MONDAY 10AM: Left on an Island: Hong Kong, China, and International Solidarity | Andi W. + Promise Li
Manufacturing Dissent Since 1996
New interviews throughout the week

Moment of Truth: The Time Has Come for Big Tent Fascism.

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

Is that all there is? You march in a few marches, chant a few rhymes, grin and bear it while the usual rowdies torch and loot a few big box stores and police cars, and then the death squads come and disappear you? How come they get death squads and we don’t? How are we supposed to snatch their people off the streets, put them in unmarked vans, and take them away to oblivion, or to black sites for torture, maybe put them in little coffin-sized concrete cells in, say, Syria? We definitely have the manpower. And the womanpower, and the everything-in-between-and- beyond power. There should be a law, kind of like the fairness doctrine of olden times, where if one side gets to disappear people, the other side gets to do it, too. And if you can’t afford an unmarked van and various torture equipment, such will be provided to you by the fascist government’s equal rights department.

It doesn’t seem fair. How can fascism be so prima facie unfair? I mean, I get fascism being unfair in Europe, Asia, and Latin America, but this the USA. You’d think our fascism would have checks and balances. Some kind of built-in freedom and equality. At least an ombudsman. But no. It’s almost like they just don’t care.

And if anything makes people in the US angry, it’s the feeling that their feelings don’t matter. (Oh, and lots of white people hate when people who aren’t white get anything good, even if it’s equal to or worse than what those same white people have had forever. But that’s no excuse for fascism to be unfair.)

Fascism has become the national pastime. Fascism is the governing philosophy of the regime under which we live. Fascism should be a role model! What will the children think? Of course, the children killed at the border or in their schools don’t think anything. That’s part of fascism’s built-in efficiency.

If fascism is going to monopolize so much of the public’s time, energy, and material resources, I and others like me would suggest it ought to be made a public utility. Nationalize fascism! Who could argue against that? I’m sure no decent citizen would mind paying a small tax for free public fascism. They’ve paid for the military and police all this time, it’s more a name change than anything else. And those who want to be active fascists can pay for an annual, or quinquennial, renewal of their state-issued fascism license. I’m sure they’ll do their part. Fascists are nothing if not patriotic.

The goal here, as it was with the National Park system, is to make fascism available to everyone. Call me a cockeyed optimist, but I believe everyone should be able to do as they please to people whose skin color, native language, or inscrutable culture gives them the jitters, from something as simple as denying them housing to something more ambitious, like extra-judicial executions and large-scale incarcerations and massacres. We’re a nation of rugged individualists with grand visions. It’s every citizen’s right to persecute, and to persecute bigly. And in a country as rich as ours, it should be easy and convenient. Like voting would be if we were a democracy.

Fascism shouldn’t be something you have to take a day off from work to enjoy. In fact, it should be integrated into the workplace. Workers should be able to punish themselves for, say, taking too long a lunch break, or for an overheard disgruntled murmur. And workers should of course have seats on the boards of corporations, to make sure their ideas of fascism are included in corporate policies.

We can all grow by being open to alternate views, and fascism is no exception. Citizens of the USA are well-acquainted with the need for representation and input. We fought for our independence from those powdered wigs in England under the famous brand: “No oppression without representation!” I know, a lot of those currently in charge of fascism don’t think they can learn anything from the average citizen, or even that the common rabble are up to the task.

That’s very closed-minded and elitist. That’s a very narrow attitude. I think we should – we must – expect more from fascism, or it will run the risk of becoming rigid, ossified, and, dare I say, tedious. And a tedious fascism is not going to cut it in today’s fast-paced marketplace.

To be fair, we are making small steps forward. Look at Kanye. You might think of him as just another undeservingly-rich, free-associating, loudmouthed, high-functioning paranoid schizophrenic anal expulsive narcissist, like the president. But Kanye is different. He’s creative, talented, bipolar, off his meds, and black. It’s very distressing to watch him –even more so for Kim and other family members and friends. No one, though, can minimize the progress represented by his budding presidential campaign. You used to have to go all the way to Haiti or as far as Uganda to find a really thrilling and erratic black megalomaniac. The USA has finally caught up to the rest of the world, in that aspect of race relations, at least. Seems we’re always the last to do the right thing. Even if we only do it in an unstable, distressed bipolar musical auteur’s mind. It’s getting embarrassing and sad.

