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Preparing for the Normalization of a Neofascist White House


#1

Preparing for the Normalization of a Neofascist White House

Juan Cole

It is 2017, and shortly the White House will be inhabited by an unscrupulous, corrupt narcissist who has shamelessly mobilized the Neo-Nazi fringe of the Republican Party to get into power.


#2

I suggest people read those "fascist Themes" linked to in the article and understand that much of these themes exist in the current Presidency and in ones before.

Trump is a Fascist but he did not introduce Fascism to the US Government and the reason the transition will appear to be a smooth one is that Facism has already been "normalized".


#3

Anyone who wants to 'wait and see' and 'give Trump a chance' has not been paying attention. Every cabinet appointment he's made has been a multi-millionaire or billionaire set on raiding the public coffers for private gain. They feed on each others worship of privatization and concentration of wealth. It's a malignant, barren belief system.


#4

Well said. Trump is not the cause of a Fascist takeover of the U.S. government; Trump is the result of the U.S. government being covertly, Fascist ever since the coup d' 'etat of 1963.

When Obama refused to indict Bush for war crimes and his plethora of lies about the offensive war and regime change in Iraq, where Bush was clearly culpable of the shocking and awful, murders of so many Americans and Iraqi's; but instead said: " we must look forward" he knew he had the same Fascist, agenda on his plate.


#5

Juan Cole is an intelligent analyst and when he says "Bad things re about to happen," he should be taken seriously. I respect his reserve in not saying what he fears since we can still hope that the violence implicit in Trump's entire program may not occur in the forms it has taken in earlier fascist movements. Perhaps Americans can be initimidated sufficiently for Trump's purposes without the need for officially sanctioned murders, beatings, torture and kidnappings.

Let's imagine a more peaceful approach, against which measures could be taken right now. For example, in February you post a negative comment on Trump at Common Dreams, Daily Kos, Alternet or another NSA-monitored site. Within minutes, you receive a text or email asking you when you will be available to discuss your concern with an appropriate official. That could be a bit chilling, no?

No need to shut down sites like CD if they can serve as a useful way to get malcontents to self-report themselves. No need to even get heavy-handed with people who know their every word or keystroke is being watched. That can be reserved for people who actually show up at demonstrations or attend a meeting at their local union hall. But going after those people is expensive, requiring low tech undercover work whereas monitoring electronic communications could even be outsourced to reliable allies in Belarussia or the Phillipines.

So the serious question to ask now is whether sites like CD should be prepared to self-destruct before Trump's NSA can access their servers and identify the few hundred thousand people who even anonymously say something negative about the Leader. It's kind of waste of time now, anyway, considering how high the stakes have become. Any views on this?


#6

Whether we will actually have official intimidation or just unofficial brownshirts doing their "patriotic" duty is uncertain at this time. I would expect some combination of the two. Self censorship is the worst choice available to us, but for some it may be important to maintain sanity. Official intimidation can not happen to any great extent without instilling a fair bit of fear into the general population in the form of some type of terrorism or "terrorism."


#7

To posters worried about our history of "fascism," depending on the definition, we've had elements of fascism in our government for a very long time. Quite naturally, as we have allowed the corporate world to gain wealth and power, it has increasingly intruded on politics and our government. My worry is that we may well see a quantum leap. In fact, I don't hardly see how we can avoid it.


#8

To the commenters on this article:

Plutocracy is not fascism.


#9

No, but fascism is the merging of corporate and government interests by definition. Does that remind you of anyone?


#10

Just read the following and see if you recognize any of this here in the US Fourth Reich.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Fourteen Defining Characteristics Of Fascism

by Mr. Lawrence Britt

Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. Britt found 14 defining characteristics common to each:

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottoes, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights - Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long
incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial, ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

4. Supremacy of the Military - Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

5. Rampant Sexism - The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.

6. Controlled Mass Media - Sometimes the media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

8. Religion and Government are Intertwined - Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.

9. Corporate Power is Protected - The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

10. Labor Power is Suppressed - Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.

11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.

12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment - Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forgo civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption - Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

14. Fraudulent Elections - Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I certainly do! This has been building up ever since Operation Paperclip and is now nearing fruition and harvest.
* What I think could turn this around is for all the various disparate groups in this nation who are against this, but argue from the vantage point of their particular interest, to form a coalition. Greens, Black Lives Matter, Earth and climate groups, labor groups, etc. If all of those voices were to unite, and their members and supporters worked on a single plan to take this nation back, I think we could succeed.
* The Oilagarchy and the MICC can pick us off one at a time, but if We the People were united in a single goal, our power would be enormous! Suppose we all decided to BDS the Oilagarchy and the industries that make billions and trillions through military contracts. They would feel the pinch almost immediately.
* Tens of thousands of letters, e-mails, and office visits to Senators and Congressmen, all hammering on the same issues might actually get paid attention to, once they figured out that those were votes! That the people were speaking out!
* A coalition like that could possibly take our nation back. The groups and interests are all there, but they are separate targets for a ruthless, ever increasing dictatorship of the wealthy and powerful. Together, we could stand against them, a mighty force of We the People against the entrenched powers of greed, viciousness and cruelty.
* Worth a try?
;-})


#11

There has been creeping fascism in the U. S. for years, this is nothing new. What does the U.S.D.A, the EPA, the BLM, The Corps of Engineers, the Post Office, ect ect all have in common? They all now have military equipted SWAT teams. Why?


#12

So publicizing for the under-informed just exactly what fascist steps look like, how they'd manifest, and what rights joe blow is SUPPOSED to have would be great endeavors by all these forums? Hear that, CD?


#13

Mini! We're on the same page! I've posted a link to britt's analysis several times on different forums and have included links from Naomi Wolf. I've suggested coalitions but have also suggested we need a charismatic true-spirit leader and possibly a guiding ideology apart from only resistance to the fascism/"leaders."


#14

This is not normal.

This is what normal leads to

Which will then become normal.


#15

Trump would like to control the media like Putin does in Russia.


#16

Excellent list!

In my view the most important one is #4.


#17

See: Jim Marrs "The Fourth Reich". It was planed and Project Paper Clip was indeed the start. The support for Israel has to do with the secret plan that they won't go after the Nazi war criminals we bring to the US.


#18

"Preparing for the Normalization of a Neofascist White House"

"The latest ugly tantrum by our sociopathic toddler-elect"

"'This was a whitelash'"

There was an article a on CD a couple of days ago "Days of Moderate Democratic Party 'Are Over,' Analyst Declares ".

Maybe the dem party and the "progressive" movement should ditch ideologists that push identity politics and calling everyone who doesn't agree with their views fascists, deplorables and racists. They might have a better chance of winning an election. It is their kind of talk that got us in the this position in the first place.

I think there's some saying about people who keep banging their head against a wall hoping it will hurt less the next time.


#19

Academic Juan Cole is displaying what a devotee of the Trump political style he is. The central problem is that there is NOBODY willing to model civil behavior and then seek support from others for such conduct.
Our politicians are all for sale and, once bought, they dance to the tune of their patrons or else they are gone and replaced by someone who will do so.


#20

He has now gone on to suggest that important memos be written out on paper and delivered by courier.

That is a very good idea in reference to good governance. As long as the original copy is archived and ultimately available for public examination. Hold him to it.,