Trafford Publishing author Mark Gooding holds strong views against the mobilization of popular hatred against other political parties. Gooding contends that these tactics are exclusively used to fan the flames of anger among those that are disentitled in society, rather than fix the roots of the problems that cause this disentitlement. This demonization can be quite literal, whilst never pertaining to actual policies.
These tactics, the similarities drawn by Gooding between Hitler in Mein Kamf and current U.S. leaders, a monotonic public service announcement on the radio, and Gooding’s affection with B-grade 1950s horror films all played significant roles in the creation of his tongue-in-cheek, humorous fictional book Organisms.
Organisms grew from my irritation at some of the collectivist rhetoric spewing from Washington in 2009. That irritation was considerably inflamed by the treatment of dissenters, notably the Tea Party.
Members of the political class, including many academics and of course many in the mainstream media, spoke and wrote about Tea Partiers as though they were unhinged extremists. They hurled invective at them with the most sinister, hateful intent. But the real targets of that invective were the rest of us. Our big thinkers in politics, higher education, and the press wanted us all to realize what a genuine menace to society those Tea Partiers were.
The unfounded accusations of “racism,” and other insulting jibes, were intended to imply a connection with Nazism, a point that was driven home by Noam Chomsky’s ridiculous speculation that with high unemployment and seething frustration among middle-class Americans, a “charismatic leader” might just happen along at an opportune time and cajole everyday Americans into who knows what kind of madness. The Tea Partiers were neo-Nazis!
Given the Tea Partiers’ platform—reasonable taxes, limited government, individual liberty—the claptrap hurled at them (but meant for us) by ostensibly “sophisticated” political commentators was laughable. The Tea Partiers’ political ideology was hardly the ideology of fascists—they wanted to constrain government, not use it to take over the world.
I had read Jonah Goldberg’s excellent book Liberal Fascism, the thesis of which is that Americans throw the term “fascist” around pretty wildly, and while those ostensible sophisticates among us tend to associate the word with rabid right wingers—like those evil Tea Partiers—the world’s most notorious twentieth-century fascists were staunch left wingers.
Fascism as such doesn’t really have a “wing.” What it has is an ideological focus on centralized power, social cohesion, a sense of common purpose. It is communitarian, in other words. Fascists love to demonize those in their societies who they determine are causing problems for everybody else, and they just love to appeal to the gullible young and those who perceive themselves to be disenfranchised. This is a page straight from Marx’s playbook: pick out a group or groups to demonize, and try to turn the majority against them.
Goldberg’s book prompted me to read a few of the fascists themselves, notably Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler. Their totalitarian rhetoric—“We’re all in this together!”—bore no resemblance to what we were hearing from the Tea Party—but it did sound suspiciously like some of the stuff we were hearing from Washington.
I was reading Mein Kamf when I got the idea to write Organisms, and Hitler wrote himself right into the novel in the person of the unnamed “president.” The president’s speeches are all taken, most of them verbatim (in translation, of course), from Hitler’s infamous memoir.
The actual genesis of the novel, though, was a particular public service announcement that used to play on my bedside radio when I’d get up to take my dogs to the bark park on Sunday mornings. It featured one young American male droning on in a numbing monotone about climate change, and how we as individuals are powerless to stop it. As the commercial continues, though, the lone voice is joined by others, a few at a time, until a whole monotonous chorus is telling us that collectively, of course, we have the power to halt climate change in its tracks if we just act in concert.
Given the message, the tone of the messengers, and America’s current fascination with zombies in literature and film, the commercial was impossible to pass up. The One World, One View movement in Organisms was born. Organisms is my contribution to zombie literature.
Trafford Publishing Author’s Corner will return soon for part two of Trafford Publishing author Mark Gooding’s two-part series… why not checkout the latest publishing promo on the Trafford Facebook page.