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Old February 11th, 2018, 11:41 AM   #11
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Back in the 1920s, however, when fascism was a new political development, it was widely – and correctly – regarded as being on the political left. Jonah Goldberg’s great book, “Liberal Fascism,” cites overwhelming evidence of the fascists’ consistent pursuit of the goals of the left, and of the left’s embrace of the fascists as one of their own during the 1920s.

Mussolini, the originator of fascism, was lionized by the left, both in Europe and in America, during the 1920s. Even Hitler, who adopted fascist ideas in the 1920s, was seen by some, including W.E.B. Du Bois, as a man of the left.
It was in the 1930s, when ugly internal and international actions by Hitler and Mussolini repelled the world, that the left distanced itself from fascism and its Nazi offshoot – and verbally transferred these totalitarian dictatorships to the right, saddling opponents with these pariahs.

What socialism, fascism and other ideologies of the left have in common is an assumption that some very wise people – like themselves – need to take decisions out of the hands of lesser people, like the rest of us, and impose those decisions by government fiat.

The left’s vision is not only a vision of the world, but also a vision of themselves as superior beings pursuing superior ends. In the United States, however, this vision conflicts with a Constitution that begins, “We the People …”

That is why the left has for more than a century been trying to get the Constitution’s limitations on government loosened or evaded by judges’ new interpretations, based on notions of “a living Constitution” that will take decisions out of the hands of “We the People,” and transfer those decisions to our betters.

The self-flattery of the vision of the left also gives its true believers a huge ego stake in that vision, which means that mere facts are unlikely to make them reconsider, regardless of what evidence piles up against the vision of the left and regardless of its disastrous consequences.

Only our own awareness of the huge stakes involved can save us from the rampaging presumptions of our betters, whether they are called socialists or fascists. So long as we buy their heady rhetoric, we are selling our birthright of freedom.




Is Obama a socialist or a fascist?
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Old February 11th, 2018, 11:53 AM   #12
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World Nut Daily from the delusional Thomas Sowell....

You know there are actually people who get fooled by that nonsense....
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Old February 11th, 2018, 11:57 AM   #13
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Why Didn’t Americans Take Fascism Seriously Until it Was Too Late?

Or, The Price of Grandiose National Myths of Exceptionalism


Trump Saluting the Bastille Day Parade in France, Celebrating the Downfall of the Aristocracy - An Irony Lost on Him?

There’s a question that’s been echoing in my head. One I think that history will ask. Why didn’t Americans take fascism seriously until it was too late?

Perhaps that sounds harsh, maybe even absurd to you. So let me qualify it a little. “Fascism”. Friends, when a head of state wants to hold military parades — and not clapping is treason —LOL — is there another word, idea, or concept that fits better? Isn’t it then a willful denial of reality to say that such a watershed moment in a nation’s history is, if not outright atrocity, at least not the glittering spark of fascist implosion?

“Until it was too late”. There are many ways it can be “too late”. Until nothing can be done about it — or until, at least, the phenomenon itself occurred. Here, I mean the latter. Americans didn’t take fascism seriously until, at last, it (quite literally) paraded itself before their very eyes — and demanded they applaud on pain of treason. Sieg Heil! And maybe they still don’t. How funny. How strange.

Now that you understand my question perhaps it seems a little less extreme. Or maybe it still does. Maybe that reflects the times we live in. “Why didn’t Americans take the possibility of fascism seriously until it trumpeted down Constitution Avenue, letting the whole world know it had arrived?” Either way, let us try to derive an answer.

Now. The first way a nation might fail to take fascism seriously is trivial: there was no one left to warn of its dangers. But in America, at least a few of its thinkers did. They were sidelined, blacklisted, and deliberately erased. So the question then becomes: why did it become a taboo to even discuss the rise of fascism as a remote possibility — if not a likely probability? Every single major media outlet spent all of election year publishing pieces warning us not to use words like “fascism” and “authoritarianism” and “Hitler” and “Mussolini” — when they weren’t doing puff pieces on sympathetic Nazis. So there was a problem not of a lack of information in America — but of a strange, bizarre, glib kind of willful ignorance. A nation made itself blind, and now the authoritarians march and demand applause.

Why was that? Well, staying blind, we can go on believing our myths, which comfort and console us — that is exactly what elites were doing when they said things like “you cannot call it fascism!! Such a thing will never rise here!! We are the best!!!”. But, ironically — here is the point — it is the overweening belief in great myths that makes societies most vulnerable to fascism.

America has long had a culture of hierarchy, obedience, and overt, unforgiving social control. Break a rule — go to prison. Go to work — obey the boss. Go to school — recite the Pledge. And so on. Why? These are are ways to enforce a kind of conformity, aren’t they? Not just in thought — but also in appearance, in speech, in behaviour. In that way, they make true believers of national myths.

Now, there is not a nation in history whose myths do not say something like “we are wonderful and great and noble!!” That is the point of myths — to create a sense of confidence in a tribe. Then a person can give themselves over to the tribe’s goals, purposes, and uses — you, be a soldier, you, a doctor, you, a ditch-digger.

