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and Rui Silva
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. What's in a word like 'fascism'?
2. The fasces as metaphor of society and the 'problem of war'
3. Fascism and the rise of populist Imperators
4. Fascism as utopia secreted by the Left: civil strife, popular revolutions
and the party-police apparatus
5. The fascist need for a mythical saviour
6. The corporativist veneer of fascism
7. The suicidary and genocidal sociopathic nature of fascism
8. Is the Left also fascist?
9. The final decomposition of the Left: from two to many
10. The controversy surrounding islamic fascism
11. The new European consent to islamic fascism
12. The victory of fascism: its molecularizing and its unconscious basis
13. Are there no more fascists left, or has everyone turned fascist?
|"Neither the Party or the Common Will brought me forward. It was the thousands who turned on the gas in their despair at finding no way out. The day is not far off when I shall ensure meticulous order in society. These plutocrats and Jewish elements want to dictate to the German worker. This lies solely in my power. Germany is Hitler - and Hitler is Germany!"|
|Hitler as House Painter, in Syberberg, H.-J., "Our Hitler - a film from Germany"|
Employment of words and expressions obeys their political utility and the viewpoint of their valuation. The same word or expression can be employed with positive or negative connotations, can be neutralized or even discarded, crossed off, because of a lack of expediency or relevance. The usage of words and expressions - or their absence - is, therefore, liable to reflect the value they have - or fail to have - to those who employ them, who enunciate them or shun their use.
The political utility of a term or expression is not simply reducible to the advantages its usage brings to power systems - be these State apparatuses, 'power dispositives' (in the sense of Michel Foucault) or other organized forms of social constraint. Power as Potestas is not the only possible yardstick for the political value of words and expressions. Rather, this political value may well reside in the capacity of words and expressions to empower resistance to Potestas, or - even more simply - in the capacity to further the analysis of social and natural processes, to permit new perceptions, to actualize new ideas, concepts or percepts, or invent better potentialities for the living and its understanding. In sum, the political power of words and expressions may simply reside in their faculty, their potentia, to create the new and discern the different.
Consider a word like 'fascism'. It once enjoyed a positive connotation, when masses of people proudly proclaimed they had become fascist - in their own eyes - in order to 'better their lot' by altering the structure of society and reorganizing Potestas. For those who opposed them, the term 'fascism' acquired, instead, a negative connotation - a mark of baseness in thought, desire and perception that betrayed a repulsive eroticism of Power, an Eros of Potestas with all its Terror and its infinite litany of horrors. Those who can remember, or who have studied recent history sufficiently to know the facts, realize only too well how apt the negative connotation is to the word 'fascism'. Too often, however, the pejorative use has ceased being of any value whatsoever because those who employ it prove to be sorely ignorant of the nature of fascism, unable to describe it and isolate it, and liable, even, to then abuse 'antifascism' itself, or 'antifascists', with the designation 'fascist' as epithet. But if users of the fascist epithet have thus abused it to the point of the nonrecognition of its object - fascism (either in others or in oneself) - those who have studied fascism have equally contributed to this dilution of meaning and of the political utility of the terms 'fascism' and 'fascist' by proving to be unable to isolate what fascism actually consists of, what its real nature is and what constitutes its difference. The debility of academic intellectuals who lack real ideas or insights is forcefully exposed in their failure to understand fascism, both for what it was and for what it is.
When one hears that there can be no 'authentic fascism before democracy' or unless it arises within a democracy, from a democracy, or that fascism is nationalistic and not a transnational movement, or that it requires mass-mobilization and aims at constructing a State and cannot be confused with the imposition of a rule by brute force, or that it is a secular movement and not a religious one, etc, etc - one knows that those who make these glib statements are effectively producing the loss of descriptive power of the term 'fascism' by practicing the obfuscation of its difference. For, indeed, democracy is not the necessary end of history or the outcome of every and any social and historical development, anymore than fascism is solely a malady of democracies, even failed ones - like those of the incipient German, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish republics in the first half of the XXth century, which had displaced failed absolute monarchies.
More properly speaking, fascism has always regarded itself as a revolutionary mass- movement that purportedly addressed, with its party-based programmes of national socialism and international alliances, the modernizing tendencies of national and international capitalism. The notion of a Fascist International has always underlied every form of fascism; fascism itself, like party-communism, historically emerged from a rupture within the Socialist Second International. The distinction between secular and religious movements, too, loses its significance when applied to fascism, that is, when applied to social movements that, with the wildest of ideological mysticisms and the crassest of mental stews, congregate a technocratic priesthood within a party-police machine bent on taking over the State-apparatus to impose upon its bureaucracy 'a line of thought and behaviour'. And if these simple considerations suffice to point out the debile impotence of academicians - made manifest by their present-day abandonment of the term 'fascist' as it applies to systems, regimes, actions, thoughts, etc, in our epoch that effectively are fascist - they still have not told us what the real characteristics of fascism are. The fact is that, when all is said and done, fascism is neither internationalist nor nationalist, neither secular nor religious, and it is no more a friend of a nation than it is of society, or of the race or races it purports to 'save' or 'liberate'. And it is no more characterized by being a mass-movement than democratic movements are or were, or party-communist or syndical movements, or even soccer clubs. The notion itself of a party-police dictatorship is not exclusive to fascism - as it stole the idea from Leninism, and the very concept of party machinery is to this day fundamental to representative democracy. Fascism clearly aims at dominating a society and taking over the State, like so many other movements before it and contemporary with it. But what made and makes its difference is that this domination and take-over by a party- police machine are not made for their own sake. Rather, they are made for the sake of war, of a permanent and total state of war at home and abroad, upon all, everything and everyone, a state of war destined to reach self-abolition - the only real value of fascism being destruction for its own sake, even self-destruction. More than the rule of a priestly bureaucracy, or a managing technocracy, fascism is the rule of a thanatocracy engaged in collective suicide. Fascism is therefore the expression of a collective sociopathic tendency towards destruction and suicide that emerges when entire societies become decoded, invaded by anomy and disarticulated in their mechanisms of Potestas. It is a disease of Power in the hands of inebriated masses.
The inability of intellectuals devoid of ideas to account for the specificity of fascism is, in many ways, a cultivated one. The terms 'fascist' and 'fascism' have lost their descriptive power all the more as they have become reduced, by arbitrary 'specialist criteria' like the revisionist tenets criticized above, to select traits of circumscribed historical situations which, if anything, make fascism so highly specific that the term loses all relevance to variant situations, and thus loses its real specificity. Thus, one hears at times that only Nazi Germany was 'truly fascist'. In parallel with this reductionism with respect to the problem of fascism, one finds another historical and cultivated reason for the dilution of the meaning of fascism - one seldom remarked upon: the fact that modern forms of social organization have incorporated so many of the control and conditioning methods, rules, techniques and dispositives of fascism, and insinuated them so deeply into everyday life, that no one recognizes fascism any longer, nor its distinguishing traits, for what they are. If 'fascism' only occurs in failed democracies, if it is merely a party-police dictatorship based upon broad mass mobilization, if it is only nationalistic, if its ideology must always be secular and racialistic, etc, etc, then we can all be sure we are no longer fascist or living in the prolongation of fascism, that fascism is no more. Restricted by these arbitrary characteristics, the term has lost its descriptive and analytical power, its real senses and utility, to the benefit of the dissemination of fascism throughout civil society - a sociological phenomenon which a circumscribed meaning of the term is no longer able to encompass.
This double denaturation of the terms 'fascist' and 'fascism' has effectively diluted their political uses, all the more intensely as the terms have remained emotionally charged. Now, everyone can be a fascist - but maybe this is only so because everybody appears to desire to become one.
A recent article in the NY Times  purports to examine the usage of the term 'fascist'. It begins by noting that the term has gone in and out of fashion several times since WWII. The very notion that there is a fashion to its use is perhaps the best clue to its utter lack of modern senses, the topic of that NY Times article. That the term has remained 'a prisoner of fashion' is a tribute to how an entire epoch has deliberately made its sense opaque. The simplest reason that one may find for such opacity is that political thought has failed to isolate the true characteristics of fascism. But even more importantly, because modern systems of power have also dispersed those same characteristics throughout society so that they remain unrecognizable when Power is effectively exercised.
|"On the one hand, I have an interest and connection with Pompey's party. And on the other, it is only Caesar's cause that I dislike, not his friends. You are aware, I'm sure, that so long as the rifts in our country are confined to talking, we should always side with the more righteous party. But as soon as the sword is drawn, the strongest party shall always be the best."|
|Cicero, "Letters to his Friends"|
By all accounts, the creation of the State of Rome - mythically set at 753BC - was a late event in the history of City-States. The early period was characterized by a monarchy that gradually lost its absolute power to an emerging war aristocracy (the patrician class) originally organized in the political institution of the Senate. The Populus, as represented in its Assembly, was formed by the patricians as well as by their clients, ie the peasantry which farmed the patrician estates and belonged to the extended family or gens of a pater gentis. The king - originally high-priest, judge and, at some point, supreme war-chief - became progressively limited by the Senate. Early Roman religion reflected this decay of the archaic despotic Power - displacing towards the private realm the archaic State religion of the immortalized ancestors (the Manes) while doubling it with a domain of public religion imported from the Greeks. The monarchy ceases being hereditary - and becomes the object of a nomination by the Senate subject to a vote by the Assembly of the People. Likewise, the pressure to remove control of war from the monarchy, and maintain the aristocracy in control of the militia, prevented further militarization of the State.
We have here, in summary form, a City-State that has already landed a military aristocracy, and bound it with other castes - a royal priesthood and a peasantry. The dissolution of the monarchic State was largely the work of a war vector, a certain nomadism of the political and social institutions themselves. The movements involved encompass in parallel (1) the independence of the military aristocracy from the monarchy, (2) the effective need for the maintenance of a constant army which will permit military development, and (3) the admittance of plebeians (after ca 550BC) to the army which increasingly operated as a means for acquisition of the rights of citizenship.
Tarquinius the Superb marks the limit of the penetration of war into affairs of State, as the aristocracy abandons absolute monarchy to the benefit of a new political institution of the State, based upon an alliance with the plebeian classes: the Republic - that fruit of what has been called "the patrician revolution" - rapidly evolved from 509BC to 493BC, when were created the ten tribunes of the Pleb (in the People's Assembly) having joint right of veto over the Senate, and rich plebeians became part of the Populus. By 287BC, all plebeians were granted civil and political equality with the patricians.
With the Republic came a whole new set of political institutions, including the sharing of the functions of Chief of State and head of the Army between two consuls elected by the Assembly of the People, and the separation of the judicial and policial powers allocated to two praetors, and of the fiscal powers allocated to two questors. The consuls, praetors and questors became the representatives of the People as a whole, and its Law. Together with the ten tribunes of the Plebs, they were to balance the power of the Senate and the power of the patrician landed aristocracy.
In the period of the Roman Republic, the term fasces designated the bundles of birch rods tied with red cord which the lictors waved about when marching in front of the praetor to whose office they were attached.
|The praetorial fasces, represented as a double ax.|
The fasces thus stood as a metaphor of society - the term 'society' already implying, by definition, the association of different classes, or a class-society, in charge of managing a Res-Publica. In other words, the imagery belongs to a State society, and one that has already developed a complex class-structure. Hence, the fasces was also much more than a metaphor for a republican society organized as a bundle of social classes - it was also the symbol of the compelling Power of the State formed by that bundling, the sign of its effective power of coercion, of its Potestas. It is interesting to note, in passing, that the praetorial fasces acquired the form of a double-headed ax, with the bundling being taken up by the handle. Such axes were carved with representations of bundled sticks, and stood for the policial and penal powers of magistrates to cut and behead. This dimension of the fasces is particularly interesting - as it condenses the post-archaic development of Roman State Power. To the extent that Rome was already a formation characterized by the absorption of nomadism and a flux of war, the instrument of the State becomes a battle ax, symbol of the new rule of a warring aristocracy. This symbol, however, becomes further displaced, to embody the policial and penal powers of a State - the new republican State - formed by the alliance of classes, by the bundling of socii.
As a symbol, it marked the essence of the republican society of a City-State like Rome - the socii formed a society, were composed of associates, only for as long as they remained tightly bound together by custom and Law, by the mutual contract of citizenship, by the agreement to have a juridical State mediate internal disputes and confrontations. The bundle was tied by the red cord of State - of laws, duties and rights - and formed by the ax of coercion. And in this lay the essence of social harmony and the order of castes and classes. All those who obeyed such society could be said to have been fascist, yet we do not think of pre-Imperial Romans as fascists. Why not?
Because, next to Athens, republican Rome embodied the historical development of democracy, the rule of a compact between classes, the civil rule of Popular Law and Order.
Nevertheless it was this republic which gave birth to Caesarism - or even more properly, to military imperialism. The intromission of war into the affairs of State was not stymied by the republic. It continued through the Punic and Civil Wars - and led straight from Pompey to Caesar, and from the Republic to the Empire.
Associated with this growing domination of the State by its military mechanism, and the progressive penetration of the latter by the plebeians, are other tendencies towards something one may term 'the tyranny of war' or simply barbarism. This is a complex concept. It implies that war was first invented by savage societies and subsequently made permanent - as war against the State - by nomads, be they Semitic or Indo- European. The nomads invented a form of society exclusively dedicated to war and motion, a society structured as a war machine. From without savage societies, States politically and religiously decomposed tribal structures and animist doctrines - and from within them, the rise of nomadism displaced those same structures and doctrines.
|Caesar, one of the last from a genuine patrician lineage, defied the patrician Senate and replaced the Republic with the Empire at the end of the Second Civil War. For Caesar, all began when, at the invitation of popular tribunes, he crossed the Rubicon. Is Caesarism the precursor to fascism?|
The only defense these royal States could take up against war, against the permanent threat of nomadism, was to appropriate war for the purposes of State, to adapt the nomadic war machine to the form of a State mechanism, to transform it into a military mechanism, an army. The war machine is absorbed by the State to create a military mechanism. Just as conquering nomads become transformed into aristocracies, and these into landed gentry. Private property - property that does not belong to the Despot, to the State - is first and foremost the social invention of the separate property of a military nobility. Thus royal and religious bureaucracies came to coexist with military aristocracies within a City-State.
But the vector of war - the vector of an abstract pure nomadic war that decodes and decomposes such States - does not stop there; the State cannot contain it - neither as a representative monarchy, nor as a republic. As happened in Rome, plebeian classes gain, in turn, access to the war mechanisms (the origin of the Roman 'knights', as opposed to the original military aristocracy of the patricians) - they engage the aristocracies in a struggle against the archaic royal State, and then, through the republic and the patrician reaction, the entire socius plunges into a flux of generalized war. We can then say that the abstract war machine has become the permanent flux of a second revolution, ready to plunge the State into imperial militarism and to unleash a flux of barbarism. If the origins of the permanent war machine are to be found in nomadism, after its absorption by the State, it gives rise to permanent military mechanisms that convert the captured flows of nomadism into a flow of military-imperial barbarism. All happens as if, beyond the control of both aristocratic and plebeian classes, beyond the control of the republican State, the flux of war carried the entire formation into populist Caesarism and beyond, as if war had now gained the reins of the State. By the time of Caius Caligula, this much is clear in verses about the role of war and the popular origins of emperors:
"Born in a barracksBut this internalized flux of abstract war was not exhausted by its imperial expression in wars of conquest, loot and colonization, anymore than it was quenched by internal class-warfare. The fits of absolutism were themselves the outcome of this internalization of war. It reaches, eventually, the quintessence of self-abolition - with Nero and, above all, with Heliogabalus. Antonin Artaud wrote of the latter that he "imposed his tyranny" - as "every tyrant is but an anarchist in his depths, who has taken over the crown and sets the world to his compass" . As the figure of the military Emperor approaches that of an absolute or archaic King, it turns into an empty locus which an Anarchist may seize to destroy the State from within, to bring the world to an end.
Reared in the arts of war:
A noble nativity
For a Roman Emperor" 
|"Quietem Italiae, pacem provinciarum, salutem imperii."|
|J. Caesar's blueprint for government|
|"My greatest regrets are not to have embraced a military career when exiting the Constituent Assembly, and not to have learned the art of war."|
|A. Robespierre, Papiers Inédits|
We do not think of republican Romans as fascists because the rule of the Roman republic did not rely upon a party-police-led mass-movement bent on imposing a rule of permanent war upon the State. Yet, under the pressure of an unsustainable militaristic expansion and an unmanageable commercial empire fraught with corruption, class- warfare did effectively destroy the Roman republic from within, through two civil wars and triumvirates that ultimately released the machinery of war from State control. The rise of the Roman Empire is, in this way, also inseparable from the suicidary tendencies of the Republic exhibited by its incapacity to control the flows of slaves, proles, capital, land and war it had formed, unleashed and exploited.
Could military imperialism be the forerunner of fascism? Could the autonomy gained by the military mechanism within republican City-States be the trodden track of modern fascism? It was the notion of a compact of society that became erased by the militaristic development of City-States, and by the mercenary and civil emancipation of plebeians and slaves, including, subsequently, the emergence of Christianity as a religious mass-movement - all these being the fundamental traits that marked the decomposition of classical republics, the rise of Imperators, and the transformation of military conquests into commercial empires.
