Fascism is an expensive to maintain state-of-siege by the capitalist economy attempting to defend itself by an irrational means. Fascism rallies to the defense of the conservative bourgeois ideology of the family, private property, the moral order, and patriotic nationalism. It unites the petty-bourgeois, the unemployed who have been hurt by the crisis or disappointed by the impotence of the socialist revolution‒ it is not by its nature fundamentally ideological, but may exhibit ideology to suit its needs. Its strength is how it presents itself truthfully as a violent resurrection of mythic past origins‒ to claim the past as a “Golden Age” and a return to the success of this golden past. It demands participation in a community held together by mythical archaic pseudo-values: race, blood, and the leader.
Fascism is a cult of the archaic fitted out by modern technology. It revives and recreates its myth (both past and present) through the spectacle using speeches, television, radio, internet, and pop culture. It is a major factor in the formation of the modern spectacle. The false mythology of this “Golden Age” is one of the fundamental factors of contemporary society, and was a primary factor in the destruction of the workers movements of the past.
Fascism however, is the most costly means of preserving a capitalist order due to the scale and effort required of the state to enforce the authoritarian rule of a minority with a police state apparatus. Fascism is unsustainable in the long-term, and must be pushed aside by a more efficient and rational form of power; neoconservative or neoliberal representational democracy being examples.
This was an excerpt from “The Society of The Spectacle: Unpacked” a forthcoming book by 0xADADA.
Debord, G. (1983). The society of the spectacle. Trans. Fredy Perlman. Detroit: Black & Red, Print.
Debord, G. (1994). The society of the spectacle. New York: Zone Books.
Debord, G. & Knabb, K. (2014). The Society of the spectacle. Berkeley, CA: Bureau of Public Secrets.