Liberals have been working overtime trying to re-define commonsense border security as a cruel mix of racism, “nativism,”and even fascism, which are their devil words to scare voters during the 2016 election.
The New York Times is very concerned that “fascism” is seeping into politics across the Western world. In America, the fascist herald is supposedly hotel owner Donald Trump:
The comparison was inflammatory, to say the least. Former Gov. William F. Weld of Massachusetts equated Donald J. Trump’s immigration plan with Kristallnacht, the night of horror in 1938 when rampaging Nazis smashed Jewish homes and businesses in Germany and killed scores of Jews.
But if it was a provocative analogy, it was not a lonely one. Mr. Trump’s campaign has engendered impassioned debate about the nature of his appeal and warnings from critics on the left and the right about the potential rise of fascism in the United States. More strident opponents have likened Mr. Trump to Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.
News flash for Weld and everyone inclined to take his drivel seriously: the Jews of the Thirties and Forties would have been very relieved if the worst thing they had to worry about was a restriction on immigrating to Nazi Germany. So it’s not a “provocative analogy,” it’s an infuriatingly selfish effort to exhume everyone who died in the Holocaust, and everyone who died bringing Adolf Hitler down, so their corpses can be used as psychological barriers between Trump’s supporters and the ballot boxes.
I have another news flash for people worried about the “potential rise of fascism in the United States”: it is already here, and its name was ObamaCare. The leftist mobs assaulting Trump rallies are real fascists, not the men and women they’re beating up.
There comes a point in the NYT article where “fascism” is “generally defined as a governmental system that asserts complete power and emphasizes aggressive nationalism and often racism.”
No, history shows us that is not the definition of fascism. Socialism and communism “assert complete power” too – have a look at Venezuela if you want a horrifying example of what absolute socialist power looks like.
And “aggressive nationalism” can exist under many forms of government as well. And racism? — have not our of liberal friends have been complaining for decades that even the most classically liberal republic the world has ever seen, the United States of America, has always been infected with racism?
Authoritarianism is indisputably bad, and real, hardcore nationalism can be very dangerous, but the two don’t automatically create fascism when mixed together.
In reality, fascism is a political theory with some specific attributes, not an all-purpose synonym for tyranny.
For example, fascism retains private ownership of capital, unlike communism, but (like with socialism) the fascist State controls this nominally private industry from behind the scenes.
The fascist State requires a firm grip of the public mind to nourish the power it needs to maintain total control. So the private owners of capital and property must be made to accept the absolute authority of the government’s planners. Happily for fascists, by leaving property in the hand of private people, the captains of industry can be given the blame for everything that goes wrong, along with whatever other scapegoats the fascist government finds useful.
These two attributes — state control of private property and of private minds — are present in ObamaCare, a program in which private industry still theoretically runs the health insurance industry for a profit, but which complies with a detailed agenda designed by government planners. ObamaCare is the most obnoxious American example of such a fascist arrangement, but they’re popping up with disturbing frequency across the Western world.
Fascism is the dogma of the Left, not the Right. Notice how ObamaCare’s failure leads to Left-wig demands for even more centralized power, along with fresh truckloads of taxpayer money.
So anyone who sincerely worries about fascism rearing its ugly head should be staunchly opposed to such accumulations of government power. No government power, no fascism. People may still act like jerks, to be sure, but without power, or the temptation to seize power through violence, the jerks aren’t that much of a threat.
Harping on the correct definition of fascism is not a mere word game. Most Americans (alas, you can never say “all”) would agree that fascism, and related strains of totalitarian rule, are horrors that must be kept in the deep graves where our forefathers buried them in World War II. It took the Cold War to finish the job with communism, and it’s never been dead and buried, only wounded. That’s because a generation of liberal academics and media mavens worked hard to prevent young people from understanding what communism and socialism and fascism really are, and why they are bitter enemies of America, not interesting ideas we should give a try just because their purveyors hand out election-year lollipops.
We can’t beat fascism if we don’t know what it is. We cannot keep it from taking root if we don’t know the true early warning signs. Fascist economics are intimately tied to its philosophy, and its effect on society. That makes it a terrible mistake to dabble in fascist, communist, or socialist economic theory, in the mistaken belief we can hold the hideous social deformities at bay.
America’s resistance to viral totalitarianism has grown weak, because the Obama Left posed as benevolent dictators and made too many of us comfortable with totalitarian instruments: hostility to free speech, using violence to intimidate political dissent, fusing government and industry, politicizing every aspect of life, assaulting every institution that helps citizens maintain their independence from the State.
Fascism tends to produce a lot of street theater, because mob actions are useful for terrorizing the populace into compliance. The mob action in the United States comes entirely from the political Left. Infrequent populist movements from the Right – the Perotistas, the Buchanan Brigades, the Tea Party – have been remarkably polite, to the point of meticulously cleaning up their own garbage after big rallies. Donald Trump’s supporters aren’t violent, but some of the people protesting outside his rallies are.
The New York Times keeps coming back to the idea that fascism is hard to define, but by golly the one thing we know for sure is that it’s a right-wing phenomenon. Eventually, we get this howler:
Beyond Hitler and Mussolini, fascism can be hard to define. Since World War II, only fringe figures have overtly identified themselves that way. In modern political discourse, the word is used as an epithet. And even Hitler and Mussolini were elastic in their political philosophies as they came to power; Mussolini started out as a leftist.
Yes, and Mussolini ended as a leftist, too.
