STEP BY STEP FASCISM

I've been alerted to a book entitled "Against the Fascist Creep" by Alexander Reid-Ross, being deeply concerned about the growth of Fascism in the west for a few decades now. The trouble is, 'fascist' or 'nazi' are often seen as blithe insults as in "Oh, s/he's a bit of a fascist" meaning his/her ideas are right-wing and not my own.

In some cases, I guess, such words are genuinely understood in this way. But I have been concerned with Fascism with a capital 'F', the natural outcome--the logical one if you like--of neoliberal economic and social attitudes. These, of course, are deeply offensive to Quakerism and its progressive universal Christianity. I'm thinking, for instance, of the destructive ideas of Milton Friedman, Frederick Hayek and Ayn Rand (and such like others) which, in turn, have crept into the body politic over the years and have taken root either in right-wing parties and individual politicians, or more corporately in the right-wing of traditional parties like the British Tory Party. These attitudes, as we now know, are often understood as 'populist'.

But they are also evident in the Church. For instance, in Australia where I live right-wing Roman Catholics (I'm a former R.C. myself so I know them very well), people like cardinal George Pell and their political children such as former PM Tony Abbott (and not a few in his own Cabinet), spring to mind. The Anglicans have the Jensen brothers in Sydney and a host of others willing to cheer on reactionary policies. And so on.

All this bodes ill for the general life of our country and elsewhere in the west; it's not difficult to identify countries where Fascism is on the increase. However, it is not inevitable that it wins. That said, Fascism won't go away of its own accord. It has to be opposed with persistent & nonviolent determination and creativity, plus a great deal of maturity, insight and humour.

The best foundation for such a course of action is knowing what the 'The Way' (or, if you prefer, the 'Kingdom of God') is about. You'll be pleasantly surprised (and indeed excited) at how congruent with Quakerism 'The Way' is. A look at Reid-Ross' book could be very helpful and do read my "What Love Can Do: The Way of Peace, Justice and Compassion" which I wrote for Friends and others; the book is an appreciation of the above congruity. We need 'The Way' more than ever.