Do you consider heroism inherently fascist?

Submitted by Stuckinthecity in AskRaddle

We all know how prelavent the concept is in mainstream media. Video games, television, books, folklore, myths, you name it. It’s almost always this person who has to save the world because they’re important or the chosen one, etc. it can’t be anyone else because they don’t have the ability, intelligence, or green particle effects like you. But exceptions don’t disprove the rule as we know, and I’m wondering if it can be salvaged or situational. I’m gonna go with ‘no’ but who knows?



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Pop wrote

So long as we don't expect heroes to be good at everything, then heroes seem fine.

Like, the person who pulls me out of a burning building is a hero, even if they're just a liberal

But yeah no one person can save the world; that kind of hero doesn't exist


Stuckinthecity OP wrote

I’ve noticed even with the rise of superheroes’ popularity, they usually don’t save the world with maybe a few exceptions. Batman only saves Gotham, and Spiderman only does good deeds for his hometown. Wonder Woman is trying to keep her home from being taken over (Athens? Some Greek setting?) The only exception I can think of for worldly stuff is Superman.


ziq wrote

Batman doesn't even save Gotham really, he just beats the crap out of poor people for stealing jewels and robbing banks. Then he gives them to the cops to lock up.


[deleted] 0 wrote (edited )


shanc wrote

Depends on the hero I guess. Remember when Ned Flanders punched Richard Spencer in the face? That's the kind of heroism I can get behind. But Dirty Harry and characters like that always seemed fascistic to me


TheLegendaryBirdMonster wrote

It depends on the story, I feel like there are 2 tropes:

  • ordinary person gets thrown into a suit and tries to make the best they can of the situation (shaun of the dead). Imo these are ok.

  • "this was your destiny" bullshit tropes.


Stuckinthecity OP wrote

The first variation is something I considered and definitely is not fash, but it just feels like they aren’t as recognized, and it kinda brings into the question of what non-rich people thinks is good and virtuous. The latter can too obviously but not to the same degree. Rather, the prophecy shit feels like fiction reflecting the past rather than a universal tale that people will always appreciate on some level.

For instance, we all know why Robin Hood became popular, and it isn’t for the same for say Hercules did. Am I making any sense?


celebratedrecluse wrote

heroes are synecdochic, inherently symbolic entities that offer a differentiation of values between people-- in their case, that of the valorous individual who stands out from the fallen, untrustworthy crowd.

In this way hero narratives strip legitimacy away from collective narratives, or rhizomatic narratives, or really any other way of thinking besides that of meritocratic individualism.

If hero narratives were genuinely competing with these other narratives for social power, this might be acceptable, but the totalizing nature of the dominant ideology allows for little to no room for anything else. This dominant narrative is a faux individualism that impoverishes most people to merely imitate a few cliche archetypes of hierarchical society.

In reality, capitalist society is at this point a game of imitation. While it claims to celebrate uniqueness and encourage individuality, it merely creates crowds of loneliness and archetypes which imprison all its denizens in horrifying social arrangements. Capitalism is in fact a collectivist system, because of the alienation of labor it inherently imposes. It is this massive deprivation of agency, the system's corollary reproductive culling and cultivating of desires into hierarchical forms, and the collapsing of meaningful identities which then results, which makes senseless the collectivist/individualist binary. It is not possible to have a conversation which makes sense of this binary in context, because it is not situated in reality.

The reality is, there are no heroes, because even elites or privileged people are largely determined by context in ways that compromise our agency, call into question the authenticity of identities or desires, and in general prevent people from having the world-shaping power which we provide daily to what are essentially intangible social institutions and forces.

In a context where agency is flourishing, it might make sense to me to discuss the possibility of collectivism versus individualism. But because of the current situation, in late capitalist countries I have a doubt that the conversation is meaningful at all.

individual Hero narratives, given that they are a central psychological lynchpin of this contradictory apparatus of the state and capital, must be challenged and pushed back from below. Otherwise, political and social activity which might be at least partially revolutionary will always be reintegrated, absorbed, and defused by the dominant society.


ziq wrote

My heroes are people who troll the rulers and force them to react so they can then hold a mirror up to them and demonstrate what giant fucking buffoons they are. Ilhan Omar is so heroic she makes me cry.