Nazis have not disappeared – they have simply said they are not Nazis: On Kenosha and the difficulty of recognising Nazism in the US
This says a lot of dubious stuff, such as this: “As many have laboured to remind this society, Hitler’s genocidal project was inspired by (if not a tribute to) the American colony. Contrary to the racist claim that racism is un-American, it is more accurate to say that the Third Reich was a type of Americanism. European innovation and efficiency were added to the blood quantum laws, Black codes, eugenics, forced relocation, work camps, and killing fields of rugged America. Slave ships to cattle cars, Tuskegee experiments to Josef Mengele, the Nazi project was less an otherworldly “radical evil”that came out of nowhere than it was a facsimile of the white supremacist order of the colonies.…Devotees of a death-cult to pink pigmentation, responsible for murders from Goa to Gambia, are given more benefit of the doubt than a Black boy in a convenience store.”
X’s critique of this:
This article by Yannick Giovanni Marshall is irritatingly simplistic and typical of identity politicians (who as a group are mainly to be credited with having elevated narcissism to the level of a political principle) who reduce a phenomenon to the level of their own single narrow concern, oblivious of whether the phenomenon they attack historically preceded the object of their monomania or not. The idea that “the charge of fascism conveniently leaves out or makes subordinate that race hatred that fuels, enables and is the primary reason for the support of this burgeoning authoritarianism [in the US today, not to mention the world]” is the idea of someone who does not know what fascism is, and cannot distinguish the part from the whole. Racism was baked into fascism from the beginning and is not the only thing that comprises it, nor the only thing that makes it what it is. One could say with equal reason that hatred of women and the notion they have equal rights, hatred of anti-militarism and hatred of anti-capitalism were the sole components of fascism and, unsurprisingly, be equally wrong.
One can detect these components of “hatred” to one degree or another in the different varieties of fascism to be found historically, around the world, whether the Marxism-Leninism of the Bolsheviks, Maoists or Ho Chi Minh (despite their spurious support of “national liberation” – tell it to the Tatars, or the Tibetans, or the ethnic Chinese Vietnamese – or their equally fake support of “women’s liberation,” or equality as a principle itself – in the light of “one-man management” for instance, or the number of pockets on cadres’ uniforms, or if one likes, the corpses of Lev Chernyi or Wang Shiwei), or Peronism, Putinism or Trumpism, Obanism or Bolsonarism, but they are always there, because these regimes always need to mobilize their populations against someone demonstrably else, lest they mobilize themselves against them, the ones who are truly responsible for their misery. Depending on conditions, the modus operandi, the road to power, was either the usurpation of the workers’ and peasants’ movements (Bolshevism, Maoism), or their suppression (Italian, German and Spanish fascism), but its fundamental object was the same. The centrality of fascism as first and foremost a reaction to the movements against class society is totally outside Marshall’s comprehension. He sees colonialism everywhere and class-struggle nowhere.
The uniqueness of fascism and the ultimate determinant of its character lies in its ontology. It is the cutting edge, the most toxic, product of the reaction against the workers’ movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was the joint project of the petty-nobility (von der Goltz, Lenin), bourgeoisie, and, above all, the bureaucratic stratum (this includes the army, the police and the civil service) of the European states most threatened by these movements and at the same time threatened by the most developed capitalist states around them. It is, most of all, authoritarian and developmentalist. Workers, peasants, women and minorities were, first of all, impediments to modernization and/or entities ripe for suppression, by way of super-exploitation, and those who resisted or stood out as poles of opposition, were the perfect scapegoats. These states, established in part through the mobilization of hatred for “what was in the way” of “modernization,” were “poor man’s empires” and they had to make up for lost time through a more ferocious exploitation of labor and resources than their more developed competitors (who also had empires abroad that they had already super-exploited as part of their process of capital accumulation). No wonder that the unrestrained looting and colonisation that attended the “birth of a nation” in the United States, along with the modernity of its mass-production techniques (this to both Stalin and Hitler) were so attractive.
