And Fascism. I would prefer not to find out what fascism is the hard way. So, being a longtime autodidact, since I began skipping class my freshman year of high school to gain a thorough understanding of the female anatomy and the spiritual effects of teenage alcohol abuse, I've tried to educate myself in recent years on this curious, timely political topic: Fascism.
Most of the books I read in high school I read outside of class, including the following one that I read for the first time when I was 17: I can't recommend Hayek's Road to Serfdom enough to anyone who wishes to dissolve his ignorance about the fact that Fascism, National Socialism, Soviet Socialism, Asian and Latin American Socialism, European Democratic Socialism, and American Progressivism effectively amount to different hues and shades of the same authoritarian shit. Yes, they each arise out of different social, cultural and historical contexts, sometimes even with radically divergent ends or stated purposes, but they all share two fundamental philosophical premises: that individual human beings should be consumed and represented by the nation-state and its leaders, and that, therefore, the lives (even hundred of millions of them) of individual human beings don't mean dick if they fail to comply with the demands and mandates of the nation-state. Individuals only have value as a means to an end: the goals of the state and its leaders.
"Don't be selfish! We're all in this together! No person is an island! Your rights end where my intolerance begins!" and so on--thus are the common cliched screeches of your average, self-righteous, all-American statist, roaming about aimlessly on the rooftop of his dreams, never fearing the heights of stupidity, violence and self-destruction to which he's unwittingly climbed. Or the fall that's coming.
Anyhow, I'm interested in the differences between what I call Fascism Proper and Default Fascism, or Fascist Aesthetics and Fascist Government Policy. FGP amounts to this: all individuals must be, should be and will be the same: culturally, economically, racially, ideologically, and religiously. It's for your own good. We know what's best for you. We're from the government, and we're here to help. If you can't conform to Rousseau's "General Will of the People," then you probably suffer from a mental-health disorder. You're sick. Insane. A loner. A potential radical extremist who's self-radicalized your head with extremist ideas about radical extremism. The state is you, and you are the state. Don't wish to sacrifice your individual identity, your life, to our god, "Progress"? How can you not? Don't you see the majority believes otherwise? And we're a Democracy. Majority rules. It's only fair, right? From sea to shining sea, we are one, united, for all, forever and ever.
The point is that, divorced from classical Fascist Aesthetics, FGP can be seductive, alluring, titillating to our senses, like a dream of a colorful snake in the Amazon painted a millions brilliant, beautiful colors. Yet, this venomous viper will strike and kill you without hesitation or bother with a second thought about it after the deed is done. It's hanging on a vine, just out of reach. The leader--an articulate, charming man--of this dream-like expedition into the depths of the Amazon forests tells you that the snake is harmless. Indeed, go ahead, he says, step on that rock to reach out for it. And as you balance yourself with your foot, reach out your hand to this gorgeous, vibrant serpent, it hisses. And then strikes! Terrified, you awake. Look down. There is no rock. You're on the ledge of a skyscraper. How did you get here! In your stupor, you lose your balance. And fall a thousand floors to your immediate, sudden death. The last sounds you hear are the beautiful harmonies of Fascism.
For more on what Fascism is and what it can be, check out these insightful musings by The Archdruid Report: