Sunday, March 20, 2016

Trump's Movement: Make Fascism Great Again?

     Lo, behold the mighty army crossing the vast wasteland of the American Nightmare, armed and ready to do Der Trump's bidding. Yea, in their Right hand they wield a great sword inscribed with the word "Ignorance".  In their left hand they grasp desperately at weapons of bigotry and rage carefully forged in the foundry fires of  Fox News and Hate Radio. We beheld how the multinational corporate headed beast machine gunned facts, science, and revised history with propaganda!  Verily the bizarre  coalition of the powerful, wealthy, privileged, bigots, war mongers, corporatists, theocrats, hagiarchs,  robber barons, ignoramuses, poltroons & other dunces had been ever so carefully and cunningly assembled and glued together by the wealthiest artisans the Beltway could offer. Yea, we saw how the beast  trained them to deflect any payload of reality or reason  regardless of how sturdily constructed.  The beast mightily smashed down any criticism or appeals to reason. It slayed the general dumbfounded numbness of the utter bullshit they believed, just as they had been taught to do by endless parades of mind numbing right wing propaganda.  Then along comes Mr. Trump, and he simply co-opts the entire structure the Kochs, Rupert Murdoch, and many others; who thought they could act as puppeteers controlling the ignorant mobs they created and exploited.  
     Trump rose from the slimy filth of the fertile breeding ground the Republican party has spent the last half century composting with fear, force feeding on hate, and priming with money.  Even as the lavishly paid con men that the ruling class employs to spin their fairy tales of  trickle down unicorns, Burke and Lazy Fairy markets; the pilfered army Trump took from them only grows and strengthens.
       Perhaps we should all thank Mr. Trump for tearing away the curtains and stage props that the powerful have used to hide behind when accused of dumbing down the discourse, of altering history to their liking, of  blatant lies and propaganda,  of fear mongering,  or fanning flames of  hatred and bigotry.  They managed to design some scenario and argument that at least in their own minds created a plausible deniability.
Trump isn't saying anything the former leaders of this fascist movement weren't also saying to incite them and earn their loyalty, he's just saying it louder and clearer with no possible plausible deniability. No dog whistles.
It's merely the fact that the other elite power brokers on the right who have been acting as puppeteers do not control Trump that is fracturing the GOP. He's taken half the coalition they created from them.
And he's turned them against their former masters. (As well as most everyone else).
Trump reveals himself as a fascist thug....something the former puppet masters denied.
But it's the same bullshit, it's just on a different channel.

Take a breath, notice the odor of the talking heads saturated with the stink of fear and schadenfreude.  Isn't it odd to people like David Brooks begging for someone to come along and save his sorry ass from the beast he has been feeding for the last 20 years.
"Donald Trump is an affront to basic standards of honesty, virtue and citizenship. He pollutes the atmosphere in which our children are raised. He has already shredded the unspoken rules of political civility that make conversation possible. In his savage regime, public life is just a dog-eat-dog war of all against all."
  This beast he promised time and time again to the small cartel of wealthy men who underwrite his buffoonery and protect him was thoroughly saddle-broken and ready to be ridden right into the Oval Office. A beast that has now kicked the barn door off its hinges and is currently stomping their carefully laid plans for oligarchy to bits. For so many years Brooks and the whole conservative craposphere have insisted THEIR Republican party was not really just a festering cesspit of paranoia and bigotry and fury now reveal that the left has in fact been correct all along...they were and they are. The entire Whig Fan Fiction Factory is exposed for the horseshit it is, and always was.

