fascism

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Israel bans Al Jazeera as attack on journalism goes domestic

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 05/05/2024 - 10:46pm in

Seizure of broadcasting equipment and blocking of Israeli citizens’ access to website as Israel adds assault on dissenting voices in Gaza to its slaughter of journalists in Gaza

Israel has banned Arab broadcaster Al Jazeera from its territory – and blocked Israeli citizens from accessing the station’s channel and website – as it continues its assault on dissenting voices examining its mass murder of Palestinian civilians. The move comes as global support for Palestinians, and condemnation of Israel’s slaughter and maiming of more than 100,000 Palestinians in Gaza, continues to grow and Israel’s usual deceits and tactics to discredit opposition collapses. The ban will last for forty-five days initially, but is likely to keep being renewed.

The station showed a pre-recorded announcement from the head of its Israeli bureau confirming the government censorship – and its final live broadcast from Israeli territory was an interview with a journalist from Israeli paper Haaretz, speaking from his car, who condemned the ban and said it was quite possible he would be arrested when he got home because of the interview.

Israel has murdered well over a hundred journalists in Gaza since 7 October and prevents international journalists from entering the territory, apart from a handful who have been shepherded in and out for propaganda purposes. Now its war on journalism, free speech and truth has gone domestic.

If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.

The US is tottering on the brink of becoming a fascist state

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 01/05/2024 - 4:28pm in

Tags 

fascism, Politics, USA

As a Guardian newsletter has noted this morning:

The former US president, Donald Trump,  was fined $9,000 for violating a gag order designed to protect participants in his current criminal trial from his abuse. A New York judge imposed the maximum financial penalty allowed under state law.

The judge has threatened time in jail if he breaks the order. Rather quietly, the tweets to which the judge objected were removed yesterday, presumably at the insistence of Trump’s legal team.

However, what chance is there that Trump will comply with the order? I suspect it very low.

I also suspect that Trump relishes the prospect of jail time for breaking this order. After all, this will just play to has fascist demand that the judiciary be brought under his control when he is President again, precisely so that he can determine not just what the law might be, but also who might be guilty or innocent of breaking it.

As Heather Cox Richardson notes in her Letter from an American this morning, there is no doubt that this is part of Trump’s plan for his Presidency, and that the intention is fascist is beyond doubt. That plan challenges one of the fundamental principles underpinning all liberal democracies, including that of the USA, but that is what Trump wants to do. His aim is to destroy democracy.

The judge in New York is right to fine Trump.

He would be right to imprison him if he breaks the order.

But do not doubt that millions of Americans will support Trump’s right to treat the law with contempt.

We just have to hope that more millions will be warned as to intentions by his so very obviously utterly unreasonable threats and actions.

What we cannot doubt is that the USA as we have known it is tottering on the verge of becoming a fascist state.

I admit, I always thought that possible. I also never thought it would happen. Now, I am not so sure.

We should be worried.

US unis even arresting TEACHERS as Israel lobby group demands anti-Palestine crackdown

Students and teachers targeted by police as ADL demands government breaks student anti-genocide protest movement

At least one US university has called in police to arrest faculty members as well as students, as the so-called ‘Anti-defamation League’ (ADL) demanded a crackdown on the spreading anti-genocide protest movement among US students.

NYPD officers took NYU teachers as well as students away from a demo against Israel’s genocide in Gaza, as demonstrations spread to universities around the country. Columbia University, also in New York, has seen further student arrests as a sit-in demo by students against Israel’s slaughter of innocents continues undeterred.

In a tactic reminiscent of the recent rigged stunt in the UK by the Israel-linked, so-called ‘Campaign against Antisemitism’ (CAA), the ADL has claimed Jewish students are unsafe and demanded the immediate suspension of anyone who dares protest against mass murder:

Innocent women and children in Gaza are being slaughtered by the tens of thousands by Israel – and Palestinian students have been attacked, leaving at least one paralysed, by morons whipped up by the Islamophobic speech of politicians and pro-Israel lobbyists – but it seems we are meant to treat the feelings of the friends of genocide and apartheid as more important, on both sides of the Atlantic.

