In his famous 1995 essay “Ur-Fascism,” Umberto Eco outlined 14 characteristics of Ur-Fascism (Proto- or primitive Fascism). As he notes, other totalitarian regimes share many of these characteristics. And lo and behold they all apply to SJWs as well! And we can add a fifteenth: the fact that the so-called “Antifa” acts like the black shirts (or Hitler’s brown shirts). I’m not saying SJWs are Fascist. They are in fact more Stalinist. I’m saying they think similarly and are problematic in many of the same ways. Let’s take a look at the 14 ways one by one.
Eco’s words are in bold italic. Read the original essay for the complete descriptions of each point.
- “The first feature of Ur-Fascism is the cult of tradition.” Eco goes on to describe this cult as syncretistic, made of different forms of belief and practice. It is tolerant of inherent contradiction because everything alludes to the same primeval truth.
SJWs are a syncretic mess. Postmodernism, neo-Marxism, critical race theory, pseudo-science, some legitimate science, traditional black witch doctors calling down lightning to destroy science, the traditional Mother Goddess, ancient healing, the view that traditional societies were egalitarian and much, much more all rolled up into one belief system that all “proves” the oppression of their sacred victim classes.
- “Traditionalism implies the rejection of modernism. …The Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, is seen as the beginning of modern depravity. In this sense Ur-Fascism can be defined as irrationalism.”
SJWs also despise the Enlightenment! They think its values, including reason itself, are oppressive. Irrationalism indeed.
- “Irrationalism also depends on the cult of action for action’s sake. Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, reflection. Thinking is a form of [disempowerment].”
Protests? Mindless chanting? Virtue Signalling? Shutting down debate? Check. They don’t call it “Activism” for nothing.
- “The critical spirit makes distinctions, and to distinguish is a sign of modernism. In modern culture the scientific community praises disagreement as a way to improve knowledge. For Ur-Fascism, disagreement is treason.”
We have seen many examples of disagreement treated as treason by SJWs. Look at what happens the minute someone, from Lyft drivers to professors to Roseanne, says something slightly questionable—they try to get them fired and shunned. Also it should be noted that making any distinctions leads to hierarchies, which SJWs believe should be flattened. The only distinction that they tolerate is the one between “oppressed” and “oppressor.”
- “Besides, disagreement is a sign of diversity. Ur-Fascism grows up and seeks consensus by exploiting and exacerbating the natural fear of difference. The first appeal of a fascist or prematurely fascist movement is an appeal against the intruders. Thus Ur-Fascism is racist by definition.”
SJWs are racist and sexist, although they have redefined those words for use within their cult (as “prejudice plus power”) so they can deny that they are. if there were an objective list of hate groups in this country, their organizations would be at the top.
- “Ur-Fascism derives from individual or social frustration. That is why one of the most typical features of the historical fascism was the appeal to a frustrated middle class.”
This is especially true of feminist SJWs who are clearly focused on the needs of bourgeois white women. For a clear example, there is the recent feminist focus on the so-called “campus rape epidemic” even though less privileged women who are not in college are more likely to be raped. Once these bourgeois women were told by feminists they could “have it all.” Now that they are finding that difficult to deliver, because it was never possible, SJWs focus their frustration on first-world, middle class issues like the gender wage gap, the constant obsession with higher-paying white collar jobs and the “glass ceiling,” cat-calling (which has class and racial components) and truly ridiculous sideshows like “sexist” office air conditioning, “mansplaining” and “man-spreading.”
- “To people who feel deprived of a clear social identity, Ur-Fascism says that their only privilege is the most common one, to be born in the same country. This is the origin of nationalism. Besides, the only ones who can provide an identity to the nation are its enemies. Thus at the root of the Ur-Fascist psychology there is the obsession with a plot, possibly an international one. The followers must feel besieged.”
SJWs are also clearly obsessed with identity group belonging, they just substitute race, gender and sexual orientation for a national identity group. They claim this makes them different than white nationalists. They are wrong. They are also obsessed with the “plot” against them, be it “patriarchy,” “heteronormativity,” “cis-ness,” “whiteness” or the intersection of all of the above.
- “The followers must feel humiliated by the ostentatious wealth and force of their enemies. …However, the followers of Ur-Fascism must also be convinced that they can overwhelm the enemies. Thus, by a continuous shifting of rhetorical focus, the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak.”
