by Gordon Hahn
A few thoughts on the connection between post-modernism and the new American commune-fascism are in order. The evolution from post-modernism to neo-communism, commune-fascism, or liberal fascism — whatever label one prefers — was predetermined by the similarity of the two in terms of their methodologies and imperatives for controlling indeed monopolizing discourse and thus consciousness. This explains why postmodernism in the West and thus the U.S. is a wholly liberal-leftist affair.
The elements that postmodernism and communism have in common is instructive particularly for understanding the instrumental contradictions used by the DP and other American leftists to shut down free speech and create a totalitarian information space and national discourse (For more detail on the parallels between postmodernism and cmmunism, see Mikhail N. Epstein, “Postmodernism, Communism, and Sots-Art,” in Mikhail N. Epstein, Alexander A. Genis, and Slobodanka M. Vladiv-Glover, Russian Postmodernism: New Perspectives on Post-Soviet Literature , 2nd edition (New York, Oxford: Berghahn, 2016), pp. 51-94, used herein pp. 54-68]. Perhaps the fundamental element of post-modernism is the replacement of reality by a manufactured reality by way of ‘simulacrum’—a conjured ‘fake’ event for media reproduction that should establish a new reality separate from and indeed wholly replace actual reality, which postmodernism stipulates, however self-contradictorily, does not exist because all ‘reality’ is but a construct. Since there is no objective ‘reality’ of any sort, there is only a dominant environment created through a set of simulacra developed by one or another group of people. Here, post-modernism’s obsession with power becomes crucial. Since all ‘realities’ are reflective of power structures, reality becomes merely the arena for the naked struggle of power and really nothing more. Racism, sexism, feminism, white supremacism are merely flags manipulated to shape the reality to suit one’s power preferences: who rules, who is ruled, how and why rulers rule the ruled. Since all discourse and culture in the postmodernist view is the pursuit of power or a reflection of its structure and/or a preferred structure, the postmodernist production of reality is designed to control consciousness almost solely for the purpose of gaining and holding power. Concepts such as justice, markets, freedom, democracy, equality, brotherhood, racism are flags, the colors and shapes of which can be changed as the pursuit of power requires. They mirages as malleable and constructed as non-existent non-reality ‘reality’ and can and should be manipulated in creating an alternative, soon-to-be sole ‘reality’ to control culture and discourse and the populations that imbibe and participate in them. Ultimately, reality is nothing more than power and its pursuit.
Simulacrum is not the same as imitation. Imitation is an approximation of reality, intentionally touched up and distorted. Simulacrum, in the postmodernist view, cannot approximate or distort reality, because reality does not exist; it is created by images, signs, words, discourse, concepts, and culture, which in turn are all conjured by mankind. I would argue that what we see in the American discourse media of all kinds is imitation on the right (Republican, libertarian, other conservatives, the far right, and all of these elements media) and simulacrum on the left (Democrat, BLM, Antifa, various socialist, communist, and anarchist movements and all of these movements’ media).
On the right, imitation is the old propaganda, which many pro-Republican media engage in to one extent or another. This is much less deceptive, harmful, and divisive than simulacra. But it should be noted that in response to the simulacra offensive on the left, one can expect and is even beginning to see some fringe far rightist media attempting to construct a new reality. However, they lag far behind the ubiquitous reality fabrication that now monopolizes almost all liberal and leftist media.
