Flirting with the Fascist Aesthetic

An interesting thread on 'Flirting with the Fascist Aesthetic' via mt. disappointment. This 'subcultural thread' (which takes place on a Barbelith community) makes a few parallels I have been investigating. Namely:

"In my mind, Hitler was the first rave MC, the founder father of gabba techno, REAL hardcore. All those clouds of energy ascending into the aethyr ferociously manifesting....Also had the knack of being able to make people go wild when sometimes they probably had no idea what he was actually saying... Hell, just his presence..."

While I don't wish to banally and ridiculously equate rave culture with fascism -- as a recent review of Spooky's Rhythm Science did in signal to noise magazine (#33, spring 2004, pp. 45-46), which basically claimed that all rhythmic music with a steady tempo is fascist, a "latter day Nuremburg," thereby, in a wonderfully racist fashion, dismissing thousands of years of pan-African, if not all dance music, First Nations and pagan ritual, all movements of the body and affect, in a gesture most puritan and purifying -- there is a ritualistic formation, rather, that fascism picked up on. I don't read the aesthetic as inherently fascist: it was there before, it has been there for a long time, and it will be there for a long time to come. It is something foundational in us, if not of what we understand as the foundational. Rather, the formation found in rave culture has similar structural tendencies to fascism. And these tendencies can also be quite positive: losing one's 'self' in movement, the body, affect, sound, and so on, what rave culture touched on with its post-hippy, transcendental rhetoric. That this can be manipulated with a combinatory of existing and emerging media and rhetoric fuelled with hate is only evidence of the downside of ritual: the swelling of any emotional state, such as anger, hatred--and its opposite enclosure, that of unity. Unity that draws the boundaries, of homes, nation-states, peoples, races, and which rave culture did embrace. Remember PLUR: Peace Love Unity Respect. Now, unity can operate in different ways--think of Marxist solidarity and the power of saying: the International. But unity is the gatekeeper to posting the fence, barbed wire and thugs to patrol the line.

posted. Wed - May 12, 2004 @ 05:50 PM           |