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Global capitalism and twenty-first century fascism: a UC case study


This seminal article analyses the current structural crisis and instability in an ever more polarised world in relation to earlier systemic crises that were resolved through fascism or through Fordist-Keynesian ‘class compromise’ (the 1930s) and the emergence of capitalist globalisation (the 1970s). The authors identify three basic responses to the crisis: popular insurgency from below; reformist stabilisation from above; and, a twenty-first century neo-fascism. Looking specifically at the US, they analyse political and economic developments that demonstrate fascistic characteristics. While no simple replication of the past, the emergence of a Christian Right since the mid-1980s, the growth of certain currents within the Tea Party movement, the sharp increase in violent hate groups, the spread of a vicious anti-immigrant movement, the psychopathology of white decline, sharp militarisation and pervasive policing give some indications of the rise of fascist tendencies. But what is crucial today is the sophistication of such a project, made possible by the ideological domination of media together with new surveillance and social control technologies that allow it to rely more on selective than generalised repression. In calling for a co-ordinated fightback, both in the US and beyond, the authors see the only viable solution to the crisis of global capitalism as a massive redistribution of wealth and power downward towards the poor majority of humanity, along the lines of a twenty-first century democratic socialism.

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