• ssu
    I appreciate you saying this. I hear the term fascist used a lot, particular since Trump, but also with the rise of neo-Nazism and ANTIFA. I don't really have a grasp on what a casually used meaning of fascism is these day. If you could explain this in more detail, you'd actually help me understand what these ANTIFA types are actually trying to say. I have no clue at times.Sydasis

    Some definitions on fascism, Likely you get the picture what fascism really is:

    a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition
    (Merriam Webster)

    Then definitions from genuine fascists:

    The Fascist conception of the State is all-embracing; outside of it no human or spiritual values can exist, much less have value. Thus understood, Fascism is totalitarian, and the Fascist State—a synthesis and a unit inclusive of all values—interprets, develops, and potentiates the whole life of a people.

    ...everything in the state, nothing against the State, nothing outside the state.
    (Benito Mussolini)

    What in fact is Fascism? A socialism emancipated from democracy. A trade unionism free of the chains of the class struggle had imposed on Italian labour. A methodical and successful will to bring together in a same fascio all the human factors of national production ... A determination to approach, to threat, to resolve the worker question in itself ... and to unite unions in corporations, to coordinate them, to incorporate the proletariat into the hereditary and traditional activities of the historical State of the Fatherland.
    (Charles Maurras)

    And of course then the Marxist intrepretation of fascism:

    The historic function of fascism is to smash the working class, destroy its organizations, and stifle political liberties when the capitalists find themselves unable to govern and dominate with the help of democratic machinery
    (Leon Trotsky)

    * * *

    First thing to understand that there's no coherent ideology with "ANTIFA types" as there isn't surely with ardent Trump supporters (as Trump has no coherent ideology). In my view the ANTIFA a counter reaction and a rallying cry against percieved right-wing extremism (which is more focused on racial and xenophobic issues than classic politics) that has become more open or is followed more in the media today. There's no doubt that Trump's rhetoric starting from accusing "Mexico sending it's worst" and "mexicans being rapists" opened the floodgates on what is acceptable speech in the public domain and influence a lot the mood. But some can feel that there is the danger of a fascist state rising, hence they join something like ANTIFA.

    Basically the ANTIFA, just like before the "Occupy Movement" and other loose organizations before that is a way for the left to create a new youthful movement that a new generation of leftist people can join. If the movement is OK with violence, then people who thinks it's a necessity to fight it out with the cops or the "fascists" will join a new movement. This is because if a movement that perhaps has started as a grass roots movement is able to organize itself into a political movement, the organization of that movement is likely filled with one or another cabal and some generation of activists. Younger people will have problem to relate to this as time goes by, youngsters will be too young to remember what happened when they were still children. And of course, extremist groups usually flop when their supporters grow disillusioned about the possible success of their movements. Hence extremist groups typically recreat/reinvent themselves after sometime

    And note that this is similar with right wing extremism. A whimsically small proportion of racist bigots belong to the Ku Klux clan and likely many view the robes and the cross burnings as strange and basically aren't so keen to organize themselves collectively.
  • ssu
    If a person is taxed 100%, their income is irrelevant, no? it would be no different than having no salary at all. I suppose wealth could be defined as any existing wealth, but if taxed on death, it would only be 70 years or so before that initial wealth was depleted.Sydasis
    Well, if everything is taken from you, then I guess things like food to survive you don't buy, but is given to you. Everybody needs food to survive.

    Secondly, wealth isn't in many occasion something that is depletable. It's only transferable. I myself own a few hectares of land and naturally the government can take it from me or I can sell it, but that land doesn't dissappear. Furthermore, wealth isn't something static (which Marxism gets a bit wrong), but can be created. This is why many leftist are so against capitalism as they think it's a zero some game: if someone gets rich, someone has to have gotten poorer or somehow those who have become rich have stolen the wealth from others.

    What I was saying that the objective of communism is to do away with various classes, hence wealth transfer from rich to poor is only a transitionary event.

    The question of wealth distribution on the other hand is a far older question than the time of Marx or even the utopian socialists like Charles Fourier. The story of the Gracchus brothers Tiberius and Gaius tell that the question of wealth distribution and wealth transfer were a political hot potatoe even in the ancient Republic of Rome. And of course, it is a genuinely important question for any society to solve.

