Y Fascism

May 25, 2009

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People reading this blog might wonder why all the talk of Fascism or a Transcendental Fascism? Back from the USA and refreshed it seems I owe a brief explanation…

I clearly see the question of Fascism or fascism (big F or little, I use them both at random, as I write quick and in a flurry, and often don’t pay attention to such details, though big F should be historical Fascism, both past, present and future, and small f for the generic category or concept)  as being one of the main intellectual issues of the 21st century. As Michael Haneke’s fascist parable The White Ribbon wins the Palme D’Or and Tarantino’s fascist ode Inglorious Basterds wins Best actor with the character of the Nazi Jew Hunter played by Cristoph Wirth… what better time to hold forth on THE political philosophy of the 21st century? It seems it was the fascist Cannes, so the question arises, as Susan Sontag once observed… what is so fascinating about F/fascism?

Firstly, I’d say Fascism is to a certain extent a utopian and romantic political philosophy… but in a vastly different respect to Capitalism or Socialism/ Communism in many ways. Facism tells it like it is rather than how we’d like it to be. One of the great interesting characteristics about fascism is that it perfectly reflects nature and the structure and Being of the Universe. Boyd Rice’s famous essay “Nature’s Eternal Fascism” is a good textual example to support this thesis. Indeed, this nature/fascism topic seems  to be the subject matter of the new Lars Von Trier film AntiChrist (another Cannes winner)…

A lot of pomo wankers will insist on the importance of irony, undecidability and deconstruction in an interpretation of a work of art, but as we all know those tools are a poor man’s hermeneutic… and that true art is like a lightning bolt from Being itself. It is not ironic, it is simply what it ‘is’. Bare and pure in its nakedness. It is purely ontological and given. A gift.

But is this how fascism is treated and discussed in our society? No. Consider the way fascism as topic is treated in today’s discourse. This ought to be a perfect guide to its hidden power, relevance and true significance to humanities future. Essentially, fascism, as an open political discussion point is completely forbidden. If fascists are portrayed or discussed in the media, it is generally in terms of documentaries about bottom of the barrel Neo Nazi’s, with a grade two education, espousing some crude racism or in Hollywood fiction crazed Nazi’s killing everyone on screen for kicks. This is 90% of the image of fascism that capitalism’s media machine would like you to receive. Of course it is very far from the truth of the matter…

But many artists some mentioned above (…and below) have taken fascism and understood it in its deepest most intellectual sense as a core issue for humanity, one that they either support subversively, or engage with intellectually with caution, or as a caveat.

One of the things that is often annoying about the portrayal of fascism in the media is, as mentioned above, its portrayal of uneducated Neo-nazi’s and also the consistent and on going portrayal of Nazi’s on screen as pathologically insane maniacs… and that they are somehow not part of Western Civilisation, and her History. Again, nothing could be further from the truth…

Nazism is in many senses the most extreme, far reaching and intense manifestation and representation of Western Civilisation ever to be made factical. Some historians even equate fascism and modernism together (see Roger Griffin’s recent work). Which, by the way, I believe, and is why I bought my “Modernist” T shirt recently in LA. I love modernism and modernist artists and authors, and generally dislike and hate post modernism as an utterly repellent sophistry and completely decadent discourse; the sly supplement and ally of later day Capitalism (see Jameson). Enough with fucking Deleuze already! He was a suicidal confused buffoon with a few clever ideas and takes on Nietzsche, Von Sacher Masoch, cinema and Sade… but over all made no cohesive sense…his schizo philosophy was exactly that!