If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.

As disasters go, the Rwanda Bill knows almost no limits.

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 23/04/2024 - 4:23pm in

The Lords gave in to the Commons on the Safety of Rwanda Bill last night, as ultimately they must. Democracy is sovereign and if those who have been elected insist that red is blue then the Lords, having used their best endeavours to request that the Commons change its mind, must give way even though they know that what the Commons is claiming is wrong.

This is what happened last night. The Lords eventually agreed to let a Bill promoted by a corrupt and racist government pass despite all the false claims within it. Rwanda is not safe, whatever the Tories say.

The Lords are also right that the damage to the UK’s reputation as an upholder of international law will be considerable.

The law that will now be enacted is also absurd. Instead of in any way solving the problem of migration it will throw vast sums of money at token gesture deportations that will be devastating for those involved, including most of the public servants who will have to be engaged in this process. It is not even clear, as yet, that any planes will be found to undertake the necessary flights to Rwanda.

And at the end of the day, after all this waste of effort, political capital, international reputation and money, the policy will not work. The chance of being deported to Rwanda will be so small, so extraordinary is the cost of each person deported and so limited is the capacity to actually secure agreement for anyone to leave, that the deterrent effect on those seeking to cross the Channel will be precisely zero. The boats will not be stopped, and that was the aim, racist as it always was.

So, what has been achieved by the Tories? They have proved that they are racist, vindictive, callous and straightforwardly cruel.

They have evidenced that the truth does not matter to them, and nor does the rule of law.

They have delivered overwhelming evidence of their ability to waste public funds when it suits them.

Most of all, they have shown that they are liars. Rwanda is not safe, even if they have passed a law saying it is, contrary to all the evidence.

So, electorally I think this also backfires for them. As disasters go, this one knows almost no limits.

The absurdity was apparent in comments by Tim Loughton MP on Sky last night. His claim was that we must have somewhere to send people who came to the UK who we decide are not refugees but who could not be returned to their country of origin because they would be refused entry there or they would be harmed if they did return. In other words, they are undoubtedly refugees with a right to asylum but we just do not want them, which contravenes international law. He then wanted them sent to Rwanda, with a dubious recent history on this issue.

You could not make such absurd claims up, but he offered then as if he was sincere. If he was then he also proved he will be doing politics a public service at the next election by standing down. In the kindest possible comment I can offer, let me suggest that he clearly is unable to construct coherent thoughts.

And meanwhile, some poor refugees will suffer the most inhumane treatment by this government. It is my hope that lawyers will still be able to find ways to obstruct their evil desires. What else is Common Law for?

Who’s Afraid of Gender? – review

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 16/04/2024 - 9:06pm in

In Who’s Afraid of Gender?, Judith Butler confronts contemporary attacks on gender from right-wing movements that have undermined the rights of women, queer and trans people in areas from reproductive justice to protections against violence. The book deftly unpacks the phantasm of gender as it has been weaponised against queer and trans people and argues for countering it not with commensurate hate, but by making more desirable a way of living based in freedom and empathy, writes Elaine Coburn.

Judith Butler came to LSE to launch the book in March 2024: watch it back on YouTube.

Who’s Afraid of Gender? Judith Butler. Allen Lane. 2024.

Who's afraid of gender by judith butler cover black background with purple yellow and white font.This book is a ghost story. It is about phantasms conjured up by actors that include the Pope and the novelist JK Rowling. The ghost is sometimes “gender”, sometimes “gender ideology” and sometimes “Judith Butler.” This expansive, often contradictory phantasm is a repository for displaced fears of war, economic inequality, climate change and associated threats to existence.

Not to be confused with their phantasmagorical other, the flesh and blood philosopher Judith Butler seeks to exorcise the ghost. They do this by mobilising logic, argument and a deep care for the self and others. Amid rising fascisms and authoritarianisms, Butler maintains that what is at stake is the right to a “livable life” (264). When reasonable, justified fears of destruction are displaced onto “gender”, they warn, queer and trans people, as well as intellectuals like Butler, become targets.

