If there is any ideology that is historically more extreme and dangerous than Nazism, it is Western liberalism. Yet, today, we are witnessing a spectacle in which these two aspects of Western imperialism are deceptively positioned against each other, attempting to conceal the fact that they are born of the same cloth.
To be clear, this piece does not seek to defend nor absolve Nazism or U.S. President Donald Trump, but place them where they actually belong: from an anti-imperialist and anti-colonial perspective. It’s worth invoking here the ideological position of many colonies during WWII, which saw Adolf Hitler as someone dipping his toes in the pool of genocide, while Western Allies had been swimming in it for centuries.
The rise of Trump has brought a resurgence of what has been called Neo-Nazism. To many, this is the most abhorrent ideology and he is the most abhorrent of all U.S. presidents. It should be no surprise that Nazism is seen by many in the West as the highest symbol of hate and oppression.
After all, it was Nazism that for the first and last time in modern history, inflicted the same kind of violence and oppression on Europeans that they themselves have been inflicting on the rest of the world for centuries. Ashkenazi Jews in Europe were indeed discriminated against for their religious and cultural practices and seen by some as a different race altogether. Nevertheless, they were ultimately deemed part of Western society, thereby making it unacceptable to treat them as if they were a foreign people.
It is important to note that Nazi Germany broke with Western pacts that sought to keep the peace among Western imperialist powers, allowing them to exploit their colonies without the threat of violent competition. The West very often uses the defeat of Hitler and Nazism as a legend in which they “save the world” from fascist domination, when in fact their real motive was removing the threat of one country taking over the shared imperial power they had enjoyed up until then. In addition to this, they rewrote history to suppress the decisive role of the Soviet Union in defeating Nazi Germany.
The term “genocide” had not yet been defined nor established until after 1948, the end of the Jewish Holocaust, despite similar and even worse atrocities being inflicted for centuries against colonized people in Africa, Asia and the Americas. Magnifying Nazi atrocities has served both to make it unacceptable to inflict violence against Europeans and their descendants, as well as solidifying the false narrative that Western powers were the saviors of the world.
Ultimately, their fight against Nazism was hardly about saving a people or the world, but about their imperialist economic monopoly. If they were truly guided by humanitarian reasons, then they would not have been carrying out the same genocide against the people of the Third World.
Due to this Eurocentric history, many in the West today are horrified at the sight of a Nazi flag and its salute. Yet symbols like the U.S. and British flags, which represent a more horrendous history in terms of racism and genocide, do not inspire the same rage. On the contrary, they seem to inspire blind and stupid patriotism.
People in the West, including the diaspora from the Global South, are now springing into action, pressured by the extremist liberal ruling elites opposing Trump and his Neo-Nazi following. Was it the Nazis who ruined the living conditions in our homelands, who bombed the breath out of our people and forced many of us to escape to the lands of our enemies?
Objective reality demonstrates that it was, and continues to be, the liberal West which has been at the forefront of inflicting terror on our lands and peoples, yet they are the ones dictating who we should hate, oppose and fight with all of our passion. While Trump, the neo-Nazis and white nationalist groups in the Western world are certainly a force to be fought against, we must understand them to be only a symptom of a system designed to oppress the Global South and its people.
It is a system in which the Star Spangled Banner and the Union Jack have served, much more than the Nazi flag, as the inspiration for enslavement, genocide and general oppression of our Brown and Black bodies, alongside the exploitation of our labor and resources. We must fight those who choose to be overt with their contempt towards us, as well as those who stab us in the back while smiling at us.
Let’s not allow the extremist liberal class in the West dictate how we should combat the capitalist-imperialist system. They, too, are the enemy; the worst enemy of all.