The notion of revolution as a takeover of State power is not separable from the dissolution of classes that promotes the rise of populism, and is brought about by the spread of mercantile forms of social organization and the growing alliance between fluxes of capital and war. Formation of popular, mass-mobilized military Empires and the mercantile forms of European imperialism were the historical outcome of these social revolutions. Marius and later Catilina already threatened the Republic with a Populus and a spontaneous army that was ready to take over the State institutions. Everywhere, internal fluxes of war threaten to take-over and dissolve the republic. Crassus, the plebeian, already defends the republic from the Spartakists with an army of slave-mercenaries he, and not Rome, paid for. Caesar, after being nearly indicted as a Catilinarian conspirator, becomes the champion of the tribunes of the People; nine years later - after his campaign(s) in Gaul - he crosses the Rubicon to unite the People against the patrician class, with the pretext provided by the Senate and Pompey's friends - that unconstitutional force had been used against the tribunes for their veto of the Senate's decree to disband his army. On that occasion he purportedly stated:
"Let us accept this as a sign from the Gods, and follow where they beckon, in vengeance on our double-dealing enemies. The die is cast." The die, however, had already been cast by the decaying patrician aristocracy itself - with its persecution of the tribunes, an effective act of dissolution of the foundations of the republic. Caesar would therefore become Emperor by a popular mass movement that regarded itself as the last salvation of the betrayed republic.
Closer to our epoch, we find parallel social movements intent on saving the rights acquired by the Commons or the People - movements which destroy the old autocratic State and implant a republic: Cromwell takes over the English Revolution, in the name of a Puritan people (the Roundheads) and to save the Parliament, but he exploits the English Civil War to unleash the parliamentary army over the Parliament itself and abolish absolute monarchy by the execution of a King, only to usher in the age of the British maritime empire. Bonaparte does the same for the French Revolution, picking up the military tools which Robespierre and the Jacobins failed to exploit, to 'save the republic' and create the first popular, military and commercial empire of Europe. How not to see a similar movement at work in Trotsky's creation of the Red Army, in his attempt to recapture the sovereignty of the Russian State over the territory and the very diverse peoples of the Tzarist Empire, beginning with his ruthless smashing of the Makhnoviscina in the name of a defense of the federal republic of the Soviets? Even Hitler, before and after being elected Chancellor, was marketed as a temporary dictator necessary to save the democratic republic.
Throughout European history one witnesses the escape of military mechanisms from State control, their alliance with popular movements and fluxes of capital, with wars of conquest and empires as outcomes. The Catholic Church pretended, at first, to validate these temporal empires by its spiritual empire, but, just as the State - be it monarchic or republican, autocratic or democratic - could not control these forces beforehand, the social fluxes to which these empires gave expression were no longer amenable to a priestly-bureaucratic rule or a religious-ideological unification; they were firmly pointed towards the development of a capitalist civilization, one that employed war, and in particular revolutionary wars, to reduce previous societies to mere fluxes of proletarian manpower and capital looking for high-risk high-growth rates; one, in sum, that employed war as a source of a constant technological evolution of the production of the means of destruction and was thus capable of opening 'ever-new markets'. Slowly, but inexorably, the flows of 'freed labour' and capital plunged society into the structure of industrial commodity-production, decoded the entire class-structure of society, first by forming the classical division between bourgeoisie and proletariat, and then by abolishing it. Some of these forms of abolition led to fascism, others to revolution, still others to what, effectively, is the historical sense of that abolition of the old class- society: the dissolution of all classes within a cybernetically-controlled, global, homogenous market, their conversion into a single class - at once, neither proletarian nor bourgeois, and proletarian as well as bourgeois - a class of non-possessors, a class of managers, a technical class. To be a contributing citizen is to become a technocrat. The new, modern social Power emerged largely through the extraction from the middle-classes of the cadres of a global, corporate, technobureaucracy of managers - and the effective sinking of all other classes proper into this technobureaucracy. State- wars may, in this sense, have come close to their end as the International State of Peace approaches, but war continues to serve the principle of capitalist take-over of society, to be the preferred method for decoding and melting a previous social structure, permitting local penetration and 'reconstruction' by the forces of global capitalism. Since it is here, in this transition to a technocratic society, that the modern phenomenon of fascism arises or may be made manifest most acutely, and since the task of decoding previous societies was, in the recent past, the first attribute of imperial wars - where today it is largely the military task of capitalism and its representative-democratic States- one might legitimately assume that the mass-phenomenon of fascism is intimately connected to the historical rise of populist, militaristic and commercial empires promoted by the expansion of Capital into 'new markets'. Fascism could then be, like revolution itself, but a crisis of capitalist growth. Whereas, in the past, such crises led to military imperialism, modern times would permit them to lead to fascist regimes with their lurking imperial dreams and suicidary drives.
|Sarajevo snapshot: decomposition of the urban environment; war on civilians; any city can become a concentration camp overnight. The 'civil' war of fascisms that destroyed Yugoslavia was both a growth crisis of European capitalism and the outcome of a red fascist regime. The destruction of Yugoslavia accomplished the design of a Federal Europe. If the war was a 'social dysfunction', the dysfunction was one of the prices to pay for the European Union. We are here, therefore, confronted with fascism and war as tools for the transition to a federalist representative democracy.|
|"And so they called upon me. First, the bourgeoisie, then the military, rubbing their hands in bliss and dirt, and also to defend their honor - do you imagine I did not notice. Then, industry, to drive out Bolshevism, from whose Lenin I learned so much and whose Stalin could be venerated secretly. Then the petty-bourgeois, the workers, for whom I could bring forth so much, and youth, to whom I gave a goal, and the students, who needed me, and the intellectuals, who were now liberated from the Jewish Mafia of their friends and foes, yes, and other countries, who were glad to have a pacified Europe again, strength and solemnity. And one should consider to how many people I gave something worth being against. And just compare the lives of so many people - listless, empty. I gave them what they put into me, what they wanted to hear, wanted to do, things they were afraid to do. I made and commanded for them, for it was all for them, not for me. Germany, yes, which I really love, in my own way, of course."|
|Hitler Standing in Wagner's Grave, in Syberberg, H.-J., "Our Hitler - a film from Germany"|
|"The degeneration of the Workers' International to a chauvinistic national socialism (...) was an unprecedented outbreak of the emotional plague on an enormous scale in the very midst of the suppressed social strata, in which great minds had placed hopes that they would one day create a new order in the world."|
|W. Reich, "Mass Psychology of Fascism"|
Ever since stratified societies were invented between the Late Paleolithic to the so- called Neolithic, there has been systematic, internecine struggles for power by various social strata, be these castes or classes, segments of these, or still smaller groups acting for these wider elements. In the case of City-States, the internal fracturing of civil society and the rise of class warfare, together with their historical development, through feudalism, towards capitalist society, led to socialist doctrines that advocated class confrontation as a method to gain ultimate social harmony. Note that these doctrines did not so much relinquish the metaphor of the bundle, of the fascio as an ideal of society: it was still there as the nearly unconscious image of social harmony and civil order - but first 'the [proletarian] class' had to be unified as a fascio in its own right. The very origins of the fascios d'azione e combattimento are found in revolutionary syndicalism, in anarcho-syndicalism, and the realization of the insufficiency of workers councils and local unions to sustain a revolutionary movement or even 'control social production'; the fascios would form an extension of those councils or sindicatos into the elements of a popular army, before they would become the seeds of the future party cells. Those whose social being was forged by the struggle of the fascio were the real partners of the new society. The fasces now refers, not to the entirety of society, but to a society set aside and above society itself. Fascism called for a New Order - once an anarchist slogan and the name of an Italian anarchist group - but by forging its nexuses through those fascios. It was as if revolutionaries had at last decided to become clowns of themselves, or had been, all along, but clowns. Clowns in the very sense that Benito Mussolini was later called the Great Clown. A new social alliance was the objective - whether said to be 'popular-democratic' or 'corporativist', it was effectively to be another party-bureaucratic dictatorship in self-denial. In the early fascist ideology, the New Order could only be brought about 'dialectically', through complete social dysfunction and civil disorder, to be followed by domination of society by the fascios representative of the 'productive classes' (In parallel with what Karl Marx was later proven to have understood in his Grundrisse, these 'productive classes' were said by Mussolini to include "the productive proletariat and the productive bourgeoisie" - much to Filippo Marinetti's discontent). Only the fascios were deemed capable of creating social harmony by putting the nation ahead of the classes and the proletarian class-struggle itself.
|A futuristic Duce, armored with straight edges, light plates, defiance and replete with flying bombs. The mortiferous power of the libido becomes visible. A Higher Man has replaced God, but that Man is only a phantasm, a ghost, of Death. A kaleidoscopic death mask.|
It is a stone's throw away to assume that the red cord of the fasces is more than simply the State, its bureaucracy and its laws; that it is also, and above all, embodied by a separate movement, a movement that unites classes but is set apart from society, a militant Church, a Party, that represents, not a class - be it ruling or the most oppressed - but a People, a Populus (a Race, a Nation, etc) composed from all classes, and in which they would all find some measure of dissolution.
The utopian myth of the Nation as harmony of classes - or its variant as Race - became the leitmotiv of fascism as it tried to separate itself from nationalism on the Right and socialism on the Left. Corradini's 1913 formula of "national socialism" went at the encounter of G. Gentile's interpretation of hegelianism - to the effect that a real National State embodied class-reconciliation, and the division and struggle between classes was forcefully reflected in a division and struggle between 'bourgeois' and 'proletarian' States (Italy as the Great Proletarian...). In the words of Marinetti, fascism was to be "beyond communism". Herein laid the step beyond the Left, "the synthesis of the antithesis: class and nation", as motto. An Hegelian affair to boot.
One might feel inclined, in this context, towards Bruno Rizzi's contention that fascism, like party-communism and FDR's New Deal, constitutes an aspect of a single worldwide tendency towards the bureaucratizing of capitalist society . History would have entered into a phase of "bureaucratic collectivism", still based upon the nation-State, where the bureaucratic class would become internationally dominant through its control of the State apparatus. Fascist 'corporativism' would have been but one more bureaucratic attempt to integrate labour and its appropriation by Capital within the State.
|The modern technobureaucracy: evolution of the State bureaucracy into a corporate technocracy. All management is automated and regulated by a 'middle-class' of white-collar workers, a managerial technocracy, a partnership between State and Capital.|
Part of the growth of the white-collar class of the cadres is undoubtedly bureaucratic - and from this perspective, the gigantism of modern States and their super-Statal federations is part of this growth of the 'civil servant' segment of the white-collar class, where the State still operates in the welfare mode, as the last long-term insurance of labour - supposedly, through assured pension plans that unions and governments regularly plunder. But the major growth of the class of the cadres has, by far and large, taken place on the corporate front, creating a tentacular cyber-technocracy that now manages the totality of Survival.
The modern thanatocracy:
|The fundamental oppression of human beings: labour. The fundamental lie: that it makes one free, that it delivers, that it saves. All regimes of modernity share this make-believe. At the end of the gateway one finds the output from Auschwitz - industrial mass-murder - intertwined with the output from war - collective suicide and more mass-murder.|
Indeed, fascism, qua fascist regimes, shares with party-communism most of its structure of State and society, including the methods and aims of controlling production by a party-police bureaucracy. But the essence of fascism never resided in either a bureaucratic rule or in any ideal, supposed transition of this rule into a managerial technocracy. On the contrary, the critical aspect of fascism is to have, from day one, embraced the elements of a technocracy of war and production of means of destruction, not for their own sake - anymore than for the sake of a new social rule by a supposed elite - but for the sake of a complex state of permanent war in society: all at once, a civil war conducted militantly and policially, an imperial war conducted militaristically and technologically, and a genocidal war conducted 'scientifically', 'surgically'. This did not make nazism into a return to the aristocratic rule of a class of warlords, not even in what concerns the role of 'the Prussia of the Junkers' in the nazi regime. Rather, a flux of war was unleashed throughout society, across all classes: military aristocracy, bureaucracy, technocracy, bourgeoisie, petty-bourgeoisie, rural and urban proletariats, were all dissolved by the corrosive acid of an emerging technocracy of pure and Total War, a thanatocracy of policial and military machines pursuing, in common, a suicidary program of death and racial extermination, rather than a State program of conquest, pacification and colonization. Paradoxically, Robert Paris was correct when he claimed that "it was in its quality of bureaucracy that fascism failed" . Fascism claimed to want to reduce the State to the bare minimum, while, in fact, it always produced dictatorial, totalitarian States; yet, paradoxically, fascism proved to be the ultimate enemy precisely of the totalitarian State it had saved and strengthened, the enemy even of the totalitarian machinery it had set up, by turning the liberated fluxes of war against the State itself. In a sense, fascism did accomplish the ultimate destruction of the State, which the Left, including party-communism and anarchism, had long sought as their mot d'ordre in the form of a 'real revolution', and yet had always failed to achieve. And fascism did so by selecting for war as the dominant social process.
So, between 'black' and 'red fascism' there lay two slightly different ideological uses of the Party-police machine and the meaning of socialism: a bureaucratic dictatorship with a class mystique that promised utopia only after the completion of socialism, and a thanatocratic dictatorship that promised utopia 'the day after', with the beginning of 'national-socialism', or 'national bolshevism', the utopia beyond utopia, the utopia at hand - but always through a flux of war, first. It is here, in the thanatocratic ideology of the Party cadre, that the difference first arises. Fascism was a challenge of the Left to itself, when confronted with the failure of revolutions, with their permanent abortions horrifically magnified by fascist interventionism. And it was Antonio Gramsci in 1921 who ventured the possibility of some kind of 'national-bolshevik movement' with the forces of d'Annunzio - evoking the SA 12 years later.
Should one simply forget how fascism arose under the influence of the 1904 union of sorelianism or the revolutionary syndicalism of A. Labriola, P. Orano, A. Olivetti, with the nationalist syndicalism of E. Corradini and D'Annunzio? Or how Mussolini, Director of the Avanti! since December 1912, had offered support to the "red week" of Ancona animated by Enrico Malatesta and Pietro Nenni? Should one forget the original 1914 creation of the fascio d'azione internazionalista in Milan by anarchists and revolutionary syndicalists that called for "a European Revolution against barbarism" and against the war between 'bourgeois and militarist States'? Or how the Poppolo d'Italia was financed, as of 1914, by the French socialists, by the owners of L'Humanité, through Jules Guesde, then French minister of State? Or how the Lodge of the Grand-Orient - that temple of the reformist Left to which C. Rossi, R. Farinacci, G. Volpe and so many others belonged - controlled the financial support of Rome's fascio and financed the 'March on Rome' to the tune of 3 million lire? Should one forget those who, on March 23, 1919, in Milan, responded to Mussolini's call to form the antiparty of the fasci di combattimento - constituted by left interventionists, anarcho-syndicalists, socialist republicans and demobilized arditi? Or should one forget the alliance sought between the bolshevik Lunacharsky, from the Third (Communist) International, and the Futurists of Marinetti - of whom Gramsci would say in 1921 that "they destroyed, destroyed, destroyed (...) making them revolutionary in the realm of culture"? Or the self-imposed defeat of the impotent movement of "productive strikes" and factory occupations in the summer of 1920, voluntarily abandoned by the workers and relegated to the recognition of 'syndical control' advocated by the group Ordine Nuovo of Gramsci, M. Garino and U. Terracini? Or the essential fascist notion that the State should reduce to a hierarchy of federated unions? Should one forget the "national function" of the proletariat in Gramsci's theories? Or the central claim of the nazi party - that it was a worker's party, a socialist and revolutionary organization? Or the 'national-bolshevik' program of the SA, the storm troops of nazism? Or that it was but the promised socialism of the failed German revolutions of 1918 and 1922 to 1924 which the lower classes of Germany expected Hitler, at last, to deliver? The "beyond Marxism" - isn't it entirely an affair of the Left? That it presents the historian with a motley crew, a populist havoc - isn't that the mark of the fragmentation of that Left into competing chapels, each vying for the mood-swings of a mass 'steeped in revolutionary ferment'?
A gathering of the national-bolshevik forces of the SA - the war machine employed by the Party ultimately to take over the State. The ideological inversion is complete - Freedom and Life! - as motto for the concentrationary universe of Survival and Death. The Night of the Long Knives would mark the end of the bolshevik period of Nazism.
Fascism is but a perfected Leftist abortion of revolutions that arises when the Left loses control of the masses - a "Left beyond the Left itself", better than the Left itself at the 'sale besogne' of fixing up revolutions.
So, it is in this light - together with the anarchist and revolutionary-syndicalist roots of the fascist-futurist movement - that one must understand Mussolini's early anarchistic talk of 'an antiparty': it was supposed to be the antiparty that united the red banners of the socialists and the black banners of the anarchists and revolutionary syndicalists, and under them - the leading elements of the proletarian class - the nation, in a new order, with a new fascio, beyond marxism and anarchism; in Mussolini's own 1919 words: "We shall create a party of creators, a fascist organization that will have nothing in common with the credos, the dogmas, the mentality and above all the prejudices of the old parties".
But the only thing that was new and had not been tried before was a technological irrationalism of the cult of war for its own sake, the cult of death, the suicidary sociopathy with the new weaponry of mass-destruction.
Obviously, fascism was an investment opportunity from the viewpoint of Capital, which considered the task of fascism comparable to that of party-communism, but with the advantage of not requiring the abolition of internal markets. It paid dearly, however, for this advantage, as the fascist machinery went on to destroy the entire society, not just its enemies but, above all, itself, in a frenzy - such a frenzy of destruction that one might say of fascists what Berneri once wrote: "It is as if foolish or crazed reasons cannot find correction, as G. Bruno was fond of saying, 'but by having their heads cut to see whether they still can try others'" .
What appears as the factor which creates a commonality between party-communism, fascism and modern representative-democratic systems is, in fact, the recent, nearly- complete socialization of all means of production and of all times of human existence. All of these different political regimes do historically share that trait - which is fundamental to modern, global capitalism. It is, for example, at the end of the day, also the crux of the power of the present arrangement between the Western federations and the neo-maoist, State-capitalist Popular Republic of China.