Amid rising fascisms and authoritarianisms, Butler maintains that what is at stake is the right to a ‘livable life’.

Opponents are powerful figures. In 2015, Pope Francis condemned “gender theory”, because, he argued, it does not recognise the existence of men and women and therefore “does not recognize the order of creation” (6). Gender theory is contrary to natural law, as given by the Creator (79). The Pope then asserts that “Family is family!” (77), but he means only one kind of family: the heterosexual household, united in marriage. All other forms of love and kinship are disqualified.

As Butler observes, this is confused. Theories about sex and gender, including Butler’s own approach, do not argue that it is impossible to recognise sex and gender. Instead, the argument is that because sex and gender are socially constructed in different ways, in different times and places, they are mutable. Sex is variously defined: genetically, hormonally, and physically. It is not an unchanging, universal given, whether within contemporary medicine or socially and culturally.

Theories about sex and gender, including Butler’s own approach, do not argue that it is impossible to recognise sex and gender. Instead, the argument is that because sex and gender are socially constructed in different ways, in different times and places, they are mutable.

Likewise, despite colonialism, Butler observes, many genders have existed and persist today across different cultures, beyond the woman/man binary of Western modernity. The hijra in India are just one well-known example and, Butler observes, there are many languages where gender binaries are not systematically inscribed in descriptions of the human. In answer to the question, “What is my gender?”, queer theorists thus argue that there are possibilities beyond the binary statements, “I am a man,” or “I am a woman”.

The same is true for heterosexual marriages and families. Heterosexual married households exist, for some, as both a social fact and as a valued choice. They are but one reality and one possibility, however, amid more expansive understandings of kinship. The recognition of a plurality of genders and families, both in fact and as liberatory possibility, is a major contribution of gender and queer theory, as inspired by the feminist and LGBTQ+ movements that supported these intellectual developments.

Heterosexual married households exist, for some, as both a social fact and as a valued choice. They are but one reality and one possibility, however, amid more expansive understandings of kinship.

If the Pope is haunted by the ghost of “gender theory”, as the Catholic Church has resurrected it – not necessarily accurately – he has some unlikely allies. In June 2020, Rowling infamously wrote a series of texts on the social media platform X (then “Twitter”). Among her observations, she expressed empathy and solidarity with trans women. In particular, Rowling emphasised the need to support trans women against threats of male violence. “[T]he majority of trans-identified people not only pose zero threat to others,” Rowling wrote, “but are vulnerable…” (163). Such solidarity, Butler observes, unites cisgender and trans women.

Unfortunately, Butler adds, in focusing on threats posed by individual men, Rowling fails to critique patriarchal social orders that produce and sanction masculine violence. Worse, Rowling then suggests that “natal girls and women” (164) must be protected from trans women – whom she abruptly redescribes as men – in a context where men are habitually violent towards women. The evidence that Rowling offers is that many women, including herself, have suffered violence from men and that some trans women, notably Karen White in the United Kingdom, have assaulted women.

As Butler observes, in Rowling’s narrative, “Suddenly, the figure of the trans woman attacker seems to stand for all trans women, and the category of “trans women” is replaced simply by ‘men’” (164), deemed to be permanent threats. Rowling does not justify her argumentative moves, from a focus on an individual trans attacker to all trans women and from trans women to the supposedly unitary, naturalised category of men. Nor does she defend her ahistorical characterisations of men, or, in Butler’s broader description, “someone who has a penis” (157), as inevitably violent. These are givens.

Whatever the logical inconsistencies and despite Rowling’s unjustified argumentative moves, her rhetoric achieves its aim. The purpose, Butler argues, is to induce panic at the expense of trans women, cast as perpetrators of violence.

Whatever the logical inconsistencies and despite Rowling’s unjustified argumentative moves, her rhetoric achieves its aim. The purpose, Butler argues, is to induce panic at the expense of trans women, cast as perpetrators of violence. In so doing, among other harms, Rowling and her followers deny trans women’s existence. Butler emphasises the violence of the erasure:

“Imagine if you were Jewish and someone tells you that you are not. Imagine if you are lesbian and someone laughs in your face and says you are confused since you are really heterosexual….Or imagine you are Palestinian and someone tells you that Palestinians do not exist (which people do).” (151).