White power and white fragility? Male power and male fragility? White males are afraid? Male tears? Check.
- “For Ur-Fascism there is no struggle for life but, rather, life is lived for struggle. …This, however, brings about an Armageddon complex. Since enemies have to be defeated, there must be a final battle, after which the movement will have control of the world.”
SJWs do have a mystical “day of judgment” aspect to their ideology. Activists, for instance, talk about someday having a national “conversation” about race or gender (as if that is what they are not doing every day!). What activists mean by that is a conversation to end all conversations, where white people and men will listen (one-sidedly), admit their privilege, confess their crimes and make reparations. After that we can all move forward and live in social justice paradise. Actually having that conversation to resolve everything would violate this principle of constant struggle and take away their reason to live, however, so it will never happen. Black community leaders are not in the business of putting themselves out of business.
- “Elitism is a typical aspect of any reactionary ideology… Ur-Fascism can only advocate a popular elitism. Every citizen belongs to the best people in the world…”
Women are better than men, just ask a feminist SJW (but don’t ever claim the opposite!). Even though officially they are the same, women are smarter, better leaders, etc. Girls are smarter than boys and mature faster. Men are actually testosterone poisoned women, biologically inferior. Shakespeare’s sister, Einstein’s wife, and Watson and Crick’s lab assistant were all responsible for the breakthrough work that those men took credit for, don’t you know. As discussed in #6 there is also the class elitism aspect of feminism especially. The whole concept of “woke” is meant to indicate an elite state. And so on.
- “In such a perspective everybody is educated to become a hero. In every mythology the hero is an exceptional being, but in Ur-Fascist ideology heroism is the norm.”
Everyone is a freedom fighting activist. Every “oppressed” person is heroic for living their life. Every black person relives 400 years of slavery every day. Every gay person who comes out is hailed as a brave hero even though it is commonplace these days. The woman who gets an abortion is brave, the single mother is also brave. The rape “survivor” is brave. All women are brave. The entertainment media echoes this by depicting women superheroes who kick ass and take names on male bad guys.
- “Since both permanent war and heroism are difficult games to play, the Ur-Fascist transfers his will to power to sexual matters.”
Oh boy. Where to start. The control of sex and intimacy is a truly abusive power and is indicative of cults—usually to get the leader laid. Finally, the gay community is all about redefining society’s standards for sex. Who wants nothing less than total control of heterosexuality? Feminist women do, including defining the rules of consent and policing what men should find attractive. And men can never win. Not attracted to fat or trans women? Get shamed as a fatphobe or transphobe. Attracted to them? Also get shamed, this time as a fetishist. Race activists (like Spike Lee famously) frown on inter-racial relations.
- “Ur-Fascism is based upon a selective populism, a qualitative populism, one might say. …For Ur-Fascism, however, individuals as individuals have no rights, and the People is conceived as a quality, a monolithic entity expressing the Common Will. …There is in our future a TV or Internet populism, in which the emotional response of a selected group of citizens can be presented and accepted as the Voice of the People.”
The future is now in terms of Twitter mobs, Facebook and YouTube “likes,” spot opinion polls, etc… all interpreted by an increasingly complicit mainstream media and pandered to by corporate advertising. These are the voices that get heard and whose demands are acted on, the elites, whether or not it represents the democratic will of the majority.
“Wherever a politician casts doubt on the legitimacy of a parliament because it no longer represents the Voice of the People, we can smell Ur-Fascism.”
People questioning the legitimacy of Trump? Not our president? Check.
- “Ur-Fascism speaks Newspeak.”
The SJW corruption of the discourse is in line with what Orwell imagined, but far beyond the scope of what he imagined. They have been able to accomplish this via the technology of the internet and because they first coopted academia to give their “theories” and terminology legitimacy. Here are a few examples:
- “Equity” (fairness) now means “equality of outcome”
- “Feminism” (pro-women) means “equality”
- “Speech” is “violence”
- “Sex” is “gender” (when convenient)
- “Racism” and “sexism” (prejudice) is “prejudice plus power”
- “Diverse” means no straight, white males and no dissenting voices allowed.
- Any word with “man-“ or “bro-“ as a prefix.
- “Affirmative consent”
- Defining “rape” to exclude male victims/female perpetrators
- All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others…