Brooks and his fellow sycophants throughout corporate media and the conservative echo chamber are apologizing to their employers across the nation for "failing to report accurately". This is obviously a poor attempt at humor because these people don't "report accurately", and never attempted to. They are paid liars and shills. Not journalists investigating issues.  Their lies are not as violent as Trump's perhaps, but they are all basically in the same racket.  Brooks occupation is trafficking in fairy tales about "the real America" that comfort and flatter the thousands of Beltway insiders and  plutocrat rubes, while Trump is paving a path to the White House by telling millions of low-information rubes the flattering, reassuring lies that they want to hear. It is the same scam. Just different chumps, except Trump's chumps are ecstatic, rage-drunk and armed with mighty weapons which you helped to forge, while your chumps are pissing their pants and terrified because their Plutocratic vision of America is being overrun by hordes of rage-drunk, invincibly-armored Mongols and Visigoths you've been telling them did not exist.

The point is not that Brooks or the plutocrats he and all the other right wing fairy tale spinners cosset are wrong. It's that they are ALWAYS wrong. They have gotten nothing right for many decades.
It's easily documented simply by reading older pieces, they get it wrong week after week, year after year, decade after decade. Do not check back more than a week on what conservative rhetoric is is forbidden. No one wants you to see just how absolutely wrong they are and have always been... about everything.


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Fascism and Nazism in the GOP Presidential Field

    In modern times in the U.S.A. the Republican Party is little more than an ongoing revolt against the United States itself.  This "revolution" could not continue without the billions of dollars pumped into the party by the Koch brothers and other GOP donor-class oppressors and exploiters of the American people.  The Republican Party could easily go the way of the Federalists, the Know-nothings, and the Whigs.  Sure, it has something of a mass base even today in the evangelical churches of the South and rural America, and in the country clubs. It has some Washington think tanks and lots of gerrymandered bogus powers. But the contradictions between the Republican warmongers, holy rollers, bigots, and legions of the greed worshipers, could easily be used to tear this party to pieces. And good riddance! The current presidential field has revealed the maleficent pernicious nature of the elemental intrinsic character of what this political party has become. While the fascist rhetoric of Trump and Cruz could not be more obvious, the history of union busting, oligarchy, and austerity is common cause to most all modern republican candidates.

     The Democratic Party could have, and chose not to really take the Koch party down simply by denouncing their policies and candidates for what they actually are instead of pretending they and their policies were actually some sort of reasonable discourse in polite debate... which is absolute rubbish.  This may be a moot point, because right now we seeing the GOP destroyed from the inside.   
     Donald Trump, who has been compared by conventional republican power brokers both to a wrecking ball, and to Samson bringing down the temple of the Philistines on the heads of the tenants has made it all too apparent what the Republican base is all about in reality. Out and out Fascism.

    By rights, the GOP ought to be a regional party in the deep South, rural America, and the sparsely populated intermountain West. They must never, ever, be allowed to elect another president again. As such an election would certainly lead to a packed Supreme Court, the busting all remaining unions, impose suicidal budget cuts, and set up a permanent austerity dictatorship in which the right to vote of any possible opponent constituencies would be severely limited.
      This is the golden ticket promised by Trump’s outrageous demagogy. The Republican Party today stands as a roadblock on every avenue of American national progress. The very existence of this party is frankly intolerable, and a threat to everyone’s lives, and those of their children and grandchildren.

   Frankly, if the Republican Party could undergo even a partial collapse, the political climate of the United States would revert to a more normal ideological pattern.
If the Republican Party were to dwindle into a gaggle of regional racists and bigots, the Wall Street faction of the Democratic Party would soon find itself in increasing conflict with the residual but still quite present New Deal or pro-labor Democrats. If the two factions which are latent but observable inside the Democratic Party today were to break apart, this would be the easiest and most elegant way to get the United States back on track to having a functional economy and a just social-political structure.

Most any observer can see that Trump's atrocious characterizations of Mexicans, saying that he wants to shut down mosques and other Muslim religious centers, that he would create a registry of all Muslims in the United States and would ban all Muslims from entry to the country can be easily compared to Hitler’s Krystalnacht of 1938 and the Nuremberg racist laws. (Regarding Trump’s absurd demand to bar entry to all Muslims. How could this ever be enforced? By a new Spanish Inquisition? Trump's program could only be enforced by a suffocating fascist police state that would oppress all Americans.)