For Rowling and others like her, Butler observes, “their right to define you is apparently more important than any right you have to determine who you are” (151). Confronted with denials of your very existence, Butler remarks, “at some point you will feel and express rage, and you will doubtless be right to do so” (151, italics in original). Rage is justified when your self-determining right to assert your existence is purposefully undermined.

The strength of Butler’s approach is that they do not begin and end with anger. They unequivocally condemn bullying, especially online harassment, including the targeting of Rowling by trans activists. “I will not condone that kind of behaviour,” they emphasise, “no matter who does it” (151). They refuse “cancel culture” instead, carefully if unrelentingly critiquing the arguments of those with whom they disagree. Against the ghostly invocation of gender theory, “We need a better conversation” (150), Butler argues. Butler models what that better conversation might look like.

The ‘anti-gender’ elite undermines understandings of gender that ‘let many of us live’ (151). More broadly, they distract us from world concerns, including inequality, hunger, war and climate change, that require our urgent attention.

In the conclusions, Butler reminds us that the stakes of these conversations are high. Most immediately, the “anti-gender” elite undermines understandings of gender that “let many of us live” (151). More broadly, they distract us from world concerns, including inequality, hunger, war and climate change, that require our urgent attention. The immediate and broader stakes are linked, because we all have an interest in creating “equality and freedom within a livable world” (260). We will not get there, Butler warns, if rising authoritarian nationalism and “rights-stripping” (54) fascisms displace real threats onto the phantasmagorical spectre of “gender theory”.

As I write, the ghost of “Judith Butler” stalks contemporary right-wing rhetoric. In Who’s Afraid of Gender? the real Judith Butler is doing critical work. They remind us not to be distracted by phantasmal evils but to turn to each other. Against the spectral fears of the far right, they write, we must make ethical ideals of freedom, desire and love “so compelling that no one can look away” (264). Only then will we be able to end the all-too-material injustices and violence that haunt our present.

Note: This post gives the views of the author, and not the position of the LSE Review of Books blog, or of the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Image credit: Pixel-Shot on Shutterstock.

Liberalism Against Itself: Cold War Intellectuals and the Making of Our Times – review

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 15/04/2024 - 8:53pm in

In Liberalism Against Itself: Cold War Intellectuals and the Making of Our Times, Samuel Moyn dissects intellectual battles within Cold War liberalism through six key figures: Judith Shklar, Isaiah Berlin, Karl Popper, Gertrude Himmelfarb, Hannah Arendt and Lionel Trilling. Teasing out their complex relationships with Enlightenment ideals, historicism, Freudianism and decolonisation, Moyn’s masterful group biography sheds light on the evolution of liberalism and the cause of the Red Scare, writes Atreyee Majumder.

Liberalism Against Itself: Cold War Intellectuals and the Making of Our Times. Samuel Moyn. Yale University Press. 2023. 

Liberalism against itselfIn his most recent book, Samuel Moyn provides a set of intertwined intellectual profiles of six scholars of the Cold War, especially post-WWII era: Judith Shklar, Isaiah Berlin, Karl Popper, Gertrude Himmelfarb, Hannah Arendt and Lionel Trilling. Before I read Liberalism Against Itself: Cold War Intellectuals and the Making of Our Times, I had never come across the term Cold War liberalism. As Moyn clarifies, the term was coined in the 1960s by enemies of liberal ideas (presumably from within the Free World) emerging at the time, blaming “domestic compromises and foreign policy mistakes”. Moyn offers an intriguing argument that liberalism arrived at its current iteration through its defenders in the Anglo-American region during the Cold War.

Moyn offers an intriguing argument that liberalism arrived at its current iteration through its defenders in the Anglo-American region during the Cold War.

