Author Topic: American far right isn't fascist, it's libertarian  (Read 966 times)

marshwiggle

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American far right isn't fascist, it's libertarian
« on: January 12, 2022, 06:16:10 AM »
The following question  got me thinking.

The Republicans have Fascists among them. Yet people don't say that makes them unelectable.

It's fine for a party to include a wide range of opinion.

I am curious as to why in the US, democratic socialism is more scary than fascism.

Someone said that "wokeness" is a term people on the right use for "anything I don't like". I would argue that "fascist" is a term that people on the left use for "anything I don't like"

From Wikipedia:
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Fascism is a form of far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society and the economy that rose to prominence in early 20th-century Europe.

The capital hill rioters and so on are definitely not in favour of government control.

By contrast:
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Libertarianism is a political philosophy that upholds liberty as a core principle. Libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and political freedom, emphasizing free association, freedom of choice, individualism and voluntary association.

That's much more like it.

Contrasting the US to Russia, for example, shows the latter has much more history of invasion of neighbouring countries (Ukraine, etc.), while the US hasn't even invaded Canada in over 200 years. In fact, the US has a history of isolationism. Trump chose to LEAVE Afghanistan. (The US does have a history of covert operations and so on to assert influence in other countries, but that's exactly why it doesn't fit the "fascist" label.)

The right doesn't typically increase police budgets; as a rule, they favour cutting spending in pretty much every area possible. Again, this is more like libertarianism than fascism.

So, to answer the original question, people don't really fear fascism because it's not the way the right leans; if you want to warn people about something they think is realistic, talk about libertarianism. In other words, don't warn them about a powerful right-wing government, warn them about a minimal government where society becomes more like the wild west.

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mahagonny

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Re: American far right isn't fascist, it's libertarian
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2022, 07:56:20 AM »
Or maybe socialism is considered the term the right uses for anything they don't like. Socialism and fascism have something in common, don't they? Full-on fascism is rare (Nazi Germany) but the status quo is you can say something is fascist even when there is a trace of that quality, or movement in that direction, aspiration. Anti-racism as defined by Ibram X. Kendi certainly qualifies.

Sun_Worshiper

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Re: American far right isn't fascist, it's libertarian
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2022, 08:19:35 AM »
The far right it is hyper nationalistic and authoritarian, which are characteristics of fascism, but doesn't have a clear ideology in terms of its view of what the state should do or not do in the economy: Sometimes they hate regulation, like Obamacare and vaccine mandates, sometimes they love it like tariffs and crackdowns on tech companies.

The capital rioters don't seem to have had much of a collective ideology, except that they wanted Trump and they were brainwashed idiots (and that's being generous). They appeared perfectly happy to have a government controlled by Trump.

marshwiggle

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Re: American far right isn't fascist, it's libertarian
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2022, 08:31:12 AM »
The far right it is hyper nationalistic and authoritarian,

Nationalistic I'll grant you, but authoritarian? Can you give an example?

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which are characteristics of fascism, but doesn't have a clear ideology in terms of its view of what the state should do or not do in the economy: Sometimes they hate regulation, like Obamacare and vaccine mandates, sometimes they love it like tariffs and crackdowns on tech companies.
Tariffs are often popular with both sides. (There are news pieces in Canadian media after every American election on whether it's "better" or "worse" for Canada. Generally, Republicans tend to more for free trade, and Democrats are more protectionist. Trump was actually unusual in that.)

Crackdowns on tech companies are popular across the board.
Quote
The capital rioters don't seem to have had much of a collective ideology, except that they wanted Trump and they were brainwashed idiots (and that's being generous). They appeared perfectly happy to have a government controlled by Trump.

I'm not sure how much Trump "controlled" the government; his chaotic style had very little direction or sustained momentum. Even "build the wall" didn't really make much change to the status quo, from anything I've seen. And that was one of his biggest "goals".
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Istiblennius

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Re: American far right isn't fascist, it's libertarian
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2022, 08:32:27 AM »
No group is monolithic, so take this addition to the conversation for what it is worth, but if the far right were truly libertarian, Women's reproductive rights wouldn't be an issue for them. Certainly there are far right libertarians who are absolutely in favor of these rights, but many (not all) on the far right pick and choose the rights they claim as liberties to align with White Kristian Nationalism.

mamselle

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Re: American far right isn't fascist, it's libertarian
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2022, 08:35:57 AM »
The two meet in the middle.

The distinction is meaningless.

