Monday, June 9, 2008

Critique of Bernard Sena's Anarcho-fascism

This is a response to an essay I found using Google that I have since been unable to locate. However, the forum entry that I originally posted this as is now the 6th result in searches for "anarcho-fascism", so I figured I'd post it here on my blog as well.

Anarcho-fascism. Who’d a thunk it? Not only does Bernardo Sena get his definition of anarchy wrong, right off the bat, – invalidating his entire analysis – but he even gets the definition of fascism wrong. In an essay that itself attempts to describe (or perhaps invent) anarcho-fascism, that is the antithesis of impressive.

First, anarchy. According to Bernardo, anarchism is, “A non-political platform which derives from the ‘individual against the point of authority’ idea. Initially it is a philosophy which supports violence against those in power in order to achieve a peaceful existence in which individual man can live in free will and without the restraint of social laws or order.” This is a flawed denigration in more than one respect. First, anarchism has never been, and hopefully will never become, non-political. Anarchy is vehemently anti-political. There is a difference. Where politics is defined as the art of excluding people from affairs which properly concern them, an anarchist is not content to sit idly by like the merely unaffiliated. The anarchist is devoted to unaffiliation, not just theirs, but everyone else’s as well. Anarchism, it must be clarified, does not support violence against those in power. Anarchists might, but anarchism does not. Gandhi was a pacifist anarchist who aimed to abolish all violence, in fact. The role of violence in anarchism is a personal and undecided matter in general anarchist history. What all anarchists can agree on, is that the violence used in a coercive or forceful manner, in any anarchy, would not exist. And I believe I speak for every anarchist when I say that liberty – the goal of any anarchist – is the mother, not the daughter, of order; which would be anything but eliminated.

Second, fascism. According to Wikipedia, this oft-abused epithet means the following: an authoritarian political ideology (generally tied to a mass movement) that considers the individual subordinate to the interests of the state, party or society as a whole. But in Sena’s understanding, it means, “a philosophical and realistic perspective to society in which the majority are considered ignorant and thus must be either overthrown or controlled in a ruthless manner so as to preserve the further evolution of intelligence within the state and the progress of said state.”
Notice the very wide leeway of terms at our disposal. Majority, society, state. In actual fascism, the collective is all-important. Yet in Sena’s fascism, it must be “ruthlessly controlled” so as to preserve the state, which undeniably does what Thomas Paine warned us all the writers of his day were doing, so confusing society with state as to leave little or no difference between the two.
In this gigantic fallacy, the equation of nation with state with society with majority, the axiomatic truth held by the anarchist that the state is the parasite of society, is rendered meaningless by the fascist’s counter-assertion that the society is the parasite of the state.

So, anarcho-fascism is most accurately translated to mean the following – a belief that both the society and the state are parasites upon the anarcho-fascist himself. Anarcho-fascism is then the most extreme and repulsive egoism possible, one that is not characterized by a fundamental trust of all individuals, but by a fundamental suspicion.

Anarcho-fascism, then, is not as contradictory as some may claim. It is simply consistently horrifying, flying in the face of every intuition, history, and reality.

Sena, of course, uses the prefix of this neologism to represent the means to the base’s ends. Anarcho-fascism is supposedly anarchy achieved for the sake of fascism. Sena’s anarchy being chaos, destitution, and jungle law, achieved for the sake of what could more aptly be classified as extreme social Darwinism. The strong overtaking the weak, the intelligent outsmarting the stupid.

Sena then proceeds to administer the summation of his idiocy. “If anything, Anarchy and Fascism are more of a social doctrine or philosophy for life seeing as they both reject politics.” Needless to say, both assertions reek of pure ignorance on the part of the speaker. To claim that anarchy is apolitical is to fall for bourgeois lies, to claim that fascism is apolitical is beyond comprehension.

In closing, I would like to express SERIOUS concern for the health of the anarchist movement. These perversions, anarcho-fascism, - lump anarcho-capitalism in as well, if it suits you – and social Darwinist ideology, are anathema to historically valid anarchism and anarchist struggle. It’s not so much the absurdity of the ideas themselves, rather those idealist's appropriation of the anarchist name.

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