Ayearorsoagotherewasaspateofexplainerarticlesasking:“isDonaldTrumpafascist”?

TheanswersrangedfromscholarlyequivocationstofrenziedrantsontheimpendingTrumpianThirdReich。

Evenwiththeworkofcountlesswriters,theoristsandacademicswhohavestudiedfascisminminutehistoricaldetail,theanswersto?

whythesepoliticalmovements(orspectersofthem)ariseremainunsatisfying。

Adetailedstudyofhistoricaldocumentsandkeyfigureswillnotrevealthereasoningoftheindividualsinvolved。

“Reason,”inthiscase,willbetraythehistorian,becausefascismitselfisamockeryofreason。

Onerelativelyobscurescholaroffascism,inhisownextremelyunorthodoxway,offersacompellingthesisonthepersistentquestionof“why”fascismhappens。

TheGermanwriterandacademicKlausTheweleit,writinginthe1970s,suggeststhatfascismcanbebestunderstoodthroughthefascistsownwords。

Hepresentshisargumentasakindofcollage,bothinformandcontent。

Histextincludeshundredsofimages,fromvulgarRobertCrumbcomicstrips,topostcardsandpropagandaposters,topaintings,engravingsandmuralsofnudewomenfromallerasofarthistory。

Thecoreofhistextisrootedinthejournals,autobiographiesandnovelsoffreikorpsmembers,buthealsoborrowswidelyfromthecultureofthetime,expertlyusingsnippetsoffamouspoemsandnovelsfromGermanliterature,aswellastheworkofpsychoanalystslikeFreudandWilhelmReich,topiecetogetheraterrifyingpictureofthefascistsubconscious。

Whatthesetextsreveal,accordingtoTheweleit,areakindofbizarrepsychosexualpolitics,rootedinpsychologicalrepression,violenceand,mostimportantly,fearofthefeminine。

TheexperienceofreadingMaleFantasies,Theweleit’stwo-volumetextontheGerman,proto-fascist,freikorpsmilitiamovementbetweenWWIandWWII,islesslikehearingaprofessorlectureinanauditoriumandmorelikeanintimate,drunkennightwithafriendshoutingtheirdisappointmentsinyourear。

Firstpublishedasa1000-pagethesisattheUniversityofFreiburginthe1970sandtranslatedintoEnglishaboutadecadelater,itisasprawlingexplorationofthefascistsubconscious。

Thecentralargumentisthis:fascistmenfearwomenandwomen’sbodiesandwishtodestroythem。

“Women’sbodies”aremetaphoricallyrepresentedasakindofenormous,all-encompassing,liquid,sexualpower。

Femininityisaswamp,aflood,amorass,readytoenvelopeanddrownthehard-bodiedexteriorshellofthe“soldier-male。

”This“feminineflood”istranslatedthentootherenemies:communism,Jewishness,thechaosoftheoutsideworldandthechaosofourownpsychology。

HenriRousseausLaguerre,1894。

ThefirstvolumeofMaleFantasiessetsouttocategorizewomenintotwogroupsastheyrelatetothefreikorpssoldier-males。

Thefirstgroupincludesthe“Flintenweib,”therifle-wielding,castratingwoman,whosegun-slinging(andalltheFreudianphallicassociationsthatcomewithsaidgun-slinging)posesaphysicalandpsychicthreattothesoldier-males。

Alsointhiscategoryare“rednurses,”womenwhoseproximitytothebattlefield,proletarianclassbackground,unmarriedstatusandwillingnesstoworkalongsidemen,representsakindoferrantfemininepower。

Inthesecondcategory,were“goodwomen”or“whitenurses。

”Thesewomenarethe“puremotherfigures”and“sisters”who,becauseoftheirupper-classbackground,commitmenttohomeandcountry,sexlessnessandvulnerability,areuniquely“aboveanysuspicionofwhoring。



