Many historical strands weave into the fascist-esque moment. (I’m still wavering on the use of the term “fascist” to describe anything less historically specific than the actual Fascist party of Mussolini in its particular time/place). Many parallels with Weimar, yes, including (and let us never lose sight of this one) a strong pulse of liberatory energy for women (both lesbian and straight) and gay men, which terrified and hence enraged traditional men in the 1920’s and 1930's.
Umair touched on this in passing but I’d like to underline it. What we call fascism always seems to include a strong male-supremacist, gender-policing, homophobic element […at least, homophobic towards “effeminate” males; we could go off on a long digression about the Theban Band theme and the exclusion of women from the core of male love and loyalty, the paradoxical homoeroticism at the heart of the macho warrior cult… but this is just a comment not an article].
Anyway, I think the gender panic experienced by conservative/parochial men, and their ensuing reflexive, defensive rage, is the encrypted meaning behind claims that “liberalism has gone too far.” Not the only meaning, but a major one and possibly the most visceral. Gender, race, class, they always come braided together — or perhaps I mean knotted, tangled, almost impossible to tease apart and consider separately. For the contemporary white supremacist in America, I suspect that flag/cross/gun/penis/race are conflated in one inextricable snarl of frustrated entitlement and fear, so that waving one is waving all the others, and any challenge to one feels like an attack on all the others…
The gender/nation/race connection is far from coincidental. Anyone obsessed with racial purity has, for obvious reasons, to be obsessed with controlling women’s bodies and their romantic and reproductive choices. If “the breed” is to be kept pure, females must be closely monitored and confined (any dog fancier can tell you that), and “undesirable” genetic potential (foreigners, those of dusky hue) has to be excluded or exterminated.
And I have to admit the whole thing seems incredibly naive and childish from where I sit, hard to take seriously even when I see it playing out (oh lord not again!) before my own eyes; I mean, get over it — the genetic variation between, say Anglo moi and a Maasai is so very minor, despite the vivid visible divergence. Point-one percent, that’s not much to get excited about. “Fascists” (authoritarian revanchists) in general remind me, irresistibly, of the kind of child who has a conniption fit if the peas touch the mashed potatoes on his plate — the kind of child who loves TV dinners because they are so neatly segregated. But (as usual) I digress. Keep at it, Umair.