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Is fascism an inevitable consequence of unfettered capitalism?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by sparkleghirl, Oct 13, 2018.

  1. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Coming from a late night discussion on a Friday after a long week

    Was Bertolt Brecht right?

    But how can anyone tell the truth about Fascism, unless he is willing to speak out against capitalism, which brings it forth? What will be the practical results of such truth?

    Those who are against Fascism without being against capitalism, who lament over the barbarism that comes out of barbarism, are like people who wish to eat their veal without slaughtering the calf. They are willing to eat the calf, but they dislike the sight of blood. They are easily satisfied if the butcher washes his hands before weighing the meat. They are not against the property relations which engender barbarism; they are only against barbarism itself. They raise their voices against barbarism, and they do so in countries where precisely the same property relations prevail, but where the butchers wash their hands before weighing the meat.


    MAGAorMIGA and slingshotsally like this.
  2. NoseyMatronType

    NoseyMatronType Star commenter

    Arundhati Roy has written about how potentially subversive authors get co-opted into the mainstream as part of a neoliberal project in which everything gets commodified. See her Capitalism: a Love Story.

    Paul Verhaeghe regards neoliberalism as another incarnation of Social Darwinism (untrammelled free market competition is just as it draws on our natural instinct to be competitive). So it is to be set alongside its earlier incarnations as communism and fascism, and maybe also the philosophy of Ayn Rand that has been so influential in the USA. For more on this, see his excellent What About Me? The Struggle for Identity in a Market Society.

    After 2008, there was talk of a 'crisis of capitalism'. But there has - thus far - been no truly significant political challenge to it, and those who turn to Marx these days are seen as deluded. That's no surprise, given how unspeakably immoral the societies brought forth in his name have been.

    Maybe in this sort of situation, especially one in which political correctness has taken hold (a necessary move to create the impression that neoliberalism* is founded on meritocratic principles), something rather peculiar happens: the alt-right starts to look like the only radical alternative to the dominant culture.

    The appeal of demagogic, very right-wing 'strong' leaders (characters like Trump, Orban, Farage, Le Pen and others) might also be a consequence They are examples of what happens when some people think the solution is the return of a strong authority figure who keeps everyone and everything in their rightful place, in other words, a cure that is worse than the disease because it contains within itself a return to self-imposed disempowerment.

    These guys do not share the neoliberal conception of a neutral state and a pluralistic society where the state's task is merely to ensure that everyone is able to pursue his or her conception of the good. So they are arguably filling a vacuum.

    Also set against this (the Godless, materialistic West) is the narrative of Islamofascism. That's rather scuppered Francis Fukuyama's claim that with the end of the Cold War, the world had finally settled on the model for utopia: liberal democracy combined with hypercapitalism.

    So yes, maybe Brecht was right. But climate change should eventually sort this out in one way or another, so everything will turn out alright in the end. Not.

    *Let's also not forget that neoliberalism also advocates the free movement of labour, thus giving rise to all those discussions about immigration that go on ad nauseam on here and that also fuel alt-right rhetoric.

    kibosh, chelsea2 and sparkleghirl like this.
  3. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Ask anyone who lived in Stalin's state-controlled Soviet Union, or Mao's state-controlled China, or...

    I'm not sure private ownership is the inevitable precursor to fascism.
  4. artboyusa

    artboyusa Star commenter

    Some people might regard Brecht as a repugnant, dictator licking little insect but as As Auden pointed out, Brecht was a fascinating man. As anyone who was a German Communist who looked to the capitalist world to sponsor and defend him, who lived in East Germany but kept his money in a Swiss bank and as a lifelong atheist who wanted a priest at his deathbed just in case would have to be fascinating.
    lanokia likes this.
  5. MustaphaMondeo

    MustaphaMondeo Occasional commenter

    Not private ownership, maybe, but inequality yes.
    NoseyMatronType likes this.
  6. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    I think the focus on fascism, and even capitalism is probably incorrect.

