Events in Virginia Signify Immanent Threat of Fascism
August 15, 2017
A "Unite the Right" rally held in Charlottesville, Virginia, which ended in one death and dozens of serious injuries after a terrorist attack with a car by a Nazi attendee, was a demonstration straight out of the playbook of the German fascists of the late 1920s and early 1930s, a demonstration that as such echoes similar demonstrations held by Nazis in Europe, such as in Ukraine and Poland.
President Trump's response to the attack was very revealing of his private disposition towards the parties involved. His immediate response was to condemn the 'ugliness' on 'both sides', suggesting that he had equal revulsion to both Nazis and to those who peacefully protest against Nazis.
No one should believe anything that Trump says about far-right groups such as the Nazis, the KKK, and other paramilitary fight clubs. As the godfather of the 'birther movement,' his claims to disavow racism scream of laughable hypocrisy. Furthermore, his second statement on the events, which were very obviously scripted and seeming unrehearsed (perhaps for conscious reasons) should not be valued for a serious assessment of the President's actual position. As the head of the US government, he is beholden to the monopoly capitalists who will not permit their representative to make statements that would unnecessarily alienate and repulse the majority of Americans. His refusal to condemn the Nazis specifically and his ambiguous condemnation of all parties instead shows that he is at best indifferent to the injuries and deaths caused to those who militantly oppose his aspiring fascist regime.
It is important to remember that the Nazis who marched at this event were among the same groups who Trump egged on at his campaign events to use violence against opponents with his full legal protection, groups such as the Proud Boys and the Three Percenters.
What makes these groups dangerous is not their ugly rhetoric or their successful event coordination, but the fact that they identify the President of the United States as their fuhrer and that the President will only speak of them in the most ambiguous and vague phrasing. Trump knows that he has these paramilitary groups ready at his command should he need them to carry out his will outside of the existing state security apparatus, or should he decide to incorporate them into that apparatus. It is highly probable, though not publicly confirmed, that the leading organizers of these groups have direct contacts with Trump's former campaign staff and/or current administration, given that these groups were encouraged to have a presence at his campaign events.
The Nazi rally in Charlottesville should be seen not only as an attempt to embolden fascist groups across the country to take similar action but also as an attempt to embolden Trump himself, to demonstrate that he has a supportive base who will remain loyal to him should he decide to move his administration into a more overtly fascist posture. It has successfully contributed to the further normalization of Nazism as a viable contender in the ideological spectrum of the country.
While the racist and fascistic sentiments expressed at the rally are by no means foreign to American culture historically, their unity in rallying behind the President of the United States, combined with his hesitant and ambiguous condemnation, is truly unprecedented and should be recognized as a sign of a clear and present danger to America's most vulnerable people and to all of humanity.