A reader writes:
One critical error people make in contemplating fascism is to believe that fascism is about ideas, dogmas, or programmatic solutions to human problems. Fascism is none of those things. First and above all, fascism is a belief in the state as the supreme human achievement. Or, as the Party recently said, the state is the only thing we all belong to. This gives the fascist state a flexibility unknown to most totalitarian movements, notably socialism, which are bound by dogmatic commitments and the corresponding need to pretend that the dogmas are productive.
Put another way, the magical thinking of socialism is like fan fiction — it’s limited by a background story. So Pope John Paul II, when he was a cardinal in socialist Poland, could upbraid the socialist utopia for failing in its constitutional promise to respect religion. In contrast, the magical thinking of fascism is unlimited, which makes fascism a much more potent and insidious form of evil. So Eduard Milch could rise to the rank of Field Marshal, and head Luftwaffe fighter production, even though his father was Jewish, qualifying Milch for death in a concentration camp. As Herman Goering said, “I decide who is a Jew.”
“Everything in the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.” Obedience to the state is the whole of human goodness. Here, the Obama administration has decided whose speech is evil. Bill Maher’s speech is good because Bill Maher supports the state. The probationer’s speech is evil, because he is inconveniencing the state. So he has been hauled in for questioning, even though the state has been keeping tabs on his behavior for years. Surveillance always comes in handy. As we see, the state already labors day and night to place us all under surveillance, to put us all on probation.
Only the most stupid of Americans (the 99%), will be unable to make that connection. The 99% will instead choose to believe that this man is a criminal and his case is ‘different.’ He’s not being hauled in for questioning because of his speech, but because he used aliases or a computer to speak.
Conditioned by decades of fascist thought, the 99% will say that criminals have no rights, or at the least, criminals who have abused their right to speak may be silenced. It’s all routine, nothing to do with the political ramifications of his speech. It’s nothing to do with us. After all, no one’s decided that we’re Jews. Not yet.