Global capitalism and 21st Century facism

Veröffentlicht: Mai 9, 2011 in antifa, roc - der tag der revolution ist nah, sin banderas sin fronteras

interesting article found on Al Jazeera

21st century fascism in the United States

I don’t use the term fascism lightly. There are some key features of a 21st century fascism I identify here:

  1. The fusion of transnational capital with reactionary political power
    This fusion had been developing  during the Bush years and would likely have deepened under a McCain-Palin White House. In the meantime, such neo-fascist movements as the Tea Party as well as neo-fascist legislation such as Arizona’s anti-immigrant law, SB1070, have been broadly financed by corporate capital. Three sectors of transnational capital in particular stand out as prone to seek fascist political arrangements to facilitate accumulation: speculative financial capital, the military-industrial-security complex, and the extractive and energy (particularly petroleum) sector.
  2. Militarisation and extreme masculinisation
    As militarised accumulation has intensified the Pentagon budget, increasing 91 per cent in real terms in the past 12 years, the top military brass has become increasingly politicised and involved in policy making.
  3. A scapegoat which serves to displace and redirect social tensions and contradictions
    In this case, immigrants and Muslims in particular. The Southern Poverty Law Centre recently reported that „three strands of the radical right – hate groups, nativist extremist groups, and patriot organisations – increased from 1,753 groups in 2009 to 2,145 in 2010, a 22 per cent rise, that followed a 2008-9 increase of 40 per cent.“

    A 2010 Department of Homeland Security report observed that „right wing extremists may be gaining new recruits by playing on the fears about several emergency issues. The economic downturn and the election of the first African American president present unique drivers for right wing radicalisation and recruitment.“ The report concluded: „Over the past five years, various right wing extremists, including militia and white supremacists, have adopted the immigration issue as a call to action, rallying point, and recruitment tool.“

  4. A mass social base
    In this case, such a social base is being organised among sectors of the white working class that historically enjoyed racial caste privilege and that have been experiencing displacement and experiencing rapid downward mobility as neo-liberalism comes to the US – while they are losing the security and stability they enjoyed in the previous Fordist-Keynesian epoch of national capitalism.
  5. A fanatical millennial ideology involving race/culture supremacy embracing an idealised and mythical past, and a racist mobilisation against scapegoats
    The ideology of 21st century fascism often rests on irrationality – a promise to deliver security and restore stability is emotive, not rational.  21st century fascism is a project that does not – and need not – distinguish between the truth and the lie.
  6. A charismatic leadership
    Such a leadership has so far been largely missing in the United States, although figures such as Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck appear as archetypes.

The mortal circuit of accumulation-exploitation-exclusion

One new structural dimension of 21st century global capitalism is the dramatic expansion of the global superfluous population – that portion marginalised and locked out of productive participation in the capitalist economy and constituting some 1/3rd of humanity. The need to assure the social control of this mass of humanity living in a planet of slums gives a powerful impetus to neo-fascist projects and facilitates the transition from social welfare to social control – otherwise known as „police states“. This system becomes ever more violent.

Theoretically stated – under the conditions of capitalist globalisation – the state’s contradictory functions of accumulation and legitimation cannot both be met. The economic crisis intensifies the problem of legitimation for dominant groups so that accumulation crises, such as the present one, generate social conflicts and appear as spiralling political crises. In essence, the state’s ability to function as a „factor of cohesion“ within the social order breaks down to the extent that capitalist globalisation and the logic of accumulation or commodification penetrates every aspect of life, so that „cohesion“ requires more and more social control.

Displacement and exclusion has accelerated since 2008. The system has abandoned broad sectors of humanity, who are caught in a deadly circuit of accumulation-exploitation-exclusion. The system does not even attempt to incorporate this surplus population, but rather tries to isolate and neutralise its real or potential rebellion, criminalising the poor and the dispossessed, with tendencies towards genocide in some cases.

… (full article)

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