, and the slow accumulation of power in the person of Mussolini. Japan was itself an interesting case, and it can be said that Tojo’s Japan was the low point of a slide downward that started with the Meiji Restoration. Fascist take-overs can be slow or fast, but the results are the same.
Fascists love dictators. An ideal dictator should be the very image of what these fuckheads consider manliness, power, wealth, all the substitute dicks that tiny-dicked men grasp at, all wrapped up into one idiot. Yes, the fascist dictator is usually either dumb, incompetent, dangerously insane, or a mixture of the three. This is also the weakness in all Fascist power schemes. The leader is always an incompetent insane idiot. Usually he finds out too late, like Mussolini, that he has mounted an animal that wants to kill him if he doesn’t just take the ride he gets. What little control or authority that does get exercised by the dictator is usually stupid and gets him in the position to be assassinated. The assassins, who are not heroes but other fascists trying to “save” fascism from the current idiot, well, they’re fascists, so they are usually stupid too. So the assassinations fail. It is external forces that depose the dictator and end the fascism, after blowing up a lot of infrastructure; more on that last bit latter.
The State is the state, you all know it well. This ancient infomorph, similar in kind to the corporation, but much older, slower moving, and much more stupid, hearkens back to the first human cities. The old Babylonian con, as some Discordians say. Usury and Rent, the two magic words that get the State’s blood pumping. But can we call any state with a sovereign, or any kind of individual invested with all the power (theoretically at least), a Fascist state? No, we can’t. Fascism is a specific crisis. It is one of many reactions to the ravages of Capitalism, and it comes at the end of the Capitalist creation and destruction cycles that Austrian school economists and Marxists love to gawk at. Yes, Fascism is a reaction against Capitalism. And like certain other things that are the product of Capitalism, it cannot defeat Capitalism; Capitalism does not fight itself, it only appears to. A non-exhaustive list of features of a Fascist state include: a once powerful nation or people debased by what the people think of as unseen forces, in reality it is capital shifting from a bad credit region to a good credit region (incidentally this is why America’s credit rating being downgraded was a better indication of possible Fascist forces ascending than a list of who’s bought “Mien Kampf” lately); a conflation of a people, the state apparatus and ethnic mysticism; state control of business and industry in an attempt at reigning in capitalist forces; the rallying of the people around hatred of an “enemy” that has the power to destroy the state and its people (as well as the power to distract the people).
The end of the Fascist state is simple. It attempts to strong arm enough people to feed its industrial needs, based in warfare, until said Fascist state angers enough of its neighbors that they all gang together and dismantle it with explosives, bullets, war-crime trials and executions. The end of the Fascist dictator is usually a noose or a self administered bullet. The Capitalists then “clean up” the mess and rebuild the infrastructure, for money.
The enemy is the third pillar of The Political. It’s the easy part to understand. The enemy is real or fictional, sometimes both, and wants to destroy the “civilization” of the Fascist state. It is the joy of joys for a Fascist when the enemy is another Fascist. They can both posit each other as “the enemy” and prop each other up with real violence. No more fear mongering, the populace has something very real to be afraid of. I bruise my head when I hear of anarchists giving other anarchists shit for speaking out against ISIS or similar groups, on the rational that it is fear mongering against Muslims. This is stupid for two reasons. Firstly, ISIS and all those other groups called “radical Islam” are Fascists. Anarchists should rally and fight such assholes. Secondly, to conflate Islam with Fascists groups using Islam to slot into the quasi-mystical mystical element a Fascist state needs both helps those Fascists do that, but also slanders Islam. Good job gang, way to shoot yourself in the foot. Anyway, the enemy also serves the function of distracting the people from the shortcomings of the state, which usually start mounting very quickly, because remember, Fascists are dumb. They’re a bunch of dumb thugs with tiny dicks that got lucky for whatever reason, and are now stuck trying to manage something that is way over their head. The “enemy” provides the two pronged support of distraction and fealty from the people.
Against Fascism, Try Utopianism.
I wrote all this because I read a lot, and some of what I read is the output of other anarchists. It sometimes makes me wonder if I’m in the right movement. The reason for that is that a growing trend I see is the spread of the two basic assumptions of Carl Schmitt’s “The Political” underpinning the thought behind their writing. Other anarchists wonder why it is the movement is spinning its wheels, why it seems the movement seemingly has nothing to offer anyone. That’s the reason, because as long as we offer nothing but more of the same, the view that human beings are shitty and will eat each other given the chance, that they will. When I found anarchism as a young adult, that isn’t what I found. What I found was trust, solidarity, Utopianism, and the science (Kropotkin’s Mutual Aid) underpinning it, almost as old as the quasi-science of Social Darwinism.
