The Trouble with Fascists
Throughout history there have been sociopaths that because of the combination of their beliefs, superpositioning, and their egos, have managed to establish positions of leadership – whether it has been cultural, moral or political. These racist imperialists are always apologists for theism and usually christianity and rarely are what could be considered intelligent beings. Instead, through the use of rhetoric and fearmongering, they impose their narrow vision on entire publics, sometimes entire nations. Historically, we like to cite Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin, but there is no shortage of these half-wits in leadership positions today. Obvious examples are George W. Bush, Rush Limbaugh, Stephen Harper. However, less obvious examples include the likes of Ian Robinson and Ezra Levant, both of whom write for the conservative tabloid, the Calgary Sun.I could easily discount the Calgary Sun, which is owned by mega-media corporation Quebecor Inc, but the hack rag has one of the largest circulations in Canada (ranked 20th), with 41% of the market share (designated circulation area) at just under 500,000 readers. That’s one in every 70 Canadians reading the complete and utter nonsense of people like Ian Robinson and Ezra Levant. Levant is most famous for the “bold move” of reprinting racist Danish Cartoons in his Zionist racist publication, The Westsern Standard, thus finally putting his pathetic excuse for journalism on the Canadian and international maps.
What people like Hitler, Harper, Anne Coulter, Ian Robinson and Ezra Levant have in common, is an egocentric drive to bring their semi-articulate philosophies of war, racism, heteronormativity, sexism and zionism to a mainstream public. Their writings, and if they have any, their ideas too, rely completely on the irrationalism of fascism. Theodor Adorno, who in his book “The Stars Down to Earth” links irrational authoritarianism with anti-semitism and astrology, respectively, has this to say about people like Robinson and Lavent, who co-opt the Westernized universalism of rationalism in order to inevitably appeal to irrationalism, which is so firmly rooted in individualistic consumer culture :
‘To be rational’ means not questioning irrational conditions, but to make the best of them from the viewpoint of one’s private interests.
This statement is at the core of neo-conservative thinking in America, Canada and Europe. It is the type of ideological soup that has led people to commit genocide, and leads our corporate-politicos currently steering the Western ship of democracy and exploitation down the path of neo-colonialism. Racist constructophobes like Robinson and Lavent are only as dangerous as their base group, and in the case of the Calgary Sun it is unfortunately large and influential.
To counter the rhetoric of fascistic irrationalism posing as rationalism more people need to expose the simplistic but ultimately dangerous rhetoric of half-wits like Robinson. Their ‘witty repertoire’ is an effective measure against arguments for justice, diversity, equality and the nurturing of public space and institutions. If more people expose these fascistic provocateurs and challenge their infantile ramblings as hate-mongering and anti-democratic, then perhaps we can remove them from their paper pedestals. And once you remove their paycheques, you will find they have little to say and no one to say it to.
And so, all this is to say that I was very greatful for Michael Lithgow’s response to Ian Robinson’s dribble about a project that I have been involved with called Wal-Town. In an article printed in the Calgary Sun called “Documentary Deluded” on September 27, 2006, Robinson proceeds to use his latté language in cheekily criticizing both our group and the documentary about our project. In his defence, he is doing a good job at provoking an audience, but unfortunately he does it in the same way other fascists have before him: by using irrational emotion-soaked language to position a normativity that feeds into the corporate model of nationhood. Another dark fascistic piece by another half-wit, but Lithgow’s response is full of light:
You summarize in a dandy way society’s problems, (“There’s crime, rampant drug abuse…”) but leave the hard work of trying to figure out how things got so crappy to someone else. You’re not blame, you’re a columnist who writes in a literary whorehouse. But while you’re watching explosions and naked women in the local cinema, someone’s got to do the hard work of thinking about these things. That’s where universities and even students come in. And yes, that’s where critical analysis comes in. Your cheerleading needs a counterpoint. The “I don’t care” if children have their arms and fingers mangled by industrial machinery to make me a ballcap “analysis” stinks, but only if you have the courage to actually have a look at what’s happening out there. You don’t. You’re a coward. If you stood for two seconds in any of the industrial settings that produce the clap-trap that no doubt fills your home, you’d be horrified like the rest of us and wondering how such inhumanity persists. If not, you would be a candidate for psychopathy…
That you haven’t seen the film you’re writing about suggests idiocy. I am assuming you were in college at one time, did you leave your brain there? Jeeez.
I know, I know, you’re a columnist which is not a position remunerated for the intelligence of its contributors, but rather their ability to provocate. On the plus side, you’re a pretty funny writer. Too bad your cowardice limits your material to “easily forgettable”. Perhaps, when you were younger, you had higher aspirations?