Fascism has no theory, no beginning, it is a movement

Lincoln Secco is a professor of Contemporary History and coordinator of the Study Group on History and Political Economy (Gmarx-USP), which studies the topic of fascism and its characteristics in Brazil and in the world. It has published a series of articles about the Pocketnarismo and its Fascist character. He coordinated the course “Fascism yesterday and today – knowing to defeat”, promoted by the Perseu Abramo Foundation, transformed into a book to be released next Wednesday (10), during a live with ex-president Dilma Rousseff, at 5 pm, on the channel from the Foundation’s youtube.

On Monday (8), the researcher participated in the online panel together with the former minister of the Lula government, Olívio Dutra. The dialogue is the fifth debate promoted by the Circle of the Democratic Party (PD) of Italy in Porto Alegre and was presented by the cycle’s creator, Cláudia Antonini. The transmission took place through the pages of PD Porto Alegre on youtube and facebook (pdPortoAlegre) and through radiowebs aimed at the Italian community in Latin America bellaciaowebradio.com and brasitaliawebradio.com

Check out the full interview.

Brasil de Fato RS – How do you define fascism?

Lincoln Secco – In a very comprehensive way, it is a rational and opportunistic technique for mobilizing what is irrational among the masses at a time of crisis in the era of imperialism. But it is a complex phenomenon with different characteristics in each country and historical moment.

In a crisis situation, with many people prone to fascist irrational discourse, it can progressively shift from a bizarre set of ideas to a mass movement. This movement may or may not constitute a party, government; it may or may not become a political regime. The various fascisms may or may not follow these trajectories. Concrete history has the last word.

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BdFRS – What does fascism look for?

lincoln – Fascism actually seeks to appeal to the masses to intervene in politics. This intervention is a scam, actually. Fascist mass mobilization is ornamental, just to reinforce the charismatic character of the leader. In fact, there was no leaderless fascism.

BdFRS – Why does fascism mobilize?

lincoln – Fascism is mobilizing in its phase in which it establishes itself as a movement. Once fascism becomes a regime it is not always mobilizing. It is often better for a fascist regime for the masses to be quiet. What matters is that individuals are just part of the mass. As a mass, they can be mobilized in an opportunistic way.

Lincoln Secco is professor of Contemporary History and coordinator of the Study Group on History and Political Economy (Gmarx-USP) / Disclosure

BdFRS – Does fascism have any theories that support it?

lincoln – Fascism has no theory, no beginning. It appeals to the irrational, it is an irrationalist movement. It denies the French Revolution, the Enlightenment, reason. It doesn’t mean that I just tell lies, and untruths. It tells many truths and that is why it is successful. But its discursive architecture is false.

BdFRS – Where is the truth of fascism?

lincoln – Fascism takes the truth out of its context. The truth is always in the whole, not the part. All the truths that fascism tells are at the service of the great lie that is fascism itself. The supposed “truths” of fascism are necessary for the construction of the great falsehood that is the fascist explanation. I can decontextualize any information that is real in a certain context but becomes monstrous out of context.

BdFRS – How does fascism use the emotional and propaganda?

lincoln – Fascists are excellent in the technique of propaganda. There is a technical rationale for manipulating irrationality opportunistically because it has no theory or principle. “And advertising, the rational manipulation of the irrational, constitutes a privilege of totalitarians,” says Adorno.

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BdFRS – Tu cites Adorno and the manipulation of the irrational by rational techniques as an exacerbation of a tendency inherent in capitalism itself. Can you talk about it?

lincoln – What is capitalism if not the progressive improvement of technology in a society in which the whole of humanity does not know what it is for? Successive technical improvements have particular purposes, but society as a whole does not establish any purpose. We do not have a de facto collective ideal, shared socially, only the individual search for survival or profit, in the case of entrepreneurs.

In capitalism there is no logic other than the very logic of capital reproduction. But it is not a logic designed by the whole of humanity. In a way, fascism exacerbates this tendency to nonsense, to irrationality in a monstrous way.

In order to build the atomic bomb scientific knowledge is necessary, but its construction in itself is an irrationality. These are rational techniques for sustaining the rise to power, but fascism is itself irrational. As Gramsci said, there is no essence in fascism other than fascism itself.

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BdFRS – How to fight fascism?

lincoln – Adorno shows that it is no use appealing to the fascist in the name of human rights, democracy, entities that are abstract. Leaving aside the most lunatic, incorrigible, murderous, the malevolent, the common mass that responds to the fascist appeal has to go through the painful consequence of fascism, the painful experience is the result of their choice.

It is not with the banner of democracy and the defense of humanity that a fascist is convinced, but the real disaster that fascism provokes. And to overcome it, progressives need to be a long-term alternative not just to fascism but to capitalism itself.

BdFRS – History shows the price of fascism in barbarism. How to stop?

lincoln – Fascism is historically doomed to disappear. But how much a society pays for her disappearance is her choice. Unless it is held back by an absolute force of reason which must also become a concrete force. In the 1940s, this rational force had a name: the Soviet Union. Today we have another situation, in which fascist warfare is also virtual and socialist technology needs to be developed to fight this type of war, but without losing its content and values.

Source: BdF Rio Grande do Sul

Editing: Katia Marko

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