Interestingly, all the scholars in Moyn’s study except for Karl Popper are Jewish intellectuals of the post-Holocaust era or are children of American Jewish immigrants. An Austrian émigré in England, Popper was born Jewish but later converted to Lutheranism. Moyn takes great care not to reduce their loyalty to a certain iteration of liberalism to their religious identity (111). He employs an interesting writing strategy whereby he establishes a grapevine of conversations among these six figures and their various compatriot liberals. For instance, Shklar appears as a sharp critic of Hannah Arendt in Chapter five, while Berlin provides a corrective to Shklar’s rejection and blaming of Rousseau for sowing the roots of the red spectre with which the free world was confronted with in the twentieth century.

The first two chapters elaborate on Shklar and Berlin who have divergent attitudes towards the Enlightenment, Romanticism and Rousseau. Both are critical of the Enlightenment to the extent that they find themselves amplifying liberalism’s state-limiting function over its dimension of emphasising creative agency of the individual. They differ on the extent to which the Enlightenment could be held responsible for the rise of the Red Scare. It is in the Karl Popper chapter (Chapter Three) that the plot thickens, as Popper rejects “historicism” by way of rejecting Hegel and his infusion of the idea of progress with Christian “inevitabilism” (77, 80). As Moyn narrates, Popper held that history, if embraced, would mean the inevitable progress as argued for Hegel and later, in Marx’s terms, would lead to a communist version of progress that would usurp liberalism’s dominance. This anxiety made Popper reject the category of history itself. In fact, Jacob Talmon, the “slavish follower” of Popper, described “the idolization of history” as a “nineteenth century novelty” (80).

It is through Hannah Arendt that we see the uncomfortable relationship the Cold War liberals had with the decolonisation movements outside the west

The book reaches a crescendo in the last two chapters on Hannah Arendt and Lionel Trilling, respectively. It is through Hannah Arendt that we see the uncomfortable relationship the Cold War liberals had with the decolonisation movements outside the west; those that claimed the word ”freedom” for colonised populations. As a reader from the postcolony, I found it instructive to read Moyn’s discussion of Arendt’s ambivalence about reconciling her liberalism with the growing liberalisms of the former colonies. In an insightful section at the end of the Arendt chapter (137-8), Moyn discusses how nationalisms of these fledgling nations were objects of suspicion for Arendt and the Cold War liberals while they were eager to embrace the cause of Israel’s nationalism. In the final chapter we witness Lionel Trilling’s strange embrace of Freud’s psychoanalysis, especially Freud’s late work Civilization and its Discontents (1930). Trilling wanted to render a reformed liberalism – one that wasn’t so naïve and shocked at crisis or evil in the world. Moyn writes of Trilling’s use of Freud in working out his own theory of liberty and liberalism (152):

“…..Freudianism affected the theory of liberty. It turns out that people are constrained in the control they can win from the passions, and therefore in the freedom they should have in their self-making. They must use what autonomy they can gain in pitiless struggle with their own proclivities in the service of self-control.”

Trilling’s own treatment of Cold War liberalism […] could have arisen from his repeated attempts to process what he witnessed in Europe in the 1930s as fascism took hold

Trilling’s own treatment of Cold War liberalism, Moyn speculates, could have arisen from his repeated attempts to process what he witnessed in Europe in the 1930s as fascism took hold; Moyn writes that “he rationalized out of it a new liberalism” (153) – a kind of “survivalist” one. Trilling’s move for a reformed and less idealistic liberalism marked liberalism’s slow shift towards the right.

Moyn has written a masterful interconnected intellectual biography of Cold War liberals, unpacking arguments within the liberal establishment about what actually brought about the Red Scare.

