Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

November 7, 2020

Signs and Exorcisms

Filed under: Fascism — louisproyect @ 12:01 am

Paula White Leading Prayer Service For Trump’s reelection

Fascism has opened up the depths of society for politics. Today, not only in peasant homes but also in city skyscrapers, there lives alongside of the twentieth century the tenth or the thirteenth. A hundred million people use electricity and still believe in the magic power of signs and exorcisms. The Pope of Rome broadcasts over the radio about the miraculous transformation of water into wine. Movie stars go to mediums. Aviators who pilot miraculous mechanisms created by man’s genius wear amulets on their sweaters. What inexhaustible reserves they possess of darkness, ignorance, and savagery! Despair has raised them to their feet fascism has given them a banner. Everything that should have been eliminated from the national organism in the form of cultural excrement in the course of the normal development of society has now come gushing out from the throat; capitalist society is puking up the undigested barbarism. Such is the physiology of National Socialism.

Leon Trotsky, “What is National Socialism


  1. I wonder what portion of Trump followers fit into Trotsky’s description of incipient fascism. A handful? A bare majority? A huge bulk? The only thing he mentions that I’m sure of is the “despair”.

    Comment by uh...clem — November 7, 2020 @ 12:35 am

  2. Visit the Rust Belt and you will understand the despair. Visit any small business owner who is “anti-lockdown” and you will understand the petty bourgeois support. Visit New York, Chicago, Portland or any other shit hole city and you will see the barbarism.

    But the next part Trotsky writes that is not pasted here is how facism is used as a battering ram against working class organizations and to centralize the state and means of production to prepare for war.

    Trump moved in the exact opposite direction and there are no working class organizations in United States today. So it doesn’t really apply to this situation at all. But people like to look to the past. Remember what Marx wrote:

    ‘The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living….precisely in such epochs of revolutionary crisis they anxiously conjure up the spirits of the past to their service, borrowing from them names, battle slogans, and costumes in order to present this new scene in world history in time-honored disguise and borrowed language.’

    Comment by Tanaka Ueno — November 7, 2020 @ 5:29 am

  3. The point of the fascism quote is to show certain elements that Trumpism has in common with historical fascism, in particular the hysterical mishmash of religious fakery, especially the glossolalia–and the attendant regressive cultural context–of the appalling exhibition by this demented Holy Roller with her gibberish and the crackpot walking in holy circles behind her.

    Oh Dear!! I’ve spoken ill of religious people! Well, I guess that’s OK as long as they aren’t Catholic. That water into wine crap and eating fish on Friday and some old pedophile having the cure of souls–now that is deep, serious stuff worthy of respect whether we agree with it or not.

    At least derogatory mention wasn’t made here of Paula Thingy’s trailer-park background–that would be an out-and-out attack on the proletariat!!

    Comment by Farans Kalosar — November 10, 2020 @ 3:19 am

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