Fascism in the United States:
from the New Deal to Donald Trump


Kant: "Thoughts without intuitions are empty; intuitions without concepts are blind."

the question of fascism is partially resolved by subsuming much of it under patrimonialism.

Arno Mayer materials are here.

prerequisites: the page semiotic regimes ought to be looked at now.
cog dev/critique of two-party discursive field: the cartesian myth
geistesswissenschaften: 1. Kant pre-requisite

•New Deal

•RB & PF: collective biography (Lunch, 1977, 1993 UAW; aluminum tube co.; Penny Majeski

The Big Three of Fascism
Mussolini (arm rasised), Hitler, and Trump (thumbs up!)
Hitler is to Trump as Tragedy is to Farce
(a critique of the two-party discursive field)

Some say you can't compare apples with oranges.  This is one of the most idiotic expessions found in the public sphere.  Utter nonsense on the surface, but, as Nietzsche said, invaluable as semiotics.

size (diameter)
7 to 8.5 cm
6.35 cm

1. This is one of the cognitive building blocks of science--the simple act of gathering and organizing data.  Don't tell me it can't be done; I just did it. (Science is not something that you believe in; it is something you do.)  That is why the statement you can't compare . . . is so revealing of the utter idiocy that pervades the public sphere.  

2. On "conspiracy theory" (Q-Anon etc.): from Nat. Geog. ed. website (12th grade):

a.  "Legend has it that Isaac Newton formulated gravitational theory in 1665 or 1666 after watching an apple fall and asking why the apple fell straight down, rather than sideways or even upward.

"He showed that the force that makes the apple fall and that holds us on the ground is the same as the force that keeps the moon and planets in their orbits," said Martin Rees, a former president of Britain's Royal Society."

b. Scientific theories unfold within the performative field of formal-operation thought (PISA results).  "Conspiracy theories" unfold within the performative field of pre-operational thought (2 to 7 years old).  C.T.s are not theories at all.  They are the rhetorical performances designed by elites to appeal to an emotionally over-loaded primitive mentalité--the herd mentalité--contained within the semiotic regime of the right: Fox News et. al.  MSNBC, which claims to respect science, does no such thing.  In accepting at face value the claims of right-wing propagandists to be doing theory, calling it disinformation, rather than calling it out for its cognitive primitiveness, MSNBC reveals that real science plays no role in its rhetorical performances.  MSNBC is also pre-operational, but not paranoid-schizoid.

Newton's falling apple would be approached by MSNBC in terms of whose fault it was, while Fox News woud say the Jews did it.

to understand Q-Anon we must situate it in the context of semkiotic regimes_the two party system.

Fascism in the Big Three*
*I take some liberties here.  The documentation for fascism on the east side is from Packard and Briggs, where the Homer Martin forces were strongest.  And from Midland Steel, which was also in the Homer Martin camp.  But, of course, these forces were also present in various Chrysler plants, but the best theoretically-friendly documentation (including interviews) does not come from Chrysler.  But the big three of fascism and fascism in the big three was too cute, too clever by one half, to resist.  I apologize.  And, anyway, thisis a mere technicality.  The three great concentrations of auto capital in southeastern Michigan are Ford on the west side, Chrysler, Briggs etc. on the east side, and GM in Pontiac/Flint.

"Among the great work sites of American Industry, the Rouge did have a fascist odor about it."
These two paragraphs by Lichtenstein are as good as it gets.  The second paragraph gives a dense empirical/phenomenological account of patrimonialism* as a form of life.  The first paragraph a dense empirical/phenomenological description of the politics of patrimonialism. 

It is precisely this anthropologically-concieved insight into the dark matter of politics--the folkways of patrimonialism as a form of life--that enables us to "see" the kind of forces that, for example, Lowndes describes in his discussion of the making of the New Right..

Lichtenstein's use of the expression "fascist odor," however, forces us to clarify what we mean by "fascism" and "fascist."

The current mainstream of scholars and publishers (not marginal or deviant) must be surveyed, s small but more than adequate set of works** to accomplish our purpose: as Wittgenstein might put it, What do we mean when we say fascist, fascism, or fascist odor?

from Nelson Lichtenstein,
The Most Dangerous Man in Detroit: Walter Reuther and the Fate of American Labor (Basic Books, 1995), p. 82


Chrysler  (Detroit east side)

General Motors: Flint and Pontiac
click here for full text

In the matter of  . . .

Preferment of Charges against Frank Buehrle by Kurt Murdock, President of PACKARD LOCAL U.A.W.-C.I.O. #190, held at the local Headquarters of the Locall at 6100 Mt. Elliott Avenue, in the City of Detroit, Michigan.  April 3rd, 1942, at 7:30 P.M.

from Karl Marx,  Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts (1844)

We have seen what significance, given socialism, the wealth of human needs acquires, and what significance, therefore, both a new mode of production and a new object of production [have]: a new manifestation of the forces of human nature and a new enrichment of human nature. Under private property their significance is reversed: every person speculates on creating a new need in another, so as to drive him to fresh sacrifice, to place him in a new dependence and to seduce him into a new mode of enjoyment and therefore economic ruin. Each tries to establish over the other an alien power, so as thereby to find satisfaction of his own selfish need. The increase in the quantity of objects is therefore accompanied by an extension of the realm of the alien powers to which man is subjected, and every new product represents a new potentiality of mutual swindling and mutual plundering. Man becomes ever poorer as man, his need for money becomes ever greater if he wants to [overpower] the hostile power. The power of his money declines in inverse proportion to the increase in the volume of production: that is, his neediness grows as the power of money increases.

