What's disturbing about the militia people are their seemingly empty obsessions with sighting black helicopters and the United Nations. So far, they've yet to articulate anything beyond a paranoid libertarianism.
Frequently Asked QuestionsEtta Palm asks
What do the fascists say about right-wing extremists?
They are incoherent: they want rugged individualism, while at the same time preaching Christianity; they mix libertarian dogma with racist/statist ideology without seeing any contradiction.
What passes for 'Right' in Anglo-Saxon countries is simply an exasperated economic liberalism with religious justification: Bible and Business. Neither is ideologically appealing by themselves; together they are particularly unsavory. Nor do they have much to do with each other, no matter how much one wants to torture old religious texts. There is a fundamental disjunction between the universalism preached by Christianity and other monotheistic religions and the individualism preached by liberalism.
Much of the inability on the part of the 'right-wing extremists' to see past their own contradictions is due to excessive inbreeding.
SurFascists, and their Fascist comrades, are opposed to the idea that society can or should be organized around maximally realizing each individual's desires to the detriment of social solidarity. Contrary to appearances, most 'right-wing extremists' do not in any way oppose ranking individual values above those of the society at large. Where they differ from more traditional liberals is in whose wants should be maximally fulfilled. Not surprisingly, they place their own wants at the top. In doing so they just take the logic of liberal individualism one step further.
Ah for the Days when Poverty was God's Damnation Made Manifest on Earth
Business is Business. And also, "it's just business." One of the paradoxes confronting the Right is that much of its ballot strength comes from reaching out to people the free market disenfranchises and then radicalizes. Many of the militiamen in Michigan were automobile industry workers who considered themselves well off because they could afford to make the payments on two cars, a house, and a mobile home. They are now displaced because the plants where they labored were cheaper to rebuild in Mexico or Singapore. After all, it's just business.
What's disturbing about the militia people are their seemingly empty obsessions with sighting black helicopters and the United Nations. So far, they've yet to articulate anything beyond a paranoid libertarianism. Though they've been dispossessed by Business, they support the rights of Business to act without any societal control (otherwise we'd be violating 'property rights'). Here is the final nail in Marx' coffin: when labor is systematically impoverished by capital as predicted, the former laborers do not become revolutionaries. They revert to being peasants.
Just Business, though, is not satisfying as a ground for moral, ethical or political principles. That is because there is no possibility for principles, beyond economic rationalism. Poor soil. Fortuitously enough, there is the Bible! And this is a good thing for both our new peasants and their masters. Now the peasants have symbols on which they can attach their resentments over the vaguely perceived link between cosmopolitanism and their betrayal. And the masters can sleep without worrying about their riches.
It is not ironic that fashion and taste effectively neutralized the bourgeois ideals of Culture when they were used to sell goods and services in the mass media. Fashion and taste are part of an aristocratic/traditionalist sensibility. Both are arbitrary in nature. A person is born with good taste and fashion sense: neither can be learned. An acquired taste is a bourgeois attempt to co-opt the traditionalist's language. At their best fashion and taste view history as series of cycles where there is no discernible reason for change other than shifts in style.
After all, America is not Iran. No need to worry about intelligent popular theologians stirring up trouble here. The occasional bomb attack won't stop the system. It might even sell some more newspapers, magazines, books, pop tunes and TV shows.
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Last Updated: December 16, 1998