By Carson Wolf
Fascism is currently on the rise, and, ironically, it’s being fueled by the American Alt-Left. The ideology of Fascism is best described as one of devout ultranationalism. However, despite common belief, Fascism is not an ideology of inherently right-wing values. Nationalistic sentiments are not traits unique to right-wing ideology, as left-wing nationalism is prominent in Cuba, Italy, and Poland. We see this left-wing ultranationalism as a product of the rise of the American Alt-Left.
No, the entire left and any leftists aren’t inherently Fascist by any means. In fact, Fascism, as a whole, is just as widespread within the American Alt-Right as it is within the Alt-Left. However, modern Fascism within the Alt-Right is a massively unpopular political subsection rejected by a majority of Americans, right-wing and left-wing alike. Alt-Left Fascism, on the other hand, is, scarily, a mildly popular movement in America, especially among the youth. This new era of left-wing Fascism is best described as “Social Nationalism.” But what is “Alt-Right Fascism?” What is “Alt-Left Fascism?” What is regular Fascism? And how are they all different? First, to understand the rise of modern American Fascism, it is critical that we understand the bulk of the ideology.
What is Fascism?
Fascism, as an ideology, is one of the most complicated ideologies to classify and characterize. Although many typically characterize Fascism as an inherently right-wing ideology, the roots of Fascist theory originates with European Marxists like Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, and Benito Mussolini. This is what makes the ideology of Fascism so difficult to characterize. Fascism, uniquely, showcases aspects of both left-wing and right-wing political theories in the most extreme ways. For example, Fascism is culturally extreme right-wing, as Fascist doctrine seeks to preserve tradition– often in a reactionary manner– of a society. On the other hand, Fascism takes inspiration from Marx, advocating for widespread political and social revolution in a push to gain political power. This is the key characteristic of Fascism that allows it to be so malleable across the political spectrum.
In the simplest sense, Fascism is an ideology that combines the practices of extreme social and cultural thought– ultranationalism, ethnicism, ochlocracy, paramilitarism, unitarianism, reactionism, and syndicalism. So, Fascism is a political ideology that prioritizes people’s ethnicity, religion, and other surface-level characteristics–– additionally, using social antagonistic practices of ochlocracy and paramilitarism to suppress opposition and achieve a rapid/revolutionary push towards a former glory of civilization.
Now, for the modern versions of Fascism:
What is Alt-Right Fascism? Alt-Right Fascism, or “Fascism of the Alternative Right-Wing,” is an extremist brand of the American radical right-wing. Alt-Right is, in a sense, a desperate attempt to cling to the past of a society’s culture. This aspect of Alt-Right Fascism is key in the American Deep South, as communities in states like Alabama view their history in the Confederacy or the country’s time of Jim Crow laws as “a golden age” of America. In addition, many Alt-Right Fascists encourage practices of minority suppression and white supremacy, glorifying criminal groups like the National Socialists (Nazi) and Ku Klux Klan (KKK).
Alt-Right Fascism, while having little pockets spread across the U.S– mostly in low-income communities of older people– is a massively unpopular ideology that’s rejected by a majority of Americans. Still, Alt-Right Fascists often conscript followers into civilian militias or paramilitaries– like Neo-Nazis, American Renaissance, American Skinheads, Proud Boys, New Brownshirts, and National Alliance– to use violence and practice of civil disobedience to inspire fear in the political opposition. It is accurate that Alt-Right Fascism in America bears many similarities to a modern social interpretation of Hitler’s National Socialism (Nazism) than it does to the social ideology of Mussolini’s Fascist ideology. Illustrating this, Alt-Right Fascists prioritize American’s ethnic identity as opposed to a national heritage or citizenship. Needless to say, Alt-Right Fascism is a reactionary social movement that seeks to bring America to a “greater glory” through the ideas seen during the Nazi’s era of white supremacy in the German Reich.
