Long live the Sudanese revolution…

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Today I learnt of a revolution going on in one of the poorest (and yet richest) countries in the world.

I learnt of a people fighting for freedom and sustenance with women at the forefront and community as their guiding light.

I realized that the true geniuses of our age have never been the gilded intellectuals shuffling along the mediocre ivory towers and media conglomerates of the West but rather revolutionary souls like the students and professionals, bakers and homemakers, brothers and sisters, of arid Sudan, kicking oppression right in the gonads.

And I am ever so grateful for them, for they tell me that the spirit of humanity will always fight for love and liberty, for peace and laughter, for bread and roses.

No matter how bleak tomorrow might seem.

Let the powers that be try and oppress that…

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A peaceful W.I.PoC. revolution is at hand if Liberals can get their heads out of their ass for more than a millisecond

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Ok, I’m sorry for the unnecessarily confrontational nature of the title.

Being a news junkie gets me hot under the collar sometimes.

Perhaps I should start with the acronym I so egomaniacally came up with last night while feasting on chick peas, squash, and just a whee drop of whisky to wash it all down.

W.I.PoC.

Women.

Immigrants.

People of Color.

These three gargantuan demographics are the future of America.

For crying out loud, they are America. Always have been, and always will be.

So Liberals (and by that I’m kinda targeting the progressives of the Democratic party), please stop believing in some bullshit nation-state and power-ridden federal structure.

The elite, rich, white male power structure is going to gerrymander and sexually assault their way to elite, rich, white male power (which also just happens to be the core of the goddamn political structure in America).

If these most recent elections revealed anything, it is that the numbers are there for the fighting emergence of a truly egalitarian and globally nurturing society to emerge in America. Left of center political entities, those entities that tend to overwhelmingly rely on W.I.PoC. communities are trending towards having a strong, long-term hold on the lower echelons of  power that represent the majority of the country (big diverse municipalities and big diverse states), while the right of center entities fight a losing demographic battle to maintain brute federal and small town power with big bucks and bullshit (but possessing so much of it, that it’s a battle they can keep fighting successfully for a few dicey generations).

The scared and scary third of society that has gone full on to supporting the elite, old-boys-club power structure is done. The MAGA gang is clinging to some rural fantasy while legitimizing cruelty. When they vote, socialize, acculturate, and otherwise conduct their lives in cowardly manners reminiscent of past fascist and misogynist societies they also choose to invalidate themselves from the true future of this land. They’ve made their choice, until of course they choose otherwise and fight for love and humanity over fear and pyrrhic privilege.

But I ain’t waiting for them. I certainly don’t wish them harm. I’m just not holding my breath for them to get their backward-ass shit together.

I don’t need to.

It is only a matter of time before the vast majority of women, immigrants, and people of color develop a greater spiritual oneness that can prove quite unstoppable. It won’t be long before there is a more organic W.I.PoC. political cohesiveness, if not already in nascent existence, to defend and expand social progress in America.

So Liberals, stop bringing a knife to a gun fight.

Instead throw the knife away, leave those small-minded, gun-toting idiots and use your baseline political power to develop genuinely nurturing communities that help usher in a peaceful W.I.PoC. revolution.

As the fascists and misogynists gain more brute power it will be nice to avoid spilling blood if we can in order to take them down.

(Enough of us are prepared for the worst nonetheless…)

Why are conservative white Americans voting for sexual predators?

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I’m sorry, I just feel the need to rant about this a bit.

The demographic voting breakdown for rapist politicians like Trump and Moore makes for very sad reading. Yeah, I know the Democrat, Jones, won in Alabama – hurrah and everything – but damn near 49% of the electorate still voted for Moore, so it’s not exactly changing the societal dynamics of the state any time soon.

Going by different polls, anywhere from 70-75% of white men and 55-65% of white women voted for these monsters.

Now, this is true for Republican candidates in general, including the non-monstrous ones. They get the majority of white votes, regardless of the political hue of the state. It is the only goddamn reason they are extending their extinction date as a political force in the US.

But does this need to hold true even for candidates who are confirmed sexual predators?

What gives, my conservative white friends? You give a really, really bad name to your socially constructed race.

Seriously, is white privilege really that important to y’all?

Does some arbitrary notion of bullshit ethno-nationalism tickle your heart so much that even sexual predators get a pass as long as they are spangled in American stars and oozing Judeo-Christian, nationalist rhetoric?

I ask mostly out of an extremely concerned love.

You see, due to various life processes and messy happenstance, the majority of friends and loved ones in my life are white. For the sake of my very inter-racial, transnational family, I’m hoping they would never vote for such scumbags.

But even beyond personal cricles, my life is rooted in North America and it does concern me that such a sizable majority of white people actively court ignorance and fear. The shit white people do, across the political spectrum, affects all of us in this current post-1492 moment of humanity’s history. Other communities fuck up and for the most part it only affects their communities. White people fuck up and it affects a lot more than just white people.

(Until climate change shits on us all with absolute impunity and color-blindness that is.)

For now, I’m not very keen on living through an America getting high on brute nationalism and roid-rage patriarchy.

And I know deep down – regardless of who’s reading this piece – you’re not either.

Because you likely have people you care about and/or need who are going to get fucked over in the process.

Including the imbeciles who vote for such filth.

The assassination of another great warrior-poet…long live Gauri Lankesh

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Yet another voice stamped out by the forces of fascism and farce in India.

