21st Century Fascism

This is a thread for the discussion of contemporary fascist movements, their ideology, the progress of their movements, the class forces driving them, and how to fight them. I've been researching fascism for a thesis and I'd like to kick off the thread by posting some conclusions I came to. Please let me know what you think.


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Good analysis user. I'm sure your thesis will be pretty interesting.

I would like however to point out something. In most of the historic cases, the ruling class seemed to all together embrace fascism and in doing so it established a new hegemonic bloc with new discourses and so on, like for example the nazi germany. Nowadays this issue doesn't seem to be settled. While some fractions of the ruling class have embraced Trump style and politics, some other still fight it quite openly. This seems to be the case of big tech like Google or Twitter shutting down Trump propagandists, the most famous of them being Alex Jones. Trump certainly seems to be OK with this. And with the radicalizing of the democrat party, maybe we could see a speech shift. Trump certainly doesn't look much like Ross Perot now, instead he is more of a Ronald Reagan or Bush talking about how "we will never be socialists". Maybe the fascist alternative it's reaching its limits and the ruling class seems to be coming to a consensus that resembles more the traditionally conservative and anti-socialist discourse of the GOP?

Another thing. It would be good to make a deeper analysis of economics. Because Hitler economics, which were essentially keynesian and socdem, were still much more progressive than Trump's neoliberal economics. Thus the level of deception seems to be much larger in the latter than in the former.

That’s a good point. I think that the best explanation of this would be that in America there is no real left challenge to neoliberalism. Even Bernie’s socdem wing of the Democratic Party is still relatively small. As a result the liberal establishment doesn’t feel as threatened from the left and so there is much less pressure to side with fascism than there was for German or Italian liberals.
Well one thing I think we need to remember is that fascism always takes on the imagery and rhetoric derived from traditional bourgeois/conservative ideology in its country. So in terms of its aesthetics, American fascism would necessarily more closely resemble mainstream American conservatism than it will Nazism. I think the big question here is whether or not the Trump movement will ever make the transition from “ordinary” levels of repression to a totalitarian system. It’s important to remember that there was a major difference between the levels of repression in the German Empire vs the Third Reich, and it’s as of yet unknown if Trump’s movement will make that leap. Certainly they have many of the tools they need to do so such as a large right wing paramilitary movement (three percenters, etc) and a massive surveillance state. However it’s also possible that they will continue more in the vein of a “liberal” fascism similar to Orban in Hungary, which while still reactionary and cut from the same cloth as fascism, has yet to make the transition to a totalitarian state and thus be truly fascist. I think that the answer to this question will depend on the strength of the American worker’s movement in the coming years. If the American social democratic movement continues to make headway, and especially if it spawns more radical elements, I see the transition from liberal fascism to fascism proper as a strong likelihood. What I do know is that in terms of its rhetoric and the class forces behind it, Trump’s movement looks A LOT like proto-fascism if not fully developed fascism.

Well I think that a good approach to these questions is thinking, again, in the limits of the fascist alternative at least in America. Their voter base, for example, is quite limited and demographics reasons play a big role. With a country that is now only 60% white, and given a great deal of these whites are hardcore liberals, Trump is a president whose popularity is always shrinking. Trump movement is essentially fragile if you think it this way. This might be the reason why the ruling classes that identify themselves as liberals still can choose not to support Trump. They still have a really good hope in democrat candidates like Kamala or Biden. But then again, I also think that they might support Trump if he softens his speech and expands his voter base. I've noticed a serious lowering of racist dog-whistles and things like that since 2016, at least from Trump himself. They also don't seem to be doing anything about immigration other than locking up people.

True indeed.

I just see a certain stagnation among fascist movements lately. But we know that they thrive among economic and social chaos. So who knows. Maybe the next big crisis they could have a big push. Maybe their movements will become softer and will be absorbed by a liberal elite that still hasn't really unilaterally choose fascism

Based satanic digits. Have a bumperoo for effort posting. Will give some feedback when I knock off work.