But I digress, Nazism, as mentioned, was simply a too intense and destructive form of Modernism for its own damn good! I have always felt, along with the futurists, that fascism is in many senses The Future. Many sci fi writers are in full agreement… and the fascist dystopia is Legion as sci fi motif. What excites me though, about say, footage of Nazi rallies, its architecture, or political philosophy of the era, is its vast futuristic character. A cold and logical paradigm shift in human development had taken place under Mussolini and Hitler and its full intensity proved too much for the bourgeois allies, and the monstrous ‘dread leveler’ best represented by Stalin. Of course, I have stated that Nazism is full of errors of intensity, nuance and velocity, the main being the aforementioned choice of Jew as internal enemy, when clearly Jews are a most superior people, who should be allied to the cause of Western civilisation, rather than recast as its enemies and victims. This mistaking of Jews as enemies rather than allies, I suspect and have said elsewhere, probably cost Hitler the war! As, for example, he lost Jewish intellectuals and scientists who could have steered The Reich to new strategies and Super weapons like the A bomb very early in ww2, putting an end to Western Capitalism once and for all, etc. But instead due to this mistake, Germany lost many of its brightest and finest due to a retrograde anti-semitic prejudice of some of the top Nazi’s. Things could have been very different… and should have been. But this century presents problems even more pressing and potent than the last for Western Civilisation, and its important this time the Jewish people stand with us at the bastions of Western culture, and fight hand to hand with us, in what could be the last great battle for the planetary harmony and survival…indeed recent neo-cons, and even their supplement Obama understand this…hence the undying support for Israel, which I support, by the way…

Due to this Jewish mistake, can F/fascism, or Nazism for that matter, be dismissed intellectually and out of hand as purely Evil? I think not. Like Heidegger said, where the danger is, also lies the saving power. As a hermeneutic strategy I recommend bracketing out the Jewish holocaust all together intellectually (ala Husserl’s famous phenomenological reduction), put it out of your head, after acknowledging its error of course, as a vast form of foolish collateral damage, to borrow a modern term. A Bataillean Accursed Share, an unaccountable excess of the Nazi matrix. Once you have acknowledged it, then put aside the Nazi Jewish t/error of ww2,  then one can move onto the waters of fascism easily, with a clear conscience and unhindered. Like an adventurous sojourner setting forth on a calm quest on the quite sea of the eternal Now…

This of course is the essential strategy of most holocaust deniers, essentially, but one need not deny the Jewish holocaust to redeem fascism. This seems excessive and  unnecessary. There are other ways forward, ‘always forward, over the dead bodies’ as Albert Speer once said, of which I suggest just one, above…

The intellectual pedigree of fascism as Giuseppi Botai described in 1924 is “exquisitely intellectual” and that it represents “a revolution of the intellectuals” and an “intellectual revolution”.  Israeli historian Zev Sternhell feels the same way, in his post war histories of the intellectual back grounds of fascism. Sternhell claims fascism has a fully functional intellectual apparatus and ideology to rival that of even the Left and Marxism. This, too, I strongly concur with. And to find it out you have to really study the texts hidden away in libraries and research the topic, as its a secret history, like that of a Dan Brown conspiracy novel…

Next time you see some idiot on TV espousing a crude biological racism, think perhaps on some of the following thinkers as a riposte to this common misrepresentation:

