On occasion two pieces of work appear dealing with the same subject in ways that are so at odds with each other that the shortcomings of one are glaringly obvious next to the strengths of the other. John Bellamy Foster has written a piece on neofascism in the Trump administration that is as insightful as it is brilliant. See https://monthlyreview.org/…/…/neofascism-in-the-white-house/
On the other hand, Neal Gabler has written a piece stating that instead of neofascism, the Trump regime is one of unremitting incompetence exercising a kind of political anarchism in its blundering efforts to dismantle big government. This piece is so wrong in so many places that it is hard to address them all.
For instance, check out this paragraph:
"And then, last Friday, with the demise of the Republican attempt to repeal Obamacare and replace it with… well, with a massive tax giveaway to the rich, we discovered — I discovered — that I was fearing the wrong thing. It’s not Trump’s ability to marshal the forces of repression that should terrify us. It’s his inability to marshal forces to conduct even the most basic governance. Trump really is a presidential Joker. He knows how to wreak havoc, but he doesn’t seem to know how to do, or seem to want to do, much else."
Really! Is Trump only wrecking havoc. Tell that to the immigrant families being split up, terrorized by the police; tell that to those who will suffer from the roll back in environmental protections; tell that to poor minorities who are terrified by Swat teams--the new robocops; tell that to people whose rights to privacy has just been sold to corporations. And, of course, should we ignore the white supremacists in power, the increased militarization of the state, the growing Antisemitism, the wrath being waged against the elderly and young people, the increase in attacks on those deemed un-American by fascist street thugs, and the dismantling of public goods and schools. This is far from a regime of incompetence simply wrecking havoc. As Noam Chomsky has pointed out, Trump's appointments and policies are too systematic and point to a merging of neoliberal, religious, and educational fundamentalisms that constitute a neo-fascist project.Most importantly, this neo-fascist fundamentalist project will condemn coming generations of young people to an age of environmental destruction and a survival of the fittest ethos that will most certainly destroy any hope they have for the future. Trump represents a form of neo-fascism on steroids and the damage is systemic and ongoing. Gabler is a liberal in search of a story line that leads him to think that attributing incompetence and a skewed notion of anarchy to Trump somehow mitigates the charge and effects of a neofascist regime. Pathetic. See: http://billmoyers.com/…/forget-fascism-anarchy-we-have-to-…/
There is a shadow of something colossal and menacing that even now is beginning to fall across the land. Call it the shadow of an oligarchy, if you will; it is the nearest I dare approximate it. What its nature may be I refuse to imagine. But what I wanted to say was this: You are in a perilous position.
- Jack London, The Iron Heel
Not only a new administration, but a new ideology has now taken up residence at the White House: neofascism. It resembles in certain ways the classical fascism of Italy and Germany in the 1920s and ’30s, but with historically distinct features specific to the political economy and culture of the United States in the opening decades of the twenty-first century. This neofascism characterizes, in my assessment, the president and his closest advisers, and some of the key figures in his cabinet. From a broader sociological perspective, it reflects the electoral bases, class constituencies and alignments, and racist, xenophobic nationalism that brought Donald Trump into office. Neofascist discourse and political practice are now evident every day in virulent attacks on the racially oppressed, immigrants, women, LBGTQ people, environmentalists, and workers. These have been accompanied by a sustained campaign to bring the judiciary, governmental employees, the military and intelligence agencies, and the press into line with this new ideology and political reality.
As the Gallup report pointedly observed:In a study [Richard F. Hamilton, ?] of perhaps the most infamous [nationalist] party, the geography of voting patterns reveal that the political supporters of Adolph Hitler’s National Socialist party were disproportionately Protestants, if living in a rural area, and those in lower-middle administrative occupations and owners of small businesses, if living in an urban area. Thus, neither the rich nor poor were especially inclined to support the Nazi Party, and even among Christians, religious identity mattered greatly.
Please continue this article here: https://monthlyreview.org/2017/04/01/neofascism-in-the-white-house/