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Thread: When the time comes: Let's discuss fascist rhetoric

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    Kritias's Avatar Petite bourgeois
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    Default When the time comes: Let's discuss fascist rhetoric



    Gosh, I am not that kind of person but it was just too... yeah, you know.

    I think it is time we discussed a very serious issue troubling many of our friends across the isle – who is a god damned fascist, and how can liberals avoid being branded as such? I'm going to base this thread on the work Fascism and Dictatorship of our own (Greek) Nikos Poulantzas, who I think nails some points on understanding the fascist movement. So, buckle up, backaroo. It's going to be a bumpy ride!

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Yes, I'm talking about this dude... *sighs*.



    To begin with, we must discuss who are the prime force behind fascism and why. There are a lot of articles written on how white working class voted for Trump, and how the native working class in countries way past the regressive point Trump signifies supported fascistic governments [1, 2, 3]. Sadly, this analysis is barking up the wrong tree and worse, it insults the people who are yet on the fence swaying from benign conservativism to progressiveness. Poulatzas, on the other hand, rests the condemnation squarely on the petite bourgeoisie.


    Who are the petite bourgeois?


    Petite bourgeoisie, also petty bourgeoisie, is a French term (sometimes derogatory) referring to a social class comprising semi-autonomous peasantry and small-scale merchants whose politico-economic ideological stance in times of socioeconomic stability is determined by reflecting that of a haute ("high") bourgeoisie, with which the petite bourgeoisie seeks to identify itself and whose bourgeois morality it strives to imitate.

    In simple terms, the petite bourgeois are shop owners, small farmers, state employees, and some professionals and their progeny who are not yet established in the social ladder, either because they are self-made (ie, made it in their lifetimes), or they are just a generation away from their working class background. These people are characterized by the absence of any social culture since they are still in the process of shedding their previous working class culture and adopting the desirable bourgeois culture; in short, they are struggling with issues of identity.


    According to Poulantzas, the petite bourgeois are possessive of three characteristics: a) they are pro-establishment but anti-capitalist, b) are overestimating their own ability for social mobility and c) they are fetishizing power.


    During a political and economic crisis, the petty-bourgeoisie tends to account for the crisis with vaguely defined notions of ‘corruption’, ‘corporate greed’, and ‘the rich’. Poulantzas points out that the petty-bourgeoisie has an interest in defending its autonomy and property, and therefore is anti-capitalist without challenging the status-quo. Their class position makes them believe that corrupted, greedy politicians are preventing them from moving up the social ladder. Hence, their solution to a political crisis is not a socialist revolution, but the removal of corrupt politicians and the creation of a strong state with a powerful leader.

    Continuous economic and political crisis will eventually lead to the first stage of Poulantzas’ analysis, namely fascism as a mass movement


    In Brazil, this was the period between 2013, in which the right-wing seized control of leftist anti-government protests in Sao Paulo and other parts of the country, until they put Lula in prison in 2018. This mass movement posed a danger because they constituted the popular forces behind Jair Bolsonaro, and could no longer simply be ignored or dismissed as an isolated phenomenon.

    Similar trends of right-wing seizing control of popular movements can be seen around the world. The next stage, unfortunately, is what the above mentioned articles erroneously think was what happened, namely the fascist flirt to the native working class.


    One characteristic of this stage is a paralysis of working class organisations, which tend to only make economic demands, but fail to provide political leadership. Poulantzas shows how the German Communist Party (KPD) in the early 1930’s called many demonstrations for higher-wages as a result of the economic devastation of the post-war situation.

    So long as the economic downturn is not resolved and there’s a vacuum of leadership due to the political crisis, two things are observed; firstly, the left attempts to woo over the working class with promises of monetary gains which, as is to be expected, is flat out insulting to the people of the working class. The extreme right, on the other hand, plays the game a little differently; as witnessed by the rise of Golden Dawn in Greece, the extreme right’s tactics include monetary gains based on national identity, and the transference of the blame from ‘the rich’ to the more accessible and easily attacked ‘others’. Trumping up arguments like the story that power elites play the working classes against invading foreigners, the extreme right assumes a leadership position on defending the rights of nativity, and the interests of the working man against all those who want to destroy him. National symbols like the flag are soon employed in a unification narrative against a common foe.