This hits a little closer home.

The city of my childhood is beautiful Bangalore no more, but is now officially McTrumpuluru, clad in saffron, choking on it’s own polluted contradictions, infused with an abominable lack of humanity.

But the cold-blooded assassination that took place yesterday in Bangalore, is part of a violently depressing pattern across towns and cities in South and South West India; Bangalore just marks another nail in the coffin of the fascists; the assassination of yet another great voice of progress and reason. The martyrdom  of a warrior-poet who never took a step back in her glorious fight against the venomous right-wing forces that plague our times, Gauri Lankesh’s legacy will blaze a path forward for many, many others who will rise in her stead.

The forces of fascism and farce keep martyring great minds in various cities and towns around the Southwestern coast and inland in a curiously similar fashion. They seem to target those who light the way for others in life and death, particularly those who work utilizing vernacular media forms and are involved as rhizomatic figures in regionally strong, grassroots progressive movements in South and South West India, particularly Maharashtra and Karnataka (both states that the central, ruling BJP party, curiously enough, has established regional presences in but not as dominating political forces, which is what they desire.)

All the martyred warrior-poets were those who could clearly influence large numbers of people.

Narendra Dabholkar, anti-godmen and anti-superstition activist, martyred August 20th 2013, Pune. Shot at point blank range by gunmen on a motorcycle while on his morning walk.

Govind Pansare, leftist activist and best-selling regional author, martyred February 20th 2015, Mumbai. Shot at point blank range by gunmen on a motorcycle on Feb 16th, 2015 along with his wife, Uma Pansare, also a leftist activist, while returning from their morning walk. She survived the assassination attempt and continues to do courageous work in the area.

M.M. Kalburgi, progressive literary scholar and anti-superstition activist, martyred August 30th 2015, Dharwad. Shot at point blank range at his home in the morning by gunmen on a motorcycle.

And now Gauri Lankesh, progressive activist and editor of an influential regional weekly, martyred September 5th 2017, Bangalore. Shot at point blank range when returning home at night after work by gunmen on a motorcycle.

Oh, and did I mention that there are reports of cops thinking that the same fucking weapon might have been used in more than one of these murders? Not to mention the fact that they already have an organization as a prime suspect in the first three of them? Yeah, the Sanatan Sanstha, a fringe, Goa-based Hindu nationalist organization (with the most benign fucking website on the planet) but with direct ties to the mothership of Hindu nationalism, the RSS, via some militant group called the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti.

If this doesn’t smell of some larger conspiracy to bump off voices of freedom and reason, I don’t know what does. And it took me all of two Google searches to get the above information.

I don’t have all the answers. Clearly the authorities who seem to move at the lightning pace of thick, viscousy molasses when it comes to these investigations don’t either. Or maybe they do and are just corrupted by majoritarian fascism – something the South Asian subcontinent is well susceptible to.

But at least I’m part of a growing majority in India and within the diaspora who will not allow ourselves to be cowed down by the ignorance and malevolence of the Hindu nationalist supporters infesting the diverse and gorgeous global ethos of the subcontinent. We will follow, in our own humble ways, the paths that have been blazed by our great warrior-poets.

Indeed, if I may cynically paraphrase the breathtaking lack of vision and intellect shown by the Hindu fascists and their running dogs as they keep martyring our great lights…

How dumb are they?

What the hell were they thinking?

That fear and intimidation would actually work?

Idiots.

Right now, as I write this, there are thousands upon thousands of budding journalists, activists, intellectuals, truth seekers, and bearers of free thought who are fired up to be the next Gauri Lankesh, the next Dabholkar, the next Pansare, the next Kalburgi across the length and breadth of India – with a spark lit in their souls that no text or philosophical thought could have ever achieved.

Hindu fascists, like fascists everywhere, are too stupid and cowardly to realize that by martyring our lights, they do nothing but sow the seeds for thousands more to rise in their stead, super-charging the advancement of social and cultural progress.

The end of privileged white society (and how an amateur blogger beat the pundits and pollsters)

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Back in May 2016, over 5 months and what seems like a lifetime ago, I published a blog post entitled “9 scary reasons Donald Trump can become president in November

In case you’re wondering how to access it, a shameless, self-aggrandizing link is provided below:

https://loveliberationstruggle.wordpress.com/2016/05/27/9-scary-reasons-donald-trump-can-become-president-in-november/)

I started that post with the following preamble:

Ok, I’m going to come right out and stake my claim on this prediction – it’s one with a very small chance of actually coming true (but I think that “small chance” is getting bigger by the day):

Donald Trump will become the next President of the United States.

Please note that it is Friday, May 27, 2016 – over five months away from us actually finding out whether or not this prediction comes true.

I’m not saying that this is a good thing, if it comes true that is. Not by any stretch of imagination. I’m just saying that it’s going to happen. And I’ve been feeling like this for quite a few months now. (Bless the intrepid soul of my long-suffering soulmate and life partner who has to hear my incessant geopolitical monologues.)

Following that introduction, I listed 9 scary and very true reasons for making such a prediction. You can check out the link for more details.

Now I won’t lie, I do feel a little vindicated. But I am anything but happy. Indeed, the day after that most catastrophic of nightmares panned out in surreal fashion before our eyes, I had a near mental and emotional breakdown and had to take a sick day off.

And yet, despite the return of past traumas and pain, I still feel the power of vindication.

