American Fascism

Rethuglicans Follow An Old Model: Fear, Anger & Simple (Minded) Slogans

“All propaganda should be popular and should adapt it intellectual level to the receptive ability of the least intellectual of those whom it is desired to address. Thus it must sink its mental elevation deeper in proportion to the numbers of the mass who i has to grip. …The receptivity ability of the masses is very limited, and their understanding small; on the other hand, they have a great power of forgetting. This being so, all effective propaganda must be confined to very few points which must be brought out in the form of slogans.” — Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf…

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The GOP’s Systematic Plot To Destroy Any Remaining Scraps Of Democracy Is Rapidly Clicking Into Place

  By Sonali Kolhatkar Truthdig (12/6/18) The Republican Party has once more demonstrated that it has no respect for democracy and is determined to hold on to power by any means necessary. GOP state lawmakers in Wisconsin this week engaged in a brazen power grab in the form of bills that were introduced, debated and voted on with breathtaking speed in order to cripple the decision-making powers of Gov.-elect Tony Evers and Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul. Legislators called a special session late last Friday, and then, as protesters marched and rallied outside the state Capitol building, the politicians debated in a closed-door session….


COUP! Unable To Even Name The Foe, Wisconsin Dems Flap Hankies & Rattle Teacups At Fascist Onslaught Against State Govt.

A brass knuckle legislative coup. By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (12/6/18) What has happened in Madison this week with the hard right Republican legislature preemptively kneecapping the administration of Democrat Governor-elect Tony Evers and Attorney General-elect Josh Kraul before they even have a chance to take the oath of office is a brass knuckle legislative coup. While it is shocking the republicans would take such action it is not surprising; after all, that is what fascists do; abandon legal niceties, tradition and the normal transition of power. All those vestiges of democracy are as dead to the GOP…


Author Jason Stanley Explains “How Fascism Works”

  “In a healthy liberal democracy, language is a tool of information. The goal of fascist propaganda is not merely to mock and sneer at robust and complex public debate about policy; it is to eliminate its possibility.” — Jason Stanley, “How Fascism Works: The Politics Of Us And Them”, 2018. (p.54) Politics and Prose (9/25/18) Jason Stanley discusses his book, “How Fascism Works”, at Politics and Prose. In this clear and direct primer, Stanley, the award-winning author of How Propaganda Works, draws on a wide range of history, philosophy, sociology, and critical race theory to define fascism, explain its…


After Briefing With CIA Chief Republicans Agree: Yeah, Saudi Crown Prince Definitely Had Jamal Khashoggi Killed

“There’s not a smoking gun, there’s a smoking saw.” By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (12/4/18) Reasonable observers and analysts concluded weeks ago that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the gruesome killing of Washington Post journalist and U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi. Though it took them far longer than most, a small group of Republicans finally fell in line with this widespread consensus after a secretive briefing by CIA chief Gina Haspel on Tuesday, admitting that all the available evidence suggests MBS orchestrated the murder that has sparked international outrage and brought America’s longstanding military relationship with the brutal kingdom under sharp scrutiny. “There’s not a…


America’s Forgotten Dark History Of Organized Anti-Semitism Re-emerges In Today’s Far-right Groups

Mass rally of 20,000 American Nazis at Madison Square Garden in 1939. Orgnizer Fritz Kuhn declared that if George Washington had still been alive, he would be a Nazi. This aspect of history is rarely found in textbooks. By Bradley W. Hart The Conversation (11/29/18) Hours after Robert Bowers allegedly walked into a Pittsburgh synagogue and killed 11 people, investigators told the media that Bowers appeared to have acted alone and fit what experts call the “lone mass shooter profile.” Weeks later, FBI agents arrested a Washington D.C. man who followed Bowers on social media. He had told relatives he wanted…


The Fate Of Julian Assange & The Free Press: No Matter What You Think Of Wikileaks, The Risk To All Journalists Is Real