Hitler was a leftist from the start – and so was his political party, the National Socialist German Workers Party, whose first two words provided the basis for the group’s moniker, the Nazi party.
The Left has been playing an amazing word game for decades where it defines itself as the antidote to fascism. On the contrary, fascism has always been a left-wing idea, and the Left’s rapture for centralized power and the “scientific” control of markets is the essential ingredient for real fascism.
The Left has also become enraptured with the kind of speech and thought control necessary for fascism to sustain itself. Such tools are vital for maintaining power over citizens who own substantial amounts of capital, and therefore might get some funny ideas about telling their fascist overlords to get bent. Only by infusing political control into every facet of life – as the American Left, not Right, has been eagerly doing over the past decade – can fertile soil for the cultivation of fascism be created. Power requires obedience. It is the Left in the United States that demands to be obeyed in all things, from boardrooms to bedrooms and K-12 bathrooms.
Then we get this twaddle from the New York Times article, an attempt to re-define “fascism” as “skepticism about mass immigration”:
[Professor emeritus Robert O. Paxton of Columbia University], the fascism scholar, said he saw similarities and differences in Mr. Trump. His message about an America in decline and his us-against-them pronouncements about immigrants and outsiders echo Europe in the 1930s, Mr. Paxton said. On the other hand, he said, Mr. Trump has hardly created uniformed, violent youth groups. Moreover, fascists believe in strong state control, not get-government-off-your-back individualism and deregulation.
Translation: On the one hand, Mr. Trump thinks the country is in decline, and immigration is out of control, but on the other hand, he doesn’t believe in the stuff that actually makes fascism work. Verdict: he might be a fascist!
The game here is to create a ridiculously broad definition of “nationalism” – basically, if you think open borders and sanctuary cities are bad, or that America’s trade policies ought to benefit Americans, you’re in! – and then equate this ersatz “nationalism” with racism, and then progressives can feel good while sticking the fascist label on suburbanites and small-town Americans.
That’s how hideously out-of-touch our elites have become: they think the very concept of responsible citizenship is now a hideous far-Right idea, disturbingly reminiscent of Germany on the eve of Hitler. In Europe, the elite’s disdain for the prerogatives of its own citizens has created a migrant crisis that is tearing their societies apart. Citizens who speak out against these disastrous policies are sick and tired of being called “far-Right nationalists” and compared to brownshirts.
It’s not the Right that shoved a pile of issues clean off the edge of the political table, and told Americans they’re no longer allowed to vote against the judgment of the elites, or even question it. It’s not the Right that decided the U.S. government doesn’t need budgets any more (although, sadly, quite a few Republicans were complicit in that.)
It’s not the Right that turned agencies like the IRS and EPA into weapons against the people. It’s not the Right currently toying with the idea of Soviet-style show trials for “climate change deniers.” And it’s not the Right getting cozy with the worst totalitarian instincts of militant political Islam.
Mark Leonard, director of the European Council on Foreign Relations, makes an astute observation:
The crash of 2008 showed how globalization creates losers as well as winners. In many countries, middle-class wages are stagnant and politics has become a battle over a shrinking pie. Populists have replaced contests between left and right with a struggle between cosmopolitan elites and angry nativists.
That’s what this is really all about: a struggle between elites and the common people – who are not “angry nativists,” but rather people who simply want their governments to work for them for a change. We’ve reached the point where “populism” and “nativism” mean “American government putting the American people first.”
Incredibly, you’re supposed to feel bad about saying that.
The American Left has deliberately created an economy where the workforce has dwindled – don’t believe cooked government reports that claim “unemployment is down” – where the underclass is swelling, a fearful number of people require government benefits to survive, and damn near everyone needs subsidies to buy health insurance now.
Obama Democrats created a government where politically-allied business concerns can use government brown-shirted bureaucrats to crush business rivals, as happened with Gibson Guitars. The Nazis would beam with approval. That’s how it works in fascist systems. Only loyal members of the Party can do business, under the wise guidance of their glorious leadership, for the greater good of the People.
The Left created a totalitarian environment where every choice we make is freighted with political significance. The Left created a gulf between elites and the common man so immense that merely objecting to abuse of our immigration system is denounced as xenophobia by the elite. Everything in America right now that could explode into chaos is the work of the Left, not the Right.
Now we’re watching violent mobs of Clinton and Sanders supporters – with a heavy infusion of illegal alien muscle – attacking people at Trump rallies, and their media auxiliaries are blaming the victims, including brutalized women, because they supposedly had it coming. The Democrat mayor of San Jose, a stalwart Hillary Clinton supporter, is making that argument. Major left-wing websites are telling their readers to launch violent attacks on more Trump rallies.
That’s pure, straight-up brownshirt fascism, folks. That’s what it looks like. The thugs always claim they’re justified because their victims are awful. Obama’s “Church of the State” politics help these mobs, and their enablers, assume the posture of righteous crusaders. Underneath the sanctimony lies the same demand totalitarian thugs always make, from fascist Europe to militant Islam: Submit, do what we demand, and you won’t get hurt. If you keep resisting, everything that happens is your fault.
No society comfortable with that argument is free. No nation where a mainstream political party’s elected officials make that argument will survive as a republic.
The Left responds by shrieking that they hear some rhetoric from the Right that reminds them of 1930s Germany, as though fascism was a matter of people saying harsh things. If we are unfortunate enough to tumble into the three-cornered hell of fascism, socialism and communism, or any other collectivist nightmare, you may rest assured it will involve a lot more than bitter words.