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Countering that Fascist Black Magic

Both the original version of fascism one hundred years ago and its twenty-first century “reboot” have an advantage that defenders of liberal democracy cannot seem to match. We can sum it up in one image: torchlight parades.

Put aside everything you know for a moment and look at the historical photo above. Colorize it in your imagination. There are marching men in cool uniforms, led by a guy carrying a shiny brass eagle standard! Somebody is playing a trumpet! Best of all, it’s nighttime and those torches are filling the air with light, signaling safety, warmth and companionship in your caveman brain. The scent of smoke reminds you of delicious roast meat, and there’s a tiny, thrilling hint of danger to add to the excitement.

What’s that you say? You’re Jewish, or Roma or Sinti, or gay, and not only won’t they let you march, but you’re gonna be the roast meat? Too bad. You’re missing out on a whole barrelful of fun, friend.

Trump rallies look like just as much fun, after the free-for-all, loosey-goosey American fashion, no uniforms required. But there are flags and balloons and thrilling speeches, calls to beat up those evil people destroying America that get your blood pumping. And there’s our problem: Normal party politics in today’s democracies are no fun. They used to be, in nineteenth century America. Rallies would feature free food and liquor, and rhetoric was an art that drew on great literature and poetry, wowing the crowd with soaring words and rhythms, even if the partisan purpose could never measure up. Anyway, that scene is long gone now, and there’s no prospect of reviving it. No, we’re going to have to come up with our own fun, and our own magic, and somebody had best figure it out fast.

Full confession, here: Your faithful correspondent is not a party guy. Never have been. It’s not by coincidence I sweated out my bachelor’s in English Lit at the University of Chicago, “where fun goes to die.” But neither am I one of your Puritans, condemning everyone else’s pleasures. It seems to me that there are still a few reserves of genuine fun and magic around that haven’t been overwhelmed by deafening noise and blinding lights and sheer corporate greed. The Gay Pride parades were supposed to be like that, before the commissars of progressive correctitude and the Democratic officeholders got to them. All I know for sure is, nobody wants to read another position paper on how to defeat the new fascism. But the hour is getting late.

2 thoughts on “Countering that Fascist Black Magic

  1. Literal, actual “Messiah” here (which I am 100% LOATHE to have to admit because that shows EXACTLY how LITTLE time we have left).

    I have the Blueprint for the Catalyst *ready to go.*

    But I need to be safe while I craft it, and ALONE and HOMELESS are DEFINITELY NOT the same thing as “safe.” It can’t be risked falling into the wrong hands, or it’ll have the OPPOSITE effect, entrenching fascism, propelling everyone left alive into Solipsistic Nihilism, and ensuring Panopticon (aka the Tower of Babel) remains fully erect for anywhere from one thousand to TEN thousand years.

    All for want of a tiny little modicum of actual teamwork (I don’t even want “Disciples,” blech. I want/need a TEAM of EQUALS).

    …Sweet cocksucking Christ on a cactus, we’re so hosed.


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