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Bumping this. I don't have much to contribute.


the fascism that will win in America won't be white identitarian, it will be a multicultural and gay-friendly fascism that sheds any traces of liberalism.
it doesn't need a voter base, it just needs a base of passive support to enable its rise, and control of an extensive police state (which already exists and keeps expanding every day).
the white identitarians will only need to be activated periodically as hired thugs to maintain target populations for hyper-exploitation (and the white identitarians will easily target other white people, they just call them race traitors or secret Jews or something to make sense in their moronic ideology). The white identarians are a non-threat to the new fascism, and don't even express a desire to be a threat, as every time their leaders have attained any political power they have shown an eagerness to facilitate global capitalism's expansion.

I think the white identitarian, /pol brand of fascism reached its peak with the Trump movement, and it can only be propped up with a lot of bux to keep the propaganda mill and faggotry going. The really bad fascists won't be retards with Pepe memes, but neoconservatives who can successfully dress up their ideology to bring mainline conservatives back into the pen while drawing in enough of the Center (right-leaning Democrats, black capitalists, a good chunk of the "independents" that follow narratives super easily and can be conditioned to accept an even greater fascist turn, and of course accelerating the apathy of everyone who just wants nothing to do with politics). They have already had their Enabling Act in 2001, it's just a matter of making it stick and being in a position to actually utilize the police state to crush dissent in a more overt manner.

No, Fascism is the unconcealed, terroristic dictatorship of the most reactionary, chauvinistic, and imperialist elements of finance capital.

Really well writen draft, but you need more paragraph breaks. Whose theory of social stratification were you using?

Also can you you outline your methodological approach?

Out of curiosity what reliable data is there on fascism in numbers? Other than daily visits to pol.

It's also worth noting the kind of methodology that fascism used to suppress it's undesirable elements of society: they used the methods pioneered by liberal-lead imperialism to control the populations of these imperialized countries and brought those methods to bring back home on it's own population. The concentration camps that the Nazis used were modeled from the concentration camps that were used in their imperial holdings to keep control of the population. In this way, you could categorize fascists as the shift from the capitalist class using soft power to keep the mechanisms of capitalism going to using hard power to keep the mechanisms of capitalism in place. The modern analogy would be the US importing Israeli policing tactics used on the Palestinians to be used on black populations in the US. Which brings me to my next point…

Fascism has no more functional use for capitalists, as far as I can see. The fascists of WW2 fame were used as a militant force to disrupt leftist action on the streets, intimidate workers into compliance with their bosses, ect. After WW2, it's fairly well known by our circles that various NATO countries integrated fascist officers and officials into their military, policing, and government as a way to get more knowledge on how to counteract communist movements within their own countries. Coincidentally, soon after we saw the modernized form of the riot police, new methods of segregation with a form of economic apartheid and the prison industrial complex, and other such measures that allowed for the capitalist's front in the liberals to push forward social change that didn't actually do much to counter inequality, while the fundamental economic basis for the inequality that minorities experienced stayed in place for the capitalist class to exploit. The liberals and capitalists internalized all the lessons that were learned by the WW2 fascists and integrated their methods into the state itself, so there would no longer need to be the need of an outside fascist movement to do what the bourgs need to be done. This is why we only ever see fascist movements arising as part of NATO imperialism - the NATO countries empower fascists in countries where either their ability to integrate fascist measures into the state is limited or impossible to do for whatever reason, be it that the existing government is leftist and refuses such measures (like Chile) or because the country is simply too poor to implement such measures.

Yes but fascism is also a mass movement. One must ask themselves why so many people who actually stand to gain from socialism would embrace such a movement. Propaganda alone seems like an insufficient and very idealist answer. Note that I also emphasized that fascism always becomes a tool of the big bourgeoisie and purges it’s middle class elements.

