Before we begin (1): This is one of those long, MEGO political philosophy posts.
Before we begin (2): Read this.
It’s a piece from a wonderful site called The Last Psychiatrist, whose archives are just filled with goodness (though TLP himself seems to have passed on). It begins with the story of Keisha, a 27 year old woman who considers herself “retired” because she’s On Disability. Most of the rest of the post details our — society’s — complicity in this farce:
The economy was a Ferrari and now it’s only a Honda, but either way, not much time for absences and no time at all for Keisha’s learning curve. Keisha isn’t just unemployed, she is completely unemployable. We can argue whether auto plants should pay $20/hr or $50/hr, but for certain there is no market for unskilled labor at all….The jobs employers would be willing to take a gamble on are jobs that pay too little for it to be worth her showing up at all. Hence SSI [=”being On Disability”].
For fun, let me point that that another 10% of the unemployed in America are relabeled as “incarcerated”, so total you have a real rate of 15-20% unemployment, and this does not include the unemployable who have been relabeled as “military personnel” thanks to two endless wars, or those who manage ten hours a week at the Buy-n-Large who are relabeled as employed and thus are of no consequence; all of which is good because if the unemployment rate printed higher than “9%” the credit rating of the US would have to fall to C-.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is one of the main problems Fascism is designed to solve.
Fascists accept Marx’s fundamental premise, that society is composed of three mutually hostile classes. That’s why “Nazi” is short for “National Socialism.” The difference is, while Marx thought this class antagonism would inexorably lead to international proletarian revolution, Mussolini et al thought it could be channeled — and eventually eliminated — by restructuring the institutions of one particular society. Hence, National Socialism.
To the Marxist, our labor is all any of us really has. Which is why Marxism became Marxism-Leninism after the Russian Revolution. Lenin had a civil war to win and a country to run, and soon enough he realized that the Keishas of the world will never be generals or surgeons or factory managers. It took him a little longer to realize that intellectuals make poor factory hands — early post-revolutionary Russia is filled with morbid stories of university faculties turned out as “shock workers” — but he eventually did. And in typical commie fashion, he churned out a zillion pages of “theory” justifying why Communism looks just like Capitalism when you actually put it into practice, except nobody gets paid and nothing works.
Fascism skips all the squid ink and accepts the fundamental reality that people are different. This is one of the main sources of Fascism’s appeal. Unlike Marxists, who believe that the Proletariat is capable of all things (under the leadership of Marxists, of course), Fascists realize that there’s generally a reason for people falling where they do on the socioeconomic spectrum. No amount of community college classes on Dialectical Materialism is ever going to make Keisha employable in a modern economy. Keisha will always be “unskilled labor,” because she is [pick one: genetically, historically, congenitally] incapable of ever acquiring an economically useful skill.
Fascism also recognizes that Keisha is always with us. Liberals and/or schoolchildren please take note: This is why George W. Bush wasn’t a Fascist. Unlike Bush, Fascists realize that it’s mathematically impossible for everyone to be above average. No matter how exotic and specialized the economy gets, there will always be someone who can’t keep up. Something must be done for Keisha.
A truly capitalist society, like the one Rachel Maddow fans think America is, would simply let Keisha starve in the gutter. On the other hand, there’s plenty of work at a living wage for her in People’s Heavy Tractor Manufactory #202 in Krasnoyarsk… and all she has to do is give up her land, her family, her people, and her traditions. Become a faceless prole, interchangeable with all the others all over the globe, or starve — those are Keisha’s options.
And who’s to say that they won’t be your options someday soon, if the Communist revolution succeeds, or the Capitalists find someone to do your job cheaper?
National Socialism solves all that. Keisha gets a decent job at a decent wage. She gets the pride of working for a living, not a soul-crushing handout. Meanwhile, her employer gets a willing employee. True, his profits won’t be quite as large, but he, too, has his pride. He’s contributing to national success in a direct, highly visible way, since most jobs that could employ a Keisha — McDonald’s, let’s say, to stick with TLP’s example — are locally owned. Indeed, the only people we harm by stopping outsourcing, offshoring, and automation are the very biggest Capitalists, i.e. the very same bastards who brought us here in the first place.
If you accept Marx’s view of life, then — if life is, at bottom, just economics — then Fascism is not only a viable alternative, it’s the best alternative. For Fascists, State, Economy, Society, and Culture are synonyms — they’re three different descriptions of the same thing. As Man is an economic animal, Society is the economic organization of human groups. Culture is the expression of that economic organization, and the State provides its security. Thus, the Fascist will preserve Culture by rejiggering Society and the Economy via the State. The vast numbers of poor are helped, only a few of the super-rich are harmed… and they’re all internationalist parasites anyway.
These aren’t my personal views, of course. Fascism terrifies me. But… can you find the flaws in this post? Because a whole lot of people would be nodding along with every single word… and that number is growing by leaps and bounds, every day. If you want have have any hope of heading American Fascism off, you’d better start digging.