Is the World in an "Era of Fascism"?
Think Piece/Open Discussion
Right-wing party leaders are becoming very prominent in countries such as the United States all the way to India. Donald Trump was president of the United States from 2016 to 2020. He fundamentally transformed the GOP and its voter base in a short time. Now, any public opponent of Donald Trump, such as those opposing the election denial, criticizing him, or supporting action against Trump, all lose some form of credibility or popularity. In many cases, these same individuals brave enough to speak out against him end up opting out of running for whatever office they’re pursuing.
Brexit was headed by far-right nationalism in the United Kingdom. This exacerbated multiple problems endemic to the United Kingdom even before the split occurred. Funding for infrastructure, ease of trade, the labor movement, and god knows what else. All of this has been hampered because of the far-right movement. We can also mention the cost of living crisis has worsened due to this and is likely to get worse this coming winter, according to analysts.
Under Modi, in India, there have been multiple concerns about the rights of Muslims living in the country being infringed. There have also been concerns surrounding the rights of other minorities as well. Right-wing ideology is also becoming/growing prominent in France, Brazil, Spain, and Italy.
What is Causing This?
In order for fascism to flourish in an area, it is insufficient to have a fascist politician. There is also a necessity to have effective messaging surrounding said the politician. In all honesty, we should look to the possible coincidence that the rise of fascism a century ago and the rise of fascism now both correspond to the advances of mass media.
Data-driven messaging demonstrates persuasive power far in excess of what the average citizen can resist or let alone comprehend. The same thing occurred in the 1920s with the beginning of practical radio broadcasting. 10 years later, in the 1930s, households in Germany and in the United States most likely had a radio and such individuals like Hitler and other fascist propagandists relied heavily on broadcasts to spread their beliefs.
Cambridge Analytic hire themselves out to fascist regimes to leverage “Big Data” and direct marketing techniques to promote their clients’ ideologies. These companies take internet research, identify the trends, identify the messages, and then amplify them on social media. The average individual doesn’t have the psyche to withstand attention-nabbing narratives contrived by professionals and blasted at them non-stop, that's just simple consumer psychology.
Is there any Hope of Moving Forward?
I would assume so, yes. Radio is not as effective today as they were in the 1930s and they are used by a variety of organizations pushing many other ideological narratives. Maybe people will grow more resistant to modern direct marketing techniques and they will be used for good more so than for the bad.
How will the United States Fare?
If we are all being honest, the United States will fare relatively poorly for the time being. Wealth is here and we also have direct marketing as the most effective way to convince people to spend or gift that wealth. Many people would say the United States is suffering the tip of the spear due to the contributions to the investment in and growth of the marketing industry used to encapsulate voters/potential voters. Communication channels are simply oversaturated.
However, the United States populace has a head start in developing familiarity with the new technique of propaganda on both sides of the political aisle. This leads to us, as a population, developing both cognitive countermeasures as well as counterpropaganda programs. In short, this will pass just as any other situation in the United States, however, in the meantime we’re in for a rough ride.