Monday, 31 May 2010

The Road to Fascism.

Angry White Men.

In 2009 we have seen the rise of mass movements on both sides of the Atlantic, I am of course referring to the Tea Party Movement and the English Defence League. In both instances these movements are thoroughly politicised and are growing in strength. In the US the Tea Party Movement has risen to prominence in conservative politics in reaction to taxation, fiscal irresponsibility and what they consider "socialism". In the UK the English Defence League has become a prominent movement in right-wing politics and is supposedly dedicated to combating the "Islamization" of Britain. Both movements appear to consist of various right-wingers united by a few key issues. The Tea Parties consist of "Birthers", gun-toting survivalists and Christian fundamentalists etc. while the EDL consists mostly of football hooligans and far-right activists formerly associated with groups like Combat 18. The latter movement became prominent due to the protests against Islamic fundamentalism outside a mosque in Harrow on September 11th 2009. The former emerged in direct reaction to Barack Obama's bailouts and health-care reforms.

The reasons for the sudden emergence and rapid growth of these particular reactionary movements are not as obscure as the media pretends. Typically in recessions people are desperate for answers in such situations and often flock around identity markers, e.g. religion or nationality, in search of comforting answers. The popularity that the far-right experiences during financial crises is due to the vulnerability people have for easy answers. This is the way that Hitler came to power in Germany during the Great Depression. So there is a definite connection between socio-economic troubles and far-right politics as a "solution" to such troubles. The critique these groups present of society's problems are drawn along populist lines, sometimes reminiscent of leftist attacks on capitalism, but focusing more on individuals and groups than the system itself. Thus, fascist groups like the EDL require a scapegoat, the Muslim community as the source of a destructive radicalism and the Left as dangerously capitulating to that force.

In the case of the Tea Party Movement the scapegoat is the Obama administration, as the enemy of the American way of life, and the Federal government, as a source of incompetence and corruption of the free-enterprise system. The Tea Party see the reason for the financial crisis, not as a lack of regulation but as too much regulation and too much state interference in the financial sector. For them, it is an imaginary elite of liberals, secularists, communists, feminists and progressives who are responsible for the fiscal irresponsibility and "big government". Therefore, the political system needs to be "changed" so that fiscal responsibility, the Constitution and free-markets can be restored in America. Ironically this was a method of communists used to justify a further purge and yet more economic planning. The failures of communism were often blamed on an imaginary elite of capitalists that was still functioning somehow to deprive the workers of their utopia. The system is not at fault, just corrupt individuals that we must purge.

In America and Britain the last 30 years have been difficult for working-class people, to say the least. Communities centred around factory work, mining and manufacturing, were torn apart through privatisation and deregulation on both sides of the pond. The government has effectively abandoned these communities, creating pockets of deprivation. The labour movement and unions were smashed, weakening them considerably, reducing the power of workers to improve working conditions, obtain pay rises and shorter work hours. As a result, wages went into decline or stagnated and work hours have increased. The gap between the wealthy and the poor increased rapidly. This is reflected by facts such as in the year 2000 1% of Americans owned over 40% of stock while 80% of the population owned less than 10%. In Britain we are now seeing the greatest gap between the rich and the poor in 40 years.

The economic policies that have created this inequality is not scrutinised in the working-class press anymore, because the working-class press does no longer exist. It was eliminated by the growing dependence on advertising revenue in the media, which influenced the content of the news as advertisements could be withdrawn if businesses dislike the content. As a result, the cheapest and most commonly read newspapers are thoroughly right-wing. In Britain we saw The Daily Herald replaced by The Sun owned by Rupert Murdoch, in the US it is Fox News. Today the only answers available to the majority of working-class people, regarding the current state of affairs, are from those who blame everything on "do-gooders" whose sensitivity - to immigrants, single-parents and gays - will bring down society as we know it. Political-correctness and multiculturalism are depicted as a source of weakness, leaving our society "vulnerable" to moral decay by "alternative life-styles" and destruction by radical Islamists.

Both the EDL and the Tea Parties have a palingenetic tendency, reminiscent of the fascist movements of the 1930s. Palingenesis being a rebirth or reincarnation of something, in Nazism the Third Reich was the "rebirth" of the First and Second Reich, in Italian Fascism it was the goal of "recreating" the Roman Empire. Today, the EDL "seeks" to take Britain back to a time when British values were safe from Islamism and to do so intend to fend off the "Islamization" of our society. Similarly, the Tea Parties aim to "rejuvenate" the ideals of Revolutionary America, ending the "tyranny" of the Obama administration in the name of individual liberty and responsibility. Of course, the ways they aim to bring about this "rebirth" involves the infringement on the ideals and values they claim to be defending. It is a sad fact that there are such crypto-fascist movements, who claim to stand for freedom while promoting causes that are radically opposed to freedom, in countries that helped bring down fascism in Europe and the Pacific.

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Anonymous said...

The EDL are a working class responce to the rapid replacement of their culture.They have been ignored over the last 13 years by a socialist government who have flooded working class areas with migrants so the greedy businessmen can have cheap labour.

The Guardian realise that the EDL is primarily a white working class phenomena attracting other working class mixed race and ethnic groups into their ranks.

The decades of anti-white hatred, anti-British hatred, anti-Nationalism hatred pumped into white working class and ethnic kids in the UK has been smashed - and that instead of the media and education system conditioning working, these lads and lasses have managed to escape their programming and re-programme themselves.

Now wonder they are scared.

If the Red scum and liberal scum teachers all through the education system have failed to brainwash the EDL youth, and the media conditioning is failing to keep them brainwashed by reinforcing that conditioning all the time - then thats why the fear is rising from the elite and its lackeys in the media.

A people that thinks for itself is a threat to those who want to keep them enslaved.
21st century british nationalism.

Joshua White said...

Interesting comment. First of all, the Labour government was definitely not a socialist or even a left-wing government. New Labour was thoroughly right-wing and fell in line with the Conservative orthodoxy established under Thatcher. This is why wages for working-class people have increased by 45% over the last 13 years while wages for upper-class people have risen by almost 300%.

It's true that the EDL is not entirely white, although it is predominantly white and definitely working-class. There are Sikh members of the EDL, though that's related to ugly conflicts between Sikhs and Muslims that came out of the partition of India. Which is also Rajinder Singh's reason for joining the BNP. But that does not mean that there is no fascist or racist tendencies in the EDL. Especially as the conflicts between Sikhs and Muslims have taken ethnic forms in the past.

I'm not sure what you're referring to in regards to "anti-white" and "anti-British" hatred, particularly as Britain and white people have dominated the world for centuries. This is particularly true of the upper-classes of British society and rich white men. Phenomenon such as "political correctness" and some liberal rhetoric about "multiculturalism" are not a major threat to that power structure.

In regards to the mass-media and the educational system, both have been subjected to a great deal of control. The mass-media is dependent on advertising revenue and as a result liberal opinions are the minority, as conservative opinions are favoured by the business community which is why right-wing newspapers are so cheap - they receive the most advertising revenue.

The educational system, on the other hand, functions mostly to churn out obedient employees who are stupid and vulnerable to conformity. Critical thinking is not a desired result of education, though producing automatons on mass is no good either. The government has tried to create a mix so that some thinking is encouraged but not too much.

Thanks for reading.