Wednesday, 9 November 2016
Well, it’s settled; everybody who disagrees with you is Hitler. For the last few years this has been an egalitarian phenomenon – that both sides could openly call the other ‘Nazis’ without a hint of irony. Well, make your minds up – you can’t both be Nazis. Just as racist and bigot and homophobe have been largely abandoned as labels you would do anything to avoid, being called a Nazi has taken on the status of being something of a badge of honour. Being ‘heiled’ usually means you’ve won the argument; maybe not in substance, but in staying power and most importantly, amusement value. This is the routine:
Between mutual followers a discussion on social media arises concerning a topic on which, apparently, none of you are qualified or competent to comment. This invalidity is determined by a third party disagreeing with you saying, for instance, that gender fluidity is a vital concern for only a tiny minority, or that uncontrolled low-skilled immigration isn’t an unalloyed good. These are clearly dangerous opinions, which must be corrected. Fortunately, brave souls scour the Internet for the opportunity to right wrongs by wading in, calling you Hitler and then blocking you.
Collect all the hysteria and knee-jerk blocking together and a clear picture emerges. It is overwhelmingly those on the progressive left who call dibs on the morally higher ground. They are simply better human beings than you are. And then they call for book-burning, banning and gagging. Their mother ship is the Guardian, hilariously and unselfconsciously branding everybody else as Nazi dupes while spreading their own messages of hate. Now it seems, posters alerting you to the possible threat of being blown up are – you guessed it – neo-Nazi propaganda.
They talk about this hateful rise of the right, this dangerous nationalist surge, never seeing that the rise is not in reality but in rhetoric. It is projection; if you disagree with them then you must not be rational and thus it is that the left finally separates itself wholesale from the feelings and sensibilities of the working people who, they imagine, they ‘fight’ for. Last night Dan Snow’s visceral howl of pain for US Election Day was: “It's the anniversary of Hitler's 1923 coup. Please please let that be the only fascist takeover attempt that today is remembered for.”
The left-leaning media talk about how bitter and divisive the campaigning has been, which is generally code for “We don’t understand why everybody doesn’t agree with us!” But isn’t this at the heart of it all? For two decades the illiberal left-leaning administrations of much of the first world have had their chance at delivering their ‘third way’ and it hasn’t worked. As it happens, working people, whatever their nationality, have far more in common with each other than they have with their unelected ‘champions’. This goes against the narrative, however, so it must be ignored.
Winter is coming? I cancelled winter already!
And while they’ve been ignoring the voice, the feelings, the real concerns of the bulk of the population, labelling their fears as hate and dismissing their frustration as insignificant against the backdrop of the great socialist dream the people have been looking for a way ahead. Not by organising mass demonstrations. Not by crying Hitler and denouncing every opinion with which they disagree. Not by violence or even very much intemperate language, but at the ballot box, the way democracy is supposed to work. The real Nazis just don’t realise they are the Nazis.