An angry, rage-filled, and thoroughly depressing vindication.

Finally!

Finally, all the privileged, white shits of America can see what those of us who are racialized and come from colonized backgrounds have been seeing for fucking centuries.

Finally all the privileged, male shits of America can see what women and trans people across the globe have been seeing for fucking millennia.

Finally, the brutally patriarchal, white supremacist core of America is there for everyone to see.

For this is white misogyny’s last hurrah – and it was easy to spot. Hence the brazen prediction made about America electing Trump as president.

Now, let’s face it. That prediction was just pure dumb luck. I will be the first to admit that I didn’t use any scientific or statistical analysis, nor did I think it actually had much of a chance of coming true. It was nothing more than a gut feeling based on having lived in the settler-colonial societies of America and Canada for the vast majority of my adult life. Indeed, I even shamelessly back pedaled on that prediction a bit in a more recent essay I wrote about rape culture in our societies.

The reason I hark back to that time (apart from flagrant self-promotion) is because exactly a year prior, in May 2015, I wrote a much lengthier piece entitled “The end of privileged white society” – a tirade calling itself an essay and proud to be doing so.

I didn’t publish it. I merely wrote it, edited it, saved it, and told myself that I would publish it on my blog when the time felt right.

I believe that time is now, a year and a half later, because the dawn of this white-supremacist, misogynistic neo-fascism in the US signals the beginning of the end for privileged white society.

As promised to myself, the essay is published below.

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The end of privileged white society

May 2015, Toronto, Canada

Recently I had a particularly liberatory spiritual experience, a stream of slightly higher-than-normal consciousness.

I have tentatively entitled it: The end of privileged white society.

Mostly it has to do with my own liberation as a colonized person of color, which is at the heart of the story. White folk who fail to truly understand their privilege are and always have been a side story. I’ll explain in due course.

Now, when I say the end of privileged white society in this quasi-threatening tone, please note that I disdain masculine, misogynistic violence, or really violence of any kind barring that which is used in choiceless self defense. What I’m really envisioning with the end of privileged white society is equality, and the liberation of all. I’m just doing so a tad angrily, but that’s ok, I’m in control of my feelings. I know how scary an angry person of color is to privileged whiteness (you can see it in the eyes of the particularly insecure among them).

I really do envision the end of privileged white society. The end of white settler-colonial society in that imperialist, genocidal overlord known as the United States of America, in its parasitic client states in Canada and Israel or, hell, maybe even in that drunken joke known as Australia. The end of white Eurocentric society, in that sociopathic dump of a nation-state known as the UK with a vampirish monarchy for an overlord, or that sanctimonious pile of loser puss known as France, or even that technocratic, soulless beast known as Germany, and their various client states in Europe. I see the end of the kind of nightmarish and violent white nationalism in Eastern Europe, which seems to worryingly resort to it for any and all traumas that it might go through. Indeed, I see the end of privileged white society to such an extent that I truly do foresee it soon being referred to in generations to come as the primary source of oppression for the overwhelming majority of humanity for over six centuries.

As a colonized person of color, it’s an extraordinary feeling of liberation to have coursing through my veins.

And course through it does.

I can taste that feeling of liberation. I can smell it. I can sense it in my mind, my heart, indeed, in my soul. The earthen-skinned goddess of liberation is trembling with ferocious indignation.

(And she’s a little scary, let me tell you.)

For I do believe we are on the cusp of a glorious evolution towards a new epoch where we are closer to equality, real equality, towards the true liberation of all, where we share and share alike, where we all live in communion with each other and our non-human family.

Now, I desperately hope this evolution will be non-violent.

The problem is that there is one inviolable truth to this evolution in humanity happening.

White privilege must end.

Just as patriarchy and misogyny must end. Just as capitalism and imperialism must end. Just as religious fundamentalism and nationalism must end.

Privileged white society has to come crumbling down.

I know all the defensive tropes that can and will be raised to counter the sentiments and sensibilities of this piece. I actually couldn’t care less about them because of one undeniable fact:

One section of humanity cannot consume many times more than the overwhelming majority of the rest, having actively brutalized and exploited from the rest of the world without also realizing that for true equality, for the real liberation of all of humanity, that very same society that consumes so much at the expense of so many must end. The consumption must end. The privilege must end.

The party is over people.

Yes, even for white liberals and lefties who voted for Obama but still wallow in white privilege like its divine right.

The resources need to be shared and shared alike – with the rest of the fucking world, with all of humanity in harmony with the earth.

This is not a wish.

It is a natural fact.

Make no mistake, there are going to be sections of that privileged white society who, deep down will admit, are not going to want to share and share alike. Large sections. The Fox News crowd is large, and they will soon be joined by the CNN crowd, eventually maybe even the MSNBC crowd and the indy media crowd. The right wing, the liberals, the slightly whinier liberals, even those who call themselves leftists – how many, white or otherwise, across the Western world will actually give up their privilege to share and share alike with the rest of the world?

The answer could be quite sobering.

Because the vast majority, a right royal hefty chunk of privileged white society will organize themselves into protecting their privilege. They will likely do this by reverting back to the insecure rationalizations of their power, by further upholding their unholy belief in oppressive nation-states and corporations, and by retreating into sterile comfort zones of privileged fear (picture hordes of insecure, ageing hipsters huddled behind suburban walls, festooned with the flags and bouquets of vapid white pop culture, while being guarded by brutal state mercenaries itching to kill brown people – with everyone involved knowing that there are only so many you can kill before the natural harmony of equality and liberation is restored.)