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Sun_Worshiper

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Re: American far right isn't fascist, it's libertarian
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2022, 08:44:49 AM »
The far right it is hyper nationalistic and authoritarian,

Nationalistic I'll grant you, but authoritarian? Can you give an example?

Quote
which are characteristics of fascism, but doesn't have a clear ideology in terms of its view of what the state should do or not do in the economy: Sometimes they hate regulation, like Obamacare and vaccine mandates, sometimes they love it like tariffs and crackdowns on tech companies.
Tariffs are often popular with both sides. (There are news pieces in Canadian media after every American election on whether it's "better" or "worse" for Canada. Generally, Republicans tend to more for free trade, and Democrats are more protectionist. Trump was actually unusual in that.)

Crackdowns on tech companies are popular across the board.
Quote
The capital rioters don't seem to have had much of a collective ideology, except that they wanted Trump and they were brainwashed idiots (and that's being generous). They appeared perfectly happy to have a government controlled by Trump.

I'm not sure how much Trump "controlled" the government; his chaotic style had very little direction or sustained momentum. Even "build the wall" didn't really make much change to the status quo, from anything I've seen. And that was one of his biggest "goals".

Example of authoritarianism: Are you serious? How about supporting Trump/Republican attacks on US democracy and efforts to overturn the results of a free and fair election.

Tariffs popular on both sides: Sure, but this thread is not about whether people on the left like tariffs too, it is about whether the far right is libertarian. Libertarians support free trade, the far right does not. There is an interesting conversation to be had about why the right has turned against free trade, but they have. (Same basic point is true about tech company regulations.)

Trump in control: Trump is an incompetent fool and his administration was a chaotic mess, but once again this thread is not about that. It is about whether the far right is libertarian or fascist, and their cult-like worship of Trump is not in line with libertarianism.


Parasaurolophus

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Re: American far right isn't fascist, it's libertarian
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2022, 08:47:07 AM »
The US right's roots are in libertarianism, sure, but they've strayed far, far from those roots.




Someone said that "wokeness" is a term people on the right use for "anything I don't like". I would argue that "fascist" is a term that people on the left use for "anything I don't like"

I don't think that's right at all. 'Neo-liberal' has become a mostly empty signifier of that sort--or was, for a while in the mid-aughts--but 'fascist' still seems  to be pretty narrowly applied. And if you consider the definitions proferred by scholars like Umberto Eco (for the classic view) or Jason Stanley (for the modern view), today's Republicans are well on their way. In particular, the cult of personality, hypernationalism, enemy "other", conspiracy-mongering, desire to destroy their political opponents, and total corporatism resonate hard.

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The capital hill rioters and so on are definitely not in favour of government control.

They're not in favour of Democrat government control. They want(ed) Republican government control.


Quote
Contrasting the US to Russia, for example, shows the latter has much more history of invasion of neighbouring countries (Ukraine, etc.), while the US hasn't even invaded Canada in over 200 years. In fact, the US has a history of isolationism. Trump chose to LEAVE Afghanistan. (The US does have a history of covert operations and so on to assert influence in other countries, but that's exactly why it doesn't fit the "fascist" label.)

The US has a history of isolationism, sure, but it hasn't been isolationist since its entry into the second world war (nor was it particularly isolationist for a while before it was, either). Those regime change operations to prevent the spread of communism/prop up friendly dictators are precisely the opposite of isolationism.

As for literal invasions in the relatively recent past, you might consider the Bay of Pigs Invasion (1961), Vietnam and Cambodia (1960s and 1970s), the civil war in the Dominican Republic (1965), Grenada (1983), the occupation of Haiti (1994-5), and Panama (1989-90), to say nothing of Iraq 1, Iraq 2, and Afghanistan.

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The right doesn't typically increase police budgets; as a rule, they favour cutting spending in pretty much every area possible. Again, this is more like libertarianism than fascism.

I dunno what work 'as a rule' is doing for you here, but it looks suspicious to me. The right certainly increases military budgets, and since 2001 has been instrumental in handing down military gear to police departments. The right likes to say it wants to cut spending everywhere, but in practice that's just not what happens. At the federal level, taxes are cut for a privileged few, and the spending that's reduced is on social services and not much else. Services are privatized, and the cost of those services becomes much greater.

Quote
So, to answer the original question, people don't really fear fascism because it's not the way the right leans; if you want to warn people about something they think is realistic, talk about libertarianism. In other words, don't warn them about a powerful right-wing government, warn them about a minimal government where society becomes more like the wild west.

