Saturday, February 16, 2008
Failed Fascist States
By Pablo Ouziel
When Hermann Hesse warned of the rise of fascism in Germany he was rejected by a majority of the population. The truth is that most people were experiencing first hand the benefits of fascist ideology. Today we look at that part of our global history with shame, asking ourselves how something like Auschwitz could be allowed to happen. The problem is that while we identify it in our past, we are reluctant to acknowledge it happening in our present. During the rise of the short-lived Nazi empire, criticizing Hitler and his party to the average German civilian would have undoubtedly received strong rejection. Today the same holds true to critics of the mighty ‘democratic’ empire, built by the U.S. with the submissive support of its ‘client states’.
As human beings we can justify our current state of affairs by looking at the past and indulging in the illusion that things today are better than yesterday, but holding on to that thought will only guarantee, as the Spanish would say, ‘food for today and hunger for tomorrow’. Arrogance and ignorance brought down Nazism but the lesson was not learned. Sadly, we don’t seem prepared to adopt a higher level of communal existence amongst humans in terms of our geopolitical, social and economic relations. This in turn leaves initiatives such as the “Alliance of civilizations” proposed by the president of Spain, Rodriguez Zapatero, as idealistic and irrelevant slogans to be fed to those minorities actively engaged in civil disobedience against the harmful policies being implemented for the promotion of globalization.
This situation leaves us with just waiting time before fascist tendencies become even more apparent and a substantial part of this ‘global community’ decides to react against the oppressive forces. Either that, or like the Nazi’s, we keep pushing our ‘liberating ideals’ until the axis of power shifts and we are defeated. Either way, this period of history to which we all belong will undoubtedly remain recorded somewhere as the rise and fall of the American Empire. Like Angkor Wat in Cambodia, hundreds of years from now, anthropologists, historians, sociologists and tourists will wonder at how the thirst for dominance blinded such powerful and developed societies into their inevitable collapse.
However, what those from the future will observe has little consequence today. We are seeing all the signs but we are yet to rise against them in the hope of salvaging whatever dignity and wealth we might have left. Fundamental events are unraveling at such a fast pace that more than ever we need to be alert, we need to understand what is happening and refrain from fooling ourselves about the true state of human existence on earth. We need to know the facts and act, not preaching to the choir, but definitely acquiring a sense of unity in our militant opposition to those who have the reigns of humanity in their hands. We in the west need to understand that Bush isn’t the problem, for when he goes, events will unfold following the predetermined course outlined by those holding the wealth of our nations. Not many like to talk about revolution, because of the fear it will create instability and will ultimately be crushed, but we must begin to do so, because neither Obama, Hillary or McCain hold the key to a change of course in the empire’s stride.
I feel sad for those people from around the world who everyday pick up a newspaper to follow the news of the political candidates in the U.S. I understand their need to hope and regain excitement in the possibility of global change with the change of America’s president. These people ignore the reality for they dream of a ‘democracy’ that can exist parallel to a ‘fascist economy,’ something which in fact is an oxymoron. For years now I have been hearing a large proportion of the western intellectual community of both the right and the left rejecting the idea of social revolution. I realize that by this rejection they are serving the interests of the oppressing class, which has waged war on the outside and installed a police state within.
Until we understand that true democracy does not exist in the west, we will continue to be mocked into conflict between each other. The ‘establishment’ will continue to isolate us and separate us from the fight to our truly free existence. If one believes that Auschwitz was a consequence of the rise of fascism, it is certainly too late now to avoid Guantanamo, and all we can do is fight it. Fascism is here today because we allowed it to be here. Somehow a large proportion of the population is drawn to the grandeur of infallibility portrayed by fascist leadership. I say this because of the overwhelming facts that reveal its existence.
The true problem however, arises when we acknowledge that we live in failed fascist states. When that happens, the intellect is drawn to the question of what happens to our military might, our nuclear weapons, our economic wealth, or our social rights acquired by the arduous effort of millions of human beings. When we understand that we are living in failed states, we can objectively acknowledge the fears surrounding the eminent failure of Pakistan and reflect on those facing our own western reality. Our failed banking system which is losing billions of dollars a day, our debt ridden countries, our lost imperial wars against people who resisted more than we assumed. It is only within that context that we can observe the constant change of laws affecting our freedoms, such as the wiretapping of our phones or the copying of the hard-drive of our computers at airport security checks. This alone should serve to understand that the time has come for a social revolution. However, it doesn’t seem to be enough and I dread to think what will happen to our nuclear weapons and armies, when we do indeed collapse and acknowledge that we are in fact failed fascist states.
Pablo Ouziel is a sociologist and a freelance writer based in Spain.
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