In a collection of essays edited by Scott Crow, who is somewhat well-known in left-wing “anarchist” circles, one “J. Clark” weighs in against yours truly. How awful that some people might prefer a way of life other than the one J. Clark has chosen for them.
It is clear from the writings of these “anti-fascist” people that what they object to is not “fascism” under any reasonable, serious, or historically accurate definition of fascism. Instead, they either redefine “fascism” to mean any set of ideas they find objectionable, or portray “fascism” as some kind of nebulous, “vast right-wing conspiracy” that functions in the same way as shape-shifter characters of the kind found in science fiction.
The dictionary definition of fascism would be something like the following definition offered by Wikipedia:
Fascism is a form of radical authoritarian nationalism, characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and control of industry and commerce that came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe. The first fascist movements emerged in Italy during World War I before it spread to other European countries. Opposed to liberalism, Marxism and anarchism, fascism is usually placed on the far-right within the traditional left–right spectrum.
Fascists believe that liberal democracy is obsolete and they regard the complete mobilization of society under a totalitarian one-party state as necessary to prepare a nation for armed conflict and to respond effectively to economic difficulties. Such a state is led by a strong leader—such as a dictator and a martial government composed of the members of the governing fascist party—to forge national unity and maintain a stable and orderly society. Fascism rejects assertions that violence is automatically negative in nature and views political violence, war and imperialism as means that can achieve national rejuvenation. Fascists advocate a mixed economy, with the principal goal of achieving autarky through protectionist and interventionist economic policies.
Since the end of World War II in 1945, few parties have openly described themselves as fascist and the term is instead now usually used pejoratively by political opponents. The descriptions neo-fascist or post-fascist are sometimes applied more formally to describe parties of the far-right with ideologies similar to, or rooted in, 20th century fascist movements.
In other words, actual fascism is an ideology that favors a right-wing dictatorship, under a centralized nationalist regime, that maintains a state-directed economy and aggressive militarism. None of this has anything to do with groups that favor decentralizing government to the county level, forming citizen militias, occupying land controlled by the federal government, believing in traditional American political theory found in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, favoring traditional forms of out-group exclusion (“racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, anti-feminism”), believing in some kind of Christianity, opposing leftist cultural norms, preferring 1950s-model cultural values, or wishing to form ethnically exclusionary enclaves. It’s certainly possible to object to these things on other grounds, but they have nothing to do with “fascism” per se.
While the present US government is certainly not “fascist,” the US regime certainly displays characteristics that are much closer to the actual definition of historic fascism than any of the groups described by “J. Clark” is the above pages from Scott Crow’s compilation, in the sense of maintaining an authoritarian central government that colludes with big capital, maintaining a massive military industrial complex and police state, while engaging in persistent military aggression (and the US government displayed all of these characteristics long before Donald Trump became President). However, our present day “anti-fascists” would have us believe that, for example, the antics of Cliven Bundy are much more threatening that the actions of the actual US regime/ruling class/power elite. It’s also interesting that “J. Clark” discusses the dangers of “using hierarchical means to supposedly achieve non-hierarchical ends” while at the same time apparently refraining from criticizing the neo-Communist presence in antifa, or the Stalinist-like mendacity, duplicity, and persecutory zeal of the SJW types.
One thing that seems to gall these people the most about my own work is my recognition of the importance of the insights of social psychology, including the vulnerability of most people to such factors as cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, groupthink, the promptings of authority figures perceived as legitimate, plausibility structures, projection, herd mentality, brainwashing, political psychology, moral psychology, crowd psychology, personality theory and genopolitics, along with the insights of elite theory, such as the 80/20 principle, “iron law of oligarchy,” Sorelian mythology, the circulation of elites, “new class” theory, and Weberian insights into the nature of authority and social stratification. These ideas do not fit with the implicitly Rousseauan view of human nature that these people subscribe to, and so they choose to simply ignore such insights and lambast those such as myself who point out their necessity and utility. However, facts and evidence do not retreat simply because some prefer to wish them away.
The fact that these people react with hysteria to fringe right-wing groups that are totally lacking in influence, while treating the actual state as merely a secondary matter (and only when a Republican is President) and ignoring authoritarian and totalitarian leftist tendencies within their own rants, is indicative of their complete lack of serious, and their worthlessness as a genuine revolutionary movement or even opposition movement.