Gramsci was the strongest influence for me on this issue. I came to the conclusion while reading the prison notebooks. His discussion of the transient nature of hegemony just kind of clicked with what I already knew about 20th century fascism, and what I can observe about the new wave of right populism. The most perplexing question I had when observing the modern right was how people who ought to be prime targets for left radicalization go over so easily to the right. On that same note, I was trying to determine how materialism could account for a popular movement in favour of the far right since “propaganda” seemed like a far to simplistic and idealist answer. My first hypotheses weren’t that far off from what I wrote here, I knew it must have had something to do with the bourgeoisification of certain sections of the working class via imperialism and labour concessions. What Gramsci did was outline the precise mechanics of how bourgeoisification occurrs. Once you realize that some sections of the working class can be integrated into capitalist hegemony and adopt bourgeoise ideology, you can then begin to theorize about what happens when they are ejected from their position in that hegemony.
What do you mean?

Is it just me or is modern day fascism extremely postmodern and schizophrenic?

Lack of theory, makes for easy scapegoating.
I don't think that fascism emerges organically as social current.

Historical evidence says otherwise I'm afraid.

Dumping some core theory on fascism

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fascism is inherently post-modern. It rejects certain elements of modernism while embracing other core tenants and technologies like militarism, nationalism, and autocracy. Fascism wants to transcend modernism itself in a very Nietzschean like fashion where the strong superman rules over all reality and morality.
It is essentially reactionary-modernism that picks and chooses what it wants.
Not to imply that Nietzsche is a fascist/nihilist/nationalist. Fact he hated national chauvinism and jinogism (read Gay Science). It's just that the basis of Nietzsche's philosophy inspired the post-modernist philosophical base of fascism and fascist thought. It is just a misinterpretation of Nietzsche. Foucault was more correct in his interpretation of Nietzschean philosophy.

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No mention of the most important fascist consumer demographic, gamers?
They're oppressing us bros. Rise up!

I’m not sure what you mean by this.
Why not?

That simply isn’t possible, it doesn’t gel with America’s past nor its culture, American fascism will inherently be a reaction against this, America’s past as a white supremacist settler state ensures American fascism will be white supremacist, and indeed, the rising fascism in America certainly is.

Honestly, you have to be delusional to think American fascism will be intersectional just because neoliberalism pretends to be, American fascism will be based on machismo and white supremacy, it can’t be anything else just given how America is in reality.

You realize that the sixties occurred sixty years ago. A good chunk of America’s ruling class in non-white.


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I think that American fascism will only be implicitly rather than explicitly racist in the sense of implementing a new apartheid or Jim Crow. In practice I’m sure racism will be rampant, but it will be a continuation and intensification of the thinly veiled racism that has prevailed since the 70s (mass incarceration, war on drugs, etc.) The thing about dog whistle racist rhetoric is that many people genuinely believe in them, even among Trump’s movement (from which American fascism will spawn if it hasn’t already). I’m sure there’s no shortage of Trump supporters who genuinely believe that they aren’t racist, alongside those who intentionally hide their racism with dog whistles.

America is too liberal for fascism. The establishment there has no use for fascism, they're rich and safe with their system. In fact I don't see any country where capitalists have a good reason to give fascists power.

I would note that ^ book is interesting since it incorporates both Marxism and critical theory and pushes back against the liberal theories which have been in style since the 1990s.

There are differences between fascist states historically, as some were more destructive or counter-productive from the standpoint of the capitalist world-system than others, but generally there isn't much of a coherent ideology behind fascism, and scholars have had a difficult time defining what actually makes it unique; i.e. the "fascist minimum" that makes it distinct from other ideologies. There isn't much of a collected body of fascist "theory" so to speak that makes predictions that can be falsified as true or false. What actually makes it different from just authoritarian, illiberal capitalism? The property structure remains intact.

Basically, it's designed to restore profitability in depressed capitalist economies, I don't mean to say that this is the deliberate goal, like a conspiracy by top capitalists, although it certainly can be in some cases. In the case of Nazi Germany, the resulting war and destruction of much of the world's surplus industrial production allowed profitability and investment to resume after the Great Depression, so in this sense the Nazis saved capitalism despite being destroyed themselves in the process. Capitalism is more like a machine that has its own logic, and according to Marxists, it is a machine that has enslaved humanity according to that logic.

