Fascism for Dessert

I’ve been watching bits of the impeachment trial on youtube. It’s deeply shocking when you put together Trump’s inflammatory speeches, tweets and statements with the actions of the crowd rampaging through the Capitol carrying nooses and guns and threatening to kill Senators for merely carrying out their duties. But what’s worse is the fact that as things stand the Senate is unlikely to convict. Republican Senators are scared, not so much of Trump as of their constituents (or whatever they call them over there). It really is mob rule, and you have to salute those brave enough to stand up for the rule of law. They are the human barricades in this situation.

I grew up believing fascism was dead, that it had been defeated in my parents’ generation and could not come back. That was a delusion; fascism is back, it’s loud and Proud, it waves flags and totes guns and will stop at nothing to achieve its ends. Fascism has no arguments and no creed; it doesn’t bother to debate, just says get out of my way, I’m going to win here because I’m right. And why am I right? Because this gun, this fist, this flag says I’m right. This President says I’m right. Fascism takes no account of reason or law except as obstacles that stand in its way. Of course, when they get into power they will enact their own laws which they will enforce with draconian severity, but for now laws are there to be broken. Your laws have no legitimacy. Why not? Because I say so. It’s this climate which encourages far-right Senators to insist they can bring guns into the Capitol and go without a mask: because I say so. Because it’s my right. Because I have the freedom. They are quick enough to invoke the second amendment for their own freedom of speech but would deny others the right to go about their lawful business or to cast their vote.

Image

Trump will go down in infamy, sure. But the chaos he caused will carry on. Year on year there may be fewer people believing the election was ‘stolen’ but there will still be some – and in four years time a cleverer person can come along and manipulate these people and in the guise of rescuing America do what Trump failed to do and finish the job. In the end Trump was a useful idiot; he was like the Ape in The Last Battle who only wants more nuts and oranges and is made use of by cleverer, more manipulative power-brokers. To gain power in a democracy you need at least a measure of self-control and Trump had none; in the end his downfall was that he couldn’t accept losing. Losing was against his code, against his creed (if you can call it that) against his whole raison d’etre. He is simply incapable of accepting defeat; he has not conceded the election and probably never will. This is a terrible weakness. A more sensible person would have conceded, albeit between gritted teeth, and bided their time for a comeback. But Trump has never been sensible.

Whatever possessed a population to vote him in in the first place is a question we’ll probably never fully be able to answer. He was a disgrace to his office and his country. He roused up the worst elements in the population, incited an insurrection and should never be allowed anywhere near office again. Will the Senate have the guts to convict? We live in hope.

In other news, my copy of The Dig has arrived. Yay! I look forward to reading it and I’ll let you know my thoughts. In reference to Wednesday’s discussion on books vs ebooks, I get most of my reading via Alibris, a site which links second-hand bookshops throughout the UK (there’s also a US site.) Typically prices are much lower than in the shops, though not so low as Amazon. But you know why I don’t use Amazon: at least you ought to know, for I have often told you so… You can also find obscure or out of print books, usually for a reasonable price; I’m still awaiting my copy of Sweet’s Anglo-Saxon Primer. Greek is not enough: I must learn Anglo-Saxon! I must read the tales of Hroth and Hgoth and their glorious swords and try to detach my feminist consciousness from this chest-beating epic. I’ll let you know how I get on…

Kirk out

5 thoughts on “Fascism for Dessert

  1. Shocking though the descent of America under Trump into demonstrable fascism has been, what Biden has to contend with, notwithstanding the outcome of Trump’s impeachment, is identifying & repairing the factors that facilitated it, and however much they [as a nation] might associate it with Socialism/socialism, distasteful or otherwise, if they don’t accept that social inequality is the fundamental root cause, I can’t see much hope for improvement. We always adopt American culture at a remove, albeit diminishing inexorably thanks to the internet & easily accessed ‘entertainment’ and, although I obviously hope that we never develop such a strain of militarised militancy as demonstrated across the Pond, our culture is still, thankfully, less polarised than theirs: but for how much longer? I had to study fascism to some extent to write my grand-uncle’s biography, and if nothing else, it taught me that fascism isn’t easily defined, despite having general indicators [it tends to mutate, like viruses], which can be identified here; but those in the upper echelons, and their lower-status facilitators, who stand to benefit from a 21st century British variant of fascism, are content to bide their time and manipulate the masses to make their message palatable, and even desirable. I was uncertain at first whether I wanted to write the biography of an avowed Fascist [whom I never met despite the relative closeness of our connection], albeit for a limited period between 1930 & 1939, and at a remove of 80 years, during which the world changed almost beyond recognition, but I hope that I was able to exercise the dispassionate analysis necessary for a biographer, and I think I was able to find the humanity in the man, as demonstrated by his unflagging enthusiasm for protecting innocent animals; I know there is a very well-known association here, of course. Cheers, Jon.

      1. It is published, yes. I wasn’t being coy, but neither did I want to overtly advertise it on your blog. It’s available in print [£15 + P&P] or download as a PDF, ePub or Kindle, in both popular formats, at £5. You can read about it at http://www.wilfredbooks.co.uk/bsandsb.html, and proceed to buy it, using the link at the bottom of the page, if you like. Don’t worry if your browser tells you something like “This site isn’t safe”, because it is: they do that because I haven’t paid to convert it from http to https yet. A confirmation email will be sent following a purchase, but if you buy a download, please check the email hasn’t gone to a spam folder, as the download link times out after 24 hours. Thank you!

      2. Thanks. Don’t worry, I don’t mind regular commenters occasionally talking about their books

  2. When I was younger, I was very active politically on the Left. At the time, it was called the ‘Extreme Left’ by the media. Trade Union organiser, Communist Party member (for a few years) and later a member of Militant Tendency, for which I was expelled from the Labour Party. So I was very aware that WW2 didn’t end Facism. In France, the Far Right had huge support, something I was could see for myself whenever I visited that country. In Britain we had The National Front, Column 88, The League of St George, and other neo-Nazi splinter groups. As in America, they hid behind claims of Patriotism, and the national flag.
    There there was The Balkans, a hotbed of Facism during WW2 that had never gone away. Also Austria, Belgium, and Holland all had their populist neo-Nazi movements. Following the break up of the Soviet Union and the reunification of Germany, the Far Right re-emerged in places like Ukraine, Latvia and Lithaunia, Hungary, Italy, and Greece. It was only a matter of time before that travelled across the Atlantic ocean, given Trump’s attraction to so-called ‘Strong Leaders’.
    Best wishes, Pete.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s