Monday, January 2, 2017

Bill Ayers on "Let's Talk Fascism" - and a Happy New Year to You

Anyone want to do a pool on guessing the date when we can declare we have entered a state of fascism? The winner gets an exit visa to Canada.
fascism is not necessarily the result of a coup or a military putsch, and in fact the most notorious fascist regime in history came to power through a legal and democratic process. It’s long been said that if fascism ever came to America it would come with a familiar face wrapped in an American flag... William Ayers on FB
We need to keep in mind the early warning signs of encroaching fascism because it doesn't all hit in one felt swoop.

I was involved in the debate on Diane Ravitch's blog over Putin and fascism  - there are over 60 comments -- https://dianeravitch.net/2016/12/31/trump-loves-putin/. I was accused of defending Putin when in fact I was trying to explain him and put his actions in context of the kinds of things we have been doing to interfere since the Mexican-American war - actually back to the Monroe Doctrine almost 200 years ago. I get that people want to condemn Putin and ignore the Obama drones - and maybe we are going to live in a world of spheres of influence. Are we still going to police the world under Trump, a policy in existence by both parties since 1945? Both Bernie and Trump touched in this though I expect the Rep Party will reign him in and his natural aggressiveness personally won't let him back down or try to find a more nuanced policy like Obama attempted to do. Among the biggest attacks on Obama by the right was that he was a wimp. I'll get back to the Putin/Trump story another time but do read the recently posted -

Matt Taibbi -- Something About This Russia Story Stinks - Rolling Stone

But I digress - back to fascism by Bill Ayers -- yes that Bill Ayers. Not the similarities to what is going on at this time. And we need to explore at some point the role unions played  in the past - state sponsored unions - and does anyone think our own beloved national union won't play along?
Let’s talk about fascism.
Seriously.
I know, I know: the word has become an electrifying political pejorative, stripped of substance, and further, it’s so historically freighted and so overused and misused that the word can seem wildly inappropriate if one hopes to speak plainly. But “fascism” does have a precise meaning beyond the optics of swastikas and jack-booted SS men. Fascism is not consigned to a particular place or a specific moment—Europe in the mid-Twentieth Century, for example; fascism is not necessarily the result of a coup or a military putsch, and in fact the most notorious fascist regime in history came to power through a legal and democratic process. It’s long been said that if fascism ever came to America it would come with a familiar face wrapped in an American flag. YIPES!

So, yes, let’s talk about fascism.
Simply put, fascism is a right-wing form of government that opposes liberal democracy, Marxism, socialism, and anarchism, and attempts to forge national unity under an autocratic leader with a totalitarian program advocating stability, law and order, and more and more centralized power, claiming all of this is necessary in order to defend the homeland, and to respond effectively to economic instability. Fascist states attempt to mobilize a mass base through deliberately constructed fear and hatred as they prepare for armed conflict and permanent war by appealing to patriotic nationalism and militarizing all aspects of society.
Fascists agitate “popular” movements in the streets, apparently spontaneous but in reality well funded and highly organized, based on bigotry, intolerance, and the threat of violence, all of it fueled by the demonization of targeted, distinct racial, religious, or gendered vulnerable populations and the creation of convenient sacrificial scapegoats who are repeatedly blamed for every social or economic problem people experience. Fascist regimes promote disdain for the arts, for intellectual life, for reason and evidence, as well as deep contempt for the necessary back and forth of serious argument or discussion. And fascist states favor protectionist and interventionist economic policies as they entangle corporations with the state.
That’s fascism.

6 comments:

  1. The most fascist organization that I've experienced is the UFT. As a long time forced member of the UFT, it doesn't take a genius to figure out Trump or what's coming. The teachers that voted for him and hate the UFT are mentally ill (no offense to the mentally ill) and stupid - but Mulgrew doesn't want to offend them?

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  2. Trump's cabinet picks seem pretty rational and decidedly non-fascist - even though I disagree with almost all of them (I prefer liberal democrats).

    I was very disappointed in Obama's domestic actions (except the affordable care act), thought he stirred up racial animus, and viewed his foreign policy as a disaster (even before he shivved Israel). If Trump can improve even one of those categories I'd be pleasantly surprised.

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  3. And Republicans have already fired the first shots with their move against the House Ethics Committee. Personally I think we are heading towards a slightly new spin on Facism. We will get one party facism to start with as Republicans strategically alter everything they can to ensure their continued power. This will benefit Trump, but the Republican power players are thinking bigger and well beyond Trump. They will move the chess pieces into place for the next figure head they wish to place at the top.

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    1. Now that Trump killed the move against the House Ethics Committee can we say a good thing about him or is this some sort of a super-clever and diabolical move on his part?

      And how powerful can the Republican power players be if they lost to Trump in the primary? And again on this ethics notion?

      There are scheming and actually powerful power players in one of the parties, but it is not the Republican party. See Wikileaks for proof of Democratic power players. And just ask Bernie.

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  4. Good smart political move on trumps part. Remember that the rep leadership was against what they did so he lines up with them on this. When I hear people say he is dumb I laugh. Maybe ignorant but not dumb.

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