Was wondering where Hillary got her campaign slogan from: Turns out it was Generalfeldmarschall Paul von Hindenburg. Incidentally, he was supported by the SPD in the hope he would stop Hitler. No sooner was he in office, however, than the Junker octogenarian decided to appoint the Nazi leader chancellor.
Yes, that’s right. A party founded only forty years earlier on ostensibly Marxist principles was now cheering “I’m mit Ihm.”
Before Trump’s campaign started tanking a little over three weeks ago, you heard the word “fascism” being thrown around a lot this election cycle. Many on the Left were saying that Trump must be defeated at any cost, even if that means supporting a hawkish Democrat like Hillary Clinton.
Somebody somewhere noted the irony: “Just for the sake of historical accuracy, you’d think more people would mention that pragmatic electoral compromises meant to prevent fascism are actually what resulted in fascism.” Or at least in the German Bonapartism that later led to the fascist consolidation of power.
Donald Trump is no Adolph Hitler. And Hillary Clinton’s certainly no Paul von Hindenburg. Even if she does favor military solutions to foreign policy problems, the comparison is a bit of a stretch. Žižek, despite his recent lapses in judgment, gets Trump about right. Trump is more of a centrist liberal than anything else.
Regardless, it’s not as if Clinton would appoint Trump to some sort of cabinet or ministerial position after the November vote. Fascism as a mass movement is still not really a threat in the West. Largely because the ruling class does not feel itself threatened enough to resort to supporting dictatorial measures that might suppress incipient revolt.
Historical analogies are usually misleading. Certainly this one is, if taken too literally. Perhaps this might simply serve as a healthy reminder of the perils of voting for the “lesser evil” once every four years.