Friday, June 07, 2002

UMBERTO ECO AND UR-FASCISM continued part 3 (last I promise)

Here’s the full piece. Read and come back.

11. pacifism is trafficking with the enemy, because life is permanent warfare.

Thus dissent becomes a goal in itself, not as a tool to get anywhere, or further understanding. Questions about strategy are smacked down as “un-Australian”. Questions about questioners are “racist” or lack “compassion”.

12. Ur-Fascism is based upon a selective populism.

Politicians campaign for votes because they are “one of us” (ALP) or because they will govern “for all of us” (Lib). If there is an “us”, then there has to be a “them”. Columnists undermine democratic will by appealing to higher powers, or simply referring to election outcomes as the “so-called mainstream”.

13. Ur-Fascism must be against “rotten” Parliamentary governments

So elections are “stolen”. Voters are just too bloody stupid to see the Truth Revealed, and must be led to the promised land. Failing that, driven there like the sheep they are.

14. Ur-Fascism speaks Newspeak.

So to be a “progressive” means to resist progress. The right to free speech becomes the demand to be agreed with.

If anyone can define irony, I think the alliance of right-wing Islamic fundamentalists, hard left intellectuals and muddle-headed environmentalists, arrayed against the one country that guarantees all of the freedom and wealth to pursue their stated goal of bringing it all down – that would qualify.

UMBERTO ECO AND UR-FASCISM continued

Here’s the full piece. Read and come back.

6. For Ur-Fascism, disagreement is treason.

Try wearing a t-shirt that suggests that maybe Lomborg might possible have a point and maybe we should check those footnotes OWWW! Try breaking party discipline anywhere.

7. Through the fear of difference, Ur-Fascism is racist by nature.

It is racist to hold one racial group to a different standard, higher or lower, than your own. Protecting the poor little darkies from the luxuries you will not surrender is racist.

8. One of the most typical features of historical fascism is the appeal to a frustrated middle class.

The siren voice that “poses the hard questions” without all those tedious alternatives.

9. At the root of Ur-Fascist psychology, there is the obsession with a plot, possible an international one.

There is no conspiracy too loony, no scenario too bizarre, no official not bent on a coverup. Every story is a potential Watergate. We are not the masters of our fate. Evil multinationals plot to poison us all.

10. The followers must feel humiliated by the ostentatious wealth and force of their enemies.

Or, America had it coming. If you are rich, then it is because you made someone else poor. If I am poor/weak/ignorant, it is your fault, not mine. If my ally is a terrorist, it is because you, his enemy, didn’t supply him with a viable alternative to killing civilians.

Found this prophetic piece by Umberto Eco, writing in 1995 about eternal fascism, or Ur-Fascism. In it he gives 14 ways to recognise fascism when it come over the hill. Eco notes that some of these factors are inherently contradictory, but fascist groups are not required to have them all. Read the whole piece and come back to my efforts below.

1. The first feature or Ur-Fascism is the cult of tradition.

We see this in Islamism in its extreme forms. Also in “family values” politicians and demarcation disputes. In all cases what was good enough for Granddad is bloody well going to be good enough for you.

2. Ur-Fascist culture is syncretistic (look it up, I had to), that is, to be made up of different beliefs, but able to tolerate the contradictions.

How can the Greens support higher immigration, and lower population? How does a Liberal Party overrule voluntary euthanasia? Eco says the differing messages taken on board “each contain a sliver of wisdom”.

Naturally, when we are dealing with an assumed primeval truth, there can be “no advancement of learning”. Witness what happened to Bjorn Lomborg. His crime is to do the research in the first place, to question the Truth Revealed. Why does Paul Ehrlich continue to get gigs? Why is Silent Spring considered sacred text, when nearly everything Rachel Carson predicted hasn’t come to pass?

3. Traditionalism implies the rejection of modernity.

Bin Laden has made it clear he will have no truck with new-fangled ideas like equal rites for women. Guns good, movies bad. Australian conservationists denounce genetic research into reviving extinct species. What greater purpose could a scientist aspire to, in the eyes of a true environmentalist, than to save what was thought permanently lost?

4. Fascism can be defined as irrationalism, and this requires the cult of
5. action for action’s sake.

Bomb something, protest anything, support anyone, believe anything, as long as it is a move away from the mainstream. Being a “progressive” requires progress, even if it is in reverse. Mainstream culture is to be avoided as it requires thinking, which requires discrimination and critical thinking. When someone cannot distinguish between cruise missiles, and planeloads of screaming passengers, then discriminating thought has troughed out.

More to come.



Gaaaaaahhhh! Sick!

Wednesday, June 05, 2002

Browsing through Matthew Bates' recent thoughts. He takes our dark lord and master to task over criticisms of Media Watch, attributing the high rate of commercial mentions on the show to the plausible reason that there are three commercial networks. Yes, but the ABC operates in every market in the country and pumps out a lot more news and current affairs than any of the commercials.

Unlike Matthew, Blair remembered to point up the serious difference in Fairfax v News criticisms.

One last point: if Marr was planning on doing his job properly, why would ABC and Fairfax journalists feel comfortable going to his house to watch the first screening?

Though I will agree with Matthew about one thing: Kevin Rudd is a dickhead.

The idea of this guy representing my country to the world is not one that fills me with warm thoughts. I mean take a look at him; some people are born to be secret policemen.
More links added to the side, more to come.

One that might be out of line with the usual "kill them all, God will know his own" rhetoric, is the Global Ideas Bank. It's a collection of what contributors, and the editors, think are good ideas for life and governance, but are unable, unwilling or too incoherent to take to the polity. Big chunks of it reflect the ideology you would expect from anybody with enough free time to set the thing up, but about 40% is interesting.

My personal favourite is the DIY political spectrum analyser. This handy all-in-one tool is a start at getting us past the present outdated terminology. Print the thing out, and take the test. I tried it on some close friends, and I would say the results were the equivalent to a political version of Scruples. Send me the fallout.

Let's face it. The traditional left-right system is even less applicable now than in 1776. The practice is so debased that hard-line communists can become right-wing, while barking mad dictators are considered left.

More to come.
Now this is priceless. The UK Telegraph has calculated that the 60,000 attendees at the Earth Summit in Johannesburg will produce 500,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, or as much as 500,000 ordinary Africans would in a year.

Is anyone going to try and tell me that they couldn’t have done most of it by teleconferencing? But of course, that would reduce the amount of five-star schmoozing available.

Why call it an "Earth" summit? Are they considering holding it somewhere else? Perhaps at the bottom of the garden.

Tuesday, June 04, 2002

CARMEN'S LAW: Whoever uses "witch hunt " most often is the one
with the most to hide .

Contributions welcome.

Monday, June 03, 2002

O frabjous day! The dark gods are quieted for now. (Let's hope the neighbours didn't count the kittens)

I finally got the links working! Please try them. For Pity's sake.
Have we finally reached respectability, or is a new blogging course the beginning of the end? Via the Daily Pundit.

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