Written by Marxist YouTuber Xexizy and presented in a video (12.8.2018 ) of the same name. I think this essay has good points on debating fascists, even if you are not a Marxist. So i acquired the transcripts of the video and they are in full below.
A popular question today is what’s the best way to deal with Fascist arguments? How can you properly lay out the logically inconsistencies in Fascist ideology for everyone to see how much of a sham it all is, and once and for all put its ideas to rest. Of course, this question has only been becoming more prevalent recently simply because more people are becoming infatuated with far- right ideology, and with it modern forms of Fascism, calling for the establishment of ethno-states and ‘a return to traditional values’. There’s quite a clear-cut answer to this question, and as you’ve probably guessed, it’s that you have to be a Marxist, and in this video, we’ll be explaining why that is. Although, rather than going over what makes Marxism such an effective analysis of society, as has been already done in many of my other videos which you can watch in the video card section, we’ll be talking about what makes liberalism so ineffective. In fact, we can say what it is right now – when a society starts to deteriorate, produce further alienation, social tension and economic stress, the status quo becomes questioned, and as you can imagine, anyone representing the status quo is left is quite a difficult spot to answer for the ills bought about by their ideology. Today, that status quo is liberalism, and its challengers are the Fascists. Now I don’t want to hear your excuses, that you’re actually an alt-centrist who thinks everyone is wrong, a classical liberal who’s actually the oppressed one under the (fucking feminist system), or an anti-capitalist due to your support for Bernie Sanders – on the scope of the core principles of liberalism that our society is based on, compared with that of Fascists, you are the status quo, regardless of how fringe you might think you are in relation to conventional politics, because the Fascists are an order of magnitude more fringe. At the end of the day, you want some flavor of liberalism, and they. do. not.
Now a pretty firm line can be drawn between two types of liberals and as such two different ways the same phenomena has occurred though, so we’ll be looking at each. This is between the conservative liberals, and the progressive liberals. Now I do understand that it can be frustrating when Marxists take what are considered diametrically opposed groups and lump them together under the term ’liberal’ but please do understand that from the perspective all the way over here at the far left, the fine details between progressive drones and classical drones becomes a little redundant.
The conservative liberals, who we’ll be starting with first because I know they have a shorter attention span, are those types where they’re not only ignorant to how Fascism grows on merit of being liberals, but then also seem like they’re trying to propel Fascist rhetoric into the mainstream, their rallying cry for doing so being ‘to trigger the libs’ (when you troll a liberal, awesome style).
Now, what do I mean when I talk about these liberals being unable to effectively argue against the Fascists of today? Well what better example to draw on than the the infamous Sargon vs Spencer debate. This debate showed such a poor performance from Sargon that for the first time…ever, I think, his fans acknowledged he lost. But to cut Sargon some slack, I honestly think that there’s pretty much no way he could have gained any ground here. His own debating skills aside, he had sealed himself into a position of defeat from the very start by simply believing what he does.
In my video ‘The Classical Liberal’s Decent Into Fascism’, which of course you’ve already seen, I make the point that classical liberals, i.e. the more conservative liberals, usually focus on the same or at least similar societal issues that the alt-right do. Prime examples include being anti-immigration, anti-feminism/anti-progressive, concerned about the preservation of gender roles or culture and usually working in the interest of the white man, as seen in instances such as affirmative action or joining in with the alt-right in claims that progressives hate white men, as seen when they unquestionably picked up the phrase ‘it’s ok to be white’, something that was literally thought up by some alt-righter on 4chan. But as I also said in that video, and as I’m going to have the majorly emphasize here and still have people misunderstand me, none of these things actually make classical liberals similar to the alt-right. Classical liberals are just that, liberals, and the alt-right are a populist, anti-establishment movement that usually questions the main underlying assertions of liberalism, like individual liberty. None the less though, the fact that these two groups still focus on such similar issues and have similar enemies, leads to this interesting paradigm that sets the liberals up to be at a disadvantage whenever actually trying to engage the Fascists of today. Now from here it’s tempting to fall back into making the same points that I have in my video specifically on this topic, that classical liberals set up the case for the Fascists to come along and simply say ‘lets actually do something about this rather than getting outraged on twitter’, or simply adding that it’s the jews who are behind the feminist media monopoly, but I’d just encourage anyone who hasn’t to simply go and watch that video instead. Rather what we’ll focus on here is how this retrains liberals from actually dealing with Fascists when they’re confronted with them, this being because they work on the same groundings that the alt-right do, and to actually challenge the alt-right on this means undermining their own positions. If they start trying to back peddle on ‘the feminist system’ (it’s a god damn feminist system), they end up arguing against themselves, so rather you have to try and pin down Spencer on ‘who counts as white’. You can see this in the debate Sargon had with Richard Spencer, as he spends pretty much the whole thing trying to argue the specific practicalities of a white ethno-state, because that’s all he has available to him. All he can do is try and explain why in practice, the ethno-state is a bad idea, but I would suggest that the question of practicality is wholly irrelevant to the question.
