FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Whither America, Neo-Fascism?

Let’s not bandy about terms. “Fascism” (aka, the militarized face of capitalism in its advanced stage of development) reveals the historical integration of political-structural-ideological factors, among others, pointed toward a totalitarian mindset of consensus on the values and policy of hegemonic expansion, the “Neo” component merely being the liberal patina to gloss an essentially traditional Rightist posture of class-rule and socio-cultural regimentation at home, commercial-financial penetration, the rigging of the international trade and monetary systems, alongside their corollaries, war, intervention, and regime change abroad. In sum, pretty much where we’re presently at. To say, therefore, as I do here, that the US inclines toward fascism, does not mean necessarily a permanent indictment, the inevitability of a one-way street toward the concentration camp and gas ovens, and in fact in its present guise there is no need for overt repression, at least of the Homeland, when the fictions of democracy, liberty, and market freedom ring the air. As for core-destructiveness, that can be, and IS, projected outward instead, as in incinerating whole countries (e.g.,Vietnam) and enabling dictators to forge systems of imprisonment for their own people whenever the respective national interests coincide (from Latin America to Asia and beyond), meanwhile, again for the Homeland, infusing the folk with self-righteous pride of achievement.

As bad as all that? Yes, gradually fewer exits, rest stops, u-turn opportunities for that one-way street as America knuckles down to the realization that its unilateral global domination following World War II is no longer feasible, is in fact breaking down, with the rise of new centers of power and a decentralization of the World System. Before, it had everything its own way, buying and selling “friends and allies” at will in sustained counterrevolutionary mode; no longer, for the natives are rising up, piercing the disguises and subterfuges of liberal humanitarianism, only angering Behemoth to raise the stakes, a more forcible world response accompanied by pressures for greater conformity at home. To all intents and purposes, America is a One-Party State when it comes to militarism, from defining the national budget to infusing society with a cultural spirit of superior destiny in fighting Evil—anything less being soft on a multitude of enemies waiting in the wings (many, of course, given birth and sustenance through our own actions in heightened Cold War fashion, i.e., the Taliban, conversely, death squads in Central America, the military dictators in Chile, having the effect of creating opposition to American policy heretofore neutral or even friendly).

Behemoth scratches, more of the world’s population rises in protest. Cuba, earlier, Venezuela, a more recent example. And that, in our neighborhood. What of the Middle East, South Asia, parts of Africa, even restiveness in the EU? Hegemony is becoming frayed at the edges, summoning the bugle call to National Greatness. Obama wears Bush’s shoes, a continuity of self-justifying arrogance which, in the near future, offers little prospect of change, and rather, the intensification of: Neo-Fascism, political, structural, ideological, exemplified in status quo consensus, interpenetration/co-partnership of the State and capitalism, an ethnocentric defensive (at once military and psychological) shield. The synchronous workings of the three ensures the narrowing of societal purpose, a holding action against history done in the name of history. Call it the prerogatives of Exceptionalism, to save the world, or the inevitableness of economic concentration (a light-hearted case of monopolization, this week’s $41B merger of Heintz and Kraft to the tune of “Everybody’s doing it”), but as American capitalism monolithically proceeds, it grows more belligerent, more appetitive, more war-like. John Bolton’s NYT op-ed (March 26) entitled “To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran,” captures a rare moment encapsulating the national will, a microcosm of pent-up hatred to all things perceived menacing awaiting to explode.

America is on the edge: Democrats sliding further Right, disappearing into the vortex or is it maelstrom of pathologic self-pity over no longer exercising world supremacy and striking out accordingly; business, in turn, not satisfied with deregulation, calling for regression on all fronts, from the social safety net to labor organization, weakening both while making of itself a state-within-the-state, sitting willingly at the feet of the military; and, yes, ideology, a transcendent vision of Capitalistic Godhead, certifiably pure for putting down all resistance. America can’t lose; or, will April showers bring May flowers? Not if present trends continue. Little on the horizon, political, structural, ideological, gives grounds for assurance that a real alternative to militarized capitalism will arise in politics, that the democratization of capitalism will occur in political economy, or that an hierarchically-arranged orchestration of social values pertaining to class, race, status, legitimating a fundamental inequality throughout society, will finally be brought to an end.

The Bolton article, though a straw in the wind, deserves perusal by CP readers, a fine illustration of what I would term the Paradigm of the Fascist Mindset; here then my New York Times Comment on the piece, same date, follows:

Bolton wants to portray Obama as the Neville Chamberlain of our time. His own recommendation, a la Strangelove, is to bomb Iran, creating a vaster regional turmoil than already exists.

Here Bolton reveals his right-wing credentials pulling no punches, a poster boy for US global militarism (as has been his wont in the past) excelling that of most hawks. Ironically, he underestimates the gift Obama bestows on the Right and on Militarism with policies of war,intervention, regime change, and, the apple of Obama’s eye, targeted drone assassination. That Bolton doesn’t appreciate how far the US, under Obama, has already veered so far to the Right, suggests his own being out of touch.

With Brennan at his side, and cementing the White House closeness to the military and intelligence communities, Obama is no appeaser, but rather a global hegemonist of the first water. Perhaps what saves America from completely going off the deep end is the conflict among our Patriots, Bolton’s critique of Obama being a case in point.

NYT, by all means give Bolton a hearing. I mean that sincerely. Because in that way we have the position of the Far Right usefully articulated. Regrettably, not that it matters, because the nation itself has shifted significantly rightward as it is. There is, on essentials, bipartisan unity, as testified to by the size of the arms budget, support for Ukraine, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, in sum, an ESCALATION in the confrontation with Russia and China.

Norman Pollack has written on Populism. His interests are social theory and the structural analysis of capitalism and fascism. He can be reached at pollackn@msu.edu.

More articles by:

Norman Pollack Ph.D. Harvard, Guggenheim Fellow, early writings on American Populism as a radical movement, prof., activist.. His interests are social theory and the structural analysis of capitalism and fascism. He can be reached at pollackn@msu.edu.

January 22, 2019
Patrick Cockburn
On the Brink of Brexit: the Only Thing Most People Outside Westminster Know About Brexit is That It’s a Mess
Raouf Halaby
The Little Brett Kavanaughs from Covington Catholic High
Craig Collins
Why Did Socialism Fail?
Dean Baker
The Trump Tax Cut is Even Worse Than They Say
Stanley L. Cohen
The Brazen Detention of Marzieh Hashemi, America’s Newest Political Prisoner
Karl Grossman
Darth Trump: From Space Force to Star Wars
Haydar Khan
The Double Bind of Human Senescence
Alvaro Huerta
Mr. President, We Don’t Need Your Stinking Wall
Howard Lisnoff
Another Slugger from Louisville: Muhammad Ali
Nicole Patrice Hill – Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
The Scarlet “I”: Climate Change, “Invasive” Plants and Our Culture of Domination
Jonah Raskin
Disposal Man Gets His Balls Back
Thomas Knapp
Now More Than Ever, It’s Clear the FBI Must Go
January 21, 2019
W. T. Whitney
New US Economic Attack Against Cuba, Long Threatened, May Hit Soon
Jérôme Duval
Macronist Repression Against the People in Yellow Vests
Dean Baker
The Next Recession: What It Could Look Like
Eric Mann
All Hail the Revolutionary King: Martin Luther King and the Black Revolutionary Tradition
Binoy Kampmark
Spy Theories and the White House: Donald Trump as Russian Agent
Edward Curtin
We Need a Martin Luther King Day of Truth
Bill Fried
Jeff Sessions and the Federalists
Ed Corcoran
Central America Needs a Marshall Plan
Colin Todhunter
Complaint Lodged with European Ombudsman: Regulatory Authorities Colluding with Agrochemicals Industry
Manuel E. Yepe
The US War Against the Weak
Weekend Edition
January 18, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
Star Wars Revisited: One More Nightmare From Trump
John Davis
“Weather Terrorism:” a National Emergency
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Sometimes an Establishment Hack is Just What You Need
Joshua Frank
Montana Public Schools Block Pro-LGBTQ Websites
Louisa Willcox
Sky Bears, Earth Bears: Finding and Losing True North
Robert Fisk
Bernie Sanders, Israel and the Middle East
Robert Fantina
Pompeo, the U.S. and Iran
David Rosen
The Biden Band-Aid: Will Democrats Contain the Insurgency?
Nick Pemberton
Human Trafficking Should Be Illegal
Steve Early - Suzanne Gordon
Did Donald Get The Memo? Trump’s VA Secretary Denounces ‘Veteran as Victim’ Stereotyping
Andrew Levine
The Tulsi Gabbard Factor
John W. Whitehead
The Danger Within: Border Patrol is Turning America into a Constitution-Free Zone
Dana E. Abizaid
Kafka’s Grave: a Pilgrimage in Prague
Rebecca Lee
Punishment Through Humiliation: Justice For Sexual Assault Survivors
Dahr Jamail
A Planet in Crisis: The Heat’s On Us
John Feffer
Trump Punts on Syria: The Forever War is Far From Over
Dave Lindorff
Shut Down the War Machine!
Glenn Sacks
LA Teachers’ Strike: Student Voices of the Los Angeles Education Revolt  
Mark Ashwill
The Metamorphosis of International Students Into Honorary US Nationalists: a View from Viet Nam
Ramzy Baroud
The Moral Travesty of Israel Seeking Arab, Iranian Money for its Alleged Nakba
Ron Jacobs
Allen Ginsberg Takes a Trip
Jake Johnston
Haiti by the Numbers
Binoy Kampmark
No-Confidence Survivor: Theresa May and Brexit
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail