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Trump and Fascism
#1
Good article that I thought deserved it's own thread...


Fintan O'Toole wrote this yesterday in The Irish Times:

“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.

It is easy to dismiss Donald Trump as an ignoramus, not least because he is. But he has an acute understanding of one thing: test marketing. He created himself in the gossip pages of the New York tabloids, where celebrity is manufactured by planting outrageous stories that you can later confirm or deny depending on how they go down. And he recreated himself in reality TV where the storylines can be adjusted according to the ratings. Put something out there, pull it back, adjust, go again.

Fascism doesn’t arise suddenly in an existing democracy. It is not easy to get people to give up their ideas of freedom and civility. You have to do trial runs that, if they are done well, serve two purposes. They get people used to something they may initially recoil from; and they allow you to refine and calibrate. This is what is happening now and we would be fools not to see it.

One of the basic tools of fascism is the rigging of elections – we’ve seen that trialled in the election of Trump, in the Brexit referendum and (less successfully) in the French presidential elections. Another is the generation of tribal identities, the division of society into mutually exclusive polarities.

Fascism does not need a majority – it typically comes to power with about forty percent support and then uses control and intimidation to consolidate that power. So it doesn’t matter if most people hate you, as long as your forty percent is fanatically committed. That’s been tested out too.

And fascism of course needs a propaganda machine so effective that it creates for its followers a universe of “alternative facts” impervious to unwanted realities. Again, the testing for this is very far advanced.

But when you’ve done all this, there is a crucial next step, usually the trickiest of all. You have to undermine moral boundaries, inure people to the acceptance of acts of extreme cruelty. Like hounds, people have to be blooded. They have to be given the taste for savagery.

Fascism does this by building up the sense of threat from a despised out-group. This allows the members of that group to be dehumanised. Once that has been achieved, you can gradually up the ante, working through the stages from breaking windows to extermination.

People have to be given the taste for savagery. Fascism does this by building up the sense of threat from a despised out-group.

It is this next step that is being test-marketed now. It is being done in Italy by the far-right leader and minister for the interior Matteo Salvini. How would it go down if we turn away boatloads of refugees? Let’s do a screening of the rough-cut of registering all the Roma and see what buttons the audience will press. And it has been trialled by Trump: let’s see how my fans feel about crying babies in cages. I wonder how it will go down with Rupert Murdoch.

To see, as most commentary has done, the deliberate traumatisation of migrant children as a “mistake” by Trump is culpable naivety. It is a trial run – and the trial has been a huge success. Trump’s claim last week that immigrants “infest” the US is a test-marketing of whether his fans are ready for the next step-up in language, which is of course “vermin”.

And the generation of images of toddlers being dragged from their parents is a test of whether those words can be turned into sounds and pictures. It was always an experiment – it ended (but only in part) because the results were in.

And the results are quite satisfactory. There is good news on two fronts. First, Rupert Murdoch is happy with it – his Fox News mouthpieces outdid themselves in barbaric crassness: making animal noises at the mention of a Down syndrome child, describing crying children as actors. They went the whole swinish hog: even the brown babies are liars. Those sobs of anguish are typical of the manipulative behaviour of the strangers coming to infest us – should we not fear a race whose very infants can be so devious?

Second, the hardcore fans loved it: Fifty-eight percent of Republicans are in favour of this brutality. Trump’s overall approval ratings are up to 42.5 per cent.

This is greatly encouraging for the pre-fascist agenda. The blooding process has begun within the democratic world. The muscles that the propaganda machines need for defending the indefensible are being toned up. Millions and millions of Europeans and Americans are learning to think the unthinkable.

So what if those black people drown in the sea? So what if those brown toddlers are scarred for life? They have already, in their minds, crossed the boundaries of morality. They are, like Macbeth, “yet but young in deed”. But the tests will be refined, the results analysed, the methods perfected, the messages sharpened. And then the deeds can follow.
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Let us protect our freedom with all our democratic power, and continue to be brave with everything we must face.”
A leader without followers is just a person taking a walk...
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#2
I suspect that a lot of Trump followers read this and just think "Bullshite. I'm no fascist and I would never harm another human ".