If they slip back to that soulless garbage, that’s going to be a problem. Because eventually privileged white folk will have to realize (as must we all, cis men, the elites of the colonized lands and more – we must all realize…) that there’s a choice in life:

Choice # 1: liberate ourselves together, share and share alike, and understand that our liberation is inconceivable without the liberation of all.

Or

Choice # 2: fall into insularity, oppression, bigotry, whining insecurity, and vain attempts at hoarding one’s privilege when we all know that, sooner or later, nature takes its course.

Nature is all about true freedom, true liberation, and true equality.

Indeed, nature is all about true balance.

And humanity is a force of nature too.

You see, there is a fear within privileged white society that has been fostered by racism and exploitation over many centuries. It is a fear that was ingrained, nay, interred into privileged white society from the day it was born. It is a fear in them that makes me think that a large section of privileged white society will end up inciting even greater violence around the world than it already has, along with its running dogs of religious fundamentalism and patriarchy.

For there is one thing that all those who benefit from privileged white society, whether they’re white or not, fear about the world that makes me realize that white privilege, imperialism, settler-colonialism, Eurocentrism, and racism will either crumble (or be smashed) into the ground.

There are more of the colonized than there are of the colonizer.

Way more.

Way, way more.

By the very definition that privileged white society consumes so much more than the rest of the world combined, over many centuries of colonialism and imperialism, has resulted in one inviolable fact.

Those who consume little be many. The overwhelming majority of those folk are colonized people of color.

Those who consume lots be few. The overwhelming majority of those folk are privileged white people.

Check the numbers if you don’t believe me. Check how much the West consumes compared to the rest of the world, even when the rest of the world includes big, brutal, sub-imperialist powers like China and India. Put it in actual per-capita numbers (you know, if you believe that all human lives are of equal worth and all.)

Indeed, that duality can be rephrased:

Those who need privileged white society to end be many.

Those who need privileged white society to continue be few.

I don’t say this in a threatening way. This evolution in humanity is going to have moments of violence and trauma that we must always do our best to avoid. This is not, nor can it ever be, about violence or retribution.

It’s just fact.

There are always going to be more of the colonized than there are of the colonizer.

And the barriers, the borders, the nationalism, the military might, the state mercenaries, the criminalization, the prison systems, the imperialist wars, the comprador scum, all the privilege that is derived from consuming ten times more than the rest of the world, all of that cannot hold back the long march of time.

And time is on the side of the colonized.

The oil will end. Economies will crash. Ever-increasing numbers of clownish demagogues will come to the fore. You cannot keep consuming and not expect something to come back to bite you in the ass.

And while I don’t believe that white privilege, racism, colonialism, or Eurocentrism will end in my lifetime in terms of a major shift towards greater equality and liberation for all of humanity; I do know it will happen. Indeed, I don’t have to see this liberation in my lifetime, or in this material world, for me to believe in it and be happy about it.

Because I see its beginning.

And I go to bed at night thanking all the goddesses of the universe for not being born white.

The scary and scared third

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Today I’d like to write about the scary and scared third.

Having spent the majority of my adulthood primarily rooted in North America – eventually becoming a citizen of Canada (eh) and a green card holder in the States, I feel proud of having gained a rather rich understanding of the myriad facets of Americo-Canadian society. This understanding is, of course, limited by my experiences and interpretations – but it is nevertheless authentic.

(And what is writing if not a vain attempt at authenticity?)

Now, in my travels as an immigrant – eventually garnering of various settler privileges – I have realized that both the US and Canada have what I’ve decided to call the scary and scared third. They seem to be way more docile and subdued in Canada, but shit can always change quite rapidly.

You might have an inkling already of what I’m talking about here.

It’s not unlike other societies, perhaps all over the world but certainly in places I can claim some membership in.

The scary and scared third is that section of society, usually between 30-40% of the population in that nation, country, or state – comprised of a mixture of class backgrounds but quite homogenously emerging from the majoritarian ethno-racial groups, and generally serving elite interests of power and control. Examples of what I mean by “majoritarian ethno-racial groups” include white folk in the US or Canada, upper caste Hindus in India, Han Chinese in China, Sunni Muslims in Pakistan, or Askenazi Jews in Israel.

(I’m nothing if not secular in my condemnations of majoritarianism.)

They are also easily motivated by the venemous, pied piperesque tunes of fear, anger, and hatred – or at the very least a variable spectrum of intense anxiety, irritability, and dislike that can easily be morphed into more dangerous motivational factors.

Now for the most part in the rest of the world, the scary and scared third are a threat only to the remainder of their local societies and themselves. In the US however, they’re also a threat to the rest of the world.

By now I’m assuming some of you would have guessed that this narrative is veering towards that chauvinistic political orgy known as the US political elections that the powers-that-be of the country use to hoodwink all of us into thinking we live in a democracy.

This time around lay people are almost certainly going to celebrate a capitalist, neo-colonial, blue-blood making her way into the White House. Given the other option (because in America the idea of democratic choice is limited to an elite-driven binary) and because we live in crappy times, many of us will actually heave a sigh of relief as and when Hillary breaks the presidential glass ceiling riding on white privilege and old wealth.

