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Wed Apr 18, 2018, 10:07 AM

How close is the US to fascism?

Every so often I look up the aspects of a fascist country to see how many we have. No one agrees on all the attributes but here are some...

Militaristic
Well, we are not there yet. Trump does not wear a uniform, probably because he is too bigly to fit into one. He did want a big Hitler style parade, though.

Reject Liberal Democracy
Bingo on this one. The Repukes are doing anything they can to keep biased elections and nullify votes of the opposition.

Totalitarian
Trump would be if he could. He certainly does use executive orders more than any president in my memory. He rejects any balance of power.

Control of Media
Bingo again. Trump uses Fox, Sinclair, and the National Enquirer (!) to bolster his power, and denigrates any other news sources. I never thought that the National Enquirer would be like a US version of Pravda, but there you go....

National Rebirth Myth
Straight from the Nazi playbook, the idea that we were once a pure great nation, and have become weakened and polluted by outsiders. The demonizing of Hispanics and “Make America Great Again” correspond exactly to the scapegoating of Jews and use of Nazi slogans, though with Hispanics being a much higher percentage of the US than Jews ever were of Germany (only a percent or two IIRC), I don’t think we will see Hispanic concentration camps.




So how close are we?Did the Republicans miscalculate by allowing mid term elections this fall that will be too honest? I hope so. I check the weather in Mexico every morning. I don’t want to stay here too long and not be able to leave, physically or financially. One executive order could make it impossible to collect a pension or social security outside the US.

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Response to Orange Free State (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 10:08 AM

1. Just a few small steps - or one large national emergency - away.

 

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Response to Orange Free State (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 10:11 AM

2. Government and institutions are flirting with it way too much

I'm not going to criticize anyone who says there may already be a fascist element to it.

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Response to Orange Free State (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 10:12 AM

3. I think on a scale of 1-10, 10 being Nazi Germany circa 1939, we are at a 7

You are exactly right on the National Rebirth Myth. Hard to have a truly repressive fascist state with out a scapegoat.

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Response to Va Lefty (Reply #3)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 10:18 AM

4. The scary thing is there are so many to choose from watching the far right's rhetoric

George Soros could easily become some sort of Goldstein style character and everyone and everything that is involved with him or perceived to be involved with him could become "the enemy".

Muslim Americans.

GLBTQ Americans. Transphobia has taken a real sharp and disturbing turn as of late.

Minorities, people who are a part of black lives matter.

A vague "deep state".

Immigrants... refugees.

College educated people.

And of course, liberals.

I agree with you that it is about a 7, I think though that if they focused on just one scapegoat, organized all their paranoia around that one group, it would elevate to 10 outright.

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Response to ck4829 (Reply #4)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 10:39 AM

7. And the GOP also has their own state run TV.

The hallmark of any rising dictatorship. Which has taken shape in the form of Fox News and Sinclair Broadcasting. What's truly scary is that Fox News is talking to Trump directly. Because they know he has it on 24/7.

If you want to see what the next phase of this could be like, look no further than Italy. Putin's about to strike in that country and is feeding it trash from his troll army. There's a huge increase in white supremacism and racism in that country that almost mirror what's going on here, but amplify it 100 fold. If Italy elects a Putin puppet it could have a ripple effect throughout Europe. It's getting scary out there. And I feel like as long as Putin is around we'll never see world peace.

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Response to Orange Free State (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 10:27 AM

5. We're not there yet. Give it a generation or two.

The fact that our young generation (17 - 25 year olds) are turning out to be a bunch of isolated, Hitler worshipping racists with a cult like mentality is absolutely mind blowing. They're just old enough to vote and figuring out how the world works. When they're old enough to run for office, that is when the proverbial shit will hit the fan. I want to believe that this is just a phase but knowing how their parents turned out I doubt it. If we think things are bad now I would expect them to get worse.

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Response to Orange Free State (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 10:29 AM

6. Mitch McConnell says SOON.

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Response to Orange Free State (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 10:52 AM

8. I don't think we're appreciably closer than before Trump

 

Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson all signed more executive orders in the early days of their presidencies, and Carter almost as many. None of those four were totaliarians.

Lots of presidents or those running for president talk about rebirth or needing a national change. Obama with Hope and Change, the Sanders campaign, Bill Clinton. Basically unless you are running as an extension of a previous administration Bush I and Hillary Clinton for two examples, your campaign will likely be we need a change to go back to more halcyon days (that were often less good than remembered).

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Response to Orange Free State (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 11:07 AM

9. Actually remarkably close.

Here are The 14 Characteristics of Fascism, as readily available just by googling:

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, 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. Opposition to abortion is high, as is homophobia and anti-gay legislation and national policy.

6. Controlled Mass Media
Sometimes to 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 is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts.

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 forego 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.



Every single one of those characteristics is on view in this country today. We are not a generation or two away. We are already there, but most people don't realize it.

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