Wednesday, January 20

A return to civility will not begin to quell the threat of fascism in the United States | 2020 U.S. elections


WWhat was this desperate coup supposed to accomplish? The mafia with the painted face LARPersThe end-time QAnon conspirators, militiamen, neo-Nazis, Christian supremacists and preparers who invaded the Capitol building in Washington DC were never going to annul the results of the 2020 presidential election.

And yet they are far from being a few isolated maniacs. This crowd, whose actions are supported by 45% of Republican voters, he had been summoned to the capital by Donald Trump. His “protest” had been incited from the podium both Trump and Rudi Giuliani, asserting their betrayal myth that the election was stolen. Trump’s campaign to reverse election results and subverting constitutional law, endorsed by several Republican elected officials, has repeated inspired violence. Trump has repeatedly backed the militias, from his shouting approval of their anti-lockdown maneuvers to his support of vigilante violence against Black Lives Matter protesters, to his call to action by the militias on Election Day.

While Trump had been under the control of the Republican establishment for most of his term, last year, since protests over the shutdown began, there has been a process of radicalization of the military base, the administration and its white suburban supporters. . The further the extra-parliamentary right advanced, the more violent it became, the more Trump advanced. Any violent exhortation was justified by hallucinatory anti-communism. What’s more, a set of unspoken alliances has emerged between law enforcement and armed vigilantes, as seen in Black Lives Matter. protests.

The reports and inquiries will shed light on what happened in the coming weeks, but serious questions must be asked about how an armed mob was able to “storm” the Capitol building in the first place, wandering the halls to take selfies with the police, scanning computer screens left unmanned by hastily evacuated personnel and looking for elected officials to confront. It demands credulity to think that they could have taken over the debating chamber, even after what appears to have been a tense gun confrontation, without some kind of orchestrated or de facto acquiescence. Their braying triumphalism after being evicted, claiming victory, overlooked both this and the extraordinarily delayed arrival of the National Guard.

All of this is indicative of an incipient fascism, which lays the cultural and political foundations for a violent, extra-parliamentary mass movement of the right. It is a mistake to assume that fascism must take the form of dictatorship. Today’s far-right movements are determined by the same factors: the decomposition of parliamentary legitimacy and its inherited organizational weaknesses. In this context, exercising the power of the position is a pedagogical and formative experience. It allows movements with thin civic roots to project national influence and try things out.

Fascism does not arrive on the scene with a full uniform and program. The Jewish socialist Arthur Rosenberg traced the origins of fascism as a mass movement to the period before World War I, when millions were already infected by volkisch, racial-nationalist ideology, and contempt for democratic government. It is consolidated through experimentation, learning the ins and outs through episodes that, at first, seem amateurish and bullies, from the beginning brewery (Munich) coup to the demolition of Babri Masjid. First as a farce, then as a tragedy.

Data have been accumulating for some time that suggests a political break from the right. The growing number of people, particularly among the wealthy, who favor some form of authoritarian rule is a sign. The series of right-wing governments elected by the people, and often re-elected, militantly challenging liberal legal norms and institutions is another. The rise of the lone wolf killers and vigilante conspiracist is another one. And there is the proliferation of militias and paramilitaries, often with close relationships with the police and the military base. How the work of contemporary historian Kathleen Belew has proved, many fascist currents and white power were forged in the furnace of war.

In the United States, the rupture has been building since before the Tea Party movement. During the 2008 elections, paranoid racists brought guns and ropes to town hall meetings and called Obama a Muslim, the birth of the “birth” myth. It signals a split in the Republican party or its total capture by the middle class. enraged. This is a serious problem for ruthless Republican establishment operators like Senators Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham, who spent years defending the Trump administration, using it to consolidate their electoral base, strengthen a minority grip on the government, and take over the courts. . Its traditional allies, including the National Manufacturers Association, are not prepared to face a party that is out of control, but they can’t just throw out half the Republican vote.

And this is your problem. Trumpism is not an aberration, but a mass phenomenon. Trump greatly expanded his base between 2016 and 2020, adding more than 10 million votes in total. He expanded into places and demographic districts believed closed to him. No other Republican presidential candidate could have done this. And it was achieved by precisely the same means that led to the show on Capitol Hill. Expecting Joe Biden to alleviate this by restoring civility and bipartisanship in Washington would be inexcusably accommodating. America, and not just America, urgently needs an anti-fascist movement. We haven’t started to see the end of this.

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