Biden’s Soviet ‘Antifacism’

Although I agree with Monica Crowley’s description of Joe Biden’s rhetorical attempt to designate half of the electorate as “enemies of democracy,” even a “garbage speech” can reveal what the speaker or his handlers have in mind. 

Biden’s speech on Thursday, delivered in front of two Marines and bathed in garish red floodlights, certainly told us where Biden or his handlers intend to take this country. To describe their American future as a one-party dictatorship may be an oversimplification. Instead of the traditional authoritarian or totalitarian regime, with one tolerated party and heavy-handed control of information from the top, our leaders are preparing a more updated version of the gulag.

The current authoritarian model does not eliminate opposition entirely, or at least not explicitly.  Nor does it need to manufacture “public information” and create its own slant on daily events. That stuff characterized traditional dictatorships of the kind that existed in the 20th century. Such archaic arrangements are no longer necessary in Western countries to keep the ruling class in power.

The media have become the lapdogs of Western leftist regimes, preaching wokeness, globalism, and Green New Deals. The “news” providers gladly rush to the defense of Olaf Scholz in Germany, Justin Trudeau in Canada, and just about every Democrat in the United States. Issuing from CNN and MSNBC after Biden spoke on September 1 was resounding praise for the “patriotism” and Lincolnesque qualities of his rant. Longtime conservative fixture Jonah Goldberg ran to express his agreement with Biden’s highlighting of the great MAGA danger. There is no need to beg the media to support the government’s demonization of the populist Right. Save for some outnumbered Republican and populist outlets, the media loves what the government is doing, as does obviously high tech, which left no stone unturned to hide the iniquities of the Biden family in 2020.

This represents a departure from the older dictatorial regimes, which muzzled the press and imprisoned recalcitrant journalists. Most of the media in Western countries are marching in lockstep with those in charge. They sometimes seem disappointed that our leaders haven’t seized even more power and aren’t ruling by executive decree. 

In the new model, moreover, there is no single tolerated party. Instead, party blocs have emerged in Western Europe and Canada, whose participating members, despite their different labels, defend the same woke-globalist politics. Parties, which stand outside the “democratic” consensus, like the Vlaams Blok in Belgium, the Rassemblement National in France, or the AfD in Germany are all branded as racist, xenophobic, and incipiently fascist.

These scorned parties are never allowed into ruling coalitions, and the media rail against them nonstop. When violence strikes their headquarters or leaders, their national press stresses the responsibility of the ostracized parties in causing the hate that has been turned against them. None of the persecuted parties is noticeably different from the MAGA Republicans, whom Biden singled out for attack. All the supposedly “extremist” groups are critical of globalism, anti-Western rhetoric, and indiscriminate immigration policies. Like Trump’s backers here, the European populists find widespread support among the indigenous working class.   

The distinction that Biden made between the MAGA extremists, who threaten the Constitution and democracy, and “mainstream Republicans,” with whom he and the Democrats are willing to deal, is typical of the marginalization of conservative opposition in other Western countries. Those self-described opposition leaders who show themselves to be ideologically compatible with the ruling class will be tolerated, while a more vigorous opposition will not.

In this country, the designated “extremists” are already at the mercy of the Secret Service and FBI, and will soon be dealing with an expanded IRS that will undoubtedly be used to hound them. They will also suffer the fury of the mobs that the rulers can unleash on a dime. Mob action marked the “Summer of Love” in 2020 and was on display at the homes of Supreme Court justices who voted to overturn Roe v. Wade. “Extremist” parties in other “democracies” have also begun to lose their civil rights and must now worry about their physical safety.

The “antifascist” party coalition Biden plans to build also resembles the early stage of the Soviet seizure of power in Eastern Europe, after World War II. The declaration of a Communist Party takeover was typically preceded by the organization of a progressive coalition of “antifascists,” who would assist the Communists in combating a supposed right-wing danger. Once the Communists consolidated enough power with Soviet assistance, they would remove the non-Communist progressives from the government and rule by themselves. 

In the current leftist model, however, servile accommodationists will be allowed to remain, as window dressing for a leftist dictatorship. Biden’s “mainstream Republicans” may even thrive in the new order. Charlie Baker in Massachusetts, Adam Kinzinger in Illinois, Spencer Cox in Utah, and scribblers like George Will, Max Boot, David French, and Jonah Goldberg will all have a place at Joe’s table.  

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About Paul Gottfried

Paul Edward Gottfried is the editor of Chronicles. An American paleoconservative philosopher, historian, and columnist, Gottfried is a former Horace Raffensperger Professor of Humanities at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, as well as a Guggenheim recipient.

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