Still, some nations have more grandiose myths than others, don’t they? Some say: “well, we are pretty good”, and some say, “we are the best in the world!!”, and other still say “we are the best in history!! The best there ever was or will be!!”

Now, what happens the more grandiose a myth gets? The less room left there is for dissent, for difference, for reflection, for thought at all. There is not even any room left for reason, empirical reality, or humanity — but those are harder things. So in this way, a society so dependent on myths as grandiose as America’s is always at risk of plunging into little fascisms. The dark side of “We are the best!” is “Those filthy subhumans!! They are what is stopping us from attaining our god-given destiny!! We must cleanse ourselves of them to be the best!!”

So what do a nation’s myths protect it from? From reality. From its very real shortcomings and flaws and mistakes and catastrophes. They mythologize them away — they rationalize them away (“we had to do it!!”), they economize them away (“the benefits were greater than the costs!”), they erase them away (“that really happened?! It couldn’t have been as bad as that!!”). The more grandiose its myths are, the more detached from reality a nation can get.

What are such mistakes in American history? It would be an error to this is the only fascist moment in American history. There have been many. Anti-Chinese laws. Japanese internment. Italian discrimination. Anti-semitism. And of course the many horrors of slavery, segregation, and native genocide, too, cannot go unsaid. Those points make a trend, a leaning towards sudden collapses into fascism, which might seem small relative to Nazi Germany, but assuredly weren’t to those living through them. There is a distinct fascist tendency in American history that isn’t oft present elsewhere. This moment in American history is not an anomaly.

Still, this moment feels special, doesn’t it? Why is that? Because now it is not just minorities at risk of fascism’s depredations — but the majority , too. Do you see how a society that depends on myths cannot learn from its mistakes? Do you see how the societies that rely most on grandiose myths as forms of social control and cohesion, then, are the most vulnerable to fascist implosions?

The more grandiose a nation’s myths, the more vulnerable it is to fascism — and that is why America’s history has been marked by fascist implosions. The more grandiose a nation’s myths, the more harsh and exploitative it must be too, just like any narcissist, who needs to defend his sense of specialness and destiny at any price. And the more grandiose a nation’s myths, the less it can ever admit its mistakes — and so the vicious cycle just goes on and on. Fascist implosions never stop. Progress slows to a halt. Life stops improving. Tribal takes hold. Cruelty becomes a way of life. Sound familiar yet?

So all this is — and I admit it is hard to understand, come to grips with, get a feel for — the problem that America must face, in a deeper way. It’s reliance on grandiose national myths of greatness and exceptionalism have shielded and protected it for too long, from at least three aspects of reality. First, history: its tendency to implode into fascism. Second, economics: the failure to write a working social contract that all the above implies. Third, modernity: its inability to keep up with the rest of the advanced world in terms of basic quality of life since the 1970s or so. Unless those three aspects are faced, then, I think that America will be as vulnerable to fascist collapses as it has ever been.

Only America’s fascist collapses are likely to grow worse. Why is that? We have established that it is now even the majority who is at risk of fascism’s harms — not only the minority. What does that really mean? It means that America never built a working social contract. It was always necessary to exploit, enslave, or turn on someone, for the economy to grind away.

It’s true to say that in history, that much was true for every colonial empire — but it was distinctly not true after the waves of reform that swept the rest of the world from the late 1900s onwards, and established, for example, NHSes and BBCs. America was too busy, instead, looking for the next group to exploit — once the last had been chewed up, natives, blacks, Asians, Latinos. Until, at last, there was no one left — but poor whites themselves.

One can hardly blame them for turning to fascism, then. How much easier it is believe in myths of especial greatness and nobility and destiny at the precise moment that you are being exploited, than to ask yourself to see the terrible truth: you have been failed, just as all those around you have been failed. No one was special, above anyone else, or singular. All were victims of a broken way of life.

Myths might liberate us in one way — they allow us to live lives filled with pride and belief — but they subjugate us in others: pride soon enough becomes hubris, and belief soon enough becomes ignorance. And so the more grandiose a myth is, the harder the fall. It is liberation from that subjugation, of hubris and ignorance, that Americans need most. If that sounds harsh to you, I can only say this much: I mean it in a gentle way, because the work of freeing one’s self is always difficult. Sometimes, too difficult to bear — especially when there are pleasant fairy tales of your very own specialness and preciousness to be told and heard and kept safe and pure.

That is why Americans didn’t see fascism coming until it was too late. They never do.

By Umair Haque
https://eand.co/why-didnt-americans-...e-445d2e4c387a

I believe this article is unusually intelligent and well written...and takes seriously a very serious issue.

Note, the red highlighted portions of the article are my own highlights, not the authors. I found them to be exceptionally pertinent to this forum in particular.

In particular, the comment about the 'glib' way the Trump supporters treat this frightening vision of a future America. That there can be light hearted jokes (and slurs about dissenters) absolutely dumbfounds and confounds me.

