Fascist politics is well known for containing a complex of behaviours, focused on the worship of mythical masculine deeds, which invariably coalesce to create a phallic cult. The manner in which it does this is well documented. Liberalism is not so frequently marked out as a phallic politics. Yet phallic it is- unerringly so. There are, of course, common arguments over the degree of liberalism’s patriarchal nature, and its martial nature and so on, and few would argue against the roots of enlightenment liberalism in a specifically very masculine and misogynist cultural context. Despite this, it is seldom analysed in the context of how it also creates a phallic cult. Liberalism, after all, shares much with Fascism, and the things that it loves as an ideology are often the same pieces of political apparatus that in a fascist context are happily analysed for their phallic qualities.
With modern american liberalism there is one quality of phallic politics above all others that is shared with fascism: the Great Leader, around which fascism must always create a phallic cult. Liberalism cannot quite bring itself to fully consciously celebrate its imperialism or racism- that would be too gauche. However if all its sins can be deported via scapegoat, all of liberalism’s self defined triumphs appear in the form of a leader figure. For fascism the great leader is a phallic leader: he stands firm in the landscape, resolute, ever capable of martial acts, or engaged in them, and all the bounty of the nation springs forth from his loins etc. The Liberal Phallic Leader manifests in a different manner. He must be cleaner for one thing: the blood cant be seen to drip.The great works of state are still couched in nationalist terms, but the manner of national rejuvenation is formal rather than essential, and so on.
In other words, the fascist iteration of weird penis stuff is very clear. Liberal penis stuff is a bit more repressed ( but not by much). Liberal mechanisms for venerating the phallic qualities of leadership cannot inhabit the same place as fascism, they can only be neighbours, except in periods of transition, when the national bourgeoisie is psychically restless. Therefore, the liberal phallic leadership concept must mostly be separate from the direct worlds of the violent or sexual, and will tend to venerate abstract representations of these qualities.
In this regard there is an overlap with some of the forms that phallic architecture can take: a great work of modern building doesn’t need to look like a penis in any way for it to be a phallic cultural project. The cultural values imbued into the secular or physical attributes of the building fill this role:
Liberal phallic cult politics manifests in a way similar to how these modernist buildings manifest a phallic culture. The liberal ideal of the state is rectilinear, ordered, unbeset by the hordes required for democracy, yet invested with all of its sacred trappings. The leader personifies this, always standing proudly but not competitively above the throng. The democratic leader must be perfectly politically groomed, in order to be credible as an avatar of the phallus. The real life blemishes of real life leaders must therefore be ironed out by their proponents, in order to maintain the dignity of the act of worship. After all, we cannot have another president who besmirches the good name of the office…
By the same token, it does not deign to speak openly of the penis cult. The cult is always present in the background, like an aide or staff adviser, present in the form the liberal love of technocracy & expertise, the worship of correct laws & in the little shrines built around heroic legislative compromises, rebranded as the construction projects of statesmen:
OObama, I think, was in many ways the high water mark, in this political cycle, of a venerated phallic liberal leader. Instead of celebrating a proud worship of totalitarianism, which would not have been possible for the Obama era commentariat, beyond the bounds set for them in the Bush years, the liberal stance on his authoritarian politics was to frame them in the language of technocrat-worship. Obama was The Man For The Job. He would sort out The Mess. The wars would be wound down by deft strokes of foreign policy, and the most minimal of interventions ( in structural terms, allowing for the vast sums of money spent in bailouts) would be enough to fix the chasm in the economy. Instead of being directly depicted through the crude metaphorical role of the penis/leader in a martial fascist sense, a liberal leaders great phallic feats are cloaked in the forms of this technocracy. The technocrat is always defined by his calmness, his tie, his pressed suit, seldom angering and so on. A rigid phallus, but not one that cums too early, or one with any embarrassing features, political or otherwise.
The image of cool, unflappable Obama is one the liberals cannot help but worship even though he was, in reality, a great failure. Their political and mental equivalent of the male-gaze focuses on images & memories that construct a shrine in the same way as those cold steel beams constructed high-modernist phallic vaults. Political phenomena that does not serve to directly construct the shrine must have one of two things done to it: either it is used to construct it in a negative manner, by forming a definitional enemy against which the shrine stands, or it must be totally denied, erased from existence and put into the memory hole. There are only certain sorts of masses that the phallus can tolerate: those that combine to form it, and those that it fires against. Mass politics that stands in a position that truly undermines the phallus cult however, has to be evaporated, lest problems occur for the priests of the cult
Essentially, rectitude, calm and reserve, the legislative and governmental deftness (all liberals dream they wrote The Prince!), the clean cut yet virile image, an ability to do war, yet not bathe in it, to intervene economically without “mess” — these are the liberal phallic qualities
It’s becoming increasingly clear that Obama was the final properly performed attempt of this cult in terms of its ability to demonstrate “success”: the sturdy and unruffled man who stands strong in the wind and directs a cold gaze down, through the organs of state. In the current phase of political history, this is no longer viable. Since then the liberal project has been in freefall, as the Clinton & Biden campaigns, & the general disgrace of all the years in between, have proven. Just as Fascist cultic instincts destroy the viability of fascism as a social model, the cultic elements of liberalism betray its terminal weaknesses. The cult can never tolerate criticism, and must end it with thought terminating cliches.
Since the contradictions of both the late-capitalist economy of the Obama period and the Bush years imploded, & the whole liberal complex has foundis struggle in the form of new centres of power have thus far either been crushed by the hallic heads of the state apparatus in the fascist form or the liberal form, but the struggle itself, defined by being made up of those hated masses, bubbles along. Neither cult has yet contained it alone, and thus far have only managed it in conjunction. confronted by embarassing rhetorical, theoretical or practical challenges from below and to the left, Liberalism has to employ one of the main tools of cults: the thought terminating cliche. Instead of being a phrase, or a verbal reference to a universal known truth, as it might be with a religious order, this iteration of the thgought terminating cliche is again more abstract: in order to dispel the critical thought essential to see off challenges from the left in a way that actually makes sense, the phallic cult must lie back and think of Biden. Only in this way can they successfully reject the psychosexually dangerous propositions (such as adopting a genuine class politics, or alternately, confessing consciously to their proto fascist tendencies, and entering a more open stage of Phallic statecraft), and only in this way can they rationalise the political act of dryjacking also known as the Biden/Harris presidency. After all, He Won. He Beat Trump. The notion of a resurrected Obama era will be just enough to stimulate a temporary halt on the gnawing doubts inside liberalism, and the notional return to rectitude and a government of democratic cognoscenti will serve to stop all thoughts that might undermine the Phallic presidency.
In the case of the immediate present, the liberal complex has not been able to get it up. Post Obama, the specifically liberal phallic delusion has collapsed. Accordingly it has resorted to classic projects of penis failure: the projection of failure onto others (the intentional destruction of the corbyn and Bernie campaign blocs & of any emerging viable left politics- an example of Cronus feasting on his young), and taking some Viagra: By nominating fucking Biden, the Democrats appear, at time of writing, to have successfully got a vertical adult male into the White House.
We are set for 4 more years of erectile politics.