But what happens to the scary and scared third that Trump and his acolytes are currently stringing along? They aren’t going anywhere – even after Trump Inc. crashes and burns into the history books as the world’s worst joke.

That’s over a 100 million people, almost predominantly white, with centuries of racial privilege behind them and lots of guns in front of them, in a country where racial demographics are diversifying rapidly.

So, don’t go celebrating your ass off when the Rodham scion occupies the White House again.

The scary and scared third are going to be even scarier and a lot more scared.

A bowel in humanity’s digestive tract: Fascists and the characteristics unifying them in fecal harmony (Part 2)

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In Part 1 of this Cracked-style article I explored a few commonalities to fascists across the globe and the manner in which they’re hellspawned from some common venomous goo. It was basically an angry rant taking the slightly more accessible form of irreverent, bullet-pointed scorn. I will continue to do the same here in Part 2. However if you haven’t read Part 1, you might enjoy Part 2 more if you do so, but don’t feel obligated or anything. Here’s the link just in case: https://loveliberationstruggle.wordpress.com/2014/11/24/59/

In Part 1, following a rambling introduction, I amateurishly discussed the ways in which fascists are united by some form of religious and/or nationalist chauvinism, playing up their own community’s victimhood, and focusing on some designated “other” as the enemy to evoke support from a highly disillusioned population of salivating morons by generating fear, anger and, eventually, dehumanizing hatred. In Part 2, I’d like to continue the rant by pointing to some more fascist commonalities, like how they generate that dehumanizing hatred because they…

  • Are hyper-masculine, sexist and homophobic: Here’s an example of how Hindu fascists in India trumped up their leader, Mr. Modi, in the recently concluded Indian parliamentary elections – they often spoke about how he possessed a 56 inch chest. I kid you not my fine, non-Indophile friends. They would announce it before political rallies. An objective, completely non-hyperbolic, translated paraphrase of such an announcement would go something like: “Here comes our great leader, a lion among men, bearing a 56-inch chest!” and then the acolytes presumably genuflected in gluteus romance as he strode on stage. For the sake of clarity, this is what Modi looks like.

 “I bench-pressed four clay-idols of Krishna today!”

 

And this is approximately what a 56 inch chest looks like.

“I have issues…serious issues”

 

Judge for yourselves the amount of delusion that Modi’s supporters would apparently need to live their lives.

But size doesn’t matter here (Get it? My humor is all risqué and understated like that). What matters to them is that he is portrayed as a man’s man. Hyper-masculinity tends to veer in the general direction of sexism and homophobia, with women in the community being burdened with the responsibility of maintaining purity. Indeed, quite possibly the biggest source of rage and anger for racists, right-wing nationalists, and religious fundamentalists alike is “their” women getting stolen by “those” boys who are from the community on the receiving end of that fascist hate. My partner and I face variations of this on a regular basis. She’s a white American woman and I’m a dark-skinned South Asian man. We get stared at in the US and Canada all the time, especially in more homogenously white spaces, and periodically with hostility. Indeed, I’d be willing to bet our life savings that there are quite a few people across America, mostly disgruntled men, who would get really, really angry if that little innocuous titbit of information was conveyed to them. To them I suggest a strong dose of the most difficult plant to hate and a true internalization of its all-mellowing properties.

 “Contrary to popular belief, when you’re stoned, you tend to refrain from stoning other people”

 

This specific kind of hatred is not just a product of racism or religious fundamentalism, but equally so a manifestation of hyper-masculinity and sexism (I’m in the mood for doling out sermonizing truisms today). The idea that men have some sort of ownership over the women in their communities, and that men can determine who those women ought to fall in love with or their preconceived roles, has always gone hand-in-hand with racism, ethno-nationalism, and religious fundamentalism. It ultimately boils down to the fact that “their” women aren’t reproducing “their” people, and that is often why fascists are virulently homophobic and transphobic too, because that is also a threat to their hyper-masculinity and their fucked up frameworks for human reproduction. All that macho hatred within fascist movements can only lead to a state of mind that is…

  • Violent or dangerously prone to violence: Here’s an exercise for you. Let us say some guy announces to the rest of the world that you, your friends and your family are the enemy of their fascist movement. What is your reaction likely to be? Let’s say that this man is dressed in a very well-crafted aluminum hat tastefully ordained with dry cheese from a leftover slice of pizza and a dapper cape made of torn polyester that smells like pee. Regardless of who you are, I am going to assume that your reaction is a combination of incredulity, revulsion, humor, voyeuristic curiosity, and some version of “Okaaay then…I have to see someone about my need to not be uncomfortable.” You are unlikely to feel fear though. Now let’s assume there are thousands like him. All the aluminum foil in the land has been retrieved for headgear and the country’s polyester has been seized for cloaking needs. And they’re armed with actual weapons, guns, knives, the whole shebang. What’s your reaction likely to be now? If it doesn’t have a modicum of fear, then I truly do worry about you because you should always fear an army of aluminum-hat-wearing, pee-stained-cape-adorned men with dangerous weapons who think you’re the enemy.

This example might seem silly, but the fact is that fascists across the world are on the same scale of crazy as weapon-wielding men in cheese-stained aluminum hats and wee wee capes. (Not to mention the same sense of fashion…check out a young and dapper Mr. Franco below)

 “My fellow nationals and patriots – never again will we tolerate the scourge of unassuming nuance and subtlety!”

 

And the only way such levels of insane batshittery can be taken seriously is via violence, or at least projecting violence.

