Wednesday 19 June 2024

Jason Stanley on why Biden is a Fascist

In 'Fascism as a Social Kind' Jason Stanley writes-  

Fascism is often treated as a completely historically located concept, of little use in the present day.

This is because no country faces a threat of Bolshevik insurrection against which ex-servicemen have been mobilized to fight in the streets and the bars and the brothels and the football stadiums. In English speaking countries, there was no big Bolshevik threat and the police were perfectly capable of kicking the shit out of Commies if they got out of hand.  

This view has the consequence of justifying treating contemporary charges of “fascism” as absurd;

they aren't just absurd, they are counterproductive. It's like saying Trump is anti-Semitic, though his favorite daughter converted to Judaism, or suggesting that Rishi Sunak wants to let more darkies into the UK.  

at the very least, wildly implausible and exaggerated. Such a reaction is only justifiable given the assumption that fascism is an historically located concept.

It is not a 'concept'. Mussolini failed in forging a common Fascist identity which could compete with what the Bolsheviks were offering. Oswald Moseley, at one time, appeared able to create a Right Wing alternative to the Labor Party of which he had previously been a rising star. But the fellow started whining about how his beefy Black-shirt chums kept getting the shit kicked out of them by emaciated Jewish tailors from the East End. This made him and his party ridiculous. Once the Tories had a solid majority, his influential backers backed the fuck away from him. 

If fascist ideology has very wide appeal in different countries at different times,

it only had appeal if there was a Communist threat. The police and the Army might not want to do all the beating and killing that was required. Only under those circumstances might it be worthwhile to finance a ranter able to pay a small allowance to a bunch of jobless ex-servicemen or lumpen shitheads who enjoyed kicking in the heads of be-spectacled intellectuals. Sadly, in London, Jewish tailors turned out to be better at this sport.  I was surprised, when I first came to North London, to hear Tottenham supporters referring to themselves as the 'Yid Army' even though they weren't Jewish (indeed, I believe more Jews are Gunners' fans). It was explained to me that Jews had beaten up Mosley's bully boys and thus 'Yid Army' meant 'we're well hard. Fuck with us and we will fuck you up.' 

then one needs special justification to think one’s own country is immune.

Only if you need special justification to think one's country is immune to the atrocities committed by the Spanish Inquisition even if you come from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  

Someone who dismisses the possibility of fascism without special reasons of this sort is treating fascism as an historically located concept.

No. Some one who dismisses the possibility of x because x is fucking impossible is not treating x as a concept. He is treating it as a fucking joke. 

Political Philosophy should highlight structures that are important enough influences in the present day.

Thus, they should not pretend there is a Homosexual-Commie plot to take over the country and force everybody to have gender reassignment surgery. Nor should one mention the Spanish Inquisition, or Adolf Hitler, or Pol Pot. Stanley may say 'I have Jewish ancestry. Thus I'm obliged to compare anybody I don't like to Hitler or Himmler or Eva fucking Braun.' The problem here is that this means I get to gas on about the Sepoy Mutiny or Jallianwallah Bagh or whatever. Clearly Rishi and Suella have forced trillions of innocent Hindus- like Keir Starmer- to eat beef and commit suttee. As for Joe Biden- did you know he has a distant cousin in India? It is obvious that the cunt is some sort of Maharaja who is seeking to impose Brahminism on not just Boston but the entire continental You-nighted States. 

One way of understanding liberal democracy is as a voting system – say, majority vote.

No. A liberal democracy is one where there is an elected government subject to judicial and administrative oversight of various sorts. It may feature 'dual sovereignty' or it may be unitary. It may or may not have a written constitution. However, its political arrangements may be defeasible under exigent circumstances. What matters is whether, after the fact, such issues are justiciable. 

Another way of understanding liberal democracy is as a set of institutions – say, including public schools.

No. One may say we need x to be a better country and if your country is a liberal democracy, you may say 'we will be a better liberal democracy if we do x'. But nobody who champions x (e.g. free, public schools) would deny that a monarchy or a dictatorship, too, would gain by doing x.  

