Triggered by recent events and history, I've been thinking about what fascism really is:
It is the trampling on individual rights for a purported higher goal.
Some people in the West do not acknowledge that a large part of the Russian population supports the invasion of Ukraine. There is something we are missing. We think of one person only and therefore see only the head of the fascist beast; we refuse to see its massive body of millions in whose impoverished lives it breathes the illusion of purpose, and of belonging to a righteous group. That is why dissenters need to be eliminated, for they threaten to take that precious opium away.
Hence the inescapable result of fascism: Millions of people ruined, incarcerated, eliminated.
When we deal with those pursuing burning causes, such as eliminating poverty, fixing the climate, promoting "diversity," or saving the animals, it behooves us to ask: How do they deal with their dissenters? The answer will expose them for what they are.
The counterpoint to fascism is humanism which puts in focus the individual alone. Luc Ferry's book "The New Ecological Order" explains this tension between humanism and fascism – and eco-fascism in particular – is well explained in Luc Ferry's book "The New Ecological Order." It consoles me that the Western World, still being ravaged by the fascist beast, has also invented its antidote. We must be proud of it, and we must speak up to our would-be oppressors. The majority must not be silent. As Jordan Peterson says, if you have something important to say and don't say it, it's a lie.
A couple of readers have commented that my novel "Life, Unedited." is deeply "humanistic." That has helped me understand why I wrote the book in the first place. Here is the setting: A totalitarian society on a distant planet where most people are excluded from meaningful activities is contrasted with Earth's chaotic but free communities where everyone contributes according to their means. Aurora, the main protagonist, is human in the humanistic sense, although she is genetically edited. She learns on Earth that we cannot invoke "identity" to discover our purpose; we need to find our individual purpose ourselves. Here is a slightly modified dialogue between her and Dr. Ruba, a psychotherapist:
Dr. Ruba: We are who we are, and we are glad to be here. It doesn't matter what you are; it only matters that you are."
Aurora: "Is this really enough? What about your identity? We do need to know what we are."
Dr. Ruba: "Why? Everyone is someone already; why does everyone want to be something?"
Dr. Ruba: "Yeah. You said it. You wanted to know what you are. A 'human', for instance. Or a woman. Or almost a woman. Or an improved human, a Sister – what the heck? What is this all about? Why do you want to so restrict yourself?"
Aurora: "It's just that… if you know what you are, your life is so much easier. Because your identity gives you your duty, your destination, and your path to fulfillment."
Dr. Ruba: "Who says life is supposed to be easy? Just be yourself; only then can you free yourself of any mold and develop your full potential. It's hard but more fulfilling. You are human; that means that you must find your own destiny."
Aurora: "That scares me."
Dr. Ruba: "That is what freedom feels like."
Aurora: "It is all new to me. Others have always shown me my way and defined my ambition."
Dr. Ruba: "Aurora, you need to take this on. It is the noblest challenge."