If you don’t crush fascism it will crush you. The people that didn’t join the fight against fascism are the ones to blame when it grows out of hand. The world is so fucked up because most people just sit on their comfy asses and allow evil men to do evil things.~ “Logic”
If you feel uneasy about this statement, it could be that you are lazy and comfortable and afraid of fighting. It might however rather be that you don’t agree with the implications.
Fascism is an ongoing phenomenon despite having been crushed in the past. If economic containment and military defeat really exhausts our options of tackling this problem, we can consequently conclude that it is likely impossible to ever get rid of. But how could there be any other option than direct action?
If we as members of the liberal west determine our core problem to be that more violent cultures will always prevail over peaceful ones, it is worth taking notes of our own history. For example the genocide on the native population of north america would be only one of the more appalling examples of the western liberal heritage. And there is no shortage of aggressive force in our more recent history either. Therefore it can be argued that we are proposing to overcome the problem simply by becoming or joining the strongest force.
The liberal west value system has an undeniable expansive character which is driven by the desire to install our good values onto the rest of the world. One might argue that invasive conquest is a necessary perquisite to establish a benevolent global empire, which ultimately will act as the protector of world peace and prosperity. But that fiction is difficult to reconcile with the realities of the world we are living in.
Its easy to glance at more oppressive regimes and condemn their gross violation of liberal western values, which we claim as our main cultural export commodity. Omitting the sad truth that such immoral cultures enable and feed the overproduction that we crave to cheaply import our liberal western desires of consumerism. No wonder we are in no actual hurry to lift them up to our own standards of superiority.
Vice versa it is not clear why a regime that functions as an export based overproduction economy would be in a rush to burden itself with the heavy costs of waging war and decimating their economic relations for an increase of territory, followed by the subsequent need to treat the conquered population with either genocide or cultural transformation, both of which carry their own challenges. Nonetheless it is common to portrait these regimes as a threat that will come upon us if we don’t stand up for our values.
Unfortunately real fascism generally is expansive by nature. If not retaliated with force, it will certainly lead to oppression, torturing and killing of countless innocents. However, when resisted it will do the same. What we can only attempt is reasonably predicting and quantifying the ensuing harm of either path to compare their outcomes, also in light of whatever long term goals we want to pursue.1
A virus that faces no resistance and immediately kills its host body cannot survive. Similarly, an ideology depends on a collective consciousness that maintains it.
If I had to make a counter proposal for combating fascism it would be propagating the rejection of and radical non-participation in fascism, violent anti-fascism and war in general. Additionally, developing more strategies for disabling and healing fascism instead of just treating its outbreaks. I’m aware that this potentially could go horribly wrong. The fascist might just not give a shit and continue to kill and enslave everyone who refuses to take part. But when plan A is basically voting for eternal conflict, then personally I’m down for trying something different.
There is no doubt that humans are a wicked species capable of the most inhumane actions observable on this planet. Yet, the vast majority of us don’t have a self-image of being evil and therefore require some degree of justification for our actions. Reaping enjoyment from ones own self-perceived malice is actually not a common human trait. It’s a pathological condition that we classify as psychopathy. I would argue that on an individual level the vast majority of humans would opt for collaboration over conflict. And collaboration doesn’t require weapons.
To turn normal humans into killing machines, a good deal of ideological indoctrination is needed. A steady stream of affirmation and validation will then promote sustained hateful behavior. Adversarial aggression is without a doubt one source of such validation. Therefore you cannot even fight against fascism without also aiding its preservation.
Instead of focusing on guns and missiles we should be thinking about more effective ways to consistently starve fascism of validation. If we could successfully do that, it is conceivable that the number of willing enforcers and torturers would inevitably thin out. Fewer people would follow only out of fear to become victims themselves. What would remain then are the real psychopaths. And psychology teaches us that the most effective way to deal with psychopaths is not fighting but depriving them of attention. That’s easier said then done, because they have their ways of getting it. Therefore it should be a prime priority for our civilization to foster the skill of recognizing them and shielding us from their influence.
Because ultimately, the problem is not so much that a minority of weaponized aggressors will always win against a peaceful majority. The major problem is that the belief in their inevitable supremacy gains them a following. Of course we cannot ignore the issue that some will always end up hurting and killing others and we need to continuously figure out how to deal with them. It would however be a good start if we stopped supporting the worst of our kind in the hope that we will be on their side in case they succeed killing everyone who is not.
Unfortunately I feel these ideas are too far from the reality that most humans believe in and very far from realistically achievable from our current mindset. The game is on and we hold a rather weak hand of cards. And I believe that by continuing to play by the house rules, we are predictably going to lose everything eventually.
If we really wanted to improve the human condition in this domain, we would start thinking about the structures and mechanisms that enable ideologies and war and how we can resist them. We would direct no more attention towards nations leaders than towards transnational entities and conglomerates which are the ultimate benefactors of all violent conflicts. But we can’t, since it is also them who are directing our attention.
And it is plain obvious that plenty of effort is being spent on keeping us all engaged, enticed, enraged, entangled and in constant subliminal fear that the enemy will wreck our world if we don’t take action.
If we are incapable to even allow alternative ideas into our thinking and become blinded to our own malice by the highlighted evil of our enemy, then we are clearly not ready to evolve beyond this brutal and primitive state of our existence.
The only way that violence will end violence is by ending it all.