It is essential to understand the manifestations of fascism in today’s world and be on the lookout for its rise, as fascism continues to be a relevant concern, threatening democracy, human rights, and social justice; calling out its leaders and followers for what they are, may be uncomfortable, but it is necessary to prevent the spread of fascist ideology.
We know that fascism is a far-right ideology that seeks to establish a totalitarian state and suppress opposition through violence and propaganda. The rise of fascist regimes in the past, most notably the Nazi regime in Germany, has shown us the horrors that can occur if fascism goes unchecked. The grim shadow of fascism during World War II was not confined to Nazi Germany alone, as it had spread its malevolent tendrils to Mussolini’s Italy and a fiercely nationalistic Japan led by Emperor Hirohito. Despite their eventual downfall, the lingering spectre of fascist ideology continues to loom over different parts of the globe, threatening to emerge and wreak havoc anew.
The rise of fascism today has been aided by a political discourse that stokes fear of the “other” and blames marginalised communities for societal issues, creating a breeding ground for far-right ideologies.
It is crucial to be on the lookout for fascist movements and to call out their leaders, ideologues and followers for what they are: Nazis. While some may argue that calling someone a Nazi is an overreaction, we must remember that fascism thrives on normalisation. If we allow fascist ideology to go unchallenged and unopposed, it can lead to the establishment of fascist regimes that pose a threat to democracy, human rights, and social justice.
Furthermore, it is important to understand the role that economic inequality and class struggle play in the rise of fascism. Fascist movements often prey on people’s economic anxieties and scapegoat marginalised groups for society’s problems. We must continue to promote the understanding that fascism is a product of capitalist exploitation and the contradictions of the capitalist system.
If the Home Secretary, Suella Bravermann, promotes a policy that appears to be aligned with fascist ideology, it is natural for people to use the term “Nazi” as a descriptor. In such a scenario, it is not acceptable for the Home Secretary to cite her Jewish husband as a reason why being called that word is reprehensible. Using the fact that one has a partner or family member from a certain background as a shield against criticism is not a valid justification for promoting policies that are perceived as harmful or oppressive. Doing so can be seen as an attempt to deflect legitimate criticism and avoid accountability for one’s actions.
Our fight against fascism remains a crucial task for leftists today, and we must be vigilant in identifying and calling out fascist movements and their leaders. While calling someone a Nazi may be uncomfortable, it is a necessary step in preventing the spread of fascist ideology and defending democracy and human rights. To combat the threat posed by the far-right, we must unite and work together. We must be vigilant and ensure that racism and hatred towards migrants, or any groups of the oppressed never become accepted or commonplace.
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