This ensures that those with the guns control the narrative.

There is probably no better example than the state of Israel and its brutalization of Palestinians. Whether it be the periodic massacres that Israel conducts in Gaza, the ever-increasing settlements as part of their ongoing colonization of Palestinian land that are always accompanied by violence towards Palestinians in the West Bank, the house demolitions, the extra-judicial killings or any other form of violence, one thing is clear: violence is how Israel gets its way.

The mere fact that Israel is one of the most powerful militaries in the world, and easily the most powerful in the Middle East, testifies to this. It has gunships, assault boats, armored personnel carriers, advanced fighter jets, tanks, nuclear weapons, missiles, attack helicopters, unmanned aerial drones, and even military robots; all operated by soldiers armed to the teeth and clad in multiple layers of armor with some of the best communication equipment in the world. This war machine does periodic battle with a ragtag bunch of militants armed with rusty Kalashnikovs, hand-me-down rocket launchers, and checkered scarves around their faces, living amongst a mass of civilians who have nothing but a prayer to protect themselves with. Regardless of where one stands on this issue and even stepping away from the politics of it all completely, I’m sure most would agree that it’s not a fair fight.

The point that is often missed is that it’s not meant to be.

It’s like America’s many, many ethno-fascist wars of imperialism at the behest of the political-economic elite of the country. Iraq, Afghanistan, Central America, Somalia and countless others…all unlikely to put up much of a fight against the American military. Military violence is then glorified and converted into martial valor, highly spurious martial valor, that draws in even supposed progressives (for example, the big-business unions in the US). And that’s how the narrative is controlled.

I for one have never understood what exactly is so brave about an armed-to-the-teeth military butchering swathes of civilians and a smattering of poorly-armed militants…but those are concerns that will not pass through the mighty din of anthems, the heavy fluttering of flags, and the loud polemics of ethno-national pride, often in the form of martial chauvinism.

“They kill the oppressed so you don’t have to”

 

And this is the case across the world. China, India, Pakistan, Turkey, Colombia…pick a point on the globe and there are some fascist fuckers out there with control over militaries of varying strengths oppressing the fuck out of a mass of civilians under a facade of martial valor. But there’s another side to it. There might be brutal violence meted out by the fascist powers-that-be…

  • Yet many of their supporters are actually quite benign and can be quite underprivileged themselves: The picture’s a little fuzzy, but do try to have a little visual gander at these lovely flag-bearers of humanity doing their bit by mercilessly beating up impoverished immigrant workers and destroying their market stands.

“Could you be a dear, and maybe not bleed so much on me while I club you? I’m skyping in for a meeting with our New York branch today evening.”

 

Who do you think supports them? If you thought, teeth-gnashing, violent racists, think again. Yes, they do exist, sometimes in large numbers, but the brutally violence fascists are in reality a small percentage of the likely membership of any fascist movement. Most of the numbers are actually made up of mom-and-pop types, who might barely be able to kill an annoying fly. For instance, I am absolutely certain that I have relatives and friends in India who voted for Modi in the recent, May 2014 parliamentary elections.

Among all the points made in this article, this is the one that has convinced me that those of us who believe in things like equality, justice, and peace need to always be vigilant. There is nothing to prevent what happened on the streets of Athens, Greece from happening on the streets of, say, Athens, Georgia (See what I did there? I’m all into witty word play like that). Most protests staged by right-wingers against undocumented immigrants tend to have some of the most vile and racist language, such as the lady with the below placard protesting against undocumented women and children with a placard that says “Protect your kids from diseases.”

“I’m doing this for our kids! Kick those damn illegal children out of here!”

 

Now, I’m not one of those progressives who calls every right-wing group fascist, because I think it dilutes the term. And I don’t believe the groups shown above are necessarily full-blown fascist either, though I do think they’re getting there. Readers of this article might have a variety of positions on immigration, amnesty etc. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, I argue that it’s not too much of a stretch to see such reactions exploding into violence, sporadic or organized. Think about it. This is the reaction in parts of the US to undocumented Latino immigrants, by people far more privileged and materially well-off, when unemployment is less than 6%. That’s the lowest it’s been in years (by comparison Greece’s unemployment is around 20%…which is depression-era unemployment levels). I’m not saying that, economy-wise, things are great in the US (and by extension in Canada too). I’m saying things could be worse, a lot worse. And when that happens, we could have a home grown fascist movement in the US or Canada not unlike the Golden Dawn in Greece. And then, not only will we have to deal with that…but also *shudder* the getup.

*sigh* “The sacrifices I make for my country”

 

How do these groups get their message across to people in as quick and explosive a way as possible. Well, among other things, they…

  • Communicate primarily in harsh, hateful polemics: There is a political party in Switzerland called the Swiss People’s Party. They along with parties like Golden Dawn in Greece, the UK Independence Party in the UK, the National Front in France, the FP in Austria and a host of others have come to prominence on a wave of support for far-right-wing parties across Europe (which is difficult to imagine as anything but scary) mostly establishing themselves on a highly aggressive form of ethno-nationalism (the monocle-wearing, snooty, rich alter ego of “violent racism”). This manifests, for the most part, in two ways – hatred for immigrants and hatred for Muslims, which in some parts of Europe can overlap a fair bit (they’re not the European Union for nothing folks). The Swiss People’s Party is currently the largest party in the Swiss Federal Assembly, riding on a wave of anti-African, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim rhetoric. This was one of their national campaign posters.

