On today’s market, we find a whole series of products deprived of their malignant property: coffee without caffeine, cream without fat, beer without alcohol. And the list goes on: what about virtual sex as sex without sex? The Colin Powell doctrine of warfare with no casualties (on our side, of course) as warfare without warfare? The contemporary redefinition of politics as the art of expert administration as politics without politics? This leads us to today’s tolerant liberal multiculturalism as an experience of the Other deprived of its Otherness—the decaffeinated Other.
Increasingly, however, today’s liberal multiculturalism appears as the ideology of an interregnum, of a period when the homogenizing power of capital seemed to have no limit. The post-’60s transformation of the Western left into a liberal avant-garde made it a cultural ally of capital and indifferent to the anxieties of the working class it once claimed to represent. Abandoned by the countercultural left, the plebs are now gravitating toward other parties:
It is anathema to liberal democrats, but it should be acknowledged that fascism is catching on, largely as a result of a growing perception that neo-liberalism and globalization are failing to deliver the economic and social goods to a lot of people.
Democracy is seen as the plaything of oligarchs who manipulate the current system to secure and expand their wealth and power; liberal constitutions with their guarantees of minority rights appear to be recipes for national impotence. Transnational free markets in capital and goods breed local austerity, unemployment, and poverty. Democratic governments seem to follow the free market playbook, get into problems they can’t handle, and surrender their sovereignty to committees of Euro-financiers.
Fascism, with its exaltation of the particular, the emotional, and the undemocratic provides an impregnable ideological and political bulwark against these outside forces.
Fascism has become an important element in the politics of resistance: a force that obstructs imposition of the norms of globalization, and an ideology that justifies the protection of local interests against the demands of liberal democracy, transnational capital, and property and minority rights.
Meantime, liberal academia is stuck in a time warp, still dutifully engaged in deconstructive projects that are the intellectual equivalent of pulverizing piles of rubble but which safeguard careers built on virtue-signalling.