A warning by Chad Lodder
|English | Tiếng Việt
What is facism?
A belief in the supremacy of the police and the military, united under a charismatic ruler who will forcefully protect the nation from “social decay”, caused by demonized “out groups”.
The ruler promises return the nation to a mythical time of past greatness.
Fascism is obsessed with the idea of moral and social decay caused by demonized Enemies of The People (often Jews, communists, queers, or immigrants).
Fascist ideology holds that these Enemies of the People are involved in a vast conspiracy to weaken and subvert the nation.
The fascist leader always positions himself as the savior of the people. Only the leader can defeat the vast, insidious conspiracy against the people and restore the nation to its mythical former glory. Only the leader can drain the swamp and make the nation great again.
The fascist leader deliberately takes advantage of people’s fear and uncertainty during difficult times — economic woes, pandemics, unemployment, corruption, social unrest. The leader blames all of this on the Plot Against the People— and asks for extraordinary powers to fix it.
Fascism is marked by a contempt for the weak, and a reverence for macho traditionalism. Fascism encourages bombastic, public displays of aggressive shows of “manly” strength and virtue— often in uniform. Women, queers, the disabled, immigrants — they are subjugated and mocked.
Fascism is obsessed with traditionalism; with heroism and strength through unity. Where science and rationalism threaten the fascist order, they are rejected as “too modern” or as part of the grand conspiracy. Where science and rationalism serve the military, they are embraced.
While fascism is always authoritarian, not all authoritarianism is fascism. Stalin, Pol Pot, and Mao were brutal authoritarian dictators, but they were not fascists. Hitler, Mussolini, Hirohito, and Gömbös were fascists. Hirohito’s Shōwa nationalism had many fascistic elements
While fascism tends to be right-leaning, fascist movements often use liberal forms as an “ideological shield”. Nazis cloaked themselves in labor union organizing. Japanese fascists used anti-corruption.
American & British fascists today use “free speech” to cloak themselves.
Fascism exploits liberalism as an ideological shield; a deliberate ploy that allows fascism to be built right under liberal’s noses. Who could be against absolute free speech? Violence is never the answer, right? How can we be white nationalists if we have a token Black guy?
White liberals are sensitive to issues of race and sexual orientation — but in an uniformed and merely cosmetic way. Fascists cynically use tokenism to paralyze liberals. “How can Andy Ngô, a gay Asian son of immigrants, be a fascist?” “Proud Boys have a Black guy. Checkmate!”
Fascists often use gay, or Black, or Latino or Asian token members because they know it works on white people — and ONLY on white people. The Black community has entire vocabularies to describe Black people who serve white supremacy. Ask Latinos what “mejorando la raza” means.
Fascists exploit liberal sensibilities like “unlimited free speech is always good,” or “violence is always bad” to organize fascism right under liberals’ noses. Small fascist “free speech” rallies grow into large rallies cheering for persecution of immigrants and trans people.
Fascists understand that the majority of liberals are moderate, middle-to-upper-class white people who abhor violence and disorder. White moderates may passively support justice and civil rights, but they believe that those advocating for genocide should be defeated by debate.
The Australian comedian @aamer_rahman absolutely skewers liberals’ hand-wringing over antifa’s direct confrontation of fascists in this famous bit about punching Nazis.
White moderates tend to assume that fascist ideas will be defeated naturally and peacefully in the “marketplace of ideas”. History teaches us otherwise. In fact, fascists are VERY effective at using bigotry, fear, and economic conditions to recruit. All it takes is a scapegoat.
Fascism requires scapegoating small and powerless “out groups”. The smaller and more marginalized a group is, the easier it is for fascists to persecute them.
First they came for the:
Central American refugees.
There must ALWAYS be an “invasion”.
Fascism is a modern adaptation, designed to grow totalitarianism from inside a liberal democracy. Just like a tumor, fascism masks itself; mimicking and hijacking the body’s natural systems until it’s too late. ANYTHING anti-fascists do to counter fascism will appear too hasty.
Fascism’s key innovation is its cynical hijacking of liberal ideals like tolerance and free speech. Cloaked in “free speech”, fascists organize fascism right in liberals’ faces, being careful never to provoke a strong response. Karl Popper calls this the “Paradox of Tolerance”.
Fascists organize fascism in the way that many rapists “test” their victims. Rapists start with small transgressions like kissing their victim’s cheek, carefully noting their reaction. When the victim reacts, they are “gaslit”— made to feel like they’re overreacting.
A common way that fascists gaslight liberals is by advertising their hate rallies as “free speech” rallies. In 2017, the deadly Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville was billed as a “free speech rally” by its organizer Jason Kessler, a violent neo-Nazi Proud Boy.
1st hallmark of fascism: Supremacy of the police and military.
2nd hallmark of fascism: Obsession with returning the nation to a mythical era of “greatness”. Hitler frequently promised to “Make Germany Great Again” (see below: 1940, 1934) by ridding it of its enemies.
3rd hallmark of fascism: Obsession with law & order. The fascist leader positions himself as the only person who can save the nation from being destroyed by violence and chaos. Only HE can restore law & order (but he’ll need extraordinary police powers).