The method in use here is what liberalism is forced to treat all instances of populism, both left and right – that being, straight dismissal. See, to those infatuated with the alt-right already, or those flirting, the ethno-state or any softer variation to them represents change, a break away from the liberal society that they deem has screwed them over, and I mean in a lot of cases it actually has. What we have are these disgruntled, alienated individuals who are looking for change, a solution, and they believe they’ve found one that will deal with their problems. The way liberalism treats the ethno-state is again very similar to how it treats the notion of Communism – constantly reaffirming that the fundamental type of society we live under is as good as we can get, and that all hope is merely a dangerous illusion, attaching the labels of impractical and unrealistic to proposed alternatives. This however is a fundamentally unsustainable way to repress populist movements due to capitalism’s own workings. While taking the position of the down to earth moderate bringing starry eyed radicals back into reality is effective in times of relative prosperity, never in history has it continued to work when reasons for change become increasingly more urgent as Capitalism itself leads to turmoil. It’s a method that, like many things under neoliberalism, rests on dogma, which always eventually becomes challenged.
Now when I say dogma, in the context of liberalism I’m talking about basic things like, individual freedoms, or that racism is bad. These are common things that, even if one side wants to say the other doesn’t hold, that they’re racist or against freedom, the other side always has to deny it as it’s a common dogma that they hold to be correct. I’ll clarify, just because in our society these things are dogmas, doesn’t mean they’re bad or wrong, what it does mean however is when you get groups that do go against these status quo values openly, the defenders of the status quo will have no experience in dealing with it. Take the example of racism. The majority of people don’t have a response to ‘why is racism bad?’ because usually admitting you’re a racist, causes you to lose the argument by default so they’ve never needed to have a fleshed-out response for a debate format, but this isn’t necessarily the case with Fascists, and the same goes for things like individual liberty. Of course, in the real world, a Fascist won’t out right say ‘I am a racist’ if they’re smart, you’ll get something like ‘why is it wrong to protect the interests of white people?’, but the principle remains the same. When liberals are then left with no other recourse than accusing someone of racism, or simply making weak arguments in the case of the classical liberals, the fascists get to play up their narrative that there are no real arguments against racism, and that liberals just ‘cry out fascism and/or racism to censor their ideas because they have no arguments’, thus pushing people to the right. The context in which they’re able to do this, of course, bought about by both types of liberals themselves, by both progressive liberals genuinely resorting to the label racist in place of arguments, and then the conservative liberals making this out to be literally the end of the world.
We can see this in practice when Gary Younge from channel 4 went to interview Richard Spencer on his positions and try and confront him on them. Now, I’m sure you’ve already seen it, but to refresh your memory here are a couple of high lights:
Now this essentially ticks every box of specifically why progressive liberals are at such a disadvantage when dealing with Fascists like Spencer toe-to-toe. They’re simply inexperienced to deal with such claims like ‘slavery was good, actually’. Younge can only stand there in disbelief as Spencer bats out one outlandish claim after the next, call him a racist and then storm out. It’s no fault of Younge, any journalist from Channel 4 would had been in the exact same position, it’s a consequence of his lack of revolutionary ideals, and that we’ll get into more later.