    In the third and fourth stages, Poulantzas argues that fascism changes as a result of transforming from a mass movement to a fascist state. He points out how in the period of monopoly capitalism, the state plays a more interventionist role by directly intervening into capitalist production…When there is a significant threat to its continued domination, fractions of finance capital will be more willing to embrace fascism, which Poulantzas points out is a more extreme form of interventionism. This is exactly what happens during the third stage, in which the capitalist class provides assistance to the fascist mass movement and helps them get elected to power. The third stage represents the first period in which a fascist takes power and begins building a fascist state. Poulantzas says that during the third stage, the bourgeoisie staffs the fascist state with members of the petty-bourgeoisie who helped fascism come to power.

    During this stage the state apparatus will make concessions towards its very concerned citizens including the imprisonment of politicians perceived to be corrupt (ie Brazil), the encouragement of violence against immigrants and national minorities (ie Greece) and the working class will see legislation that protects the working class eliminated (ie Greece). During that same time, the socially dormant petty bourgeois will find their way to government and high civil service offices (examples of people like these include Velopoulos, Voridis and Georgiadis in Greece) either in the democratic government’s attempt to calm down the petite bourgeois by staffing positions from members of their social class, or directly by the fascist government if they have been elected.


    In the final stage of fascism, the fascist state has consolidated power and freed itself of its petty-bourgeois class origins. Poulantzas says that this is the most brutal stage, for it involves violent purges at the state level to remove the petty-bourgeoisie, and terroristic repression over the masses. The fourth stage results when the opposition to fascism does not succeed in removing the fascist government.

    By this time, I am confident you can see a lot of similarities between fascist rhetoric above and the latest alt-right, and even some of the more traditional conservative rhetoric employed during the years of the last economic crisis (2008 - today, keep walking Greece!) which makes the proper identification of promoters of fascism very difficult, a sore point for very conservatives and many liberals who get misrepresented.


    With a new economic crisis already underway according to most analysts [here, here, here], I think we should tackle head on issues of policy most often discussed by our friends on the right, express our reservations on historical similarities of argumentation and maybe discuss how and why some of our fellows are being misrepresented from time to time. My hope is that we can have a candid discussion, apologize whenever we’re wrong, and try to figure out how we got from one state of affairs to the other state of affairs [read with private Baldrick’s accent please].


    So, without further ado, the OP question: do you believe that we should be looking towards the small middle class instead of the working class to discuss about signs of right-wing radicalization?

    Quote scource: Here
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    Default Re: When the time comes: Let's discuss fascist rhetoric

    "So, without further ado, the OP question: do you believe that we should be looking towards the small middle class instead of the working class to discuss about signs of right-wing radicalization?"

    What's small middle class and working class? Who "should" be doing what to do what about "radicalization?" Please rephrase the question, leaving nothing ambiguous about "who" "should" be what, or doing what.

    Let's assume one thing, the kings were right. Nations of homogenous ethnicity guided softly by a cadre of aristocracy and local sherif/mayor/leaders to dispense the decree of the absolute character/morality of the people, the king. Everyone else, can and "should" go elsewhere for their Stonertarian Anarcho Communes.
    _____
    The prestigious contemporary of the Greeks in the 20th Centruy, Ioannis Metaxas, and his life long diaries: http://www.ioannismetaxas.gr/Diary.html
    Last edited by Bob69Joe; August 18, 2019 at 03:52 PM.
    Gornahoor|Liber esse, scientiam acquirere, veritatum loqui
    Crow states: "If you would be a great leader, then learn the way of the Tao. Relinquish the need to control. Let go of plans and of concepts. The world will govern itself. The more restrictive you are, the less virtuous people will be. The more force you display, the less secure they will feel. The more subsidies you provide, the less self-reliant they become. Therefore the master says: Un-write the law, thus the people become honest. Dispense with economics, thus the people become prosperous. Do without religion, thus the people become serene. Let go all desire for the common good, and the good becomes as common as the grass." ~ Lao Tzu - Tao te tching
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    Kritias's Avatar Petite bourgeois
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    Default Re: When the time comes: Let's discuss fascist rhetoric

    Bob, I think the question is obvious. There has been an attempt to say that the working class are responsible for electing fascistic governments like Brazil, and were also condemned by parts of the liberal media for supporting Trump.

