Fascism Rising?

Greece is seeing a spike in attacks against foreigners by organized groups of Greek men and women. Dr. Mead points to a survey in Der Spiegel that cites increasing levels of xenophobia and anti-Semitic sentiment.

This is natural enough in a period of bad economics, with the systems trusted to hold up the economy collapsing all around you. Why is it happening? The answer, for the Greeks, is that it is a conspiracy by Germany. The answer, if you're German, is that culturally inferior peoples are dragging your virtuous nation down. The impulse to bind together is quite natural and strong.

I would suggest that there is a significant danger of this occurring in America as well. You might not think so, because the diversity of the electorate in the recent election was achieved chiefly by whites staying home. If there was increasing tension along these lines, wouldn't turnout have been high?

Yet I think the answer is that the low turnout underlines the danger. Those of my friends who are working class whites and did not vote did not do so because they feel alienated from the political system. If they have resigned from politics as a way of changing a country with which they are very dissatisfied, they will be more open to other methods.

People are asking why they might have so resigned, and not just voted Republican. There are a lot of answers, usually social conservatives blaming moderates, and moderates assuming that social issues are a drag on the ticket. I think the answer is simpler. Look at the Gallup "Confidence in Institutions" poll.

The bottom four institutions are 'Banks, Big Business, HMOs [another big business, but one that regularly treads on toes], and Congress.' The Republican ticket? A man who made his money as a banker before going into big business, coupled with a lifelong member of Congress. Naturally it was easy to demonize people aligned with institutions distrusted by the American people at large. If only Paul Ryan had moonlighted with Kaiser!

The top four institutions are 'the military, small business, police, and religion.' The trend of the change is worrisome: excepting the military, the police, and the criminal justice system, every single institution in the list is trusted less now than it was in the early 1970s.*

Those are the institutions of social control, notice, and not persuasive control -- not church, for example, or newspapers -- but violent, coercive control. That's who we trust, more and more. Church is down twenty points, but the coercive forces are on their way up. A speaker from a coercive background, with the right kind of rhetoric, could easily sweep up millions who have lost all faith in the governing institutions.

For that matter racist and racial grievance sentiments are clearly up, and not just among poor whites: across the board.

My guess is that there is a very real chance of fascist movements breaking out. Unlike in Europe, though, we have a multi-ethnic and cultural state. You wouldn't see one fascist movement built around a dominant race, but multiple hostile movements.

* A partial exception: HMOs went from 17% in 1999 to 19% now. They've consistently stayed at the bottom of the list, though, and I suspect that's within the margin of error.


Joel Leggett said...

Although slightly off topic, I believe there is a connection in the Politico story below:


I think Gov. Jindal is on to something. If the Republican party is ever going to shed their reputation as the party of the rich they need to return to, or discover, the political principles and themes of the Jacksonian Democrats. By attacking entrenched concentrations of power, in government, industry, and labor and championing equal acess to power for all, not just elites, the Republican party could shed its country club image.

Government, bussiness, and media elites (militrary to?) are experiencing an all time low in public confidence. Based on their poor performance and behavior this is no surprise. The concentrated power and influence these individuals increasingly wield and their poor track record make them in particular, and concentration of power in general, an attractive target.

The beauty of this is that it can also be done without jettising current principles like commitment to limited government, low taxes, and the free market. In fact, it might reinforce a commitment to free market captialism. No one is more opossed to free market competion like “Big Business.” Once they have their slice of the market pie they regularly endorse and support new regulations that make it cost prohibitive for new competitors to enter the market.

This may be the way to turn our country and the Republican party around and revitalize our constituional republic.

Grim said...

Here is the link you wanted, Joel.

Grim said...

By the way, I agree with the sentiment you voice here. That's what my party used to be about, and I could support a party on those principles. I still say, however, that a respectful federalism built around the Tenth Amendment has to be a crucial part of any attempt to avoid the collapse of our republic.