     The understanding that most Americans have of Hitler and Nazism tends to be rather reductionist, in the sense that it focuses almost exclusively on Hitler’s genocidal policies against Jews. However there is no shortage of other victims (Russian prisoners of war, communists and social democrats, intellectuals, teachers, trade unionists, Gypsies, homosexuals, and all political opponents in general). In reality, Fascism and Nazism represent a total world outlook, with atrocious implications for virtually every sphere of human activity.  In any case, shortly after the middle of November, many Americans were beginning to understand that Trump actually was at least a fascist, and most probably a Nazi. It is important to stress that the American people, despite their many flaws, have one of the best anti-fascist records in the world. During the 1930s, most countries in Europe, from Portugal to Romania, fell under fascist governments. Historically it's a good record. Even the Russians, who did the lions share of fighting the Nazis, as well as England & France had appeasement policies regarding Hitler at first. Though our record of fighting fascism is a good one, I question if we can discern fascism when it's rhetoric & symbols are adapted to appeal to American sensibilities. Which is why I feel compelled to write this. I'd like to think most of us do recognize fascism when we see it. Yet hope as Mr. Trump has said is for losers...he may be right in a sense on that count. Hope, in itself is a fine thing but it may not be enough in itself to accomplish takes some sort of action as well.

     Other aspects of  Fascism and Nazism  that many people are not aware of include a terrorist dictatorship of banking concerns and financiers. In a representative democracy where there is a Congress or Parliament, the question of fascism has arisen when the demands by the bankers for genocidal austerity against working people have become unbearable and intolerable, leading to forms of political resistance like mass strikes. In Italy, the financiers of the bourgeoisie, were terrified that the Italian Army had gone on strike and refused to fight at Caporetto in 1917, and became even more frightened when Italian workers occupied most of the industrial factories in the country in 1920, leading to a two-year working-class upsurge. So in 1919, the bankers and factory owners recruited desperate and demoralized war veterans (the squadristi) to work as scabs and strikebreakers, and also to attack the party offices and the publications of political rivals. In Germany the Nazis recruited similar goons, calling them the brownshirts, storm troopers, or Sturmabteilungen. We needn't stretch our facilities very hard to see similarities in the Trump campaign,  with many documented instances of protesters at his rallies getting beaten up by Trump’s fanatical backers. It is undeniable that Trump explicitly endorsed the violence from his bombastic podium.  In the case of Ted Cruz, we have a candidate who eagerly accepts endorsements and support from anti-abortion groups with track records of violence and even murder against physicians working at women’s health clinics, in particular Planned Parenthood. The summer of 2016 is shaping up to become an unprecedented festival of political violence in the U.S.

     Nazis, and fascists are also aware of the advantages of pretending to act within the confines of laws. Mussolini became Prime Minister with a March on Rome in October 1922, which had undeniable terrorist potential. It took the Duce several years to consolidate his dictatorship, a time punctuated by numerous political murders like that of Giacomo Matteotti who openly spoke in the Italian Parliament alleging the Fascists committed fraud in the recently held elections, and denounced the violence they used to gain votes.  It is often said that Hitler became Chancellor and was given dictatorial power by legal means. This is not accurate, since the vote on setting up a dictatorship had been preceded by the expulsion of the communist (KPD) members of the parliament. In France, the fascist Marshal Petain was elected dictator and the French Republic abolished by the vote of a few hundred senators and deputies in a theater in the resort town of Vichy in the summer of 1941, but there was never the necessary quorum. Mainly, Petain could lean on the German Army which had conquered France in six weeks. The appearance of a degree.