Moyn has written a masterful interconnected intellectual biography of Cold War liberals, unpacking arguments within the liberal establishment about what actually brought about the Red Scare. Moyn also makes clear that these figures are not particularly worried about the institutional arrangement that will bring about such actualisation of freedoms and hence, their version of liberalism. Moyn often uses the term neoliberal and I understand that his usage is quite different from the commonplace social science use of that word – which is a political form accompanying the condition of late capitalism. Hence, I would have liked Moyn to delineate his specific use of the term. Moyn does discuss, especially, in the chapter on Hannah Arendt (Chapter Five), the discomfiture of the Cold War liberals with the rise of new nations across the globe, claiming for themselves the political and social goods of liberalism through their own interpretation of what these might entail. He especially mentions, David Scott’s indictment of Arendt for her erasure of Haiti (138). A blind spot about the rest of the world seems to have existed among the Cold War liberals, which Moyn could have explored further. Finally, I was curious about whether Western Marxism – of the Althusser variety (I believe many of them are writing at the same time as Althusser in the 1960s) – were at all in the conversations that the Cold War liberals engaged in. If so, how would they respond to the Althusserian idea that “freedom” as ideology that hides actual class relations in the name of a pleasurable political ideal which thereafter encodes their worlds of desire? Nonetheless, Liberalism Against Itself is an illuminating and, at times, counterintuitive account of the intellectual wars internal to liberal establishment while it was under attack during the Cold War.

Note: This post gives the views of the author, and not the position of the LSE Review of Books blog, or of the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Image credit: DidemA on Shutterstock.

Vid: Mason’s deranged Corbyn smear – ‘He’s disarming Ukraine and tolerating antisemitism’

Corbyn apparently travelling the length and breadth of Europe to stop the neo-Nazi Ukrainians from ‘fighting fascism’…

Paul Mason was caught last month in a full-blown meltdown of deranged accusations, at a woman who dared to challenge Israel’s mass slaughter of innocent civilians and the unhealthy influence of pro-Israel lobby groups in British politics – and also caught misrepresenting what she had said, when a recording of her comments and his diatribe was revealed.

And he was caught on the same evening in another deranged rant, when he accused Jeremy Corbyn of ‘touring’ Europe ‘tolerating antisemitism’ and ‘disarming the Ukrainian people in their struggle against fascism’:

Audio capture by @UrbanDandyLDN, subtitles by Skwawkbox

As ‘Urban Dandy’, who recorded Mason’s ramblings, commented:

Mason’s suggestion that Jeremy Corbyn tolerates antisemitism is false, just as the widespread, mainstream claims that there was a serious antisemitism problem in Labour under Corbyn’s leadership were false, and have been debunked repeatedly. The MP for Islington North is taking legal action against Nigel Farage for similar defamatory statements, while another political commentator favoured in the mainstream media recently had to make a humiliating public apology for his baseless allegations against Corbyn.

Screengrab from X / johnmcternan

Disarming the Ukrainians

Paul Mason’s second allegation against Corbyn, that the MP has been on a European tour aimed at disarming the Ukrainian people, is also false. Corbyn has never called for the disarming of Ukraine. The anti-war veteran who fronts the Peace & Justice Project has spoken in many European cities since Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine in early 2022, mainly at events organised by peace campaigners. Corbyn has called for diplomacy instead of escalation, and expressed skepticism about the relentless arms sales by western companies. 

Mason’s claim that the left wants to somehow stop Ukrainians ‘fighting fascism’ is also bizarre enough to verge on the delusional. Ukraine is well known, despite the best efforts of the UK media to rewrite history, to be rife with actual nazis, some of whom are in influential positions in the Zelenskiy regime. Zelenskiy himself has seized control of Ukraine’s media, stripped workers of their rights and shut down opposition groups, all key identifiers of fascism.

Mason’s reputation, already falling apart because of his support for Keir Starmer, was shredded in 2022 when The Grayzone revealed his emails plotting with security-state figures to take down left-wing news outlets, accompanied by a notorious, sprawling chart showing the links he imagined among left groups Russia and China – and boasting of ‘cauteris[ing] Corbyn and Stop the War’ so that ‘no MP will touch them:

Mason’s support for Starmer despite the so-called ‘Labour leader’s backing for Israel’s genocide in Gaza has left him a risible figure, yet he keeps spouting his nonsense despite the inevitable backfiring and mockery.

If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.

The French Politics of the Pantheon and the Monumental Hypocrisy of Emmanuel Macron

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 09/04/2024 - 2:49am in

It was striking that a center-right president like Emmanuel Macron, who has recently hardened his position on immigrants and immigration, would grant such a high honor to two immigrant Communists. ...

