miércoles, 24 de mayo de 2017

Seven points to identify a Neofascism.

“There was only one Nazism,” he says, “the fascist game can be played in many forms, and the name of the game does not change.” 
Umberto Eco, Ur-Fascism

Fascism can be defined as a totalitarian and dictatorial movement or doctrine, to know its characteristics allows us to see beyond appearances, and to recognize if a movement or doctrine, is or not is fascist.

Umberto Eco, describes 14 common characteristics of all 'eternal fascism', I think these 14  characteristics deserve an update, so I will list each characteristics and give my own analysis on each one. Finally I will give my  seven points to detect the Neo-Fascism.

14 characteristics of fascism according to Umberto Eco (text "Eternal Fascism").

1) The cult of tradition. “One has only to look at the syllabus of every fascist movement to find the major traditionalist thinkers. The Nazi gnosis was nourished by traditionalist, syncretistic, occult elements.”

2) The rejection of modernism. “The Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, is seen as the beginning of modern depravity. In this sense Ur-Fascism can be defined as irrationalism.”

3) The cult of action for action’s sake. “Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, any previous reflection. Thinking is a form of emasculation.”

4) Disagreement is treason. “The critical spirit makes distinctions, and to distinguish is a sign of modernism. In modern culture the scientific community praises disagreement as a way to improve knowledge.”

5) Fear of difference. “The first appeal of a fascist or prematurely fascist movement is an appeal against the intruders. Thus Ur-Fascism is racist by definition.”

6) Appeal to social frustration. “One of the most typical features of the historical fascism was the appeal to a frustrated middle class, a class suffering from an economic crisis or feelings of political humiliation, and frightened by the pressure of lower social groups.”

7) The obsession with a plot. “The followers must feel besieged. The easiest way to solve the plot is the appeal to xenophobia.”

8) The enemy is both strong and weak. “By a continuous shifting of rhetorical focus, the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak.”

9) Pacifism is trafficking with the enemy. “For Ur-Fascism there is no struggle for life but, rather, life is lived for struggle.”

10) Contempt for the weak. “Elitism is a typical aspect of any reactionary ideology.”

11)Everybody is educated to become a hero. “In Ur-Fascist ideology, heroism is the norm. This cult of heroism is strictly linked with the cult of death.”

12) Machismo and weaponry. “Machismo implies both disdain for women and intolerance and condemnation of nonstandard sexual habits, from chastity to homosexuality.”

13) Selective populism. “There is in our future a TV or Internet populism, in which the emotional response of a selected group of citizens can be presented and accepted as the Voice of the People.”

14) Ur-Fascism speaks Newspeak. “All the Nazi or Fascist schoolbooks made use of an impoverished vocabulary, and an elementary syntax, in order to limit the instruments for complex and critical reasoning.”

Personal opinion about:  The 14 common characteristics of all 'eternal fascism'

1. Cult of tradition:

On this point I understand that any "ism", is based in an iron doctrine and normative postulates that are not allow to be revised. Even if movement is born today, that content "instantly" becomes dogmatic.

For a neo-fascist to revise the traditional content is to act against themself and their movement. The basis of their "ism" is their new religion.

2. Rejection of modernism: "Ur-Fascism can be defined as irrationalism."

This point is the necessary counterpart of the cult of tradition, on the one hand it embraces "tradition" and rejects "modernism". Today we have to redefine these concepts, I opt for a more general definition. The "modern" is anything that does not fit the idea of the "tradition".

The "modern" may be something historically ancient, it is simply what today for a group stands in opposition to their new tradition.

3. Cult of action by action. "Thinking is a form of castration. That is why culture is suspicious insofar as it is identified with critical attitudes."

Action without reflection is a characteristic of the "herd", the directed mass. A multitudinous mobilization in which the flags are shaken, a slogan is sung, does not necessarily imply reflection of the participants, sometimes it is moved by a collective feeling without reflection. (Example: Marching moved by emotion, without thinking about what interests are involved in the march).

4. Rejection of critical thinking. The critical spirit operates distinctions, and distinguishing is a sign of modernity. For Ur-Fascism, disagreement is treason.

There is no capacity for self-analysis. Nor of analysis of extraneous arguments, a genuine capacity for analysis implies the use of thought with criteria and coherence.
Example: In an attempt to dialogue, no arguments are heard or analyzed.

5. Fear of difference. The first call of a fascist, or prematurely fascist, movement is against intruders. Ur-Fascism is, therefore, racist by definition.

It is more than racist, fascism uses the bipolar logic friend / enemy, if you are not with the movement, you are INTRUDER, using the racist term reduces the field of analysis.

