Sunday, November 29, 2015

The New Fascist Challenge

Refugees in Europe

Should members of the EU end up reviewing their open borders policy on account of the Paris Attacks, the terrorists win. But what kind of states would allow few dozen disgruntled kids to tear down the fabric of a continent? Organized crime have long benefitted from the open borders policy and it has had far more dangerous and deadly impact on the people than any amount of terrorist attacks, ever, and yet few calls have been made to close down borders for this reason. The sensationalist nature of terrorist acts should not distract from the fact of its far more limited impact on our lives when compared with that of “ordinary” crime. Greater cooperation between police forces across borders and boundaries, better information sharing between the various intelligence services and better integration and developments policies of migrants and their communities would go a long way in tackling the basic challenges involved than retrenchment beyond national borders.

*

Trying to reduce the GOP current malaise to the Trump Phenomenon is a form of denial. Resurgent xenophobia, populism, fearmongering, catering to prejudice, a rejection of science, continuous attempts at inserting faith into politics in a highly pluralistic country, and lack of concern for the weak and vulnerable classes... all these are problems that plague the Republican Party as a whole, and not just Mr. Trump. The GOP’s current identity crisis is an existential affair and cannot be addressed with a thorough review of its current principles. Only people willing to undertake such a task can emerge as legitimate and trustworthy leaders down the road. In the meantime, the Party will continue to be represented by this motley crew of clownish contenders.

*
Our real battle today is with different manifestations of fascism in Russia, in Iran, in Saudi Arabia, and states and societies far beyond. It’s with a return to a dangerous marriage between religion and politics, and the populist policies needed to make the marriage work; it’s with atavistic tendencies that keep reasserting themselves at every corner, and with autocratic rule by corrupt political and socioeconomic elites. And if in the background, different “consortiums” scattered around the world fought over resources, such as oil and natural gas, the fact of it does not make them the sole or primary movers and instigators of these trends. They simply do what comes naturally to them: take advantage of the opportunities made available to them. But yes, their intervention does complicate the struggle and impedes resolution.