All the values of fascism are inherent in our current socio economic system.
In fact, capitalism is simply fascism internalized; at the turn of the century our oppressors had to come up with more manipulative and subversive means to keep people submissive and compliant. We have been groomed and conditioned to accept the conditions coerced upon us; As Aldous Huxley once prophesied, we are currently experiencing “The enjoyment of servitude”. Every vice (within reason) is accepted so long as people accept the reality around them and fall in line. The propaganda model, as monolithic and callous as it has ever been, works at turning the screws on the average citizens making their opinions for them and deciding what stories are “news worthy”. The ignorance of the masses is no byproduct, it is a necessity for the current system to flourish. Apathy reigns when information is withheld, when peoples’ minds are filthied with advertisements, subversive media, celebrity culture, fashionable consumer commodities and puppet politics. All smoke and mirrors so the corporate elite and wealthy can live their lives of freedom and luxury. “A left-wing conspiracy!” Well, allow me to explain why such a bold statement is sadly true.
Capitalism goes hand in hand with another concept: Slavery. You have to willingly accept and justify slavery if you want to come up with a good argument as to why capitalism is favourable. That’s a pretty difficult task when we live in the 21st century, and most people are liberated, intelligent and moral enough to acknowledge slavery as abhorrent. Slavery is what gives power to the companies and corporations that run this show; they are the cornerstone of our current globalised market economy and therefore hold most of the power and influence. With the emancipation of slaves in the 19th century it is hard to make the comparison of modern day slave with that of the more commonly associated term. Allow me to digress; A slave is somebody who is owned by a separate entity, whose labour is used to profit someone other than themselves, whose time is not their own and who has no option but to comply with said situation in order to survive. This is an apt description of both a slave and the average working class citizen. Like most things, there are different degrees of the term slave; under no circumstance have I confused the average lifestyle of someone in the modern age with that of a slave forced to work the fields in the 19th century, but unfortunately the principle is still the same and thus I deem the term correct.
The existence of private property allows the means of production to be owned and controlled by a small elite. That is the very concept of private property, it is a separate legal entity which has no loyalties to society at large. The average person who is born without the privilege of inherited wealth and property, has one thing that they can trade in order to survive, and that is their labour. They have to prostitute themselves to the owners of the means of production (“the employing class”) in order to get the essentials to survive. Therefore there is no choice in the matter of work, it is simply a matter of survival. Working solely in order to survive is more commonly referred to as ‘slavery’. It makes no difference that a green piece of paper has exchanged hands. Wage slavery is still slavery, period. When you are born into inherited debt simply for existing this is the only choice most working class people have. Furthermore, a large portion of their sacred and valued time on this planet is devoted to the interests of somebody else; It is not their own. Even the surplus wage that people earn only slightly opens the scope of their freedom. They can afford more expensive things, they can satiate their ‘latent needs’, they can gratify their illusory wants that have been created for them with the aid of billboards and advertisements! It is also worth noting that a more common trait found amongst the working classes is a desire to become inebriated and numb from their own lifestyles. Surplus wage is spent on self-destruction. Smoking and drinking, recreational activities that shorten their lifespans. It is an escapism from the daily grind, a need to forget the dehumanising process that the average worker has to endure. As Oscar Wilde once wrote; “work is the curse of the drinking classes”. Reward and renumeration are symbolised with more worthless green pieces of paper yet any requests outside of that norm, such as, “I want more time to spend teaching and playing with my children,” or, “I want more time to pursue my creative and spiritual interests,” fall upon deaf ears and remain unanswered.
Therefore the employee-employer relationship is only marginally removed from the master-slave model; it is only by a matter of degrees. The average corporation or company, which more often than not takes the role of “employer” in modern society, is also a shining example of fascism internalized. There is usually very little democracy utilised within these structures, workers have little say in the direction of the company — in the design of the company’s branding, identity, etc, in major tasks and in the way the company is run on a day-to-day basis — and by extension, they have no say on their own lives. Of course things have improved since the workhouses of the past, but again, by a matter of degrees. It is still apparent that a company is a pyramid structure with a top down hierarchical system by which the majority are submissive to the requests of a small elite few that are above them. Again, this is not secretive information, it is blatantly apparent. The only excuse that gives this model any form of tenuous morality is the idea of meritocracy (the fabled ‘self-made man’ we hear so much about). This is the idea that the individual can climb the social ladder if he chooses to shit on his equals. It’s the carrot on the stick that keeps the fragile house of cards upright, the goal that motivates us to rise at 7 a.m. most mornings, Because according to the Social Darwinist economics model which capitalism employs; we are all predatory savages with ingrained selfish desires to consume one another and elevate ourselves. Now if that is not a fascistic principle, then I don’t know what is.
The meritocracy we see being espoused on a day-to-day basis fails to address the deeply-ingrained social injustices apparent in our present system. If an egalitarian and more equitable society were fashioned, then the ideas of meritocracy would have much more weight because everybody would have begun life on an even playing field. But there is no way one can speak of meritocracy when some innocent children are born into run-down ghettos while others are born into privileged aristocracy and nepotism. The class divide prevents this idea from being employed at all.