    Perhaps it is better to consider whether totalitarianism (whether fascist, socialist revolutionary or ararchist) is the inevitable result of gross societal inequality - but of course the dilemma of totalitarianism is that it never changes equality - just makes different elites top dog.

    Sorry posted before finished - now edited
  7. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    Saw Aaron Banks interviewed on C4 news last night. He is funding campaigns to unseat Tory MPs who do not back Brexit such as Anna Soubry. He has his money safe from scrutiny in the Isle of Man and lots of links to Russia. Our democracy is rapidly receding.
    sparkleghirl and magic surf bus like this.
  8. NoseyMatronType

    NoseyMatronType Star commenter

    I am not interested in an ‘all animals are equal’ type system.

    Capitalism is fine by me.

    But hypercapitalism isn’t. And that’s what is producing the rising levels of inequality in societies where it is the dominant macroeconomic narrative.
  9. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Indeed. I refer once again to Shumpeter's theory of creative destruction that implied that the scale of transactions so to speak will be their own destruction. (Just as large unwieldy inefficient companies fail I guess). Thus as hyper Capitalism lets rip without adequate regulation it too can fail, in our case with the help of improved economic and environmental education as well as consumer choice... we can choose not to use Amazon and Starbucks for example if the information about them is available... as it is now due to tech innovation by other companies and if en masse we care... otherwise all is as it should be given our choices and freedoms to choose.

    All that glitters isn't gold and all that appears fatalistic is not lost.
    sparkleghirl and colpee like this.
  10. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    That's the reverse question though.
    Is the consequence inevitable or could there have been a better outcome to capitalism? Was it always going to end this way?
  11. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Yes. I like the term hyper better than unfettered.

    Is it the inequality that's inevitable then and the inequality which produces a climate in which fascism inevitably thrives?
  12. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    sparkleghirl and artboyusa like this.
  13. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Big fish eat little fish.
  14. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Actually maybe I'm being unfair...

    Does the thread mean that the unfettered capitalism of the USA pre-Wall Street Crash led to fascism and therefore this is a call for greater regulation of capitalism... or is it arguing that unfettered capitalism in all instances leads to fascism?

    Arguably the 2008 crash led to Obama [in part] and he was NOT fascist [got to emphasise that].
    Capitalism in pre-Soviet Russia was very weak but Oligarchic aristocracy was strong and so fuelled revolutionary totalitarian socialism.

    How is the argument being laid out?
  15. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    If I recall my undergraduate Politics correctly, Marx believed that capitalism was an inevitable stage of economic/historic development that contained the seeds of its own destruction, because it alienated the workers from the full fruits of their labours. The proletarian revolution (when it came) would be followed by a period of adjustment to socialism that he called 'the dictatorship of the proletariat'. So, according to the man himself, there'd be some sort of post-revolutionary dictatorship after capitalism was overthrown. In that respect, capitalism would inevitably lead to dictatorship. All Lenin did was refuse to wait for history to take its course (as Marx predicted) and decided to spark the revolution himself.

    Then again, it was a long time ago and maybe I'm getting simplistic in my old age :)
    sparkleghirl likes this.
  16. Jonntyboy

    Jonntyboy Lead commenter

    :) Good. That should help balance out the billions that Soros and others, also with links to foreign states, are putting into campaigns to stop Brexit then.

    Our democracy has been receding since the EEC became the EU and unelected and virtually unaccountable bureacrats increased their power, so maybe after Brexit it will begin to approach again...[/QUOTE]
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
  17. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Thank you all for your considered replies, lots of food for thought here and some ideas for more reading/browsing.

    It's nice to see a thread stay on topic and with helpful contributions rather than descending into bickering and sniping.
  18. Jonntyboy

    Jonntyboy Lead commenter

    Seconded, sparkleghirl. The sniping and trolling was one of the main reasons that I stopped posting on here some years ago. It's good to be back and see some really interesting discussions with relevant and useful information often linked within them... though looking at a couple of other threads, not everyone seems to have got the message yet.
  19. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    I think you give too much credit to free-will there. The Hidden Persuaders don't make their money for nothing.
  20. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    And Alphas order betas about.

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