Martin Heidegger’s ontological fascism, Nietzsche’s hierarchical nihilist immorality, Ezra Pound’s masterful cantos of mythic/structural fascism and his adhorence of usury, TS Eliot’s social critique of Western Civilisation as ‘waste land’ filled with ‘hollow men’ and his call for conservative renewal, DH Lawrence’s sexual, frenetic and animalistic ‘fascism without bullying’, F.Scott Fitzgerald’s critique of the bourgeois, and call for a new Romantic elite, Wydham Lewis’s vortex of forces and iconoclastic outsider fascist modernism, Yeats mythic nationalist poetry, geared theory of history and fascist visions, Celine’s masterful misanthropy and avant garde literary agression, Curzio Malaparte’s literary complexity and his architectual interests, Yukio Mishima’s Japanese vision of fascism with Emperor worship and a new military elitism, Knut Hamsun’s pastoral, green and proletariat fascism, the eugenic theories of Sir Francis Galton, the Social Darwinism of Herbert Spencer, the scientific monism and artwork of Ernst Haeckel, the focus on the purifying and fertilising power of Violence to be found in Sorel, Oswald Spengler’s Hegelian/Historical synthesis and warning of the Decline of the West, and lastly warrior poet Gabrielle D’Annunzio’s first synthesis of the fascist minimum during the taking of Fiume. I can go on, and on, like this. Further figures like Ernst Junger, Carl Jung, Luigi Pirandello, Richard Strauss, Richard Wagner, Arno Breker, Timothy Findlay, Mario Sironi, Charles Peguy, Ernest Renan, Paul de Lagarde, Charles Darwin, Rene Guenon, Julius Evola, Vincenzo Cardarelli, Maurice Barres, Giovanni Papini, Mircea Eliade, Georges Dumezil, Jose Antonio Primo De Rivera, Oswald Mosley, Leni Riefenstahl, Arnold Fanck, Moeller Van Den Bruck, Francis Parker Yockey, Miguel Serrano, Savitri Devi, Salvador Dali, Jean Cocteau, Robert Brassilach, Pierre Drieu La Rochelle, JG Ballard, Max Nordau, Otto Weininger, Michael Moynihan, Bret Easton Ellis, Alain De Benoist and even early Blanchot and Paul De Man…all testify to a fascism that is far from an unintellectual and unartistic movement. In fact Fascism is, par excellence, the product of the finest minds of the 19th and 20th centuries. This hidden intellectual pedigree of fascism, i.e. the fact that it is essentially hidden, is one of the great intellectual scandals of the last 100 years. I call these authors and artists above, ‘the Other’ canon, representing a completely different vision of humanity and society. Many books deal individually with these artists, thinkers and writers (above) engagement in or with fascism, but few join the collective dots… and outline a vision for a new Fascist International, that can be drawn from this vast resource…

Well, here at Idea Fix, we will do our bit to get you thinking and talking about F/fascism, whether you agree with it, or not. We reject the curiously censorious ‘verboten’ attitude to its discussion and believe the list of Nazi crimes is not enough to relegate the concept to the dust bins of history. Indeed, Communism’s crimes far exceed fascist ones, and yet its discussion is de riguer at Universities. Why not fascism? This state of affairs exist because the Left is, lets face it, no real threat to later day Capitalism and it acts really as just a fashion statement or hipster strategy for most students. Fascism is, of course, totally another matter…Do people really only see the media stereotype of it? …and not believe it has other possible manifestations, or potentials?

Engage, think, discuss and debate the issue/s here at Idea Fix. As these thinkers (above) demonstrate, disagreements and open discussion is as welcome in fascist/rightist circles… as it is, in any other. And while you study and reflect, remember to think and consider the full weight of what these thinkers thoughts may actually portend… What do they have to say about humanity as a whole, and its manifest destiny, on our small and imperiled planet?

I discuss this often at some personal pain, as I know F/fascism is not a popular issue with some people. But like any writer or artist of modernist era and before, I feel compelled to speak the truth as I see it. And also I find it scandalous that no one else (or very few) are cohesively assembling such thoughts and that the majority of humanity appear duped on the topic of fascism. For better or worse, I hope to make my own humble contribution to the topic and subject matter. I wish to pursue the idea that a regenerated fascism need not be Evil or destructive, and that a ‘good’ fascism could indeed exist in the future.

I hope you, mein lecteur…”hypocrite lecteur!—mon semblable,—mon frère”, will have the patience to endure the content of my thoughts, and perhaps dare to think in dangerous waters with me, for the saving power, if you so desire…”the future is that mountain”…

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5 Responses to “Y Fascism”

  1. Alex said

    Very interesting essay, I can agree with many of your views, but…You fail to acknowledge that, just as it happened for Marxism, Fascism is dealing with exactly the same major issue: The miserable mediocrity of humanity…Gramsci and Stalin are just as distant as Junger and Hitler…I come from two countries with a Fascist past (Italy and Germany) and a half-Fascist present (Italy)…My experience of Fascism is very cheap…Cheap violence, cheap bullying, cheap manipulation, cheap racism, all very miserable and sad and exploitative and fake…All very fake…Fake patriotism, fake mythology, fake spirituality, fake poetry, fake heroism…Fascism is not reality as it is, fascism in words is supreme humanism, fascism on earth is shit and corruption. Amen.

    Cheers

  2. richard777 said

    Hi Alex,

    There’s the rub, isn’t it, as they say. Even a form of elite humanity is still corrupted and corruptible. But can’t this not be factored into a new politics? Incorporating a certain leeway for the new elite?

    But perhaps misanthropy does trump it all?

    But can we give up trying and struggling because of this? Call me a romantic but I believe now in the 21st century perhaps a truly enlightened politics is possible…

    I know your anarchist leanings Alex and I agree with many of them. I am not attracted to the anti libertarian aspects of totalitarianism seen in communism, and even my pet obsession, fascism. I do believe in freedom of speech, sexuality, religion, philosophy, etc. within societies. Government has no place here…

    But the part of Anarchism that does not attract me is say the anarchism of Iraq or Pakistan…barbarians on the loose, killing each other due to absurd religious practices, etc. Here fascism must step in. And it has to some extent with Capitalism. I care little for Western war crimes in such regions as we tame this beast. Anarchism, not a idealized political philosophy but a lawless, miserable, murderous state of nature exists in many parts of the world including Asia, Middle East and Africa. This is to be avoided I would suggest…and must be through force sometimes…

    I believe due to human nature, technology, the environment and the simple mass of humanity… a strong politics is essential. While in a fascist utopia of which I dream of, practical civilised anarchism exists between its citizens, and it is a very ‘free’ society in a Heideggerian sense. But such societies could only be formed fully in a few nations on earth, possibly in Scandanavian nations, some parts of Europe, Japan, Australia, USA, and a few other places.

    But it could be possible in many other parts of the world, too…

    Politics, force, power and a coercionary government are a part of the day to day running of many parts of the world. That’s the state of affairs whether we as philosophers like it or not. It has been that way for Millennia. So really our choice is what kind of force, power, coercion we must choose? I believe a renewed fascist politics best reflects the unfortunate necessity of these realities, but that we can rescue the best, and as many as we can really, people for our anarchistical Transcendental Fascist society and utopia and indeed create new societies in many parts of Africa, Middle East and Asia, through a sort of Neo-Colonialism. But sometimes we must crush resistance and retrograde practices, i.e. some elements of religious Islam, that is already underway under Bush/Obama.

    These new societies I envisage, that do already exist in part (…lets be honest about our incredible standard of living in the West!) are a sort of reinvisioned ancient Athens. A city of free spirits and artists, that can grow further in parts of the world… much further in fact than it already has. But we must throw away the absurdities of notions like equality, fraternity or that we can exist without law, coercion or force… for some parts of the world at least. As for the rest who are excluded, I’m afraid to say, most may be doomed. And, we, as transcendental fascist New Men and Women should accept that, with great sadness of course, but with a resolute will to move forward on to daring Nietzschean fresh seas…

    Amen, to that too.

  3. Shane Lyons said

    What contribution did Alfred Rosenberg, De Gobineau and Houston Stewart Chamberlain make to non-racist fascist thought, Richard?

  4. richard777 said

    Those three certainly represent the racist strain of fascist thought. De Gobineau is a proto-fascist and had more aristocratic leanings than most fascists. The three can be studied fruitfully though and their theories of elitism merely applied in non racist ways, for example. Their structural elitism can be applied to a culture, society or religion for example. Chamberlain had a theory of culture influenced by Wagner and Spengler. But, you’ll notice I didn’t mention those three in my rant…

    I got a rare introductionary book on Rosenberg recently, by a post ww2 non-partisan scholar. The exact co-ordinates of Rosenberg’s thought, beyond a form of philosophical racism, I am not as familiar with as I should be. Its criminal though that many fascist thinkers, i.e the major Nazi philosopher of record, are simply ignored, because they are racists, by most of Academia. From a historical and political theory perspective this is absurd, presently a totally uncomplete picture. Try and order a new book on Rosenberg and you can’t, none are in print. How many books on the likes of Gramsci and Trotsky are out there polluting bookshelves? We have to put up with countless Left wing volumes and tomes enough to weigh down 100 book shelves. But in most libraries the fascist theory section is 1 or 2 shelves long. But the books are out there, you just have to locate them, some people noticed the complexity of the first half of the 20th century, and wrote all about it…

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