Thisflatteningandbifurcationoffemininityinto“good”and“evil,”“threatening”and“nonthreatening,”“red”and“white,”canalsobeseeninthecaseofthemostprominentFlintenweibofourtime,HillaryClinton。

Thoughsheattemptstopresentherselfasa“whitenurse,”andindeed,woreall-whiteoutfitsduringhermosthighprofilepoliticalmomentsoverthepastelectionyear(whileacceptingthedemocraticnomination,onthethirdandfinalpresidentialdebate,andlater,duringTrump’sinaugurationceremony)shewasunabletoswaypublicreactioninherfavor。

Herdetractorsremainedrepulsedbyher“masculine”qualitiesandher“feminine”failures:herabilitytoachievepowerandwealth,andherinabilitytokeepherhusbandhappy。

Clinton’ssexualinadequaciesarefrequentlyreferencedinthet-shirtsandbumperstickersseenatTrumprallies,withsloganslike“EvenBillDoesn’tWantHillary”and“HillarySucks。

ButNotLikeMonica。

”InAprilof2015Trumpretweetedananti-Hillarysloganthatread:“IfHillarycan’tsatisfyherhusbandwhatmakesherthinkshecansatisfyAmerica?



ForTheweleit,theoriginsofthisfearanddisgustofwomenarealsorootedinthenaturalworld。

Women’soverwhelminglyalluringdestructiveabilityisrepresentedintheformofbodiesofwater:“theenticing(orperilous)deep。

”Inthenaturalworld,womenareadisembodiedandinhumanforce,andtheoceanistherefore,byextension,“theirreproachable,inexhaustible,anonymoussuperwhore,acrosswhomweourselvesbecomeanonymousandlimitless,driftingalongwithoutegos。



AlfredB?

cklinsDieFrieheit?

1891。

Similarly,historyitselfispresentedasaflood,wheremassesoffacelesscrowdsandshabbyarmiesthreatenthesoldier-malewithdestruction。

“Blood,blood,bloodmustflow/Thickasarainofblows”goesone“favoritesongofthefascists,”withthesingeraddingaphraseattheendofeachversetospecifytheenemyofthemoment:“tohellwiththefreedomoftheSovietrepublic”or“tohellwiththefreedomoftheJewishrepublic。



AccordingtoTheweleit,bodilyexcretionsofallkinds,the“floods,morasses,mire,slimeandpulp,”representanunmatchablepsychologicalpoweragainstthesoldier-male,bothpleasurableandunbearable。

Thefemininebody,wherethesoldiermaleoriginated,istheultimatesiteofhorror。

Trumpisamanobsessedwiththehorrorsofwomensbodies。

Hehaspubliclycalledattentiontothe“blood”and“bleeding”oftwoprominentfemalejournalists,MegynKellyandMikaBrzezinski。

InresponsetoHillaryClintonarrivinglatetoherpodiumduringacommercialbreak,Trumpsuggestedshehadbeenusingthewashroom,stating:“Iknowwhereshewent,itsdisgusting,Idontwanttotalkaboutit。

”Whatwomensbodiesdois,toTrump,unspeakable。

Theirgenitalsare,likesomedistantlandscape,located“wherever。



ThemostsalaciousrumorssurroundingTrump,involvingtheso-called“goldenshowers”videotape,seemplausiblepreciselybecausetheyfitintohisobsessionwithfeminineliquidity。

Theflipsideofthefascistpreoccupationwithsexualitywastheirinsistenceonorder,cleanlinessandhygiene。

Inanobliqueresponsetothe“goldenshowers”allegationsTrumpproclaimed,intruefascisticform,thathewas“verymuchagermophobe。



Theweleitdescribesthemilitaryacademy,anenvironmentwherethecadetlearnstobecomehardenedtoexternalpainandisexpectedtoexerciseauthorityoverhisinferiorsandacceptwhollythedominanceofhissuperiors。

Hearguesthatmostmenarestuckatapre-Oedipalstageofdevelopment,stillunabletoreject“themother”andfullyindividuatethemselves。

