Goddammit, that’s it. As we head into this election the only thing clear to me is that fascism is a noxious weed, like dandelions or blackberries. You can knock it down and think it’s gone, but it will be back. Seems that it’s really hard to get the roots of fascism, because those roots are the roots of capitalism. Follow me here.
Capitalism is a system set up to have winners and losers. The form of capitalism we have is set up top have a small group of winners and literally Billions of losers. I’m sorry, you thought that was just a bug? That’s a feature, not a flaw.
So you get a small group of winners with a huge amount of power (after all, money = power in capitalism) and combine that with the sad-but-true fact that people as a whole are dim witted and easily influenced. Set to blend, and Presto Change-O!! Fascism.
Fascism is inevitable in a system like ours. It lurks around the edges like mold in our Northwestern window sills, just waiting for a chance to take root in our freshly washed towels, aka the nearest handy democracy. It is inevitable because those with the money and the power naturally tend to want to keep their position, so they try all sorts of tools to keep them in caviar and champagne. Although most rich people will tell you they abhor the idea of fascism, their actions often tend to tell a different story.
Take the Koch Brothers. I honestly don’t think they want to have a fascist government. I think they feel entitled to their wealth and will do whatever it takes to maintain their wealth and power. So they came in and co-opted the Tea Party. Suddenly a party founded on the idea that a huge bail-out of giant corporations is a bad thing have become the party of protecting the capital gains of the mega rich. Capitalizing on the Tea Party’s demographic of middle aged white men quickly becoming obsolete, these titans of industry have created a populist monster that is rising like a thistle patch in your crazy neighbor’s lawn, its thorny seeds taking root in all of the fertile ground in the neighborhood.
I don’t know how this will all wash out. I don’t know if fascism will take firm root in the soil of the Great Experiment and threaten the stability of the world or if this is just the rise and fall of another edgy political epoch. All I know is that the discourse is getting more and more polluted and the dim witted and easily influenced are becoming more confused and more desperate. I can only pray we don’t end up on the losing end of another global program of noxious weed control.