American fascism hails the Taliban

…and the parallels with the fall of Saigon are ominous

Paul Mason
7 min readAug 24, 2021

“I celebrate every time the gay American regime is embarassed,” wrote the US far-right activist Vincent James last week, adding: “You should too.”

There’s an obvious reason why the far-right extremists in the USA are celebrating the Taliban’s victory. It has punctured a hole in the credibility of the Biden administration and seriously damaged Western belief in a rules-based global order.

With 18 American states passing voter suppression laws since January, and the Republican right falling over themselves to exonerate the Capitol Hill insurrection, US fascism can see a path back to its preferred “new normal”: right-wing populism in control of both Congress and the GOP, opening the space for their own symbolic violence and the criminalisation of progressive resistance.

Nicholas Fuentes, a prominent far-right figure, wrote on Telegram:

The Taliban is a conservative, religious force, the US is godless and liberal. The defeat of the US government in Afghanistan is unequivocally a positive development.

In short, the Taliban victory moves both geopolitics and domestic politics several notches in the direction of the far right’s ultimate goal — catastrophic collapse.

But there’s a deeper, philosophical reason for the far-right’s Taliban mania, which goes to the heart of how 21st century fascism has changed. The new fascism, at its ideological roots, is a movement against modernity. I don’t mean the modernity that starts with Picasso, but the modernity that starts with Galileo.

In How To Stop Fascism I’ve identified three foundations for the new fascist thought-architecture: irrationality, scientific racism and machine worship (especially where the gun is the machine). The Taliban tick all three.

When traditionalist philosopher Alexander Dugin calls for the reversal of historical time to a pre-Enlightenment era, the Taliban say “hold my coat”.

Thought they have, during the past decade, abandoned Pushtun nationalism in favour of a more inclusive Islamism, they remain genocidally hostile to the Hazara people who form the working class of the major cities, and…



Paul Mason

Journalist, writer and film-maker. Author of How To Stop Fascism.