So because we seem to have passed the point of reasoning, the big question for me is, how this can be reversed ?
Or can it ?
" I don't drink these days. I am allergic to alcohol and narcotics. I break out in handcuffs "
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#3
On another note my first instinct was that it was a fake article when I read; "Fintan O'Toole wrote this yesterday in The Irish Times:"
I mean, how cliche does that sound! Grin
" I don't drink these days. I am allergic to alcohol and narcotics. I break out in handcuffs "
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#4
(2018-07-13, 10:31 AM)Lagavulin Wrote: I suspect that a lot of Trump followers read this 

I suspect a lot of them can't read.
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#5
If you go to any Holocaust museum, you'll see the 14 defining characteristics of fascism as a way of warning people today what to look out for. Its so painful to read give current events
If you need a sign to stay alive tonight, this is it!
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#6
(2018-07-13, 12:40 PM)bicboi Wrote: If you go to any Holocaust museum, you'll see the 14 defining characteristics of fascism as a way of warning people today what to look out for. Its so painful to read give current events

Fascist dictators eventually get the Mussolini treatment... we can only hope....
A leader without followers is just a person taking a walk...
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#7
   
Life... dreams... hope...
Where do they come from?
And where do they go...?

Such meaningless things... I'll destroy them all!

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#8
Ronald Reagan wrong??? Oh my.

Those look like kids in the black hats, yet fascism has always come from those in power suppressing liberal views and using fear. Is that how congressmen are dressing these days?
" I don't drink these days. I am allergic to alcohol and narcotics. I break out in handcuffs "
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#9
How ironic the Left is discussing facism & oppression

   
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#10
So CTS,

on account of the deadly atmosphere engulfing US life on a daily basis, do you feel comfortable travelling there with your family?


PS I fully expect this question to go unanswered
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#11
What am i gonna see?  Concentration camps?

If you don't like the Nazism's,  then don't talk like a Nazi

The way some are talking about Conservatives,  you would think we're a lower form of life.  Maybe we should start wearing special clothing,  like arm bands so you can easily identify us deplorables?
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#12
Read back what you said and honestly, honestly judge if it makes any sense.
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#13
I find it funny that those on the right like to attemp to suggest that the left is worse than the right.

That the minority of the idiots on the left, ie antifa, is somewhat equivalent much larger number of idiots on 5he right.

The extremists from both ends of the spectrum are all idiots.
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#14
Does anyone remember when Antifa organized a torchlight rally in Charlotteville?

Jesus CTS, do you not know what side of the political spectrum reactionaries, fascists and Nazis are found? Please, get a gently used social studies textbook.
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#15
(2018-07-13, 02:59 PM)Bandit Wrote:
(2018-07-13, 12:40 PM)bicboi Wrote: If you go to any Holocaust museum, you'll see the 14 defining characteristics of fascism as a way of warning people today what to look out for. Its so painful to read give current events

Fascist dictators eventually get the Mussolini treatment... we can only hope....

[Image: b85.jpg]
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#16
(2018-07-13, 04:31 PM)poppabyrd Wrote: Does anyone remember when Antifa organized a torchlight rally in Charlotteville?

Jesus CTS, do you not know what side of the political spectrum reactionaries, fascists and Nazis are found?   Please, get a gently used social studies textbook.

Laugh
" I don't drink these days. I am allergic to alcohol and narcotics. I break out in handcuffs "
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#17
(2018-07-13, 04:09 PM)CTS Wrote: How ironic the Left is discussing facism & oppression

   

LMAO!
George Soros? Really? Paying Antifa and the DNC to commit violence at meetings?

You really have gone full over the deep end conspiracy theorist whacko. 

That is some full on Alex Jones, Clintons are lizard aliens, crazy man. Laugh
" I don't drink these days. I am allergic to alcohol and narcotics. I break out in handcuffs "
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#18
(2018-07-13, 04:09 PM)CTS Wrote: How ironic the Left is discussing facism & oppression

Without Google, can you describe what the following are:

Brown Shirts

MoveOn

DNC

George Soros

Antifa
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#19
What do you call it when someone equates:
- in a position of power
- actively oppressing entire groups through legislation (based on identity)
- silencing and discrediting the free media
- de-legitimizing impartial legal institutions
- using the state apparatus to silence, decry, disenfranchise its own citizens

with...

- Jews during the Holocaust

That's disgusting and shameful.
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#20
What do you get when you combine a leftist with a Drama Critic?
Why a article entitled Trial runs for fascism are in full flow, of course!

I mean pretty dramatic, even for a leftist.
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