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Sat Feb 4, 2017, 11:42 PM

Is the US becoming fascist under Trump? - My Response on Quora

Edit: Please note that my response doesn't deal with the original question; only to a response to the question dealing with the (false) premise that the two political sides operate on the same foundation in reality.

The Original Question:

Is the US becoming fascist under Trump?

I'll provide my response first, and the post replied to, second.

My Response:

It’s impossible to not be biased when offering a political opinion, so with due respect, please indulge me as I try to remain impartial.

I’m having difficulty accepting your premise, which seems to indicate that both sides exists as absolutes, and more importantly, that both sides are on equal footing when it comes to objective facts and reality.

First, there may be a great political divide in this country - I do not contest that, however, the divide may not be as clear as you imply. I think it may be pretty hard to discern as you approach the middle of the continuum. However, that being said, empirically, it appears that the Left side of the continuum seems to accept facts and reality more than the Right side. It seems to me, again through observation, that the Right seems to have an aversion to events and information. Whether or not the Left has acceptable or agreeable policies and solutions to the objective facts they are dealing with is not the issue here (of course, I believe they do, but it is immaterial to this conversation). It is my opinion, from observation, that the Right tends more towards deception, or outright denial of the facts and information provided. Sometimes, they will invent facts out of thin air. They seem to not care about the objective universe around them, because it doesn’t fit with their ideology or policy prescriptions. They are more comfortable, when an issue is at odds with their views, just simply to dismiss them and offer “alternative facts,” which of course, to any reasonable and objective person, is an oxymoron. The term “alternative facts” is self-contradictory. You can not have a fact and alternative fact. That may exists in Quantum Theory, but it does not exist as a phenomenon in the macro world.

It just doesn’t appear to me that the Right is more accepting of a science-based ideology. The more that they have to justify their policies and actions by deception, or even just inventing things out of whole-cloth (the Bowling Green Massacre that never existed is a great example), the more they appear to be dogmatic. I’m not saying that the Left is incapable of being dogmatic, but I think the Right is definitely susceptible to it simply because their foundation exists on deception and alternative facts.

It is simply amazing to me that when discussing the political divide in this country, that it’s automatically assumed, even axiomatic, that the two sides’ political and social foundations are on equal footing in terms of reality. By observation, that is just not true. The Left, at least policy-wise, tends to conform to the objective information given to them. The Right tends to stick with ideology when it comes to policy and decision making, which may or may not align with the facts given to them. They’re not interested in modifying their policies to align with the objective reality around them, but are ready to modify reality to conform to their policy, which is rigidly tied to their overall ideology.

If we’re going to find solutions to the problems this country faces, and if we are going to progress in a world filled with nations who are more grounded in science-based solutions, then we are going to have to deal with the elephant in the room. The Right is not interested in progress or solutions. It’s raison d'ętre is simply to gain power and maintain power for an exclusive group of people, science and empirical facts be damned. The Religious Right, the far-right (white supremacists), and the rural working class (all three categories can overlap), will not get what they paid for, unless they fall within that aforementioned exclusive group. Any policies that happen to be enacted that are agreeable to them, is not by design, but simply an unintentional byproduct of the overall agenda to gain and maintain power.

I have tried to provide as impartial a response as I could - believe me, I could have been far less kind regarding my opinion of the Right, but the degree of my opinion is not pertinent to my argument.



Response Replied To:

Trump is in power because of a great and growing division in America, a symptom at best of something far more ominous—a deepening social/political war in US society.

What has emerged, is what political writers have termed the great “digital-divide.”[1] [2] [3]Nowadays every citizen has full access to media tools like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and can potentially communicate for free, to anyone else on the planet.

But with no echo, your views are lost.

The Internet now drowns-out the voice of anyone who either lacks celebrity already, or who expresses mixed views on one or several powerful political and social issues.
To stay afloat, individuals , and even news outlets, must stick to specific agendas that mirror and affirm the social/political beliefs of their core base of “friends,” or viewers.
No longer is it profitable to give genuine time to opposing viewpoints on climate-change, LBGQT rights, women’s health, immigration, terrorism, international trade or any other political hot potatos.
The most popular news sources now have the most opinionated news, ie., eg. FOX and Breitbart, vs CNN and The New York Times.
What would happen:
to Bill O’Reilly’s ratings, were he, in his “talking points,” to “point” out the baseless fear-mongering among those who rail against open borders?
or

to Anderson Cooper’s ratings were he to give an exclusive interview to conservative pundit Milo Yiannopolous?

Like bad electronic feedback loops in a poorly tuned radio oscillator circuit, only a few powerful “signal” patterns emerge in this otherwise noisy overpopulated system.

For America, it’s the…
Progressives who hate Trump, the “wild-card” president.
vs

Conservatives who consider Trump to be the “law & order” president.
This is not a partisan rant, so please do not respond in support of your “side.”

Instead try this little Twitter experiment done by a friend of mine:

Make two separate profiles on Twitter.
On one, tweet “what an A-hole President Trump is.”
On the second, tweet “how great President Trump is.”
Your starting feeds will be very different, but don’t stop there…

For each profile, click every suggested “follow” profile that comes up.
The two feeds you get will start to eerily resemble descriptions of life on two separate planets from different galaxies.

Each feed will have tweets that link to “solid news.”

Go to the those linked news and “information” websites from each feed, but
FIRST start with the Twitter profile you created that annoys you the most. Scan over some of the links. Notice how you feel.
THEN scan the links to views from the Twitter profile that has views you prefer. How does your feeling change? Perhaps a sigh of relief like you’re happy that there ARE some rational people in this world?
Fascist leaders seize power from hate and demonization of one or another political, social or religious group. This is a very vulnerable time for the United States.

Footnotes
[1] The Real Digital Divide Afflicting American Politics - BillMoyers.com
[2] The Internet and Social Media Are Increasingly Divisive and Undermining of Democracy
[3] US election 2016: Divided nation split into 'alien tribes' - BBC News

6 replies, 2437 views

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Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
Reply Is the US becoming fascist under Trump? - My Response on Quora (Original post)
Fantastic Anarchist Feb 2017 OP
HassleCat Feb 2017 #1
Fantastic Anarchist Feb 2017 #6
onecaliberal Feb 2017 #2
Fantastic Anarchist Feb 2017 #3
onecaliberal Feb 2017 #4
Fantastic Anarchist Feb 2017 #5

Response to Fantastic Anarchist (Original post)

Sat Feb 4, 2017, 11:54 PM

1. Elements of fascism from past movements.

 

The government uses its power to help large businesses consolidate their power and insulate themselves from accountability. At the same time, the government mounts a massive propaganda operation to convince the people they are threatened by people and things they don't understand, usually dark conspiracies by religious or ethnic minorities. It's also a nice touch to promote the idea that a popular movement can bring back lost morality and patriotism from a former time. If you know anything of the German and Italian fascist movements, this sounds familiar to you. And you can see parallels with what's happening right here in the US.

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Response to HassleCat (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 9, 2017, 02:22 PM

6. Exactly right!

I'm sorry for the late reply, but you're spot on. The goal is complete merger of corporate and government interests into one huge bureaucracy.

Classical fascism, Italian and German, though different from each other (Germany was all over the place), always results in absolute government power with business interests serving the government, but benefiting business.

Neo-fascism is the reverse. Using government to gain absolute corporate power.

Mussolini, Hitler, and Stalin (Lenin initiated) all failed in their quest. Even though they had different structures and methods, the tools were the same; oppression of minorities and resistance movements, and government sponsored terror (Black Shirts, Gestapo, KGB). The authoritarian reactionaries realized that a more way to power was to spread tentacles via business associations with governmental institutions, showing the masses all the pretty things to look at; reality tv, become famous, live the luxurious life, the Huxley method, while underneath, destroying minorities, sowing fear and terror, crushing opposition movements, and controlling media with their message, the Orwell method. The goal is complete and absolute corporate control.

And we still want to play nice?

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Response to Fantastic Anarchist (Original post)

Sun Feb 5, 2017, 12:27 AM

2. The reponse makes no sense and you made the point, the right denies reality and fact.

So it doesn't matter what their twitter feed posts because it's ALL complete bullshit. You can't say that about the left. We deal with facts and reality and science.

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Response to onecaliberal (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 5, 2017, 12:48 AM

3. Exactly ...

... I wanted to try to be as impartial as possible, but it's quite challenging if you're willing to reject the premise of both sides being equal. This is not the case. Sure, the Left may have it's faults policy-wise, but it's at least based on reality. The Right is more concerned with ideology and focusing on the interests of the uber-wealthy. It's impossible to deal with reality and cater to the one percent at the same time. The reality of the vast majority of the people in this world is significantly different than the reality of the one percent.

So, the Right, in order to cater to this small, exclusive group, has to work to modify reality (at least those of the vast majority of people on this planet) to conform with their policies.

The Left, in dealing with 99 percent of people in this world, doesn't have that issue. They do have to conform their policies to existing and fluid situations (we don't live in a static world), and sometimes they get the policy wrong - but it's at least grounded in reality.

So, I wasn't dealing with the original question, only to the response. I'm interested in framing the debate on the absolute fundamental difference of the "political divide." That difference rests on which side deals with reality, and which side doesn't. I'm shocked that the equality of the two sides (that they're on equal footing foundationally) is axiomatic. It is not. We must first deal with the fundamental issue before we can attempt to bridge the divide. Everyone will have disagreements, but if you say that Bigfoot exists, you better have evidence of its existence before we even start to debate what we should do with it.

In essence, not all arguments or opinions are equal. And some are so absurd that we really shouldn't waste time dealing with it.

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Response to Fantastic Anarchist (Reply #3)

Sun Feb 5, 2017, 12:59 AM

4. This sums it up nicely.

"In essence, not all arguments or opinions are equal. And some are so absurd that we really shouldn't waste time dealing with it"

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Response to onecaliberal (Reply #4)

Sun Feb 5, 2017, 01:12 AM

5. And yet we do ...

... because the Right is so reactionary. It's a bigger problem than we think. We don't even deal with it. The Media doesn't touch it, and of course, the Government doesn't give it priority at all (Left or Right). In fact, the supposed axiom is so discreet, that we don't even know it exists.

It's quite tragic.

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