Coming in the midst of the Cold War, and after the utter annihilation of Nazism as a presence on the world political scene, this retrospective evaluation of World War II may seem anachronistic, and the reader may be tempted to see it as a tired survival of thoughts that were alive for Lewis in the 20’s and 30’s. Yet the fact that fascism continued to stand as the political (and libidinal) embodiment of Lewis’ chronic negativity, his oppositionalism, his stance as the Enemy, long after the defeat of institutional fascism itself, may, I think, be better grasped from a somewhat different perspective. The figural value of fascism as a reaction is determined by the more central position of Communism, against which the anticapitalist posture of protofascism (of which Lewis approved) must always be understood. We have touched on a number of reasons why Communism could not, for Lewis, be a satisfactory solution. The ultimate one now proves to be his feeling — paradoxical after all that has been said — that Communism was a historical inevitability, and thus, in a sense, the final and most irrevocable form of the Zeitgeist, that against which the oppositional mind must somehow always take a stand.
In this sense, and in the spirit of the present study, which has been an immanent analysis of Lewis’ works, disengaging the self-critique always structurally implicit in them, we may allow his own truth-in-jest to have the final word:
"I know that at some future date I shall have my niche in the Bolshevist Pantheon, as a great enemy of the Middle-class Idea… I say: "I shall be among the bolshie prophets!" My "bourgeois-bohemians" in Tarr — and oh, my Apes of God! — will provide ‘selected passages’ for the schoolchidren of the future communist state, — of that I am convinced — to show how repulsive unbridled individualism can be.”
—Fredric Jameson, Fables of Aggression Wyndham Lewis, the Modernist as Fascist
"On January 22, 2013, Israelis will go to the polls to choose a new government. According to public opinion surveys, the next government will likely be even more right wing and hardline than the current one, which human rights organizations have criticized as the most racist and anti-democratic in Israel’s history.
The IMEU offers the following backgrounder on Israel’s electoral system and growing right-wing political parties.”
Rabbi Ovadia Yosef: “Goyim [non-Jews] were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world - only to serve the People of Israel…Why are gentiles needed? They will work, they will plow, they will reap. We will sit like an effendi and eat.”
"There was a tsunami and there are terrible natural disasters, because there isn’t enough Torah study… black people reside there [in New Orleans]. Blacks will study the Torah? (God said) let’s bring a tsunami and drown them… Hundreds of thousands remained homeless. Tens of thousands have been killed. All of this because they have no God."
Netanyahu: “I de facto put an end to the Oslo Accords,” and adding that “America is a thing you can move very easily.” In the video he also tells the settlers that the way to deal with Palestinians is to “beat them up, not once but repeatedly, beat them up so it hurts so badly, until it’s unbearable.”
Eli Yishai: “The goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages, only then shall the land be quiet for forty years.”
Israel “belongs to us, to the white man.” The previous month, he helped incite a wave of anti-African racism and violence, complaining that allowing African asylum seekers to remain in Israel would “bury the Zionist dream.” In August 2012, Yishai said that migrants from Africa were a “threat” to Israel as severe as Iran’s nuclear program and that he would “lock them up to make their lives miserable.”
Moshe Feiglin: In the mid-2000s, he wrote a tract setting out his political program. In the manifesto, which was mysteriously removed from his website in 2009 after the last Likud primaries, he said that if he became prime minister he would withdraw Israel from the United Nations and cut off water and electricity to Palestinians in the occupied territories.
“Why should non-Jews have a say in the policy of a Jewish state? For two thousand years, Jews dreamed of a Jewish state, not a democratic state. Democracy should serve the values of the state, not destroy them. You can’t teach a monkey to speak and you can’t teach an Arab to be democratic. You’re dealing with a culture of thieves and robbers. Muhammad, their prophet, was a robber and a killer and a liar. The Arab destroys everything he touches.”