Marshall also writes “A leftist that comes away from reading a history of Nazi Germany denouncing first, the Third Reich’s subversion of political norms should be suspected of anti-Semitism.” The leftist who does that should be more than just suspected of not understanding what happened at all. The Third Reich did not subvert political norms, it restored them with a vengeance, and for that job, anti-semitism was an extremely useful instrument, one that any perceptive opportunist would have likely neglected at the price of success. Turning the entire working class into an “other” was beyond reach; it was vital therefore to make the leading and most outspoken members of the German Revolution deviant foreigners. The relatively high proportion of Jewish (Luxemburg, Landauer, Leviné, etc.) and female members of the radical intelligentsia and radical working class made the misogyny and racism already embedded by Christian patriarchy and anti-Jewish bigotry easy to mobilize in the service of the fatherland, as did the fact that the apparent “success” of the revolutionary movement then underway had started in “oriental” and “barbaric” Russia. Finding a population grouped as “other” was an enormous advantage to the reaction, and a tool that was largely unavailable to the other side (this did not prevent certain social-democrats before the first World War, and the “National Bolsheviks” afterward, from trying). This was equally true in the US suppression of the workers movement, especially the IWW, during the same period.
To continue with the main point here: The Third Reich was a radical restoration of Wilhelmine capitalism that the social democrats had undertaken, but at which they had failed, despite, and because of, their oversight of the destruction of the workers’ movement on whose back they rose to power. The destruction of that movement was the basis for this restoration, but the social democrats, having destroyed at the same time their own base of power in a now demoralized working class, were afterwards no longer capable of holding on to authority – particularly in the face of the right-wing militias, the Freikorps, they had created, and the strength of the political base of the Freikorps in the old military hierarchy and industrial capitalist class which had always disdained and distrusted the social democrats anyway. Under the social democrats, all the old institutions and norms were back, above all, the special status of the military outside the jurisdiction and control of the institutions of civil society, but they were only able to come out into the sun again after the Nazis had been put at their head. Marshall is dazzled into incoherence by superficial appearances.
He says that “…Hitler’s genocidal project was inspired (if not a tribute to) the American colony. Contrary to the racist claim that that racism is un-American, it is more accurate to say that the Third Reich was a type of Americanism.” Yannick Giovanni Marshall, despite his cosmopolitan-sounding name (which could just as easily be an American-sounding name), is as fervent a believer in American exceptionalism as any right-wing American politician, and seems to think in his presentation of social reality that the nature of the American Experience positions it in the center of the world and at the center of history. All he seems to want is to do is paint it black. Marshall’s obsession with the Black experience in America leads him to minimize the experience and crimes committed against Native America, the real “original sin” of the American colonial project (but not even the real “original sin” that got the imperial expansion started in the first place). Never mind the work farms, they were preceded by a rolling genocide which remains, even today, more proportionally murderous than the current, egregious oppression against Black people. The dispossession of Hispanic occupants of the immense territory of Mexico, seized in a deliberately provoked imperialist war, is also completely unmentioned, as is their continued marginalization. Yet these are all essential parts of the fabric of the American imperial project, as is the story of its overseas adventures, whose fruits were not only in all the material and cultural things looted and accumulated for the Empire, but the techniques of surveillance and repression that were brought back home to destroy the workers’ movement in the early 20th century here, a movement that included all the ethnic groups and the genders that make up this country. Not only these things, but most importantly of all, it is the class struggle that is invisible to Marshall and debilitates his critical vision.
Women and their subjection don’t even turn up on his radar, and yet their post-bubonic subordination and that of the peasantry (1381) laid the behavioral and institutional foundations for the merchantile/imperial expansion of what would become capitalism abroad, along with the later suppression of the Levellers’ movement of resistance to the dictatorship of Parliament and its Lord Protector, and the subsequent Restoration, which evolved into the continuously expanding expropriationist domestic policy of the Crown. This seizure of the commons from the ordinary people of England and the war of subjugation waged aganst the Irish and the Scottish highlanders was the dress rehearsal for so many of the instrumentalities that would be more masssively and genocidally employed in the theft of Native America and the kidnapping, murder and super-exploitation of the slave trade, but it just doesn’t rate in Marshall’s narrow vision. It all begins with America for him. But it doesn’t, and it never did.
Same kind of shit … with an even less sophisticated spin. If it isn’t (relatively non-violent) economic conservatism, it must be racism…so are the wild rumors about people setting fires in Oregon about Black people doing it? No, they’re about antifa. An expensive study done at Vanderbilt University by expensive people, and the result is cheap intellectual bullshit.