The Wolfian Blog

Trump and Fascism
Wise Souls

Wise souls have always said things like "Fascism comes as your friend" and "When Fascism comes it will not be with fancy uniforms and swastikas". But it is a lesson we forget, every generation.

It is, admittedly, possible that what we are seeing in the USA is not the birth of a new fascism, but consider this - in opposing this far right administration with their bad policies, moral vacuum, and rampant corruption, we are still NOT doing a bad thing, even if it turns out not to be fascism.

And how, of course, can you be sure it is not intending to turn into fascism? If we oppose it at every turn, and thwart it, and condemn it, then maybe it will not turn out to be fascism, but the fact that it turns out not to be cannot be taken as proof of any kind that it was not intending to be. That would be like saying that in a football match where the defenders closed down every opposition attack and prevented them from scoring, that the fact that they did not score meant they were not much of a threat!

I read a lot of alternate history threads where, apparently, Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan were "always going to lose". This is stupid, it ignores the massive fight, mobilisation and sacrifice of the Allies. It ignores the fact that war is not a zero-sum game where you tally up totals and can see how it will go in the end. Fighting on the edge of your life to defeat an ultimate evil does not mean that the evil would not have won if you had not bothered to exert quite so much energy.

So it is with Trump, so it is with the Tories. Their entire agendas are to take as much power as they can from the people, from other democratic bodies, from their own departments and civil servants, and from anyone even within their own party who does not share their far-right agenda. Sound familiar?

One major element of this is, of course, the demonisation of "the Other" - in Nazi Germany it was the Jews, the Roma, the homosexuals, the Trade Unionists, the Communists. There was quite a LOT of other once they got round to it! In the UK it is anyone who is not a citizen, it is anyone who comes as an EU worker, or an asylum seeker, or a refugee, or on a student visa. In the U.S.A they are rounding up and deporting people who have lived there for decades, raised families there, made great contributions to the economy, the voluntary sector, their communities.

ICE agents are guilty of Crimes Against Humanity and one day they will face the bill for their guilt.

The USA extended this narrative to the DACA act, and the so-called Dreamers. Note that derogatory word - these are people who in any civilised country would be citizens by dint of growing up there, going to school there, working there, and so on. But in Trump's America they are people who "should not be there" and allowing them to stay, all three quarters of a million of these citizens in all but name, is now a political football, played for racist and xenophobic gain.

Trump is a xenophobe, misogynist, and white supremacist. He has announced that he is not a feminist, he has called Nazis marching with torches "good people" and he has people like Gorka and Miller on his staff. He could not care less about individuals - it is the same argument Himmler used, that history would record that X were removed, or dealt with, and that individual cases within it would not matter to History.

Fascism is not the parade of the swastika down Broadway or Pennsylvania Avenue, but the othering of whole peoples, the disregard for democratic norms, the power grab from the centre, the name-calling and demonisation of opposition (and Trump seems to have learned well from Goebbels in this), and an agenda where decency and compassion are never on the table.

Hitler wanted to make Germany great again. He wanted to "cleanse" it of the Other, of political opponents, of any way of saying no to the government. He galvanised nationalism, xenophobia, racism, hatred and demonisation of anything not party to him, and willing supporters across the Reich joined in and did his work for him.

I hear now that Trump was ordained by God, millions of Americans apparently believe that he is come to do God's work. Apparently God is a white supremacist racist, in their world, because the one thing Trump does not come with is the values of Jesus - humility, compassion, loving thy neighbour, and so on. It is easy to dismiss these people as morons, but they are complicit, they are loving the hate, they yearn to go forth and act on his agenda, driving out the Other.

Demonisation led to the withdrawal of civil rights, led to programmes to see people leaving in as large a number as possible (but paying for the privelege), and in the end led to rounding them up, interning them, and in the end mass-murdering them. Nazi Germany, but Trump's America is already halfway there.

And if you are not sure, remember what I said at the beginning - in opposing this far right administration with their bad policies, moral vacuum, and rampant corruption, we are still NOT doing a bad thing, even if it turns out not to be fascism.

Jay Wolfe