    What I am saying is that there's no reason to keep perpetuating the myth of "white trash" rednecks who voted extreme right, because it doesn't appear to have been any historical precedence for it. What has been precedence for is the small business owners, farmers and low civil servants becoming increasingly fascistic during economic crises. So the OP question is whether the native working class is becoming more extreme right, or whether its the small middle class.

    Let's assume one thing, the kings were right. Nations of homogenous ethnicity guided softly by a cadre of aristocracy and local sherif/mayor/leaders to dispense the decree of the absolute character/morality of the people, the king. Everyone else, can and "should" go elsewhere for their Stonertarian Anarcho Communes.
    Care to explain this? And whom do you mean by the bolded part, too, if you please.
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    Default Re: When the time comes: Let's discuss fascist rhetoric

    There are many great minds of the "Right of the King" - opposed to those who sat to the Left in the palace after the French Revolution - who plead for a return to tradition and conservation, away from the class-revolt myths brought on by Enlightenment-Egalitarian promoters.

    "Care to explain this? And whom do you mean by the bolded part, too, if you please."
    It is simply association with those a man must associate with in order to be what they are as the whole. The most obscure thing to discover is why a union of plurality must be enforced. The American Civil War was quite honest about it. The Union continuing the war as a means to power - while popular opinion was directed toward a moral justification - and the Confederation continuing to fight as a means to defend its right to be free from the Union.

    “I tried all in my power to avert this war. I saw it coming, for twelve years I worked night and day to prevent it, but I could not. The North was mad and blind; it would not let us govern ourselves, and so the war came, and now it must go on unless you acknowledge our right to self government. We are not fighting for slavery. We are fighting for Independence.”
    President Jefferson Davis, CSA

    Feel free to replace "Independence" with whatever ideal/ideology and we've got our recurring problem since European pagans met the Romans.

    I'm really terrible at rhetoric, and I'd recommend Julius Evola for the best commentary of the Fascism of his time.
    Last edited by Bob69Joe; August 18, 2019 at 04:36 PM.
    Gornahoor|Liber esse, scientiam acquirere, veritatum loqui
    Crow states: "If you would be a great leader, then learn the way of the Tao. Relinquish the need to control. Let go of plans and of concepts. The world will govern itself. The more restrictive you are, the less virtuous people will be. The more force you display, the less secure they will feel. The more subsidies you provide, the less self-reliant they become. Therefore the master says: Un-write the law, thus the people become honest. Dispense with economics, thus the people become prosperous. Do without religion, thus the people become serene. Let go all desire for the common good, and the good becomes as common as the grass." ~ Lao Tzu - Tao te tching
    MONARCHY NATION TRANSCENDENCE

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    Aexodus's Avatar Persuasion>Coercion
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    Default Re: When the time comes: Let's discuss fascist rhetoric

    Fascism is an incredibly small and irrelevant movement. There are no Fascist parties in the world polling much above 2 or 3% except for Golden Dawn in your native Greece.
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    Kritias's Avatar Petite bourgeois
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    Default Re: When the time comes: Let's discuss fascist rhetoric

    Quote Originally Posted by Aexodus View Post
    Fascism is an incredibly small and irrelevant movement. There are no Fascist parties in the world polling much above 2 or 3% except for Golden Dawn in your native Greece.
    Austria's FPÖ has 40 MPs and around 20% of the popular vote. In Belgium, Vlaams Belang has around 11% and 18MPs. In the Chech Republic, ANO 2011 has almost 30% and 78 MPs. In Denmark's People's Party there are 37 MPs and they rate at about 20%. Esthonia has EKRE with 17%. Finland's Finns 17,5%. In France, the Front National has 13,2%. In Germany, the AfD has 12.6%. You can see here for the rest of Europe.

    In my native Greece Golden Dawn has been all but destroyed, out of the Parliament with less than 3%.

    So, no. It's not incredibly small and insignificant, mate.
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    Default Re: When the time comes: Let's discuss fascist rhetoric

    Jobbik in Hungary and the Nationalist Movement in Turkey are probably the largest ones. However, due to the fact that fascism is associated with rather negative memories, many far-right parties, from France and Austria to Poland and Sweden, openly imitate their tactics and manifestos, without however recognizing them as fascist. Even leading political figures like Bolsonaro in Brazil or Marine Le Pen pretty much tick all the boxes of fascism, as defined, for example, by Uberto Eco: Chauvinism, labelling opposition as treachery, belief in a strong leader emboding the wishes of the people, hostility towards modernism and current "degeneracy", idealisation of tradition, anti-Communism, anti-Feminism and etc.