Woodley, the author of that book, also described fascism as a political commodity. I have my own spin on it / kind of vulgar Marxist take. Under capitalism we create commodities with our labor, but do not own the products of our labor; the capitalists do own the products however given their control of the means of production as a class. These commodities then appear back at us on store shelves as like "alien" objects in a sense; not like aliens from outer space here, but as something divorced from us and with magical-seeming properties that give us meaning and purpose. This is a very weird and relatively new kind of society and method of production in human history – a mass consumer society. If you ever go into a shopping mall, you see all these bizarre objects staring at us, and we buy those things to define ourselves… but we made all the stuff in the first place, right? So it's kind of freaky if you think about it. We're buying the stuff back to give us an identity, because we have no identity of our own in capitalism. People did not trade objects like this before the industrial revolution because the technology to produce stuff at this scale, in regimented fashion, did not exist.

If you've ever seen the movie Fight Club, the narrator of the film is talking about trying to derive some identity from his consumer purchases. This is a good example of the Marxist concept of "commodity fetishism." He is fetishizing these commodities, and he is terribly alienated from his work at the same time. What's interesting is he eventually snaps and forms a kind of fascist terror cult called Project Mayhem which gives him more of a sense of purpose and meaning than he could find in his ordinary life.

Anyways, these commodities are lubricating a system of economic production. Capitalists get some money together in the form of a loan, buy means of production and labor and then produce commodities which they sell for the original cost plus an excess (a profit) which is reinvested – or recapitalized – for an expansion. The commodities here are lubricating this exchange of money. It doesn't matter what the commodities are as long as they make money. The point here is to turn money into more money. You, as a worker, are basically a disposable and expendable battery helping power this system. That's normal capitalism.

Now, another problem (for a related set of reasons) is that this is prone to boom and bust cycles, and during the bust part of the cycle, commodity circulation breaks down and people scatter. This is where fascism steps in by providing an emergency identity for people to "buy into." You don't have any rights or any agency to define what this identity is; it's imposed and you can either buy into it or get the hell out or go to jail. The ideology functions through ritualistic displays in which you stare upwards at the leader who expresses the will of the "people" (not of a class, the working class), thereby binding you to the ruling class – the bourgeoisie, whose ownership of productive property remains intact. If in the case of the Pinochet example it succeeds and restores profitability, it collapses.

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Trump isn't a sign of "rising fascism", he's a sign of America being a gerontocracy that doesn't give a shit any more. For all his bloviating, Trump is very much in line with the norm for the weird shit that is the American political system - not quite liberal, but maintaining the forms of liberal ideology.

The fascists I'm worried about aren't some yahoo boomers bitching about the immigrants, or the retards on 4chan sharing memes, but people who are well connected in the current apparatus, people who have done a lot to contribute to the decay of liberal, republican institutions thus far, who have made it their mission to finish the job and do away with this whole "democracy" thing. Nothing Donald Trump does is a conscious and deliberate attack on the American system; all that is happening is that the country has been in freefall for over a decade now, and basic institutions like the courts are so backlogged that they are non-functional. Basically, think of the PNAC people that were around George W. Bush, and try to place what they did with some form of political system. It sure as hell wasn't liberal to expand the police state the way it was expanded, or outright steal an election through a court decision.
People are making the mistake of thinking that there's going to be a fascist coup, but the Enabling Act already happened in 2001. It's just a matter of the veil dropping and the beast Bush Jr. created being able to rule openly and without any oversight whatsoever. We have actually had many such acts throughout the post-war period where the police state accumulates political powers and engages in campaigns that are pure class war, the Nixon presidency was a big turning point for this.

I think this is a correct and good post, but the big question I have is whether they're just going to fuck it up. The person I'm thinking of here in particular is John Bolton who was one of the PNAC guys from back then, but he comes across as a hand-me-down member of the B-team / development league of mask-off imperialists within the U.S. system and not on the same level as the true professionals. Basically he's just not as good at it as the older generation, and he was brought in to replace them because they got too old and started dying off. Nixon was a lot of things but he wasn't stupid and neither was Kissinger (although Kissinger was kind of stupid, Nixon was smarter – at least Mao thought so).

