To grasp what is going on in the world right now, we need to reflect on two things. One is that we are in a phase of trial runs. The other is that what is being trialled is fascism – a word that should be used carefully but not shirked when it is so clearly on the horizon. Forget “post-fascist” – what we are living with is pre-fascism.
An apt description of how we are normalizing the obscene. All of our shadows are the same color. First they came for…
When the “reality” TV show Survivor appeared I first dismissed it as a trivial fluke. When five weeks later there was discussion among what I thought at the time were educated and serious citizens who would be voted off of the island, I grew weary for our “culture”. The fact that The Donald was presented to the masses largely through the vehicle of “reality” TV says a lot about the slow burn of the American mind. Anti-intellectualism, which is required for fascism has always been a blot on America. Over the past few decades, corporate culture has proceeded to eviscerate education, unions, and the social safety net–thus yielding the Survivor paradigm. Dog whistle politics in this environment only enhances “alliances” among the tribes of the easily manipulated. Fascism historically only died (went into remission and/or moved its flag) through overextension (Mussolini’s Italy and Hiter’s Germany). We need to be the resistance to keep the seeds of fascism from completely capturing the US. It is much later in the game than most people think.
Current reading recommendation: Gordon Lafer’s The One Percent Solution: How Corporations are Remaking America One State at a Time (2017).
We have opened pandora’s box and we are just beginning to reap the whirlwind. The world as you have known it is dead…along with your democracy. It isn’t coming back. The corporate fascists have you trapped and most of you don’t have a clue. They have shut off every single avenue for peaceful change. You cannot vote them out, or sue them out, or protest them out. There is a reason they have militarized the police forces. There is a reason they monitor you phone calls and emails, and comments on Common Dreams. We are a few mere steps away from re-education camps and cattle cars. Our government is a rogues gallery of the sickest, most vile psychopaths on the planet. Yet the majority of Americans go about their business wearing their cluelessness like a suit of armor. Yes my friends it is my worst nightmare brought to life and on parade each and everyday after I wake up, pour a cup of coffee and look at the news…
While I agree with O’Toole that we are seeing fascism rear its ugly head, I would argue that we are farther down that road than he and a lot of Americans think. Given that the economic underpinning of fascism is corporatism - marriage of corporations/business and the government - that aspect of fascism has been operating for a long time in this country. The racism that is also a component of fascism has always been present in this country. An obsession with militarism and military spending? Check. Scapegoating minorities? Check. Creation of a surveillance and police state? Check. In other words, Trump is doing more than run trials. He is, in fact, putting a face on much of what is already there and adding more pieces to the puzzle. He, himself, certainly supplies the wannabe dictator component, not to mention mobilizing a blindly loyal, vicious following, yet another essential component of fascism.
The separating of children along the border did seem like pushing the envelop for fascism. In the past there has been widespread participation in lynchings in the Old South so it appears that any level of brutality will be accepted against a hated group of people. And Trump and his gang have put out a string of lies to build up hate against Hispanics, Muslims, and Blacks. Antisemitism has been going strong for almost two thousand years and Trump doesn’t really have to add anything, it is there. Jewish conspirators are blamed for just about everything the right wing detests. The Republican party under George W. Bush supported torture and Trump proclaimed he was an advocate. The US already has a history of concentration camps for Japanese Americans and plans were made for similar camps for Italian Americans. Just looking at the hate map put out by the Southern Poverty Law Center shows there is enough hate throughout America to give the fascists a good start. One advantage that the present day fascists have that Hitler didn’t have is social media. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter make is far easier to spread untruths than has ever been possible in the past. Playing on people’s known distrust and suspicion of conspiracies fake news to confirm their suspicions can easily be planted by fake accounts or bots. People on both sides of the political spectrum always are generally willing to read or watch anything that supports what they already believe making them prime targets for the fascists who are determined to replace truth with lies.
I will never forget the Occupy movement and the surveillance by the FBI and Wall Street and the police brutality… and I never heard a peep from the Dems about that… That is why we need PROGRESSIVE dems…
Fully agreed - Trump didn’t invent this American form of fascism.
He’s just continuing the tradition that all presidents have adhered to - ensuring undemocratic, unaccountable, authoritarian, hostile, aggressive corruption of politics. The tradition continues, dressed up as democracy and patriotism.
I witnessed first hand a gathering of over fifty bikers with the United States Flags in a gas station parking lot in Castle Rock, Washington yesterday.
I have related this in another post earlier today.
Random acts of violence at regular interval are condemned by those in power but this really spurs the fascist cause along.
An environment of such a culture is now being fostered by the alt right media such as Alex jones and Fox news.
The unity of corporations and government, unaccountable to, and uncontrollable by the public, continues to dominate governance, society and culture.
Unmasking the deception remains a primary objective of pro democracy people everywhere.
My worst nightmare conjured under Trump is World War III. Connecting the ‘dots’ of evidence toward that fearful end, it seems WWIII is his intention. Trump has no love of this country, its moral underpinnings nor its people. He lives in a bubble of luxury among his class of haughty millionaires, courtiers, sycophants and servants. The ruling class prefer a police state to keep the lower classes segregated, grudgingly blaming each other for their hardships and ready for war.
The direction I believe leads away from fascist corporate-controlled government embraces a drastic reduction of travel and transport, much of which is luxury travel, most of it utterly wasteful, all producing lifestyles of demeaning insecurity beneath thin façades of frivolous entertainment. If we can’t continue to drive, fly, truck and ship goods around the world as much as we do today, a careful reordering of economic structures defined by local interests rather than the ruling class would be a change for the better.
