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Fascism and Tribalism: The Horror!

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April 12, 2022


Let’s face it: “fascism” and “tribalism” are two scare words that our modern ruling classes like to use when it’s time to lock down the peasants.

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Over at the American Spectator they at least have the decency to note that both sides use the “fascism” canard.

One side that thinks we’re on the threshold of fascism and the other side thinks we’re on the threshold of fascism.

And at Quillette the experts are equivocal about “The Costs and Benefits of Tribalism — a Roundtable.”

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Yes. What exactly is “fascism?” And what is “tribalism?”

Fascism emerged in Germany and Italy in the political and economic chaos after World War I. Both countries had a socialist political party that was advocating for economic revolution. In Germany, defeat led to the assumption of power by the Social Democratic Party, but it was immediately challenged by lefty firebrands like Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemberg. And the socialists allowed hyperinflation to rage for years until it was stopped in its tracks in November 1923 by Hjalmar Schacht. Then everything was fine until it wasn’t, in the Wall Street Crash in 1929. So the Germans voted in 1933 for Adolf Hitler to make it stop. By the way, the socialists had their “Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold” street thugs just as the Nazis had their Sturmabteilung.

In Italy the Italian Socialist Party was divided between a democratic socialist and a revolutionary socialist wing and in 1917 called for the overthrow of the bourgeoisie. In the “Red Biennium” of 1919-1921:

there were numerous strikes, protests against rises in the cost of living, occupations of factories and land by industrial workers or agricultural laborers, and other types of clashes between socialists on one side and landowners and business owners on the other side.

So, when Mussolini staged his mostly peaceful March on Rome in 1922, the king Victor Emmanuel III gave him the reins of power to make it stop.

In other words, when the old ruling class has lost a stupid war, and lefties are proposing to destroy everything with their latest stupid version of socialism, the ordinary middle class votes for someone to make it stop. Trouble is, that someone is usually someone that gets the middle class into a stupid war.

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Now let’s talk about tribalism.

I always thought that “tribalism” was the way that primitive people organized themselves until we moderns came along and got things sorted. But according to anthropologist CR Hallpike, tribalism started when humans started living in communities large enough that they didn’t know everyone in town.

In other words, in the olden time humans lived in a community of the kindred, people that they knew and who were related to them by blood. I have a Greek friend born and raised in a village on the road between Argos and Tripoli, and when he talks about his early life it is all about uncles and cousins and aunts and people married to uncles and cousins and aunts. And nothing else.

All tribes are fake: they are fables about how people unrelated by blood are in fact just like blood brothers — and sisters and uncles and aunts. Where does this come from? It comes from brothers-in-arms that fought to establish the current regime.

In our world there are three kinds of fake tribes, based mainly on class. The tribe of the educated class is the community of educated people all over the world. And very soon they will establish a glorious Great Reset that will save the planet and rule benevolently for a thousand years. The territory of the educated class is the planet. The Burkean little platoon of the educated class is the activist group.

The tribe of the middle class is the nation. That is why the educated class hates nations. The territory of the middle class is the place inside the national borders. The little platoon of the middle class is the club or the mutual aid society. For myself, in my twenties I belonged to a Toastmasters club, and went through the chairs; in my thirties I served on the board of a music camp; in my forties I belonged to a soaring club and went through the chairs.

The tribe of the lower class is the urban ethnic group. Its territory is the urban ethnic enclave. Its little platoon starts out as a criminal gang and grows into a city political machine.

The point about a tribe is not that it is good or bad, or ancient or modern. It just is. It is the human adaptation of the old community of the kindred to suit a modern age.

The way to think about “fascism” or “tribalism,” in my view, is that when the experts and the pontificators are all worked up about them, it’s a sign that the ruling class has really screwed up and doesn’t know what to do, except make sure that social media enforces a “healthy conversation” and deplatforms anyone guilty of “misinformation” or “disinformation,” and that the answer to all our problems is more government spending and printing of money.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.

Image: Picryl

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