Returning to Generation Blow-Back


By Jason Michael


All the forces of socio-political blow-back that carried the Nazis to power in Germany are currently at full tilt. Few in government or the media are prepared to say just how much danger we are in, and we are in serious, serious danger.

Everyone in the alternative media worth listening to right now is pointing to the striking similarities between what we are seeing with Brexit in the UK and the election of Donald Trump in the US and the events that led to the Great Depression and the rise of genocidal European fascism. What happened in the in the 1920s and 30s with the rise of far-right ideologies across Europe and North America was blow-back from the decay and failure of rampant, unchecked capitalism and the liberal democratic structures of the time. In both Britain and the United States the origins of the present crisis too can be traced back to the 2008 global economic catastrophe and serious structural flaws within our liberal democracies. Now exactly the same effects are being documented.

By 1928 levels of wealth inequality in the West reached their high water mark, the greatest disparity in wealth between the super-rich and the poor in recorded history. With every action there is an equal and opposite reaction; as the billionaires accumulated more wealth from the lower economic strata of society the social tensions grew stronger. Already by 1928 revolutionary communism had become a powerful international counter-balance to the rule of the wealthy élite, and with the 1929 Wall Street Crash threatened to overturn the whole applecart of Western democracy and capitalism. In the decade that followed the reactionary forces of capitalism and liberal democracy withstood the spectre of socialism by stoking the flames of hatred and intolerance – and ultimately creating Nazi Germany as a geopolitical barrier between Europe and America in the West and the communist Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in the East.

Economic failure and five years of total war and mass murder acted to greatly narrow the income gap, ushering in a “golden age” of the American Dream through the 50s and early 60s, but even then the mechanisms of the ruling and financial classes were in operation – working to regain their golden age of pre-Depression opulence.  In the 1980s, armed with the new weapons of neoliberalism constructed by the economic theories of Milton Friedman and the work of the Chicago School, the corporatist global ruling classes set about the grand project of restructuring that would reduce workers to penury and restore their share of the wealth to 1928 levels.

In 2007 this mission was accomplished with the richest top percentile of the planet regaining control of 25 percent of the world’s wealth, a share it had not enjoyed since 1928. This vast sum of money was syphoned up from the bottom, making the rich richer and the poor poorer. The losers, as they did from the mid-nineteenth century, reacted; giving rise to the massive anti-capitalist and anti-globalisation movements we have today. These, of course, pose an existential threat to the billionaire class and so the class war has intensified.

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The victims at the bottom of the social hierarchy can educate themselves, they can organise, and agitate, but the global élite maintain absolute control over the instruments of the press and the media with which they manipulate public opinion. Media consumers at the bottom who buy the misinformation are handed ready scapegoats for their economic woes – foreigners, refugees, terrorists, and so on – and so, acting against their own interests, turn on the movements that are fighting for their economic justice and vent their frustrations on the powerless scapegoats they have been given.

In order to stay in power, in democracies, the political class – the technicians of the hegemony (to borrow from Gramsci) – are moved to the right to secure votes from the poisoned proletariat and lumpenproletariat; the former industrial working class, the underclass, and the new precariat. The result is that the entire political edifice of Western democracy shifts uncontrollably to the right, vindicating and ultimately licensing the most atrocious rhetoric and crimes of the far-right in the ranks of the so-called “dangerous class.”

As this situation deteriorates – as we have seen with Brexit and the Trump presidential campaign – the political class itself embraces the divisive and racialised language of the right-wing voters it seeks to attract. From this point – as was seen with Franco, Mosley, Mussolini, and Hitler in the 30s – this becomes cyclical, sending all of the democratic institutions on a populist tailspin into totalitarianism, despotism, and finally barbarism.

Remove the names of these fascist leaders – while the presence of Oswald Mosley should remind us that not even little England is immune to these forces – and we can see a blow by blow account of recent events in the US and in the UK, and we still have the German and French elections to go next year. We are living through the reaction, and the class war that is now being waged against us is the prelude to the blow-back that will have more than enough power to break our fragile democracies. Make no mistake about it: These are uncertain and dangerous times.


Noam Chomsky Predicted The Rise Of Trump Six Years Ago


Author: Jason Michael (@Jeggit)

 

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