‘How Fascism Works’ Review: An Essential Read For A Nation Under Trump


By Tom McCarthy
The Guardian (10/15/18)

One of the insidious ironies of fascist politics, the philosopher Jason Stanley writes in his arresting new book, is that talk of fascism itself becomes more difficult because it is made to seem outlandish.

The normalization of the fascist myth “makes us able to tolerate what was once intolerable by making it seem as if this is the way things have always been”, Stanley writes. “By contrast the word ‘fascist’ has acquired a feeling of the extreme, like crying wolf.”

“My family background has saddled me with difficult emotional baggage, but it also, crucially, prepared me to write this book.”

The assertion that immigrants are responsible for social ills that threaten to ruin a once-great nation, for example, might represent run-of-the-mill racism or xenophobia. His book’s subtitle is after all “The Politics of Us and Them”. But the idea is also drawn from a blueprint shared by the most robust fascistic regimes in recent history.

Using the ‘F’ word

Does such an assertion, then, deserve to be called “fascist” or not? Is it responsible to use the word or is doing so inflammatory? Does diagnosing fascism help beat it?

The young presidency of Donald Trump has produced an impressive new popular literature on fascism, from Cass Sunstein’s Can it Happen Here? to Madeleine Albright’s Fascism: A Warning, to Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt’s How Democracies Die.

Any reader for whom that previous sentence anticipates a debate – honestly, do Trump’s offences of pettiness and corruption warrant such historico-political alarm? – might do well to open Stanley, who reassures us that it is OK to use the F-word, even when applied to regimes that do not appear to seek to mobilize populations for world domination.

Fascist politics – which evoke a mythic past, which rely on a sense of unreality and victimhood, and which use the cloak of “law and order” to hide corruption and attack scapegoats – can be used to flexible ends, writes Stanley, a professor of philosophy at Yale whose previous book was an analysis of propaganda. …

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  • Trump’s “Pocahontas” Troll Is Part Of His Terrifying Obsession With Race, Genetics & Eugenics — After years of Donald Trump taunting Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., with the racist nickname “Pocahontas” and suggesting, falsely, that she used her family’s claim to have Native American ancestry for a leg up in her law career, the truth is now out: Warren, as her family has long believed, is partly of Native ancestry. A DNA test, analyzed by a Stanford scientist prominent in the field, confirms not just this fact but the Warren family’s timeline, which traced their Native ancestor back to the 1700s. Now this largely irrelevant question — once again, Warren never used her claim to Native ancestry to influence her career trajectory — should be settled. Maybe the mainstream media can turn its attention to the more important and more interesting story, which is why Trump is so obsessed with this question of Warren’s ancestry in the first place. An overwhelming amount of public information suggests that Trump has an unhealthy obsession with questions of bloodlines, ethnic heritage and genetics. Worse yet, his understanding of these issues appears to be filtered through the lens of eugenics, a pseudo-science with an unsavory history that looks even more troubling in light of Trump’s overt and well-documented racism. This isn’t even the first time Trump has become fixated on the question of the racial heritage of a major Democratic politician. … Read the Rest


Here’s a time-tested way to defeat authoritarianism, and we may need to use it sooner than we think.

Link to 3-Minute Video


Proud Boys Fascist Street Gang Had A Weekend Of Coast-To-Coast Violence

By Andy Campbell
The HuffPost (10/15/18)

For one weekend, a violent misogynistic and homophobic street gang of proto-fascists ran amok on the East Coast and West Coast, seeking out and then assaulting protesters in Portland, Oregon, and New York City.

The Proud Boys ― a pro-Trump fraternity known for acts of violence ― started their outburst of violence on Friday night, immediately after members left an event headlined by their leader, Vice co-founder Gavin McInnes, at the Metropolitan Republican Club, the GOP’s headquarters in New York City.

“Why would the Republican Party at their main club invite the Proud Boys?”

Footage shot by video journalist Sandi Bachom shows a group of Proud Boys setting upon three anti-fascist protesters on a street on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, then beating them on the ground while screaming homophobic slurs.

“Do you feel brave now, faggot?” one of the attackers yelled, according to two journalists on the scene. Another video shows multiple attackers yelling “faggot.”

McInnes was present after the assault, waving a sword. He had billed his New York appearance as a celebration of the anniversary of a Japanese ultranationalist who assassinated the head of the Japanese Socialist Party with a sword on Oct. 12, 1960. …

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REVEALED: Portland Right-Wingers Had Snipers Positioned With A Cache Of Weapons Before Recent Portland Protest

By Noor Al-Sibai
The Raw Story (10/15/18)

Members of the right-wing Patriot Prayer group stowed a cache of loaded firearms at the top of a parking garage downtown Portland above an August rally.

The Portland Mercury reported that police revealed in a Monday night press conference that they found and seized the firearms ahead of the group’s August 4 rally and “redirected” the group members. No arrests were made and police noted that the members had concealed carry permits. …

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‘We will kill you’: Viral Video Appears To Show Proud Boys Founder Calling For Trump Supporters To Commit Violence

“Get ready to blow someone’s fucking head off.”

By David Badash
The New Civil Rights Movement (10/17/18)

A video that appears to show far right extremist Gavin McInnes calling for violence has gone viral overnight with over 185,000 views on Twitter in just 15 hours.

In the video compilation (below), McInnes can be heard describing the men’s group he founded, Proud Boys, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated as a hate group.

“I started this gang called the Proud Boys,” McInnes says in the beginning of the video.

“We will kill you,” he says in the next segment of the edited video. “That’s the Proud Boys in a nutshell.”

To be clear, McInnes appears to make some, but possibly not all, of the statements below. It is unclear, due to the video’s editing, if McInnes or someone else is making some of the statements. The video was posted to Twitter by Vic Berger, whose website says he is a video editor. (NCRM has reached out to Berger for clarification.)

McInnes is known as the co-founder of VICE Media, and now has a talk show on CRTV. He is also a Fox News guest.

Here are a few excerpts:

“Like Bill the Butcher and the Bowery Boys, we will assassinate you.”

“If you’re wearing a MAGA hat and some guy with a slightly punk demeanor says, ‘Hey, are you … pro-Trump?’ choke him. Trust your instincts.”

“Don’t listen to what he has to say, choke him.”

“Can you call for violence generally? ‘Cause I am.”

“Fighting solves everything. We need more violence from the Trump people.”

“Trump supporters: Choke a motherfucker. Choke a bitch. Choke a tranny. Get your fingers around the windpipe.” (Better clip of this statement here.

“Get a fucking gun.”

“Get ready to blow someone’s fucking head off.”

“Get in trouble. Get arrested. Get fired. They can’t kill us all.”

Link to Story and 2+-Minute Video