If you think pogroms and concentration camps and purity laws and the destruction of political dissent and the full rollback of liberal human rights protections cannot happen here, that is what they, the liberal, secular, intelligent, open minded folks, thought in Germany in 1933. There were no grand messages of warning from God or sages, no fiery crosses in the sky to warn of the coming civil apocalypse. There were warnings, there were worries, there were possibilities, but in the end it happened because it was allowed to happen.
Fearful armed white men walk around feeling they are protecting people from “outsiders” and “thugs” and “criminal elements” while a demagogue they support is winning in the election polls denouncing a tiny minority of the population as a source of the nations ills, while ineffectual liberal leaders tear themselves apart fighting over pie in the sky solutions to problems.This sound familiar? It should. It is what happened in Germany in 1933 and it is what is happening in the U.S. in 2016. It can happen here because it IS happening here. The fascist element in U.S. society sees this election as the last chance to hold on to power and to implement its nationalist and xenophobic policies in the face of a nation that is no longer a purely white supremacist system. This is a dangerous time.
I truly believe that the open/concealed carry movement is the moral equivalent i.e. the unique American manifestation, of the xenophobic/nationalistic/fear based chauvinism that led to the creation of the Black Shirts in Italy and the Brown Shirts in Germany. Look at it: they take the law and the “protection of the public” into their own hands, they target, physically and rhetorically, minorities who they see as “destroying the fabric of our society”, and they act as though they have a legal and moral mandate that comes from the foundational documents/values of the nation state. The German and Italian versions started out as very loosely organized but eventually came together as an actual force under the auspices of regimes (Mussolini in Italy, Hitler in Germany) that harnessed their fear and anger, legitimized it through their power that was gained through ostensibly democratic/civil means, and unleashed it first on the “enemies of the people” as understood by the militia/armed vigilantes/paramilitary groups themselves. After this was accomplished, the power of these groups was then used to attack and suppress (and eventually liquidate) enemies of the regime, the regime that was now seen as the personification of the nation and the values that the militias/armed vigilantes/paramilitary groups held most dear to begin with.
An authoritarian regime becomes a totalitarian one when it taps into the fears and anxieties of the former ruling class/caste/race and uses its historical militant agency for its own purposes, and institutionalizes these civil pathologies into technocratic systems and actions. The militias/armed vigilantes/paramilitary groups still operate under the belief that they are “free men” fighting for a “free society” when in fact they have be co-opted to serve a regime and a system that will eventually turn on them as soon as all the less powerful enemies have been eliminated. The gun culture of the United States, while benign enough in its origins, is ripe for this sort of manipulation. The open/concealed carry fanatic sees “his” nation being “taken away” from him and fears for the safety of “his” property and “his” women and children, usually at the hands of a hated or feared minority or minorities, in the case of the U.S., black men, non-white immigrants, and Muslims. He must, then, take it onto himself to “remedy” the situation, to constantly be on the look out for those who would “stab the nation and its people in the back” and to “take back what is ours” from people they at best do not trust and at worst actively fear and despise. It took hundreds of years of conscious and unconscious cultural programming to get the German and Italian populations primed for the sort of grass roots fascism cum systemic totalitarianism that the Fascist regimes were eventually able to create and control.
I think, I fear, that it would not take nearly as much programming for this sort of thing to happen in the U.S. We already have a history of race based terror, violence, and systemic abuse of minority rights and dignity. Combined with a conservative impulse to obey and trust authority, an easily manipulated rugged, machismo individualism, and a propensity towards armed violence, and you have the foundations of a very potent fascist system that could come about almost entirely through grassroots and institutional democratic means. Trump is tapping into that, and he is succeeding, while the media and culture that is obsessed with celebrity, wealth, and prestige is too busy gawking and laughing at the funny man-boy with the silly hair (the funny former artist soldier with the silly mustache) to see that he understands fully what he is doing and who he is appealing to and by what means. Trump is a fascist in the grain of Hitler and Mussolini, it is that simple. They only reason he is not acting outright exactly like they did is that he does not yet have the legitimized political power. He is on the verge of getting that power, and the scared, armed, xenophobic white men who will give it to him are just waiting for their time to finally take revenge on the blacks, the immigrants, the liberals, and the Muslims who they feel have taken “their” nation away from them. The only question remains, can Trump win through legitimate means, and if he can, how soon after that will the Reichstag mysteriously catch fire amidst streets strewn with broken glass?