Also, the caption under the photo is my own, not the caption (nor the photo) that accompanies the original article.

I have no doubt that this will either be ignored by the Trump advocates and Trumpeteers - or, more likely, I will be derided and ridiculed for posting it. But even knowing that, I felt it was an important article that deserved attention.
I grew up with this word, and similar words. It's always right around the corner, about to happen. The more used a word is, the less power it has. A cliche, if you will.

I don't take warnings, threats or fears too seriously anyways.
But... If cassandra has something too say from her cell, i'll take the time too listen with great interest.
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Old February 11th, 2018, 12:01 PM   #14
Put some ice on that
 
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World Nut Daily from the delusional Thomas Sowell....

You know there are actually people who get fooled by that nonsense....

An excellent example of when attacking the source epically fails.

Good job comrade


At least you didn't use the old standby

Thats racist.
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Old February 11th, 2018, 01:15 PM   #15
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He's a former President and not of any consequence in a discussion of current politics.
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Old February 11th, 2018, 01:38 PM   #16
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He's a former President and not of any consequence in a discussion of current politics.
I think he is still of consequence, as is Bush, when it comes discussing current politics. They helped internally shape the 21st century for this country, and to a certain globally. They are of huge consequence... For a different thread though.
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Old February 11th, 2018, 01:51 PM   #17
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Thanks for adding nothing to the discussion whatsoever but attempting to side track it onto a discussion about 'rules' ... nice way to obfuscate your own endorsement of fascism.
Its a story calling Trump a Nazi. More Lefty foolishness.
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Old February 11th, 2018, 01:57 PM   #18
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so go away - I promise, we won't miss you and try to find you
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Old February 11th, 2018, 01:59 PM   #19
Put some ice on that
 
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Originally Posted by tristanrobin View Post
He's a former President and not of any consequence in a discussion of current politics.
Seriously?

Here is the title of the thread



Why Didn’t Americans Take Fascism Seriously Until it Was Too Late?



So if the past is irrelevant to the subject at hand i must have misunderstood your premise.

Or maybe you just wanted to post an opinion piece implying that trump is leading some sort of new age fascist movement in the states.
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Old February 11th, 2018, 07:16 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by tristanrobin View Post
Why Didn’t Americans Take Fascism Seriously Until it Was Too Late?

Or, The Price of Grandiose National Myths of Exceptionalism


There’s a question that’s been echoing in my head. One I think that history will ask. Why didn’t Americans take fascism seriously until it was too late?
Yah, that’s a worthwhile topic. Some history: In the 1930s, the Great Depression was ravaging the Industrial World. Europe had lost masses of military & civilians, & the countries where the war was fought also lost infrastructure, crops, buildings, industry. Particularly hard hit were Germany & Austro-Hungary, & Italy also lost military & civilians. Germany & Italy suffered the same, plus were stripped of territories, colonies, & Germany forced to accept making reparation payment. Some of their (Germany & Austro-Hungary) populations were stripped away with the territories ceded to other countries.

While the US helped win WWI, we were also suffering from the Depression. Our economy was contracting, banks closing, unemployment was sharply up, farm prices down. FDR was elected president & tried everything he could think of to get the US economy going again.

Germany & Italy came through this fairly well – mostly by nationalizing their economies, is what I remember. & I believe Germany repudiated the reparation payments imposed by the Treaty of Versailles. The US didn’t pay much attention to Fascism because FDR had his hands full - & after the Spanish Civil War, it became clear that the next general war would be even worse than WWI. There were also factions in the US & the West that preferred (or @ least tolerated) Fascism to unions – the big corporations, banking & finance.

FDR began planning to put the US on a wartime footing, & build up training camps, military production, intake of military. But the political opposition & Congress & US public opinion were very hard to move. We began by selling goods & war materials to the Allies. Eventually, FDR’s foreign policy would have led us to ally with UK & the Commonwealth – they were our natural allies, plus we were selling & loaning them enough material that soon we would have had to side with them to cover our bets. But Imperial Japan rushed their campaign in the Pacific, & in a very bad decision, attacked the US. Germany declared war on the US, & we were in the shooting war.

We joined the USSR, which was imposing the most casualties upon the Nazis; & UK & the Commonwealth, desperately rebuilding their military & producing military material to replace what was lost @ Dunkirk. UK was also nibbling @ the edges of the Nazi territories.

Yah, there’s always been a Messianic component to US politics, as well as a deep distrust of elites & experts & the educated. The two attitudes are held simultaneously – when WWII turned into a technological race – radar, rockets, computers, long-range bombers, electronics, nuclear weapons – we practically threw ourselves upon the scientists & engineers, begging them devise the weapons to win the war. & once we (with the Allies) defeated the enemy, we demobilized, fired the experts (on China, Korea), fired Oppenheimer (the Manhattan Project), & propped up France in their pipedream of retaking French Indochina. We also fired G. Marshall – sacrificed to Sen. McCarthy.
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