Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Fascism in its many forms

     The Italian neofascists were learning from the U.S. reactionaries how to achieve fascism's class goals within the confines of quasi-democratic forms: 

  • use an upbeat, Reaganesque optimism; 
  • replace the jackbooted militarists with media-hyped crowd pleasers; 
  • convince people that government is the enemy - especially its social service sector - while strengthening the repressive capacities of the state; 
  • instigate racist hostility and antagonisms between the resident population and immigrants; 
  • preach the mythical virtues of the free market; 
  • and pursue tax and spending measures that redistribute income upward.

    All conservative ideologies justify existing inequities as the natural order of things, inevitable outcomes of human nature. If the very rich are naturally so much more capable than the rest of us, why must they be provided with so many artificial privileges under the law, so many bailouts, subsidies and other special considerations - at our expense? Their "naturally superior talents" include unprincipled and illegal subterfuge such as price-fixing, stock manipulation, insider trading, fraud, tax evasion, the legal enforcement of unfair competition, ecological spoliation, harmful products and unsafe work conditions. One might expect naturally superior people not to act in such rapacious and venal ways. Differences in talent and capacity as might exist between individuals do not excuse the crimes and injustices that are endemic to the corporate business system.

     Fascism historically has been used to secure the interests of large capitalist interests against the demands of popular democracy. Then and now, fascism has made irrational mass appeals in order to secure the rational ends of class domination.

    Some writers stress the "irrational" features of fascism. By doing so, they over look the rational politico-economic functions that fascism performed. Much of politics is the rational manipulation of irrational symbols. Certainly, this is true of fascist ideology, whose emotive appeals have served a class-control function.

    Fascism is a false revolution. It cultivates the appearance of popular politics and a revolutionary aura without offering a genuine revolutionary class content. It propagates a "New Order" while serving the same old moneyed interests. Its leaders are not guilty of confusion but of deception. That they work hard to mislead the public does not mean they themselves are misled.

  • Blackshirts and Reds by Michael Parenti

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Russia--going backwards towards the 19th century. Or maybe the 18th century?


Chipping away at body autonomy rights

Jezebel warns us:

    Every day, a fresh hell awaits as I check to see how a state legislator is trying to one-

up the legislature the next region over. For the worst proposals this week, it’s a four-

way tie between Missouri’s attempt to stop people from leaving the state for

 abortions; Texas trying to investigate parents supporting trans children for child

 abuse; Idaho’s attempt to criminalize providing medically necessary, gender-

affirming care to minors; and Oklahoma pushing six anti-abortion bills one step

 closer to becoming law. This four-way combination managed to unseat Florida’s

 “Don’t Say Gay” bill which seeks to block discussion of sexual orientation and identity

 in state classrooms, and caused student-led protests across the state.

Republican and conservative lawmakers packed the 2022 legislative calendar to the brim with proposals aimed at cutting off access to gender affirming and medically necessary healthcare for trans kids and adults. Oh, and outlawing abortion in any possible fashion until the Supreme Court rules in June. We’re approaching the end of many state legislature sessions, meaning the fight to get every bill passed is running at a high clip.

Conservatives at all power levels are attempting to move the Overton Window—a way of gauging what’s politically possibly, created by a conservative think tank—in front of our eyes. The goal is to remove bodily autonomy from as many people as possible as quickly as possible.