“A really dangerous moment.” On Contact With Chris Hedges RT (11/26/18) Chris Hedges and Joe Lauria, journalist and editor-in-chief, Consortium News, discuss efforts to force #WikiLeaks publisher, #JulianAssange, out of the Ecuador Embassy in London and extradite him to the USA to stand trial. Link to 28-Minute Video Manafort Held Multiple Secret Talks With Assange In Ecuadorian Embassy, Sources Say — Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort held secret talks with Julian Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and visited around the time he joined Trump’s campaign, the Guardian has been told. Sources have said Manafort went to see Assange in 2013, 2015 and…


Tragedy & The Promise: The History Behind American Asylum

  The Daily / The New York Times (11/27/18) As large groups of Central American migrants approach the U.S. border, the Trump administration is making it more difficult for them to apply for asylum. Is the president undermining the original concept of asylum, or is he restoring it? On today’s episode: Caitlin Dickerson, who covers immigration for The New York Times. Background reading: The temporary closing of a border crossing in Southern California became a confrontation between Central American migrants trying to enter the United States and the American and Mexican governments trying to hold them back. The discord stems, in part,…


Why? The FBI Is Massively Undercounting Hate Crimes

  Southern Poverty Law Center (11/16/18) Mulugeta Seraw was standing on a corner in Portland, Oregon, when they spotted him. It was 1988, and he was a college student from Ethiopia. His friends had dropped him off in front of his apartment, and he was standing next to their car, talking, when a group of racist skinheads affiliated with a neo-Nazi group descended. As one attacker smashed the car’s taillight and a window with a baseball bat, another punched Seraw. When his friends tried to intervene, the skinheads attacked them too, beating the black men with their fists, baseball bats…


Trump’s Gestapo: Thuggish ICE Agents Get Violent

A callous and cruel system. By Abbey Zimet Common Dreams (11/23/18) Thanksgiving weekend, but the barbarism of the Trump regime goes on apace. On Friday, plainclothes ICE officers in North Carolina ambushed and arrested Samuel Oliver-Bruno, a 47-year-old undocumented construction worker from Mexico in the U.S. for over 20 years who’s been living in the basement of a sanctuary church for 11 months while he petitions to stay here with his sick wife and teenage son. Oliver-Bruno left Durham’s CityWell United Methodist Church, part of the state’s growing faith-based sanctuary movement, for an alleged meeting with immigration officials, who told him he had to come in person to provide fingerprints for his…


Member Of White Supremacist Group Pleads Guilty To Assaults At 2017 Rally

  “Hell is truth seen too late.” — Thomas Hobbes, 1651. ***** By A.C. Thompson ProPublica (11/21/18) One of the eight members or associates of a violent California white supremacist group arrested on federal riot charges has pleaded guilty to assaulting protesters and others at a political rally in Huntington Beach, California, in 2017. Tyler Laube, 22, pleaded guilty on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in central California to a single count of conspiracy to violate the federal riots act over his role in a March 25, 2017, attack on protesters and others, including a journalist, at a Make America…


Documenting Hate: New American Nazis

  Frontline / ProPublica (11/20/18) In the wake of the deadly anti-Semitic attack at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, FRONTLINE and ProPublica present a new investigation into white supremacist groups in America – in particular, a neo-Nazi group, Atomwaffen Division, that has actively recruited inside the U.S. military. Continuing FRONTLINE and ProPublica’s reporting on violent white supremacists in the U.S. (which has helped lead to multiple arrests), this joint investigation shows the group’s terrorist objectives and how it gained strength after the 2017 Charlottesville rally. [Watch the first documentary in this series, August 2018’s Documenting Hate: Charlottesville, online.] Link to 54-Minute Video…


Nazis Are Gearing Up Secretive Paramilitary Training Across America

One thing stands out: The Base’s posts are largely designed to promote violent action. By Ben Makuch & Mack Lamoureux VICE (11/20/18) A neo-Nazi who goes by the alias Norman Spear has launched a project to unify online fascists and link that vast coalition of individuals into a network training new soldiers for a so-called forthcoming “race war.” Spear, who claims to be an Iraq and Afghan war veteran, is a self-proclaimed white nationalist with a significant online following. His latest act involves bringing neo-Nazis together, regardless of affiliation and ideology, into a militant fascist umbrella organization. His tool for doing this? A social network…


Why America? Gun Culture, Mass Shootings & White Nationalism Share Deep Cultural Roots

  “Capitalism tends to become fascism when it no longer has something to really offer most of the people.” Empire Files (11/12/18) Since October 2017, America experienced three of the deadliest mass shootings in modern history. This epidemic coincides with a frightening resurgence of white nationalism. Sometimes the two trends overlap. But why here? Both phenomena can be explained by a common historical thread—to unravel it Abby Martin sits down with indigenous scholar Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz to discuss her latest book “Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment”. Empire Files is now produced by your donations! Keep us going on…


The Poisoned Soil From Which The Toxic Weeds Of Fascism Creep

“Ever since Plato and Aristotle wrote on the topic, political theorists have known that democracy cannot flourish on soil poisoned by inequality…the resentments bred by such divisions are tempting targets for demagogues…Dramatic inequality poses a mortal danger to the shared reality required for a healthy liberal democracy…[such] inequality breeds delusions that mask reality, undermining the possibility of joint deliberation to solve society’s divisions. (pp.76-77) ***** “Under conditions of stark economic inequality, when the benefits of liberal education, and the exposure to diverse cultures and norms are available only to the wealthy few, liberal tolerance can be smoothly represented as elite…


Chris Hedges: Late Stage Capitalism Is Killing America

“We have to overthrow this system. We have to begin to think in revolutionary terms. These people have to go because we can’t afford to endure much more of their destruction; not only what they are doing to human beings but the ecocide they are carrying out.” Link to 35-Minute Video   ***** Chris Hedges On The Rise Of The Corporate Class & The Call To Resistance Link to 27-Minute Video ***** “The capitalist who does no useful work has the economic power to take from a thousand or ten thousand workingmen all they produce, over and above what is…


Just What Is It We Believe In?

“At some point a great country has to have a great animating principle. And somewhere along the line we mistook materialism for our great animating principle. We’re gonna make so much money, have so many successes – and that isn’t enough, as we know, as human beings. So the way that philosophy or spiritual life got out of our animating principle is interesting. I think [nothing will change] until the country says: ‘Actually, we do believe in a big, moral and ethical principle.’” — Novelist George Saunders, ‘A lot of my extended family are Trump supporters’   *****   “They…


Courageous Groups Of Fact Checkers Defending Online Truth

  The Why Factor / BBC (11/12/18) Fake News – sometimes it’s obvious to spot, other times it requires more thoughtful investigation. That’s a fact checker’s job; dedicated researchers trying to flesh out what is true and what is not in the deluge of information we see every day. In 2015 the International Fact Checking Network was established to give strength to this small but dedicated group. It now has 62 verified signatories. In this episode of the Why Factor on the BBC World Service, Sandra Kanthal speaks with fact checkers from Turkey, the Philippines and Brazil; to find out…


Painting Himself & His Followers As Poor Put-Upon Victims, Trump Wields Old Trick From Fascist Playbook

  By Timothy Snyder The Guardian (10/30/18) he governing principle of the Trump administration is total irresponsibility, a claim of innocence from a position of power, something which happens to be an old fascist trick. As we see in the president’s reactions to American rightwing terrorism, he will always claim victimhood for himself and shift blame to the actual victims. As we see in the motivations of the terrorists themselves, and in the long history of fascism, this maneuver can lead to murder. The Nazis claimed a monopoly on victimhood. Mein Kampf includes a lengthy pout about how Jews and other non-Germans…


On Kristallnacht: A Lesson In What Happens When We Stop Looking Out For One Another

  By Abby Zimet Common Dreams (11/9/18) Today [11/9] marks the 80th Anniversary of Kristallnacht, or Night of Broken Glass, the 1938 pogrom against German Jews that ignited the Holocaust. The night and day of terror – Jews killed, synagogues burned,  business destroyed, over 30,000 Jews arrested and sent to concentration camps – marked a new stage in a Nazi extermination project that began, it’s vital to remember, not with The Final Solution but with slowly escalating hate-infused speech and actions aimed at making life so untenable for Jews they’d feel compelled to emigrate. “I remember my mother standing pale and crying…I remember her phoning…


Why It’s Completely Appropriate To Compare Trump’s America To 1930s Germany

A note to those who think it unfair to compare the Trump White House and the GOP to what happened in Germany 85 years ago. By Michael Winship Common Dreams (10/17/18 On the last full day of two weeks spent in this city, the requisite visit was paid to Checkpoint Charlie, the spot at the Berlin Wall where, from 1961 to 1989, allied forces and other foreigners crossed the uneasy border between East and West Berlin. (Germans had designated checkpoints of their own.) The wall once split this city in two with concrete and barbed wire, dividing people into those…


Things Are Moving Fast Now: With Trump Moving On Mueller & Wisconsin Republicans Looking To Gut Powers Of The Governor It’s Time to Check Where We Are On The Trail To Tyranny

20 Lessons From The 20th Century On How To Survive Trump’s America “Believe in truth. To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle.” By Timothy Snyder (11/21/16) This article first appeared as a post on the author’s Facebook page. Americans are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience. Now is a good time to do so. Here are…


Know Who Hates You: A Short Video Guide To American White Supremacist Fascist Groups

  Think Progress (8/8/18) White supremacists in America are not a unified group, but a loose coalition of hate groups, each fringe and dangerous in their own way. In the year since the deadly violence on display at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., different white nationalist, anti-immigrant, and general hate groups have demonstrated in cities across the country. The Nationalist Socialist Movement, Vanguard America, and League of the South held a “White Lives Matter” rally in Shelbyville, Tenn. in October. In July and again in August, hate groups Patriot Prayer and the Proud Boys clashed with anti-hate…


A Hallmark Of Fascism: Historical Amnesia To Preserve The Illusions Of A Nation’s Mythical Past

“Fascist policies repudiate any dark moments of a nation’s past. In early 2018, the Polish parliament passed a law making it illegal to suggest that Poland bore responsibility for any of the atrocities committed on its soul during the Nazi occupation of Poland, even the well-documented pogroms during this time. According to Radio Poland, “Article 55a, clause 1, of the draft law states that ‘whoever accuses, publicly and against the facts, the Polish nation, or the Polish state of being responsible or complicit in the Nazi crimes committed by the Third German Reich … or other crimes against peace and humanity, or war…


PODCAST: Chris Hedges — On Elections, ‘Christian Fascists’ And The Bipartisan Rot Within The American System

Intercepted (11/7/18) POLITICIANS LOVE TO tell us every election is the “most important of our lifetime.” With Donald Trump in power, it rings true for many voters. This week on Intercepted: Journalist Chris Hedges has spent the past 15 years trying to ring the alarm about the dangers of the U.S. political system and the impact of a corporate and financial coup d’etat that happened long ago. He talks about the growing power of “Christian fascists,” predicts a major financial crash, and offers ideas on how to fight back. In 1923, a year after Mussolini took power in Italy, one radical…


The Real Invasion Our Country Faces Is Not What Trump Incessantly Whines & Rails About

Reality doesn’t matter in the fact-free miasma inside Trump’s putrid pumpkin head – and fear, the most potent of weapons, does. By Abby Zimet Common Dreams (11/1/18) No, not these spent and sweet-faced kids asleep on a floor in God knows where, having trudged for days with their families and thousands of bedraggled others seeking safety and a better life. The invasion is the fascist clown spewing racist loathsome lies about them, most recently in that nauseating, neo-Nazi, George-Wallace-esque, “dog whistle of all dog whistles” nativist political commercial featuring immigrant cop killer Luis Bracomontes who, as the ad shrieks, “killed our people!…Democrats let him in our country!” –…


Trump Will Get Worse: It’s All A Demagogue Can Do To Survive

  By Laura McGann & Stavros Agorakis Vox (11/2/18) President Donald Trump’s closing argument for the 2018 midterm elections represents a dangerous escalation of demagogic rhetoric. If it works, things are only going to get worse. During his presidential campaign, Trump shocked the media and half of the country by declaring Mexicans rapists and outlining an isolationist vision for America. He also covertly sent an “us versus them” message cloaked in the rhetoric of jobs and the economy. “It used to be the cars were made in Flint and you couldn’t drink the water in Mexico. Now the cars are made in…


After Win By Brazilian Fascist Jair Bolsonaro, World’s Capitalists Salivate Over ‘New Investment Opportunities’

  By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (10/29/18) As Brazilian women, the LGBTQ community, workers, and people of color reacted with horror to the election of fascist Jair Bolsonaro to the presidency on Sunday after a campaign dripping in bigotry and militarism, Western corporate interests and the business press could hardly contain their glee over the victory of the hard-right former paratrooper who has promised to further pry open Brazilian markets to foreign investment, slash corporate taxes, and privatize the nation’s public services. While highlighting Bolsonaro’s “homophobic, racist, and misogynist statements,” the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) gushed that his win over Workers’ Party candidate Fernando Haddad “could…


The Pogrom In Pittsburgh: Darkness In America, Light In A Synagogue

  By Josh Healey Common Dreams (10/29/18) CD editor’s note: A version of the following was first composed as a post to Facebook on Saturday, October 27, 2018, in the immediate wake of the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It has been slightly updated and edited for publication here today. I went to synagogue last night. Because it was Friday night, which meant it was Shabbat, which meant my 2-year-old son Ezra was juiced to go to what he calls the “puppet show with funny songs!” Once a month on Friday nights, our local synagogue Kehilla here…


Forewarned — Know Fascist Symbolism: The Number “14”

  Anti-Defamation League “14 Words” is a reference to the most popular white supremacist slogan in the world: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.” The slogan was coined by David Lane, a member of the white supremacist terrorist group known as The Order (Lane died in prison in 2007). The term reflects the primary white supremacist worldview in the late 20th and early 21st centuries: that unless immediate action is taken, the white race is doomed to extinction by an alleged “rising tide of color” purportedly controlled and manipulated by Jews. ADL…


The New Reality: We Are No Longer In The United States

  While the run-up to the midterms has our all out attention the real story begins the morning after the election … no matter who wins. By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (10/29/18) Even in the light of almost two years of Trumpian excess, duplicity and mendacity, the past week of right wing violence was stunning. There was the gunning down of two African American innocents at a suburban Louisville, Kentucky grocery store by a white shooter who had earlier tried to get into a nearby predominantly African American church and told a white witness, “Don’t shoot me. I…


How Far Right Extremists Troll For Assassins

  [Editor’s Note: This is an excellent article on how right wing fear-mongering dog whistling brings out the rabid attack dogs. — Mark L. Taylor] By Stephen Singular Who.What.Why. (10/27/18) As the pipe bombs started arriving at the addresses of prominent Americans during the week of October 22, setting off panic in the streets of New York and beyond, I couldn’t help thinking that all of this was so… predictable. For more than three decades, I’d been writing about terrorism and terrorists and was often struck by how the people who actually carried out the violence were usually taking their…


Understanding Fascism: Authoritarians Like Trump Always Target Trans People For A Reason — To Consolidate Power

  By Mischa Haider The Guardian (10/22/18) Attacking transgender people – especially transgender women – has become a favorite strategy for authoritarians, and Trump is no exception. On Sunday, the New York Times reported that the Trump administration is attempting to narrow gender identity to the one assigned at birth – thereby denying transgender people their place in society. This is a deliberate attempt to deploy tried and tested transphobic messaging to rile up his voter base ahead of the midterm elections. Trump wants to rally conservatives while engaging in attacking a marginalized group that it is still socially acceptable to…


‘Mother Jones’ Podcast: Atonement — Conservative Luminary Max Boots Calls For A Clean Start: “We Need To Destroy The Republican Party”

Max Boot says the GOP is racist, the Iraq War was wrong, and Trumpism is a cancer. Mother Jones (Nov./Dec/ 2018) In his new book, The Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I Left the Right, Max Boot goes further than the handful of other prominent Republicans who have stood against Donald Trump and reconsiders the conservative movement writ large. He sat down to discuss his epiphany with Washington bureau chief David Corn for the Mother Jones Podcast. This is an edited and condensed transcript of that conversation. Link to 21-Minute Audio


John Whitehead: Creating The Suspect Society: The Growing Abuse Of Our Technological Police State

The FBI and Justice Department have conspired to acquire near-limitless power and control over biometric information collected on law-abiding individuals, millions of whom have never been accused of a crime.  By John  Whitehead The Rutherford Institute (10/2/18) “If, as it seems, we are in the process of becoming a totalitarian society in which the state apparatus is all-powerful, the ethics most important for the survival of the true, free, human individual would be: cheat, lie, evade, fake it, be elsewhere, forge documents, build improved electronic gadgets in your garage that’ll outwit the gadgets used by the authorities.”—Philip K. Dick It’s a…


‘A Moment To Remember’ — When The US Abandoned Any Pretense Of Democracy For The Love Of ‘Our S.O.B.s”

“In December 1954, the NSC [National security Council] met in the White House to stake out a strategy that could tame the powerful nationalist forces of change sweeping the globe. Across Asia and Africa, a half-dozen European empires that had guaranteed global order for more than a century were giving way to new nation, many — as Washington saw it — susceptible to “communist subversion.” In Latin America , there were stirrings of leftist opposition to the region’s growing urban poverty and rural landlessness. To make it “absolutely clear we will not tolerate Communism anywhere in the Western Hemisphere.”influential Secretary…


Historian Christopher Browning On The Trump Regime: We’re “close to the point of no return”

Scholar of the Nazi period explains why fake news may be a more powerful authoritarian tool than secret police. By Chauncey Devega Salon (10/18/18) History can teach us many lessons about Donald Trump and his rise to power. As shown by his deeds, words and policies, Trump is an authoritarian and a demagogue who has, so far, been restrained by America’s weakened democratic institutions and norms. Trump has repeatedly shown contempt for America’s cosmopolitan, pluralistic multiracial democracy. He and his supporters would smash that order and a create a new one based upon white racial authoritarianism (as well as naked plutocracy)…


American Police State Update: Undercover Cops Are Creating Fake Facebook Accounts To Track Protesters

  By Jon Schuppe NBC News (10/5/18) In the summer of 2015, as Memphis exploded with protests over the police killing of a 19-year-old man, activists began hearing on Facebook from someone called Bob Smith. The name was generic, and so was his profile picture: a Guy Fawkes mask, the symbol of anti-government dissent. Smith acted as if he supported the protesters, and, slowly, they let him into their online community. Over the next three years, dozens of them accepted his friend requests, allowing him to observe private discussions over marches, rallies and demonstrations. In public postings and private messages he…


‘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…


Hundreds Of Migrant Children Are Being Held At Remote, Substandard Desert Tent Camp

  The government announced its plan to withdraw from a court settlement that requires youth shelters to meet minimum safety standards. By Angelina Chapin The HuffPost (10/2/18) Over the past two weeks, hundreds of migrant children have been sent to a tent city in Tornillo, Texas, according to The New York Times, in what experts are calling a humanitarian crisis of the U.S. government’s own making. Although the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) claims the tent camp is a necessary response to filled shelters, experts say that overcrowding is a result of the Trump administration’s recent decision to more thoroughly scrutinize…