Sure, if you’re rich, it almost doesn’t matter what race you are, you’re bound to get more out of everything, and fascism is no exception. But what’s the point of fascism? It’s supposed to invigorate you, and the fatherland, make life an adventure, bring you back to your classical greatness, reimpose worn-out social structures, obsolete gender roles and the like, bond you to others with ties of bigoted tribal solidarity, or, if you’re not part of the tribe, exile or exterminate you. It’s supposed to make an inadequate megalomaniac feel like a real man, even if he’s Margaret Thatcher. And it’s supposed to propel the ship of state full speed ahead into international domination.

Oh, and of course, there’s money to be made. That’s a salient feature we’d do well to remember. But, it’s looking like you’ll have to be specially positioned to cash in big on fascism. It’s not that different from capitalism in that way. In fact, big capitalists thrive under fascism. Again, it’s unfair. It’s classist. It’s inegalitarian. What about your independent Mom and Pop fascists? On Main Street? Or Maple Street, where the monsters are due? Where do they fit in?

Well, just like under über-capitalism, which prioritizes in favor of finance speculation and stock values, and neglects or even obstructs the reasonable distribution of goods and services, Mom and Pop have a hard time competing, and eventually get crushed by Big Fascism. And it only adds insult and embarrassment to injury if Mom and Pop played by the rules, did everything the correct fascist way, flew the right flags, gave the right salutes, and repeated the correct capricious idiotic evil lies. At least under regular capitalism, the indoctrination is subtle and continuous. Fascism’s indoctrinations can be short sharp shocks, acute whip-cracks, demands to be as vile as possible ASAP. And the smaller you are, the more quickly you’re expected to adapt. “You’re small, Mom and Pop,” they say, “we’ll assume you’re lean and light on your feet.”

But, again, this being America, Land of the Free, where everyone is supposed to be free to be a fascist according to their own conscience, we should all be able to profit from it, and have adequate time to implement a violently conformist, if superficial, makeover. Mom and Pop, Charles and David, Ben and Jerry, Kudlow and Cramer, Fred and Lamont, Stiller and Meara, Amos and Andy, Rick and Morty, Key and Peele, Garfunkel and Oates, even Saccho and Vanzetti. There’s enough nationalist bigotry for everyone to have a share. You top fascists don’t have to hog it all.

Come on people. Come on, America, and I use the word “America” in its imperialist sense, because there are many Americas – North, South, Central, Latin, Meso, Afro, Crypto – but when we talk about the American Empire, which we hardly ever do, we mean the United States of America, and all the lands and cultures it has vacuumed up on its Roomba-esque meander around the planet. That’s the America I’m talkin’ about. That’s the fascist America! But given this globe-trotting accumulation, one might expect it to be a fascist melting pot.

White people – and by “white people” I of course don’t mean any fragile, brittle, desiccated flowers of un-self-aware caucasoidism who might be offended by the following statement – I know you have your hearts set on a white fascism, with the Stars and Bars flying once more over the capitol of South Carolina and over the great state of NASCAR. And red, white and blue machine guns at your eternal Fourth of July parties, with your famously unflavored potato salad, but the rest of us just won’t have it.

We want a multicultural fascism, with a rainbow cabal behind it. We want some heat in our rib rub. We want some piri-piri in our fish fry. We want hot links on the grill. We want some spice in our spite. I know y’all had your hearts set on living in the Handmaid’s Tale, but you should know, we’re going to want drag queens to read us our classic fascist fairy tales at bedtime. You know we’re still going to want our macho comedians to get busted picking up trans sex workers on Santa Monica at 3 in the morning. You know we’re still going to want to find out our Congressional champions of super-hetero, anti-gay legislation are secretly soliciting same-sex handjobs at rest stops.

Boss – and I employ that moniker with the full concatenation of meaning it possesses – Boss, you can’t take our flavor away. You can’t take our microbrews away, cuz it’s the Golden Age of beer, and we’ve developed a complex palate; by the same token, you can’t take our full-spectrum gender and ethnicity milieu away. We’ve taken a walk on the wild side. How you gonna keep us down on the farm, Mike Pence, with your pent-up libido rippling across your jawline? I’m always surprised your molars haven’t shattered.

Rainbow fascism. It’s the only practical option. I’m sorry, but if we gotta have fascism, if your hearts are set on it, it’s gonna have to be inclusive. Otherwise I just don’t see how it can work. You might as well go straight to a bunker and shoot yourself and Maria Braun right on day one. Or hang yourself up by your feet in the middle of town and throw in the towel.

Are you quitters, American fascists? Are you quitters? I didn’t think so. This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!

Moment of Truth

 

Share Tweet Send