Grim said...

Military, by the way, is not on the decline in public confidence -- at least not much. It was a high of 82 in 2009, and has now fallen to 75. But that's still well above its historical average of the mid-60s (huge spike to 85 at the time of the Gulf War, for example, but then it fell back to 69 the next year, and then 67 and 64).

Most likely that is just about the wars falling out of the public eye. The first measurement, way back in the Vietnam era, was 58.

Grim said...

Whether the disclosure that two successive ISAF commanders were involved in some sort of hanky panky will damage that standing, it's too soon to say -- but it's hard to imagine that it won't.

I've met Allen, too, when he was at CENTCOM and I was too. He seemed like a pretty solid Marine.

E Hines said...

An aside and a comment. The URL that Joel provided also works, at least in Firefox (IE is a bit more cumbersome): highlight the entire link and right click. From the resulting popup menu, select on of the "Open Link..." options.

As I recall, the Jacksonian Democrats were strongly for federalism and the 10th Amendment. Certainly, their push for a more participatory democracy (especially compared to Jeffersonian Democracy) would have been more consistent with more emphasis on federalism than with more emphasis on a stronger central government.

From Massachusetts' 1780 constitution: Article IV [of Part the First]. The people of this commonwealth have the sole and exclusive right of governing themselves, as a free, sovereign, and independent state; and do, and forever hereafter shall, exercise and enjoy every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not, or may not hereafter, be by them expressly delegated to the United States of America in Congress assembled. This is held to be one of the primary sources of the Federal constitution's 10th Amendment, although the structure, and failure, of the Articles of Confederation had a role, also.

Eric Hines

Tom said...

I'm beginning to see more of this stuff in the comments at PJ Media, for one.

Mary Graber recently had a piece titled It's Not the Economy, Stupid, where she discussed racial politics. Starting at Comment 4 from EscapeVelocity it gets weird. (Comments are nested, to comment 4 is about 1/4th of the way down the page.)

Here's a taste, and others jump on the bandwagon:

White Europeans most certainly move to organizing themselves to participate in the New Left created Zeitgeist of Identity Politics. To not do so, is to lose by default. If you dont play the game, you are sure to lose. Organizing for political action, community legal defense of their rights, lawfare to make those who would infringe upon those rights feel pain, also build community bonds and ties, develop programs to bolster White European pride in their culture, history and traditions in the face of demonization, ridicule, and denunciation by others and in the media/popular culture.

Of course, Grabar and some other commenters oppose this, but the thread kinda gave me the creeps.

douglas said...

So would the "multiple, hostile movements" be in opposition to each other as well, or be able to find some common ground? You're implying the normal sources for that (race/ethnicity, culture) are too fragmented to work, so that would seem to be a fail-safe of sorts, but is there another means to watch for?

douglas said...

It also jumps to mind that isn't this just what Obama would want? A perfect crisis to seize power?

Ymar Sakar said...

"If they have resigned from politics as a way of changing a country with which they are very dissatisfied, they will be more open to other methods."

They have not suffered enough. They still believe redemption and solution can be achieved politically, so they're just waiting.

They have yet to decide on war being the natural continuation of politics, because while voting takes energy, war takes even more.

It would take about 100 WACOs to wake people up, assuming the media didn't cover it up like they did Benghazi. While people wait, they'll be turned into slaves, and eventually someone will decide it might be time for a slave rebellion. But that won't necessarily do much to fix the issue of Democrat and Leftist power structures in the US, which will invite a crackdown on everyone that might be considered an American conservative militia men.

And then the natural course of Mao's guerilla warfare doctrine will proceed. The harder the State squeezes, tortures, and kills Americans, the more Americans will join the rebellion. Secession would be far too organized an option at that point.

The REpublican party is composed of at least 50% Democrat operatives, btw, at this point. Blackmail works great, you know. So does interrogation, torture, and brainwashing.