When required to do so by its development, Capital has demonstrated how easily it is able to employ revolutions and 'revolutionary movements of the proletariat' to integrate labour with its own financial interests. The extent to which the socialist program was actually an unconscious capitalist tool for a planetarian rule of the economic principle (so-called globalization) is only visible today. Be that as it may - and likely because it is capitalism itself that has socialist tendencies, if not ambitions, and because, as well, modern representative democracy effectively became the mercantile dictatorship of the most mediocre - our epoch still presents a constant social war between forces that intend to preserve or even reinvent the remnants of the Old World and forces that purport to usher in the elements of an, indeed, wild New Planetarian World.
|"And then I want to say something to those people who talk about religion. I too am religious, indeed very ardently religious. And I believe that Providence weighs man, and that the man who cannot endure the trials and our trials of Providence, who crumbles under them - I believe that he is not chosen by Providence for anything great. I believe that this is a necessity given in nature, that only the fittest survive a selection, and I would like to state that calmly here. If my own nation were to crumble in such a trial, I could not shed a single tear, it would not have deserved any better, it would be its own destiny that it has brought upon itself."|
|A. Hitler, Nov. 8, 1943, Munich|
From the age of Empires, fascism takes the militarization of civil society that forces imperialistic developments, that accumulates 'latencies of death' ready to be liberated; from the spiritual power of the Church, it takes the mystic appeal to racial or religious doctrines of a Populus Dei having an historical mission - to implement on Earth the Judgement of God; from democracy, it takes the claim to a social majority, in act and in representation, through "better", "corporativist" institutions of social power, and projects the image of a movement of the so-called middle-classes; from socialism, it takes the tactics of social strife, the notion of an equalitarian social harmony (the so- called 'natural evolution' of 'the fascist revolution'), and the deliberate confusion of collectivization with nationalization or 'statization' of the 'essential' means of production; and from the old autocratic, royal and magical State, it takes the powers of a dictatorship embodied in a person, and effectuated through a party-police machine. The prototype of the human incarnation of all these aspects of fascism, the supreme fascist commodity, remains Hitler - as Fuehrer or Spiritual Leader, as Imperator, as Dictator, and as Magical King that defends an entire Race of People made up of diverse classes. What, then, is the defining characteristic of fascism - what is it, for example, that Hitler is which others, like Napoleon, Cromwell, Caesar were not, that one may term 'fascist'?
|Hitler in Roman toga at the grave of Richard Wagner, in Syberberg's "Hitler - a film from Germany", and Hitler dressed as a Christian crusader on horseback in a Nazi poster. The need for a savior - of the Republic, of the good People, of Humanity - demands a divine Wagnerian rebirth.|
Likely it is because the complete fusion of all the attributes of social power in a mythical saviour having the characteristics of a prophet, a 'marketable Superman", is another characteristic of fascism - that the leader of the elite partakes of a divine nature and, effectively, functions as an archaic monarch, but also as a SuperHero. All the diverse policial and military machines of nazism will arise, persist and fall because of an institutional melding on the body of Hitler, the New Despot. We write 'New Despot', because the role of the Despot in fascism is itself a new one; undoubtedly, both Old and New Despots share autocratic characteristics, but the New Despot only fortifies the State by submitting it to a flux of permanent war and deliberately disordering its levels of authority. Even in the 'golden period' of nazism, Hitler ruled solely by inciting and managing a constant internal warfare between the institutions he commanded.
Caesar himself, after having contributed to the downfall of the Roman Republic, became the choice of the popular party and transformed his military mechanism into the foundation of an empire, precisely by being voted in, by a reconstituted patrician Senate, to become 'Dictator For Life' before he became Imperator. Yet Caesar would never be king or accept the role of a king, the epithet Rex: "No, I am Caesar, not king", he once quickly quipped. Why?
Likely because Julius Caesar was not a fascist. Not yet one and still not one. Because he did not see himself as a tyrant, or as a magical King, or as an archaic despot. Because he was not yet 'born' in the barracks. Nor was he yet a New Despot. Caesar still anticipates a return to the republican rule, and thinks his role was that of its guarantor - "should anything happen to me (...) a new Civil War will break out under far worse conditions than the last". Augustus, too, after that new terrible Civil War came to pass, twice ventured the possibility of restoring the republican system. If Caesar became endowed as a Despot, this was only posthumously, as an Old Despot and even a divinity.
Indeed, the meaning of fascism does not lie in the old metaphor of the bundle, not per se, but in the divine power to wage Total War, in the nihilist mysticism of History that believes it should be brought to an end, to the Judgement of God (which is, after all, a Christian-Marxist idea), and thus values destruction and self-destruction above all else.
The fascist Duce or Fuehrer, before it is a Dictator or even an Imperator, is first and foremost a moral and mystical leader, a visionary, an idealized Rex, a magical Despot. But this Despot is not one that holds the State together by controlling war, by warding it off, by restricting its objectives - as archaic Despots tended to be; rather, it is one that controls the State by unleashing generalized war, in a mad pursuit of ever more technological means of mass-destruction. Old Despots and absolute monarchies were not, in general, fascist precisely because of the extent to which they were conservative and had a sense of self-preservation. It is fascism that parodies the archaic power of Kings, to find in the New Despot the expression of the Nation-Race militarized by a Party-Church, by the New Church, by the church of science and technology, by a machinery of propaganda, control and conditioning, all in the service of an abstract vector of war.
The mystical, quasi-religious nature of fascist ideology is not separable from its content which portrays a futuristic, science-controlled, technologically powerful, militaristic Nation capable of creating 'the perfect society'. And the entire mix, the entire fascist hybrid and its hallucinatory horror is precisely one of the central elements that gives fascism so much shine in the eyes of impoverished masses of human beings. The Fuehrer resolutely crystallized their fears and ambitions, to the very limit of their demented desires.
|"In fact, all democratic or proletarian dictatorships have never led to anything - directly or indirectly - but to the restoration of social inequities."|
|G. Sorel, "The Socialist Future of the Syndicates"|
Theoreticians of fascism liked to think that what constituted the specificity of fascism was the proposal of a corporativist State, ie corporativism - the notion that elites are necessary for the governance of a society, and that a solidary social system having integrated representation of classes ensures better elites by binding them 'organically' to the well-being of the other classes. In essence, this would be the core of fascism, as the term historically connotes a political and social ideology that had its origins in the XXth century - in doctrines of social harmony between classes, that arose both as a reaction to the spread of socialist movements, and as a prolongation of their utopianism.
Characteristic of all forms of early fascism (Italian 'futuristic' fascism, German national-socialism, Portuguese integralism with Marcello Caetano's manual of "The Corporativist Revolution", Spanish falangism and military Franquism, etc) was the notion of a corporativist State made of 'an equal composition of classes' in all political institutions, which regulated aggression from any class, rich or poor, capitalist or working, and permitted "control of all production".
One may also see in this 'corporativist image", a quasi-medieval resonance between the concept of trade guilds and the metaphor of the lictor's fascio; a resonance between a State of 'rationally' ordered authorities and the self-regulated natured of these authorities, a "logical ethicality" of all 'legal persons'.
However, if the Roman republican metaphor of the fascio becomes interpreted in this way - which is also the way certain fascists presented it - then many 'Great Men' or 'Great Thinkers', their politics and philosophy, had to have been fascist: for example, Hegel, with his theory of the synthesis between four estates in "The Philosophy of Right" aimed at a legal and ethical form of institutional corporativism and class- collaboration; Napoleon, who, after militarily consolidating the nation and putting an end to the power of factions in the Convention through a military take-over, brought about a system of balances between classes in his Civil Code or codification of civil society; the permanent Bolshevik Party role and representation implemented by Lenin within the Soviets, was a form of corporativism; even FDR with his New Deal between classes, in preparation for WWII.
But the corporativist doctrine is only a smokescreen - for fascism was never really preoccupied with harmony between classes: rather, it placed war in control of the State, and succeeded in doing so by sustaining a directed form of social warfare against all classes, each in turn, but just as relentlessly persecuting one as the other. In distinction even from the ultra-conservative Right, fascism aims at destroying a society from within, not at preserving it or preserving any form of harmony between classes. One may yet learn from history: all the societies which were ever successfully unified, consolidated or 'harmonized' by fascist regimes, were societies which had entire socii lobed off, entire limbs hacked off, entire races and classes dissolved. For a brief instant in time, they appeared to be the plebeian image of civilized joy and social order. But this harmony was a mere illusion of fascism, an illusion of its transient alliance between the powers of Capital and those of military mechanisms. Indeed, the limbs of the new harmonious society would shortly, in turn, be hacked off. In Nazi Germany, this sociopathic self-abolitionist vector began with the Gypsies, then proceeded to the Jews, to end up with slavic peoples, Europeans, and the Germans themselves, the whole project punctuated by mad fluxes of total internal and external warfare.
Corporativism was a farce in all fascist regimes. It was merely a notional content, an 'ideological notion', since what effectively unified fascist societies was the nexus between policial and military party machines capable of effectively, policially - through terror - and militaristically - through mass-mobilization and the horrors of war - exercising the dictatorship. What is more, fascism destroys a republican or democratic State to create a fascist State, but only creates the latter in order to destroy it in turn, to destroy the entire bureaucratic apparatus and its social control, including its capitalist content, by submitting it to the relentless pursuit of a war machine, by submitting the Reason of State and its policial machinery to the logic of Total War. Fascism could not be content with the terror of State; it needed the horror of Total War. What happened in Europe and led to WWII was the product of this totally horroristic nature of fascism, of its intrinsic tendency to technological barbarism, to liberate the military mechanisms from control by a State, to form a movement of war that dissolves that very State and even its Imperial institutions (the black-fascist Europe).
Despite Saint-Just's admonitions, Robespierre lost his power in the Committees of the National Assembly precisely when he refused to release parallel military pressures and tried to subordinate them, instead, to the party-mediated dictatorship and its spiritual terror - a religious renewal in the form of the Cult of Reason. As Charles s'Héricault saw it, Robespierre set himself against Carnot and in favour of peace because he regarded development of militarism and total warfare as a threat to the rule of Terror. Did Robespierre fail to thereby become a fascist? Almost, because Robespierre and the representative majority he led did not hesitate to unleash a protracted, barbaric and essentially suicidary process of total warfare upon civil society, upon its own members and allies, to the point of preferring to choke off the popular currents that gave them support, and to thus self-destruct rather than relinquish the pretension of retaining universal acceptance for the dictatorship. Terror itself had run into the horror of war, but Robespierre - as if holding solely onto the archaic, magical power of the State - refused to accept the full extent of the consequences of a necessary, balancing act, the complement to terror: that, to control the revolution, the State had to be carried away by a flux of war, just as war had to be kept as a power of the State and be controlled by it - unless the State, too, intended to self-destruct. Moreover, by refusing to give orders for a military confrontation, Robespierre revealed his suicidary desire and invited the coup of Thermidor. After Carnot's feeble attempt, the militaristic task would have to be taken up by Napoleon; to paraphrase Mme de Staël's dictum, the archangel of Terror now rode horseback. At last the élan of The Revolution could be exhausted by war - a war that eventually also destroyed the Napoleonic Empire, when that delicate balancing act broke down.
|A dapper Robespierre in contemplation of Liberty and its brighter future: a more subtle lie from a time when it was possible to think that policial Terror sufficed to control social revolutions. His greatest sorrow was never to have learned the art of war. The Jacobin Party-Police machine was the embryo of the modern Leninist Party.|
In this sense, fascism achieved the age of absolute nihilism, precisely through militant self-extinction - and not the supposed age of social harmony that it sold to the masses, as image of utopia.
|The SS emblem of the Totenkopf: it needs no introduction, it speaks eloquently in favour of Death, of abolition and self- abolition.|
|"Socialism, yes, but altogether different. We had to magically - this is a secret - sacrifice our neighbor, our great opposite, the Jew, the chosen people, the holy renegade of the past, he had to be sacrificed by the other chosen holy people, the Germanic people, in gigantic slaughter rites of the present and the future. You will see, in order to create the New Man, a proud, conquering, rustic, decent man."|
|Himmler, in Syberberg, H.-J., "Our Hitler - a film from Germany"|
|"We sacrifice our blood, our souls for you, Saddam"|
|Tikrit mob chant|
What then is the characteristic - or are the defining elements - of fascism? Fascism is not a reactionary movement per se - it cannot be confused, say, with the reaction of the patrician class when it sought protection with Pompey or Cato against Caesar and Crassus, or the reaction of the monarchists during the French Revolution, etc. Fascism is, first of all, the product of an industrial capitalist society marked by heavy industry - not the product of a City-State Republic in the throes of commercial capitalism. And it is, first and foremost, a mass-movement, but one that is framed by a party-police and militarized mechanisms, and shuns any specific class-attribution in order to present the image of a classless Populus, of being the movement of a social majority, of already forming, in some way or other, the utopian society. Some form of racialism, overt or covert, is a third characteristic. But having said this, we have not yet defined what constitutes the social essence of this mass-movement, the crux of its desire. That crux, we hold, is the suicidary, self-abolitionistic nature of fascism, the fact that it appropriates revolutions and carries them - imprisoned in its bosom - as the seemingly inexhaustible source for a movement of constant and Total War. It all the better suppresses all revolutionary change in order to release a hurricane of its myriad possible distortions.
Even more properly speaking, we may defend the proposition that fascism is a secretion of the Left, the necessary accompaniment to the delusional utopianism of academic intellectuals fostered by the failures of the socialist movement; that it is the byproduct of revolutions, the failure itself of revolution, revolution as failure, but as a failure that converts a debased 'revolutionary fervor' into a fever of boundless war, of generalized destruction and utter nihilism, of sacrifice by suicide. The party dictatorship is there to vehiculate the 'revolutionary war' - to duct it from generalized civil war to Total War, via its corporativist notion of social harmony. A flow of mass lends itself to be triturated industrially by a technological flow of mechanized war, while in the pursuit of hybrid nationalist, socialistic, capitalist utopias.
One might even suggest that George Sorel was not a fascist to the exact extent that he could still separate revolution from fascism - or an action creative of forms of Life from one that would lead to death and suicide. In 1898, he had argued that promoting social change was not a matter of "scientific and mechanical prediction", but "a matter of knowing whether or not all manner of preparations are sufficient for the struggle not to end in a destruction of civilization" . Fascism made sure that it ended exactly there.
The suicidary nature of fascism is present in its movements from the beginning. Fascism deploys class-struggle and the tactics of representative democracy in order to seize the State apparatus; but is only able to do so through the creation of a complex military machinery in every stratum of society, with many embodiments or military mechanisms, each independent from the next, and all in flux such that war, its logic, constantly seizes or takes-over the State and the entire social formation. Fascism creates military and policial mechanisms capable of engaging, from day one and each at a time, in self-abolitionistic courses. Hence, for instance, one encounters the successive military and policial phases of Nazism, a succession of coups and internal purges, a series of surgical blows: the FreiKorps - from the German Revolution of 1918 to the Munich Putsch; the SA brownshirts, their fervent 'national-bolshevism' and the Night of the Long Knives; the SD/Gestapo and its confrontation with the Navy and Admiral Canaris in the wake of the failure of the Battle of the Atlantic; the Wehrmacht, stuck with Hitler's colossal blunder of operation Barbarossa, and with its direct consequence - Valkyrie, the operation of the Prussian reaction, the betrayal of the Fuehrer; the Luftwaffe and its failure in the Battle of Britain, including the late arrival of rocket-powered missiles; and, finally, the SS with its own Army and State, bent on a total purge, on complete racial and social extermination, on pure experimentation with sheer horror. The sociopathic nature of fascism can be summarized by the horror of permanent war that rides a flux of terror from the State, together with the daily terrorism from a mass of fanatic militants spreading like viruses throughout the social fabric.
W. Reich was one of the first to seize upon the complex nature of fascism. In his Preface to "The Mass-Psychology of Fascism"  he enumerated the four main negative facts of fascism: it is not (1) merely a "purely reactionary movement" (his words) or party, nor one that is simply (2) authoritarian, (3) militaristic, or (4) filled with religious mysticism or racialism. He states: "Wilhelminian Germany was militaristic, but it was not fascistic".
At the encounter of Reich's considerations, we may put forth three arguments,:
1. Fascism cannot be simply reduced to a military dictatorship: a take-over of the State by the military institution does not signify that the entire State has been engaged by a war of self-abolition or by a revolutionary movement. It does not even mean that war controls, or comes to control, the State. States have long ago learned how to forcefully compact a civil society through war with 'an enemy from the outside', an enemy of the Nation or the Race. City-States, even in their republican periods, always resorted to military consulships or dictatorships - the forerunners of modern juntas and states of emergency - in order to preserve public peace, maintain civil order and forge tightly the socii or social strata to prevent internal class warfare. Indeed, what is characteristic of military dictatorships is that they strengthen the State, that they rescue its apparatus - making up for its deficiencies, supplementing the police force, safeguarding public order, etc. As Guattari puts it: "A military dictatorship does not compartmentalize the masses in the same way as a party that is organized like a police force [and a propaganda machine]. A military dictatorship does not draw on libidinal energy in the same way as a fascist dictatorship, even if certain of their results may seem identical (...)." 
But one should not place the differentiating characteristic of fascism in its use of the totalitarian party-machine, anymore than one should place it in war per se, in the use of war for defined objectives. What is characteristic of fascism is making war into an object of itself, converting all war - including internal social warfare - into a technological Total War, erecting the value of war for its own sake into a popular desire. Fascism shares therefore something essential with militarism - the dream of an Empire, as in the dream of a united Europe as the Empire of black fascism, or the dream of the Pacific basin as Empire for Japanese fascism. There is a whole imperialism of the poor underlying the fascist procedure.