    As Kritias explained, fascism always appeal more to the petite bourgeoisie, because its members lack the political maturity of the workers (especially those organised in trade unions), so they consider the promises of the fascists as the perfect plan for them to eliminate any obstacle preventing them from gaining the money and the prestige they supposedly deserve. Their individualism also means that they are more vulnerable divisive rhetoric than, for instance, blue-collar workers experienced in participating in strikes, in order to protect their long-term common interests. The Neo-Nazis of the Golden Dawn, already brought up by Kritias, employed this method quite successfully. By providing food handouts exclusively to impoverished Greeks, not only did they gather the votes of their desperate co-citizens, but also promoted the ideology of their enemy, absolutely responsible for their miserable situation, being their fellow poor man from Syria, Pakistan or Nigeria.

    In conclusion, I doubt there is any practical measure to be taken, in order to decrease the infatuation of the "petits bourgeois" with fascism and far-right platforms, in general, during a future, hypothetical financial crisis. Essentially, their simplisti and convenient solutions are much more desirable, in spite of also being insincere, self-contradictory and morally dubious, than anything a socialist, centrist or conservative could potentially counter-offer. Reversing the trend would require a massive reform and improvement of the education system, which will only bear fruits too late, while it also clashes with the current approach of the education system and would therefore be immediately rejected as counter-productive by the majority of our governments.

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    Aexodus's Avatar Persuasion>Coercion
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    Default Re: When the time comes: Let's discuss fascist rhetoric

    You have yet to name a single fascist party except Golden Dawn.
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    Default Re: When the time comes: Let's discuss fascist rhetoric

    Quote Originally Posted by Aexodus View Post
    You have yet to name a single fascist party except Golden Dawn.
    Unless we have a vastly different definition of fascist, I just named quite a few fascist parties. And mind you, you may say Golden Dawn is a fascist party but they sure didn't; they weren't neo-nazis they announced high and low, they weren't fascists they said. They were simply nationalists and concerned citizens for the country. So if you're about to say these parties are not fascist but nationalist or identitarian, please consider twice before you rehash them.

    Abdulmecid, even though the petite bourgeois are, as you said, very easily infatuated with the right-wing platforms and desire strong leadership to increase their potential for profit and social mobility, there's a case to be made about the fragmentation of the class into the traditional, derogatory sense and the progressive part Orwell described in himself in the Road to Wigan Pier,

    At the back of one of the houses a young woman was kneeling on the stones, poking a stick up the leaden waste pipe which ran from the sink inside and which I suppose was blocked… She looked up as the train passed, and I was almost near enough to catch her eye… it wore the most desolate, hopeless expression I have ever seen… She knew well enough what was happening to her – understood as well as I did how dreadful a destiny it was to be there in the bitter cold, on the slimy stones of a slum backyard, poking a stick up a foul drainpipe..The real reason why a European of bourgeois upbringing cannot without a hard effort think of a working man as his equal is summed up in four frightful words: the lower classes smell. I could agonise over their sufferings, but I hated them and despised them whenever I came anywhere near them... And then perhaps this misery of class-prejudice will fade away, and we of the sinking middle class – the private schoolmaster, the half-starved freelance journalist, the colonel’s spinster daughter with £75 a year, the jobless Cambridge graduate, the ship’s officer without a ship, the clerks, the civil servants, the commercial travellers and the thrice-bankrupt drapers in the country towns – may sink without further struggles into the working class where we belong, and probably when we get there it will not be so dreadful as we feared, for, after all, we have nothing to lose but our aitches.
    I think that hope can be found in self-reflection, and maybe discussing how and why the petite bourgeoisie are led astray through dreams of gandeur - and putting those dreams in their rightful place - might spark at least the question why someone believes this kind of rhetoric.
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    Default Re: When the time comes: Let's discuss fascist rhetoric

    I’d like to talk about Fascist rhetoric, but I can’t take either of you seriously if you really think Bolsonaro, Le Pen, or even Trump is somehow literally Mussolini.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akar View Post
    Well if you survive a beheading I feel like that's fair enough you get to go home

