In the wake of the hatred and violence exhibited by a group of fascists who reared their ugly heads in Charlottesville, people of all colors and nationalities stepped forward across the country to voice their moral outrage, their love of humanity and their desire for unity and equality. Tens of thousands demonstrated against hate in cities across the nation, far outnumbering any white supremacist marchers that may have appeared. In Boston, 40,000 turned out to denounce the politics of hate and division. In Charlottesville, 1,000 people filled an auditorium to celebrate the life of Heather Heyer, who was murdered by the fascists there. The list goes on.
When a country falls into a deep economic and social crisis, as America has, the powerful are under threat of losing their wealth and power. So they take steps to divide the people and pit them against each other. We saw the Nazis do this in Germany in the 1930s, and we are seeing it in America today, although under new conditions. Charlottesville was an example.
The neo-Nazis, the KKK, and other racist, fascist groups represent something rooted in the ugliest chapters of our history, and they are unacceptable. Their ideas pose a danger to our society, and Trump’s racist statements have given them cover.
But people are rejecting Trump and the fascist street gangs, and they are also fighting the other part of the fascist threat: the merger of the giant corporations and the government. Fascism ultimately is the corporations imposing a dictatorship on the country. The corporations are using the government to guarantee their power and profits in the face of a failing system, and trying to create a militarized police state to stifle democracy and dissent. This policy is supported, in one way or another, by most politicians in both the Democratic and Republican parties, the twin parties of big business. Fascism has been consolidating further under Trump, but it’s not just about Trump.
Why are the corporations moving to impose fascism now? Because increasingly, our labor is no longer needed, no matter what color we are. The computer and the robot are taking the jobs. We see this in the growing poverty. If we cannot be employed, we are a threat to the system, because our demands for food, water, housing, healthcare and other basic needs cannot be met by the existing system. For the powerful, this means containing us by getting us to fight each other and eliminating our rights.
But the massive show of unity following Charlottesville (which was similar to the popular outrage over the Muslim ban and the ongoing attacks on immigrants) shows that a huge cross-section of the people are rejecting racism and fascism. People want a humane society based on justice, equality and democracy, where the people are in control and the abundance we have is shared by all. Creating such a society is the only way to have real justice, equality and democracy. We are in a fight for that society. As one person wrote on Facebook in response to Charlottesville, “We can have all we want if we join together. Why fight each other?”