Monday, August 21, 2017

The Uneasy Alliance

The above picture of Donald Trump and evangelical Christian Mike Pence symbolises the uneasy alliance which exists between the extreme right and Christian fundamentalists. I don't think the fundamentalists really like it at all (at least I hope they don't!) especially in view of Donald Trump's indecisiveness in condemning the fascists at the Charlottesville demonstration/riot. But it may be an example of "My enemy's enemy is my friend", with the common enemy being Western liberalism whether in its Christian or atheist forms - generally, fundamentalists don't make a point of drawing a sharp distinction between the flavours of liberalism - to them they are all part of an evil satanic conspiracy against them.  But let's have a look at some of the people they are in effective alliance with (whether they like it or not). These people recently showed up at the Charlottesville demo-riot and this is what they looked like:

Bold, brazen, shameless displays of fascist allegiance
with the threat of militaristic coercion. 
Thank you Donald Trump and Breitbart! 

If these people don't like you this is what they might do to you:

...that is, they try to kill you; plenty of examples of that from their exemplar, a certain Mr Adolf Schitlgruber.  These are the people who, if they get in power, knock on people's doors at night, shut down independent media, throw opposing voices into jail and generally use coercion as they attempt to impose a fantasy world that exists only in their debauched imaginations. 

To be fair to Nietzsche he never thought it would come to this; a nuanced non-selective academic reading of Nietzche may not lead to fascism, but when one hears about the self asserting will of the ubermensch and Nietzxhe's contempt for supporting the weak in society, it perhaps is easy to understand Hitler's fascination with Nietzsche and social Darwinism. Moreover, according to  Wiki:

Bertrand Russell wrote that Nietzsche had exerted great influence on philosophers and on people of literary and artistic culture, but warned that the attempt to put Nietzsche's philosophy of aristocracy into practice could only be done by an organization similar to the Fascist or the Nazi party.

Nietzsche, Hitler and Oliver Cromwell could not come to terms with the untidy argumentative pandemonium that necessarily accompanies authentic democracy.

We can also read in Wiki:

The initial form of morality was set by a warrior aristocracy and other ruling castes of ancient civilizations. Aristocratic values of good and bad coincided with and reflected their relationship to lower castes such as slaves. Nietzsche presents this "master morality" as the original system of morality—perhaps best associated with Homeric Greece. To be "good" was to be happy and to have the things related to happiness: wealth, strength, health, power, etc. To be "bad" was to be like the slaves the aristocracy ruled over: poor, weak, sick, pathetic—an object of pity or disgust rather than hatred.

"Slave morality" comes about as a reaction to master-morality. Here, value emerges from the contrast between good and evil: good being associated with other-worldliness, charity, piety, restraint, meekness, and submission; and evil seen as worldly, cruel, selfish, wealthy, and aggressive. Nietzsche sees slave morality as pessimistic and fearful, values for them serving only to ease the existence for those who suffer from the very same thing. He associates slave-morality with the Jewish and Christian traditions, in a way that slave-morality is born out of the ressentiment of slaves. Nietzsche argued that the idea of equality allowed slaves to overcome their own condition without hating themselves. And by denying the inherent inequality of people (such as success, strength, beauty or intelligence), slaves acquired a method of escape, namely by generating new values on the basis of rejecting something that was seen as a perceived source of frustration. It was used to overcome the slave's own sense of inferiority before the (better-off) masters. It does so by making out slave weakness to be a matter of choice, by, e.g., relabeling it as "meekness". The "good man" of master morality is precisely the "evil man" of slave morality, while the "bad man" is recast as the "good man".

The concept of the self-asserting ubermensch
 was probably music to Hitler's ears. 

Fortunately the extreme fascists, like the extreme socialists, are as yet a fringe group but both groups, as they feed off social unrest and disaffection, are gauges of movements in social attitudes and influences.  The American fascists have come to the fore in the USA because their appeal and boldness has been enhanced by a number of factors. Disaffection caused by market disequilibrium which in turn was caused by creeping globalization is one factor. The accession of Donald Trump to the presidency aided by Christian fundamentalists is another. Publicity organisations like the alt-right Breitbart and Donald Trump himself don't provide a commentary which decisively condemns fascist white supremacists but instead they reserve their vitriol for the liberal establishment (liberal to them!)*   In prevaricating over fascism they have probably given a confidence boost to fringe fascism and even raised the suspicion that they are themselves (crypto) fascists.  

The extreme left with its "dictatorship of proletariat" and the extreme right with its self-asserting ubermench both ultimately lead to the dismantling of a democracy which allows for a cacophony of voices. But it seems that currently fascism is being well in truly stamped on by Western liberalism, I'm glad to say. The same needs to happen to the extreme Marxists; but then perhaps that battle has been won with the fall of communism; however, we must be vigilant on that score. Left-wing labour leader Jerry Corbyn has some extreme supporters, for example the Socialist Workers Party. Moreover, Corbyn was as indecisive in condemning the creeping dictatorship in Venezuela as Donald Trump was of the Charlotteville fascists. 

* I have yet to see an organisations like the fundamentalist ministry Answers in Genesis unequivocally  condemn the extreme right; presumably for them, as with Breitbart, they see the greater danger coming from the Western liberal establishment.

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