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Late fascism is here

Carsten Juhl
Carsten Juhl
Juhl resides in Copenhagen.
CAPITALISM / The West's 'thin' fascism, which Bolt analyzes, is there especially because there is currently nothing else. Which does not rule out that it will one day grow as "thick" as Russian and Chinese fascism.


One of the problems with fascismn is that there is no «general fascism» which enables a lasting definition, i.e. one that helps the interested party so that the person can exclaim: «Look, this is real fascism!» There is, of course, the historical fascism of the interwar period, where the Italian and German dominated the others (Spanish, Romanian, etc.), but everyone agrees that we find a fascism today in some version in some country, then it does not repeat the two historical ones, Italian fascism and German National Socialism – e.g. with uniformed party members greeting a Duce or a Leader with some stereotypical hand gesture.

So the diagnosis of fascism must always be argued: "This is truly fascism, because 'and' does' and such ''.

Siri Hustvedt's thesis

But the term fascism er reappeared in public, and with considerable emphasis in early 2021, when the outgoing President Donald Trump incited his supporters to storm the Capitol to halt the procedure by which the result of the presidential election held was approved by Congress. It was January 6th. Already ten days later, the American-Norwegian author Siri hustvedt publish four pages under the title "Fascist Spectacle" ("Faschistisches Spektakel") in the German weekly magazine The game. And what promoted fascism was... the Republican Party in the United States. Hustvedt's argumentation was carried out brilliantly: the party is racist, Trump's supporters among the Republicans believe, for example, that it was the wrong side that won in the American Civil War 1861-65: Black Lives Matter is a danger to society, abortions are the same, etc. So Hustvedt's thesis was that one of the state-bearing parties in the USA has a massive fascist majority among its supporters: This party is a danger to the legal community. In other words, it is about fascism from above.

White welfare state

Mikkel Bolt's latest book Late Capitalist Fascism, which has just been published by Polity Press (Cambridge, UK: 2022), places itself between analysis and warning: Fascism is already there, but it is "thin", as it is called. It is not tied to a "mass psychology", like Wilhelm Rich explained in 1933. But rather in a coincidence of circumstances provided by a capitalism that cannot create more "disorder" in society in order to torture more work out of its inhabitants.

So no one is really convinced that what happens there can produce anything more, and not even "città nuove", the new cities, which Mussolinis people actually got the building, or the monumental Millennium, which Hitlers architects designed, where the people were replaced by the state's celebration of itself.

The fascist state was a totalitarian system based on the military's loyalty to the government.

In it late capitaliste fascism, according to Bolt, is nothing to celebrate, at most a ghost to maintain, namely about a white welfare state like in the late 1950s in Northern Europe and North America – i.e. before May 68 and the African-American revolt in the USA and especially before the mass immigration to the West.

In Bolt's confluence of circumstances, all analyzes must be activated: First of all, of the post-colonial situation and its economic, but unconscious connection to the consumption ideals of white workers, and secondly of what is decisive for contemporary history, namely that the uprisings in the world since 2010 did not overthrow capitalism and establish distributive equality. On the contrary, the gap between rich and poor in the two largest economies, the American and the Chinese, is greater than ever.

Right to fascist behavior

And the famous "fascist aesthetic"? With visual art, film and architecture, which Bolt also wrote theses about years ago? Yes, aesthetics have been replaced by provocations, so the book burnings of the 1930s, the hideous "parties" at night, where all good German literature was thrown into the flames, have pitifully shrunk to the burning of the Koran by a couple of Danish politicians. It happens under police protection and in the name of freedom of speech! So freedom of speech is today a democratic right to fascist behaviour, which, however, helps to maintain an acute urge for persecution among the white Europeans and Americans, who are afraid of the ongoing mixing within the human species.

There are also a couple intellectuale, there has been a transition to provocation in Denmark: They believe that movements such as Black Lives Matter and MeToo should be prosecuted as terrorist! But we are still very far from it state fascism, where from the Munich Agreement in 1938 until the defeat at Stalingrad, February 1943, seemed to win the world. The psychotic aspect of the support for the persecution of the weaker or critical citizens is nevertheless still the same.

In addition, there are the objective factors: The economic crisis in the world since 2009, which Mikkel Bolt returns several times, as well as the question of the military's position. Because after all, the fascist state was one totalitarian arrangement, and that arrangement rests on the military's loyalty to the government. Whereas the West's "thin" fascism, which Bolt analysed, is here today especially, because there is currently nothing else. However, that does not rule out that one day it will grow as "thick" as Russian and Chinese fascism...

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