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Finding Hope in Dismal Times


#1

Finding Hope in Dismal Times

Rebecca Gordon

In these dismal days of climate change, imperial decline, endless war, and in my city, a hapless football team, I seem to be experiencing a strange and unaccustomed emotion: hope. How can that be?


#3

Ms. Gordon leaves out one little detail. Trump is a fascist, whether he knows it or not. That's why he appeals to disaffected working-class white people. Anyone who has been on the receiving end of mills shutting down, jobs moving to China, the drastic decline in their standard of living understands that. Bernie understands that.

The professional class doesn't understand it at all. They took over both major parties in the 1980s and 90s and are totally flummoxed by the Trump phenomenon. The wealthy elites are using Trump to get one of their own, Clinton, elected president. It's a dangerous game they are playing, just like the one German industrialists played in the 1930s with Hitler. Trump is no Hitler, but one will eventually come along, maybe on the wings of the next black swan event. It's going to be a wild ride, folks.


#4

There is no need for a Hitler to "come along" in the US,

After Prescott Bush, Henry Ford and other Murkins who tried to get the US to go fascist during the 30s failed, the GOP and Democratic Party owners and leaders studied Goebbels for decades and realized that the in your face hard Nazism of the 30s would be too hard to sell in the US. During the 80s they installed Saint Ronny and formed the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) to accelerate the soft selling of expanded Murkin fascism.

The "wave that looks like a sinking Donald Trump" is part of the soft sell approach of always having a scary fascist to point to while the soft sell fascist POTUS works his or her magic for the 1% at the expense of the 99%.


#6

I think the word systemic is somewhat different from institutional. It (at least to me) indicates a disease that infects every cell. Or, poisons...such as "systemic pesticides" that the plant absorbs and thus cannot be washed off. So when she said "systemic racism," I understood a societal poison that implicitly affects every individual, whether they be the abusers or the recipients of the abuse. And it doesn't always have to be overt. I am thinking of the recent cases of female African-American doctors whose credentials were not acknowledged by Delta Airline hostesses, risking the lives and well being of those in need of immediate medical care. Small things like that.


#7

I am one of those who made phone calls and wrote emails and then celebrated when Obama backed off of bombing Damascus. I have pointed that out to people who don't believe that anything we do can make a difference, and it has bolstered me through many difficult news days.

Recently, however, I read (CD or Counterpunch) that it was Putin who was successful in staying Obama's hand. I confess to mixed feelings about that. Drew, do you have any more insight into that particular phenomenon?


#8

That was NOT a 'small thing'!


#10

I see you joined an hour ago.

Did you notice the warning about Trump supporters posing as progressives?

We also get Clinton supporters posing as progressives.

And Clinton supporters pretending to be Trump supporters and Trump supporters pretending to be Clinton supporters..

It's a strange election.


#11

Finding hope in Trump tanking in the polls is like being happy because you'll get shot in the back instead of the front.


#12

The attempted coup that Prescott Bush, Henry Ford, and others planned came within a hair's breadth of succeeding. If it wasn't for the honorable General Smedley Butler it might have actually happened. The American people knew next to nothing about it, though. It was all swept under the carpet by Congress. You are right that outright fascism with uniforms and swastikas would be hard sell to the general public. As Heinrich Boll once wrote, fascism will come to the USA wearing wing-tipped jack boots, carrying a cross, and wrapped in an American flag.

Soft fascism, corporatism, has been in place for quite a while now. It's a dangerous game, though, that the corporatists are playing and could easily get out of hand. Just like it took a new Pearl Harbor event, 9/11, to set us on the road to endless war, they could use another "black swan" event to put in place an outright fascist regime that would include suspension of the Constitution, internment camps, the whole nine yards. We live in perilous times.


#16

No, evidently I misspoke. Not a small thing at all! I meant, maybe,unnoticed daily events that are often overlooked as we go about our business. My children are bi-racial. Last year my daughter, a medical provider, was told she "would stink up the place" as she entered a Starbucks in Portland, OR-- by a well-dressed. professional looking young white woman. A quiet, ugly, vile remark said in passing to a beautiful, intelligent woman, for no other reason than to attack on the sly. I have numerous other small examples of systemic racism that occur on an almost daily basis. So, no--NOT SMALL AT ALL.


#17

Today's Americans aren't into justice. On a most basic level, what would they consider "justice" for those who can't work (health, etc.) and those for whom there are no jobs available? When this question only brings blank stares, you know that you're in a culture that no longer gasps the very concept of justice.


#18

We think of fascism as the result of a violent military takeover. However, the US actually has been implementing fascism (by definition) for years, slowly and from the bottom up. The US is an economic entity where every aspect of life is determined by class/economic status. It's no surprise, then, that American fascism would be centered on class. While we haven't yet established labor/concentration camps for our poor, we have gone so far as to strip them of a list of fundamental civil and human rights. That's really quite astounding. But since we (the public) have also been taught to think of the poor as something less than equal human beings, we really don't give it any thought.


#19

Rebecca makes a profound point.

"The 'Leader of the Free World',,," presides over the world's largest Prison Population.


#20

Excellent, logical and correct analysis with appropriate analogy.


#21

A voice of reason:

How do outrageous ideas -- for example, that

women are human beings, or that
the U.S. locks up way too many people, or even that
gay people should be able to get married if they want to

-- suddenly morph into everyday commonsense?

It’s rarely an accident.
It almost always involves dedicated people working away for years on an issue, often unnoticed, before it seems suddenly to surge into general awareness.

Amen sister, Amen!