Friday, November 18, 2016

Trump and Facism?

Those MP Moderators... MP Hope from Bad Week
"Methods: What I haven't seen is a discussion on methods: Seems that Mr. T used most every propaganda trick in the book that equates to Machiavellian and Fascism. ~ 5-6 months back a suggestion was made to fight fire with fire, however, it may have been you Paul, that suggested that the progressive not entertain that idea! So is it elitism, to try to play to folks logic, fact & intellect? Or; better to go the low road with the slogans, veiled realities, and UN-substantiated character assassination? 
Personally I think the low road: Got an in-law that was a CFO, did he check T's numbers before buying? Not a chance Just let that one blow on by. Hate to say it but plenty of fascism to go around in America, sold out for a slogan." Dennis

"So where exactly do you see fascism in America?" Ilya

"Anti Muslin Rhetoric, Anti Mexican Rhetoric, (in the 30's of Germany it was the Jews. Stephen Banner, "Far Alt right (Fascism Land) Strategist for Trump!" Dennis

"Personally I think it is the Democrats who seem more interested in centralizing power in Washington DC... The GOP seems fine with keeping most of the power in the States...  Interesting question...  "Facism - Webster Definition - a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition"" G2A

"The central point folks like Ilya and Appelen always miss regarding their argument that liberals are more prone to Facism is the reference to a "dictatorial" leader. We live in a constitutional liberal democracy wherein our presidents are elected and subject to Constitutional limits. No amount of hysteria changes that central fact.

The reason people get worried about a guy like Trump and other republicans is historically dictators emerge from the right, or conservative ideologies, that's simply an historical fact. There's never been a truly liberal dictator, and the liberal preference for organized governance cannot be described as a latent tendency towards totalitarianism. And in fact republicans are more likely to tear up the Constitution despite their frequent claims to be "Constitutionalist".  
Republicans are for instance on the record as Theocrats who think this is a "Christian" nation. They have typically been the quickest to exercise extreme police force, and militarized policing based on racial and cultural stereotypes, i.e. "rounding up" millions of people and deporting them, creating religious registries, etc.  
Republican executives are also quite a bit more prone towards violating the laws, ignoring Congress, and overstepping authority; i.e. Nixon- Watergate and the illegal bombing of Cambodia, Reagan and the Iran Contra affair, Bush and his "rendition" program, the Guantanamo prisoner, use of torture, etc.  
And of course there's a plethora of policy initiatives from abortion to bathrooms where republican politicians are trying to regulate individual personal behavior in the service of their "values", which is a standard claim of all dictators.

Now some will point to the Communist model as an example of "liberal" dictatorship, and that's a common confusion that conflates left to right political spectrum's with discrete ideology. Marxism can be said to have emerged form the "left", but there was never anything liberal about Marxism or communism. Marx and the communist hated liberals and claimed that their ideology transcending liberal vs. conservative political spectrum's, i.e. it was all about the Dialectic." Paul
My answer went something like this:  Lenin, Castro, Chavez, Mao, etc, etc. Facism can come from the Left very easily.  For it to happen the majority of people need to be desperate and willing to sell their freedom and common sense to take from the wealthy... (ie pre-Nazi)  I think we are pretty safe...



Sean said...

Lumping every unsavory leader together as "fascist" isn't useful because it obscures significant differences in ideology, nor is it useful to compare any American politician to folks like Mao or Hitler or Stalin because they're just not the same either. It just degrades into a name-calling contest that adds heat but no light.

Anonymous said...

Whenever a definitional issue is raised, I think the place to start is with the word then move on to how it is applied. Rather arbitrarily, I start with Wikipedia. I should say here, I have no dog in this particular fight. These are simply two reasonably serious attempts to define fascism, but they are not themselves, definitive, at least in not my view. About them, I pose two questions. Do you agree with these definitions? Secondly, how does any particular modern politician fit within these definitions? Here goes:

"Roger Griffin describes fascism as "a genus of political ideology whose mythic core in its various permutations is a palingenetic form of populist ultranationalism".[29] Griffin describes the ideology as having three core components: "(i) the rebirth myth, (ii) populist ultra-nationalism and (iii) the myth of decadence".[30] Fascism is "a genuinely revolutionary, trans-class form of anti-liberal, and in the last analysis, anti-conservative nationalism" built on a complex range of theoretical and cultural influences. He distinguishes an inter-war period in which it manifested itself in elite-led but populist "armed party" politics opposing socialism and liberalism and promising radical politics to rescue the nation from decadence.[31]

"Robert Paxton says that fascism is "a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion."[32]

John said...

I think it is silly to use the word facist in the USA to describe anything or anyone...

""Facism - Webster Definition - a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition"

Our system that the founding Fathers created and the 50 States simply block the concept from occurring.

Anonymous said...

Labels don't much bother me. I wouldn't call myself a fascist necessarily, but there are certain things fascists believer that I do too. Like fascists, I do believe our country is in decline. To me, the fact that we elected a clown as president is definitive proof of that.

Webster is my usual go to choice for definitions, but I think it's use is limited when dealing with complex political issues. For one thing, I think Fascism carries with it always a reverence for the past, a supposed golden age from which we have departed. In America, this often takes the form of reverence for the founding fathers, or perhaps the era of "Leave it to Beaver".


jerrye92002 said...

Labels are not very useful unless they tell us something. Some labels, like "liberal," "conservative," or "fascist" have become so overused as pejoratives that their general utility for describing any given individual or their political philosophy is almost nil. "Liberals" have taken to calling themselves "progressives" to avoid the stigma, while calling what we used to call "conservatives" "fascists." It's meaningless.

Sean is right.