Sometimes you have to lean back and take in the entire landscape, or as much as vision permits. Ian Welsh has pretty good eyes, and right now, what he sees
is pretty much what I see. Forgive me for quoting at such length, but you really should heed these words. Beginning in Greece, but expanding well beyond the borders of that country, he predicts that the shape of the world...
...will be more years of austerity, people winding up on the street, suicides and outright starvation. In this fertile ground, the neo-nazi right will rise. The left will most likely not compete, because they will refuse to create an enforcer class to protect their own people. The police in Greece voted about 50% for the Golden Dawn, they will not protect the left, either, but will enable the rise of the Golden Dawn.
Under these circumstances a coup of some variety, whether military or otherwise (remember, Hitler never won a majority) is very likely to occur. By blocking the rise of the left so that Greece can be looted, the oligarchs have created their own doom.
In general terms, we are in a pre-revolutionary period. The supreme court coup in Egypt, the outright refusal to obey even the letter of the law let alone the spirit in the case of Wikileaks and Assange, the reign of Obama, are teaching an entire generation that you cannot fix the system from within, through the mechanisms of the old system or through even semi-peaceful protest. The Pacific free trade deal will enshrine even more draconian IP laws and will extend NAFTA style takings regulations which give multinational companies sovereignty over governments.
This will not stand. There will be global war, and there will be global revolution.
Some of my more doltish readers will welcome a revolution. As I keep telling people: Radical change will not come from the left, because the left simply does not have its act together. The immediately preceding post -- a semi-elegy for the Occupy movement -- proves the point. Our allegedly "left"-wing rebels, in their unwisdom, favor anarchy -- even though anarchic conditions will always aid the oppressors. Why can't our young dimwits see
that simple fact?
Anarchy is not the answer.
Here in the U.S., the Republican party has become, all but explicitly, a fascist movement. Sure, they may talk about radical individualism, but that's just libertarian rhetoric. These "individualists" are also the guys who keep telling each other that "There is no I in team." They may pretend to despise the concept of collectivism, but they know how to march in step.
The defining features of fascism (both old are new) are unreason, superstition, paranoia, conspiracism, a willingness to rewrite history, disdain for the law
, the scapegoating of perceived enemies, eliminationist rhetoric, militarism, nationalism, brutish appeals to anger and fear, and incessant propaganda. Can anyone deny that these terms describe our national culture as never before?
The main difference between Fox News and the Völkischer Beobachter is that the latter was subtler.
I would argue that the only reason we have avoided open fascism is the fact that the right lacks a charismatic leader. Mitt Romney sure as hell ain't The Guy. In fact, if any one factor prevents the revolution that Ian Welsh predicts within the next twenty years, it will be the lack of leadership. Is there anyone waiting in wings who might set fire in the minds of reactionaries? I doubt that Bobby Jindal is going to rise to the occasion. In other countries, I see nothing but schmoes with a Jindal-esque level of anticharisma.
On the left, the lack of talent is even more pronounced. Here in America, the left desperately needs someone to step forward and deliver a plan or describe a vision. We need someone who can stop our national descent into the sludge. But let's face it: We got nobody. Not long ago, a lot of people thought Obama was The Guy; alas, his mediocre presidency has taught his supporters a harsh lesson. (You can't say I didn't warn them.) But even if The Real
Guy were to show up, that person would come under immediate attack -- from the left
"Comes the hour, comes the man," or so the old adage has it. But in recent times, we have not had men or women capable of seizing the hour, either for good or for ill. The Democrats had no terribly strong candidates in 2008; the Republicans had none in 2012. In Egypt, a Muslim Brotherhood hack won the election because the protesters in Tahrir Square could not produce a single genuine secular leader. If one thing unites Greece, Spain, the U.K., and Ireland, it's this: All of these troubled countries either have undergone or will undergo austerity measures imposed by politicians whom nobody will remember 30 years from now.
I don't know whether to be grateful or horrified that our current world is run by nonentities.