There’s one problem with being a leftwing Russia supporter. Almost all of the pro-Russia material written in English is coming from a rightwing – Republican Party – MAGA (the last in particular) POV. If someone can show me a great Substack about this war that is pro-Russia and on the Left, I’d love to join them.
There are some people on the Left who oppose this war. They’re called anti-imperialists. But most of them are not pro-Russia. It’s really tiresome having to wade through all this horrible pro-MAGA stuff. And if you write on forums, it’s all MAGA people on there, so you can’t really write anything pro-Left.
It’s also showing me how intellectually bankrupt and bereft most of the MAGA crowd.
Increasingly, they don’t even say they’re on the Right. And Trump has convinced most of them that the Republican Party is some populist, pro-worker, anti-corporate, anti-elite party! I guess people are pretty easy to fool. And you wonder why Nazis called themselves socialists and Mussolini recruited workers to be his Brownshirts?
There’s a lot of mileage to be had on the Right selling yourself as a man of the people, in favor of workers and the average guy (in particular the average family), anti-corporate, anti-elite (code: rich people). You get to fool all sorts of gullible people who ought to voting Left into voting for the Right. You get to run as an pro-worker, pro-average family, pro-corporate, pro-elite party while still being secretly an anti-worker, anti-average family, anti-corporate, anti-elite party.
Increasingly MAGA people are saying they are not on the Right! This makes sense in view of Trump’s rightwing populism, which often sells itself as not being on the Right.
They are also saying there’s no Left and Right anymore as those labels don’t make sense. Ok, so are any of these guys voting for the Left anytime soon? Didn’t think so.
And now I am starting to worry that my fellow Lefties were right when they said a typical fascist line is, “Let’s get rid of Left and Right and move beyond all of that.” I thought, “Oh you paranoid Lefties. Always seeing a fascist underneath everyone’s bed.”
But now here we are, with this MAGA movement and an authoritarian Right that is more anti-democratic than any US party has ever been, plotting to throw out democratic rule to keep themselves in power in perpetuity, probably because they see the writing on the wall that demographics increasingly predict their doom, and…it’s announcing that it’s moving beyond Right and Left. Hmmm. Smells fishy.
Along with that, we have Joe Biden’s party, which, sorry to say, is the most leftwing Democratic Party in recent memory. I say that’s sorry because Biden isn’t all that leftwing. But he’s still better than we’ve had in four decades. Pathetic!
We have to go all the way back to the 1970’s to find a Democratic Party this far left.
You might be interested to note that the move of the Democratic Party to the Right actually been with the McGovern debacle. Ok, they ran someone too far to the Left. But I’m still a McGovern Democrat!
So the party said the only future was to go rightwing. Jimmy Carter was actually the first of these Right-leaning Democrats. His supporters were called “Atari Democrats” after the popular car of the time. They’re like Hillary or Clinton Democrats of yore. The loss to Reagan and then the second loss of the Mondale debacle simply accelerated this movement.
If you have a left party steering hard to the Right over 40 years, sooner or later, it’s got to end. You’ve changed society to the Right so much that you have too many angry Democrats and furthermore, as a Marxist would say, you’ve simply moved society so far to the Right that a leftwing backlash in the form of class war is simply inevitably, nearly a law of politics. So this DNC project was doomed from the start.
So let’s see. A Democratic Party more left than we’ve seen in 40+ years. A Democratic Party that is demographically trending towards a permanent majority of their own (democratic this time) and threatening to make the Republican Party a permanent minority party. What does that add up to for the Right?
Sounds like a “serious threat from the Left,” correct?
The Republicans could always move left, but that’s not in their genes. They’re ideologues.
So what do we have? A Republican Party and US Right sensing a serious threat of extinction via a resurgent radicalized Left.
Remember how I’ve said fascism rises in the capitalist class or the Right when there is a significant threat from the Left. This actually comes from Trotsky’s writings on fascism from ~1930. It’s some of the finest work ever written on fascism. He really spells it out and hits it on the head, including its menacing appeal to the average guy in the streets. In fact, Trotsky states in that essay that your typical fascist supporter is simply the average man of the streets.