 “I tell you what, the Alps don’t go down easy”

 

If you wonder whether I’m inferring too much here with those black birds. Am I one of those bleeding-heart progressives who just sees racism in everything? Then accept my apologies for not providing an explicit enough example. I guess the poster could be interpreted as their way of communicating that the Beatles were wrong and that those winged critters don’t take broken wings and sunken eyes to learn to fly and sing, but actually to snack on Switzerland. Ok, here’s another one for you.

“Look, it’s not because you’re black, really…we would just really like our country to be all white, is all.”

 

Looks like subtlety is dying a rather quick death as far as the far-right in Europe are concerned. And that’s what makes them so popular. They work primarily through harsh, hateful polemics that rile people up without making them go through the laborious process of applying a modicum of thought or rationality. It is the reason why they get strong support in a really short time. Fear of an already oppressed community and a loud group with a one-line, hateful slogan that can tap into that fear is a vicious cocktail. Also, they often tend to be starkly lacking in any form of creativity or originality.

The openly racist and xenophobic posters used by neo-Nazi extremist parties in Europe:  The German NPD, the Swiss SVO, the now-defunct Czech National Party, and the new Dawn of Direct Democracy (Úsvit) movement in the Czech Republic. (Collage:  Romea.cz)

One day while sitting on the toilet, enjoying a luxurious lightening of the load, the Honorable Chairman of the European Coalition of Ethno-Nationalist Parties and Institutes of Focused Misanthropy thought to himself “You know, those Swiss could be on to something with that poster…” and from that little burst of brain cell activity sprouted yet another example of European efficiency.

 

This just makes me believe all the more that the tactics of the far right haven’t evolved much since the time some random cave man decided to hate (and therefore proceed to kill) another cave man simply because they preferred a different kind of mammoth for dinner, thereby launching the foundation for future fascists across the globe. Despite their obvious insane batshittery and virulence, they still get massive support because they…

  • Loudly claim to have all the answers, and that no one else does (and should therefore be killed/hurt/removed): Real socioeconomic problems such as inequality and poverty are not easy to solve. No one has all the answers (at least not ones that can be implemented in real life and not, you know, in your latest version of SimCity or that irritating Facebook game your lonely 6-cat-raising aunty plays). And no one should claim to have all the answers because it’s just insulting to humanity in general to be that Also I think your vital organs implode or something. In any case, despite humanity being generally clueless, there are many people trying to deal with these fucked up problems in a variety of ways that doesn’t involve blaming communities who are often the worst affected by those problems in the first place.

“Even if our protests don’t work, at least we made cool friends.”

 

Most people doing good work understand how difficult it is and therefore how time-consuming/laborious it can be in order to, for example, work on multi-decade struggles to raise the minimum wage, or unionize precarious workers, or fight for a borderless world, or protect the rights and liberties of undocumented immigrants, or abolish the prison-industrial complex, all of which would actually go some distance in addressing inequality and poverty. But humanity in general has a short attention span, something we’re altogether familiar with in America. Why bother with a lengthy social justice campaign when we can just blame the Mexicans? It takes way less time to explain, plus we get to brandish our guns while anticipating ourselves, in Rambo-like headgear, defending the land of the free and the home of the brave from becoming Aztlan. The best way to make this happen is to claim to have all the answers…and do so loudly.

What is interesting, and occasionally heartening, is that fascists…

  • Often hate each other as much as the rest of the world hates them: I believe that ultimately ideologies/philosophies that stand the test of time are based on love for humanity, warts and all, rather than hatred.

“I’m tired of being accepted by the Western imperialists.”

 

But that’s only in the long haul. Hatred tends to work faster in motivating people to violent action that is fiery for a while and then burns out within a relatively short period of time, but not before conducting unimaginable evil. For instance, in the US and Canada over the last 2 centuries, I would argue that systems of racism, sexism, patriarchy, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, and other forms of oppression have slowly but surely weakened as more and more people struggle against them. Those systems of oppression have not completely disappeared of course, not by a long short, and there’s always the danger of society regressing. But as a brown-skinned immigrant, despite the racism and xenophobia I have faced on multiple occasions, I would still contend that it’s much better now than it was 50 years back, based on stories I’ve heard from older brown-skinned immigrants (we all get together as part of an underground cabal intent on taking over America…it’s nice, usually we have cake at the meetings). Hell, I’ve been in the US and Canada for the last 12 years, and I’ve seen an improvement in that time alone. When Obama gave his speech at the 2004 DNC, my friend who was a huge Obama-supporter at the time, said with sadness that she felt it would be almost impossible for Obama to one day become president, that America didn’t seem ready. And yet, despite there being very real concerns that Obama’s race would cause him to lose votes that, all things being equal, a white man wouldn’t have lost, i.e. the racist vote, this happened…

“My fellow Americans (especially white ones) – I’m proud to wash away your guilt and boldly ensure that the prison industrial complex and racist immigration system become stronger than ever!”

 

This doesn’t mean things are perfect (as the above caption suggests with such delicate subtlety). Indeed, Obama himself has had to face unprecedented levels of hate and bigotry for a US President, both in the first term and the second, culminating in the unabashed, gutless, but ultimately unsurprising abandonment of him by the Democratic Party.