    So nothing new under the sun.
  • Londoner
    I think fascism can only be understood as a reaction to communism. It is not really an ideology. So a basic point in communism is that people are divided by their role in the economy; workers, small businesses, big businesses etc. So, your identity is essentially economic. Fascism seeks to present an alternative to this by saying your identity is essentially racial, or national, or religious.

    That is why it is hard to pin down fascism. It might consist of a deeply conservative religious culture, or it might be modernizing and atheist. The only thing in common is hostility to communism.

    But I think it does have to have that us-and-them element. If you are hostile to communism but avoid creating some substitute for the class-struggle, then you couldn't call that fascism. But all politicians are tempted to play that card, to find an enemy, because it is such an effective message. So there is always that tendency.
  • gurugeorge
    There is another skein: the Dionysian vs. the Apollonian drive.Bitter Crank

    Yeah good call. I mean, I'm fairly Dionysian on a gut level, I've had mystical experiences, taken the full recommended course of drugs in my time, etc., etc. I'm actually a musician and I highly value pursuits that delve into the texture of present experience, and agree with the fundamental idea that the "point" of existence, if it's to be found anywhere, must be found in the present, in presence.

    But again, somehow I've managed to escape the full package deal (that would normally make me subscribe to the full "liberal" program) and come to terms with the societal, time-binding Apollonian element that my Boomer generation has very nearly dismantled.

    I flatter myself that it's the result of my dogged pursuit of truth, but who knows :)
  • gurugeorge
    When I first heard the term alt-right a few years ago, I first thought it was defining those now felt disenfranchised by the left.Sydasis

    The waters were muddied by Hillary when she twitted the Trump Train and all who oppose her as "Alt Right." This was an attempted smear by her, but it was taken as something of a badge of pride by the broad anti-Hillary coalition at the time, mainly because (until she Streisand Effected it) most people hadn't really heard of the Alt Right.

    But there is in fact an Alt Right, which is a fairly coherent movement that developed (again) around the mid-Noughties, out of a confluence of blogs around Moldbuggery, neo-Reaction, paleo-conservatives, Dark Enlightenment, and some remnants of White nationalists/neo-Nazis who had been plugging away generally ignored for decades. (Originally the term was invented by a paleo-conservative in the mid-Noughties, Paul Gottfried.)

    And that's why Hillary was using the term as a smear, because the Alt Right proper (which considers the broader Trump Train/anti-Democrat coalition to be the "Alt Lite"), while it doesn't have any settled ideological praxis (i.e. although it does have some national socialists and neo-Nazis, it also has disaffected conservatives, ex-libertarians, neo-reactionaries, etc.), does have 3 very specific points of agreement/commitments that hang together and are of a piece: 1. Race realism, 2. The Jewish Question, and 3. White identitarianism - and I guess from Hillary's point of view these were the most evil things she could think of, so she tried to smear the whole movement against her with the term. ;)
  • ssu
    1. Race realism, 2. The Jewish Question, and 3. White identitarianismgurugeorge
    Sound extremely delusional bullshit to me. But perhaps one should give credit for wrapping the age old bullshit of racism with new definitions like "race realism".

    All the alt-right had to achieve as to look as it would be important is for one of the most inept (or likely, the most inept) US Presidents to have, for a while, an advisor that promoted those whacky ideas.

    Democrats that don't admit that Hillary Clinton was a terrible candidate live in denial. Why the US ended up with so bad candidates as mrs Clinton and tovarich Trump is an interesting question.
  • gurugeorge
    new definitions like "race realism".ssu

    There's always been a difference between racism and racialism (which is more mild-mannered than racism), or race realism (which is even more mild-mannered than racialism). There are different possible attitudes you can take to the fact that race is a reality and that it's mostly genetic; hating other races and/or believing one's own race is superior in everything, isn't a mandatory part of some package deal. (And actually it isn't for most on the Alt Right.)

    All the alt-right had to achieve as to look as it would be important is for one of the most inept (or likely, the most inept) US Presidents to have, for a while, an advisor that promoted those whacky ideas.ssu

    Trump has nothing to do with the Alt Right, or its ideas, nor did Bannon or any of Trump's crew really - they're all "Alt Lite" from the Alt Right point of view - dirty, stinking civic nationalists ;) Trump is virtually an old school Democrat on many issues (he only became literally Hitler the moment he ran against Hillary) but he was better than the alternatives.

    As I said, the confusion around the term "Alt Right" has arisen simply because Hillary decided to smear the whole of the broad anti-Her/pro-Trump coalition with the name of one of its most extremist elements.
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