Culture Wars/Current Controversies

Zizek and Chomsky against anti-fascist hysteria

Read the original Italian version of this post here.

It’s good to see there are still some serious thinkers on the Left.

By di Roberto Vivaldelli

Zizek e Chomsky scaricano l'antifascismo: "Un feticcio"

The paranoia of recent times imposed by liberal public opinion is marking the political debate, from the United States to the Old Continent, including Italy.

From the controversy on fascist monuments to the recent demonstration in Como, our country too is mired in a surreal and artificial discussion about the specters of the twenty years and its heirs. But is there really the danger of a return to fascism or is it a hiatus mounted to art? If the progressives are deaf to any kind of criticism moved by the right, now they are two important intellectuals of the world left as the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek and the great American linguist Noam Chomsky to download the anti-fascists, with two articles published a few days ago distance in the British newspaper The Independent.

“Anti-fascism: the opium of the peoples”

For Zizek, the new “opium of the peoples” of Marxian memory is no longer religion but militant anti-fascism. “A new spectrum is pursuing progressive politics in Europe and the United States, the specter of fascism. Trump in the United States, Le Pen in France, Orban in Hungary – all are depicted as the new evil towards which we should combine all our strength. Every little doubt and reserve is immediately pointed out as a sign of secret collaboration with fascism,” observes the Marxist philosopher. Anti-fascism is therefore nothing more than an instrumentally agitated fetish to channel consensus against the enemy: “The demonic image of a fascist threat clearly serves as a new political fetish; fetish in the Freudian sense of the term, that is a fascinating image whose function is to obscure the true antagonism, “says Zizek.

The Zizek philosopher:

“The anti-fascist panic kills hope According to the Slovenian philosopher, in fact, the “figure of the fascist” is functional “to hide the stalemate situations at the base of our crisis”. A strategy aimed at compacting the progressive front: “When I called attention to how parts of the alt-right were mobilizing the working class issues neglected by the liberal left, I was, as expected, immediately accused of invoking a coalition between the left radical and fascist right, which I have never done “, notes the philosopher. The sad prospect that awaits us, according to Zizek, “is that of a future in which, every four years, we will be thrown into a panic, scared by some form of neo-fascist danger, and in this way blackmailed to express our vote for the candidate civilized in meaningless elections. […] The obscenity of the situation is breath-taking: global capitalism now presents itself as the last protection against fascism, and if you try to point it out you are accused of complicity. Today’s anti-Fascist panic does not bring hope, it kills it “.

Chomsky: “Fascism has nothing to do with today’s right”

Nomm Chomsky’s criticism of anti-fascists is equally powerful. Professor emeritus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology argues that today’s anti-fascist movement can not be compared to those of the past. In short, woe to confuse the current state of alt-right in the United States with the growth of fascism in Europe at the beginning of the twentieth century. “The differences are radical,” says Chomsky, “in the 1930s, the Nazis ruled Germany, Fascism had been established for years in Italy and there were powerful fascist movements elsewhere. Today there are many threatening developments, but nothing comparable. In particular, in the United States it is certainly not by chance that the working class has approached the extreme right.” According to the professor, “the antifa are a gift to the extreme right and to the repression of the American state”.

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