Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Another Preview of Things to Come...

 Good morning readers,

I apologize for my extended absence. I have been struggling at work to fulfill the duties of my very intensive and high-stakes job. I have not much felt like writing. I am struggling, also, to get through the Draft 2 Revisions of  my second Tantalus II novel, "Our Way Out" (formerly known as "Exit Strategy.") Much of my energy has been tapped lately.

But in that time, as always, I continue to engage with sociopolitical discourse, and I continue to be frustrated by the misconceptions and distortions in American political discourse that I encounter frequently from the mouths of well-meaning people, and I continue to ponder how to deconstruct this phenomenon and win people over to egalitarianism and anti-hierarchy.

So, I am putting together, in my head, a post about this. I will try to put out some lighter material in the meantime, maybe a short story or two. But it's coming. It will speak truth to power and make some critical distinctions that tend to be distorted in American political discourse, and to a lesser but still significant extent, globally under the neoliberal hegemony.

These might not be things you want to hear. I will be attacking the narrative tropes and semantic distortions that a lot of people in this country and elsewhere, are emotionally attached.

Too often, I hear well-meaning intellectuals unconsciously verbalize the very white supremacy they claim they are against. I hear noncritical liberals who sound just as moralizing and smug as conservatives. I hear centrists and liberals validate far-right ideology they claim to oppose. It's embedded in the authoritarian frameworks of their arguments.

I have lost all respect for Bohemianism and the "Academic Left." The Academic Left is largely liberal, not Leftist, at best "Radical Liberal" or for Social Democracy, not anti-statism or anti-capitalism. I consider them a wing of the Bourgeois State. But radical liberals and academic leftists have poisoned much of the well-meaning population against the strategies and tactics that are necessary for deconstructing the hierarchies they claim to oppose. So I will delve into this hornet's nest and try to clarify a few things for all the people who, whether they want to admit the possibility or not, have uncritically assimilated Bourgeois ideology.

It's time to tear down some idols. Let's try to have a little fun with it. It's hard work.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

HG Wells' Problematic "Fauxcialist" Legacy

HG Wells called himself a socialist. He also called himself a "liberal fascist." I want to break down what this means, in terms of the political landscape of Pre-WW2 Europe in which he was speaking and writing about his views on science, the future and class struggle. HG Wells is undoubtedly one of the most influential science fiction writers of the early modern era. But what exactly did he think "socialism" was? And can we parse that in some of his works?

The answer to the second question is yet. And we must do that to answer the first question.

Or, we can take Wells at face value and agree, he believed socialism was "liberal fascism."

I intend to show that Wells himself was a liberal fascist.

Modern readers maybe confused by this term. You are probably "liberalism and fascism are opposed," are you're wrong, but that's not the point of this article. Historically, fascism arises when minority groups, women, and the working class have managed to make certain limited gains within the context of liberal democracy. I use the word liberal in the global sense, not in the sense of the United States political culture. Classical liberalism. After World War 2, fascism became stereotyped as Nazism, but actually the word comes from an ancient Roman symbol of authority and was first used by Mussolini. And he was a fucked up guy, and an opportunist, whose financial advisor gave his name to the term "Ponzi Scheme."). But let's be honest, Mussolini didn't make quite the impression on the UK or the United States as Hitler did. 

In a modern reading of this (which maybe valid in context but maybe not entirely explanatory), his "liberal fascism" could be construed of his own, marginally middle consciousness' interpretation of what we might call today "Horseshoe Theory" in political science. His vision was closer to techno-utopianism/utopian technocracy, associated today with neoliberalism and Silicon Valley assholes..

Wells' family precarious lower middle class status shaped his views. He feared his family becoming poorer through circumstance, and he believed capitalism was dehumanizing of the working and the exploiting classes. This is best expressed in the evolutionary split between the Eloi and Morlock species in "The Time Machine." In this sense, Wells did endorse a kind of "liberal socialism" (to use the term broadly) because he believed in uplifting everyone to equal standing to prevent the delicate higher class (and by extension, its values) from being devoured by brutal lower classes. But that "liberal socialism" is a brand of fascism. It's a distortion through a colonialist lens. I do not like to dismiss people as "products of their time." There was no time in human history when we as a neurologically modern species lacked self awareness. People in the late 19th/early 20th century were just as accountable as people today for their moral judgments and their impact on other people. 

But my big point here is that in the formative days of socialism and fascism, before WW2, the boundaries were a bit more permeable between "liberal" and "fascist."

 But there is still permeability, which is why Wells' statement was so predictive, even today. Authoritarianism maps sell onto liberalism (classic liberalism) and especially neoliberalism. Fascism is a force within liberal democracy, as much as Liberal Democrats, Conservatives, centrists and Libertarians might consider themselves opposed to it.

The only true opposition to fascism is anti-capitalist and anti-technocracy.

 was very predictive as well as contextually relevant at the time