Friday, August 31, 2018

Save us from the crazies & our friends

80 years ago Fascists & Anti-fascists were fighting on the streets of Europe. Here's a take on it from an independent socialist of the day.

"We have reached a stage when the very word 'Socialism' calls up, on the one hand, a picture of aeroplanes, tractors, and huge glittering factories of glass and concrete; on the other, a picture of vegetarians with wilting beards, of Bolshevik commissars (half gangster, half gramophone), of earnest ladies in sandals, shock-headed Marxists chewing polysyllables, escaped Quakers, birth-control fanatics, and Labour Party backstairs-crawlers. Socialism, at least in this island, does not smell any longer of revolution and the overthrow of tyrants; it smells of crankishness, machine-worship, and the stupid cult of Russia. Unless you can remove that smell, and very rapidly, Fascism may win. "
George Orwell "The Road to Wigan Pier" (1937)

Today we are seeing it again. On one side are socialists, liberals, feminists, the various LGBTIQqAa+ communities, some Christians and even many conservatives. On the other are the so called "Alt-right", a ragtag bunch of Neo Nazis, other White supremacists, anti-feminists, Islamophobes,  TERFFs(*),  right wing (especially evangelical) Christians with a considerable overlap with a mixed bunch of: Flat-Earthers, Anti-vaxxers, Climate change deniers, creationists, homophobes, transphobes and other nutters.  At first sight it looks like the inverse of the situation described by Orwell but I feel it is not so clear cut. Firstly the news coverage of the alt-right tends to focus on on neo Nazis for video shock with hate pieces by the Christian right & TERFFs published by right leaning newspapers creating the impression that they are united by more than hate. I can only assume that someone is hoping to pull them together into a united front.


[get this widget]