Felt it was apropos.
You give up on the cosmological constant WernerThe specter of fascism! What day goes by without a conservative calling a liberal and a liberal calling a conservative a fascist?
Is it because fascism is on the march? Not really. The right wing has a momentum, but fascists in the U.S. are more insulated from the mainstream right than when Democratic Senator Theodore Bilbo openly backed Mussolini and Hitler, Democratic President Woodrow Wilson openly praised the semi-fascist Ku Klux Klan, Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy openly backed Franco and condemned “premature anti-fascism” during WWII, or Republican leader George W. Bush was introduced by fascist leader Patrick Buchanan at his party’s convention.
While President Trump, as he bumbles, from one self-imposed political crisis that is symptomatic of the general crisis of capitalism to the next, has made a few overtures to the rightists (including fascists) on the fringe of his party (as there are fascists like LaRouche on the fringes of the Democratic Party), he has always quickly backed off and distanced himself from fascism. Bannon (a rightist and not a fascist) is marginalized, Miller (Jewish and therefore likely excluded from being part of any successful proto-fascist movement, and is a rightist but not a fascist), and Gorka (a fascist sympathizer), the rightmost of Trump’s leading advisors, have been largely marginalized and excluded from making policy, except with regard to immigration where rightists had been in charge of policy since long before Trump took power. Helmut Kohl had a much cozier relationship with fascist violence than Trump (or Merkel) has ever had, but fascists are not about to bid for power in Germany.
Nor is fascism on the rise worldwide. Gone are the days of ultrarightists like Jorg Haider, rightists like Winston Peters, and centrists like Silvio Berlusconi entering power-sharing agreements for coalition cabinets with fascist parties or parties with fascist pedigrees in imperialist countries. Hungary’s ultraright-fascist-center coalition government is dominated by the conservative element while semi-fascist elements in the ruling parties of Croatia and Serbia in the early 1990s were much more independent. The centrist Putin’s semi-fascist allies are dangerous but appear to be on the defensive and elements pushing them in a fascist direction have not won out. Croatia’s government today is ultrarightist but shows no sign of collaborating with fascism. Many parties that had flirted with fascism, from France’s National Front to Egypt (also elsewhere’s) Muslim Brotherhood to India’s People’s Party to Afghanistan’s Students (Taliban) movement, have been taken over by a more mainstream conservative element. The rightist element has increasingly been excluded from government in Israel as well. Saudi Arabia, where conservative elites are too entrenched to permit much of a fascist element to flourish, is rapidly liberalizing. Central and South America, riddled with fascist collaborators and fascist sympathizers in power for decades, is now moving rapidly to the left and jettisoning this trash. Fascist-sympathizing elements in Ukraine are sympathetic for historical reasons, not because they are fascist-minded today, and they have been soundly defeated on the picket lines, in ground fighting, and at the ballot box. China’s ultraright Falun Gong appears to be on the defensive and moving in a direction away from fascism and ultraright radicalism. The right wing element within the Chinese Communist Party is also on the defensive.
More generally, support for democratic rights is getting broader. Support for rights for oppressed races and women is getting stronger. 50 years ago, Spain and Portugal, major powers, were ruled by fascist dictators.
If fascism were asked to make the case for its vigor, it could point only to ISIS ... ultrarightist but lacking the popular base to even evolve toward fascism, and on the run due to the fight led by the Kurdish-majority People’s Protection Units, Women’s Protection Units, and state (of Iraqi Kurdistan)-sponsored peshmerga; Hungary, discussed above; Syria, where the centrist Assad has deigned to let fascists fight in his ranks, but has not built them up to the point that they could succeed without the regime’s protection; and Iran, where the centrist-clerical state has undoubtedly sponsored countless fascist elements (spilling over to Iraq, Syria, and perhaps Yemen) which could in some reasonably foreseeable future fight for power (as is conceivable in Hungary). But Iran’s ruling class’s desire for an alliance with the U.S. likely precludes a fascist transformation of Iran for the time being, and in the meantime Iran has an excellent potential for a socialist revolution that would arrest the cause of fascism.
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