Perhaps the most important conception of liberal democracy for democratic political philosophy understands liberal democracy as a culture, defined by values and practices that embody these values.

This is not 'understanding'. It is stupid. My yoghurt in the fridge is a 'culture'. Cannibals on some remote island have a 'culture' which defines values and practices. But neither my yoghurt, not a bunch of incestuous cannibals are part and parcel of any important, as opposed to absurd, conception of liberal democracy.  

Analogously, I am proposing considering fascism as a culture, a particular kind of antidemocratic one.

It was no such thing. It was an anti-Bolshevik political movement. True, there were particular cultural organizations and movements which supported or opposed contemporary political movements. But that is a separate matter. 

Thus, my interest is not in fascist economic systems, nor a particular political structure. It is in the kind of anti-democratic political culture that fascism is,

but Stanley doesn't know what Fascism is because it no longer exists. It disappeared before he was born.  True, he could study 'neo-Fascism' and then try to make the case that Meloni displays traits similar to Mussolini- e.g. invading Ethiopia- but that would be the sort of thing actual political scientists do. 

one that I will argue has shown itself to be an attractive anti-democratic option today.

Rishi Sunak has mentioned resurrecting National Service. His fellow Tories think he has lost the plot. The fact is, apart from Ukraine where the Azov battalions may, at some future point, provide an alternative to Zelensky, there is no general enthusiasm for para-military outfits marching down the streets anywhere in the world. This could change if 'antifa' nutters flex their muscles. But then the original antifas in Weimar Germany were targeting the Social Democrats. This followed from Stalin's definition of 'social fascism' and the notion that Fascism is the final stage of Capitalism. If you believe that shite, then FDR and Churchill and Biden, as much as Trump, were or are Fascists. Since Stalin gave up this stupid theory quickly enough, Stanley is seeking to resurrect a tragically mistaken and mischievous doctrine which was discredited, even on the far Left, long before he was born. 

If fascism in this sense is sufficiently general as an ideological structure, it

is meaningless. You can call anybody and everybody a Fascist. Also, most birds and plants are Fascist. So are asteroids.  

too is worthy of study, even for the student of democracy. If democratic political philosophy only studies the different forms democratic political culture can take,

it would be like Catholic political philosophy- i.e. boring but perfectly sensible. What Stanley is indulging in is paranoia.  

political philosophers will prove useless as sources of insight into its vulnerabilities.

Philosophy doesn't give us insights on the 'vulnerabilities' of an ideology. This is because it is empirical, contingent, factors which causes one Fascist regime- e.g. that of Mussolini- to fail while another- that of Franco- continues to thrive.  

If fascism is an important social kind, it must

actually exist in an objective or inter-subjective way. Thus if there were large Fascist parties in all societies of a specific kind, then Fascism would be an important social kind. But this is not the case. In France and Italy, there are political parties whose genealogy may be considered Vichy or Fascist. But in similar neighboring countries, no such thing exists.  

have predictive usefulness – for example, it must allow us to extrapolate usefully from past practices to future outcomes.

This is in fact the case. We are welcome to predict that if antifa nutters start trouble on the streets and the police do nothing, then some other bunch of thugs will show up to fight with them. If such people are ex-servicemen rallying around a politician who speaks highly of Hitler or Mussolini, what we have is a revival of Fascism to meet a renewed Communist type of threat.  But if all we have is crazy 'proud boys' supporting Trump- who is a Capitalist, not a Fascist- then it is mischievous to speak of Fascism. One may as well go the whole hog and equate Biden with Stalin and Kamala Harris with Beria and Stanley himself with Mickey Mouse who, it is well known, was secretly a nigger-loving Jew who promoted homosexuality in partnership with the elite pedophiles who secretly control the Post Office. Nobody has a monopoly of crazy. Stupid Professors of useless subjects can't compete with genuine lunatics. 

Only then can one argue that it should be included in philosophical discussions about the kinds of cultures that can emerge in otherwise very different circumstances. In contrast, if fascism is an historically located concept, however, then we do not need to be worried about confronting it.

