There are many proposed methods for combating fascist ideologies; however, most of them have mixed rates of success.
From a historical perspective, the most commonly employed methods of protesting in the streets and engaging in public debates failed to stave the fascist tide that emerged in the wake of World War I. Nonetheless, there is still hope for overcoming fascism without recourse to violence.
And Zizek has the solution.
An Approach to Combating the Fascism
In the film, “The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology,” the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek details a provocative method allegedly employed by the German rock group Rammstein for combating Fascist ideologies. Specifically, Zizek contends that Rammstein purposely flirts with fascist imagery in their songs and concert performances with the unstated goal of undermining Nazism from within.
Rammstein’s frequent usage of fascist symbols, Nazi-like militaristic attires, and Nazi cultural references has led various news outlets to accuse the band being Nazis themselves; however Zizek contends that this is not the case.
Instead, he alleges that the band’s flirtations with fascist imagery has a purposive character. He further claims that it is precisely this purposive presentation of fascist imagery in the form indistinctive gestures, lyrics, and chorus chants that facilitates the articulation of fascist elements free of their ideological significance.
According to Zizek, Rammstein unveils the ridiculousness of Nazism by having listeners experience the emotional aspect of Fascism via musical compositions, whilst associating such emotional states with something divorced from Nazism altogether: a concert performance. This shows listeners how Nazism works and undermines its claims that peoples’ emotional states can be stirred up for some greater cause.
The successful employment of this methodology provides one means of combating Nazism and its modern derivative, the “Alt-Right.”
What is the Alt-Right?
The Alt-Right (or Alternative Right) is a loose association of individuals with far-right political ideologies who collectively reject mainstream conservativism in the United States.
The term “Alt-Right” was first coined by Richard Bertrand Spencer in 2010 to identify his particular brand of white nationalism; however, it recently entered popular lexicon during the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election when Steve Bannon, CEO of Breitbart News (an Alt-Right news syndicate), joined Donald Trump’s electoral campaign.
In a Brietbart News article published in March 2016 by Milo Yiannopolous and Alum Bokhari, it was alleged that the Alt Right had its intellectual origins in the workings of Oswald Spengler, H.L Mencken, Sam Francis, and other anti-democratic/fascistic individuals as well as various paleoconservatives affiliated with the Pat Buchanan’s circle. The article further alleged that most modern-day Alt Right media outlets have coalesced around Richard Spencer as its intellectual figurehead.
Richard Bertrand Spencer: The Public Intellectual
Appearing in mainstream media outlets, Spencer adopts a mild disposition, explicitly rejecting violence as a means of achieving political aims and appearing capable of modifying his own ideological positions during debates.
To someone unfamiliar with Bertrand Spencer’s rhetoric, he may come across as an amicable individual; however, this is a deliberate misrepresentation of the person he actually is. The strategic evasions he employs during public debates and media appearances allow him to back pedal and mask the more repugnant aspects of his Fascist ideology.
Given the importance of his position in the Alt-Right, it is imperative that Richard Spencer’s cloak of ambiguity be removed so that the public is not mislead into following his modified version of fascism.
Following the methodology for combating Fascism outlined by Slavoj Zizek, the principle goal of the following report is to provide readers with information related to the subject “Richard Bertrand Spencer.” Information about Spencer is presented in a transformative manner free of any Fascist meta-narrative, such that readers are not mislead by the subject’s amicable public persona and instead come to know not Richard Spencer the public intellectual, but rather Richard Bertrand Spencer the Fascist.
Richard Bertrand Spencer: The Fascist
Taken from the subject’s Facebook profile(s)
Taken from the subject’s Twitter profile(s)
Taken from the subject’s Disqus profile(s)
Taken from the subject’s Google+ profile(s)
Taken from the subject’s Scribid profile(s)
Taken from the subject’s Reddit profile(s)
The images depicted above contain aspects of Richard Bertrand Spencer’s “real” political ideology. He is an anti-democratic white nationalist who believes that race is “biologically real” and that white people are inherently more intelligent than people of color. Using this perspective, he contends that racial segregation was a good thing and the United States would prosper if it were to reinstate policies aimed at maintaining racial segregation.
As indicated by his Twitter posts, Bertrand Spencer believes that the social consequences of race entail that multiculturalism will fail. He supports the notion that races should be segregated from one another and favors programs restricting the social mobility of citizens on the basis of their race.
Bertrand Spencer uses his ideology to justify support for Nazi-esque political programs such as mass deportations, sterilization, and racial exclusion. In the long term, he wants to create an ethno-state where citizenship is based on whiteness; however, in the short term he has taken on an amicable public persona, encouraging white men to rediscover their white identity. To this end, he supports the donning of KKK robes and the usage of Nazi swastikas.
Spencer should not be mistaken for being a public intellectual. He is a fraud who uses myth to justify social policy and employs quotes from Nietzsche and Hegel as mere ornaments to cloak the shallowness of his thinking. He is a dangerous individual who exploits the economic marginalization of white men who, guided by the power of myth, flock to Richard Spencer’s ideology and coalesce around the Alt-Right.
The threat of fascism must never be taken lightly. For this reason, Bertrand Spencer and his acolytes must be fought and challenged. By exposing Nazism as a comic sham, we can combat the tide of fascism and route it before it takes hold.