FeesMustFall protesters, the forerunners to the FallistsWe have dealt with the MustFall movements, recently dubbed “Fallists”, for a long time here at Rational Standard. We have narrated their actions, tried to analyse their motivation, done psychological analyses of them, and more than adequately dispelled their irrational claims. Despite this, we seldom run out of material. The Fallists refuse to back down – an honourable trait if it wasn’t being used for such abhorrent means. As a result, there are now renewed protests around South Africa, centred around the University of Cape Town and Stellenbosch. What these protests continue to show is how fascist the Fallists actually are.

Fascism is a liberally used term, often being levelled meaninglessly by those who have no idea what they mean. Very seldom is the insult accurate. If we are to take the strictest of definitions, then the Fallists would also not accurately be portrayed as Fascists, but such a narrow definition cannot serve to describe such a diverse array of ideologies and movements.

So I outline seven reasons below, all giving examples and describing why Fallists are Fascists.

1. They appeal to historical fiction

The Nazis valorised a romanticised Holy Roman Empire. Mussolini idolised a romanticised Rome. The Japanese utilised a legendary and mythical image of the Samurai. Fallists propagate a view of a utopian and fictitious pre-colonial Africa, which they wish to return to. Fascists are history nerds who are sick of re-enactment. They fabricate a romanticised, and often fictitious, past.

For those with a basic knowledge of corroborated and empirical history, we know that life in pre-colonial Africa was the equivalent to all harsh, relatively untamed areas. There were African nations, but there were like any nation – they ruled through brutality. Africa was no different than feudal Europe or Asia. This obsession with the idea that Africa was peaceful is not only fallacious, but offensive. It rips Africans of their humanity, for humans are naturally violent and power hungry. So no, Europe didn’t come and magically turn Africans into people. They were people to begin with.

Yet Fallists don’t believe this. Their obsession with decolonising institutions stinks of baseless rhetoric and a misunderstanding of African history. Rather than seeing Africa as a part of a wider world, which unfortunately may have gotten the short end of the stick, they treat it as a Canaan that was invaded by devils. With this view, it is easy for them to move towards their goals, as they do so with a sense of Manifest destiny, where they return to their utopian Africa.

2. They are dogmatic

There is a different between being principled and dogmatic. A principled person constantly examines and introspects upon their views, strengthening them or revising them as their self-study sees fit. Dogmatists take an assumption, and regardless of contrary evidence, keep promoting it. Fascists don’t allow people to shake their world view. Their assumptions are their religion, and infidels are ignored or burnt at the stake.

Fallists don’t allow any room for disagreement. Their hashtags “MustFall” are a poignant example of this. Rather than just a slogan, they take it literally. They have never entertained the possibility that they may be wrong. Their attempts at “discussions” with university administrations are not debates, but rather them presenting the check-list which the university must obey – or else.

One cannot progress peacefully if there is no room for reasonable defeat. While perseverance is admirable, a mature person needs to take into account other people’s views and the evidence at hand. Rejecting all contrarian individuals as racists, and logic itself as a white construct, is not grounds for continuing with a baseless and irrational ideology. Bad ideas are allowed to die.

3. They do not allow discussion

Despite their insistence that university administration refuses to discuss issues with them, they are the ones who refuse to have a discussion. A discussion is between two parties, both considering the other’s points. Max Price and many other university officials have, countless times, attempted to have a proper discussion with the protesters, just to be met with buzz words, shouting, and attacks. Fascists are also not fans of discussion, as it tends to disrupt their authority and insecure world views. Fallists are no different. They don’t care that there isn’t enough money for free education, or that it is unreasonable to allow criminals on campus. They only care about their childish demands, and will not allow anyone to even consider saying otherwise.

At worst, this results in violence, but more often than not in a refusal to interact. My colleagues and I see this all the time with the more peaceful protest sympathisers. When one criticises the movements, they don’t even attempt to argue, they just gasp. They sometimes try to ridicule the naysayer, but never present practical points. All they do is give the, “how can you not support the protesters? You are heartless and racist! You have no emotions!” – never any justifications of their position or why the protesters deserve any support.

4. They are Authoritarians

Their petty and tyrannical demeanours aside, Fallists advocate for authoritarian policies. While veiled in a fallacious façade of altruism, free education is rather an unachievable and dangerous policy that would result in unsustainable spending and the gateway for increased government control of education. The latter can only lead down Hayek’s titular road to serfdom. Martin van Staden has dealt with the problem of free stuff in one of his earlier articles.

The fact that the vast majority of Fallists are EFF members, supporters, or sympathisers, just compounds the problem. The EFF fight economic freedom, but also promise a heavily racist future, where whites are used as a scapegoat to justify the failures of socialist policy, for EFF policies will fail. The theft of property and the destruction of a free market never work, and never will.

5. They are racist

It is a signature trait of Fascists that they demonise particular groups, typically as scapegoats for other problems. The most salient example is the Holocaust. The Fallists, while not as drastic as this, are undeniably racist towards whites. Their rhetoric is littered with anti-white rhetoric; they exclude whites (even sympathisers) from their world vision, and they blame whites for all of their problems. This is a dangerous precedent that can only be used to justify further violence but will accomplish none of their claimed goals.

6. They are violent

UKZN library, victim of decolonisation.
UKZN library: victim of decolonisation.

From vandalism, to intimidation, to arson and assault – the protesters are not reluctant to turn their carnal rage into action. They have hurt people in the past, and destroyed property even more so. The simple fact that they occupy campus, disturbing innocent individuals lives, is a testament to their selfish and coercive means. But the rot sinks in further. Earlier in the year, they firebombed the office of a man who is basically their biggest ally. Max Price’s weak willed responses to the protests have allowed them to flourish, yet they reward him by bombing his office! Not only are they stupid – they are terrorists.

It doesn’t take a history buff to see how eerily familiar these tactics are to the Nazis before their rise to power, or any modern neo-fascist movement. Fascism is an ideology constructed on hate and violence. The Fallists have adopted this and honed it to achieve their unachievable aims.

7. They hate individual freedom

Fascists are the antithesis of the individualist or libertarian. They desire draconian control and a collective identity that will move the aims of the dictator forward. They are collectivists, and see the world as groups vying for power. The Fallists are no different. They don’t see individuals. They see groups that they hate, as a rule, and groups that they ally with, as a rule. When individuals shake this narrow world view, Fallists are often traumatised – calling the “perpetrators” Uncle Toms, among other pejorative terms.

What is clear is that their collectivism and refusal to acknowledge the individual is the basis of their hate. They have honed this hatred into an ideology that despises individual liberty, as it shakes their easily definable world view of robots that subscribe to functions dictated by their genitalia or melanin.

Fascism is much more complicated that I have set out, but the core ideas ring true when describing the Fallists. They are a hateful bunch that only want control under their terms. There is no room for debate. To them, it is ultimately a case of their way or death. All that we can wait for is that they grow up, or that blood is finally spilt.

Nicholas Woode-Smith is co-founder of the Rational Standard and its Technical and Marketing Director. He is a student at the University of Cape Town, with majors in Politics, Philosophy and Economic History. He is the youngest council member of the Institute of Race Relations in history and the Regional Director of Southern Africa for African Students For Liberty. He also writes science fiction – prominently, the Warpmancer and Cape Zero series.