Another smart one was Jeane Kirkpatrick who started out as a Marxist in college (IMO this means she was smart), and came from a family which included Oklahoma communists back when those guys meant business, and went on to become one of most stone-cold and ruthless neoconservative killers of the Cold War – not only that but this homely prairie girl had all the old European fascists who used to string Jews up from meathooks in Romania and Hungary in the 1940s working for her after they got out of dodge when the Red Army rolled in. Think about that.

Now who do they have? John Bolton? Nikki Haley until she resigned? Steve Bannon until his ass got canned, too? Like it's just not the same anymore.

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Tbh "Italification" is what it will look like: Imagine post-cold war Italy. Corrupt tae fuck, abusive police state, rampant rural and urban poverty, and a political system dominated by cranks and the bought. All the while the oligarchs lord over it all. That is America's future.

so literally what everything is already

The difference is that America is still a superpower. Give it time.


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I think we will be engulfed in famine and flood before we have to worry about America losing superpower status.

thats reality right now
t. amerigan

Also Thornton in those pics, the ex-Goldman Sachs guy, is now the executive chairman of Barrick which is the largest gold mining company in the world, which makes Thornton the world's #1 oligarch in the gold trade worldwide. Dewinter is smart in that he parlayed his coming up in the Belgian far right / neo-Nazi scene into a political career

There were literal open fascists murdering people and committing terrorism too

Maybe so, but he is operating at the head of a movement driven by the same class forces that drove 20th century fascism, and which has already begun to emulate key elements of its rhetoric and ideology.
Of course, but honestly that's still a form of fascism even if it differs somewhat from the characteristics of 20th century fascism. What I think is most alarming about the development of Trump's following is the creation of a mass basis for a totalitarian society. Whereas Bush and Obama were gradually laying the groundwork for a neoliberal police state, Trump's movement represents a force that is more likely to make full use of that infrastructure, and endanger whatever institutional barriers remain.

Well it's like the famous saying "scratch a liberal, and a fascist bleeds." Attaching the book "The Apprentice’s Sorcerer: Liberal Tradition and Fascism" by Ishay Landa:

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Facism isn't a organic social current because it needs mass communication to function. If you want a simplified thought-cookie, you could say without technologically enhanced communication the Führer can't talk to his followers.

That doesn’t make any sense. First off, I don’t see why mass communication is necessary for fascism, political mass movements existed before radio and telegraphs. Second even if that’s true, I don’t see why needing mass communication technology to exist means fascism can’t at the same time be an organic movement.

Even Göbbles admitted that fascism needed to endlessly repeat the propaganda messages to uphold facism, and that without communication systems this would not have been possible.

political mass movements existed before radio and telegraphs.

No, not really. The 20th century mass movements very much count for quantity being quality all of it's own.

Second even if that’s true, I don’t see why needing mass communication technology to exist means fascism can’t at the same time be an organic movement.

communication systems are technological not organic.

Fair enough.
Yes but in and of themselves they don't produce political movements from nothing. Propaganda is only effective if it coincides with the material experiences of a particular group. Existence determines consciousness as Marx said, and thus a fascist ideology can only emerge from a group whose existence is conducive to its development. This means that in order for fascism to have a mass following, there must be a large section of the population whose experiences (which is to say their experience of labour, i.e. their class position) allow them to adopt a fascist ideology. The only alternative is that fascism is created out of thin air purely by propaganda by the big bourgeoisie, which to me smells like idealism.