2. Authoritarianism, likewise, though a distinctive trait of fascism, does not encompass the essence of fascism or constitute its specificity. Republics produced their dictators, and it is the State itself which, in its most archaic incarnations, qua magical monarchy, is already an authoritarian institution, already an autocratic policial, penal and 'juridical' State where moral authority carries Potestas. Fascist regimes are certainly characterized by a personalized party-dictatorship, by brutally repressive policial systems, by the concentrationary development of the penal system and its generalization throughout civil society; and yet similar characteristics can be, and are, found in the police and penal institutions of democratic regimes, in particular modern ones. This pierces the heart of Hannah Arendt's argument that fascism and the banality of its evil are solely the accomplished form of totalitarianism . For it seems that, while fascism employs the totalitarian State to compact the Nation - just as it employed the democratic one, beforehand, to conduct its brand of class warfare - it is yet willing to ditch the totalitarian State to the benefit of a suicidary, self-abolitionist war process, to the benefit of the independence of multiple military machines. Ultimately, what fascism wants is a permanent state of war. And in the last analysis, fascism and its machinery of war machines reveals itself as the enemy of the State, as a war process threatening the very totalitarian State that it employed for 'ulterior purposes'.
3. Fascism encompasses a religious mass-mystique, a cult of a utopian world, an ideology of salvation and necessary sacrifice that constitutes the propaganda content of its technological mass-media; its ideology is neither religion nor secular doctrine - but a mix, a religion of science and a rewriting of religion, all in one. This further confers upon fascism aspects of both archaism and futurism - sharing the magicality of the archaic State with the awe of technology and the cult of science, and in particular, with debile science-fiction. There are, therefore, in fascism, very primary resonances with the Urstaat, the archaic State. It presents itself as a return to the Urstaat - even as it embarks on militaristic barbarism, even while it keeps dismantling the State, disjoining and multiplying the bureaucracies through the rule of war.
As we have said above, the original and most primitive State was not simply policial - it was also, and above all, a religious, magical State, one that was brought about in many different socio-historical formations by the dissolution of tribal societies through a 'peaceful' migratory process that ultimately led to sedentarism. But, just as fascism employs the policial-penal-bureaucratic machinery of what once was the primitive State, so it employs a use of propaganda, mass-media and conditioning that evokes the magical origins of religious ideologies. Yet, as we have already suggested, it is not here that one might find the difference that defines fascism, that differentiates it from party-communism or representative democracies. For the magic State of fascism is a State only for show. The archaic State emerged without war, as an Asiatic formation - not by some supposed class-warfare. It was a State against war. Not so with fascism - fascist regimes are war-machines that subjugate the State by war.
More properly, we have noted that fascism is not even a disease of a so-called Right, but rather, properly, a development of the so-called Left. It is when social movements that reject capitalism achieve a revolutionary allure that they tend to slip into fascism, when the democratic, representative or republican institutions of the Left cease to be able to contain the social pressures from polarizing forces. Fascism is a disease of revolution - and in particular, an evolved disease, the disease of a disease. It lodges itself into the process of a breakdown of a society, as a remedy to the disease, and then proceeds to kill the patient in order to destroy the disease: the remedy soon becomes an illness worse than the disease itself.
One might, in fact, say that whereas the Left stands for the more primary disease of revolution, fascism is a disease within the disease, the revolution of disease, a sheer evolution of leftism: that is why the revolutionary line of escape is, in fact, so deeply entwined with fascism's capacity to transduce this line of escape into a line of permanent generalized warfare, one that carries away States and even military mechanisms into an abstract form of quasi-nomadism or better, barbarism, that eventually reaches the fascist war of self-abolition. It is along the narrow edge of this blade that the entire civil society becomes mobilized, becomes militarized - beginning with the militarization of leisure-time within party-halls and the militarization of labour within re-education camps, the germen of the concentrationary universe. It is along this narrow path that an abstract war machine first seizes civil society to eliminate those who will resist the new alliance of reshaped socii, those who would continue preaching the virtues of civil strife 'now that the fascist revolution is over'. But it is also along the same edge that authoritarianism becomes accentuated by the multiple piggy-back riding, disputes and confrontations of proliferating policial and military machines, and by the new religion of science made possible through the concentration of mass-media in the hands of a technocracy of war (the party cadres).
In other words - unlike other reactionary movements, fascism is a popular movement that, in the name of the unity of classes, wages war on the entire society, while militarizing it, while mobilizing it, while concentrating it policially and penally, to enforce uniformity of plebeian opinion, customs and behaviours. In the end, fascism achieves apathy, but it is not through apathy that fascism propels itself: it is, rather, a logic of the worst possible which leaves no one untouched, which succeeds in breaking the 'indifference of the masses', which mobilizes them, by shock-injections of fear, out of their apathy into states of fervor, furor and stupor. The apathy of the end, the final state of shock, is only the last byproduct of the desideratum.
The definition of fascism can only be complete if we explicitly come to consider its distinguishing characteristic. This, we suggest, resides in the nature of the war it exercises over the socius, in the fact that the war it wages upon society presents ab initio the characteristics of self-abolition: at all crossroads, fascism pushes the internal and external war vectors to the point of dissolution of the society it pretends to preserve. Fascism is then precisely the result of a flux of barbarism unleashed, from within, upon a society which already is militaristic, authoritarian, technologically developed, bent on mystical beliefs and culturally deformed. This is where the difference passes, and not in the amalgamation of the characteristics from other social formations that fascism appropriates as so many other mystical archaisms. Instead of standing for absolute totalitarianism, fascism stands for the absoluteness of a flux of pure war and destruction. Instead of conservative, it is destructive, genocidal and self- destructive above all. And instead of reverting to archaic religiosity, it puts forth a futuristic, technocratic vision of society, where religion, science, technology and kulture are distilled by a fashion-producing machine, an abstract machine of propaganda controlling all codes and overcodes, and now, their decoding as well. This is precisely why fascism makes bureaucracies and technocracies, including military ones, proliferate - all functioning as so many preformations of a full-fledged thanatocracy (eg the SS State) that crystallizes the ultimate tendency towards genocide and social suicide. Where revolutions did not succeed in abolishing classes or the State, fascism multiplies to reduce, and equalizes to dissolve, all classes to the point of abolishing both society and the State. Where neither totalitarianism nor militarism succeeded in repairing a fractured socius, in those situations typically denoted as 'revolutionary', fascism methodically hacks society to pieces in order to force the residual parts together through complete mobilization, policial terror, technological indoctrination, ultimately preparing them for the generalized horror of Total War.
The sociopathic nature of the mass-psychology of fascism is precisely what is glossed over by the fancy academic descriptions of fascism produced in the sacrosanct halls of our universities. There, we are told to hold in our minds the limited qualities of specific fascist movements: we are told that fascism is prevalently a movement of the middle class, as if we should forget the involvement of the proletariat, the Left, and the youth in the genesis and triumph of fascist regimes, forget the fact that fascism effectively erased the world and values of that middle-class, forget that what's left today of that middle-class is but a global mercantile technocracy. We are told that fascism seeks a monopoly of power by the use of Terror, as if the same could not be said about party-communism or the dire hours of various republics and democracies; we are told that fascism always arises as a malady of failed democracies - as if it weren't through mass mobilization that fascism sought to dissolve archaic structures and create, for a while, either State-capitalist monopolies or 'corporativist partnerships' between State and Capital; we are told that fascism is secular, when its cult of science makes a buffoonery of science, mixing in mechanistic and mystical values, secreting a thanatocratic cult. The sociopathic nature of fascism, however, lies in none of these aspects we have just listed as going counter to the academic characterization of fascism, but rather in the articulation of all these aspects of fascism by a flux of generalized Total War, one that alone confers upon fascism its differentiating genocidal and suicidary characteristics, its horrorism.
We shall not elaborate here on the religious, mythical psychology of the genocidal component of fascism - vividly present in all its forms, in the apocalyptic horrors of the Nazi Holocaust. Nor on how this cultivated form of instilled hatred was the logical prolongation of the systemic anti-Semitism of Christianized European peoples, a culture of hatred that goes back to the very roots of Christianity, and to the mythical guilt Jews are supposed to bear for the killing of Christ. We limit ourselves to noting that fascism, as a base techno-kulture of fear and rage, found in European racism the greatest reservoir of mass enthusiasm for its continued enterprise of unabated war. Europe's hatred of its Jews consubstantiated the mythical certainty that the fascist revolution was anti-capitalist. It was, in a sense, a most perverse achievement of class-struggle - as the imaginary task of social-Darwinism and as 'historical mission'. A hatred at once of the lowest, weakest classes (the Jews...) and of the supposed exploitative ruling classes, the wealthy capitalist class (the Jews...).
In the sociopathic hatred of the 'incarnate difference' in the Gypsies and the Jews, fascism revealed the sacrificial nature of its mystique, exposing the demented logic of its program of collective suicide, which began in earnest by the murder of all those social minorities ('the most inferior'...) that would resist infection by the fascist disease, or were not susceptible to effective mobilization for the continuous war effort. The racial gradation between minorities became the central grid for deciding which alliances were desirable - with a Sudeten minority, a British Aryan minority, an Austrian majority of true Germans, a Croat or Mediterranean nationalist, an oppressed Arab from Palestine, etc - and which were foreclosed - with a Slav majority, a Jewish plutocrat, a Black, a Gypsy. But, in the end, the theatre of war and extermination equalized all these minorities. What began as a great fear and brought great sadness, and had even evolved into systematic murder, turned into the equalitarianism of Death. A majority of dead bodies, exterminated one way or the other, a silenced majority. Fascists certainly learned to love themselves in the way they came to love others, by hatred, by death, and finally by indifference.
In one of his most lucid texts, Guattari was among the first to discern the real clinical psychosociopathy - the biopathy - that characterizes fascism: "What almost everyone refuses to acknowledge is that the fascist machine, in its Italian and German forms, became a threat to capitalism and Stalinism because the masses invested a fantastic collective death instinct in it. By reterritorializing their desire onto a leader, a people, a race, the masses abolished, by means of a phantasm of catastrophe, a reality which they detested and which the revolutionaries were either unwilling or unable to encroach upon. (...) Hitler and the nazis were fighting for death, right up to and including the death of Germany; the German masses agreed to follow along and meet their own destruction. How else are we to understand the way they were able to keep the war going for several years after it had been manifestly lost?" .
If one were to place Life at one pole of the scale of existential values, Death at the opposite pole, and for their connection take the totalitarian system of organized Survival and its History, then one should have to conclude that, while fascism haunts all forms of totalitarianism, only fascist ones succeed in completely equalizing Survival to Death, to suicide. What nazism once demonstrated has, since then, been verified countless times - on macro and micro scales, from a Jonestown suicide to islamic fascism, from black fascist regimes to red fascist ones, from the fascisms on the Right to those on the Left: all provide a condemnation of the world (its Judgement), provide an image and method for utopia, provide a phantasmatic moment of change, and market a brand of new leader, a new fad, and a tremendous amount of energy and Death suddenly released from the latency of all the reinforced collective death instincts. Our human world, like it or not, is perpetually stuck between ever more insidious forms of fascism - molecularized, Sittlich, auto-assumed, disperse, subtilized - managed by technocracies of Survival, and the ever-present danger of sliding into molar forms of fascism and uncovering the new thanatocracies that will manage the complete train of our collective suicides - the entire social panoply of our biological, chemical, nuclear, ecological, genetic, and ethnic self-destructions.
|"The Soviet workers' state has cost a million lives so far. Stalin, that is the Russian revenge of the goyim, the non-believers, against the Jewish Revolution. His purges still live today, all the way to Prague. (...) On November 10, 1975, the United Nations resolved by a two-thirds majority, quite openly, that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination. They were all unanimous, black and white, East and West. The majority."|
|Hitler Puppet, in Syberberg, H.-J., "Our Hitler - a film from Germany"|
Right and Left are the political and emotional representations of the social forces that characterize the State institutions of the so-called Open Societies of capitalism. Both bid for the power to manage the same system, the Right to preserve the status quo, minimize change or implement only changes that benefit that status quo, the Left to equalize, to multiply the checks and balances, to implement some form of the grand design - the socialist program. The reactionary Right and the reformist Left are the institutional instruments of national, international and global capitalism. But the revolutionary Left, too, is an instrument of capitalist development - with its pretensions to controlling revolutions, to achieving utopia with a group of illuminati, a vanguard, an elite, to accelerating the historical process, to saving humanity. For all it is worth, wherever it was called upon to intervene, it only - at best - ushered in the infrastructures of capitalism. The entire Left has never known how to do anything else. The frustration of revolutions by the manipulations of leftists is precisely what capital seized upon as the limited use-value of all sorts of leftist movements, and it is also the same terrain where, equally, fascists perceived their chance to intervene, to 'overcome', in their minds, both the revolutionary Left and revolution, to go 'beyond the Left to bring a revolution into completion', and to do so by converting revolution into a flux of war and death: "vivere non est necesse".
If fascism arises from leftism as a disease of revolution - as we have proposed above - isn't leftism, in turn, and in particular the revolutionary Left, already an incipient form of the fascist disease? Revolution would be a disease of society; leftism would be its failed cure - and fascism the cure which worsens the disease, the disease of the disease - notwithstanding it being the remedy for "the paroxystic phase of the crisis".
|The idealized version of October - the two great helmsmen, Lenin and Stalin, without 'the jew Bronstein' (aka Trotsky). The masses believed that Lenin could save them from a disastrous czarist war - which he did - and that socialism would conquer the world. A new gospel had been born.|
Maybe, if leftism was (as Lenin claimed) an infantile disorder of revolution, then fascism - red and black, including Leninism - was the adult malady of leftist infantilism, the legacy of 'an ideology of revolution'.
And wasn't the evolution of Leninism to Stalinism fraught with suicidary, fascist fractures? The war of the Red Army against the Makhnoviscina, Kronstadt, Trotsky's program for the complete militarization of the proletariat, Trotsky's and Zinoviev's ridiculous imperial designs, Trotsky's submission to the party and consent to defeat in order to preserve his joint creation of the USSR; Stalin's unending purges - of farmers, peasants, soldiers, Jews and even his old Bolshevik friends; Stalin's miscalculations towards Hitler, Stalin's dreams of Empire after Hitler's defeat; the failure of Soviet policy in China and in Vietnam, the suicidary attempt to compete with the Star Wars programme; not to mention further development of Stalinism into Maoism, into the nazi-like frenzies of "the Great Cultural Revolution", into the suicidary mania of Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge, into the North Korea of the Kim-il-Sungs. Wasn't party- communism at once totalitarian, terroristic and fascistic (or suicidary) from day one? Hasn't it been out of fear of 'the capitalist bourgeois States' that it always moderated its suicidary tendencies (when it could), and became - for an historic while - a regime that survived longer than fascism, that appeared preferable to fascism? Didn't Hitler acknowledge to have taken the formula for the party-police from Lenin - who took it, in turn, from Robespierre's Jacobins? And, with the temporary exception of the Chinese, Vietnamese and Cuban party-communist regimes, haven't all other models of red fascism led to their own extinction via the breakdown of society brought about by vectors of war which escaped control by the party-State? It is not only black fascist regimes which have taken catastrophic turns for the worse, or turned the worst into the benchmark of their social, moral and emotional policies.
|Chile, September 1973: the mix of a suicidary left social-democracy with a crypto- fascist military dictatorship, financed by the Nixon administration, CIA and ITT, and supported by the Vatican. The state-of-siege as a method to weed through the civilian population, and a decimated La Moñeda Presidential Palace as witness to the complete, self-abolitionistic unpreparedness - of Allende and his bureaucracy - for the oncoming war.|
But can we be sure that 'red fascism' is only a property of party-communist movements, and not also an attribute of Left social-democracies? Are these not just as bankrupt - as exemplified by the Weimar Republic or Salvador Allende's Chile? Doesn't the entire social-democratic Left exude a fascism stamped in its sense of bureaucratic entanglement and impotence, equalization by debasement and overtaxation, uniformity by dictate and mass vigilance, political correctness by renaming the old - all the possible forms of a 'kind' fascism of the weakest that, at the last hour, everyone abandons, even the weakest?
This is not a question of blaming revolutions for turning out wrong or fascist, though it might well be a way of blaming the Left for its fascisms. Fascism only became a remedy when the Left itself ceased being the remedy for social crises and revolutions. Capitalism was never interested in abolishing either class-struggle or civil strife per se. The world of the technocratic single-class is also the world of the war of all against all, and the war of the world against everyone. Only fascists and leftists promised, in different but parallel ways, that they would achieve the abolition of social warfare. But what they indirectly achieved, or rather, what capitalism achieved despite them, is a single-class society where all social strife is possible, desirable and manageable.
It is here that one sees how neither the Situationist International, nor Guattari, nor even Deleuze, ever went effectively beyond the Left; how they actually remained in the domain of Leftism. Debord himself pretended that fascism was merely "the state of siege of a bourgeois economy", as it took "massive recourse to management by the State" . He sees fascism as a return to the strong totalitarian State but in conditions that make it technologically superior - and also as the "most expensive" way to maintain the capitalist order. He writes: " fascism is the technically equipped archaism". But fascism is at once far more and far less - it is only 'expensive' because it is, after all, self-consuming and self-destroying; it takes recourse to a technocratic totalitarian rule - embodied in the party to the extent that it becomes a technocracy of war, a thanatocracy - but so as to destroy the State and the entire social formation, to decompose them from within and from without, to replace the State by a flux of Total War. Finally, fascism only exists as a 'supercapitalist order' because it arouses the desire of the masses. No one is compelled to become a fascist.
The fact remains that there are no good outcomes of revolutions. Revolutions claim to have overcome national, ethnic or class differences. But did they ever? What have they ushered in but the social forms of capitalism, or its newer embodiments?
In Deleuze's meditations on this subject of the Left, viz la Gauche , one reads about the difference between the 'historical future of revolutions' and the 'revolutionary becomings' of people, or the difference between Left governments that can never be Left, and a real Left that shall never govern, that cannot be in government ever - and one cannot help but wonder whether separating the two really makes the sense he thought it did.
