Thursday, June 2, 2016

George Friedman — In EU and US, nationalism is rising, not fascism


George Friedman argues that nationalist leaders and movements in Europe and the US are not fascistic but nationalistic (and some are xenophobic, although Friedman does not mention this). I think this is correct. "Fascism" is being used as a convenient club against political opponents owing to superficial similarities, just as socialists and even social democrats are often tarred with being "communists."
Nationalism is the core of the Enlightenment’s notion of liberal democracy. It asserts that the multinational dynasties that ruled autocratically denied basic human rights. Among these was the right to national self-determination and the right of citizens to decide what was in the national interest. The Enlightenment feared tyranny and saw the multinational empires dominating Europe as the essence of tyranny. Destroying them meant replacing them with nation-states. The American and French revolutions were both nationalist risings, as were the nationalist risings that swept Europe in 1848. Liberal revolutions were by definitions nationalist because they were risings against multinational empires.
Now the American Empire is similarly asserting itself, along with its minions and cronies in vassal states, with the predictable result that push back is rising as conditions deteriorate for more and more people under the boot. This opposition to the boot on the throat is being mischaracterized as "fascism" by the empire's propaganda machine.

EurActiv
In EU and US, nationalism is rising, not fascism
George Friedman, Stratfor
ht Don Quijones at Raging Bull-Shit


16 comments:

Matt Franko said...

"and some are xenophobic"

Some technical explanation for the "xenophobia!" people:

When you are low on gas in the car and you pull in to fill it up... you put the dispenser in and after a while, you can notice the dispenser shuts off automatically...

What is happening there is that all of a sudden, and the amount of time can be 'modeled' stochastically, "the tank has become the xenophobia!" to the gasoline... and that's why it shuts off...

Tom Hickey said...

Not a good analogy, Matt. The chief characteristic of xenophobia is dislike of otherness. The politically correct attitude is that "they are taking our jobs," which is partially true. But many are also opposed to difference that dilutes the local purity. Many white people in white nations or regions don't want to deal with more than the taken non-whites. And it is not just white people, either. In the US, the country is dominated by whites, but there are similar phenomena in non-white dominant societies, too. Apprehension of difference as a threat and and promotion of sameness as a carrier of DNA are biologically inherited evolutionary traits. It's a strategy.

Ignacio said...

Tom, but why people who used to like "others" are converted to the camp of disliking "others"... Is induced material scarcity somewhere, via degraded employment or unemployment who 'converts' people to the other camp IMO.

Material conditions can shape human relationships, if we live in a surplus society and people can blend seamlessly xenophobic attitudes diminish over time, not the other way around. I'm not trying to simplify profound cultural shocks and frictions that may happen, but assimilation and miscegenation (had to search the translation heh) happen.

However if material conditions create the space for conflict then xonophobia happens. The economy matters in all this...

Matt Franko said...

"The economy matters in all this..."

No getting around this lets face it ... its important... imo its often discounted by religious types as "materialism" (this is like current Pope saying everybody should be "poor", etc ) but usually that is accompanied by an appeal for munnie "charity" contributions to the religion institutions to then use to hold over the deficit people's heads to get them to join the religion .... no thanks...

the "xenophobia!" is a symptom/tip-off....

Ignacio said...

We are animals, meaning that we have material needs.

Then there is "consumerism", which is "other" thing IMO, result of the current dynamics where we haven't acknowledged that is up to us to rule ourselves, instead of chaos. There quite a few studies that point that material conditions only matter to a point, for most (the huge majority) of the population. Then there is pathological behaviour, which is dysfunctional, people who fall under this trend are not happy, are often miserable and unworthy of human relations with their betters. Pathological behaviour can be social too, or have as a source social behaviour and issues. Take for example how much of that behaviour is the result of the effort to show off 'social status'.

So people who are worries about our 'spiritual' well-being shouldn't worry they are going to get out of work, because when the material conditions are covered, that's all that matters. But removing the material conditions of induced or real material scarcity would solve a hell of a lot of problems.

Just imagine how different the world would be if we could have worldwide JG that guaranteed enough income for all families to have proper shelter, education, food, etc. That would remove the daily struggle which induce much of our social ills.

The ideology of "throw others under the bus" wouldn't be sustainable any more, because it's a top-down behaviour that is only possible because the threat to survival or struggle to the 'lessers', and with it much stupidity about 'social status', an with it 'materialism' would be gone.


Is very dangerous to dismiss economics as a cause to many social behaviours, and if we had to get any lessons from old economic thought it should be this. Curiously neoclassical economics tries to dismiss the importance of material conditions and relations on behaviours, wonder why...

Tom Hickey said...

Tom, but why people who used to like "others" are converted to the camp of disliking "others"... Is induced material scarcity somewhere, via degraded employment or unemployment who 'converts' people to the other camp IMO.

Some people are bigoted culturally, others are less so, and a very few are not, since universality is dominant. Those who are bigoted can't tolerate the slightest amount of difference. Others have more or less flexible limited but those who are not sufficiently universal have some limits at they fell overwhelmed and threatened by difference. This depends on a number of factors and nationalism is only one of them, but for many it is a strong factor in making this determination.

The determination is not wholly rational but largely emotional and subliminal. Many many people don't realize that they are prejudiced, but they are.

I don't exclude myself from this either. The ancient Greeks symbolized this in the conflict between the Apollonian and chthonic forces foundational to culture and personality. We are all barbarians that have just been civilized to some degree, but the ancient tribal influences of kinship is still strong and it transfers to nation, which was originally an aggregation of interrelated tribes by blood relations.

Bob said...

We've come a long way from the days when all the ills of the world could be placed on a goat, which was then put to death.

Six said...

Xenophobia - fear of foreigners or strangers.

Only crazy people believe it has anything to do with the mechanism that shuts off the gas pump when your gas tank is full.

Matt Franko said...

" mechanism that shuts off the gas pump"

What is this strange "mechanism" thing you speak of here?!?!?

Andrew Anderson said...

It's our current money and credit system that is fascist if fascism is defined as socialism for the rich.

Matt Franko said...

Hey maybe all the "we're out of money!" morons are all just the "xenophobia!" against the intelligent?

Matt Franko said...

"Xenophobia - fear of foreigners or strangers."

Well intelligence would be foreign to morons... intelligence might seem strange to morons too... maybe there really is something to all this "xenophobia!" craze after all hmmmmm....

Andrew Anderson said...

Do you see a man wise in his own sight? ... Proverbs 26:12

jrbarch said...

It’s not $money (human energy, directed towards manipulating the material atoms) that is the root of all evil – it is ’Love of $money is the root of all evil’.

Why that should be so each has to work out for them. For me, it is because within each human consciousness, there is something that is divine (an universal energy). So, energy spiralling down, energy resting between day and night, energy spiralling upwards. Involution, then evolution. It’s all energy, but of different quality at different turns in the spiral; and evolution is directional. Even the sub-atomic particles switch in and out from some energy state. IDDI.

It’s not a large step for scientists to now postulate that in the same way the tree and an infinite number of trees exist in the seed, in the ‘seed of this quantum energy state’ exists the material universe. Ergo, we should never confuse the vehicle of ‘Life’ with ‘Life’ itself (the teapot with the tea). That in the end is what makes us brothers and sisters – nothing else. You can look at the differences or you can look at the similarities – day and night look different out on the galactic rim. Human beings have forgotten they are one family, out of Africa, trying to escape their parents probably.

Kaivey said...

I get a bit xenophobic about skinheads.

Matt Franko said...

", trying to escape their parents probably."

That's the account of Cain in Genesis ...