There are also more subtle forms of conditioning that occur throughout society, such as the work ethic; employers deserve a “good days’ work for a good days’ pay”. Anyone that doesn’t work is deemed “lazy,” apparently the most disgusting crime imaginable. Such disdain is heaped upon those who seemingly don’t “work” in society. “Parasites” and “leeches,” they’re called —unfortunately, as previously mentioned, the propaganda machine is still fully operational. It is successful in hiding the ruling caste, for which these terms are much more apt.
Of course we no longer live in a world so morally definable in black and white. There are elements of socialism that have also been employed in our current society. Ideas such as welfare, council houses and free healthcare are designed to create a standard of living that no human being should fall beneath. I’m sure that you will agree that these are fantastic humanist achievements that should be justly praised and defended. They acknowledge basic human rights and are a beacon of hope for what we can achieve. Yet they are not enough alone to bridge the widening gap of income inequality and class divide. They are constantly being encroached upon by money hungry profiteers who seek to privatise them and take them from the hands of the people, and are constantly being criticised and scrutinised by the politically biased media machine.
We can further this concept of slavery and capitalism being intertwined when we consider slave labour and the exploitation of workers in foreign countries. They are utilised for their cheap labour, for the reduced regulations set by the state and for the fact that they will in turn produce the most profit for the shareholders and owners of said company. Most useless consumer commodities are produced in sweatshops in this way. This is well-known information in most of the ‘civilised’ world, yet the amorality of the system is so corroding that most people are too apathetic to give it much thought. The multinationals are to blame for these abominations, this ‘blind eye to human rights’ but they also provide us with all the luxuries that make us happy right? It also might be worth noting that corporations garnered much sought-after rights by hijacking the 14th amendment in the American constitution; An amendment with the express intent of rectifying injustice for newly freed slaves and their children but could also give corporations more power and influence through corporate personhood.
The dangers of being apathetic to these problems are the most severe imaginable. Not only does it involve complete destruction of a universal humanistic conscience (what we know to be right and wrong), it will also ultimately annihilate our very existence. Recent reports and studies published by NASA and the UN (Both politically un-biased entities that merely collate data and information) show how anthropogenic carbon emissions and the burning of fossil fuels has severely damaged our planet’s natural ecosystem, left us with a meagre 15 years before these problems are irreversible, and could ultimately destroy the human race. This is far removed from a conspiracy theory and left wing rhetoric; this is based on statistical analysis and comes from viable sources which, as I previously mentioned, don’t have any political ties or reason to manipulate this information. For example, 97% of climate scientists mutually agree that these results are true (references can be found on a whole host of expert websites on the internet). Industrialisation has caused pollution on an unprecedented level. Aside from the good that it has brought humanity, when matched with the gluttony inherent in the capitalistic system, it has also brought mass devastation. As well as wheelchairs and watches, the fashionable commodities that barrage our eyes daily are also produced in these factories and the more they can produce, the more they can sell. Mass buying power means even more profit for the 1%. The result of their incessant desire to dominate the natural world, and consume anything they can imagine a currency symbol on, is certain death. Infinite growth by the consumption of finite resources is simply illogical. This is not a statement in my eyes that is even in need of justifying as it is glaringly obvious to anyone who would take the time to contemplate it. What world do we want to leave for our children? What world will be left if we continue on this path? What legacy do we want to leave behind?
The ancient civilisations that we have lauded as our predecessors, the great empires such as Greece and Rome, all eventually fell into the abyss of history, leaving their mark with unsustainable societies built on the backs of barbaric imperialism and super states. Anyone with an ounce of intelligence can see the obvious fallacy that this employs — if we build our civilisation on the mistakes laid before us by buried archaic philosophies, we are doomed to repeat them.
Fig. 3: Art by Little-Blood
It stands to reason then, that if we can condemn the ideas of communism and socialism on the basis that their pragmatic attempts fell into disarray then we must also do the same with capitalism – By ignoring the differences between the ideals and the outcomes we can destroy its integral concept, before it destroys us. Furthermore, if we can expand our social consciousness to fully understand the potentials renewable energy sources have to offer and combine them with the infinitely expanding realms of scientific, medical and technological progress, we could all live in a post scarcity world with technological unemployment, meaning more freedom for all! More time to spend evolving and progressing as human beings; not merely as tools or instruments of a larger overshadowing entity. Mass production should be where it belongs, in the hands of the masses; All is for all! “Labour is entitled to all that it produces!” “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need” and all the other excellent truisms on the subject declared by brilliant minds. Too unrealistic and idealist? I don’t think so. Progress starts with a dream and a desire, Ideals are the stars by which we shall guide our ships.
I believe the corrupting quality of power these institutions create breeds a caste of psychotic exploiters who ratify their actions behind the guise of a company (or government or religion), shielding themselves from their own morality… or lack of it. They do not represent the mass populace that lives in servitude and disillusion, within their shadows. It is our duty in order to further the evolution of the human race and to save it from extinction, to dismantle and destroy these institutions. Institutions that serve no purpose to the people and contrarily imprison us and keep us enslaved.