Political Forums  

Go Back   Defending The Truth Political Forum > Political Forum > Political Talk > Americas


Thanks Tree39Thanks
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old February 11th, 2018, 09:27 PM   #21
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Alabama
Posts: 1,697
Quote:
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


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 can't figure how the socialist liberals keep it hid for so long...
urbrother is offline  
Old February 11th, 2018, 10:07 PM   #22
Senior Member
 
Twisted Sister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Brown Township, Ohio
Posts: 11,768
Quote:
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


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.
In a nutshell, The Madison Doctrine. In essence keep out of European Wars.
Twisted Sister is offline  
Old February 12th, 2018, 03:31 AM   #23
Senior Member
 
Clara007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Arizona
Posts: 10,251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabcat View Post
Quote:
But the real definition of a fascist is a leader who wants to use governmental power to suppress rights of individuals. It is the partnership of government and private industry for the collective good. Corporate cronyism is a classic form of fascism, which would include programs like Export Import Bank.
Quote:
The left might want to engage in some introspection and ask why so many millions of Americans — many of whom enthusiastically voted for Obama — now agree with Mr. Trump.
The first quote says it all and completely dismantles YOUR argument. Trump is doing everything IN HIS POWER to suppress the rights of individuals. HIS ultimate dream is to control all branches of our government and completely disregard our system of checks and balances. There is a photo of Donald J Trump in the dictionary next to the definition of corporate cronyism.

The second quote is an out and out LIE. Slightly more than 1/3 of this country voted for Trump and they certainly did NOT vote enthusiastically for him. Most of them held the noses and voted against Hillary--NOT FOR Prez Stupid.

Furthermore, the Washington Times is a rag--only useful to line the bottom of a canary cage. The website is terrible and their political leaning is obvious. Try finding better sources.
Thanks from Athena
Clara007 is offline  
Old February 12th, 2018, 04:50 AM   #24
Mayor of Realville
 
webguy4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Michigan
Posts: 15,720
In America these days:

If a conservative doesn’t like guns he doesn’t buy one. A liberal wants them all banned
If a conservative doesn’t like church he doesn’t go. A liberal wants every public mention of God banned.
If a conservative doesn’t like a talk show he turns it off. A liberal wants any talk show he doesn’t like off the air.
If a conservative doesn’t like the results of an election he goes back to work and waits for the next one. Liberals riot.

Fascist?
webguy4 is online now  
Old February 12th, 2018, 05:23 AM   #25
Senior Member
 
tristanrobin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: New Haven, CT
Posts: 23,559
Quote:
Originally Posted by webguy4 View Post
In America these days:

If a conservative doesn’t like guns he doesn’t buy one. A liberal wants them all banned
If a conservative doesn’t like church he doesn’t go. A liberal wants every public mention of God banned.
If a conservative doesn’t like a talk show he turns it off. A liberal wants any talk show he doesn’t like off the air.
If a conservative doesn’t like the results of an election he goes back to work and waits for the next one. Liberals riot.

Fascist?
A. Not true. A liberal wants to ban weapons that have only one purpose: to kill human beings - and only banned from private citizens, not law enforcement officers nor military personnel.

B. "Going to Church" and "Mentioning God" is NOT the same thing. To argue such as the basis for a rebuttal is dishonest. Nobody wants "mention of God banned." I - a Christian - do want God removed from GOVERNMENT proceedings...which includes Christian instruction in public schools.
Your argument is deceitful and dishonest and ironically unChristian.

C. Simply not true. I'm pretty sure that people who call for the boycott of programs are right wing white Christian extremists. They want to destroy any mention of gays, women in power, blacks with power, Hispanics with power, anti-right wing pundits, etc. Again, you are arguing with a premise that is dishonest.

D. If that were true, there wouldn't be MILLIONS of Google entries for the search "anti Obama."

You make statements in every instance that are not true. Whether you are misinformed or dishonest, only you can 'fess up.
tristanrobin is offline  
Old February 12th, 2018, 05:26 AM   #26
Senior Member
 
Hollywood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Memphis, Tn.
Posts: 22,260
Quote:
Originally Posted by webguy4 View Post
In America these days:

If a conservative doesn’t like guns he doesn’t buy one. A liberal wants them all banned
If a conservative doesn’t like church he doesn’t go. A liberal wants every public mention of God banned.
If a conservative doesn’t like a talk show he turns it off. A liberal wants any talk show he doesn’t like off the air.
If a conservative doesn’t like the results of an election he goes back to work and waits for the next one. Liberals riot.

Fascist?
All lies. Period.
Hollywood is online now  
Old February 12th, 2018, 06:13 AM   #27
Senior Member
 
iolo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Rhondda
Posts: 1,887
Quote:
Originally Posted by webguy4 View Post
In America these days:

If a conservative doesn’t like guns he doesn’t buy one. A liberal wants them all banned
If a conservative doesn’t like church he doesn’t go. A liberal wants every public mention of God banned.
If a conservative doesn’t like a talk show he turns it off. A liberal wants any talk show he doesn’t like off the air.
If a conservative doesn’t like the results of an election he goes back to work and waits for the next one. Liberals riot.

Fascist?
Are right-wing Americans really this nuts? Weird!
iolo is offline  
Old February 12th, 2018, 06:25 AM   #28
Senior Member
 
Clara007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Arizona
Posts: 10,251
Quote:
Originally Posted by webguy4 View Post
In America these days:

If a conservative doesn’t like guns he doesn’t buy one. A liberal wants them all banned
If a conservative doesn’t like church he doesn’t go. A liberal wants every public mention of God banned.
If a conservative doesn’t like a talk show he turns it off. A liberal wants any talk show he doesn’t like off the air.
If a conservative doesn’t like the results of an election he goes back to work and waits for the next one. Liberals riot.

Fascist?

Plagiarizing again?? Like Melania Trump??
Clara007 is offline  
Old February 12th, 2018, 06:27 AM   #29
Senior Member
 
Hollywood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Memphis, Tn.
Posts: 22,260
Quote:
Originally Posted by iolo View Post
Are right-wing Americans really this nuts? Weird!
Yes, I'm sorry to say, they indeed are that nuts.
Hollywood is online now  
Old February 12th, 2018, 06:37 AM   #30
Senior Member
 
skews13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: nirvana
Posts: 9,207
Quote:
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


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.
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 behavior. In that way, they make true believers of national myths.


There is no better answer that could be formed for your question than that paragraph.
skews13 is offline  
Reply

  Defending The Truth Political Forum > Political Forum > Political Talk > Americas

Tags
americans, didn’t, fascism, late



Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Fascism tadpole256 Fascism 124 April 22nd, 2017 06:00 AM
14 Points of Fascism - Are We There Yet? intangible child Fascism 50 December 16th, 2015 04:35 PM
Fascism Sabcat Fascism 259 December 6th, 2015 03:05 PM
This Is Fascism And We Should Say It Clearly skews13 Americas 2 November 29th, 2015 05:34 PM
Power is in fascism. Absolute power is in free market fascism. dimaniac Political Talk 0 May 31st, 2013 12:04 PM


Facebook Twitter RSS Feed



Copyright © 2005-2013 Defending The Truth. All rights reserved.