The more I travel around our little blue planet and get to know the nature and predispositions of its various inhabitants, the more I find to complain about. I err towards an aristocratic view of humans. There are a few at the top who are intelligent, noble and capable of greatness, while the rest, I’m afraid, are rabble.
Yes, I know most people, including myself, fall somewhere in the middle. Stop ruining.
Of the throng, the characteristics I most despise are fanaticism, meanness, small-mindedness, lack of curiosity, poor grammar, pushiness, rudeness, blinkered thinking, uncleanliness, noisiness, overuse of commas, and, above all else, stupidity. Yes, these faults can be found in all places and no, not in precisely identical proportions.
But now I’ve a new bee to add to my overcrowded bonnet, and it is fascists. Real fascists, not Trump supporters. Ones who seem to support the prevailing order without any nuance of thought and regardless of the actual performance of their masters. They might support Communists, they might support theocrats. The uniting fascistic element is the blind attitude of ‘us, good; them, bad’ regardless of how nasty or incompetent their rulers actually are.
Here in Bumfuckistan you have to be careful about getting drunk and slagging off the prez down the pub because that mellow guy you’re talking to may turn out to be a government supporter and get your arse PNGed out of the country. He apparently doesn’t care that half his mates are enslaved, or that everything is illegal, or that there are no opportunities. His only motto is, “I for one support our overlords.” His is not even a self-serving love. He’s as repressed and poor as everyone else. He just does not have it in him to go against the chief under any circumstances.
And then there’s China. I can count on one hand the number of mainland-born and raised Chinamen who’ve been capable of free thought. The rest, intelligent though they may be, turn into particularly irritating chatbots spouting pre-programmed propaganda whenever the conversation turns to politics. No wonder each dynasty lasted for so long. They are a docile people.
In any repressive society you’ll find many of the repressed adoring every minute of it, like a gimp paying handsomely for the privilege of being trampled by a well-appointed lady clad in leather. There seems to be a natural predisposition for it in our blood which may once have helped tribes unite and thereby survive when they were tyrannized by a psychopathic hetman.
You can even see this in liberal democracies. Most Americans cheered on the absurd invasion of Iraq and the fascistic Patriot Act, and the only plausible explanation for their attitude is tribal rage. The common Brits applauded Rhodes’ African mania and pressured their government to get horribly tied up in Sudan (see Kipling’s brilliant The Light That Failed).
Most notable of this fascism is its intense power. Imagine, for a moment, that you are a parent and your eighteen-year-old child has to attend military training for a year and then perform open-ended national service. What, education? Work experience? Travel? Forgetaboudit. For most there are no other opportunities. Now, I don’t have children so it is tricky for me to put myself into the shoes of those better people who do. However, I reckon if I did have kids I would be pretty unhappy about the situation. Like take to the streets and shoot stuff up level unhappy. But the parents here, no. They’re cool with it. Young people tell them stories about escapees getting shot trying to sneak across the border, being imprisoned for ridiculous offences, about how the generals’ kids are untouchable and can do what they like, and the parents don’t seem to care. Because of patriotism. Now that, gentlemen, is real, fucking, punch-you-in-the-face fascism. When you can’t complain to your own uncle about how you’re not allowed to study abroad. When your own auntie might dob you in for thoughtcrime and get you locked up for another two months. When your own friends and family might be your worst enemies.
That is pure, cunting fascism.
A government cannot be fascist all on its own. Its needs the support and nourishment of a fascist society. Witness the Nazis with their informants and flag-wavers everywhere, followed by the Stasi who had even more informants than their predecessors. Many Soviet citizens loved Stalin and delighted in seeing his imagined rivals executed by the thousands. Same with Mao – look the photos of fawning teenage girls watching his speeches. And as for Pol Pot, he didn’t torture and kill those two million-odd people all on his own.
I offer no solution. The fact is, many of your fellow humans are just contemptible toadies. Given the right circumstances they’ll support evil men against you, against their own grandmas, against even themselves. Keep an eye on them and if they threaten to pull your own nation down into that fearful darkness, do something. But mostly just always be aware they exist, and that their number is very great.