What has people on the US left worried is the permanent entrenchment of minority right power. This is evident on the supreme court, in gerrymandered districts, and at the state level, too. If the left can't assume power even when it wins an outright majority, and if it can't govern even when it does manage to assume power, that's a serious problem. And it's a problem with right-wing government being too powerful, not too minimalist.
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marshwiggle

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Re: American far right isn't fascist, it's libertarian
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2022, 08:55:22 AM »

Example of authoritarianism: Are you serious? How about supporting Trump/Republican attacks on US democracy and efforts to overturn the results of a free and fair election.


But that's the point: There wasn't any sort of military support; it was totally a "wild west" style of riot. The police, National guard, etc. opposed the capital riots. And Trump's personal "call" to governors to "find more votes" had no sort of threat to back them up.

There were no military parades in the streets, like in Russia, or anything similar that I can think of.
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dismalist

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Re: American far right isn't fascist, it's libertarian
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2022, 09:05:28 AM »
Fascism is originally a left wing concept. Mussolini famously said All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state. He and fascism were all the rage with the American left during the 1930's. Italy became a model to the American left in a way similar to the Soviet Union. And, of course, Mussolini was a former socialist firebrand. He was a man of the left.

"Fascist" became a dirty word through the efforts of the Third International, fight the Nazi-Fascist menace.

Libertarians the extreme right or the right are not. They are conservatives, though American conservatives once had a libertarian streak. The extremes just wish to conserve more than anybody else. Actually, there are almost no libertarians, no live and let live, no tolerance. Rather, my way or the highway on the left and the right.
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Sun_Worshiper

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Re: American far right isn't fascist, it's libertarian
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2022, 09:21:25 AM »

Example of authoritarianism: Are you serious? How about supporting Trump/Republican attacks on US democracy and efforts to overturn the results of a free and fair election.


But that's the point: There wasn't any sort of military support; it was totally a "wild west" style of riot. The police, National guard, etc. opposed the capital riots. And Trump's personal "call" to governors to "find more votes" had no sort of threat to back them up.

There were no military parades in the streets, like in Russia, or anything similar that I can think of.

Respectfully, your post makes no sense. The right wing sought to overturn the results of a free and fair election. That is as authoritarian as it gets. Fortunately the system does not make it easy to deploy the military in support of that effort, but that does not make the effort any less authoritarian.

And, again, respectfully, your thread is just wrong. The far right is not libertarian. It has libertarian roots, to a large extent, but those roots have grown into a non-libertarian tree and the responses to your OP show that clearly. I would also not describe it as fascist, although it has some elements of fascism (hyper nationalism and authoritarian).

mahagonny

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Re: American far right isn't fascist, it's libertarian
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2022, 09:34:11 AM »
'White nationalism' is the left's new term for what used to be called patriotism, and what actually is.

ETA:

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Trump in control: Trump is an incompetent fool and his administration was a chaotic mess, but once again this thread is not about that. It is about whether the far right is libertarian or fascist, and their cult-like worship of Trump is not in line with libertarianism.

You can just state something like that? Please. He succeeded at things other people tried to do but couldn't, like getting nominated and then getting elected, getting some control of the southern border, having a highly rated television show, extendedly, running an economy through rough times without inflation, reducing unemployment. He has done difficult things.

« Last Edit: January 12, 2022, 09:40:44 AM by mahagonny »

Sun_Worshiper

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Re: American far right isn't fascist, it's libertarian
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2022, 09:40:30 AM »
'White nationalism' is the left's new term for what used to be called patriotism, and what actually is.

White nationalists are far from patriotic and their presence in the Republican party should make sensible conservatives sick.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2022, 09:42:53 AM by Sun_Worshiper »

mahagonny

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Re: American far right isn't fascist, it's libertarian
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2022, 09:43:17 AM »
'White nationalism' is the left's new term for what used to be called patriotism, and what actually is.

White nationalists are scum. They are not patriotic and their presence in the Republican party should make sensible conservatives sick.

That may all be true. I've never met any.

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If you consider yourself a "white nationalist patriot" then your loved ones should get you mental help to de-radicalize you.

I consider myself a centrist, politically, but some are calling everyone who doesn't repudiate the United States of America, wholesale, white nationalists. Including, probably, Larry Elder, Tim Scott, Kim Klacik.

Sun_Worshiper

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Re: American far right isn't fascist, it's libertarian
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2022, 09:46:53 AM »
I consider myself a centrist, politically,

Lmao, ok bro.