Monday, 4 July 2016

Farage may have gone but Faragism is still strong

We associate Fascism with late nineteenth century ideology,
And twentieth century practice in Europe and South America:
The cult of the leader; control of the media; control of the economy;
The cult of war; of racism; of the survival of the fittest; of the military;
Of masculinity; of femininity; of the corporate state; of the nation state –
And a sort of grainy, generalised One Nation, One People, One Leader sort of thing,
Be it Falangist, Poujadist, Peronist, Allende, Greece, Brazil, Panama,
Hitler, Mussolini, Portugal, et al,
                                              And so on and so on and so on and on and on and on.                

Another characteristic of the fascist state is the use of plebiscites and referendums,
State control of the media makes it easy to control the minds of the populace
(Hitler used three),
And didn’t Goebbels say that if you’re going to tell a lie, then tell a big one,
And if you tell it often enough then the people will end up believing it.
When the Daily Mail and Daily Express tried to control Stanley Baldwin
(Just before Hitler destroyed Weimar democracy),
He commented in his characteristically masculine pipe smoking way:
‘What the proprietorship of these newspapers is aiming at is power, but power without responsibility, the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages.’
And now we have had Farage’s Breaking Point poster,
And Arron Banks, multimillionaire UKIP funder, saying,
'Facts don’t work’, and that’s it. The Remain campaign featured fact, fact, fact. It just doesn’t work. You have got to connect with people emotionally. It’s the Trump success.’
What else?
A Facebook video, visited over a million and a half times,
‘Are you concerned about the amount of crime committed in the UK by foreign nationals?
Isn’t it time to take back control?’
(With mood music suggested by a hypnotist, btw.)
What else?
The 500% increase in hate crimes,
‘The genie let out of the bottle’,
Farage’s comments since the referendum,
About the ordinary decent people fighting a successful war
Against the banks and multinationals
(What’s his ‘job’ again?),
Then his rant at the European Parliament
(He is becoming increasingly bellicose and histrionic, is he not?
Those hand movements, when interviewed,
A subliminal gestural reminder of the Third Reich)),
While Le Pen simpered in admiration:
 ‘Look how beautiful history is.’

I thought of John Heartfield’s late-Weimar agit-prop,
Showing big business originally pulling Hitler’s strings -
And how we might now have a 21st century variant on the old model of fascism:
One where a liberal-democratic free press all pull the same strings,
All at the same time, all in the same right wing direction,
At the behest of the proprietorship:
A 21st century mass media fascism –
And just as Herbert Marcuse wrote of ‘One Dimensional Man’,
Where liberal-capitalist society gives the illusion of freedom,
So as to maintain and manipulate overall control –
The late 20th century example being ‘Penguin Marxism’,
So we have social media hefts today …

In the twentieth century, fascism used referendums to legitimise decisions:
Fascism was the cause of the referendums;
But what if fascism can now be the consequence of a referendum?
What if Farangism – like Hitler – takes control of the strings?
When negotiations for access to the single market end the street dream,
The street dream of ‘controlling our borders’,
 When ‘Stop Immigration, Start Repatriation’
Doesn’t happen,
When anger erupts on the streets …

It won’t be ‘The first time as tragedy,
The second time, as farce’,
It will be a catastrophe –
Farage might have resigned as leader of UKIP,
Farage might have seemed to have gone,
But Faragism is still strong:

A poll shows 16% of Brexiteers supporting repatriation.

No comments:

Post a Comment