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Vanity of Vanities

11.24.16 | Comment?

‘Fascist ideology’ is not taken seriously even by its promoters; its status is purely instrumental, and ultimately relies on coercion.
—Zizek in the intro to Mapping Ideology in 1994

It’s uninteresting to me whether Trump or Bannon or Conway believe their rather unveiled dog whistles of the past few months.

But I am even less interested in liberal denunciations of their rhetoric, especially the scoldy schoolmarm variety. Whether Trump is a racist or sexist or any other -ist is completely beside the point. Shaming him for his rhetoric on Facebook means nothing.

What actually matters is the actual exercise of actual power to actually defeat him and throw him out of power, or else to render him ineffective while he retains the office. Facebook posts scolding him do nothing. It seems today only the good people of Standing Rock have what it takes to exercise power, however you view their protest’s cause.

Did you take a water cannon to the face in freezing weather today?

To go back to the Zizek quote, if it comes to Trump exercising coercive power, do you think scolding him on Facebook will change his mind? Do you think if you cry “Shame!” online that Bannon will listen? Do you think you can call them to repentance from your small corner of the web?

From here on out, I’ll be unfollowing people who shout “Shame!” into the wind and then marvel that the weather does not change. To use a biblical term, it is ‘hebel’—a meaningless chasing after the wind.

Tell me what you’re doing to defeat the darkness, or else just shut the hell up. The din is going to wake the cat, and he’s worked harder today at defeating the darkness than you have with your Facebook posts.

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