Equality and Difference is a social construction, once established I have the criteria of belonging and exclusion, whether as race, class, gender, etc. A fascist does not respect the difference, example: "heterosexual whites are not allow".

6. Appeal to the frustrated middle classes. In our time fascism will find its audience in this new majority.

In the history of mankind power was always in a few hands, disguised as majorities, the new tyrannies are the tyrannies of the minorities that reach power.

Fascism appeals to emotion to silence the thought, the emotion is exalted. It appeals to frustration and victimization. Fascist movements appeal to resentment, bitterness, hatred and revenge.

7. Nationalism and xenophobia. Obsession with the plot.

The idea of identity as a whole is exalted by building an enemy. There is a plan, a conspiracy against our group, a systematic plan that must be destroyed along with the enemy.
 "Down with this system," but what does the new system imply?

8. Envy and fear of the "enemy".

Appealing to negative emotions implies assuming a position of victim and inferiority, which generates a longing to occupy the place of the "enemy" the place of the perpetrator.

Hate and Fear for the enemy, and at the same time, envy for the privilege that is understood that the enemy holds.

There is no evolution in the paradigm, the victim / perpetrator relationship persists.

9. Principle of permanent war, antipacifism.

The fascist is in a constant struggle, to be at war is his identity, to pose peace implies, a peace agreement, an agreement involves listening to the other, understanding the needs at stake and concord, all this is opposed to fascist logic.

10. Elitism, contempt for the weak.

The Fascist, generates a class and by exclusion despises the rest to reinforce their identity. Elitism can be, my musical group or sports club, "we are better than you".

Thus the fascist empowers himself and condemns the other.

11. Heroism, cult of death.

The identity of the martyr, the sacrifice for the cause, the intellectual kamikaze. Loyalty to the struggle, to the movement. The individual militates as a soldier and not as a citizen.

12. Transfer of the will to power to sexual matters. "Machismo", hate for nonconformist sex. Transfer of sex to the game of weapons.

I disagree with the use of the term machismo, for been partial and not allow a universal analysis of this aspect of fascism. It's like saying the Patriarchy is bad and the Matriarchy is good, that's a sexist and fascist statement.

Fascism is SEXIST, there is a condemnation of non-standard sexual habit. Each movement establishes its own tradition and sexual standard, the fascist condemns the standard alien to the ism.

Example: that a religious person despises another who does not share their sexual standards, is as fascist as a person despises the religious for not sharing their sexual standards.

Sex to the game of weapons, misogyny and misandry.

13. Populism qualitative, "opposition to rotten parliamentary governments. Whenever a politician casts doubt on the legitimacy of parliament because it no longer represents the voice of the people, we can perceive the smell of Ur-Fascism".

The fascist claims the power of the voice of the people, the rule of law and its rules can be dispensed "in favor" of the people.

14. Neo Language. All the Nazi or fascist school texts were based on a poor lexicon and an elementary syntax, in order to limit the instruments for complex and critical reasoning. But we must be prepared to identify other forms of Neolengua, even when they adopt the innocent form of a popular reality show.

Each movement creates its own stigmas, and defines good and bad words, the code of belonging and exclusion, if we do not speak the same code we can not understand each other. Fascism does not seek understanding if not the opposite. Social networks contain broad examples of "poor lexicon and elementary syntax".

7 points to identify a Neofascism.

1) Fundamentalism: There is only one truth, period! There is nothing to discuss or think about! Intolerance: Discrepancy is not admitted.

2) Impossibility of dialogue: There is no will to talk about the premises of their movement, no will to analyse the coherence or possible contradictions. "You are with us or against us".

3) No discussion about the arguments: They attack the person by their quality of: group, class, gender, race, etc. The speech apeals to emotion, and uses: generalisation, deletion and distortion (Bandler and Grindler's 'meta-model').

4) Friend or Foe bipolar logic: A "witch hunt" against any "suspicious threat". 

5) Sexism: Misogyny and Misandria, competition between genders instead of complementing.

6) Emotion vs thought: Negative polarity: Hate and resentment, frustration, impotence and without rational analysis.

7) Constant struggle, anti-pacifism: the idea of pending revenge, the road of revolution and not of evolution.


Fascism can be defined as a totalitarian and dictatorial movement or doctrine, 
Fascism is a logic and a movement, a way of being, as Umberto Eco once said: 

“There was only one Nazism,” he says, “the fascist game can be played in many forms, and the name of the game does not change.” 
Umberto Eco, Ur-Fascism
Knowing these characteristics allows us to identify a Neofascism, no matter how it tries to disguise.

Manuel Carral.

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