The Paradox Of An Emerging Global Nationalist-Fascist World.

The Paradox Of An Emerging Global Nationalist-Fascist World.

The Western democracies should be alarmed that a new world order dominated by interlinked “nationalist-fascist” regimes appears to be emerging since the 2010s.

This is being pioneered by Xi Jinping and Putin’s totalitarian regimes. Both countries have morphed from decaying communism to fascism [1,2]. A fascist ideology which differs from classical fascism of the interwar period by downplaying the explicit racism inherent to the late colonial era.

This ideological shift is significant. Russia and China are both nuclear powers. Russia has the advanced military capability developed during the Cold War, and China has the second largest global economy that arose from economic reform and globalization after the Cold War.

The driving force behind the change from communism to fascism, has in both countries been the internal obsession among the ruling elites of holding on to power. It is no accident that Putin is a product of the KGB (now FSB), and Xi Jinping (a so called “red princeling”) is the son of a senior pioneering leader of the Chinese Communist Party.

It is conventionally assumed -as was the case of authoritarian right wing regimes of the Cold War era- the priorities of these regimes are domestic and regional, rather than global. The ideologies of the Xi jinping and Putin regimes demand the adulation by their disenfranchised citizens of their nations as myths, which transcend the mere humanity of their populations. This nationalistic ideology is intrinsically limited to the borders of the nations these regimes control. 

The classic fascist movements of the interwar period were based on mass movements, while the modern fascist regimes of Putin and Xi Jinping were created by elite groups holding on to power over nations that were already subject to long term authoritarian rule. Both these modern regimes produce mass propaganda which is intended as instruction to acceptable speech and deeds of their heavily surveilled populations, rather than the creation of armies of fanatical believers committed to colonizing the world based on alleged racial superiority.

These modern powerful totalitarian regimes are not based on mass movements. Hitler and Stalin were working through to the logical conclusion of the ideologies that drove the mass movements they led. The Putin and Xi Jinping regimes are driven by an inner elitist ideology that worships the myth of the value of the amoral exercise of power, and hypocritically has disdain for the public national mythology they monotonously promote in public. Their claim to greatness is justified by the illusion of strength produced by the exercise of power. To be great is to be strong, and strength is the ability to create or destroy, whichever is most easily made abundant. This is the paradox of nationalist-fascist regimes with global ambitions.

This inner elitist ideology of the worship of the myth of amoral power, is not limited to nations or regions, it has global reach. A global network of linked totalitarian nationalist-fascist regimes with China and Russia as the economic and military super-power backbone, would empower the ruling elites of all these nations at the eventual expense of their own citizens, and hasten the decline of the democracies.

The elites of Western democracies are obsessed with holding on to the exorbitant economic power they have accumulated from globalization of capital and manufacturing. They are afraid that democratic governments will be elected by citizens who want some of this power clawed back and redistributed, for the sake of general prosperity. They would consider funding the swifter decay of democracy. There is also a large and angry segment of Western democratic societies who feel economically left behind or insecure, and are potential recruits for nationalist-fascist movements who offer to empower them in exchange for loyalty to the incoherent nationalist-myths they hawk.

There are also a large number of far-left activists alienated from the democratic systems which have been hobbled by ultra-globalist free market economics. Many of them perceive the Russian and Chinese systems as returning to communism rather than having morphed to fascism. They are therefore absurdly willing to accept funding to destabilize democratic centre-left politics from the nationalist-fascist regimes of Russia and China. 

Military conflict that does not lead to quick inexpensive victories, or military threats that create fear are used by totalitarian regimes to encourage policies of isolationism inside democracies, which appeals to right wing nationalists. This in turn can give nationalist-fascist candidates an electoral advantage.  

There is no reason that nationalist-fascist regimes in terms of their public or inner ideology should be concerned about global environmental crises, including climate change. Indeed chaos and shortages aid support for nationalist-fascist regimes, as they encourage pessimism and isolationism consistent with nationalist-fasist ideology. 


[1] “Ivan Ilyin, Putin’s Philosopher of Russian Fascism” By Prof Timothy Synder [2018]
Additional notes and extracts:

[2] (i) “China of Xi Jinping: Towards Chinese Fascism?” by Jean-Philippe Béja. [2019]
Additional notes and extracts translated to english.
(ii) “The fantasy of the One, Why China is totalitarian.”, by Chloé Froissart & Kevin Cadou. [2022]
Summary of arguments in essay in english.
(iii) “Fascism with Chinese characteristics. Chiang Kai-shek’s nationalist vision in the 1930s and implications for U.S.-PRC rivalry today.” by Dean Chen. [2021]
Summary of arguments in chapter with extra notes in english.


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