The problem is not simply in the fact that the Left in government is always bound to create a majority and sell a socialistic future; and neither is it simply that the Left of the minorities never has any future, only becomings. It is evident that the Left of the minorities always detaches from the Left in government (yes, we know there were anarchist ministers in the republican government during the Spanish Civil War) - but are they really different social movements, these two Lefts, one bureaucratic and the other minoritarian? Isn't this the fundamental ambiguity of the Left, there always being two Lefts, that which always permits it to perfect a majoritarian representation and slide from revolution to bureaucratic Terror? Questions like - how to balance the civil rights and religious practices of Muslim minorities with the rights of women, with the problems of the reproductive rights, free access to abortion, custody of offspring, impact of genetic engineering, etc, etc - aren't these the sorts of questions that the minoritarian Left always forces on every government, even a Left government?
One understands only too well what minoritarian becomings are; they are what resists, escapes, lies beyond institutions - beyond the human definition of minorities even - not what salvages power institutions or embodies them; not what places one on the Right or on the Left. Maybe the notions of change, 'liberation', 'revolution' or even 'escape' are still constructed by a mold too close to that of a society of universal representation. Maybe contestation, let alone escape, are still strategized as having certain fixed points of departure that are neither necessary launch points nor references that should be welcome, even if these departure points were to dispose one to seriously consider the biased, partial and molecular nature of every form of Life and all living processes. It is likely that, psychiatrically speaking, a 'becoming-woman' for every man or woman serves as threshold or even a gate to other becomings, 'becoming-animal', 'becoming- plant', even inorganic becomings, 'becoming-mineral', 'becoming light', 'becoming massfree'. But the minoritarian Left owns no such map - nor is it perhaps desirable that it should - and its academic pretensions to theory or analysis will, at best, forever remain divorced from any science of Life or any poetic comprehension of the living. Moreover, it is doubtful whether such a libidinal map has any intrinsic value, even for a minoritarian Left that still sought to correct injustices by demanding new rights. And what would be the use of a Left that no longer demanded new rights or the correction of old ones?
For the minoritarian Left is, in a sense, what keeps on re-inventing the bureaucratic Left, its parties and governments, and ever new social services. Without it, there is simply no Left left. And it seems that its mission is to try to squeeze a majority from every conceivable minority, as much as constantly invent new minorities in need of representation. It recognizes 'universalists' as one of its own minorities all the better as it promotes a carnival of folkloric differences between minorities, sure that by the consenting alliance of interests and the festive tolerance of 'differences', a real universal element has already been found upon which to build some justice or 'a better world'.
The German People did not arrive at the position of a majority by Hitler's fiat or overnight - it was 'acceptable minority by acceptable minority' that the illusion was created of a single movement and a united country; just as exclusion, too, proceeded 'unacceptable minority by unacceptable minority'. Furthermore, modern capitalism is not so dependent upon the acceptance of a majority standard - even if it shared for a while, with nazism and stalinism, the manufacturing of the white male worker into a heroic figure. Capitalism proved to be far more practical than that - it can extract any standard, even the most minoritary figure can be made into a standard, as long as it is human, as long as it can be humanized, as long as it can be made into the source of a communicable atavism. The essence of modern democratic power is that anyone can see 'it' however it darn well pleases them to see it - as end of history, as present being or heroic achievement, as minoritarian becoming, as revolutionary future. Like the ETs of Steven Spielberg's thought-challenged Taken, all change, creation, perception has become subjectified and made relativistic - one sees what one wishes to see, even the residual fact that the true image 'of the Other' still has a humanoid appearance. Likewise with the power of modern society - it lets everyone see just what they wish to see, and no more - just a reflection of oneself. Any form that is human, that can be humanized, constitutes a possible standard, can be exhibited, can circulate, can be exchanged. It is the technological rule of the single class which makes possible this complete atomism and subjective projection. As far as any represented minority is concerned, the standard never comes around often enough - but as for the standard, the fact is it doesn't exist, it has no fixed content, it only exists in abstract as a pure form - on the fad of being subject to the fads of Right and Left.
|"To construct deliberately such a machine would be far from easy; in fact, I would say that no one could manage it. For the thing is not only stupid, but stubborn as a mule, that is, it has a personality common to idiots, for idiots are uncommonly stubborn."|
|S. Lem, "Cyberiad"|
Every modern order, every mass-standard, needs disorder - as its very justification, as the apparent motor of its 'progressive alteration', of its so-called evolution. And even more, it appears that fascism, being today all the more disperse in its manifestations and 'revolutionary' in its appearance, has never ceased being, like the Old Fascism, but a tool for the complete capitalization of all the flows of the living, a tool for the progress of capitalism across the Planet and through these epochs of a great melding of classes. As there was yesterday a fascism of the universals - Party, Class, Race, Nation, Family, etc - so there is today a fascism of the parcellar, the fragmentary, the particularized, a fascism of the minorities and the exceptional rights. The Left in government is no less prone to the fascism of the universals than the minoritarian Left is prone to the fascism of the fragmentary, the fashionably folkloric.
And one understands readily (or should - at any rate) what is intended by the term 'revolutionary becoming' in Deleuze's discourse - any impulse towards social and emotional change that threatens an established order, that effectively refuses the 'proletarization of the world' and potentially creates new or different orders, by the molecular, from the molecular. But do these 'revolutionary becomings', these 'minoritarian becomings' have any correspondence to the struggles of social minorities, to the minoritarian demands that coalesce on some Left? Are these 'minoritarian becomings' immanent to the forces forming a minoritarian Left?
It would appear that any such correspondences are 'visibly false'. Thought can no more be on the Left than it can be defined by the negative, a being anti - against even one's government, if one is on the Left and it is a Left government. Real change can never belong to governments, because the nature of modern society has determined the State to function solely as an absorber of forces, as a controller of change. If other spheres of the world are nonhuman, or non-humanizable, if they present us with possible becomings beyond our human form of Life, access to these worlds is not gated by any macropolitics of the Right or the Left, anymore than it is by utopian phantasms of Revolution .
The Left has made fascism its business - giving birth to it and constantly giving way to it - so that, today, one appears to be on the Left just by virtue of staking one's anti-fascist positions or struggle in isolation. A generalized anti-fascist struggle cannot be fought in isolation. It is, after all, solely the correlate of a desire to Live, to change life itself, to alter the social modes of the living and choose intelligently between the technological possibilities of Life. The anti-fascist stance follows from that desire - not the other way around. The struggle against fascism has become all the more difficult because it no longer appears to flow from a struggle against the social principle of Survival, against the constant infusion of Life with Death, against the internalization of Death in Life.
Resistance to fascism - molar and molecular, to fascism of the universals and of the partialities - is not some abstract position that, in addition, stops at being anti- totalitarian or anti-militaristic. It cannot continue to be defined by being anti-State, anti-Capital, anti-War, anti-Patriarchal, anti-etc, etc, etc. The Left has manufactured these nihilistic positions, these images of negation that only deny themselves, and not the desire for Power that smothers the living and is the real source of all fascisms. And the Left seems all the more capable of creating a vacuum around all social issues as it has successfully abandoned all its analytical pretensions. What Deleuze said of the New Philosophers fully applies here - to the entirety of the Left: they have abandoned even Marx, but they "don't begin to present any new analysis of capital, which mysteriously drops out of consideration in their work" . It is, and has been for a long time now, far more than that: simply no new analysis. Neither of Capital, nor of the State, nor of War and fascism. Nor of the Left itself. If the analysis was wrong - in all the marxist and anarchist pasts of the Left - it may now be forgotten. Only Power counts, only seizing Potestas matters, and it all resides in the powers of representation - a game for mafiosi, a costly game that must put many kinds of masses into flux.
If Debord once thought that "the foremost merit of an exact critical theory is to make all the others instantaneously seem ridiculous" , the possibility of that happening no longer exists - because, on the Left, it is believed that no more critical theories are necessary, no more critical analysis is required, no need to understand still remains which, somehow, has not already been satisfied. It would be, rather, any new critical theory that would appears ridiculous, for all previous ones have been consigned to history, to museums. Perhaps the facts that (1) all critical theory has placed itself on the Left - even when it claimed not to (like Debord's), that (2) critical analysis never even reached the comprehension of conventional science, let alone its critique or supplantation and that (3) the development of capitalism has become the greatest unconscious agent of socialism and the socialization of production (and, therefore, constantly undermines both the universalistic and the minoritary pretensions of any Left) are not entirely unconnected with this state of affairs. It would be a long list of ridiculous failures one would have to draw, even and above all for the radical Left, the non-Left, the beyond-the-Left. For what theory has been able to account for the work of Capital, State and War on 'the minds of men'? Certainly not Debord's dialectical theory of Capital as Society of the Spectacle - which, by the way, worthy of consideration as it might be, was never mentioned once by any other radical thinker of his epoch, a Foucault or a Deleuze. And probably not Deleuze and Guattari's molecular biosocial theory or theories of the State, of Capital and of War - which, somehow, have spawned more academic miscomprehension and 'fluffy-neo-leftism' than is imaginable - and were scrupulously avoided, in turn, by Debord. And what to say of still other theories, from other thinkers on the Left who left no doubts as to their debility and their incapacity to comprehend their lives, their own politics and their epochs?
Still, says Deleuze, the entire problematics of revolution remains a matter of creating Law, of legislating, a matter of jurisprudence - not of abstract rights - and he claims that to be on the Left (and not 'from the Left', as he says) is just that: to create a jurisprudence not stuck in legalistic notions of rights, with a sense of justice, capable of addressing the real political issues at stake and of engaging minoritary becomings. He even found a slogan - "majority is no one, minority is everybody" - to describe the real politics of the Left, the politics of minorities, the politics of a minoritarian Left.
It is somewhat frightening to realize the extent to which Deleuze's thought has become dephased from the epoch, irrelevant even in key aspects. He still defines the majority by the standard of the European adult white man, "citoyen des villes" - as if modern European culture was not capable of engaging a unisex, multiracial, androgynous standard that should please minoritarian representations and ensure their near-peaceful coexistence in the New Europe. One can, perhaps, hear Deleuze's mordant wit and laughter - that the Left should, perhaps, not be taken so seriously after all - while he points out that from his generation, he was the only one who failed to ingress into the French Communist Party in the aftermath of WWII... But one cannot help thinking that the Left has always been a capitalist institution, more even than it ambitioned to become this or that government from the Left. One cannot easily forget the Left that time and again sank revolutions in Terror and war, the Left that became revolutionary since the times of the Jacobins; the Left that invented and legated fascism and its horrors; the Left that has done so much to bring about technocratic, globalized, social- democracy; the Left whose death wish, after nearly consuming Arafat, has now rushed to the side of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al-Qaeda, and so on. All in the name of justice. And when nowadays one thinks of minorities - of the Leftist empowerment of minorities - one is immediately placed beyond the utopias of the Left's recent past, beyond the now instituted co-managements, co-governments, participatory democracies, affirmative actions, or the anaesthetized reign of the politically-correct; one is now very directly placed in the folklore of the mass-media, the revival of old religions, the manufacture of new minorities, each more arcane than the last; one is confronted with the infinite multiplication of all those new and dysfunctional social institutions that convert society into a single class, that turn everyone into what Ayn Rand once called the class of "the looters"; that permit every technocrat to become a fascist, if only for a while, and with good reason.
Yes, perhaps that is the great achievement of capitalism - the total nihilism that it brings about and which it forcefully reveals as an equalization by the lowest standard, an equalitarian racism, an equalitarian stupidity; it is this which requires the institution of dysfunctionality and the unending protection of folkloric differences, nay, their constant re-invention. No better than the New Philosophers, the 'philosophers of the difference' appear to have given in to the exuberance of circus oddities, seemingly forgetting how the equalization of all differences still requires that they first be 'summoned', 'brought in', 'represented', 'dramatized' even if by a whole (paid) theatre of the anti-theatre. One might suppose this is all part of the generally decomposing flux of History. That it spares nothing - and thereby equalizes everybody and everything.
To us, it seems that the final sapwork of nihilism is rather the result of completely relinquishing the freedom to control and create one's everyday life outside mass- standards, even minoritarian ones. And to hide this immense seizure of power taken by our epoch from our own lives, there is a whole new nerdish doctrine of equalization that goes with it. This single class society has a new language - a language that neutralizes power by appearing to distribute it and by neutering it, making it at once technical and politically correct. To the disgust of all Lefts, Oriana Fallaci captured it well when she described it as: "The fad (...) that calls the road-sweepers 'ecological operators', the housekeepers 'family assistants', the school janitors 'non-teaching personnel', the deaf 'audio-impaired', the crippled 'foot-impaired'". It is, after all, the same fad that calls 'terrorists', 'revolutionaries' and omits the epithet 'fascist'. The fad that hides the designs of Power, that everywhere dilutes the essence of fascism, that makes its nature appear dubious and unrecognizable, that easily forgets the failure of critical theories, that requires no analysis of anything, and needs thought for nothing.
It is difficult, in this prosthetic epoch - this age of the perfect substitute - to not perceive as somewhat distant the notion from "Anti-Oedipus I" that fascism was not merely a molar formation or an historical event - the fascism of a Hitler or a Mussolini - but one that was made possible because of a much more fundamental form of fascism, a molecular form of fascism, a technologically-achieved and legitimized form of emotional fascism, a fascism present in desire, in our bodies and in our minds, a fascism cultivated there by the work of history, by a determined social latency of death; in the words of Michel Foucault's Preface to that book - "the fascism in us all, in our heads and in our everyday behavior, the fascism that causes us to love power, to desire the very thing that dominates and exploits us".
When one turns on the cable TV and hears a program dedicated to 'breather fanatics', or meets a girl of sixteen and she is pregnant, or hears a pope decrying abortion, or travels to the Philippines and meets a man with thirteen children, or sees the kids in the favelas or in the mounds of detrita in the outskirts of Jakarta, or ponders the results of the traffic of children in the adoption and prostitution rackets, or is stung by an announcement of a corporate-religious achievement of the cloning of a human being - one learns that the single greatest immobile engine of capitalism and its History as a system of mass-society is the unbridled, irresponsible, untouchable excess of human natality, the fascism of our rampant proliferation. Nothing could be more politicized, nor be more at the roots of the death latency of the masses and the wish for Total War.
When one hears the modern refusal of politicians and philosophers to politicize the problem of natality, one divines that Left and Right have already unspokenly agreed that the State and medical mechanisms of control shall one day have to intervene - to issue reproductive licenses, to require courses and tests for parenthood, and so on. One senses that the only reproductive standard those politicians and philosophers might have wanted to regard as fascist was that of the male worker - as if a new form of the family, a vestigial form, needed be ushered in, unquestioned, along with the cloning of human beings, the neutralization of gender, its stereotyping, the anaesthetics of language and so on. Even Deleuze refused to politicize the issue , as if the issue could be depoliticized. For it cannot. The injustice is no greater for those born in utter misery than it is for those born into enriched poverty, into a wealth of Survival devoid of any Life. The notion of a standard of Survival does not express a value of Life, but rather submits Life to the value of that standard, and implicitly accepts that the challenge of Life is to choose between degrees of survivability. The combat of Life has nothing to do with finding just degrees of Survival. The sheer masses of poor people, with masses of their poor children, which now haunt the horizon of western societies, are precisely the strongest tool which the global State has at its disposal to socialize and equalize national societies, to proceed by pactuations with Terror and proxy-employment of terrorists. 'The fascism in us all' does not exclude the de facto fascism of 'our' natality, of the uncontrolled demographic growth that achieved dissemination of the rule of power-Potestas and accomplishes the work of nihilism, that pressed forth the dilution of all separate, non-capitalist societies to achieve the spectacle of minoritary representations in a global circus.
If there are 'molecular becomings', or becomings of desire with molecular direction- vectors, they surely are becomings beyond things human, where the qualifier 'minoritary' no longer has any political meaning reducible to the social matters of jurisprudence (Left or otherwise), or the 'will of a people' (revolutionary or not). To place creative social change on the side of the Left is, after all, to not realize the extent to which the Left has always been the enemy of benign social transformations: the Left as virus, revolution as unresolved primary infection, and fascism as subsequent malignant transformation, as contagious pestilence and pandemic. Whatever greater health those benign social transformations might have augured, they were surely buried by a pathological perversion which brought them back to the same history. If there are becomings to human collectivities, these can no longer continue to subordinate themselves to criteria of what is Left and what is Right, what is revolutionary and what is reactionary, what are and are not minorities, which minorities are acceptable and which aren't. All human beings now live in a society of global representation. No one wishes to think outside of that representation, aside and astride it. It is at once revolutionary and reactionary.
One may speak of the single class, as the class in which all class differences are dissolved, and of its dominance and technocratic standardization. But this single class is no longer a ruling class - it rules nothing but itself, it consumes nothing but its own survival, its own power to survive, by inventing the social necessity of 'the biosocial needs' it serves. There are no masters, only slaves. Curiously enough, the SI (which explicitly saw itself outside of the Right/Left dichotomy) collectively recognized this fact as early as 1963 - that those who rule "have now lost their mastery" of the organization of Space and Time, "leading one to think that there are no longer real proletarians or real owners or rulers in the two extremities of a highly plastic social curve" .
One hears about sociological attributions of wealth, of the 5% who control the world and the 95% that work for it, of the hordes of races that have not achieved the welfare, the wealth and the health of western societies. And then one realizes that those who speak of these supposed social and historical realities are christianized preachers, preachers of still more insidious techniques of social and mind control. For to own something no longer means one can control it, or dispose of it, or even manage it. It is not owning that rules the world, it is managing that runs it. The world is no more controlled by those 5% than by those 95%. The world is out of control because it is outside of any possible social control. And if it is still made to run by human hands and minds, then it is controlled by a single class, that is, controlled by the complete absence of control, by the absence of any mastery by any one individual or group, controlled by the rule of dysfunctional management, the effective 'becoming impotent' of every form of control. If one had hoped to shrink society and its implications, to liberate the individuality of beings, events and becomings - one got just the opposite, an empowerment of impotence, along with its rationalization. A Left this stupid took a lot of effort to bring about.