No More Nation States, for they are nothing but Kings without Crowns
No More Bankers, for they are nothing but thieves in $5000 suits
No More World Bank, for it is nothing but a caviar munching cartel
No More Austerity, for it is nothing but a scorched earth invasion without soldiers
No More Fascism, for it is the greatest perversion of politics ever conceived of by humans
No More Corporations, for they are Frankenstein Monsters assembled from the wealth of the People
No More Politicians, for they are nothing but a wall between The People and Power
No More Free Market Capitalism, for it is a death cult that feeds upon the dreams and labor and needs of humanity
No More Military, for the people can defend themselves
No More War, for it is just capitalism by violent means
This is A Coup!
And We Will Replace Austerity With Justice!
The following is from a debate I had only with a xenophobic anti-immigrant fellow. I have removed his name for privacy’s sake.
A. [Redacted], you are being defensive and calling out everyone for attacking you for correctly characterizing your opinions and views as bigoted and xenophobic. Does that make you a bigot or a xenophobe? I don’t know. Only you know that. In other words stop whining. No one is forcing you to enter this “den of leftists” (and I am sick and tired of right wing people trying to dehumanize their opponents by calling them by random nouns… “the leftist” “the illegal”…just shut it…we are all human)
B. English is not and has never been the official language if the USA. We have no official language. We have always had different languages spoken in this nation and government documents have been printed in multiple languages for generations now and last I checked the Chinese have yet to invade.
C. I would always wish to be on, or even err on, the side of social justice and openness. If that means a small expense to us blessed, pure blooded, “native born” people then so be it. I am willing to live with your discomfort Angel.
D. There is no evidence that the people coming into this nation are any more crime prone then any other random assortment of people. On the contrary, immigrants, both documented and undocumented, have a lower crime rate then native citizens. Don’t take my word for it though…I got this info from a few minutes of searching the FBI crime statistics database. It is laughable for those racists in Murrieta, California to call the “illegals” criminals…these are babies, toddlers, and their mothers. They meet the federal definition for refugee status, and that is why they were being taken to federal processing centers: to ASSESS THEIR STATUS. So what the protesters were ACTUALLY doing was disrupting the legal process of finding out who these people are, their status, and what do do with them. They are disrupting the very thing they are calling for. So they are not just racists, they are fools as well.
E. WE CREATED the crisis in these Central American countries that is leading these people to flee. The gangs that run rampant in the streets there are tools of the corrupt governments that we have propped up and funded for years at the expense of democratic and social justice oriented movements in this nations. Look at what we did in El Salvador with the literal death squads, in Nicaragua, in Guatemala. We are reaping what we sowed during the Monroe Doctrine fueled imperial backed corporate land grab perpetrated by this government under both Democrats and Republicans since at least the early 1800’s. We have a responsibility to these people and we owe them at least a fair chance at asylum.
What the GOP are trying at the state level and the conservatives on the Supreme Court by judicial fiat is an all out destruction of the Civil Rights Movement accomplishments and an institutionalization of Jim Crow election laws.
Pure and simple.
Justice Scalia today said that some parts of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 smacked of “racial entitlement”. You read that correctly. A supreme court justice in the 21st century just claimed that the enforcement of the 14th and 15th Amendments to the US Constitution is an example of “reverse racism”, the insidious racist apology that legitimizes Jim Crow institutional racism. I have to say that I am honestly stunned by this. I cannot believe I am seeing a return to the sort of ignorance and stupidity that marked the legal decisions of the Supreme Court during the era of Dred Scott and Plessy. The congress updated and reconfirmed the Voting Rights act as recently as 2006 with near unanimous support. What has changed between then and now? The election and reelection of an African American President by an electorate that is made up of more minorities than ever before. This is the worst nightmare of the GOP and conservative whites in the south and midwest. They will do anything they can to stop states like Georgia, Texas, Arizona, and South Carolina becoming viable battleground states in future elections. They will do anything to keep the United States from becoming a pluralized racially diverse democracy. It will not stop there of course: they will try, and are already trying, to limit the voting rights of students, women, latinos, naturalized citizens and young people. They want the past, the Jim Crow nadir of the first half of the 20th century, to return with the full force of the Supreme Court behind it. This is racism, this is fear. If the court invalidates this law the United States will cease to be a democracy.
Pure and simple
I will write more on this it unfolds
A toast to culture
Can’t you see
The importance of society?
The blushing priest
The bumbling bride
The half-crazed Czar
And the restless cries
Of the old and hungry
Sick and worn
Their clothing tattered
The dreams forlorn
The gelding princes mince and sway
Across the boulevards and public parks
Performing farces wherever they stop to shit
Urchins gather round their ankles
Lapping up the drippings of high art
The rich eat prose and shit out rhyme
Aesthetic effluvia gobbled up by time
Behold! Hordes of barbarians
Dressed as prime society men
Drinking gin and sniffing snuff
Voting down the rights of man
They grin and lift their boney hands
Up to the distant vaulted roof
And down it falls
The only people left to peer
Upon the ruins of democratic resolve
Are the rats and capitalists