Technology changed the tools of fascism | Ideas


Image on a mobile that mixes images of Hitler and Jesus Christ.
Image on a mobile that mixes images of Hitler and Jesus Christ.Jaap Arriens (NurPhoto /Getty Images)

The far right snorts like Moby Dick. It leaps, plunges, hits and lashes the digital surface of a democratic politics that shudders at its presence. Technology has changed the tools of fascism and is making it irresistible by effectively hybridizing its historical content with digital formats. For this reason, he no longer dresses as in the past or uses his weapons. Nor does he occupy the public space with masses to feel acclaimed by them. The revolutionary novelty that embodied in the past has been updated. Among other things because it is in their DNA. Let’s not forget that he was born a futurist and that he deified the machine.

Now fascism is techie. It mobilizes people with technological tools and inhabits a space of digital skills that seeks to project itself on partisan politics. This leads him to unscrupulously use the networks to spread content that releases emotions of high populist intensity. Hence, it organizes trolling squads that handle irrational feelings, hatred and conspiracy hoaxes with propagandist skill, because they are easier to share and viralize than reasons, civic respect and evidence-based reflections. The objective is clear: to hegemonize the conversations of the infosphere to dominate analogical politics digitally.

The technical architects of this strategy of dominance of the networks also arise from environments techies. Many share personalities that fit profiles geek The nerd. That is, individualities that live obsessively installed in the daily cultivation of a freak that makes them splash in data in order to catch the digital footprint of the behaviors made visible on the networks at the click of a button. People with more or less gray and mediocre lives, installed in anonymity, but with an extraordinary ability to catch on the fly the trends and flows of antipolitical and antisocial rebellion that circulate on the internet. The cause is that they live within a technological habitat that they have turned into their true skin. To the point of thinking and feeling in an algorithmic key. Therefore, they are able to inspire massive trolling designs through accounts that pretend to be human or vice versa. Accounts that viralize emotional and visceral reactions that normalize violence and hatred on the networks.

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With the destabilizing ineffectiveness of left-wing populism demonstrated, as well as its electoral decline in Greece, Italy, France or Spain, the threat to liberal democracy in Europe is now moving with virulence. techie towards the other end. Without a doubt, it is the greatest danger that weighs on the future of democratic liberalism because its protagonists do not hide the contempt they feel towards everything it represents. It is analyzed by Mark Sedgwick in Key Thinkers of the Radical Right (Key thinkers of the radical right, no Spanish translation, 2019). It studies in detail the resignification that fascism has undergone by the hand of emerging thinkers such as Mencius Moldbug, Greg Johnson, Richard B. Spencer, Jack Donovan and Daniel Friberg. Something that Steven Forti recently reiterated in Far right 2.0 or Pablo Stefanoni in Did the rebellion turn to the right?

This drive for revolt and anti-system agitation is not new either. It is in the historical contents of fascism of the interwar period and in the psychology of its protagonists. It sprouted among excluded characters who inhabited the margins of a normality in which they did not recognize themselves and in front of which they were politically resentful. The same thing that happens today, where there is a dangerous tune of marginality and anomie among the propagandists, theorists and leaders of a fascism transmuted by technology. A cyberpopularism that advances because it knows how to detect among the successive layers and digital folds of the infosphere the changing islands of malaise scattered in our democracies and then add them together through stories that bring together majorities, which emerge like Moby Dick from the depths of a dislocated society and resentful of fears and inequalities. This is where the strength and fragility of Luca Morisi, Dominic Cummings or Steve Bannon comes from. The same thing happens with the Salvini, Johnson or Trump. The same strength and fragility that elevates and makes them fall: the manipulable unconscious of a society trapped by the malaise of a world full of uncertainties and injustices, and whom technology connects and makes visible with its power.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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