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    Kritias's Avatar Petite bourgeois
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    Default Re: When the time comes: Let's discuss fascist rhetoric

    Quote Originally Posted by Aexodus View Post
    I’d like to talk about Fascist rhetoric, but I can’t take either of you seriously if you really think Bolsonaro, Le Pen, or even Trump is somehow literally Mussolini.
    We should really hope they are as ineffective as Mussolini was, but you don't have to rehash the whole theme in order to be a fascist; keeping the core elements of the ideology suffices. In this sense, Bolsonaro definitely is, especially if Foreign Policy magazine is any trust worthy. Or Guardian. I think Financial Times also call him extreme-right populist and a firebrand [here]. Same with Marine Le Pen [here, here]. Trump is... Trump. I wouldn't call him a fascist, but he's highly controversial.
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    Default Re: When the time comes: Let's discuss fascist rhetoric

    Things in Greece must be coloring your perception of a need to describe social classes universally across the West, as it comes to a ​bourgoisie and by that I mean that they in your nation must be leaning right because of the debts to the EU and the neighboring Muslim nations of centuries of conflict.

    In America, and I believe in much of Europe, the bourgoisie - firstly I define a touch here, as pacifists in a social context, avoiding the "discriminating" attributes in order to make a sale at any cost for their business - are LEFTist and neo-con business owners. LEFTist and neo-con are sleight reference(or a reference of sleight?) that may or may not be understood but suffices for the most common themes that arise out of them. Italian bourgoisie of the early 20th Century may have more in common with Greece today, and possibly the Spaniards of then. Although, when it comes the classic case of the arrival of class mythology overthrowing feudal aristocracy in Europe of the 18th Century, the same impulses of the bourgoisie of then, pacifism and crowdism(I think it's time ) are the same impulses that drive the decision of much of America and Western Europe. So, what I'm getting at, and I realize this is quite loose and probably difficult to parse, is that the bourgoisie of America and Europe are indeed business owners, but are largely indifferent to the Right. A look at advertising is all that is necessary to see a prominence of pacifistic ideals to sell the widest range of people some products.

    I think it is now necessary to offer some very detailed work of such a mythology of social class. A single article by Brett Stevens named Crowdism. http://www.amerika.org/texts/crowdism/
    http://www.brettstevens.org/
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaclav Havel
    The manager of a fruit-and-vegetable shop places in his window, among the onions and carrots, the slogan: “Workers of the world, unite!” Why does he do it? What is he trying to communicate to the world? Is he genuinely enthusiastic about the idea of unity among the workers of the world? Is his enthusiasm so great that he feels an irrepressible impulse to acquaint the public with his ideals? Has he really given more than a moment’s thought to how such a unification might occur and what it would mean?

    I think it can safely be assumed that the overwhelming majority of shopkeepers never think about the slogans they put in their windows, nor do they use them to express their real opinions. That poster was delivered to our greengrocer from the enterprise headquarters along with the onions and carrots. He put them all into the window simply because it has been done that way for years, because everyone does it, and because that is the way it has to be. If he were to refuse, there could be trouble. He could be reproached for not having the proper decoration in his window; someone might even accuse him of disloyalty. He does it because these things must be done if one is to get along in life. It is one of the thousands of details that guarantee him a relatively tranquil life “in harmony with society,” as they say.


    Obviously the greengrocer is indifferent to the semantic content of the slogan on exhibit; he does not put the slogan in his window from any personal desire to acquaint the public with the ideal it expresses. This, of course, does not mean that his action has no motive or significance at all, or that the slogan communicates nothing to anyone. The slogan is really a sign, and as such it contains a subliminal but very definite message. Verbally, it might be expressed this way: “I, the greengrocer XY, live here and I know what I must do. I behave in the manner expected of me. I can be depended upon and am beyond reproach. I am obedient and therefore I have the right to be left in peace.” This message, of course, has an addressee: it is directed above, to the greengrocer’s superior, and at the same time it is a shield that protects the greengrocer from potential informers. The slogan’s real meaning, therefore, is rooted firmly in the greengrocer’s existence.
    I'm signing off for the night. Hails, cheers, salut, and all the rest!
    Last edited by Bob69Joe; August 18, 2019 at 08:07 PM.
    Gornahoor|Liber esse, scientiam acquirere, veritatum loqui
    Crow states: "If you would be a great leader, then learn the way of the Tao. Relinquish the need to control. Let go of plans and of concepts. The world will govern itself. The more restrictive you are, the less virtuous people will be. The more force you display, the less secure they will feel. The more subsidies you provide, the less self-reliant they become. Therefore the master says: Un-write the law, thus the people become honest. Dispense with economics, thus the people become prosperous. Do without religion, thus the people become serene. Let go all desire for the common good, and the good becomes as common as the grass." ~ Lao Tzu - Tao te tching
    MONARCHY NATION TRANSCENDENCE

