One of the striking features of the various reactionary and post-fascist phenomena – Brexit, Trump, Alternative für Deutschland, Pegida, Le Pen, Wilders and the Danish People's Party – is the extent to which they are more cultural than they are in a narrow sense. Post-fascism is very much a cultural phenomenon, and contemporary conflicts play out less as regular class struggle than as different forms of cultural struggle.
Of course, it makes good sense to regard these cultural struggles as a kind of deputy wars where underlying economic developments remain hidden – but they are more than that, and, following Fredric Jameson's analysis of postmodernism, they should also be seen as symptoms of a more general culturalization of economic struggles and society in general.
At Jameson, postmodernism was a description of this evolution, in which basis and superstructure, culture and economy merge in a completely different way than before, and where culture takes the form of a whole social structure. There is a form of symbolic appropriation in which society represents itself in a far more comprehensive way than before, and does not refer to anything other than itself. Postmodernism was for Jameson this self-representation – what Guy Debord described before him as the spectacular or behold game society, where everyday life is subject to a constant burst of slogans, jingles, brands, logos, false promises and virtual realities.
The political-economic background of post-fascism is important: an economic crisis of more than 30 years. But the new fascism is precisely characterized by offering identification and identity beyond socio-economic categories. In this way, contemporary fascism is postmodern in the sense of Jameson: Unemployment, secession and the slow erosion of the welfare state translate into Islamophobia and xenophobia.
More than parties with programs, goals and principles, politics has become one atmosphere.
"We are building a wall that can keep immigrants out," he said. . .