In our world today we bask in democracy. Democracy is seen as one of the tastiest governmental systems to be cooked by our political evolution across history. The government of the people by the people and for the people. The fact that government houses are no longer soundproof to public opinion is inspiring.
The reality that the corridors of power have been politically renovated to accommodate the masses is interesting. People no longer commonly have chains binding their lips as they can now freely vent their political perspectives. Yet in the gyration of freedom, something is creeping from the shadows: Fascism.
In a world where globalization is celebrated as nations and races weave themselves together, right wing ideologies are consolidating in societies across the globe. Walls are springing about communities as people are tending to keep to their own, marking a sharp departure from a crowd of races for which globalization aspires. Such societal schism is carving our revered global village into divisive clans. Supremacy is reemerging as some see themselves as biologically superior to others. Nationalism is strewing, and racial bonds are getting stronger at the expense of global bonds.
While the world could have been stunned by the vehemence of the Charlottesville violence, the truth is it was just a manifestation of brimming cultural divisions that are beginning to ravage our unity. Long before the violence in Virginia, the fascist handwritings have been thickening on the wall. People are suddenly seeing freedom and intermingling as strangling and are agitating for someone to build towers around their national identity. Towers too formidable to be rammed by globalization. It would be rightly disturbing to bring to mind a growing public disenchantment with the social equalities democracy preaches.
This personifies the growing tide of distrust in pure democracy festering societies today. People are getting more ready to surrender their freedom to a strong man leader who would “rule” under the guise of democracy. Someone who would with a nationalistic iron crush all democratic aristocracy, someone with the national flag proudly pegged in his heart who would restore “our own”. Someone in the American sense, an endearing nephew of Uncle Sam who would make America great again. People are seeing democracy as politically sluggish and unduly bureaucratic and are hence vouching for a strong leader that can readily brush aside foundations of government. A mighty leader who is readily voicing an album of executive orders. This explains the recent rise in dictatorial and fascist governments across the world.
In the Philippines, we have the roaring Duterte. A leader as fierce as the drug menace ravaging his nation. Duterte is famous for his extrajudicial expeditions as he is ready to take a “vacation” off that county’s constitution to execute justice. Someone who patriotically goes outside the law to protect the law. And the Philippine people seem to love it. He is a reputable strong leader with little democratic courtesy. There is still Recep Erdogan in Turkey where recent abrogation of the democratic enshrinements of the Turkish Constitution, has lethally wounded democracy thereby installing Erdogan as more that an elected Head of State. There is also Victor Orban in Hungary, who famously said, “debates unnecessarily generate social problems”. Nice Hungarian brooms for sweeping public opinions under the carpet. Victor Orban is flanked by his close Russian acquaintance Vladimir Putin, whose politic is clearly, and all too effectively, undermining democracies around the world. The list fattens to show a modern world where fascism is getting well fed. This fascist reemergence is global.
In a warm Slovakian afternoon this year, gathered throngs of people in a memorial with rousing red flowers to celebrate a past national emblem and erstwhile hero of the people. The crowd held in esteem reverence a picture frame in the center of the congestion. On this worshipped picture was no one other than Jozef Tiso, a notorious wartime leader in Slovakia famous for his brutal Nazi corroboration and convicted to death by hanging.
And of course, there is the United States. Uncomfortable as it is to consider, and to realize deeply, the US is currently undergoing its own come-to-God moment in its history. Whatever side of the political spectrum you are on, what cannot be denied is that there is a clear upswing in racist outbursts (as well as the worry of racial tensions across the board), no doubt empowered by a president who is consciously exploiting the frustrations of a significant segment of the population that feels completely left behind by a government that has lost touch with the needs of its people while becoming far too influenced by the corporatocracy that has a stranglehold on the US government.
The question remains to what extent will this trend continue across the developed world? At what point will the demons be exorcised and we can leap forward to the next phase of our collective evolution where diverse nations and populations can manage growing pains far more effectively than being all too vulnerable to the exploits and ambitions of those who would subvert for private gain at the expense of the civilized fabric of global society?
Much remains to be seen.