Theperipheryofthebodyremainsunformedandundevelopedinthese“not-yet-fullyborn”males,makingthemvulnerabletoexternalstimulationandattack。

Thesoldier-malefearsbothitsinteriorself–ego-less,withoutasenseofthe“I,”–aswellasitsboundlessexterior。

Onthebattlefield,thesoldier-maleisallowedtoexperiencetheflowofdesirethathesogreatlyfears。

Inthissense,Theweleitwrites,“onlyintheactofkillingordying—penetrationorexplosion—canhebursthisboundaries;thisruleisneverbroken。

Theremustbearushofblood,eitherwithinhim,oroutoftheother。



Clintonherselfcanbeseenasrepresentingtheuncontrollable,repulsivefloodimpliedintheslogan“draintheswamp。

”Thefascisticimpulseistocontaintheflood,to“lockherup”inthesteelcageofaprisoncell。

ThemostquotablehighlightsoftheTrumpcamp,“grab‘embythepussy”included,offerperfectTheweltiansummationsofourcurrentpoliticaltimes。

Theurgehasremainedthesame,justunderacenturylater,tocontain,control,andhumiliatewomen。

MaleFantasiesleavesthereaderwithawarning。

Ourpsychologicalneedshavenotchangedevenashistoricaleventsaroundushave。

Westillhavethesamedesiretofindfreedomfromourselves,toescapefromanddestroythethingswefear,andtoflocktothosewhopromiseussafety。

Inthefinalsectionofthetext,Theweleitinsiststhat“onlyinthemostminimalsensecanfascismbeseenasaproblemofeconomicdevelopmenttowardstheendofthetwenties。



Henotes:“Thementhey[theNazis]addressedwerethenot-yet-fully-born,menwhohadalwaysbeenleftwanting;andwherewasthepartythatwouldofferthemmore?

[]Thewordtheyrepeatedlyscreamatthepartycongressis‘whole’—heil,heil,heil,heil,heil—andthisispreciselywhatthepartymakesthem。

Theyarenolongerbroken;andtheywillremainwholeintoinfinity。



HubertLanzinger’sDerBannertr?

ger(TheStandardBearer)。

Oilonwood,ca。

1934–36。

MaleFantasiesremindsusthatwarhas“bodilysignificance”thattranscendstheeverydaypolitical-economicsystem。

Thepromiseoffascismisnolessthanthepromiseofworld-historicalgreatness,ofbrutalecstasy,dominationoveryourenemies,andthegorycatharsisofthe“bloodymass。

”Theweleitpushesustorealizethatthesearedesiresthatcouldliejustbelowthesurfaceofanysociety。

Today,weremainobsessedwithbodies,ourownandthoseofothers。

Thereexistseveralmulti-billiondollarindustriesdedicatedtothemonitoringandcontrolofwomen’sbodies(thecelebritygossipindustry,theweightlossindustry,thecosmeticsurgeryindustryetc。

)。

Meanwhile,weignoretheinevitabledecayofourownbodies:theirclumsiness,inelegance,theirfoulsmells,anddegradingspasms。

Fascismpromisestranscendencefromoursmalluglylives,andenvisionsabrighterfuture。

Itpromisesfreedomfromthewretchednessoflivingintheworldandinabody。

Thisiswhy?

Theweleiturgesustotakeseriouslywhatmayatfirstappearridiculoustous。

Thestrangelanguageoffascismisa“languageofexpression”broughtonbyextremelycommonpsychicwounds?

Hewrites,“Nomanisforcedtoturnpoliticalfascistforreasonsofeconomicdevaluationordegradation。

Hisfascismdevelopsmuchearlier,fromhisfeelings;heisafascistfromtheinside。

Inotherwords,politicalissuesarefirstandforemostrootedinpsychologicalmotivations。

Thereisno“rational”worldtoescapetowhenthecallofbattletemptsfrustratedmen。

Thereisnoescapingourselves。

DropsofbloodfromBLEg1821,ff。

1v-2。