On the left, Big Tech (Facebook, Twitter, Google, Apple, Amazon, YouTube supplemented by dinosaur media such as The Washington Post, New York Times, PBS, NPR, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNBC, MSNBC etc.) and its leftist ‘maintenance of the integrity of the discussion’ — as Twitter’s Jack Dorsey unwittingly disclosed the goal unanimity of views — is to the postmodern left what Soviet radio, newspapers, loudspeakers, and later television. Total – totalitarian – control by the Central Committee Ideology Department, ‘GlavLit’ and other Soviet Party-state organs are replaced in Big Tech USA by social media algorithms, fact checkers, and Big Tech. The four horsemen of the Big techocalypse – Politburo members Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, Bill Gates, and Jeff Bezos – can shut down you, I, or Parler for posting a signed affidavit testifying to election fraud – a lie by virtue of its contradiction of the BigTechburo’s simulacrized set of ‘facts.’ The ubiquity and power of the new media and technology (virtual reality, AI, singularity) makes the potential for a truly total totalitarianism under postmodernist left exponentially higher than that achieved in the USSR should the DP and globalist allies like the ‘four horsemen’ noted above and/or Soros so choose. Leftist Big Tech ‘newsfeeds’ – a revealing term in and of itself – or the ‘facts’ comprising the new ‘reality’ are kept ‘integral’ by their instruments of exclusion, such as algorithms and now outright censorship, producing the simulacra, the building blocks of the new ‘reality.’
The universe created on screen and airwaves becomes more real than, even comes to replace one’s life and family, presaging a world of atomized individuals brought together only by reference to the ‘virtual’ reality consisting of images, symbols and ultimately political orientations created by virtual technologies; one that soon will became more ‘real’ given new technologies. The so-called leftist media ‘bubble’ of self-referencing leftist ‘journalists’ – who are really actors and producers of the installed ‘reality’ – is but the very first step on a stairway to virtual heaven, an integral, dystopian world and universe made in Big Tech’s image and likeness: virtual reality, artificial intelligence, robots, and singularity. A world of three classes, only two of them human: (1) Big Tech oligarchs, their political and security allies, and these cohorts’ family and friends; (2) technology – the new middle class; and (3) and the unemployed, fed and clothed (to one degree or another) mass populated by those the former two classes deem expedient for the ‘integrity’ of the simulacra and their power structure.
The construction of ‘reality’ cannot brook alternative projects, and therefore it must squash all discourse and media that offer a hint into another reality or even an imitation of reality. This explains the bifurcation of American media into strictly left and right. Leftist media – Big tech and dinosaur – must completely ignore stories that could potentially be interpreted as supporting the right’s narrative and indeed ignore much of reality it at times exaggerates or ‘imitates’ through framing or ‘spin’ such as the all too real: unmasking of the simulacrized ‘Russiagate’ and Steele dossier as an Obamagate (an Obama-Clinton special operation against Trump’s campaign extended into his presidency in the hope of ending it); unconstitutionality of the two Trump impeachments, Biden family’s illegal use of the office of the vice-presidency to carry out business with Ukraine, Russia and China; violent nature of most of the BLM and Antifa demonstration; radical racist and Marxist views of such groups; the professional and non-racist nature of almost all of law enforcement (the police chiefs and other officials in the jurisdictions where criminal and armed African-Americans were shot to death by police were uniformly Democratic and almost always African-Americans themselves); and massive 2020 election fraud. One need only recall the leftist media reporter standing in front of a building being ravaged by massive raging fire during one of the BLM demonstration telling his viewers that the demonstration was “mostly peaceful” and never mentioning, no less detailing the leftist violence. An approach repeated in thousands of ‘news reports’ nationwide for months, creating reality for the left.
Thus, a poisonous bifurcation of information sources and discourse in the US is creating two Americas living in two different and nearly mirror-opposite ‘realities’ – ‘simulacrist’ and almost entirely false on the left and imitative and approximate on the right – each designed to discredit and demonize the other America. If anyone on the right was watching the report of peaceful protests with a flaming background, he/she could only marvel at the audacious lengths to which leftist media is willing to go to replace reality with simulated reality and seek to avoid such media in future. On the other side, a leftist being told by a rightist that there is deception in such spin will retort in defense of his/her reality that the rightist is a victim of rightist media propaganda. So, the polarization and growing sense of surrealism grows. It is now run of the mill reality that to claim there might have been electoral fraud or that Biden knew or received money from his son Hunter’s foreign business ventures or that Democratic leaders endorsed and sometimes encouraged the violent demonstrations brings the cry of ‘fascist,’ ‘white supremacist,’ or ‘Kremlin agent.’ Civil society has become singularly uncivil. The smell of evil and civil war is thick in the American air.
