NOTE ON POSTMODERN FASCISM
DAVID ARTHUR WALTERS
We must not march quietly into the trenches
Let us note well that the notions associated with fascism and its most virulent form, a neo-barbaric socialism called Nazism, were not originally conceived by Mssrs. Mussolini and Hitler. Nor is there anything conceptually unique to the non-profit totalitarianism of Stalin. The Italian Fascists and German Nazis are given far too much credit for conducting big corporate business for its usual end – the end of the very competition it professes to love and the total control of “free” markets – an aggrandizement augmented by modern technological means. More than one economist described the goal of the alleged opposition to fascism – capitalism – as the perfection of fascism. Mssrs. Mussolini and Hitler did not invent totalitarianism led by an arbitrary, so-called charismatic leader. They marched in the footsteps of the Roman emperors whose corporate emblem was the fasces ax.
In Germany Carl Schmitt – doctor of jurisprudence and father to the form of the German New Conservatism embraced by so-called neoconservatives in the United States – sanctioned Hitler’s indefinite suspension of the Weimar Constitution. But Carl Schmitt did not coin the concept of Total upon which he elaborated at length, for men have long dreamed of the instantiation of Totalitaria on Earth in one form or other, ruled by a despot or dictator for the sake of convenience, until the divisive resistance to absolute truth is destroyed and the people are ready to embrace true monarchy or democracy.
A regime is at its best when its leadership is threatened by challengers, and then it is best led by a single supreme leader, an arbiter of good and evil, a sovereign father or fuehrer whose hands are not tied by the law, an imperial presiding officer and commander-in-chief who is willing to tell the necessary lies to unify the factions who would otherwise squander the national energy on productive domestic activities instead of wasting resources on wars.
Such a decisive leader, as a matter of national honor, must admit to ignoring the polls in the interest of obedience to a higher power than his worldly father, and profess to doing whatever it takes to obtain victorious salvation for the people of the world whether they like it or not.
The irrational, “leadership principle” was not invented by the leading thinkers of the three German Reichs. In any case, Carl Schmitt, who begat Leo Strauss, who begat Paul Wolfowitz, and whose doctrine is embraced by Richard Cheney, Donald H. Rumsfeld, Condaleeza Rice, and other Germanophiles who longed for a Holy American Empire or Pax Americana, attached a modern label to the usual arbitrary power, “Decisionism,” – as if it fell within “ideology” in the broad sense of “science of ideas.”
In any case, or so the neo-fascist argument goes, conflict produces higher goods. War is the father of all things including better moral fiber. The purpose of politics is to identify your enemies and destroy them. Wherefore, America’s neoconservatives would in concert restore the supreme power of the elected emperor of the United States of America, and in doing so overthrow the revolution within the revolution that spawned the nation.
So let us not think that fascism is passé, limited to a few hateful skinheads simply because we do not hear the German version of the Roman victory salute (Seig Heil!) emanating from the White House and aircraft carrier decks; or because our concentration camps, wherein we confine Muslim Semites instead of Jewish Semites, are smaller and much more humane; or because our suspects do not have flags and uniforms. No, we must keep history in mind because we are that history, and until we understand that history and thus know ourselves better and fulfill our better selves, we risk the repeated degradation of our kind, albeit by a more subtle process, until the grinder becomes so overbearing that the race would rather destroy itself in a paroxysm of massive suicide-murder than march quietly into the trenches.
Miami Beach 2006