Contributed by Joe Montero
These are challenging times. The convergence of a series of crisis poses the significant threat from what is sometimes called a growing fascist movement. We’ll come to this shortly.
Crisis also generates a counter force. It provides humanity with an opportunity to move towards the antithesis of fascism. This is, an inclusive society, where we care for each other and work together, shifting power downwards to meet our shared interests.
Part of today’s debate is whether we should regard the rise of the politics of hate as fascism and the organisations that promote it as fascist. Critics say that the term is being used too loosely. They have a point. On the other hand, this does not necessarily mean that it shouldn’t be used, so long as it is done so accurately.
Fascism has specific characteristics, which separate it from political conservatism. Blurring this distinction separates it from its historical roots and specific characteristics, and helps to legitimise it.
What it is, became clear during its rise in 1920’s and 1930’s. Unfortunately, almost a century later, the lesson learned then, has mostly dropped from the public memory.
The first thing that must be appreciated,is that it rose at a time of crisis, and that crisis, is the petri dish on which fascism grows.
When economically, socially, and politically, society becomes less stable, when the standing government and political institutions falls away, and enough people experience the loss in their material lives and rights, they will start to get angry and look for alternatives.
This is what happened then. It is what is starting to happen today. Conditions may not yet be as severe as they were during the Great Depression. But they are developing in the same direction. There are differences. There are also enough similarities for history to teach us a very good lesson. The the bottom line is, the conditions for the rise of fascism exist
Comparing two points in history is still not enough. The word fascism came from Benito Mussolini. But its content can be traced back to the Middle Ages, and especially, the edict issued by Pope Leo XIII on 15 May 1891. The edict made a stand against the rise of the socialist movement across Europe. Leo subsequently ordered the building of a counter force movement. The edict also opposed the excesses of unbridled capitalism.
Benito Mussolini was the originator of the term fascism
This tilt against capitalism, however, is not opposition to capitalism as an economic and social system. It began as a means to defend Christian civilisation and soon morphed, to include a much earlier belief about a hidden Jewish cabal, which had taken control of finance and the political system.
The cabal was soon singled out as the force behind the excesses of capitalism, and the socialist movement seen as just another weapon to extend the cabal’s power. From this, came a belief in the need to wage a revolutionary war and overthrow the cabal.
Belief in this revolutionary war raised militancy, identified clear enemy, and provided the means to make an appeal, to those who felt they had been left out and marginalised in society. This movement then positioned itself as the champion of the underdog.
QAnon is one of the best known present day examples fitting into this pattern. Since 2016, it expanded quickly, to now include tens of thousands of online accounts, and boast more than one million followers in the United States alone.
QAnon Candidates Are Running for Congress
Video from NowThis News
There are some other characteristics that must be considered.
The rise of this movement from its earlier days to now, has been dependent on the material and political support of major corporations. This was the case in the 1920’s and 1930’s, in the face of rising discontent, these corporations saw fascism as the best way to protect their interests. Gustav Krupp became the poster boy in Germany, and it was Henry Ford in the United States.
Today the support is coming from major players on the stock market. Once it was industrialists. Now it is financiers, brokers and media taking the lead. The Kock brothers are the best known example, and Rupert Murdoch has provided a major platform for this ideology.
This connection provides the movement with contacts in the corridors of power and access to the state.
Henry Ford with Adolf Hitler
A turn to fascism also requires its foot soldiers. The shift towards a more authoritarian state is combined with the building of a political base from among the discontented.
Back in 1891, the world was wracked by a serious depression. This fell upon Australia as well. A leap in unemployment and poverty drove millions to look for new answers to resolve the problems of society.
New workers parties came into existence. Australia saw the emergence of the Labor and Socialist parties, to be later joined by the Industrial Workers of The World.
So did the fight against the cabal of the Cabal become more pronounced. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion was published in 1902, and its helped spread the claim, that Christian civilisation was under threat from the rise of a secret Jewish order. The cabal was accused of using all sorts of fronts to extend its control. It was said, that Jews worship Satan and stole children to drink their blood.
Then came the bigger depression at the end of the 1920’s. The fascist movement firmed against the perceived threat of communism and incorporated this into the Protocols and the threat from the cabal.
Because the wealth and power of the biggest corporation had grown, their capacity to provide support had risen along with it. National economies had become dominated by a group of monopolies and the connection between big business and government had grown stronger. The empires of the richest nations competed for global dominance.
Economic collapse brought about a social explosion. Fascism was promoted as the means to restore ‘law and order’ through the state, and backed by a nurtured political movement, as an auxiliary to the state.
The concept of the Corporate State emerged out of this. Mussolini articulated it, and accurately described this as a merger of the corporations and the state.
Through this merging, the discipline of the corporation could be applied to the whole of society. The enemy using communism and socialism as its weapons can be defeated, and the dream of a great civilisation realised.
Today’s version renames cabal the Deep State. The accusation that Jews worship Satan, steal and sacrifice children is repeated, with the twist, that this is by means of a giant pedophile ring. Islam has been proclaimed as another front created and controlled by the Deep State.
The Deep State, it is said, is working to break families apart, through the promotion of homosexuality in their children. Other accusations are that immigration is being encouraged to ‘mongrelise’ and enslave Christian civilisation, which happens to be white, and immunisation programs are designed to impose chemical and microchip implant induced obedience. Jewish investor George Soros is sometimes singled out as the commander in chief.
QAnon repeats all of this. Claims that Clinton and Obama were agents of the Deep State, and that Donald Trump is here to rescue America and the world from it.
Eternally faithful to the myth, QAnon warns of the coming storm. The storm is the final battle between the civilisation and the Deep State. The Nazis were also loud about the coming storm, and named their front line warriors the Storm Troopers.
Fast forward. Vigilante groups are starting to appear in the streets, and in the United States they are now doing so and carrying guns, with the blessing of the state.
How QAnon, the bizarre pro-Trump conspiracy theory, took hold in right-wing circles online
Video from the Washington Post
This is not only playing out in the United States. It is a global trend, taking its own form in Australia, where QAnon is finding a new audience.
QAnon and other similar groups are well funded and have access to places of power. They have entered the political structures. In the United States, it is entrenched in the Republican Party, and even has a list of its people standing for office in the coming election. It has penetrated the state and joined the elite group in the White House. The Texas branch of the party, has taken up “we are the storm’ as its slogan.
In Australia, those espousing views like QAnon’s, have become a force within in Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, moved into the Liberal and National Parties, and some religious communities.
What must we conclude form this? Based on the outlined criteria, the fascist movement is rising on global scale and it is rising in Australia.
It combines the stand against communism and socialism, the war against the deep state, backing form powerful corporate interests, and drives towards forms of corporatism, the law and order of the state and street thugs, to impose discipline on society.
By ticking all the boxes, anyone subscribing knowingly to this view of the world is a fascist, and organisations joined those with this mindset, make a fascist movement.
Its rise brings a major challenge to come up with an answer. This is to build an alternative, protecting the broad community, valuing all, providing a voice for the unheard, and involving everyone in the practical work of overcoming the challenges and bringing about a new future.