Thus, one way or another, the programme of the Left was taken up by worldwide capitalism (witness George Soros in our epoch) and led to the dissolution of the Old World. It exploded the State into a thousand corporate mini-States, a thousand unions, a thousand policing units, including the academias that police the Open Society; it made standards to better bring them down, dissolve them, minoritize them, like so many territories of fragmentary ganglands, ready for still better equalizations by ever more abstract standards. This, too, is no less the movement of Power - it is in fact the movement of the complete exchangeability of all values towards which capitalism tends, at the very limit of its nihilistic tendency to decompose the entirety of society.
|"We have to be careful of the infidels, and we can ask Allah to destroy them in our prayers."|
|Saudi textbook for 7th grade consumption in US Muslim schools, Time magazine, September 15, 2003|
|"Since the days of the Prophet, there are only two forces on Earth, Muslims and infidels. And their fight will go on until Judgement Day."|
|Syed Ayaz Ali-Shah, Karachi student, Time magazine, September 15, 2003|
All the aspects of fascism can be found in modern Islamic Fundamentalism: its social structure as a mass-movement that evolved towards a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam, as 'a beyond the Left', 'a beyond the pan-Arabic republicanism' of a Nasser or the old Ba'ath parties of Suni Nation-States; its popular and even armed resistance to the globalizing forces of modern capitalism, their perversion and destruction of Arab, Persian and Pashtun cultures; its semi-hidden, decentralized network of terrorist cells spread across different credos of fundamentalism, and engaged regularly in suicidary acts; its image-making frenzies of faith in the absurd (the fancy of a Great Islam, jihad and sharia Law); its generalized hatred of 'infidels' and its vengeful rage against the world; its racism, and foremost its overt, exhibitionistic, infantile, disgusting and all- consuming judeophobia; its pretensions to being modern in the midst of its atavisms, to having at once modernized Islam and returned it to its roots - including its ridiculous claim that it actually understood the challenge of modern capitalism as the millenary triumph of the Christian social-democratic State and the rule of permissive, decayed customs; its transformation of the mosque into the policial cell of a party-Mosque, a modern-day Church, everywhere a Taliban-in-the-making; its veneration of Great Leaders, Ayatollahs, Muftis who lead jihad by unending fatwas, technopriests running websites such as miraclenews.com; its siring of theocratic republics, like Iran, run by bureaucratic priesthoods committed to a program analogous to that of 'red fascism', with pretensions to technocratic rule, as of late, while being firmly in control of the oil fluxes of capitalism, and engaged in a thanatocratic transformation into a 'technonuclear priesthood'.
The whole matter has a surreal, hallucinating quality - a barbaric mixture of atavism and technocratic, cybernetic futurism.
And let's also talk about 'Palestinian becomings' - when the Palestinian movement avows itself as pivotal to the growth of militant islamism, as a purely suicidary movement whose members must continue to sacrifice themselves to feed the millenary and generational hatred between Semitic peoples! Yes, let's talk about that culture of suicidary fanatics, where women manage to be even more phallocratic and insidious than men, where the Welfare State of the suicide-bombers is supported by decoded fluxes of Capital - the billion dollar Charities of Hamas, or the 25,000 dollars awarded by the dictator Saddam to the family of any such bomber, or the monies - still smelling of black gold - coming from Saudi Arabia and other Arab States. Who, in all seriousness, can claim that there is something 'revolutionary', something 'new' or 'different', something 'creative', a 'becoming', a 'minoritary becoming' among Palestinian Arabs, among the Palestinian movements?
What else, besides the stupidly suicidary and racist wish for self-destruction, has animated that struggle? What else - but the fearing of fear, the hatred of the difference, and a spectacular 'revenge against the world'? What movement is this that only acquired its racial status when Arabs from Palestine refused Israel's offer to register all land claims and provide land compensation in the aftermath of its 1948 war of independence? It is not the injustice of the expropriation that is at stake - but no wars are or can be just, anymore than it was just for the Great Mufti of Jerusalem to approve of Hitler's Final Solution and to even try to apply a variant of the same during the early 1940's. Should one forget that Israel came about by war? All to find some 'revolutionary Palestinian becoming' on the horizon of our History? It is a poor joke.
It is because fascism is a secretion from Leftism, that it is most ironic (and most repulsive) to observe the care with which the entire international Left, bureaucratic and minoritary - and the European Community - refuses to apply the term 'fascism' to 'Islamic Fundamentalism'. Ditto for the New York Times. It is another one of those politically-correct taboos, one that is nurtured, somehow, by the fear of 'racial profiling' - and is supposed to keep fascism at bay... by way of a new concession to fascism every day.
Indeed, modern islamic fundamentalism is fascist, is a variation of fascism proper to the ongoing dissolution of the Old Islamic World, to the end of arabic nomadism, to the achieved dominance of oil interests and near-complete dissolution of tribal structures, to the emergence of a capitalist mass-society ruled by technopriesthoods - at the transition to the difficult emergence of Arab democracies and the rule of managerial technocracies.
All the fundamental characteristics of fascism can, indeed, be found in "Islamic fascism" - the militarization of civil society through the terrorist cells, the policial and moral State (of Iran, of the Taliban, etc) ruled by the dictatorship of a church-police machine, the mixture of futuristic and anachronistic elements that parodies the resurrection of Islamic religion as both modern and fundamentalist, the network of aspiring and exercising thanatocrats with full access to all media and whose only business is death - suicide of the living, death of the infidels, destruction of the worldwide capitalist system, destruction of the social-democratic Christian State, even in its global form, destruction of the Human Form in the name of a return to the faith in God, death of oneself in the name of jihad.
Saddam Hussein's regime did not escape this flow of islamist fascism - neither in its origin, nor in its various phases, nor in its end. On the contrary, it arose as a national- socialist and pan-Arabic republican regime, modeled upon both nazism and stalinism, as the 'sworn enemy' of Israel and the Jews; it gassed its own Kurdish and Shi'a minorities in mad acts of genocide, and sought ballistic nuclear war with Israel ('the Jews') and Iran ('the Persians') on the basis of racial considerations; it was the subject of constant impulses towards imperialistic, expansionist war; it practiced, for nearly a decade, war for its own sake with Iran; it invaded Kuwait in the name of some pan- Arabism and the unity of the People-Nation, 'the true Muslims', in the hope of controlling a major portion of the world supply of oil; it engaged in televised self- purges with Hussein as Grand-Master; it systematically financed terrorism, especially Palestinian. Hussein's Iraq only failed to be fundamentalist - ie to be 'fascist' in the sense of modern islamism. The machinery of war remained in the hands of a socialist party, and had not yet transited to the hands of a thanatocratic party-Church bent on Total War. This, of course, did not prevent Hussein's regime from having been suicidary, from having chosen suicidary and genocidal solutions for so many of the social, political and military crises it engendered, from having twice failed to confront the invasion forces of its enemies, from having bluffed its way through the two Gulf wars right into sheer self-abolition, including a residual resistance by fanatics - even if Saddam himself, as an individual, was so much of a coward that he did not mind to be caught alive and was clearly happy to have his captors check him for fleas, head lice and rotten teeth. The politics of collective suicide, right up to the end, remained clear.
Yet without Saddam Hussein's regime, Iraq is only more apt to plunge into the fascist variant of islamic fundamentalism, not less. One is a cousin of the other, a pan-arab socialist fascism that purports to be progressive and deliver social wealth, and a pan-islamist fascism for those more desperate and still further impoverished, whose struggle is seen as millenary, as a collision of worlds. A fascism for wealthy Arabs, and a fascism for impoverished Arabs, Persians and Pashtuns.
Alas; indeed, islamist fascism has also acquired internationalist pretensions, replacing the pan-Arabism by the pan-Islamism with its anti-Jewish racialist plan. It now believes that global capitalism may be historically overcome by a world-wide federation of Islamic States, and that the sacred fascist mission of a generalized Holy Terror should be the historical destiny of Al-Qaeda, or rather, of all the serpent's eggs Al-Qaeda has melded and spawned.
There are only too many ways of trying to grasp the great cowardly act that happened on September 11, 2001. On the Left, most attempts were painful efforts. Some, like Christopher Hitchens , courageously did not hesitate to speak against 'islamic fascism' - and were promptly followed by opportunity-seeking New Philosophers eager to continue doing their best at misunderstanding the very nature of fascism. We shall not mention the usual anti-American and judeophobic crowd, the 'Noam Chomskys' of eternal contestation for its own sake - nor any claims that the event presented one more 'Palestinian becoming' on the horizon of our human world, a sort of "payback to America for its support of Israel against the Palestinian People". For us, it is little wonder that Chomsky's prediction came to pass: that America responded to the threat of fascist islamist terrorism with wars ('military adventures') in Afghanistan and Iraq. They were inevitable - and as Hitchens puts it, Chomsky's opinions and predictions are no longer relevant - if they ever were! - not even to any residual Left.
However, on the Left - or nearby, on that Left that refuses to be Left and even appears to be Right - there are texts infused with a certain awareness that make the turpitude of their conclusions particularly repellent. One prime example, that of Jean-Pierre Voyer , is poignant, by both his insights and his dogged stupidity - never more visible than when, in his analysis of 9/11, he fully loses sight of the fascism whose very essence it expressed. Voyer 'explains' that 9/11 confronts two world conceptions, one 'utilitarian' and the other 'religious', and that only fundamentalist believers prove they are still "men capable of dying for their faith":
"Ils prouvent, dans ce monde du nihilisme et des pédés mariés que des hommes sont encore capables de mourir pour leur foi. Voilà ce qu'est le potlatch. Voilà enfin ce qu'est l'acte surréaliste le plus simple. Voilà Dada de retour (...) ." Voyer pretends that the event crystallizes a war between nihilists ('spice-vendors', he calls them) on one side, and the fervent believers who "want to annihilate the bourgeois world", on the other. He fails to realize the extent to which modern Capital itself has annihilated the bourgeoisie - through the great melding of a techno-cyber world - and the extent to which Bin Laden is a fascist because he is suicidary and bourgeois, a multibillionaire who has put his entire fortune into an enterprise of self-abolition, into a thanato-cyber world. What's worse, Voyer fails to understand what exactly it was that Nietzsche meant by nihilism - he fails to realize that nihilism began as an affair of the priest. At some point, Voyer states that nihilism is the absence of any values - an absence which he attributes to Puritans as their essential characteristic. But nihilism is not the absence of values, not per se; rather, belief in the absence of values is solely one of the subspecies of nihilism, an advanced stage in the evolution of nihilism: when Life becomes nothing, and one can survive without values, in passive extinction or even auto-destruct in sheer anomie or fanatic delirium. However, if it is evident that nihilism has now arrived here - at such an absence of any values save the value of money - at its European stage, it nevertheless began its journey of migration elsewhere - precisely with and by belief, by faith, with irrational faith in the bluffs of all sorts of priests. It began with religions that invented values set above Life, that decried 'the temporal world' as the realm of Evil, that pronounced their condemnation of Life as Evil, that erected the concept of divinity to create an imaginary transcendence beyond Life, and buttress some morbid notion of an after-life (another one of those sausages...).
But if this is how nihilism began, it is not what it has led to, nor is it the nihilism of those who carry on with wanton cowardly acts of mass murder and suicide. Those who auto-destruct through fanatic delirium, what conception of the world do they have other than one of Death? They have gone beyond the old priestly faith in Survival, of trust in a mode of Survival; they still return to erect a 'God on High', only this God has become, as it did in the worst of fascisms, the sheer phantasm of Death, of a suicide that is construed, by religious lies, to have some meaning. What a joke! And Voyer sees in this the lesson of the potlacht! What a salad! A surrealist act, as he says...followed by his hyper-surrealist interpretations.
|Judeophobia colors the mystique of all fascisms, not just European ones. No Jew is a good Jew, unless it's a dead one. Jews are guilty of all crimes - from murdering Jesus, to imposing and running capitalism, to ushering in socialism and oppressing Palestinians. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem once declared their extermination a holy duty, jihad.|
The original nihilists were precisely the 'good priests' and the 'better believers' - they can and should be credited with the invention of the State and the mass-society. But they were not the inventors of culture - they were what altered culture forever, and began the long evolution of its nihilism, of its organized denial of Life. Nor were they fascists like Bin-Laden. For the faith Voyer is speaking about is but faith in Death, in destruction. Faith in fascism, faith in stupidity, faith in symbols of nothingness - the faith of sociopaths.
However, the true extent to which Bin-Laden is a nihilist can be gleaned from Voyer himself - from the extent to which Voyer, too, is but a small-time nihilist in need of Caligula-esque entertainment: he sees Bin-Laden as "someone who believes in God, and thus in humanity" (sic). And here one goes, all over again, down the old chute into this super-bourgeois technocratic belief that those who believe in humanity, in some image of a Human Form uniting, with its fair and sweet tidings, all the good people of the planet, all the poor people - are not, somehow, nihilists! God was elevated above Life precisely so that, when God was no longer of use to Puritans, spice-traders and sausage-makers (including those who sell the sausages of revolution), one could place humanity on that throne, and revere its Higher Men (and Women, of course), while still selling the sausages.
Voyer comes to admire these "people who are capable of dying for their faith", while "all good-doer nihilists do not risk their skin". He defines the nihilist "as someone who kills for the sake of killing" - so that he can then set up this other fumisterie, that "the massacre of nonbelievers by fanatic believers is barbarous, cruel, but it is not nihilistic, for it was perpetrated in the name of God and for the service of God, whilst a nihilist celebrates the death of God" . But fearless in the face of contradiction, he also concludes that "since the murderers of September 11 never made any particular demands, one may say that they killed for the sake of killing".
With this candid admission, contradiction and all (they killed for the sake of killing but, no, they killed for the sake of God...), one sees where the power of Hegelian thought and the resolution of all contradictions leads and, by the same token, just how banal and ordinary were those murderers - who chose symbols, the symbol of High Finance and the mighty dollar, the symbol of military might of the last Superpower, and the intended symbols of the democratic State, to create a world-spectacle out of their murderous-suicidary pyres. There could be no cruder demonstration of what characterizes fascism - beyond all the empty words of condemnation of this world which people like Voyer or Bin-Laden utter, to the benefit of their twisted conception of a world that no longer exists, nor ever really did!
Voyer, who wrote a book on Reich, manages to ignore the most basic insights of the latter into fascism. Perhaps he never understood them, anymore than he understood Nietzsche. He simply mistakes all the stages of nihilism - the nihilism of the priests that erects God above Life, the nihilism of military castes who sacrificed their lives for their God or their gods, the nihilism of humanists who justify murder with their Man and Humanity, the nihilism of those who have no values and kill by distraction, the nihilism of fascists who kill for the sake of killing, of fanatic believers who kill themselves in order to gratuitously kill, with the excuse of killing for the sake of symbols. It is the entire breadth of nihilism - from its negative, through its reactive, passive and self-destructive stages - that Voyer, who purportedly 'wants a bit of reality', replaces with his simplistic dualism of 'nihilists who believe in nothing' and 'anti-nihilistic believers in God and Man'. Too easy, too pat. Debile and imbecilic. Bin-Laden and his human missiles - and go sell Bin-Laden T-shirts (and sausages) in the markets of Karachi. Voyer even admits that Allah is a much greater label than Nike - but no amount of quoting Leibniz, Marx, Nietzsche or whomever, can save our man from the basic stupidity of refusing the evident constatation of the fascism of these fanatic believers in Great Islam. Islamism has proved that it fulfills, after all, simply the same task of integration of Arabs and Muslims in the world order, that black and red fascism once fulfilled in the integration of Germany, Italy, the Slav, Mongolian, Chinese and Indo-Chinese populations.
Voyer describes the enemies of capitalism as those who know that, whereas the question of the existence of God is a metaphysical one, the question of belief in God is a practical one - hence, they practice their belief in God as the sign of their trust, in God and each other. And he believes that the lie of religion is lesser than that of science. Which science, one might ask - but never mind that, for what is one to make of these absurdities: that one should trust the vision of Bin-Laden, the vengeance of fascists (what Voyer calls "the fanatics of God") against the world of achieved nihilism (what Voyer calls "the fanatics of money"), that one should have confidence in their fatal attraction for symbolic acts - as mirrors of 'our truth'? In truth, trust could never exist between fascists - because trust comes not from faith, nor even from a common faith - but from self-respect and honour, those values of most ancient cultures that all nihilists have made it their millenary job to destroy. Not honour in faith or by faith, but honour from self-respect, from respect even for one's own enemies.
If everyone has the faith they deserve, as Voyer states is the case, then Voyer has just the faith in fascism that he deserves - the worst possible type of buggery, the faith in the Bin-Ladens, that supreme pathological achievement of the world of nihilism: Bin- Laden's "cause is lost, it revealed itself unable to islamize modernity, but the principle that it defends, faith itself, is capable of bombing New York" . Stunning achievement for a faith: the fascism of the politics of desperation, after that desperation has been carefully cultivated across generations of melded, impoverished masses; carefully cultivated from within, as a cancer, while being grafted all along over the financial fluxes of oil, from the time of the Second British Empire, through Nazism, to the present.
Here, in this text penned by Voyer, one sees the condensate of the fascist stupidity of revolutions and so-called revolutionary thinking or doctrines; one sees, at once, a Left that refuses to acknowledge its own fascism, and a fascism that claims it is not Left, nor even fascist. Not even nihilist.
Little wonder that one never hears any analysis of how it is that the Survival of masses of people has become so enriched in both misery (social, emotional, sexual) and miserable wealth, that they choose suicide over a reality they so ambivalently at once detest and love, wanting to destroy America and wanting to become American, all at once.