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    Default Re: When the time comes: Let's discuss fascist rhetoric

    Open advocates of fascism might be in the minority, but the type of worldview that leads one to support fascism (or any other illiberal system, like socialism or absolute monarchy) is hardly out of style. We know that human beings are naturally inclined to evil, so liberty will often feel counter-intuitive, and not everyone will be willing to put in the effort to maintain it. It's not easy to think of every individual as infinitely valuable and with equal rights to everyone else. It's easier to do what feels natural to you; that is, organize into a collective and help the ingroup while robbing, killing or enslaving the outgroup. People are born opposed to liberal democracy and have to be educated into it (or civilized, as we call it). When schools, families, churches and other institutions that make up civil society are weakened or fail in their duties, a lot of people will fall through the cracks, they'll give in to their baser instincts and seek comfort and meaning in tribalism. Tribalism animates both the Far Left and the Far Right, and even centrists are affected by it to an extent, so maintaining liberal democracy is an uphill battle, but it always has been. As Plato once said, "Noble things are difficult."

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    Default Re: When the time comes: Let's discuss fascist rhetoric

    Quote Originally Posted by Abdülmecid I View Post
    Jobbik in Hungary and the Nationalist Movement in Turkey are probably the largest ones. However, due to the fact that fascism is associated with rather negative memories, many far-right parties, from France and Austria to Poland and Sweden, openly imitate their tactics and manifestos, without however recognizing them as fascist. Even leading political figures like Bolsonaro in Brazil or Marine Le Pen pretty much tick all the boxes of fascism, as defined, for example, by Uberto Eco: Chauvinism, labelling opposition as treachery, belief in a strong leader emboding the wishes of the people, hostility towards modernism and current "degeneracy", idealisation of tradition, anti-Communism, anti-Feminism and etc.
    Eco's 14 point list is equally applicable to staunch conservatism (particularly of a monarchical variety) as it is to fascism; with limited exceptions it reads like a description of Kaiserism/Tsarism during the early part of the 20th century.

    As Kritias explained, fascism always appeal more to the petite bourgeoisie, because its members lack the political maturity of the workers (especially those organised in trade unions), so they consider the promises of the fascists as the perfect plan for them to eliminate any obstacle preventing them from gaining the money and the prestige they supposedly deserve.
    The allure of fascism is contextual; if you're going to state that it "always appeals more to the petite bourgeoisie" you'll need to provide some supporting evidence. It very much seems to me that support for the FN and the AfD (neither of which I think are fascist) is quite prevalent among working class voters too.

    Their individualism also means that they are more vulnerable divisive rhetoric than, for instance, blue-collar workers experienced in participating in strikes, in order to protect their long-term common interests. The Neo-Nazis of the Golden Dawn, already brought up by Kritias, employed this method quite successfully. By providing food handouts exclusively to impoverished Greeks, not only did they gather the votes of their desperate co-citizens, but also promoted the ideology of their enemy, absolutely responsible for their miserable situation, being their fellow poor man from Syria, Pakistan or Nigeria.
    What has this got to do with the petite bourgeoisie? I don't know anyone I would describe as "middle class" who was impoverished and begging for food, nor do I recognize your characterization of blue-collar workers being less susceptible to "divisive rhetoric" than other groups.

    In conclusion, I doubt there is any practical measure to be taken, in order to decrease the infatuation of the "petits bourgeois" with fascism and far-right platforms, in general, during a future, hypothetical financial crisis. Essentially, their simplisti and convenient solutions are much more desirable, in spite of also being insincere, self-contradictory and morally dubious, than anything a socialist, centrist or conservative could potentially counter-offer. Reversing the trend would require a massive reform and improvement of the education system, which will only bear fruits too late, while it also clashes with the current approach of the education system and would therefore be immediately rejected as counter-productive by the majority of our governments.
    This is starting to read like communist apologism now Abdülmecid.