What I see now is the desperation of people who, in straight materialist fashion, have forgone the raison d’être of the anarchist movement in the name of “getting real”. What a mistake, a mistake to assume the Utopianist isn’t a realist, and a mistake to confuse getting serious with accepting the status quo uncritically and declaring nothing else possible, to put one’s imagination down in the name of a false adulthood. It is woefully stupid to trade your principles in the name of the ever tiresome “more x than thou” machismo. If you’re wondering why anarchism isn’t catching on these days, these are the reasons why. It is because we have nothing but more of the same to offer. There was a critical failure of imagination, heralded by demagogues tastelessly appropriating the left and selling their persona for a profit.
Yes, Noam Chomsky, I’m talking about you, and people like you. I hate call outs but this one is long overdue motherfucker. You’re going to tell all the anarchists that aren’t interested in voting for the next crook to get real as they solve their lack of housing with squatting? You going to tell the black people getting gunned down in the street they should get real and vote for whatever liberal Capitalist you approve of? All the families getting broken up by mass deportations of the last 10 years that they should get real and give up fighting state power and start standing in line at the voting booth?
Utopianists are realists. You can’t be a Utopianist if you can look around at all this shit and say to yourself, “derp! Guess this is as good as it gets!”, and then like a dipshit try to fight the system from within itself. The Utopian sees the same world you see! And says, “No! We can, and should, do better! The current system will not bring better, it has had its chance!” You can’t move the system while you’re standing in it dummy! You can’t fight it while you’re tacitly approving of it with a vote you dum-dum! You can’t appropriate the actual left indefinitely and not get called on your bullshit you fucker!
Ok, sorry about that interlude, back to the point. So the point here is that there is more to Fascism than tiny dicks and idiocy. Fascists have a view of the world, a philosophy, and a specific political structure. Dismiss these facts at your own risk. And not just the risks you’re thinking of. Fascists need everyone to see the world their way. They don’t do this with persuasion, or argument, and only in the late stages do they cart people off as political prisoners/examples. They start by getting you to see the world their way, a world that is cruel, full of humans that are shitty to each other on a good day. But this isn’t the world, just the world according to Freud, the Social Darwinists, and thinking Fascists like Carl Schmitt.
Kropotkin had an answer to Social Darwinism more than 100 years ago. And it is Social Darwinism that is at the core of the Fascist worldview, underneath all of the philosophy and half-baked mysticism. I would suggest to everyone that while you prepare physically and logistically for the fights ahead, that you also prepare philosophically. You can not win a battle, much less a war, if you can’t convince anyone to join you in the fight; in this war the opposition has had quite a head start. Also, if I may recommend it, take a second look at how you see the world.
Acculturation is the process by which an individual takes up the views and the thought processes of the group they live in. We’ve all grown up with some measure of contact with the Fascist worldview, we’ve all let it seep in. No, we don’t need thought police or commissars. We need thinking anarchists who understand why they are in this fight, what they are and aren’t willing to do, and why, as well has what they are willing to give up for this fight. Some of us are going to disagree, that is actually a good thing.
Here’s a secret tip, you are still an anarchist if you aren’t willing to die, or give up everything, and have some scruples and morals. Refuse the petty self-consumptive struggle of being “more x than though”. This is a movement, not a scene.
Some anarchists are actually closet Fascists. Beware of people that scream “by any means necessary”, they will often have you supply the means, take the risks, and do the work. They aren’t intentionally trying to mislead anyone, but their desires and needs lead them to actions that make their anarchism cosmetic only. It is 100% your right to walk on a person or group that have left the principles of anarchism behind.
The Fascists are going to lose. Not only can Fascism not fight Capitalism successfully, it also depends on, from top to bottom, people that do not think. It doesn’t merely have people that are dumb, like any group (including anarchists) does. It needs them to function, and therefore, this Fascism informorph, wherever it pops up, is doomed to fail. It is you, the thinking, struggling, dedicated anarchists that hold that tide at bay. Don’t forget that. The only way we lose this fight if we give up, or spend more time fighting each other.
A Discordian for 20 years, Patacelsus finally got comfortable when the 21st century “started getting weird.” When not casting sigils, taking part in Tibetan Buddhist rituals, or studying the unfortunate but sometimes amusing stories of the dead, he’s been known to wander the hidden ways of the city, communing with all of the hidden spirits one can find in a city. As Patacelsus sees it, we’re all already free; after completing the arduous task of waking up to that we can then proceed, like a doctor treating a patient, to try to rouse others from the bitter and frightening nightmares of Archism. He laughs at Samsara’s shadow-play in lovely California, in the company of his wife, two cats, and two birds.
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