“The nations not so blest as thee
Must in their turn, to tyrants fall
While thou shalt flourish great and free
the dread and envy of them all”
– Rule Britannia
The rise of UKIP and the cries of Fascism have been in my thoughts a lot recently. I will try here to document some of my thoughts about this difficult subject.
For centuries, Britain escaped the grasp of Totalitarianism, while all the other major European powers fell prey to it at one time or another. This has resulted in British people thinking “It couldn’t happen here”.
This is only true in one sense. It couldn’t happen here in the way it happened elsewhere. The images of the Third Reich, of swatikas and jackboots, are imprinted firmly in our minds. Likewise the symbols of Communism. But Totalitarianism does not have to be like this. It does not necessarily have to be militaristic. It does not have to have Gulags. Fascism will almost certainly have a different face when it comes to these shores.
Similarly, Fascism does not have to be racist. The deeply unfortunate presence of racism in UKIP has tempted people to make the connection with Fascism. Left wing groups like Hope Not Hate and Searchlight are usually the first to point the finger and yell Fascist. Perhaps they protest too much.
People are rightly vigilant in their scrutiny of racism and racist groups. However – when it comes to Fascism, racism is only one element, and a very distracting one at that. People are so focussed on the Right that we haven’t noticed fascism rising on the left and in the political centre. This is all the more true because we simply don’t recognise fascist traits when they arise from non-racist left wing sources. This is another example of looking through the rear view mirror.
We must not confuse racism with Fascism. Racism is the dubious belief that certain “races” have certain characteristics. Fascism is a political movement which combines Socialism with Nationalism. Please don’t mix them up.
It is natural for people to associate Fascism with racism, as the most famous historical example of a Fascist government was a racist one. However, Fascism is quite capable of changing its spots. It doesn’t have to be racist or anti semitic. As Jonah Goldberg writes in his book Liberal Fascism, Mussolini’s government had several Jews in high-profile positions, and anti-semitism was not pursued as a policy until Germany took control of Italy in 1933. So anti-semitism is not necessarily a tenet of Fascism but of Nazism, which is a different, though related, system.
Liberal Fascism manifests itself not through militarism but through the general attitudes of the populace, in other words through culture. There is no “boot stamping on a human face”, but the lack of tolerance of dissenting views is the same.
Famously, the defendants at Nuremburg claimed they were just following orders, and many German people claimed not to know the full extent of the Final Solution. Likewise, British people have probably failed to notice fascistic tendencies because they do not have the sting of racism. Fascism has crept in through the back door.
This example is worrying because after simply answering a question he was asked, this man was arrested. Is it the police’s job to arrest someone at the whim of two teenagers? Why was force used against someone who was not being violent? One of the most worrying things about this kind of Totalitarianism is the way it grants power to those who are not mature enough to deal with it. The two teenagers in this story would have gone away from the incident knowing that the power of the state was on their side.
While I am suggesting that this event represents fascistic behaviour, I am not saying that Christians will end up in death camps, or even that they are being persecuted as such. Liberal Fascism does not operate like that. Instead it takes a Soft Power approach, socially engineering groups out of existence.
Jonah Goldberg says “The white male is the Jew of Liberal Fascism”. At first, this appears both outrageous and unreasonable. However, when you look at the rates of male suicide in the UK from the last five years, it seems less implausible. If Goldberg’s statement is true, then Male Suicide represents the modern Gulag. Every fascist or totalitarian regime has one group it targets and persecutes. For Liberal Fascism this group is undoubtedly men.
The diabolical brilliance of this approach is that no one can be held accountable for these deaths. The architects of the policies that created this misery are not on trial in the Hague, but working in the world’s top universities, or in the EU. Again, I don’t wish to compare Britain’s male suicide rate with the holocaust. However, the statistics make for very worrying reading. Should we wait until the death count gets higher before we are spurred into action?
British people have been complacent in believing “It couldn’t happen here.” Many people (mainly politicians and those in the media) have ensured it could happen here and has.