Lastly, the ideology of Alt-Left Fascism:
What is Alt-Left Fascism? Alt-Left Fascism is an interesting ideology that’s largely underestimated in the public sphere. The key aspect of Alt-Left Fascism that makes it much more similar to Mussolini’s Fascism than Alt-Right Fascism is the aspect of National Populism. Oftentimes, Alt-Left Fascists use National Populism to indoctrinate the youth to fight for their cause. However, where Alt-Left Fascism begins to diverge from Mussolini’s Fascism is in the prioritization of the ethnic identity in the opposite direction from Alt-Right Fascists. While Alt-Right Fascists prioritize the “whiteness” and “homogenous” Nordic-European ethnic identities, Alt-Left Fascists prioritize the opposite ethnic identities. Sometimes, Alt-Left Fascism can be interpreted as “anti-white nationalists” or “ethnic nationalists,” as Alt-Left Fascism often prioritizes social disruption in order to discourage ethnic homogeneity on a national scale.
While Alt-Left Fascists prioritize ethnic classifications, they will often encourage and enforce the social identities in a nation. For example, Mussolini, the founder of Fascism, was a Communist for a long time. This is seen as a driving force in his attempts to lift the lower-class out of poverty by blaming their misfortune on those who currently hold power. Thus, Alt-Left Fascists will often focus on gaining popular support of the larger middle-class by blaming their problems on an unclear ‘shadow figure.’ Many historians describe Hitler’s racial pyramid and his hatred towards the Jews as “a scapegoat” or a “shadowy villain,” which is scarily accurate. In fact, the reason that Hitler and his Nazi followers hated the Jewish peoples so much is, much in part, due to their view of the Jewish communities as inherently Communist. This is seen, in an almost identical manner, today.
Today, Alt-Left Fascist paramilitary groups like the American Iron Front use reactionary identities to paint “shadowy villains” or “scapegoats.” For example, many will use broad and unclear figures, like “Straight White Christian Men,” as villains to society’s progression, insisting that as long as “Straight White Christian Men” hold power, there will be no justice. Expanding, Alt-Left Fascists will also deploy paramilitaries like Antifa to use violence against people who disagree with the majority opinion and showcase such “Straight White Christian Male” characteristics. However, the dangers of this are clear: scapegoats will always have to be executed, especially if you make the people want it.
Lastly, in addition to the prioritization of ethnic and social identities, Alt-Left Fascism focuses heavily on the prioritization of political identities. Illustrating this, Alt-Left, Alt-Right, and traditional Fascists alike will often use “reactionary” political identities to associate with their group. Expanding, Alt-Left Fascists often use a recent disaster, a national era of reminiscent, or a widely-known public fear to paint themselves as “saviors” of the people. The Nazis, in their early stages, were puppet masters in this respect. During this time, the Nazis used events like the New York stock market crash as a time of public weakness to strike, the rise of German Communism as popular fear that they could save the public from, and an aurora of Prussian militarism to inspire nationalism in their followers.
Alt-Left Fascism is on the rise today, and it’s showcasing exponential growth that’ll ultimately end in catastrophe. The reason Alt-Left Fascism is such a dangerous ideology, even when being compared to Alt-Right Fascism and even traditional Fascism, is the Alt-Left Fascists’ societal indoctrination that’s been seen in recent events of disaster. Today, after 80 years of fighting this hateful ideology, Fascism is no longer a rejected philosophy; instead, it is now an ideology that controls much of American society and is indoctrinating the American youth. Fascism, in every form, has always indoctrinated society with a false idol of ending oppression in exchange for undying loyalty to an ideology based on surface-level characteristics. The danger in this is already being seen, as Alt-Left Fascist use endless terms of vengeance in protest, such as “End White Privilege!” and more. These terms have the opposite effect, enforcing a social order that is based on the standard of race and ethnicity. The way to end racism is not to make people see only race– that is Fascism. The only way to truly create a society that’s based on the content of one’s character, that’s classless, that’s based on the standards of humanity, is to eliminate the prioritization of one’s racial and ethnic identity. Fascism is on the rise today. We must not fight against it, but instead, we must make them fight against us!
In addition to fighting in the war against socialism, 18-year-old Carson Wolf is a signed actor living part-time in Los Angeles, California. Carson also lives part-time in the Woodlands, Texas, where he works for the local Republican offices and appears on various county broadcast/podcast studios. Through his political youth show, “Be The People,” and through his work with Young Americans Against Socialism, Carson is determined to unite his generation of increasingly socialist left teenagers and call a truce in America’s “Culture War.”