FRAGMENTS ON FASCISM

Fascism is the merger of state and corporate power.

-Mussolini

Fascism is the power of finance capital itself.

-Communist International, 1935

In the 1970’s Foucault was asked to sign a petition against the recrudescence of West German “fascism”, and the wording of the phrase clearly concerned him. This encouraged him to research, most tellingly, not historical fascism, the beginning of which at that time was only a few decades ago in Europe, but historical Liberalism, which had a much longer history. Famously at around the same time, the neo-liberalism of the Chicago school of Milton Friedman met unrepentant fascism in the coup of Pinochet, and soon, all over dictatorships in Latin America. In a bizarre way the two governing models seemed linked, and also notably, linked with the USA, the primary world power. In our own time, this seems even more the case, since the growing picture in Greece is one of both official neo-liberalism supported by the state and the international community, the refusal of this doctrine by the population, and increasingly authoritarian measures from the state and the growth of the neo-Nazi party.

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Fascism has been much discussed within Greece, and presumably within Europe, with the murder of Fyssas. One thing all the discussions so far have missed, and a perspective which was contained in the Greek movement in the past texts of the group Flesh Machine, was the state application of counter-insurrection doctrines in the role of creating Golden Dawn. This is not the spontaneous nationalist movement of ex-soldiers, ruined petit-bourgeois and fringe politicians that was classical fascism in Italy and elsewhere, but rather the propagation of these views in the society by a fraction of the State (designated by the movement with the term para-state). So to counterpoise the too-strong radicalism after December, a spuriously independent extreme right was created by granting media support and territorial protection to Golden Dawn at Agios Panteleimonas, both to reinforce a tottering state with shows of fervent “citizen” obedience, and with the later goal in mind to better present the image of the State as a neutral mediator between the “two extremes”, about which the government has said so much recently. In another sense the idea still is to use and then discard fascism, as was the original plan of the German military aristocrats with the Nazis. However the interesting development is that this fundamental point of state propaganda and counter-insurrection doctrine, “the two extremes”, is basically not believed by most Greeks. Not only because of the all-too obvious collaboration between police and Nazis, ineptly covered up (proving correct the Anarcho- chant “cops, TV, neo-nazis/ all the bastards work together”) but also perhaps because the situation has the lack of sectarian grounding that allowed this doctrine to be somewhat successful elsewhere, for NATO at least, in pacifying Northern Ireland and to save face in exiting Iraq (here the two extremes are naturally present as religious divisions). In Italy in the 70’s the doctrine only worked as it was supported by the political thoughtlessness of hardline Marxism, both unconsciously on the streets and consciously by the establishment PCI trying to gain parliamentary power. These preconditions are lacking today, to the detriment of the doctrine.

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There are many terms to describe this new state phenomenon with which we are living. So, from the Greek movement we have modern totalitarianism and democratic dictatorship, elsewhere there is Debord’s integrated spectacle, Agamben’s biopolitical democracy and the state of exception, Negri and Hardt’s Empire, and always popular is the idea of neo-fascism, etc. The precise term is not so important (just as historically, Falangists, Fascists, and Nazis were all lumped together) but the development itself is of the utmost importance, and acknowledging it is equally important. For example with the question of armed struggle, it is getting increasingly impossible to see most of these actions as anything other than a new Resistance, and as justified by the circumstances. Those taken to prison for “terrorism” are not enemies of the people and democracy, but very clearly political prisoners of war, taken hostage by a repressive, corrupt, and delegitimised government run by finance capital and multinational corporations. The final import lies not in some intellectual qualification of a thing, but in the new ethical imperative of action that is being forged, and only Anarchy is doing this. It barely deserves mention, but for the clumsiness of their charade that some kind of legality and democracy remains in the current system, for their hopeless good faith in a bankrupt order, Syriza is only proving the final bankruptcy of Marxism in its impotence. So both the ERT occupation and Villa Amalias squat were lost, for the time being. But Anarchy knows how to defend itself, whereas Syriza held a parliamentary confidence vote that they were bound to lose, and about which no one cared. Incidentally we have gone back to the initial division at the end of the 19th century: Anarchists are self-organized and have no qualms about violence, Marxism is organized as a peaceful parliamentary party.

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Today what do we live in Greece? The government is an endless coalition government (European coalition governments are increasingly coming to resemble the Chinese politburo, just as this begins to reform itself). The government is totally dependent on foreign aid to keep functioning, the police are almost completely Nazified, foreigners are being sent in the tens of thousands to newly constructed concentration camps, radical movements are being repressed with ever-expanding exceptional laws, State austerity measures are reducing the population to want and misery, until very recently the government was openly working with a neo-Nazi gang and considering bringing them into government, etc&c. All these abhorrent things tell us, almost instinctively, that something is afoot, and yet to our eyes there is also the presence of a society still apparently normal, without curfews or Nazi flags on every street, having opposition parliamentary parties, various newspapers, and so on. It is clear that the strange and uneasy feeling of tyranny and oppression is there, while we lack the terms to describe it to our own satisfaction. If this is so, presumably it is because we are entering a new historical era, and the foremost of intellectual tasks, is merely to acknowledge this fact, and to begin the first tentatives of understanding the changes underway. This is certainly required by the times, because what we face is no longer the fascism of the past; if anything, the modern neoliberal state in times of austerity, of which Greece is the foremost example in the world, is an enhanced form of the prior fascism.

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