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    Default Re: When the time comes: Let's discuss fascist rhetoric

    Quote Originally Posted by ep1c_fail View Post
    Eco's 14 point list is equally applicable to staunch conservatism (particularly of a monarchical variety) as it is to fascism; with limited exceptions it reads like a description of Kaiserism/Tsarism during the early part of the 20th century.
    Ep1c, I don't think that staunch conservativism applies to more than two or three points on the list; I don't think for example that staunch conservativism includes the cult of heroism and cult of action, the depiction of opposition as treasonous, being too strong and simultaneously being too weak, plot obsessions (ie conspiracy theories), education for heroism etc. These traits are based on some conservative elements, yes, and that's what makes it appealing to conservative people and difficult to pinpoint, but fascism in its essence is the merging of corporate and governmental power accompanied by the dictat that people should consider their life under such a regime as "heroic" and "patriotic".

    Quote Originally Posted by ep1c_fail View Post
    The allure of fascism is contextual; if you're going to state that it "always appeals more to the petite bourgeoisie" you'll need to provide some supporting evidence. It very much seems to me that support for the FN and the AfD (neither of which I think are fascist) is quite prevalent among working class voters too.
    Check the analysis provided on the OP [quote source] for supporting evidence. The claim that FN and AfD are equally supported by working class voters doesn't debunk the claim, it only signifies that these parties have passed in stage two of the fascist movement, namely the incorporation of the working class. My argument is that the liberal press attacked the native working classes as responsible for the surge in political extremism due to 'culture panic' which, viewed by the analysis of the OP, seems it's not the case.

    Quote Originally Posted by ep1c_fail View Post
    What has this got to do with the petite bourgeoisie? I don't know anyone I would describe as "middle class" who was impoverished and begging for food, nor do I recognize your characterization of blue-collar workers being less susceptible to "divisive rhetoric" than other groups.
    Adbulmecid gave the argument of Greece here, and in that I can vouch that he's completely correct in seeing the impoverished middle classes that turned to support Golden Dawn, as well as blue-collar workers resisting the surge of fascism. You can see more about the role of the small middle class in Greece and their ties to Golden Dawn here. You need to enable the subtitles but they are perfect in the translation.
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  16. #16

    Default Re: When the time comes: Let's discuss fascist rhetoric

    Quote Originally Posted by Prodromos View Post
    Open advocates of fascism might be in the minority, but the type of worldview that leads one to support fascism (or any other illiberal system, like socialism or absolute monarchy) is hardly out of style. We know that human beings are naturally inclined to evil, so liberty will often feel counter-intuitive, and not everyone will be willing to put in the effort to maintain it. It's not easy to think of every individual as infinitely valuable and with equal rights to everyone else. It's easier to do what feels natural to you; that is, organize into a collective and help the ingroup while robbing, killing or enslaving the outgroup. People are born opposed to liberal democracy and have to be educated into it (or civilized, as we call it). When schools, families, churches and other institutions that make up civil society are weakened or fail in their duties, a lot of people will fall through the cracks, they'll give in to their baser instincts and seek comfort and meaning in tribalism. Tribalism animates both the Far Left and the Far Right, and even centrists are affected by it to an extent, so maintaining liberal democracy is an uphill battle, but it always has been. As Plato once said, "Noble things are difficult."
    Since when do churches support liberal democracy? The bible is a text-book supporting ANTI-democratic illiberal policies.

  17. #17

    Default Re: When the time comes: Let's discuss fascist rhetoric

    Quote Originally Posted by 95thrifleman View Post
    Since when do churches support liberal democracy? The bible is a text-book supporting ANTI-democratic illiberal policies.
    No, it isn't.

  18. #18

    Default Re: When the time comes: Let's discuss fascist rhetoric

    Actual support for fascism or National-Socialism is quite fringe and has little to no sway in right-wing politics which is mainly dominated by economic conservatives, libertarians and nationalists. Thing is, there is no "right-wing radicalization" happening right now (as "radicals" of today are conventionally centrists and are only called "radicals" for disagreeing with.... actual liberal/left radicals who try to present their platform as the new "norm", Democratic debates would be an excellent illustration to this point), but there is one happening with the left, which does, in fact, gestate more among the middle class and elites, then with working class, which cares more about real-life issues of economic survival, then with modern neo-marxist mythology.