Confronting Fascism involved going to war. Suppose Trump comes to power. Should Keir Starmer, who is likely to be the next British PM, start preparing for an invasion of New York? Must he ally with Putin and Chairman Xi and the Aya-fucking-tollahs? I suppose so. How else are we to confront Netanyahu and Meloni and Modi? Don't forget, we left Franco in power in Spain while 'confronting' Stalin and Mao and Ho Chi Minh.  

If I am right, the view that fascism is an historically located concept is not just false, it is dangerously false.

It is even more false to say we should confront Fascism. We should live with it more particularly if it is the lesser of two evils.  

If fascism describes a dangerous ideology with general appeal,

so does antifa.  

representing it as an artifact of particular past historical circumstances masks a real danger. By not studying fascism philosophically,

Churchill and FDR prevailed over Hitler and Mussolini. Studying shite philosophically is fucking useless.  

philosophy lends credence to the view that fascism is not a risk. This essay is a case for revisiting thinking in political philosophy, to reopen the case that philosophers should study fascism.

We don't want stupid shitheads- i.e. philosophers- to study anything of genuine importance. Nobody will pay good money to get philosophers to study cures for cancer. 

What is the case that fascism is not an historically loaded concept? In recent years, across the world, a certain form of politics has emerged that embraces hyper-nationalism, xenophobia and other kinds of virulent racism to draw support for a leader with authoritarian tendencies.

No. In all decades, across the world, every type of politics has embraced a degree of nationalism some thought excessive. Thus Tagore was not happy that Mahatma Gandhi, who certainly exerted considerable authority over the INC, wanted the Brits to fuck the fuck off. But this does not mean Gandhi was a Fascist. Nor was Churchill or De Gaulle or FDR or Emperor Haile Selasie.  

The leader is taken as the representative of the nation, which is conceived as having a uniform ethnic or religious core.

But the leader of ethnically or religiously homogenous countries does in fact represent a nation with such a core. This is the case even if the fellow is an Anarchist or an Emperor or a Libertarian. 

What Stanley is saying is 'if a country has a leader, it is Fascist'. This is because a country can always be conceived as having a uniform ethnic or religious core. Consider America which has plenty of different races and religions. Still, there is something very American about all Americans. This means Biden is a Fascist. Did you know Biden refused to heed my democratic demand that he have gender reassignment surgery? That's totes authoritarian.  

Patriarchal traditions are represented as under threat by liberalism and homosexuality.

This may be true of monarchical countries but not Fascist regimes. Ataturk, at a certain point in time, looked quite Fascist. But he did not criminalize homosexuality. It was Clement Atlee's England, Kennedy's USA, in which homosexuals were persecuted. My memory of the Eighties- perhaps after the rise of AIDS- was that there was a 'moral panic' about kids in primary school being brainwashed by Gays and Liberals. But Mrs. Thatcher was Tory, not Fascist. Tories had kicked the ass of Moseley (who had been a Labor MP) and Hitler and Tojo.  

The media, the cultural producers, and the teachers are denounced as corrupt liars with a masked leftist agenda.

 This could be done by religious people, monarchists, capitalists, libertarians etc. In a Fascist state, it is unlikely that anyone will say that the State controlled media or schools are filled with 'corrupt liars'. Well, one or two might say this but they would stop saying this after having been beaten to death. 

The country is portrayed as having undergone international humiliation as a consequence of the embrace of liberalism, e.g. human rights laws or international treaties.

These could be features of unequal treaties forced upon weaker Asiatic or African countries by Western Imperialists.  

Liberal elites are said to have weakened the immigration laws, threatening to allow immigrants from minority religions or despised minority groups to pour in and ruin the country.

FDR strengthened the immigration laws. It is difficult to attack elites for stuff they did the opposite of.  

Marxism, Socialism and Gender Ideology, supposedly spread in universities and schools, are mortal threats to the nation.

They are threats to the sanity or productivity of the nation's students.  

The military is treated as a holy institution, whose ideals should be emulated and its leaders given political power.