It is the reign of a total poverty of thought married to a complete lack of scruples, the zero point of self-respect. Such is the Left of those who claim they are not Left any longer, nor ever were. Such is the Left and the anti, nec plus ultra Left that has always vacillated before fascism. Such is the Left and the anti-Left that is impotent to analyze the fascist islamist phenomenon. Such is the Left and its nec plus ultra that have nothing left to offer, seeking dada events, the big vengeance on the Big Screen. There could be no greater apology of mediocrity. From Voyer to the neo-nazi 'American Patriot' Edgar Steele's "It wasn't the Arabs"  - published by an Arab community newspaper in BC, to the shame of Canada - there is hardly need for a leap: "It isn't Arabs trying mightily to block release of the Mel Gibson movie, 'The Passion' - it is jews (sic). It isn't Arabs lying about and guilt-tripping us with 'the holocaust' - it is jews. (...) It wasn't Arabs who lied about gas chambers at Dachau and Auschwitz - it was jews. (...) It wasn't Arabs who lied about mass graves at Treblinka - it was jews. (...) It wasn't Arabs who demolished the World Trade Center - it was jews. (...) It isn't Arabs bent on destroying Christianity - it is jews".
Whether every Muslim group, movement, party or mosque - in Europe, the USA, or the Middle-East - does or does not fit the complete bill of black fascism is an open question, and so it should be. What can no longer remain an open question is whether islamist fascism exists. And when one thinks about Muslim Americans one is forced to agree with Daniel Pipes' commentary in November 2001: "whatever the majority of Muslim Americans may believe, most of the organized Muslim community agrees with the Islamist goal - the goal, to say it once again, of building an Islamic state in America" . Since this shall never be possible through these mad designs of rage, these Islamists have only set for themselves the goal of their own self-destruction.
|"The Germans will never forgive the Jews for Auschwitz."|
No less than the rule of a European majority once felt it 'needed' to expel the Jews from within its bosom - to strip them of all civil rights and accomplish the fascist unification of Europe - the 'new Europe of the minorities' still 'feels' it 'needs' to keep them at bay, in their Israel, which Europe has so sublimely helped to auto-transform into a gigantic concentration camp, 'hopefully' intended for all the Jews of the world: Israel as the Madagascar of the Neues Europa and as its Anus Mundi.
In reverse motion, ever since European fascists, like Franco, imported Muslim hordes to do their barbaric work and to instill fear in the masses, Europe has sought to integrate its Muslim minorities. As the EU federation, it has even permitted special instances of exception to the laws and rights of universal citizenship, to accommodate, above all, Islamic Fundamentalism. Chirac's present French government went as far as offering, through the Strasbourg city-hall, financial support to the building of the Great Mosque of Strasbourg - an offer that was rejected by the Muslim Association of that illustrious city ("we want no charity", they wrote) because of the attached conditions: prayers to be said, also, in French (!), adoption of clauses that recognized women's rights, and a commitment to fight juvenile criminality. Throughout the 'EU space' one finds the State - national and federal - engaged in legitimizing religious leaders as the political representatives of Muslim 'minorities', a State that now meddles in the Islamic Church, that seeks to adapt the theocratic rule subjacent to Islamism and give it a place in the official capital of the EU, to 'democratize' that rule while financing it, to give it 'special minority status', as if there could be a genuine European policy towards Islamism that differed from that of the USA.
Daniel Cohn-Bendit, yesterday anarchist leader of the "22nd of March" movement during May '68 and today federal EU deputy to Brussels and Strasbourg, argued in a recent British television program that all the quirks, imbroglios, failures, scandals, of the EU - including the ridiculously pompous official Strasbourg building housing, for 4 days of each month, the EU Parliament and administration - were the price that had to be paid in order not to let Europe slip back into 'nationality wars', into fascist wars - like those that barbarously destroyed Yugoslavia. He quipped, philosophically, that one must understand democratic systems as systems that 'work' not just despite, but also because, of their dysfunctions. Indeed, he should know, since the Franco-German axis of the New Europe beholds Strasbourg as a symbol of that dysfunction. Any good reader already knows what it is - this dysfunction that works: the reams and reams of money from the federal bank that come with political conditions even more hilarious and debasing than those attached to help building the Great Mosque of Strasbourg. And any good reader further knows the second dysfunction that permitted the first: the gullibility of entire nations and their governments that made them debtors of that federal bank and taxpayers of its federal administration. Like it or not, a kind of Second American Revolution, but in Europe. And that's where the money goes - to the Great Mosque of the EU capital, to futuristic 'dysfunctional' city-hall buildings, to the destruction of the Roma customs while rehabilitating Ceausescu's State orphanages, to a politics of financing what they call 'the minorities' - including Arafat's PLO and Al- Fatah/Al-Aqsa brigades. One can clearly see how systemic dysfunction prevents fascism... Little wonder, then, that Europe - and France in particular - is living through a new period of aggression against its Jews, of assaults on their persons, property, their synagogues and cemeteries. If we are to believe the European majority - this is strictly the fault of the Jews themselves, the fault of Israel.
All this accommodation with fascism, let it be said plainly enough, occurs out of fear, malevolence and stupidity. It may well result in nothing but more-or-less manageable dysfunctions, yet it arose out of a very particular politics of fear, malevolence and stupidity: out of a European judeophobia that has now learned to equate islamic terrorism with the penalty or payment to Arabs and Muslims for any expansion of Europe's 'Madagascar camp'; a phobia that learned how to turn that terrorism into an 'anti-American and anti-Jewish justice', that preferred to deal with fascist islamism rather than run the risk of being impacted by that very terrorism itself. So, it is in an illusion of 'civil peace' that Europe thrives on - that terrorism will not affect it, that terrorism is a problem of the USA, a problem of 'The Great Satan'; that Bin-Laden has not sworn to convert the entire world to Islamism; that Islamism is - like Afghanistan was, or Iraq, or Iran, etc - 'just an American problem', for as long as it (Europe) will keep to its entente between Right and Left: a practicing, militant judeophobia that goes as far as buying insurance from the Islamists in exchange for special rights, including special access to the public purse. In other words, a classic protection racket. It is this illusion of immunity from terrorism - undoubtedly to be later paid for in blood - legated by the socialistic deputies of a federal Europe, that prevents Europe and the Europeans, and the entire European Left, from accepting the fascist reality of modern Islamic fundamentalism, from recognizing and naming it for what it is. Europeans must denounce Israel as a fascist regime in order to hide the fascist nature of so many Arab and Muslim regimes, or of Islamic fundamentalism.
|Carlos, the militant super-terrorist, associate of the Black September group responsible for the 1967 Munich massacre, in the famous Interpol picture (top left) and living high on Cuban cigars as a businessman in Brazil (below). Precursor to the modern suicidary bombers, he now writes to Time magazine from La Santé, where he has room service and is surrounded by his brothers.|
This serves to illustrate how the old European mentality has evolved towards more measured, more diffuse, less perceptible forms of fascism and conniving with fascism, with fascists of all sorts. Granted, it is a fascism that barely disguises its biases - including its 'anti-Semitism' (the euphemism for judeophobia). Here it is, in modern- day technocratic form, present in the anesthetized sociology of federal European polls - where 6 out of every 10 Europeans consider Israel a greater threat to 'world peace' (whatever that may be) than even North Korea (a red fascist regime) or Iran (a black fascist regime). Here it is, in plain sight, when General Reinhard Günzel hails Martin Hohmann, a Social-Democratic deputy to the Reichstag, for denouncing "the Jews as a nation of perpetrators". Here it is, even more insidiously, in all quarters of the new European village down to the petty little journalistic writings of an ex-colleague of one of the authors, a Miguel Sousa Tavares, who wrote a column last November called "The number one threat and other threats" . This socialist fellow - son of the illustrious and soapy Sophia Mello Bryner - finds only 'logic' in the results of the above-mentioned Brussels' poll. In his words, "it is only natural", that Israel stands as the greatest threat to harmony between peoples - and he claims, this 'small-broad- minded' journalist, that for 20 years he has been predicting Israel would become the cause of a 3rd WW, 'because of its blindness ' and attempts to solve 'the Palestinian problem', "not through an agreement but, forgive me, through a 'final solution' ". No, we have not switched channels, for the writer goes on to demonstrate how logical and natural it is for "adolescent or young women, taken to limits of desperation and humiliation, to surround themselves with grenade belts which they detonate in such places as a Jerusalem bus or crowded cafe".
It is logical and makes sense, this senseless suicidary war carried on for the sake of hatred, of killing for the sake of killing, of killing for empty symbols, or even for land that is deemed holy. Here we are, in the fuzzy, surreal world of the European Left, with what it has been literally left with, that righteous carpet-bagger socialism which readily pactuates with the terrorists it breeds - a world that just yesterday secreted that new form of truly suicidary red-fascism that so attracted the Guevarist, Fidelist, Maoist, Palestinian, etc, etc, sections of the so-called Revolutionary Left - terrorism à la Carlos, the dish of the day for a successful terrorist, the terrorist as a leftwing businessman.
Recently, this same Carlos, born and bred in the fascio-capitalist wasteland of Venezuela, wrote to Time magazine from La Santé prison in Paris under the pen name of Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, to claim the right and precedent to suicidary fascism - in the name of this same 'natural logic', and as a "veteran palestinian Fedai":
"I have no suicidal tendencies myself, but I always carried hand grenades, including one in my breast pocket. There are numerous examples of activists blowing themselves up throughout the 1970's and 1980's." Fantastic. Carlos is not suicidal. And he is not suicidal because, courtesy of the French State, he is de facto a survivor in La Santé, ie in The Good Health - the same prison where the warden, P. Raffin, openly complains of a Muslim version of the Aryan Nations or Brotherhood. But Carlos is a precursor - so he claims with pride - of the modern generations which he only sees as following his own example. Suicidary with the virtue of not yet being suicidal (still looking out for number one)... C'est la vraie santé.
And so it goes in the federal Europe of yesterday's May '68 anarchists or the reformed Maoists of the '75 'Portuguese Revolution' - a PC cover for their judeophobia, a few apologies to the Jews, to this and that minority, some wheels and deals, and off we go to the same races, the Weimar decay, the nihilism of no values followed by the fascist rebirth, 'the utopia', and war, war, war.
Is this the new 'federal' dysfunction that is supposed to avoid the old Europe of rabid nationalisms? The insurance against a future still worse than the past? Note, by the way, that this cadre Cohn-Bendit is the same who, with his brother Gabriel, once proclaimed that the students who followed him "should be attacking the social function of the university: the production of a managerial elite" . Those who thirst for Power will do everything it takes to reach it and consume it - they see themselves as sport champions being carried on the shoulders of masses of people. Who cares about the sausages they sold yesterday? - today there are new ones that taste just as bad. All those now reformed Maoists in European governments and parliaments who back then, while selling the sausage of revolution, did not 'know' what was going on in the concentrationary Gulags of red fascism - along with the anarchist and situationistic residues of May '68 and hosts of imitations, Red Brigades galore - stand as proof that the best school for spice-trading and sausage-making is still to be found in the fascist, fanatic, stupefying indoctrination of youth - in the academic preparation of the future technocratic cadres.
Adds the journalistic punaise and sausage-maker M. Tavares: "Because, when one calls them [the Palestinians] terrorists, it is only because they fight with stones because they do not have tanks, with rifles because they have no artillery and with bombs and grenades because they have neither airplanes or ground-combat helicopters".
Here we have explicit encouragement of the 'natural logic of terrorism', the terrorism which somehow isn't terrorism, the terrorism of the Left that somehow must remain unnamed. The terrorism which, by Tavares' perverse logic, could be cured easily by giving the Palestinian movement, not just tanks but, for example, nuclear capability (to follow the sole logic of a deterrent of war...). And this Tavares is precisely a living, breathing example of the very reason why, twice in the XXth century, the USA has had to save European democracies - a lesson already so easily forgotten - save them from their fascist desire for self-abolition, for practicing that which was precisely contrary even to their survival, for being so weak when confronted with the horrific forces they unleashed.
Tavares' perverse logic reeks of rabid, good-ol' Portuguese judeophobia - not to mention an inversion of reality that reminds one of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It has that quality of good conscience and righteous peace of mind that has continuously belonged to the European political animal. After all, Tavares has only arrived at the same locus as the 'German-Jewish' ex-revolutionary D. Cohn-Bendit - where dysfunction is the price, a Europe without Jews is the price, integration of Islamic fascism is the cost, and so on. Ein schönes Kameradenwerk. They forget what even Pilar Rahola recently learned (and Nietzsche long ago taught) - that "Europe cannot be explained without its Jewish soul, but that it is also explained by its hatred of Jews. Thus, all the repeated attempts of Europe to get rid of its Jewish soul are, in fact, a kind of suicide".
|"Alongside the fascism of the concentration camps, which continue to exist in numerous countries, new forms of fascism are developing: a slow burning fascism, in familialism, in school, in racism, in every kind of ghetto, which advantageously makes up for the crematory ovens. (...) We must abandon, once and for all, the quick and easy formula: 'Fascism will not make it again'. Fascism has always made it', and continues to 'make it' ".|
|F. Guattari, "Everybody wants to be a fascist"|
Simon Wiesenthal is wrong. To remember is, in no way, sufficient for avoiding a repetition of the history of the Nazi Holocaust, of its racialist madness. For it has now become clear how fascism is solely the organized political expression of the emotional structure of average individuals, the accomplishment of a 'human form' - and it need no longer be modeled upon the white-male standard of that form. An Islamist baby straddled with grenades will do just as well.
It is the social structure, at once mechanistic and mystical, of average individuals which secretes the fascist tumors, the fascist parties, their networks of terror, the latency of death that reaches self-abolition - and not the other way around. Fascism is but the massive manifestation of the most basic attitude of defense of the average modern human being, the consequence of an exacerbation of fear and the partial breakdown of the armor. Thus, it functions as a last-ditch pandemic, capable of permeating all the bodies and organs of a society. No society is immune to it, and practically all the victims become collaborationists.
Fascist mentality is the mentality of Reich's 'Little Man', with desires enslaved by religion, morals, laws, science and technology, thirsting for power-Potestas, incapable of loving and enjoying life, filled with repressed hatreds and misdirected rebellions. One may make a distinction between the fascist tendencies of a democracy and fascism as a regime, just as one may distinguish neurosis from the emotional plague by their neurological, emotional and ideational elements. While neurotics essentially suffer from passivity and compulsory diplomacy, phoniness and hypocrisy, which they mask with some semblance of rationality and calculism, plagued individuals behave like fanatics ready for martyrdom, ready to be engaged in crusades of holy war, policial terror and genocidal horror. The neurotic manages to accept the critique of his daily life, or even the necessity of altering his own character or the structure of society - but can only do so ideologically, for he fears any and every practical change. Whereas the behavior of the emotionally disturbed individual is not simply obsessive but obsessed by its focus upon a fundamental reason that justifies all mass-suffering - be it God, Nation, Order, or, as it happened with Marxism, the Proletariat.
In the same preface to "The Mass-Psychology of Fascism", Reich put forth his main hypothesis - at once psychiatric and sociological - that correlated the main political and 'ideological' blocks of society with their corresponding characterological strata. The neurotic type would repress the biological core (or first psychosomatic stratum) in order to constitute the core-reaction basis (the first organismic stratum and the real basis of character-structure), such that all manner of resulting secondary impulses and motivations (forming the second organismic stratum) may be controlled to transduce the unconscious energy from desire onto the muscular armor (to form the third organismic stratum). Thus the neurotic individual socializes his animal nature through the mask of sociability - freezing the secondary impulses through, and in, a sociable armor.
Because Freud (neurotically) valued neurosis as the price of culture, the law or principle of sublimation seemed (to him) to form the very basis of society. Yet, it is only the basis of modern sociability. As Reich saw it, Freud's incapacity to make this critical distinction precluded him from the realization of the difference and the relation between neurosis and the emotional plague. For, indeed, it does not suffice to release, free, erase the personable, cultivated mask to find some supposed 'natural sociability' of human beings; rather, by Reich's theory of the character, the second stratum - of secondary impulses - interposes itself between the reactive biological core and any failure of the third characterological stratum, any failure of the armor. Accordingly, when primary libidinal impulses break through the armor, the core reaction basis is bound to become still more defensive, more irritated, more excited, now that it fails to control the unconscious reaction forces. Thus, when the diplomacy of 'civilized' individuals or neurotics breaks down, what one is confronted with are the destructive impulses, the sadistic and self-abolitionist, perverse impulses that constitute the source of zealotry, fanaticism and militantism. It is here that the 'emotional plague' finds fertile ground for its growth - precisely amongst those that succeeded in freeing, if only for a brief moment, their biological core from some of the characterological belts of sociability. The chronic psychoses of those whom asylum psychiatrists denote as 'schizophrenic' or 'paranoid' results from the social conditions that promote the emotional plague. Periodically, as happens with any other epidemic, and when propitious conditions for social disintegration are found, the emotional plague takes on the clinical dimensions of a pandemic that gives rise to social institutions which one must describe as being truly malignant - qua institutions of the emotional plague itself - such as the Catholic Inquisition, the witch hunts of Puritanical Pilgrims, the anti-semitic European pogroms, black fascism, Stalinism, McCarthyism, Christian and Muslim fundamentalism, Islamic terrorism, etc, etc.
Psychiatrically speaking, we are bound to distinguish the paranoid type from the neurotic, manic depressive type - even if paranoia, per se, does not so much constitute a type, as it does a pole of unconscious investments of biological energy, or the death latency of all suppressed impulses which it may turn against both the self and the 'world'. According to Reich, we may never understand fascism if we fail to understand how the development of secondary impulses comes about and what it means - what its psychiatric, emotional and social senses are. Indeed, the two essential medical and psychiatric questions posed by the problem of fascism are: (1) how do the gratuitous impulses of rage, of destruction for its own sake, including those which are suicidary, arise during a 'revolutionary period' of social breakdown - and (2) to what extent does this emergence depend upon preservation of an intact core reaction basis of self- suppression or libidinal repression that ultimately sustains both character and armor and constitutes the energy source for the rage, the hatred and the desire to self-destruct.