Postmodernism and communism have two other very important qualities in common, according to Epstein, determinism and reductionism. Postmodernism and communism both denigrate the importance of free will, asserting that history is not determined by individuals or man-made culture. Instead, communists assert that history’s drivers are interrelated structures of the social relations and economic production in which mankind is but a blind participant directed to act by his class association and capture in the capitalist machine of industrial production. This faceless determinism in practice relegates to a select few the right, the power to design the present and future based on their special knowledge of socioeconomic relations. The ‘truth’ of the few is the truth, despite the postmodernist meme that there are many truths.
Postmodernism expands the number of spheres constraining humankind’s free will, as Epstein notes, to include the unconscious, desire, language. Whereas communism enforced a class-based approach ‘only’ in culture and ideology, postmodernism insists on a leveling of all “value hierarchies” and traditions (with exceptions made when power is at stake) and replaces the focus on class with a different reduction. Postmodernism’s reductionism is centered on identitarian-based factors: ethnicity (race), gender, social, sexual orientative, and age identification, which are used to define individuals (with exceptions made when power is at stake). In sum, postmodernism’s reductionism is not limited but includes class as well as race, social, gender, and sexual identity.
Postmodernism’s reductionism, however, is limited by political expediency. Thus, one can add ideological instrumentalism or ‘ideo-instrumentalism’ in relation to its supposedly strict indentitarianism to the panoply of communist-postmodernist parallels. Everyone is familiar with Vladimir Lenin’s compromises with strict Marxism. Fighting for revolution and power in an overwhelming agrarian society, Lenin discarded Marx’s emphasis on communist revolution being born and led in capitalist highly industrialized societies, developing the idea of ‘telescoping’ the revolutionary process such that the communist revolution followed immediately upon the bourgeois democratic revolution. Similarly, the international movement, also beholden in its development and global expansion to industrialized states, was overcome by the Leninist innovation that agrarian societies were ‘weak links’ in the capitalist bourgeois imperial system. Since the number of industrial workers or proletariat were prohibitively small for seizing power forcibly from below, Lenin developed the idea of a highly disciplined and centralized party of professional revolutionaries and the proletariat’s temporary alliance with peasants, soldiers, and national minorities during the destructive phase of the revolution. Once the ‘old’ regime – Russia’s nine-month young, first democratic representative government – was destroyed in October 1917 the proletariat’s allies paid a growing price for their secondary status. Eventually, the peasants were dekulakized, collectivized, destroyed as a class, and much murdered. The national minorities were deprived of the promised ‘national autonomy up to including secession’ and swallowed up by the highly centralized and increasingly violent Party and its secret security apparatus.
Postmodernist commune-fascist exceptions made for power-acquisition, -preservation and -building can be seen in such concepts as “multiracial whiteness.” In a recent WaPo editorial on “multiracial whiteness,” a New York University ‘professor’ named Cristina Beltran leveled a pseudo-academic attack on all non-whites who support former President Donald Trump, Republicans, or conservatives and their causes. Such traitorous non-whites have decided to become white or bathe in whiteness. They do so on “the promise” from whites that minorities, like whites, “can lay claim to the politics of aggression, exclusion and domination.” They manifest the whiteness they treacherously appropriate, she scribbled, by the “persecution and dehumanization of others” (www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/01/15/understand-trumps-support-we-must-think-terms-multiracial-whiteness/?fbclid=IwAR0HlMvJbqufrYHNX6mTl2gHMd91SrVJtrhye9YBl_XzLw5EH_BfesZ4uLs).
In this instrumental inversion of reality or simulacrization, whiteness is disembodied, dematerialized so it can be attributed to those among the chosen races (blacks, Hispanics, occasionally Asians), who betray the culture or ideology that their ethnic identity predetermines according to the postmodernist simulacrized ‘reality.’ Hence, Joe Biden tells a black journalist, who expresses an opinion that the postmodernist racists attribute to his black race or identity and Biden’s pursuit of power relies on: “then you ain’t black.” Joseph Biden’s response to a black journalist seeking privileges for “his community” and requesting an additional interview was: “if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black” (www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOIFs_SryHI&ab_channel=BreakfastClubPower105.1FM).
