France is more fascist than Ukraine

While the Charlie Hebdo controversy has been dying down, there was something that’s been bothering me about the coverage of “fascist elements” in Ukraine. For a while, scholars like Volodymir Ischenko have been warning, and to some extent rightfully so, about the far-right movement in Ukraine.

The problem is, this great attention pales in comparison to countries with an actual fascist problem, not the least of which is France. For comparison, in the 2014 elections, the far-right Svoboda party won less than 5% of the vote and did not enter government. In France, Front National didn’t win any representatives either but it garnered 18% of the vote. For those doing math, almost four times as much of the population voted for fascists in France as did in Ukraine. And recent polling shows that the fascists are leading in France.

All of which makes me wonder: where are all the think pieces about the rising tide of fascism in France? For all that’s been said, fascists are a fringe force in Ukraine, but they have huge possibility of winning right in the heart of Europe.

Apparently Silicon Valley Fascism Is A Thing

Yes you read the title correctly, as a Baffler article details, there is a concerted political movement from Silicon Valley techies to implement “a national CEO [or] what’s called a dictator.” Oh wait and it gets better, that’s the progressive (or as one member says “politically correct”) version of the movement, the less progressive sects of the so-called “Dark Enlightenment” are pro-eugenics, and see slavery as “a natural human relationship.”

Clearly they’ll get nowhere if they keep fighting, the neo-reactionaries need to meet somewhere in the middle, between a progressive Orwellian dystopia and a horrifying Dickean slave state.

The scariest part of this movement is that it is not just a fringe phenomenon, but has echoes in people like Peter Thiel, aka the billionaire investor behind PayPal and Facebook. Here is part of a Stanford lecture he gave in 2012:

A startup is basically structured as a monarchy. We don’t call it that, of course. That would seem weirdly outdated, and anything that’s not democracy makes people uncomfortable. We are biased toward the democratic-republican side of the spectrum. That’s what we’re used to from civics classes. But the truth is that startups and founders lean toward the dictatorial side because that structure works better for startups.

In a sense he’s right, and confirms what Corey Robin said about the supposedly “libertarian” notion of right-wing freedom:

When these libertarians look out at society, they don’t always see isolated or autonomous individuals; they’re just as likely to see private hierarchies like the family or the workplace, where a father governs his family and an owner his employees.  And that, I suspect…is what they think of and like about society: that it’s an archipelago of private governments.

And perhaps that’s the worst part of the movement: the changing American culture itself. Appealing to 1984 and abolitionists from the past becomes useless when the new societal ideal is to make it big by being your own private dictator. That’s not to say most digital “peasants” will vote away their freedom, but when an irrational movement grows large enough, it has a better chance of taking power.