“Staying and fighting is very courageous and heroic, but I just don’t see this tide of hatred and fascism and authoritarianism and racism and ugliness that is sweeping the nation getting any smaller.”
I don’t see evidence that fascism is sweeping the country. I think these people have always been there, thinking this way, voting accordingly. What we see now is the people coming out of the woodwork and airing what we all knew was there. We are also reaching an end point, which the right set us on (in both parties) decades ago. We have been on a rightward trajectory for decades now, and there has been nothing at all to stop it. We have at times slowed it down, but no party offers any alternative that radically breaks with the status quo, and you can see how the Democrats, even with this horribly desperate situation, are just not up to the task. I think the left could be in the medium to long term, but will we gain power in enough time to stop us from total collapse? I don’t know, but the people pushing against the left within the Democratic Party, while making third parties impossible to operate in this system, have been instrumental in us getting to this point. Their “pragmatism” has been just as destructive as the right wing’s conception of “freedom”. They have both led us here. We have solutions, and we are growing, and we are the only damn hope of dragging the damn political system and policy to the left, aligning it with popular opinion.
I would really recommend reading Michal Kalecki. He wrote an article in 1964 called “The Fascism of Our Times” that nailed where we are heading, and that article was centered on Barry Goldwater, a person that Hillary Clinton supported over Johnson. While the article isn’t freely available online, his article on the political aspects of full employment is, and it is on the mark. Kalecki is considered to be the “left-wing Keynes”, he anticipated many of Keynes’ insights, from a non-traditional Marxist perspective and was a major candidate to win the Nobel in the early 70’s, around the time he passed away. Again, keep in mind that this was written in 1943:
One of the important functions of fascism, as typified by the Nazi system, was to remove capitalist objections to full employment. The dislike of government spending policy as such is overcome under fascism by the fact that the state machinery is under the direct control of a partnership of big business with fascism. The necessity for the myth of ‘sound finance’, which served to prevent the government from offsetting a confidence crisis by spending, is removed. In a democracy, one does not know what the next government will be like. Under fascism there is no next government.
The dislike of government spending, whether on public investment or consumption, is overcome by concentrating government expenditure on armaments. Finally, ‘discipline in the factories’ and ‘political stability’ under full employment are maintained by the ‘new order’, which ranges from suppression of the trade unions to the concentration camp. Political pressure replaces the economic pressure of unemployment.
The fact that armaments are the backbone of the policy of fascist full employment has a profound influence upon that policy’s economic character. Large-scale armaments are inseparable from the expansion of the armed forces and the preparation of plans for a war of conquest. They also induce competitive rearmament of other countries. This causes the main aim of spending to shift gradually from full employ ment to securing the maximum effect of rearmament. As a result, employment becomes ‘overfull’; not only is unemployment abolished, but an acute scarcity of labour prevails. Bottlenecks arise in every sphere, and these must be dealt with by the creation of a number of controls. Such an economy has many features of a planned economy, and is sometimes compared, rather ignorantly, with socialism. How ever, this type of planning is bound to appear whenever an economy sets itself a certain high target of production in a particular sphere, when it becomes a target economy of which the armament economy is a special case. An armament economy involves in particular the curtailment of consumption as compared with that which it could have been under full employment. The fascist system starts from the overcoming of unemployment, develops into an armament economy of scarcity, and ends inevitably in war (my note, or in our case, slow and grinding economic decline).
…But perhaps the fight for full employment may lead to fascism? Perhaps capitalism will adjust itself to full employment in this way? This seems extremely unlikely. Fascism sprang up in Germany against a background of tremendous unemployment, and maintained itself in power through securing full employment while capitalist democracy failed to do so. The fight of the progressive forces for all employment is at the same time a way of preventing the recurrence of fascism.