Part 2 – Trust an Italian to know about fascists. (Eco 1)
Part 3 – Fascism cleans the sheets and takes out the trash… (Eco 2)
Part 4 – Fear the Gnomes of Zurich! (Eco 3)
Part 5 - An army boot stamping on an inhuman face -- for as long as we can get away with it (Eco 4)
Part 6 - Real Men Say Our Leader is DoublePlus Good! (Eco 5 and last)
Part 4 of the essays on fascism, and the third post going over Eternal Fascism: Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt, (1995) by Umberto Eco. (Whole list reproduced at the end of the post.)
We’re over the hump, and moving in on the last part of Eco's essay. And here's:
8. The followers must feel humiliated by the ostentatious wealth and force of their enemies.
The immediate thought for me was the "liberal media." Oh, and the "gay agenda." Now, these are two risible constructions. That darn liberal media, always taking the sides of the evil rich Democrats, the latte liberals, the intelligentsia. And those darn homos, with their evil plan to take over the world.
Now, of course, neither of these is real, but they can seem real, if you assume that the media should only cover things from a conservative angle, and gays should say in the closet (or be chained to a fence, beaten and left to die.) This is a clever trick used by the Right – if we're not getting our way 100%, then there must be an evil plot by the 'enemy' that is oppressing and humiliating us.
Oh – and the "War on Christians." "We can't get our 10 Commandments statue in the public school lobby, and we can't open all city council meetings with a mandatory Jesus prayer, so our Christianity is under attack!!!" Yah right.
For the Nazis, of course, this was the Jews, who had secret banks and stuff.
This is a very interesting passage from Eco's description of this point:
However, the followers of Ur-Fascism must also be convinced that they can overwhelm the enemies. Thus, by a continuous shifting of rhetorical focus, the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak. Fascist governments are condemned to lose wars because they are constitutionally incapable of objectively evaluating the force of the enemy.
Sound like TERRORISTS anyone we know TERRORISTS? Someone that the TERRORISTS Bush regime talks about TERRORISTS constantly? We are safe, but we're not safe.
And the force of the enemy/force levels in Iraq thing is purely coincidental.