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How Trump is Following Hitler’s PlaybookYou’ve heard...

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 02/04/2024 - 4:20am in

How Trump is Following Hitler’s Playbook

You’ve heard Trump’s promise:

TRUMP: I’m going to be a dictator for one day.

History shows there are no “one-day” dictatorships. When democracies fall, they typically fall completely.

In a previous video, I laid out the defining traits of fascism and how MAGA Republicans embody them. But how could Trump — or someone like him — actually turn America into a fascist state? Here’s how in five steps.

Step 1: Use threats of violence to gain power

Hitler and Mussolini relied on their vigilante militias to intimidate voters and local officials. We watched Trump try to do the same in 2020.

TRUMP: Proud Boys, stand back and stand by.

Republican election officials testified to the threats they faced when they refused Trump’s demands to falsify the election results.

RAFFENSPERGER: My email, my cell phone was doxxed.

RUSTY BOWERS: They have had video panel trucks with videos of me proclaiming me to be a pedophile.

GABRIEL STERLING: A 20-something tech in Gwinnett County today has death threats and a noose put out saying he should be hung for treason.

If the next election is close, threats to voters and election officials could be enough to sabotage it.

Step 2: Consolidate power

After taking office, a would-be fascist must turn every arm of government into a tool of the party. One of Hitler’s first steps was to take over the civil service, purging it of non-Nazis.

In October of 2020, Trump issued his own executive order that would have enabled him to fire tens of thousands of civil servants and replace them with MAGA loyalists. He never got to act on it, but he’s now promising to apply it to the entire civil service.

That’s become the centerpiece of something called Project 2025, a presidential agenda assembled by MAGA Republicans, that would, as the AP put it, “dismantle the US government and replace it with Trump’s vision.”

Step 3: Establish a police state

Hitler used the imaginary threat of “the poison of foreign races” to justify taking control of the military and police, placing both under his top general, and granting law-enforcement powers to his civilian militias.

Now Trump is using the same language to claim he needs similar powers to deal with immigrants.

Trump plans to deploy troops within the U.S. to conduct immigration raids and round up what he estimates to be 18 million people who would be placed in mass-detention camps while their fate is decided.

And even though crime is actually down across the nation, Trump is citing an imaginary crime wave to justify sending troops into blue cities and states against the will of governors and mayors.

Trump insiders say he plans to invoke the Insurrection Act to have the military crush civilian protests. We saw a glimpse of that in 2020, when Trump deployed the National Guard against peaceful protesters outside the White House.

And with promises to pardon January 6 criminals and stop prosecutions of right-wing domestic terrorists, Trump would empower groups like the Proud Boys to act as MAGA enforcers.

Step 4: Jail the opposition

In classic dictatorial fashion, Trump is now openly threatening to prosecute his opponents.

TRUMP: if I happen to be president and I see somebody who’s doing well and beating me very badly, I say, ‘Go down and indict them.’ They’d be out of business.

And he’s looking to remake the Justice Department into a tool for his personal vendettas.

TRUMP: As we completely overhaul the federal Department of Justice and FBI, we will also launch sweeping civil rights investigations into Marxist local district attorneys.

In the model of Hitler and Mussolini, Trump describes his opponents as subhuman.

TRUMP: …the radical left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country…

Step 5: Undermine the free press

As Hitler well understood, a fascist needs to control the flow of information. Trump has been attacking the press for years.

And he’s threatening to punish news outlets whose coverage he dislikes.

He has helped to reduce trust in the media to such a historic low that his supporters now view him as their most trusted source of information.

Within a democracy, we may often have leaders we don’t like. But we have the power to change them — at the ballot box and through public pressure. Once fascism takes hold, those freedoms are gone and can’t easily be won back.

We must recognize the threat of fascism when it appears, and do everything in our power to stop it.

How could Trump make the USA a fascist state?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 01/04/2024 - 7:21pm in

Tags 

fascism, USA

I felt this worth sharing. I trust Robert Reich as a reliable source of opinion:

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