There are though many of these progressive liberals who seem to recognize this, but then only draw the conclusion that it means we simply shouldn’t engage Fascists in this manner at all. There’s an common sentiment amount progressives, along the lines of ‘we shouldn’t debate fascists because progressive ideas are simply more nuanced and require more explaining, while Fascists only work on rhetoric and soundbites, putting us at an inherent disadvantage’. Now, while it’s nice to believe that you’re just too intelligent to debate Fascists, in reality it is because of the positions you actually hold, and their ineffectiveness at fighting Fascism on ideological grounds. As progressives though, they do have one advantage on the conservative liberals, that being they have no reason to go along with alt-right assertions about the present state of society. The best tool the progressives have is simply disproving empirical claims to reduce fearmongering and alarmism that the alt-right try to cultivate, while of course the classical liberals only join them in doing so. This method, however, is not especially suited for live debates – if you take a watch of any one of Shaun’s videos, you’ll see that he has to take his time to establish grounding to his argument, lay out all the facts, and then go step by step through why whatever ridiculous claim the Fascists that week were making is inaccurate. There’s no soundbite version of this, and so there’s simply no time to carry it out in a live debate, which is where the notion that progressive ideas aren’t suited to live debate comes from. Now, simply making these empirical refutations is still very effective, don’t get me wrong, but the fact that it’s progressivism’s main and really only tool against Fascism is very telling, and while it is an effective tool, it’s still a flawed one. This is because that the whole time you take a wholly empirical approach as it were, without any real ideological grounding, you’re essentially saying that the Fascists are only wrong as long as their facts are wrong. It means that, if we wake up tomorrow and suddenly all the claims of the alt-right or, hell, even half of them are true, a progressive would be rationally obligated to become a Fascist. However, not a Marxist. Now I get that the underlying claim here, that Fascists are wrong even if they’re right, might seem weird, but to properly explain why I’d like to use one of Zizek’s points as an example:
So to reiterate, Fascists are scum regardless of how correct they are. If progressiveness can only rest on the fact that the alt-right are making factually false claims, they will still have a fundamentally flawed approach at arguing against them without any ideological points. The source then of both proper ideological resistance and most importantly ideological alternative to Fascism then can never be the status quo that liberalism is, but a radical Communist movement, the main reason being that Communist ideology simply isn’t everything that we’ve been discussing about liberalism here.
Even if again we assume again that the Fascists are right, that the world really is run by a Jewish cabal, the Marxist analysis of society is completely unchanged, as it is a systemic one. Something that Fascism shares in common with liberalism actually is that they both take on individualist approaches to their world views – basing sources of the good and the bad from specific individuals or groups with power, which is why Fascism’s whole ideology boils down to replacing one group they reprieve to be in power with another group. Again though, Marxism is a systemic analysis, the whole point is that the conclusions it draws are independent of who actually holds power, as Capitalism as a social relation works with the same fundamental laws regardless. This puts Marxism in place to cut right at the heart of Fascism as a political alternative by demonstrating its inability to solve societal tensions even in the ethno-state utopia, as such a society still functions on the Capitalist mode of production.
Now this is so important, because as we’ve discussed Fascism arises out of tensions and turmoil bought about by liberal society, i.e. Capitalist society. It comes along with the intent to remedy the problems of modern society, return glory to its nation, go back to the good old days. This is the drive of Fascism, but the Marxist analysis thoroughly shows how such goals are impossible even if all their aims are met, and so rather than dismissing the notion as impractical or immoral, Marxism can counter the underlying reasons for its growth in the first place, and then furthermore offering its own alternative to the crumbling status quo. This alternative being, of course, the actual abolition of the Capitalist mode of production, property relations, the value form, commodity fetishism and alienation. The establishment of a society based on social relations, as opposed to proxy interaction via the commodity. Of course, the pressing question now might be how specifically Capitalism is inherently unstable, and how specifically might we reorganize society around this, but this goes far beyond our scope. I might recommend either watching some of my other stuff I’ve included in the video cards, or perhaps just reading Marx. What’s important here, is that Marxism provides both a throughout refutation of the Fascist project, regardless of to what extent the Jews really are controlling us, or the Muslims really are hoarding our countries, and at the same time offers a true alternative to the ills of liberal and wider Capitalist society. If you remain adamant on maintaining your liberal ideals, you will always be giving Fascism the higher ground on merit of your own