Supersonic Man

March 5, 2016

how fascism survives

Filed under: Rantation and Politicizing,thoughtful handwaving — Supersonic Man @ 9:19 am

Can fascism be friendly?  We think of fascism mainly by remembering its most virulent examples — the ones with brutal repression and all-out warmongering.  Those regimes usually self-destruct in a generation or two, and overt examples such as Syria are now rare.

But can fascism stick around long term by toning down the violence?  How would you recognize it — what would be its remaining characteristics?  Peaceful fascism would be a single-party government which primarily promotes, and/or is primarily supported by, the major business interests of its homeland, with plenty of patriotic nationalist rhetoric, and optionally some military belligerence against manageable enemies.  Basically, whenever you have crony capitalism and don’t have an effective opposition party, I’d say it technically counts as an instance of fascism.

Viewed in this light, fascism is abundant around the world today.  China’s government calls itself communist but nowadays is actually fascist.  Putin’s Russia is fascist — this being a more traditional specimen.  Even some very benign and peaceful regimes are technically fascist, such as Japan in the second half of the 20th century, and Singapore to this day, both of which had grest success with their business interests.  And some not-so-peaceful and not-so-successful examples are around too, for instance in Central Asia.

In this light, yes, we’ve certainly got fascists here.  After 9/11, some neocons came pretty close to openly advocating single-party rule and suppression of dissent.  Fortunately our tradition of democracy was too strong for them to ever quite dare being open about it — such ideas didn’t publicly go beyond the level of trial-balloon anonymous leaks.

And then as now, such movements don’t lack for willing followers, here or anywhere.

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