All neurosis is paranoid, or has a paranoid reaction core - but not all paranoia is neurotic. The very eclosion of paranoia exposes the reactive structure that underlies neurotic formations, it exposes the core-reaction basis while desperately trying to reinforce it with incommensurate zeal. Paranoiacs have therefore the ability to infect mobilized masses of neurotics and lead them through fear-quelling campaigns of purification and persecution, under a banner of some utopia or other. Whenever the surface veneer of a civilization of frustrated individuals peels off, a reaction of rage erupts against everything and anything, above all against Life, against desire itself, that threatens any de-armoring process attempting to open up the socius. Hence, the emotional seat of fascism is paranoia, and its milieu the decomposition of any mass- society.
If Reich's insight into this biopathic process is taken into account, the major enemy of all revolutionary movements has been myth, the mythology they engage in, the utopianism which they secrete and which buttresses the distortions of every and any liberation. Utopia should be of no use to revolutionaries - it has long ago avowed its poison, yet it remains their strongest tool. Maybe there has never been a 'revolutionary fascism', but within and outside every 'revolutionary movement' there always lurks a fascism, a collective monster ready to emerge and clench onto a utopian myth and sacrifice all to Death. All social and psychological theories have in common a failure to have predicted and explained - or even described - fascism, its links to the social and biological unconscious of human beings, its historical and emotional roots. They have been impotent to understand how a new barbarism emerged from within civilization. And even more specifically - how, in the cases of Italian Fascism, Spanish Franquism or Nazism, in countries in which, for diverse and common reasons, there were social and political circumstances most favourable for a social and sexual revolution, the masses so readily lost that revolution, 'from within', to the red fascists in Spain, to the black shirts in Italy and to the brown shirts in Germany.
Fascism is the ogre of revolution exactly to the extent that all the attempts that have been made to free Life and desire, throughout barbarian and civilized History, have met with demented explosions of emotional plague and paranoid manias (the only 'manners' known to fanatics), policial and militaristic psychoses. Fascism is perhaps the proof that 'anger against the world' has never made any revolutions, never built anything better - that, at bottom, all it has bequeathed to us is a hatred of Life and the living.
Without understanding the basic core of unconscious reaction, without understanding how the problem of the liberation of desire is a medical and clinical problem, we shall never grasp the enthusiasm which the masses of the oppressed and repressed feel for fascism. We may do well to realize the surplus-value that capitalism has extracted from fascism as it appropriates the methods of conditioning, control, propaganda, massification, mobilization, destruction, myth-making developed by fascism itself - to apply them impersonally, cybernetically, through purely technological venues, to the entirety of society, without any need for party-police machines, dispersing fascism throughout the social organization, making it molecular or intrinsic to every power interaction.
More than a mere pandemic of emotional plague, and more than its modern form or crystallization as a social movement, fascism has now become technological, disperse and intrinsic to desire, a libidinal fascism, a desire of destruction for its own sake, present right at the heart of every desire. Today, as yesterday, it takes on terrorist, militaristic, policial forms, but it is no less present in diverse molecular forms - in slow ecological suicide, in natality run amok, in the constant infantilization carried on by the mass-media, in the mystification of all social interactions, in the neutralization of language.
Capitalism will endure all the more as it learns to molecularize the lessons of fascism - secreting everywhere a society of relative control via an actionable total surveillance. Capitalism has learned that fascism lurks around the corner of every crisis, and learned to create a mode of constant crisis that distills a pleomorphic fascism, so insinuated within the system that it appears rational, desirable, sensible. Fascism then becomes a nonevent, a nonsaid - something that existed only, at most, in the distant events that led to WWII. It is nowhere to be found in the tissue of democratic societies, as if it had not been capitalism and democracy which made fascism possible, financed it - even, and above all, through international arrangements - and took recourse to it whenever political, military and policial systems failed to control the component, moving forces of a society. Hence, more than a parasite of revolution, fascism parasitizes the crises and wars of capitalism.
To remember, even all of these facts, is not enough. To prevent a return of fascism - the Giant Hydra - we should have to disassemble not only the power mechanisms of all the small hydras that now occupy the entire time of one's existence, but the thoroughly socialized psychosomatic dispositive of secondary impulses. Human beings have been, for so long, domesticated by a bad or low culture bent on the distortion of natural impulses that the secondary forces appear as an impassable 'human nature', when they constitute solely the second nature, the social nature of a base culture of spiritual and emotional misery, and not the animal and biological nature of human beings, nor their 'natural sociability'.
It may well be that only a strangely revolutionary movement would be able to carry out an analysis in acts of our collective unconscious and its control of our bodies, such that the machinery that rules our lives might be disassembled to the benefit of a Greater Health for human beings, their creations and power to create, and the living nonhuman planet.
Medical doctors do have a special responsibility in all this - for the cure of vegetative or autonomic diseases is incident to the problems of fascism and power, of a diseased social and psychic health, that are germane to those of guilt, self-castration, paranoia and psychosomatic repression. If the masses of people were not neurotic, they would not engage in paranoiac manias nor be willing to be part of a vacuous Spectacle. How can one ignore the emotional and sexual misery of masses of people? It is precisely there that fascism finds its forces, in the same wellspring exploited by priests and their religions. For as long as so-called revolutionaries and so-called clinicians refuse to admit the full breadth of the problem raised by fascism, we shall remain damned; for the energy fuelling fascist mysticism comes from the natural sexuality of desire, from an eroticizing of death, and it is here that therapy must start, where the changes must incide - and not somewhere else, at the hands of all sorts of petty fascists with their myths of Revolution, Proletariat, History, Communist society, Anarchy, Muslim Brotherhood, and so on.
|The only people who will put up with listening to me any longer are those who feel the interest and urgency of the micro-political anti-fascist struggle that I'm talking about."|
|F. Guattari, "Everybody wants to be a fascist"|
From the preceding, one easily realizes that the unconscious roots of fascism do not permit facile approaches - like those of R. Lowestein  - that would reduce the difference between stalinism, party-communism or red fascism, on one hand, and black fascism or nazism on the other, to the different libidinal strategies of the two regimes, the former reinforcing repression of the unconscious impulses and a strengthening of the Superego structures, the latter disorderly freeing the unconscious impulses. That would be too good and too easy. For there is no more liberation of desire in black fascist than there is in red fascist regimes, the repression and distortion is no more advanced in one than the other, and the arbitrariness that gives off the image of perceived order, or disorder, is no more 'rational' in one than the other.
Moreover, democratic capitalist regimes have now gone through only too many of the possible liberations of desire and models of self-empowerment, in endless series of reform-minded fashions - with effects perhaps no less disorderly overall than one might suppose happened with black fascism, and no less capable of restoring characterological armoring and social and emotional dispositives of repression. That the repression and suppression carried out by these dispositives have again become unmentionable, unnoticeable, only attests to the degree to which they have become unconscious, the extent to which they promote, above all, a suppression of thought by the elevation of noise, with the greatest permissiveness.
The unconscious is not fascist, but history and biology have the power to make it fascistic. In "Everybody wants to be a fascist", Guattari clearly states that what is at stake in the liberation of the unconscious is a matter of "engaging in a political struggle against all the machines of the dominant power, whether it be the power of the bourgeois State, the power of any kind of bureaucracy, the power of the academia, familial power, phallocratic power in male/female relationships, or even the repressive power of the super-ego over the individual" . The statement has a tonality that appears to identify fascism with the rule of power, with Potestas itself. Even as a statement regarding the liberation of the unconscious, it remains - to employ Deleuze's usage of the spinozist distinction between the differing qualities of power - still limited by the negative (the negation of that power), and thus by the very nature of power-Potestas; rather than tending towards new positivities that should be affirmed - not just because they escape Potestas or its quality of power, but because, above all, of their capacity to find a new quality in power, the power of excluded potentialities, a power-potentia. Lastly, it is a statement that is also limited by the epochal references - what State is still bourgeois, today? What bourgeoisie still constitutes a ruling class? What relationships have escaped the democratization of phallocracy? Male and female are far from being the only sexuated domains flattened by dualism - of power, of thought. Soon, the very words 'master' and 'slave' will be expurgated from language itself, along with their technical uses - including those applicable to microprocessor interfaces. As for the bourgeoisie, in a world that has been totally proletarized, there is no longer a place for it - the bourgeoisie has become proletarized at the same exact pace that the proletariat was bourgeoisified (enriched, fattened, in sentiment and with a capital wealth of mostly useless commodities) and technified, that everyone became a manager of something or other, a cybernetic technocrat armed with the power of some mechanical technique and the normative procedure. The language of the technique is also the neutered language - whereby the phallus and its arche are sanitized, deconstructed, de-dualized, raised down, made implicit to every social interaction - so that the relations of power, how they flow and it flows, what it really wants, and so on, become invisible, appear to be part of the biological nature of human beings, are a given of the show. An anesthetized consciousness of power becomes the attribute of the democratization of Potestas. And it was brought about by the so-called empowerment of the minorities, by the new rules of equalization that are imagined to 'make up for the injustice of the past', by lending to each minority the power of the majority, by letting minorities play their role in the arbitrary definition of majorities, in the succession of majoritary fads.
Even more to the line - the State has long ago managed to absorb war and employ it for its own purposes. Later Capital, too, learned to do the same, with still different purposes. But neither the State nor Capital can control war in any absolute sense - for war can always become an absolute in itself, and thereby prove to be the enemy of the State, if not of Capital. An abstract line of war crisscrosses every despotic or capitalist social formation.
Life and Death are not like two inclined planes. More likely, Death and Survival are inclined planes, with the line of the blade they form and which separates them, being the line of Life, a line of escape from their inclination, an edge between the two planes, an edge in between two abysses, always falling into one of the two faces - that of self- destruction and that of death-alive, Survival. On the side of Survival, on its face of the blade, one can move towards the spine, so to speak, in search of an atavic, utopian, mythical, phallocratic Potestas, or one can try to stay close to the edge, near to where it cuts and has serrations, where one finds all the trappings of success of the technocratic, modernistic, futuristic, hyper-democratic, cyber-real power of Capital. Between Death and Survival, Life appears to happen on the line of the blade, along the edge - it is there that lines of escape which decode the two surfaces arise, that creation beyond history and society occurs. But it is also there that, early on, the escape from modes of Survival took on the form of a flux of war, a flux of nomadism that threatened the archaic State, a flux of war which City-States appropriated, a development of war that undermined even imperial formations, including a flux of decoded class-warfare that threatened Rome's commercial Republic and all other classical capitalist formations, a flux of revolution and revolutions. It is along the edge that, instead of Life, one gets war, instead of war, revolution, and instead of revolution, fascism. All these are the dangers of running along the edge - that the line of Life will get stuck, that it will turn into a point on the inclined plane of Death, into the 'blackholes' of war, revolution and fascism, and instead of creating Life it will create death, a surplus of death. The rise of military State castes, the rise of war aristocracies put an end to nomadism; the rise of the dictatorial rule of military and bureaucratic apparatuses put an end to revolution; the rise of modern barbarism, of suicidary fascism, put an end to every Life line, made a mockery of each and every one of them, embraced death as an objective in itself. Each hurdle plunged Life into death, gave of death the still-images of life that could be embellished by Survival. Fascism made sure there was no space left for Life, not even at the edge; it made sure that the threefold alternative thenceforth posed to the living could only be summarized as a series - Survival, Total War, Global Suicide - always and forever on the side of Death.
The mortiferous libidinal impulses of fascism are more than mere secondary impulses that defend penetration of the human core-reaction basis. They are found as the pitfalls of any process of de-armoring, along the lines of escape that constantly decompose that core-reaction basis, that escape its control, that manage to leak out. If there is an analogy between cancer and fascism - cancer as fascism of the self (or its outcome) and fascism as a cancer of society - it is because both are the outcome of a derangement of 'anarchistic cells', of a 'biopathic' tendency to create hybrid or utopic organisms, displaced core-reaction structures that, no matter how immortal they claim to be, destroy themselves through war with the host and war amongst themselves. Today we know just how far fascism has penetrated all the power mechanisms of society - how far the war of self-abolition has gone, right into the heart of the corporate institutions. On the horizon of our epoch one discerns all the forms of self-destruction, beyond the fascism of thugs, racists and terrorists, beyond even the fascism of decaying, nuclear- armed States: an ecological fascism, a series of catastrophic viral contagions, the fascism of falsified food, the fascism of rampant natality and cloned reproduction, the fascism of an excess of norms and rules and regulations, the fascism of no thought, etc, etc. Contrary to what most people optimistically think today, one would be led to conclude that human beings, and their civilization, likely do not have long on this planet. Not that they will go somewhere else - that would be, also, too good. Human beings will go nowhere; and even within domed cities, the very air they must breathe will choke their life, their civilization and their lack of culture. They'll succumb to their own fascisms.
Fascism is like a self-destruct program which the modern institutions of power carry buried in their entrails - a virus transmitted long ago from nomadism. The threat of the destruction of the State from without, by war, has become an endogenous virus, an internal tendency of the State and of all its power mechanisms, including the power dispositives of Capital, to self-destruct by war, by generalized Total War. It has become the virus of barbarism.
How can one vouch that one will "refuse to allow any fascist formula to slip by on whatever scale it may manifest itself", and yet suppose one need not avoid all 'party- action', but endeavor "to relativize this party action in terms of an analytics of micro- politics"? Is it through management of Survival that one may claim to prevent fascism? It is pure institutional reformism revisited - and, moreover, modern day hospitals, schools, families, etc, do that kind of thing every day, quite successfully - 'become relativized', organize, mobilize, empower patients, students, members, etc, to self- manage and co-govern - so what is it really that's being said? Is it possible, one should ask, or even desirable, to assume as one's own this deviationism that comes from within those very institutions one seeks combat with? How does that break with the constant search for 'better' power dispositives, for more effective mechanisms of social and libidinal control?
This soft reformist approach has equally contributed to the dilution of any understanding of the problem of fascism, to its erasure, to the inability of the word 'fascism' to convey the real concept - for there is one!; to the impossibility of any grasp of the horror that belongs to it, or even an adequate usage of the term, let alone any usage that would accurately convey the actual range of fascism - how far it has expanded and reached into the core of human beings, how it has become molecular, how it has lodged itself directly in everyone's Life lines.
Daniel Guérin and Félix Guattari wondered why capitalism could not have been content with a military dictatorship of General von Schleicher, rather than Hitler's brand of black fascism. And the answer is that the question is already badly posed - capitalism would have been content with von Schleicher had the masses failed to form their compact of majority in and through nazism, had the masses been content with von Schleicher. But the masses were not. What they had in mind was not the restoration of a military aristocracy, the imperial expansionism of a Junkers' State, the conduct of war as a way of life, even with the fanfares, the military marches and the Wagnerian music. What they wanted was a complete war with the Old World - in Hitler's words to Rauschning years before WWII: "Cities will become heaps of ruins; noble monuments of architecture will disappear forever. This time our sacred soil will not be spared. But I am not afraid of this." Or to Speer: "If the war is lost, the nation will also perish". The masses wanted the intoxication of ritual and organized murder, to be the masters of death, to have their own end be the end of the Gods and the entire universe - losses could never be too high, extermination never too methodical, corpses never charred fast enough, piles never too tall. Guattari acknowledges this when he speaks of the "catastrophic turn which the fascist experiments had taken" and "the response to the deadly form of libidinal metabolism which developed in the masses as a result of these experiments". But that mortiferous libidinal metabolism was there already, before the experiments got under way, as the very experiment that was to be perfected. A paranoiac regime of the emotions took over before Death was industrially produced.
It is true that modern civilized peoples feel insured against the recurrence of such a massive fascism, the return of a molar fascism on the same apocalyptic scale. Because present day fascism is, as Guattari calls it, a soft, slow-burning fascism, a small-time affair, one that fits the rule of the technique, one that matches the political choices in technology. Largely, it is true, the Guattarian vision came to pass - the mass and the single party dissolved into a myriad of local structures, a myriad of parties, fragmented groups, diverse initiatives, organized minorities, etc, etc, breaking through the dominant forms of expression and representation, all off track and out of line. One might see in this disorganized Left the very organic of international capitalism, and a reflection even of the fragmentation of the State into so many social machineries of power and control. One might even argue that while breaking the monolithic conformation of social struggles can be healthy, making the apology of the fragmentary is perhaps the last instance of molecular fascism itself. For we all survive in a dictatorship of the fragmentary already.
The above considerations lead us to think beyond the notion of secondary impulses that give a distorted image of the repressed. The pressures generated by an historically recomposed social life generate multiple lines of escape from every social formation. But in turn each line is a blade, fraught at all times with the possibility that the desire to Live may turn into a desire to die. War, revolution, fascism, sickness and suicide are the pitfalls of every and any line of Life that breaks out of the armored girdle of survival. Terrorists make sure that war is Total, that revolutions can only lead to fascism, that hope lies in sickness and the contagion of the emotional plague, that one is only alive when engaged in suicidary jihads, that salvation and fifteen virgins are just a bomb away, that everyone's survival is even more miserable than it already was. They are not the agents of Life - nor the gates of any becoming. They are the apocalyptic hallucinations of a sick society. They are agents of its suffocation, the harbingers of a fascism of pure self-abolition. They are the nothingness of evil, even when incarnate. And, like our revolutionaries of yesterday who became today's technocrats, the terrorists of today ardently aspire to become the thanatocrats of tomorrow.
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See also Matthias Küntzel's incisive Islamic Antisemitism And Its Nazi Roots and Ahmadinejad's World, as well as other articles on Küntzels' website.