Rising Fascism in the US? Think again

Chief Editor, Joaquin Flores gives his view on this media spectacle.

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FRN’s Chief Editor, Joaquin Flores, gives his view on this media spectacle.

There is no ‘fascist threat’ in the US. Around the world, there is the ‘imperialist reality’ of American interventionism that people respond to – we see this every day in places like Syria. But working people in the world are not concerned with ‘fascist threats’ inside of the US. Whether the occupying or invading army flies under a ‘democracy’ flag or a ‘fascism’ flag is not even a tertiary concern for the world’s people.

The same goes for everyday working Americans, whether urban, suburban, or rural. The government and corporate encroachment on the lives of honest people is not ‘growing fascism’. It is a reality that is already here, being pushed at maximum limits. This is the ‘American way’, it is not some foreign idea or some new phenomenon only now on the horizon, riding in on a wave of ‘populism’. The police state in place in the US today was brought about through very normal electoral, corporate, and governmental processes. The water was brought to a boil slowly, but it is already boiling.

Concerns over the supposedly rising ‘Fascist Threats’ are an internal, largely suburban, university educated, upper-middle class American fear, real or imagined, meant to channel energy towards Democrat Party politicians. They are, in reality, fears which are disconnected from the lived experiences of working Americans, regardless of race or creed.

It was Hillary Clinton who brought the term, and category of ‘Alt-Right’ into the American mainstream as a household name. She made the critical error of broadly defining this as the ‘basket of deplorables’ who were conveniently simply the supporters of the ‘other candidate’ she was running against.  This energized that ‘basket’ into turning out for what was one of the biggest presidential electoral upsets in US history.

But simply tying the establishment media’s fixation on a few relatively ineffectual, and subsequently surrendered, ‘figures of hate’ on the so-called alt-right, like Spencer and Heimbach, doesn’t mean this is a new phenomenon, a growing phenomenon, or a realistically threatening phenomenon. When TV stations in the 1980’s began to focus more stories on ‘violent crime’, Americans were under the impression that violent crime was rising even in years that it was falling.

This is similar to the phenomenon of media coverage on ‘growing Fascism’ in the US.

In reality we had some memetic excitement generated around the establishment media’s focus on Richard Spencer and Matthew Heimbach. While both of these young men made any number of serious tactical mistakes in terms of pursuing their own respective goals, it was the establishment media who invented them to fit a pre-conceived center-left and leftward media appetite for ‘very bad guys’ who conveniently were, and are, nowhere near anything approximating a position of power or significant influence.

What’s missing from a real growing fascist threat in the US, are numerous. The critical factor missing among others, is that of a vibrant and revolutionary left, united around a militant and thriving labor movement, poised to take state power.

That is when fascism becomes the best option of the ruling class. That is not the situation in the US by any stretch of anyone’s wildest imaginations. The status quo of a republican system with democratic overtures and customs, is working for the ruling class today, just fine. To the extent that this exists more as a hollowed shell of its former self, doesn’t change this fact – the veneer, at the very least, works best. The more that voters and activists are ‘split’ over culture war questions and fall into the left/right paradigm, the more the system prevails.

Please take a moment to support J. Flores’ Patreon. Supporters like you make all of this happen. We can’t do this without you, and only with you can this be done. Thank you for supporting our work here at Fort Russ News.

Does today’s economic crisis in any way resemble the Great Depression, which is considered to be a factor in the rise of fascism? Let’s set aside that fascism as a movement rises up after WWI, and was already poised in power when the Great Depression ‘hit’.

The ‘Great Depression’ only was part of the rise of fascism insofar as there was a militant and thriving labor movement, poised to take state power, which responded to said depression with militant and collective labor action.

That entire dynamic is absent today. For these and other reasons, there is no fascist threat.

Moreover, saying there is a fascist threat has a generally conservitizing effect on activists – suddenly the ‘lesser evilism’ of the Democrat Party is actually a question of anti-fascist Democrats vs. pro-fascist Republicans in the minds of misled activists.

So there are both theoretical and also major tactical, practical problems with that proposal.

Thinking people who want to see serious change to the US society should not throw around this false idea that there is a ‘growing fascism’ in the US.

Yes, the police state grows in the US. This happened under Bush and Obama. Neither Obama nor Trump has repealed the Bush era impingement on rights which are seen in the Patriot Act, for instance.

The police state in the US is not ‘growing fascism’. Words have meanings, and if we lose them, then everything is everything. The US does have a police state problem, but this is reinforced by the two-party system of both Dems and Reps, and both benefit from its existence.

In the US, about 35% of citizens consider themselves ‘socialists’ according to a Gallup Poll conducted in 2010, and about the same number can be grouped as libertarian, self identities aside, according to a Cato Institute poll from around the same period. About 14% self identified as libertarian.

Interestingly, among both groups, any number of the same problems are identified. In terms of desired foreign policy, not only are the same problems identified, but the same solutions offered.

That Americans are moving beyond the out-dated ‘left vs. right’ categories has the entrenched establishment types up in arms. They are going to force this ‘citizen vs. citizen’ confrontation and see it to its logical conclusion. Meanwhile, no neo-cons languish in prison, and the ‘too big to fails’ are still successfully failing hundreds of millions of Americans.

Across the board, beyond the ‘left vs. right’ categories, the majority of Americans are in agreement that the two-headed monster of elective warfare abroad and the police state at home, is public enemy number one. Making this about ‘fascism’ is not only out-of-touch, it is divisive and obfuscates real problems in favor of manufactured ones suitable for the partisan electoral game.

Please take a moment to support J. Flores’ Patreon. Supporters like you make all of this happen. We can’t do this without you, and only with you can this be done. Thank you for supporting our work here at Fort Russ News.

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