Yes but in and of themselves they don't produce political movements from nothing. Propaganda is only effective if it coincides with the material experiences of a particular group. Existence determines consciousness as Marx said, and thus a fascist ideology can only emerge from a group whose existence is conducive to its development. This means that in order for fascism to have a mass following, there must be a large section of the population whose experiences (which is to say their experience of labour, i.e. their class position) allow them to adopt a fascist ideology. The only alternative is that fascism is created out of thin air purely by propaganda by the big bourgeoisie, which to me smells like idealism.
You are getting ahead of your self, I though we were specifically talking about the nature of fascism, and my point is that it's dependence on communication-technology rules out, of it being a organic movement. I'm being a stickler here, because there is a sort of category expansion going on where, people point out how both feudalism and fascism used mystical and religious themes for propping up rulers, and then equate the two. I would consider feudalism to be organic, as well as a different thing.
For the material conditions, I don't know I'm considering counting neo-liberalism as a type of fascism, it's clearly aggressively hostile against humans, albeit with different mechanisms, it's clearly corporatist and a tool for imperial finance. It's more incremental than the fascism of the Nazism or Mussolini type though. Maybe there could be a stage theory, or neo-liberalism building the material conditions for fascism. Quite a lot of ex Nazi Secrete service members got hired by the CIA during the Cold war, I'm not sure how much of the ideology was translated with this, and how much influence the CIA had on the development of neo-liberalism.

Ah I misunderstood you then. When you said that fascism wasn't organic I thought you were saying that it was entirely an artificial creation of the big bourgeoisie, rather than a genuine mass movement with its own momentum.
Well I would consider neoliberalism to be an ideology that maintains the institutions of bourgeois democracy by definition, which I would say precludes it from being fascism proper. At the same time however I would also consider there to be two distinct currents as far as the most dangerous threats to democracy and socialism go. The first would of course be "proper" fascism as I described it in the OP, and the second would be a kind of totalitarian neoliberalism as describes. While they're both effectively fascist in the sense that they both abolish bourgeois democracy to preserve capitalism, there are differences. The main difference is of course that totalitarian neoliberalism, unlike genuine fascism, has no mass basis, and is entirely a construct of the big bourgeoisie. To simplify, I would say that Bush Jr. was the avatar of totalitarian neoliberalism, while Trump is the avatar of American fascism. Obviously the two aren't particularly opposed with one another, and I think its pretty clear that the tendency towards totalitarian neoliberalism (patriot act, mass incarceration, etc.) has laid the groundwork for proper fascism. At the same time I think it's important to identify and categorize movements based on what class forces drive them, and in this case the lack of a mass movement of the displaced middle class is an important distinction between the two.

Well it depends what you mean with momentum, without financial and material support from the capitalists facism would never have risen from the fringes. Mussolini's movement almost didn't make it because they almost ran out of money.

You are defining fascism by the level of mass basis ?
Trump's election is history's largest recorded Fuck You, he's not the avatar of Fascism lol.
The American bourgeois is boxed in, they can't attempt to replicate 20th century fascism because that was predicated on militarist expansion, that's no longer an option because of all the nukes. Even conventional wars are kind of unwinable. And the falling rate of profit is now increasingly driven by demography,so installing some brutal terror regime will not restore profitability. Neither will large scale capital destruction, because there's not enough resources to fuel something like a postWW2 boom. They can't really proletarianize the middle income ranges any further because the high-tech sector is tied to distribution, that would shrink. If they sperk out to much they could kill the dollar as world reserve currency and wipe out 90% or so of it's exchange value, and then they won't be able to afford fascism any-more. If they can't reboot the consumer cycle with a new new deal or something, start learning Chinese, so you can understand what the new owners say, you know how everybody in Europe had to learn English last century after the "experimental phase with fascism".

First off it’s not. Spain and Portugal both had fascist governments that lasted 40 years and they didn’t wage any wars of expansion. Second, the US is waging several wars of expansion right at this second, so clearly it’s still possible to do so.
The purpose of fascism isn’t to restore profitability, it’s to secure the bourgeois order from political threats.
Not sure what you mean by this. Are you saying that America can’t become fascist because wars of expansion would destabilize the dollar?

Spain and Portugal are secondary economies, and as such are dominated by cartel and mafia, which is not the same as fascism.
The major conflicts the US is currently engaged in are not actually expanding it's influence.
Profitability is synonymous with the security of the political position for the bourgeoisie, remember that the German bourgeoisie didn't survive fascism, it just was restored afterwards. There is nobody on earth able do this for the American bourgeoisie.
No, America can become fascist, but only very briefly.