By Finian Cunningham
[Note that the Weimar Republic embodied the paradox of a class society dependent on legal inequality and a democratic electoral system. This was resolved in 1930 when the republic was murdered, not 1933 when the NSDAP was defeated and manipulated into joining a coalititon goverenment....Ooops]
November 21, 202: Information Clearing House -- The embrace of political extremism by the Republican Party in the United States has Constitutional historians worried about the drift towards fascism. If that’s the case then the hapless Biden administration may go down in history as the imitation of the Weimar Republic before the rise of American fascism.
This week saw two examples of how the Grand Old Party of Abraham Lincoln has descended into something of an extremist cult.
A Republican congressman, Paul Gosar (R-Arizona), was formally sanctioned for posting an edited cartoon video depicting him murdering another lawmaker, Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York City). The video also showed Gosar wielding swords in a bloody attack on President Joe Biden.
The Republican politician remained unapologetic about the incitement of violence. Most of his congressional party members refused to vote for the censure.
This is not simply about a silly video that can be easily dismissed as a poor-taste joke.
There is an increasing endorsement of violence by Republican members towards political opponents. That is in line with GOP lawmakers openly taking public positions in support of extreme far-right militia groups such as the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys. Such groups are best described as fascist, promoting white supremacist ideology.
The other development this week was the formal indictment of Steve Bannon in connection to his alleged role in the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol in Washington DC. Bannon is believed to have coordinated with then-President Donald Trump in a bid to overthrow the congressional certification of Joe Biden’s election as the new president. On that eventful day, Trump and his acolytes incited thousands of supporters to violently assault the Congress building. It was a coup attempt carried out by far-right extremists fired up by spurious claims of election fraud.
Trump is still lurking in the shadows of the U.S. political process. Despite an impeachment over the January 6 debacle, he has never been held to account for what was an audacious fascist attack on the democratic institutions. Trump continues to spout the Big Lie about election fraud and being cheated out of the White House. He rails against how Biden is destroying America, accusing Biden with baseless slogans of “radical socialism” and “cultural Marxism”. Such labels are politically illiterate in the narrow spectrum of America’s two-party system. But they are handy for distracting voters from the real class war that is being waged ruthlessly against the majority of working Americans by the oligarchic system, a system in which both parties are loyal servants.
From the defiant, truculent demeanor of the Republicans dismissing charges of political violence, it is plausible to view the party as gravitating towards fascism. Combined with that drift is the espousal of racist enmity towards ethnic minorities and immigrants who are denigrated as “illegal aliens”. Republicans promote divisive conspiracy theories such as “white replacement” which claims that white Americans are deliberately being marginalized by people of color.
The political language is becoming ever more dogmatic and hateful whereby anyone not in agreement with the Trump-dominated Republican Party is liable to be vilified as a traitor and enemy. Among 13 GOP lawmakers who voted for passing Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure bill, most of them were harassed by party supporters whipped up by extremists like Representative Majorie Taylor Greene. Some were even sent death threats.
Here’s the rub: the crisis in American society stems from capitalism and its oligarchy. Vast inequality, poverty, unemployment, crumby social welfare and healthcare, housing and education, and so on, are all rooted in the historic failure of U.S. capitalism. People like Trump and other GOP grandees, as well as Democrats, are the beneficiaries of the capitalist racket. Yet Trump and his ilk, as well as clueless media pundits, grossly mislead the public by telling them that their problems all stem from the “radical socialism” and “cultural Marxism” pushed by the Biden administration.
Trump and the Republican Party are pushing fascist politics as a panacea under the guise of “Saving America”.
Biden and his effete Democrat administration are aiding and abetting the rise of fascism in the U.S. because they are too timid in challenging the capitalist system and the entrenched oligarchy. The Democrat Party is too busy pursuing superficial “identify politics” rather than taking on the class politics that really impact most Americans.
Biden and Democrats are merely tinkering with the system in a vain attempt to make it softer. As the old quip goes: what’s the difference between Republicans and Democrats? The Dems use lube when they are screwing you.
By this stage, however, the entire rapacious system is destroying the fabric of U.S. society and impoverishing tens of millions of Americans. What is needed is a formidable, full-on socialist program that transforms the system of private profit and wealth for a tiny minority. The irony is that most Americans, including ordinary Republicans and Democrat voters, would probably support such a radical policy.
But radical policy is not going to happen under the Democrats. They will only prolong the system that is crushing society under a false veneer of “progressive reform”. In such futile circumstances, the Trump fascists can prey on vulnerable people looking for seeming quick fixes.
Germany’s Weimar Republic (1919-1933) tinkered with capitalist failure and in so doing thereby created chaos and fomented extremism and fascism which culminated in the Nazi Third Reich. The soaring economic inflation and social woes under the Biden administration, as well as increasing disillusionment alongside the burgeoning of extremist politics, point to a similarly disastrous outcome awaiting the United States.