Why Darth Vader is the archetypal liberal fascist

The Jedi belief system regarding the dark and light sides of the Force is blatant Manichaeism. Anakin likely picked up his general distaste for “the politicians” through his mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi.

The effect of Anakin’s Jedi education versus the later radicalization of his son Luke rests mostly in the change of the Jedis’s position in society, not any change in Jedi doctrine. In Episode II, the Jedi are effectively part of the government. The Republic entrusted this religious order to act as a special police force. It is no wonder that Anakin Skywalker would think of resolving political conflicts by conversion or coercion instead of tolerance and persuasion.

Liberal fascists are not always as religious as the Jedi. However, those of the Progressive Era, including the American social gospel and Christian sociology movements, often were. The late 1960s and early 1970s were populated by hippies who largely eschewed Christianity, but indulged in Eastern mysticism and cults of self-actualization— and occasionally cults like the Manson Family and The People’s Temple. Even in the more secular provinces of the New Left, you could see people like Tom Hayden make the journey from a well-intentioned community activist to a radical defender of Ho Chi Minh, Kim Il Sung, and Che Guevara.

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