As already mentioned, I’m one of those irritating progressives who believes that the Obama administration has done all of jack shit for oppressed communities, but despite all that, overall I do believe things are getting better than they used to be in many ways. I mentioned earlier that my partner is white, and as an inter-racial couple we’ve faced our fair shares of looks, stares, comments, and malice. But I’ve listened to stories of older inter-racial couples who faced far worse, including violence and intimidation. However, and this is the sobering part, this slow trajectory towards social progress has always, and I mean always, been interspersed by episodes of shameful and gratuitous violence against racial minorities, immigrants, women, and the LGBTQ community. And that is because I believe hatred and division might lose out to love and humanity in the long run, but can always get the upper hand for a brief while (with a flexible understanding of “brief” to mean a few years to a few decades, occasionally longer).

However, and in my mind this is a vicariously sinful silver lining, the funny thing is that this hatred among fascist groups also manifests itself in a hatred for each other. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they could just leave us alone and duke it out with each other on an island appropriately stocked with a variety their favorite weapons…swords for beheading, drones for bombing out of sight, a bunch of guns to blow each other up, and of course a host of corporations to engage in speculative finance.

Despite their hatred however, they…

  • Can be surprisingly popular and democratic: A friend of mine once said that Germany had been a democracy ever since WW2 ended, and I had to remind him of the fact that it was actually a democracy for much longer than that. “But before that time was Hitler, remember?” he said, in a tone that barely concealed his sense of victory at having reminded me of the most famous man of the 20th century. I asked him, “How do you think Hitler came to power?” And then I whacked him over the head with a rotten codfish. At least that’s how I remember the interaction. Piscine resolutions to lively discussions apart, what was particularly interesting about the conversation is that he immediately ascribed a lack of democracy to Germany before WW2, and while Germany wasn’t a democracy during and just before WW2, it was one when the Nazi party came to power, and remained so for a while after. And my friend is not alone in thinking like this (but fuck him nevertheless). Many people ascribe democracy as being essentially good, or at least goodish, on the scale of good to evil, but most don’t realize that democracy is not inherently good or bad, it is merely a form of political governance and representation where people theoretically choose their leaders via a fair voting process (which generally translates to choosing leaders anointed by the capitalist powers-that-be…but that’s another article). Well, what if people decide they want a mass-murderer,

or a goofy mass-murderer,

or want to experience what it would be like to do exactly what the world’s only superpower did to great regret, possibly in the hope that being on a different hemisphere reversed the polarity of that part of the brain responsible for qualities of statesmanship,

Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Tony Abbot, Prime Minister of Australia

 

When such events happen, as they do all the time, does it suddenly mean that the system was less democratic? It’s possible that said lunatic-in-chief might institute legislation that makes the system less democratic, but the process itself that brought him into power was no more or less democratic than when a less-James-Bond-villainy type person was elected. Remember that what is popular is not always right, political philosophies based on love and humanity are often not very popular, while those based on hatred and division can often invoke great mass-support and that is how many fascist movements in the world today are able to wield sizeable power via the ballot. But there is always a silver lining because they tend to…

  • Rise quickly and (thankfully) die ignominiously: As sappy as it may sound, the idea that that the arc of the moral universe, while long, bends ever so slightly towards justice is, in my not so humble opinion, ultimately true. (I apologise for the mush. Here’s a picture of Turkish oil wrestlers to get your mind back in the right place.)

Turkey apparently has very evolved frameworks for masculinity.

 

Extremist movements that are based on religious or ethnocentric nationalism might get a lot of support very rapidly, but it tends to be short lived and soon the leaders are either dealing with some system of restorative justice (either in their own countries, or elsewhere).

“We will punish war criminals from the least powerful countries by questioning them very thoroughly and imprisoning them in a guest house of your choosing – this is the solemn promise of European justice.”

 

Or maybe they end up batshit insane in their mother’s basement. Right? Ha! More soberingly often than not, they just end up living somewhere in fairly decent luxury, but hopefully in morbid fear of appropriate comeuppance played out in their heads.

(A little side note: As you can probably gather, I’m not a follower of any organized religion or spiritual practice, but I am a believer in a vaguely metaphysical human spirit, like a soul or something…not because of some cheesy notion of inherent human goodness or spiritual purity, but because I’d like to think that the souls of evil people eventually get processed in some cosmic meat plant into cosmic hotdogs eaten by other cosmic spirits who then proceed to pass it through their cosmic digestive tracts very, very slowly, breaking cosmic wind while doing so. Like I said – a bowel in humanity’s digestive tract. A spiritual practice that believes evil people will face cosmic retribution in the form of cosmic shits and farts is a spiritual practice that truly deserves a tax break.)

No fascist or right-wing extremist movement has been able to hold on to power for a significantly long period of time. People eventually wake up to the evil they’ve been supporting, and even if they are slow to the task, there are ways of helping them hesitantly see the light. However, even as fascist parties and movements tend to have a short half-life, there will usually be some members, new converts, fresh acolytes, and lunatic diehards who will linger on beyond their expiration date, eventually becoming the ideologues and leaders of the newly reborn and repackaged forms of fascism. (It is probably the reason you can pick up their putrid stench a mile away. That, and the voluminous amounts of bile they generate…enough to dissolve a large box of Labrador puppies.) Thus the cycle begins anew with fresh types of crazy, regenerated ways to hate, exciting new forms of historical oppressions, and, of course, absolutely flaming hot lines of couture.