Michael Ben-Ari: referred to left-wing Israelis as “germs,” “enemies of Israel,” and “traitors who must be persecuted at any cost.”
Yair Lapid: “I do not think that the Arabs want peace… What I want is not a new Middle East, but to be rid of them and put a tall fence between us and them.” He added that his most important priority is “to maintain a Jewish majority in the Land of Israel.” On Jerusalem, Lapid wrote, “The Palestinians must be brought to an understanding that Jerusalem will always remain under Israeli sovereignty and that there is no point for them in opening negotiations about Jerusalem.”
Miri Regev: Sudanese asylum seekers “are a cancer in our body. We will do everything to send them back where they came from.”
"I’m happy to be a fascist."
2. in this so-called jazz type repertoire, preference is to be given to compositions in a major key and to lyrics expressing joy in life rather than Jewishly gloomy lyrics;
3. As to tempo, preference is also to be given to brisk compositions over slow ones (so-called blues); however, the pace must not exceed a certain degree of allegro, commensurate with the Aryan sense of discipline and moderation. On no account will Negroid excesses in tempo (so-called hot jazz) or in solo performances (so-called breaks) be tolerated;
4. so-called jazz compositions may contain at most 10% syncopation; the remainder must consist of a natural legato movement devoid of the hysterical rhythmic reverses characteristic of the barbarian races and conductive to dark instincts alien to the German people (so-called riffs);
6. also prohibited are so-called drum breaks longer than half a bar in four-quarter beat (except in stylized military marches);
10. all light orchestras and dance bands are advised to restrict the use of saxophones of all keys and to substitute for them the violin-cello, the viola or possibly a suitable folk instrument.
— ‘Anti-entartete Gestapo regulations for playing jazz, circa Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia’, Our God Is Speed
As a current unidentified Apple executive points out to the Times: “You can either manufacture in comfortable, worker-friendly factories, or you can reinvent the product every year, and make it better and faster and cheaper, which requires factories that seem harsh by American standards. And right now, customers care more about a new iPhone than working conditions in China.”
Of course it’s the customers fault; they should just stop wanting the iPad so bad, which is certainly true, but it also elides the extent of the manufactured desire, and manufactured ignorance, of the average consumer, along with what one can only hope is a kind of unconsciously selective amnesia (c.f. Adorno: “Shifting responsibility from the manipulators to the manipulated is a widespread ideological pattern”).
And who wouldn’t want to forget? Those working conditions are so bad there are frequent suicides at the factories, whose outsides are now often lined with safety nets. The workers are even beginning to enlist the threat of mass suicide as a bargaining tool in labour disputes; a permanent strike, untangling themselves from capital’s leeching bind forever. (Though I now wonder what ways the dead may be commodified; to alter that line from Jurassic Park — which I’m now hearing in a whole new light to when I first wore the tape to breaking point watching the film as a child — ’capital will find a way,’ and it will no doubt be just as horrible as half of what evolution throws up. That capitalism could be justfied because of its perceived similarity to processes of natural selection is ludicrous; as though we should further compound the evils of evolution, and this disastrous earth, with their artificial duplication by our own hand.)
Digressions aside, c.f. Nick Land’s 1987 essay Kant, Capital, and the Prohibition of Incest regarding the real name we should give the practices of corporations like Apple:
Racism, as a regulated, automatic, and indefinitely suspended process of genocide (as opposed to the hysterical and unsustainable genocide of the Nazis) is the real condition of persistence for a global economic system that is dependent upon an aggregate price of labour approximating to the cost of its bare subsistence, and therefore upon an expanding pool of labour power which must be constantly ‘stimulated’ into this market by an annihiliating poverty. If fascism is evaded in metropolitan societies it is only because a chronic passive genocide trails in the wake of capital and commodity markets as they displace themselves around the Third World, ‘disciplining’ the labour market, and ensuring that basic commodity prices are not high enough to distribute capital back into primary producer societies.