Los descamisados or the shirtless ones of Peronist fame, although Peron was probably not really a fascist. He was a bit too far Left for that. But Peronism is very odd in that there are left and even communist Peronists, center Peronists and rightwing, even fascist Peronists. Of course the commie Peronists and the fash Peronists spent a good deal of their time killing each other.
Fascism is basically a last ditch attempt to save capitalism and the privileges, money, and power of those who wield it against a menacing Left. The wealthy and business would literally rather have a fascist dictatorship that lets them keep their money and stuff than risk democracy to a threat to their status, power, and wealth.
And every time there’s a choice between fascism and the threat from the Left, the capitalists always choose fascism. That’s why the US never met a fascist government or rightwing dictatorship it didn’t love to bits, with the odd except of the World War 2 years, which were interesting in that they were the first and only time in US history that the US has ever fought fascism or rightwing authoritarianism. In previous years and afterwards, the US has supported every fascist and rightwing authoritarian state out there.
In fact that was our preferred model for Latin America, certainly in the pre-war years but also extending into the postwar era when the model began to get its inevitable (as a Marxist would say) class war reaction in the form of Left revolutions, armed and unarmed. We supported the fascist murderers of Latin America from 1945-to the present, although it started winding down from 1990-95.
But it continued on in Colombia, Haiti, and Peru, and with the rise of the Left in Nicaragua and Venezuela, a powerful rightwing fascist opposition rose, though they were not armed to a contra degree yet. Of course the US supported the death squad states of three countries above and the violent Left in Venezuela and Nicaragua and this support has been ongoing.
That’s when we’ve not been fomenting rightwing/fascist coups of various types – legislative in Brazil and Paraguay with a failed attempt in Venezuela, electoral in Bolivia and Ecuador, and military in Haiti and Honduras.
Why does the US and now the West love fascism and rightwing authoritarianism so much?
Because the states in the West are capitalist countries, and when push comes to shove, capitalists always pick fascist dictatorship and terror over leftwing democracy.
In addition, those states are good for business while the authoritarian model prevents any pesky left movement from arising due to the menace of a democracy. Democracy’s just not worth the risk!
Also the idea of moving beyond Right and Left rather appealed to me too, as I’m ~80% Left and 20% Right. I’ll still never vote Republican but I’d be wrong if I said they didn’t have the right line some things, especially cultural issues, on which the Left has gone completely nuts of late.
In addition, the woke Cultural Left is as anti-science as we accuse the MAGA people of being. That’s because woke arguments are mostly just lies. Once you hold the light of reason up to them, they fade from sight like Dracula retreating from a wielded cross. So the Woke Left and the MAGA people both hate science, mostly for coming up with the wrong uncomfortable truths.
So as we can see here, if we take the serious threat from the left to the privileges of business and the wealthy, the denial of the Right that it is even rightwing, the increasing calls to move beyond left and right, the rise of a truly scary rightwing populism, the rise of (Shall I say it?) antisemitism and attacks on women’s rights (fascists always attack women’s rights), increasing attacks on minorities in projects that are literally trying to keep them from voting or their votes from mattering, along with a Republican Party committed to the destruction of the last ramparts of our democracy in their desire for a permanent rightwing authoritarian state, what do we have?
We have fascism. MAGA is fascist. Period. How can you deny it?
I would not necessarily say the Republican Party itself is fascist (though it’s starting to look that way) but in the MAGA crowd, we definitely have what can only be a particularly American form of fascism. Now this will be fairly moderate and hardly murderous or even violent as far as fascists go, akin to a mild rightwing authoritarian state in Latin America, but you’ve a choice between democracy and authoritarianism, and this falls into the latter category.
And all rightwing authoritarian states (especially the one the Republicans have in mind), mild or not, violent or not, are arguably fascist governments.