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Tackling Offense as a Defense Strategy of Fascism

What makes a Fascist leader and his cult so strong that they remain invincible insulated from any strategies and actions taken by their opposition?

In Hungary, Orban has remained unbeaten for 5 terms, Erdogan in Turkey for 2 decades, Modi in India for close to a decade. 

What makes them unrivaled? 

All the 3 above mentioned leadership face a fragmented, weak opposition. 

Weak Opposition, Weak counterpunch

In the absence of a strong leadership and opposition, it is next to impossible to defeat a machinery that churns out disinformation campaigns, builds and empowers a cult of personality strongman, creates a divisive environment in the name of religion by manipulating raw emotions of human minds and demonizing some of them. 

Moreover, a fragmented meek response cannot counterpunch a ‘strong offense as a defense’ strategy. Such a response from a weak opposition will be only ineffective.

Sticking to and expecting political correctness in a post-truth world is not wise. Does this mean you resort to violence? Absolutely, No. 

Instead get aggressive in your approach. Say the unsayable hard facts to their faces. 
In India, the opposition’s campaign has hardly spoken about the Fascist ambitions of the ruling BJP. Instead, once in a while, they talk about uniting the nation against religious extremist forces.

There is a difference between saying “Let there be peace” and “Let’s say no to war”. The former statement has a universal value and vision but the latter brings some sense of urgency and the negative connotations of the horrors of war. 

This is what the far-right populist parties and its followers have been doing. 

“Lock her Up”, “China”, “Bharat Mata Ki Jay” evokes emotions among the masses that urge them to be aggressive in their approach during the elections. 

Eliciting emotions  – Viral Sloganeering and Leak Forgery 

Remember the Indian Railways Minister along with his few acolytes chanting “Bharat Mata Ki Jay” at the site of India’s deadliest railway crash that killed 294 people. 

This is an example for viral sloganeering, which is defined as “a process of crafting divisive cultural or political messages in the form of short slogans and propagating these (both online and offline) in an effort to influence viewers, force media coverage, and provoke institutional responses” by Donovan and Friedberg in Source Hacking: Media Manipulation in Practice.

Leak forgery is yet another strategy (mentioned in the above report) deployed by information manipulators (in our context, the far right populists or Fascists) to render the opponents powerless. This involves forged documents that are created and submitted during a press conference as a proof of wrongdoings or corruption. The source of such documents will be unknown. 

There are social media influencers, with thousands of followers, who release such forged documents and evidence with unreliable sources. Not much for a post-truth world, ain’t it?
These strategies will force the opposition to go on a defensive mode and give answers to the accusations, do damage control caused by the malignant offense instead of punching their blows at opponents. 

Meanwhile, the far right Fascist forces will continue to step up their offense as a defense strategy to portray their opposition as a disgrace to the nation. 

Creating Disgusting Images: A Psychological Approach

Their primary task is to create a disgusting image of their opposition and use such tactics to support their claim continuously. Their propaganda machinery doesn’t need any resources or painstaking efforts to investigate and find out evidence.

Just like the way an Indian female minister said Rahul Gandhi gave her a flying kiss when she was asked about the state of women welfare in Manipur, an Indian state that saw violence for 3 months. 

During the last Democratic Debate of the 2016 US elections, Hillary Clinton had to use the restroom and her opponent Trump had to come up with a vulgar attack for the incident. He called it “too disgusting” to talk about. 

What is disgusting about a human being taking a bio break? It has got a lot to do with the psychology of his conservative base who already see Hillary as a disgusting leader. 
Here is a Washington Post article on the same.

Finding the truth is hard. Making an accusation is easy. Just say what comes to your mind. 

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