OBummer, Pelosi et al could have put the brakes on the slide toward the dark side by bringing to trial the warmongers that lied us into the OIL war. But they wanted to put all that behind us and look forward to rainbows and unicorns doncha know…
I remember finding out that it was the CIA–the same one whose purpose is to overthrow other countries that often then impose tyrannical dictatorships–that trained and advised NYPD in how best to undermine and fight the OWS protestors.
Some of the signs of “fascism soon-to-be” seem to me more like evidence that we are already on to the next stage. Hell, when the concentration camps are in full-swing, we’ll still be reading articles warning us that we’re heading down the road to facism. A few weeks ago there was an article here saying we are still far from Nazi Germany because we don’t have concentration camps–and the next day Trump is telling Jim Mattis to use military bases to round up large numbers of immigrants. How freakin’ far down the road do we need to go before we realize WE ARE ALREADY A FACIST STATE?
The trial runs for fascism started when Teddy Roosevelt wrote the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine and said what this country really needs is a war. I take that back, the trail runs for fascism started with the Trail of Tears. No, before that. . .
The difference between a sophist and a liar:
On Liars, Politics, Michiko Kakutani, Martin Jay, and Hannah Arendt
From my interactions with folks in Trumpland, I’d say that the polling underestimates the public support for fascist practices. While folk will publicly say that they don’t support kids being taken from parents, probe a little deeper, and they’ll confess that they feel its the parents fault that kids are separated and that these practices may be good in the long run because ‘in order to make an omelet, you have to break some eggs’.
Due to hurricane Maria, there have been an influx of Puerto Ricans where I live. Many have been subjected to questioning and, in some cases arrest, by US immigration officials. Despite the fact that as a colonized people, Puerto Ricans have US citizenship, the has been no public outcry regarding such practices. Even Democrat politicians don’t express much sympathy for these folk. I see a greater acceptance of the notion that for folk who are ‘lesser’ US citizens, its OK to arrest them and hold them in jail without much legal support.
The Oligarchy has been slowly pursuing their global fascist coup since they failed at trying a more spontaneous coup in the 30’s against FDR. None of them were prosecuted and the dynastic families of the original players have been at it ever since. They’re still filthy rich and they’re still extremely evil. And now they hold the power to do whatever they wish with those of us who are merely the citizens paying their bills with our taxes while they reap the profits.
Note to the author: Animal bashing by human supremacists, Cartesians and Jesuits goes on and on in public articles like this one. Human beings are nothing but divine legends in their own minds.
The corporate fascists have you trapped and most of you don’t have a clue. They have shut off every single avenue for peaceful change. You cannot vote them out, or sue them out, or protest them out. There is a reason they have militarized the police forces. There is a reason they monitor your phone calls and emails, and comments on Common Dreams. We are a few mere steps away from re-education camps and cattle cars. Our government is a rogues gallery of the sickest, most vile psychopaths on the planet. Yet the majority of Americans go about their business wearing their cluelessness like a suit of armor. Yes my friends it is my worst nightmare brought to life and on parade each and everyday after I wake up, pour a cup of coffee and look at the news…
Sadly, true – and great post – !!
The article, however, in limiting the “trials” to Trump’s era is shockingly oblivious to the history of the world: – the playbook of Elites-Patriarchy and their creation of “Christianity”/Male-supremacist religion to underpin them – and the creation of “Capitalism” which co-opts the wealth and natural resources of other nations.
Both of those tools are systems of fascism which benefit only Elites-Patriarchy.
How could the author have failed to recognize “W”'s administration as fascism already in play here in carrying out the 2000 election, in the fascist rally to stop the vote counting in Miami-Dade County mandated by the Florida Supreme Court. That fascist rally was organized by the now Chief Justice on the Supreme Court – John Roberts. Called the “Brooks Bros.” rally, Roberts appointment was his reward. Or – how about the TORTURE put in play by the “W” administration as lawyers John Loo and Albert Gonzales conspired together to begin trials of TORTURE by the US/CIA government? Abu Ghraib was just that!
Long before that – the McCarthy Era, the lie of the Cold War, the NRA/CIA attacks on what was left of liberals and moderates in Congress.
And – even truer – Elites/Christianity developed 2,000 years and more ago the system of propaganda mass produced by the Vatican and circulated through their parishes/Papal States – the most vile and brutal of violent propaganda against Women, Jews, Homosexuals, etal.
Elites have developed the skill and talent for finding and recruiting outrageous figures like Hitler, Mussolini – and now Trump.
Also the violent skills and talents to be able to disappear their liberal opponents in coups and assassinations, usually with the help of organized criminals.
GOP propaganda was being perfected as the Nixon White House began to study old Nazi propaganda in the basement of Nixon’s White House. Tapes were circulated to GOP members as “talking points” and each and every day their propaganda was repeated religiously. Again, this was based on more than 2,000 years of developing propaganda and creating “enemies” by the use of labeling.
Native people were “pagans … only fit to be fed to the dogs.” Women were “witches” and “inferior” in every way, especially spiritually. Homosexuals were an “abomination.” See: “The Hammer of Witches” for just one example of these vile writings. Jews in the Papal States were actually held in Jewish Ghettoes, forced to wear yellow stars, isolated from society, barred from education and professions. Native Americans were forced into “reservations” which greatly impressed Hitler.
Don’t know about Fox – have never watched it after hearing like two sentences.
As far as I know their audience is 70 years old – and I can’t imagine who might be actually watching MSM “news”? Understand that Facebook is now featuring FOX News to widen their audience.
Global Warming is the Wild Card – and Elites know it.
Capitalism exists only by our support of it.
Same for “Christianity.”
One thing to remember.
Every American male grew up fantasizing about the day they would get to kill their own Nazis.
The fanatical backlash may be focused against the fascists…no one will cry for them.