Fascism Within a Federalist Context
There's the possibility of some of our members taking a shot at political office in 2018. This would not be the first time an outlier party has run candidates for office or even won one of those offices. However, the originality of the ABP engaging in this activity derives from our unique positions regarding traditional American political issues. The left through their opportunism has never challenged the founding political structure, choosing instead to extrapolate a probable future based upon the ideals of the founders, while the extreme Right has held that structure as semi-divine, being a bulwark against Communism and representing an idyllic white America. The inability to challenge this structure is one of the defining features of American politics, at least up until now.
Whether it is Democrats challenging Trump’s immigration policies through States rights, or the Republicans challenging Obamacare based on the same principle. The idea that the United States is made up of entities called states with their own duties and responsibilities while serving as a barrier to a potentially tyrannical central government is ingrained in the American psyche, something which most of us take for granted and not dare challenge. It would be easy to accept this for the sake of expediency and go on promoting Fascist ideas within a federalized context. However, this is a much bigger issue than most people give it credit for. The idea that governmental power is inherently dangerous is derived from enlightenment thought. If power is divided, inefficient, and limited then the ability of the State to implement any kind of positive action socially or economically becomes impaired. A small State with limited delineated powers that acts as a night watchman is the only State that has a rationale for existing. Fascism is a State-centered ideology, which bestows an ethical and moral personality on the State. These two different visions are incompatible. Federalism being a product of the latter would create contradictions in any kind of Fascist governing framework.
In a time when over 90% of the population worked in agriculture and your nearest neighbor often lived a mile down the road. The consequences of a strict federalist system were minimal, but as the population increased and more people lived right next to each other the effects of divided power began to be felt, sweatshops, endemic poverty, financial booms and busts all became more prominent. At this point, the divided structure of government began to be felt. While there were successes remedying these abuses other ones manifested themselves. In addition, vested economic interests were able to use laws delineating certain powers to particular governmental units as justifications for challenging and having invalidated these laws. Due to the inefficient structure of American government, the ability to change law especially those Constitutional in nature is extremely difficult more often, we have government by inertia.
Though the issues may be different, the ill effects of divided government are still felt today. The attempts to maintain a semblance of law and order at the federal level through tightening immigration laws and restricting the availability of marijuana have either been stalled in the courts or have gone nowhere because of lack of will to challenge the federalist structure.
In addition, those of a Fascist mindset also have to consider the consequences for maintaining Federalism if we were ever to acquire power. While any acquisition of power would have to be based upon a significant percent of the population believing in our program, there would still be a large number opposed, at least in the beginning stages. States where large amounts of opposition are centered could serve as focal points for opposition to Fascism. Imagine trying to implement a prohibition of gay marriage and having a third of the states maintain its legality and presenting it as an acceptable alternative to traditional marriage, or allowing certain states to maintain legalized forms of narcotics while others outlawed them. Those where possession are legal would serve as a gateway for those in other states who would otherwise never be exposed to these drugs. The idea that abstract entities like states within a federalist system have rights prevents the formation of a nation. The institution of different laws in different localities produces divergent customs, and norms based on geographic localities within a country. In other words different cultures and divisions. If abstract political entities have rights then other abstractions like the individual can have rights also. Once attaining power we’ll have a mandate to implement our agenda, but that mandate must be one that is embraced by a majority of the population. Stealth attempts at implementing an agenda are destined to fail, always!
Philosophy and how we articulate is hugely important. Centralization requires a deconstruction of Federalism. At the heart of American constitution theory are two ideas. The Constitution is the product of the people of the several states gathering together to establish a union or it’s the product of the states themselves coming together to form a union. The 10th Amendment serves as a compromise between these two positions.
Now, while both interpretations are sound in the sense that they accurately describe the process that went into the formation of the American government, they incorrectly ascribe sovereignty to the people of the United States. From the day, the first colonists moved to the United States they were part of a State. Their children were born into a State and when intermediary bodies were created in the form of Colonial governments, they were only allowed to exist with permission of the home government in England. When in 1776 this tie was broken, the structure of the colonial governments remained intact along with a new body, the Continental Congress. States are not created by individuals or groups of people we are born into them and they grow and evolve as we grow and evolve as individuals. Changes in structure and function are just those changes. Creation never takes place. There are times of great distress such as war when governments fail to function and as a formal entity no longer exist. In this situation, power devolves to smaller more locally centered structures, which take the place of the gone central State.
For any Fascist running for political office, it is imperative that this idea be articulated well to be accepted by those putting you into office. Any kind of stealth implementation of an agenda is bound to appear as dishonest opportunism and lead to failure. Even during those times when decentralizing power would seem to reinforce our values, taking the opposite stand and supporting centralization would help us in the long term to establish a foundation for implementing our agenda in the future. Whether it is Health Care, safety net programs, or education, Fascists should support turning local and state agencies into subsidiaries of the federal government with the explicit function of implementing directives and plans even if the administration in power is opposed to us. The way democracy works that opposition would be sure to be short lived.
The story is a bit different at the local level. Whereas in Congress issues dealing with Federalism appear often. Locally not so much, but it does not mean there is nothing to be done. Most states are modeled on the Federal Government with there being County governments and city governments along with their bureaucratic structures. So for example, you have the city of San Diego, which has a mayor, city council, and school district. A few miles down the road in La Mesa, you have the exact same structure. This is duplicated along several lines within San Diego County. The amount of administrative waste is appalling. The need to have separate governing structures for each locality only a few miles from each other passes the common sense test at no time whatsoever, and in addition, owes its existence to being a relic of something, which outlived its usefulness a long time ago. Because our chances for electoral success is much greater at the local level, implementing a centralized design would best prepare the American people for our ideas. Getting rid of duplicate bureaucracies, centralizing power and decision making through simplification are amongst several ways to implement Fascist ideology at the local level.