Not by religious people. They treat the Church as a holy institution. The Army is a bastion of patriotism, not religious piety. This is because we want soldiers who will kill the enemy, not invite them to a prayer breakfast.  

When in power, the movement tries to create a one-party state, demanding loyalty to that party over the multi-party nature of democratic state.

If so, it changes, or attempts to change, the constitution so that it can jail its opponents. Indira Gandhi did this during the Emergency. Her daughter-in-law was from Italy. Sonia's father was an actual Italian Fascist. Indira created a dynastic party which Sonia would preside over and which held power for two terms. But it was shit. Thus, in 2014, it lost to a capable Chief Minister of Gujarat who had gone underground during the Emergency.  

The arrival of this political culture is heralded by a noticeable decrease in the political importance of truth.

The truth was that Sonia's regime was undemocratic and unconstitutional. The PM was just a figurehead. Now, the truth is, Rahul is a fucking moon-calf. Modi has received a third term.  

The kind of politics I have just described has increased in salience and power. India’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has drawn on Hindu nationalism

as Gandhi and Nehru and Indira and Rajiv had done 

to become India’s majority party with such tactics;

Modi's party no longer has the majority. But it had always entered elections as part of quite a broad coalition. 

However, the constitution mandates seat redistribution in 2026 which will increase the 'majoritarian' nature of the polity. This could give the party with a lock on the 'Hindi vote' a monopoly of power. Be that as it may, one way or another, either Modi completes his third term or there is a vote of no confidence which triggers a General Election which the BJP may well win in the same way that Indira came back to power with a bigger majority after the incapability of the opposition coalition to run the country had been amply demonstrated. 

they are now trying to change the citizenship laws to privilege Hindu identity in ways that

had been more stringently done in 1948.  

are being compared to the National Socialist Nuremberg Laws.

by nutters.  

 Most people writing and discussing the political situation currently

aren't philosophers and thus don't write paranoid nonsense.  

not only agree but even seem to presuppose that there is a basically uniform ideological structure that is achieving surprising support in countries that otherwise differ along many dimensions.

Stanley is speaking of ignorant cunts like himself. He doesn't understand that nationalism only took a Fascist complexion in countries where there was a genuine threat from the Bolshevik Third International. Otherwise, indigenous nationalist parties (and, speaking generally, all the mainstream political parties are nationalistic) draw on indigenous political ideas. There may have been a brief period when people were dazzled by the Fuhrer and the Il Duce. But those cunts started wars they were bound to lose. Nobody wants to imitate a guy who gets strung up from a lamp-post or else who has to eat a bullet to avoid falling into the hands of the Red Army.  

There is, in short, agreement about a common phenomenon.

Amongst useless shitheads.  

But analysts have struggled to come up with similar agreement about vocabulary.

If you are Eurocentric, you will use terms like 'Fascism' or 'Nazism'. But neither Italy nor Germany have any great salience or high international standing nowadays. The most successful country is China. The US is now trying to copy Chinese or Taiwanese models to catch up in certain strategically vital technological fields.  

Is this widespread ideology “right wing authoritarianism”? Nationalism? Right wing populism? White Supremacy? The proper term we need is fascism.

Rahul is half-White. Modi isn't. Since we can't call Modi an anti-Semitic, White Supremacist, let us agree to use the term Fascist. Meanwhile, the Chinese pull ahead in STEM subjects while, as Vivek Ramaswamy used to say, 'Wokeism' destroys our economy. This means that the next time we have a 'gain of function' virus outbreak, we will have to do what the Chinese tell us if we want vaccines. It turns out that the Americans used black propaganda to create distrust of the Chinese vaccine against COVID. Let us see if RFK can split the Democratic vote and keep Biden from a second term. Karma can be totes a bitch. Kamala should take heed. Cut your ties with Biden who is totes Fascist because he is still refusing to undergo gender reassignment surgery. True Democracy requires us to ban dicks because dicks cause RAPE! Guess who had a dick? Adolph fucking Hitler, mate! Need I say more?

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