  19. #19
    Abdülmecid I's Avatar ¡Ay Carmela!
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    Default Re: When the time comes: Let's discuss fascist rhetoric

    Quote Originally Posted by ep1c_fail View Post
    The allure of fascism is contextual; if you're going to state that it "always appeals more to the petite bourgeoisie" you'll need to provide some supporting evidence. It very much seems to me that support for the FN and the AfD (neither of which I think are fascist) is quite prevalent among working class voters too.
    The lower strata of the middle class were the dominant parts in both Mussolini's and Hitler's party, while the participation of the workers, despite being also noteworthy due to its appeal to its apolitical segment*, never reached similar proportions. It should also be underlined that the Nazis rose to power after reassuring the banking, commercial and industrial elites of their determined hostility to socialist worker demands, while the Italian fascists became prominent, after they crushed the strikes and demonstrations of Biennio Rosso, following the police's dismal failure. As for "impoverished", I meant it in the sense of declining quality of life and income, not absulte poverty or starvation.
    *The increasing political apathy may also explain the popularity of modern far-right groups, like the Alternative or Le Pen's continuously rebaptised formation, among blue-collar workers. In contrast to the Interwar period, trade unions have collapsed, while Marxist parties have essentially gone extinct, since the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the propagation of Berlinguer's platform among the relics of the Communist past.
    Quote Originally Posted by Aexodus View Post
    You have yet to name a single fascist party except Golden Dawn.
    Just in the post above, I mentioned Jobbik and the Turkish Nationalist Movement. Concerning an extra candidate, there's also ELAM in Cyprus. Anyway, Bolsonaro calling for coups, sterilisation of the poor, whipping of homosexuals and murder of his opponents pretty much qualify him as fascist, as you had yourself recognized. Political correctness should not prevent us from calling a spade a spade. Regarding the rest, it's true that far-right leaders are nowadays are too opportunistic to publicly associate themselves with fascism and its nefarious legacy, but they are clearly imitating and endorsing several principles of their fascist predecessors' tactics and manifestos.

    P.S. A somewhat relevant reading about the topic from American Scholar.
    Last edited by Abdülmecid I; August 19, 2019 at 10:59 AM.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: When the time comes: Let's discuss fascist rhetoric

    Quote Originally Posted by Prodromos View Post
    Open advocates of fascism might be in the minority, but the type of worldview that leads one to support fascism (or any other illiberal system, like socialism or absolute monarchy) is hardly out of style. We know that human beings are naturally inclined to evil, so liberty will often feel counter-intuitive, and not everyone will be willing to put in the effort to maintain it. It's not easy to think of every individual as infinitely valuable and with equal rights to everyone else. It's easier to do what feels natural to you; that is, organize into a collective and help the ingroup while robbing, killing or enslaving the outgroup. People are born opposed to liberal democracy and have to be educated into it (or civilized, as we call it). When schools, families, churches and other institutions that make up civil society are weakened or fail in their duties, a lot of people will fall through the cracks, they'll give in to their baser instincts and seek comfort and meaning in tribalism. Tribalism animates both the Far Left and the Far Right, and even centrists are affected by it to an extent, so maintaining liberal democracy is an uphill battle, but it always has been. As Plato once said, "Noble things are difficult."
    Yikes! I know for a fact now that there is nothing I can post that might attract as much ire as what was written here.

    Symbols dominate any ideology. Prodromos, what you suggest is authoritarian. All your institutions to shape people like clay could belong in late Imperial Germany, or the USSR. Instead it is American, the obvious symbolism there, anything not for liberty must be evil.
    Gornahoor|Liber esse, scientiam acquirere, veritatum loqui
    Crow states: "If you would be a great leader, then learn the way of the Tao. Relinquish the need to control. Let go of plans and of concepts. The world will govern itself. The more restrictive you are, the less virtuous people will be. The more force you display, the less secure they will feel. The more subsidies you provide, the less self-reliant they become. Therefore the master says: Un-write the law, thus the people become honest. Dispense with economics, thus the people become prosperous. Do without religion, thus the people become serene. Let go all desire for the common good, and the good becomes as common as the grass." ~ Lao Tzu - Tao te tching
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