Why Fascism Is Fashionable Again
I actually understand the far-right more than I understand ‘centrist’ liberals. People are the center seem to want to remain in this shit, while people at the right at least want to get away. In the wrong direction, but I understand the motivation. This to me is the appeal of fascist leaders. They at least admit that something is terribly wrong.
Hence when Italy’s new supposedly fascist leader Giorgia Meloni says:
Why is the family an enemy?… Because it is our identity… so they attack national identity, they attack religious identity, they attack gender identity, they attack family identity. I can’t define myself as Italian, Christian, woman, mother. No. I must be citizen x, gender x, parent 1, parent 2. I must be a number. Because when I am only a number, when I no longer have an identity or roots, then I will be the perfect slave at the mercy of financial speculators. The perfect consumer.
I understand. She is at least talking about the problem of the destruction of family, of community, of faith, of meaning, all sacrificed on the altar of consumerism. The fundamentally unsatisfying existence of an atomized wage slave, opiated with consumer goods. I vehemently disagree with where she goes with this (trans people and Muslims are not the problem) but I understand where she’s coming from.
As Hannah Arendt said in her book about (primarily) fascism:
“What the spokesmen of humanism and liberalism usually overlook, in their bitter disappointment and their unfamiliarity with the more general experiences of the time, is that an atmosphere in which all traditional values and propositions had evaporated (after the nineteenth-century ideologies had refuted each other and exhausted their vital appeal) in a sense made it easier to accept patently absurd propositions than the old truths which had become pious banalities”
The idea that trans people are at the head of a powerful movement to destroy the family is just absurd, but today the state and corporations increasingly hide behind diversity. It certainly looks like the face of power is browning, gaying, and feminizing. And so the most marginalized people end up as cannon fodder in the culture wars, trotted out by both sides to be slaughtered in the media circus.
American Democrats will kneel for Black Lives Matters and then give even more money to the police state. They’ll talk about taking COVID seriously and then kill even more people. It’s all just pious banalities. That’s why it’s refreshing for so many people to see someone like Trump come and ‘trigger’ liberals. As Arendt said:
“Since the bourgeoisie claimed to be the guardian of Western traditions and confounded all moral issues by parading publicly virtues which it not only did not possess in private and business life, but actually held in contempt, it seemed revolutionary to admit cruelty, disregard of human values, and general amorality, because this at least destroyed the duplicity upon which the existing society seemed to rest.”
The constant refrain among liberals is to defend democracy, to defend institutions, to defend the existing order. What they really mean is defend themselves. As Arendt continued: