FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Unbearable Lightness of Counterrevolution

by

The word fascism has undergone a renaissance, and with good reason. A series of global affairs, culminating in the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States have rattled the hegemony of neoliberalism and elevated the reactionary right.

But Donald Trump has not revolutionized the presidency. Since taking office, he has continued and enhanced the policies of those before him, which are based on American corporate dominance, austerity and war.

Context

In 2017 America, the liberal establishment is corrupt, lazy and reeling from a catastrophic and humiliating loss. It is preoccupied with blaming everybody but itself and has regressed into irrelevance. Thus, not only is it unable to provide an alternative, which can respond to the continued oppression of the people by the corporate and hyper-militarized state, it is continuously cheering on many draconian policies.

In fact, the current liberal establishment has failed the people so miserably, that “anti-establishment” sentiment has surged on both poles of the political spectrum, creating a space where they converge in their hatred.

Trump’s winning recipe of dog whistles and White identity politics has emboldened extreme right-wing Islamophobic, misogynistic, ecocidal, anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, homophobic, transphobic, anti-Black and Brown and anti-indigenous groups vying for more power.

These forces have their man, Bannon (and see here), very close to the driver’s seat, but he has yet to assume full dominance, which is their goal.

On the other hand, the left is all but completely excluded from decision-making processes, though it has immense power in the form of people power, as Bernie Sanders’ campaign proved.

History shows that this is exactly the context in which the extreme right seeks to forge an alliance with the left to complete its counterrevolution.

History

An alliance between nationalists and socialists has historical precedence in Nazi Germany, when Adolph Hitler forged a bond with Gregor Strasser, in a similar context of liberal/establishment corruption. The result of their comradery and allegiance culminated in the “Night of long knives” (June 30th-July 2nd, 1934) when Hitler’s forces killed off Strasser and his socialist group, and anybody else (including his long-time supporter Ernst Röhm) who threatened his complete dominance and vision of a racialized and unjust society.

The Paradox

The problem is that the left and the big chunk of people it represents is comprised of many groups of dis- and unorganized minorities that would never team up with the reactionary right.

Why would the oppressed team up with its oppressors?

Here is where a con is necessary to lure the left into an alliance with its mortal enemy, the fascistic right.

The Con

The con has a two-fold function:

1. Creating an oversimplified and dehumanized common enemy. This fraudulent enemy is often a representation of forces in the shape of a secret cabal who work behind the scenes and are claimed to be the true oppressors of humanity. It can be the Jews, Rothschilds, Rockefellers, Illuminati or in our present day “the deep state” and “mainstream media”.

The con is forged by promoting “anti-establishment” rhetoric from both extremes of the political spectrum, though mostly the right, claiming there are more similarities than differences between the groups, which must join together to combat the common enemy in order to ensure their survival.

2. Deconstructing identity. The common enemy serves to deconstruct and erase identity. Individual identities and grievances are framed as “petty” and even “selfish” because the common enemy supposedly threatens survival and is thus an immediate and urgent threat. Racism, misogyny etc. are framed as “opinions” that should be addressed only after survival is ensured and victory ascertained against the common enemy.

Thus, unity is artificially produced by erasing identities and obscuring the differing and often opposite goals of left and right. In so doing it destroys the left.

The con ensures that fear is the primary emotion, motivation and bond. How else would a gay man work with a homophobe? Or an Indigenous group with capitalists who seek to destroy their land? Or a Jew with a neo-Nazi? Or a woman with a rapist? Or an African-American person with a white supremacist?

Once the con is in place, the glue that binds this red-brown alliance is twofold- the common enemy and its all-knowing leader.

The Present

This analysis and its historical precedence clearly show that the left can never form an alliance with reactionary, fascistic forces that seek to oppress it. These allegiances are dangerous and self-defeating.

In contrast, the left should coalesce as a unit that is comprised of natural allies, which maintain their individual identities – those groups that are oppressed by capitalism and its international wing – imperialism – to fight for true revolution that topples systemic oppression and enacts equality and justice on all levels.

Only when the left shows pride in its history and vision, and displays the appropriate intellectual and operative discipline, can a true alternative and hope arise for the people.

More articles by:

Yoav Litvin is a Doctor of Psychology/ Behavioral Neuroscience.  

February 22, 2018
Jeffrey Sommers
Bond Villain in the World Economy: Latvia’s Offshore Banking Sector
Mark Schuller
Haiti’s Latest Indignity at the Hands of Dogooders, Oxfam’s Sex Scandal
T.J. Coles
How the US Bullies North Korea, 1945-Present
Ipek S. Burnett
Rethinking Freedom in the Era of Mass Shootings
Manuel E. Yepe
Fire and Fury: More Than a Publishing Hit
Patrick Bobilin
Caught in a Trap: Being a Latino Democrat is Being in an Abusive Relationship
Laurel Krause
From Kent State to Parkland High: Will America Ever Learn?
Terry Simons
Congress and the AR-15: One NRA Stooge Too Many
George Wuerthner
Border Wall Delusions
Manuel García, Jr.
The Anthropocene’s Birthday, or the Birth-Year of Human-Accelerated Climate Change
Thomas Knapp
Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Russiagate
February 21, 2018
Cecil Bothwell
Billy Graham and the Gospel of Fear
Ajamu Baraka
Venezuela: Revenge of the Mad-Dog Empire
Edward Hunt
Treating North Korea Rough
Binoy Kampmark
Meddling for Empire: the CIA Comes Clean
Ron Jacobs
Stamping Out Hunger
Ammar Kourany – Martha Myers
So, You Think You Are My Partner? International NGOs and National NGOs, Costs of Asymmetrical Relationships
Michael Welton
1980s: From Star Wars to the End of the Cold War
Judith Deutsch
Finkelstein on Gaza: Who or What Has a Right to Exist? 
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
War Preparations on Venezuela as Election Nears
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Military Realities
Steve Early
Refinery Safety Campaign Frays Blue-Green Alliance
Ali Mohsin
Muslims Face Increasing Discrimination, State Surveillance Under Trump
Julian Vigo
UK Mass Digital Surveillance Regime Ruled Illegal
Peter Crowley
Revisiting ‘Make America Great Again’
Andrew Stewart
Black Panther: Afrofuturism Gets a Superb Film, Marvel Grows Up and I Don’t Know How to Review It
CounterPunch News Service
A Call to Celebrate 2018 as the Year of William Edward Burghardt Du Bois by the Saturday Free School
February 20, 2018
Nick Pemberton
The Gun Violence the Media Shows Us and the State Violence They Don’t
John Eskow
Sympathy for the Drivel: On the Vocabulary of President Nitwit
John Steppling
Trump, Putin, and Nikolas Cruz Walk Into a Bar…
John W. Whitehead
America’s Cult of Violence Turns Deadly
Ishmael Reed
Charles F. Harris: He Popularized Black History
Will Podmore
Paying the Price: the TUC and Brexit
George Burchett
Plumpes Denken: Crude thinking
Binoy Kampmark
The Caring Profession: Peacekeeping, Blue Helmets and Sexual Abuse
Lawrence Wittner
The Trump Administration’s War on Workers
David Swanson
The Question of Sanctions: South Africa and Palestine
Walter Clemens
Murderers in High Places
Dean Baker
How Does the Washington Post Know that Trump’s Plan Really “Aims” to Pump $1.5 Trillion Into Infrastructure Projects?
February 19, 2018
Rob Urie
Mueller, Russia and Oil Politics
Richard Moser
Mueller the Politician
Robert Hunziker
There Is No Time Left
Nino Pagliccia
Venezuela Decides to Hold Presidential Elections, the Opposition Chooses to Boycott Democracy
Daniel Warner
Parkland Florida: Revisiting Michael Fields
Sheldon Richman
‘Peace Through Strength’ is a Racket
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail