Fascism is to ideology what recurring bad taste and the tragic style of poor aesthetic choice is to fashion: cyclical, ill-advised but perhaps an inevitability of collective cognitive choices couched as they are in ever-diminishing historical frames of reference. As an entity and ideological artefact: fascism rises, makes a terrible mess of the world, departs or is vigorously disassembled by the disenfranchised and the victimised, is half-forgotten, and then rises again. Human cultures and minds are deeply entrained to cultivate continuity but also to expect difference. When fascism returns in a new suit with a flawless smile and rebranded social media presence, what is old is new again and there is an open-armed, unthinking or reflexive welcoming of the spectacle of difference and relative novelty of those recycled old narratives of insecurity and fear.

Commitment to strong borders and deep investment in a rhetoric of difference are atavistic throwbacks to an ancient cognitive method infused with, and informed by, visceral instinct and pure animalistic survivalism. Like any other neurosis, it is a worldview that has long since outlived its usefulness but endlessly recurs.

Strong borders are problematic as an issue, being that the world is (for whatever complex reasons) deeply troubled. The borders and fears we cultivate are not entirely unfounded but narratives of hate, fear and radical difference only serve to cultivate the conditions which generate the concrete conditions which create a necessity for those borders. This is a recursive psychological and strategic feedback loop which rapidly devolves into accelerating spirals of behavioural pathology and ideologically-infused entropy.

Masking fear as strength is an old art and in the rhetorical assertion of media statements provides a uniquely effective method of generating turbulence from which to extract political value. What is perhaps most interesting is the way that tribal psychologies adopt and adapt to the recurring spectre of fascism and other extreme ideologies without flinching or missing a beat. We are all in general, and as consequence of the endemic psychological gravity of enlightened self-interest, predisposed to think (and vote) locally but to endure the consequences Globally.

2 thoughts on “Fascism Oscillates

    1. Perhaps, for a time. It is a systemic pendulum which swings from one extreme to another and having attained maximum extension in any one direction, orients itself back towards antithesis. These oscillations are everywhere – as in the eternal swing from ideological left to right and back again in the distributed psychological matrices of culture and politics.

      Personally, I think we would all do much better to stop thinking in terms of “best” solutions; we seem to be predisposed to such thought as a matter of the implicit teleologies of language and culture as much as an endemic narrative symmetry of cognitive grammar. There is no “best”, there is only “better” and it really is at base a matter of acknowledging the open-ended and indefinitely extensible nature of material, conceptual and organisational systems.

      Liked by 1 person

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