MEIN KAMPF, THE LEGACY: ARE WE JUST SINKING RIGHT BACK INTO IT?
The Canadian pop/synth band Rough Trade had an album called ‘Avoid Freud’ in 1980. The first cut off of side two was called ‘What’s the Furor About the Fuhrer?’ In the song, the lead singer, Carole Pope, sings about what were then the emerging concerns about the rise of neo-conservatism with the rise of Ronald Reagan and the rise of the religious right in the USA, along with growing corporate influence within the realms of politics, media, government and society as a whole.
Pope made reference to this trend as a form of re-emerging corporate and religiously-inspired fascism in the USA, which was now spreading to other parts of the western world. In the opening of the song, we hear Adolf Hitler making a rousing speech, and then the song proper begins, with the chorus asking the question: ‘What’s the furor about the Fuhrer? We’re just sinking right back into it.’
Fast forward thirty two years and, although Neo-Nazi activity is still fairly sparse, corporate and religiously-sponsored neo-fascist-type opinions and policy proposals and outcomes are increasingly being espoused by governments and right wing think tanks across the western world and elsewhere as well.
I’m now roughly at page 500 out of 685 of Mein Kampf, and I’m getting a distinctly firm feel for what motivated Hitler to think and do what he did. There was a part of us that really quite agreed with him. That’s why we found his methods so scary once he started to bring them to fruition. We looked across the Atlantic and saw ourselves, at least a part of ourselves and what we might’ve become if we’d enabled and permitted ourselves the indulgence of carrying the Social-Darwinist and Eugenics theories espoused by elites everywhere in the western world, including in Hitler’s Germany, Britain, Canada, and the USA, to their logical conclusion and outcome.
Only Hitler did so, and we were shocked at what he did, but did not intervene until it suited us to crush him and appropriate his ideas concerning propaganda, scientific and technological achievements as our own, including, probably, those developed in the death camps. There was something seductive about the Nazi agenda, its quest for supreme power of life and death over humanity and total control over the instruments of economic production and consumption as well as communications.
What many didn’t realize, and still don’t, is that Fascism is a cunning blend of corporate, private-sector domination of economic life, mixed with tight government control over law and order as well as people’s individual liberties, and flow of information and communications. People normally associate totalitarianism with Socialism or Communism, whereby the state suppresses all rights of private property and abolishes religion and belief in a supreme being and replaces it with state-sponsored atheism.
Others, who normally associate lack of state intervention in the running of society with a form of laissez-faire right-wing neo-conservatism, fail to grasp what is going on.
What we’ve been witnessing these last thirty two years or so is a rise in private sector involvement in the running and outcome of public policy decisions. You’d think that these corporate actors would be calling for a uniform ‘get government off our backs’ approach to running society, but that is essentially smoke and mirrors. Corporate power doesn’t like government interfering with its ability to make money by levying taxes on its wealth-producing capacity so as to supply citizens with publically-run and delivered services such as health care, education and social services.
What they do like is when the government cooperates closely with them to provide a very privileged and advantageous climate within which investment can take place, so that maximum pecuniary gain can be extracted from their privileged relationship with civil authorities. Whether or not this actually results in higher or lower levels of employment in that particular country is, in my opinion, a moot point.
So essentially, what’s the furor about the Fuhrer? Well, nobody’s espousing to round up Jews and Gypsies or homosexuals and Poles and exterminate them. However, an erosion of our democratic institutions is nevertheless occurring. The form that this neo-fascism is taking is rather insidious in its expression: So far, enough people are still able to own property and live a sufficiently comfortable western-style lifestyle despite all the doom and gloom predictions coming from the USA and Europe.
What worries me is what our elites have in store for us as the next logical step in the ‘progression’ of this emerging neo-fascist agenda. No politico in the west would ever stoop to referring to it as such, but it’s there nonetheless. Hitler transformed the world with his ideas by focusing on the issues of race, identity, and the wounded pride of the German people and their inborn desire to be a great nation.
Our current crop of leaders will surely seize upon something equally simple but not as similar as that. It will probably revolve around ‘the economy’, and ‘preserving our way of life’, and ‘our values’, ‘our fundamental freedoms and liberties’, some sort of secularized, republican version of the fundamental freedoms of the individual which grew out of Europe’s struggles in the era of Christianity through the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment. These values then had their sanctified Christian content removed from them from the Enlightenment onwards, culminating in the carnage of the two world wars and the emergence of a secular Europe.
Where the agenda will continue to be imbued with Christian overtones is in the USA. For good and for ill, Christianity will continue to bear sway in the emerging field of what I refer to as neo-fascist or ‘soft-fascist’ politics, for want of a better word. Very prosperous and influential men and women of property and faith will continue to influence the outcomes in the foreseeable future in the USA especially, be they Christian, Jews, or Muslims for the most part.
I’m not sure where it’s all leading us, but, like I’ve written in numerous other articles on my blog, I think that we will likely have to submit to another world war before a real semblance of having arrived at a viable outcome to the world’s current state of affairs is achieved.
The Fuhrer may be dead and gone, but the furor over the ideas which drove an entire world to such a violent transformation have yet to be categorically laid to rest.