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Fascism is coming to Britain and it's terrifying
Alternatively, everyone is just being a bit hysterical
‘Where the Republicans go the Tories follow. We take the right to abortion, contraception, gay rights and same-sex marriage for granted now. We shouldn’t. Very soon Tory think tanks will have their sights on all of them. Fascism is on the march.’
Murphy is not the only one who sees fascism on the horizon. Broadcaster India Willoughby recently suggested that ‘when the Queen dies, wouldn’t be surprised if Boris appoints himself Fuhrer and assumes total control. That’s how close I think Britain is to Nazi Germany.’
I would be quite surprised if Boris Johnson appointed himself Fuhrer, if I’m honest. In fact, it would be like ‘learning I’m a replicant’ level of surprise, or ‘this is all a computer simulation’. I would probably note it in my diary, at the very least.
Among the popular Twitter figures who have emerged since 2016, Femi has noticed chilling echoes between the Tories and You Know Who, while Jolyon Maugham has written that: ‘When Jews talk about what a Corbyn PM means for Jews they must be listened to. But it is wrong to shut our eyes to the flashing lights of fascism triggered by Johnson's language, conduct and associations towards women, immigrants, Islam, Parliament, Courts and “the People”.’ Guardian readers, meanwhile, think of the Last Night of the Proms as being like the Nuremberg rally.
Fascism is coming. A couple of years ago, the Turner prize winners even said they wanted to speak out, because in ‘an era marked by the rise of the right and the renewal of fascism in an era of the Conservatives’ hostile environment that has paradoxically made each of us and many of our friends and family again increasingly unwelcome in Britain’.
That terrifying regressive Tory government, as well as introducing record levels of immigration, especially from Africa and Asia, has recently further liberalised divorce, making it more in line with that real-life Gilead, the United States of America.
Fascism is not just confined to the British government; it’s literally everywhere. Judith Butler even declared that ‘The Terfs (trans exclusionary radical feminists) and the so-called gender critical writers… will not be part of the coalition that seeks to fight the anti-gender movement. The anti-gender ideology is one of the dominant strains of fascism in our times.’
Paul Mason, who wrote a book on the subject, says that ‘fascist ideas are spreading’.  In the States, Jason Stanley has become a public figure warning about the ideology being on the horizon, his bestselling book arguing that ‘Fascism is about the dominant perspective, and so, during fascist moments, there is strong support for figures to denounce disciplines that teach perspectives other than the dominant ones — such as gender studies or, in the United States, African American studies or Middle Eastern studies. The dominant perspective is often misrepresented as the truth, the “real history,” and any attempt to all a space for alternative perspectives is derided as “cultural Marxism”.’ Damn it, you fascists, give the Left *some* space in academia.
We live in an age of political hypochondria, and the more socially liberal the overall direction of the Anglophone world, the more people feel convinced that fascism is around the corner. I can empathise because I am a hypochondriac and worst-case scenario-monger, and I see the thought-patterns are the same. If you’re worried about a resurgent fascism, reading the comment pages of a left-of-centre newspaper is like typing ‘new lump is this cancer?’ into Google.
Maybe those Turner Prize winners do genuinely feel unwelcome, I don’t doubt their sincerity, but their feelings might not actually reflect the wider political currents of the time. Maybe talk of a ‘hostile environment’ filtered through because there was more of a media reaction to government policy, suggesting that our perception of what constitutes ‘fascism’ has changed.
Fear of fascism has grown paradoxically because the dial has shifted in the opposite direction; hysteria about the far-Right is an issue because educated white liberals, at least in the US, have moved way to the Left on social issues, at least according to most available evidence.
Perhaps from that perspective, everything does look like fascism; the Soviets, after all, called all their opponents by the F-word, even the German Social Democrats, the most milquetoast of reasonable centrists who were nonetheless ‘social fascists’ to Stalin’s propaganda goons.
Today, any movement that is not explicitly progressive is labelled ‘far-Right’. Remember when some of Canada’s truckers had a protest over vaccines (a protest I had very little sympathy for, if I’m honest) and the media focussed on a tiny number of people carrying Confederate flags and reports droned on about ‘Canada’s rising far-Right’. Woah, scary! Prepare for ‘Canada’s Four Reich/quatrième royaume du Canada.’ If any country is on the verge of the Nuremberg Laws, it’s surely Canada in 2022 — thank you, commentariat, for more of your intelligent thoughts!
Much political hypochondria may be a form of depression, which has become more widespread and makes people see everything in the darkest possible light. Much of it is political LARPing, people who are bored with their meaningless lives and wish to retreat into a fantasy where they’re fighting the Battle of Cable St. Everyone LARPs to some extent, and it is a LARP because most people would hate to live in their fantasy world. This is the case with online traditionalists, I imagine especially the women, but they’re lucky in that they won’t have to experience this disappointment.
Progressives are cursed with winning the culture wars, the norms of society consistently moving in their chosen direction, and the end result is a form of anhedonia, an inability to experience any joy in victory. They’re no happier than they were, the world they’ve created is chaotic and disjoined, and they hate having cultural responsibility now they’ve overthrown the old regime, so instead they have to take comfort in inventing an imaginary and long-dead enemy to fight.