Day: January 3, 2017

What Is Nazism? Is it Trump?

Nazism is the desire for a socialist safety net which is restricted to white citizens who practice “traditional” cultural values. It blames white poverty on nonwhite decadence and corruption – on racial defilement – and a government which allots resources to non-whites that should belong to whites. (Nazism is anti-poverty if you are the right sort of poor people. Otherwise, you are vermin weakening the state. In contrast to Marxist socialism, it does not believe in class solidarity.)

It calls for an authoritarian leader who will punish capitalists who are overly internationalist, and withdraw from any agreements to send money to foreign governments. It despises cities and cosmopolitanism, but would like to increase employment through large infrastructure projects.

To provide more living space for “our people,” who it says are facing an overpopulation crisis, it seeks expansion into previously unoccupied land, or land that belonged to an inferior race. Despite this population crisis, it insists that white women bear many children. Laws are written to increase their birth rate, discouraging contraception and banning abortion. It attempts to force homosexuals into sexual and social conformity.

It rejects the rights of man articulated in the American and French revolutions (democracy, individualism, and liberalism) in favor of elevating the values of duty, dicipline, and law and order. It blames unfavorable media coverage on a Jewish conspiracy. It exploits a modified Christianity for political ends, but its leader is not Christian.

I may have missed something in this summary, which is an attempt to understand (for myself) the politics of Nazism as it existed before the Holocaust, rather than to say “it’s just like now!” But what stands out for me is –

1. Although some Trump fans have a distinctly nazi outlook, Trump’s nascent government seems more Italian Fascist – much more pro-capitalist, not especially invested in anti-semitism in the early stages, fond of modernism and myth-making pageantry more than rural folksy stuff, with a central argument based on a shared great past (which happens to be racist when convenient) rather than a claim to racial purity.

2. When Trump wooed Bernie voters, he used the overlap between democratic socialism and national socialism (nazism). However, democratic socialism places class solidarity and anti-totalitarianism at its core, so the outlooks are not very compatible. Right-populism needs an outsider scapegoat. Left-populism demands broad coalition.

The Personal Is Political

One of the things the last year has done for me is alter where I hear the emphasis in the slogan “the personal is political.” Coming up in third-wave girlpower retail feminism, it had been presented to me as an idea that meant individual choices about high heels and lipstick and turning off lamps were major political battlegrounds. (Which is not wholly untrue.) But what Carol Hanisch originally wrote was, “One of the first things we discover in these groups is that personal problems are political problems. There are no personal solutions at this time. There is only collective action for a collective solution.”

Faith says: So I shouldn’t buy the Burberry liquid lipstick?

Romie: Yes if you want your lips to be that color. No as the main strategy for influencing the French election.

Tim says: Certainly Sex & the City presented a class-driven political viewpoint.

Romie: In general, the same individualist consumer-driven solutions that seemed so appealing in other areas played out in this one. It’s the same kind of thinking that says “instead of going to town halls to support tougher environmental regulations, plant a tree in your backyard” and is quick to call for a boycott but suspicious of the idea of unionizing. Happened at the same time as the Bowling Alone phenomenon.