Thus, genes determine as much as class until an inconvenient moment when they must be said to determine nothing at all. The pursuit of power requires an ideological retreat. It is a retreat to a verisimilitude, approaching the true reality that genes, race, and gender do not determine one’s politics, morals, ethics, or worth. In the phony intellectual milieu of the postmodernists, “(t)here is no sign or thought of a sign that is not about power and of power” (Epstein citing Loytard, 59). It is worth of note that not just Lenin and other communists were obsessed with political power but so were Hitler and his national-socialists. For the latter, power entailed much more. Power’s broader sense included political, genetic, and physical; the latter power was essential for the violence most socialists, whether class or national, adore. (Hence my use of the term commune-fascism to describe the new Democrat-BLM-Antifa movement now in power and attempting to create an authoritarian system.) One can foresee that in the event of a successful postmodernist communo-fascist revolution from above (ongoing today) or from below (nascent in the streets, BLM, Antifa, and other radical groups), the allies of the core movement in power will meet a similar fate as did the Bolshevik proletariat’s allies. Assuming a ‘liberal’ communo-fascist, united revolutionary front seizes power in DC, whites, heterosexuals, and excessively rich within the revolutionary alliance will be sidelined and repressed, but only after the early ethnic, gender, and bourgeois enemies of the revolution who opposed it during the destructive phase will be liquidated in its ‘constructive’ phase. Upon expressing any dissent about who shall build, what shall be built and how, the black, Hispanic, gay, and rich fellow travelers’ initial loyalty to the revolution will buy them time but not freedom or even their lives or what is left of such things.
There are, of course, other options in the outcome of the present American crisis, but for the first time in U.S. history such a bloody, totalitarian outcome has some significant potential to come to rotten fruition. If or when it does, no one will know how the outcome came out; virtual reality will have become ‘reality’ with no hope of return to real reality. As one Soviet era novel banished from its homeland and having found refuge in the then democratic U.S. noted: “(I)n the days of the triumph of materialism (i.e., socialism – GMH), matter turned into a concept and the question of ‘food supply’ and ‘fuel supply’ came to substitute for food and fuel themselves” (Boris Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago cited in Epstein, Postmodernism in Russia, p. 43). Similarly, today in late postmodern America, a ‘Democratic’ Party demands ‘free and fair’ elections abroad (on a selective basis, albeit), while it rigs and engages in elections at home and seeks to establish one-party rule (see the Biden-Harris regime’s HR 1). That same party expounds falsely about ‘democracy’ and ‘equity for all’ but eliminates republican democracy and silences those who would uphold truly republican government. They do this in line with dictates of minority identitarianism and the supreme value of diversity limited to minorities and those who agree with the new ‘democracy.’
About the Author – Gordon M. Hahn, Ph.D., is an Expert Analyst at Corr Analytics, http://www.canalyt.com and a Senior Researcher at the Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies (CETIS), Akribis Group, www.cetisresearch.org. Dr. Hahn is the author of The Russian Dilemma: The West and the Making of Russia’s Security Culture (McFarland, forthcoming in 2021), Ukraine Over the Edge: Russia, the West, and the “New Cold War” (McFarland, 2018), The Caucasus Emirate Mujahedin: Global Jihadism in Russia’s North Caucasus and Beyond (McFarland, 2014), Russia’s Islamic Threat (Yale University Press, 2007), and Russia’s Revolution From Above: Reform, Transition and Revolution in the Fall of the Soviet Communist Regime, 1985-2000 (Transaction, 2002). He also has published numerous think tank reports, academic articles, analyses, and commentaries in both English and Russian language media.
Dr. Hahn also has taught at Boston, American, Stanford, San Jose State, and San Francisco State Universities and as a Fulbright Scholar at Saint Petersburg State University, Russia and has been a senior associate and visiting fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Kennan Institute in Washington DC, and the Hoover Institution.