The need for money is therefore the true need produced by the economic system, and it is the only need which the latter produces. The quantity of money becomes to an ever greater degree its sole effective quality. Just as it reduces everything to its abstract form, so it reduces itself in the course of its own movement to quantitative being. Excess and intemperance come to be its true norm.

Subjectively, this appears partly in the fact that the extension of products and needs becomes a contriving and ever-calculating subservience to inhuman, sophisticated, unnatural and imaginary appetites. Private property does not know how to change crude need into human need. Its idealism is fantasy, caprice and whim; and no eunuch flatters his despot more basely or uses more despicable means to stimulate his dulled capacity for pleasure in order to sneak a favour for himself than does the industrial eunuch – the producer – in order to sneak for himself a few pieces of silver, in order to charm the golden birds, out of the pockets of his Christianly beloved neighbours. He puts himself at the service of the other’s most depraved fancies, plays the pimp between him and his need, excites in him morbid appetites, lies in wait for each of his weaknesses – all so that he can then demand the cash for this service of love. (Every product is a bait with which to seduce away the other’s very being, his money; every real and possible need is a weakness which will lead the fly to the glue-pot. General exploitation of communal human nature, just as every imperfection in man, is a bond with heaven – an avenue giving the priest access to his heart; every need is an opportunity to approach one’s neighbour under the guise of the utmost amiability and to say to him: Dear friend, I give you what you need, but you know the condition sine qua non; you know the ink in which you have to sign yourself over to me; in providing for your pleasure, I fleece you.)

And parly, this estrangement manifests itself in that in that it produces refinement of needs and of their means and of their means on the one hand, and a bestial barbarisation, a complete, unrefined, abstract simplicity of need on the other; or rather in that it merely resurrects itself in its opposite. Even the need for fresh air ceases for the worker. Man returns to living in a cave, which is now, however, contaminated with the mephitic breath of plague given off by civilization, and which he continues to occupy only precariously, it being for him an alien habitation which can be withdrawn from him any day – a place from which, if he does not pay, he can be thrown out any day. For this mortuary he has to pay. A dwelling in the light, which Prometheus in Aeschylus designated as one of the greatest boons, by means of which he made the savage into a human being, ceases to exist for the worker. Light, air, etc. – the simplest animal cleanliness – ceases to be a need for man. Dirt—the stagnation and putrefaction of man – the sewage of civilisation (speaking quite literally) – comes to be the element of life for him. Utter, unnatural neglect, putrefied nature, comes to be his life-element. None of his senses exist any longer, and not only in his human fashion, but in an inhuman fashion, and therefore even in an animal fashion.  The crudest modes (and instruments) of human labour are coming back: the treadmill of the Roman slaves, for instance, is the means of production, the means of existence, of many English workers. It is not only that man has no human needs – even his animal needs ar ceasing to exist. The Irishman no longer knows any need now but the need to eat, and indeed only the need to eat potatoes—and scabby potatoes at that, the worst kind of potatoes. But in each of their industrial towns England and France have already a little Ireland. The savage and the animal have at least the need to hunt, to roam, etc. – the need of companionship. Machine labour is simplified in order to make the worker out of the human being still in the making, the completely immature human being, the child – whilst the worker has become a neglected child. The machine accommodates itself to the weakness of the human being in order to make the weak human being into a machine.

The less you eat, drink and buy (read in Moscow 1961 edition!) books; the less you go to the theatre, the dance hall, the public house; the less you think, love, theorise, sing, paint, fence, etc., the more you save – the greater becomes your treasure which neither moths nor rust will devour – your capital. The less you are, the less you express your own life, the more you have, i.e., the greater is your alienated life, the greater is the store of your estranged being. Everything ||XVI| which the political economist takes from you in life and in humanity, he replaces for you in money and in wealth; and all the things which you cannot do, your money can do. It can eat and, drink, go to the dance hall and the theatre; it can travel, it can appropriate art, learning, the treasures of the past, political power – all this it can appropriate for you – it can buy all this: it is true endowment. Yet being all this, it wants to do nothing but create itself, buy itself; for everything else is after all its servant, and when I have the master I have the servant and do not need his servant. All passions and all activity must therefore be submerged in avarice. The worker may only have enough for him to want to live, and may only want to live in order to have enough.

Industry speculates on the refinement of needs, it speculates however just as much on their crudeness, but on their artificially produced crudeness, whose true enjoyment, therefore, is self- stupefaction – this illusory satisfaction of need this civilisation contained within the crude barbarism of need. The English gin shops are therefore the symbolical representations of private property. Their luxury reveals the true relation of industrial luxury and wealth to man. They are therefore rightly the only Sunday pleasures of the people which the English police treats at least mildly.|XVII||

from Karl Marx, A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, Introduction (1844)

Where, then, is the positive possibility of a German emancipation?

Answer: In the formulation of a class with radical chains, a class of civil society which is not a class of civil society, an estate which is the dissolution of all estates, a sphere which has a universal character by its universal suffering and claims no particular right because no particular wrong, but wrong generally, is perpetuated against it; which can invoke no historical, but only human, title; which does not stand in any one-sided antithesis to the consequences but in all-round antithesis to the premises of German statehood; a sphere, finally, which cannot emancipate itself without emancipating itself from all other spheres of society and thereby emancipating all other spheres of society, which, in a word, is the complete loss of man and hence can win itself only through the complete re-winning of man. This dissolution of society as a particular estate is the proletariat.