    Fascist Economics- Mussolini and Hitler both did everything possible to drive down the real wages of workers and of the middle class.  This corresponds to a policy of primitive accumulation among the wealthiest and extreme austerity which loots and asset strips living standards and the real economy in order to generate monetary profits to prop up masses of insolvent debt. (Not unlike the toxic derivatives and junk bonds of modern Wall Street Investment Banks). For more information about Fascist economics, read about Hitler's economic adviser; Hjalmar Schacht.  Along with the reduction in real wages, fascism attempts to destroy labor unions, trade unions, craft unions, industrial unions, and any other organization attempting to protect working people. The early Italian fascists sought to wipe out every existing organization, including sports clubs, book clubs, ladies’ sewing circles, and all others, forcing their members into a gigantic fascist corporation. (Corporation in this sense does not mean the modern American concept of a joint stock company, but rather a medieval guild with master, journeyman, and apprentices all locked together in organic unity, denying any underlying class tensions.) We can say that just about all the Republican candidates are fascists in terms of their intention of driving down real wages and destroying the labor movement. The most aggressive in this regard are the fanatics of the Libertarian Austrian school.

    Fascism promotes xenophobia, the hatred of foreigners, and real or imagined territorial claims against other countries.  When Fascist promises of economic success don't pan out,  they generate enthusiasm through war hysteria. In today’s world, fascism anywhere risks becoming a path to a 3rd World War. Irrationality and the rejection of reason  is another tell tale trait of  fascism. Hitler relied on the myth that the Germans were  a race of supermen and  needed to exterminate competing races of subhuman individuals bent on the destruction of the superior species. Hitler told Germans to turn away from reason and think with their blood. Demagogy and hysteria based on these themes are found everywhere in fascism. Closely related to this, is the scapegoating ethnic groups in the wake of national disasters. Hitler’s original agitation at the beginning of his political career was focused on the myth of "the stab in the back",  which was a claim that the German army had never been militarily defeated on the field of battle, but rather only betrayed by cliques of liberals, communists, Jews, socialists, and defeatists in Berlin. This was called the Dolchsto├člegende, and it was the staple Nazi argument of the 1920s. Of course the German army had indeed been defeated in the field, specifically by the American Expeditionary Force in the battles of St. Mihiel and the Meuse-Argonne.  Trump’s stab in the back story is based on his invented account of Muslims in Jersey City cheering when the twin towers came down. This pseudo-incident allows Trump to argue that Muslims have received American hospitality and responded with treachery. This thought process is identical to that of Hitler.

    Fascists tend to be superstitious and invoke mythological ideas, ghosts, and spirits, they are inclined towards mysticism. (These aspects of fascist irrationality unfortunately find receptive ears among many Americans who are fooled by waving flags and the mention of popular deities.)  Fascism overall has an anti-intellectual tendency. Mussolini once told a journalist that he held educational programs in contempt, and did not want to have one, since the only guarantee of effective government was the power and determination of the individuals involved. Hitler made sure that the Nazi party program remained a neglected relic, and always tried to prevent it from being updated. For the Nazis, there was no difference between propaganda and university teaching.
You can see modern versions of this when Texas removes Thomas Jefferson from it's history text books, demands for creation myths to be taught in the science classroom are made, or the Koch brothers are allowed to choose political science professors at Florida Universities in return for making donations.

     Misogyny – fascists of all kinds hate and fear women.  Psychologists can spend entire careers on Fascist Dictators and their innumerable "issues". Trump may be the obvious misogynist, with unfiltered insults flowing daily about females in all walks of life, but most all republican rhetors promote the same inequality, maybe not quite as blatantly.

    Fascism also appears as the negation of parliaments and legislative processes. Mussolini called the Italian Parliament a cattle pen and pigsty. This is once again like Hitler, who never accepted the Constitution of the Weimar Republic, and got himself appointed dictator as soon as he seized power in January 1933. The way the US legislators have ignored the presidential authority of Barack Obama, pretending it is somehow illegitimate (despite being elected twice by significant margins in uncontested elections...I mean it's not like he lost the popular vote and was appointed by the Supreme Court!  :P ) smacks of fascism. Many of the promises of Trump and other Republican presidential candidates are outside constitutional authority. They either are willing to spit on the constitution...or at least the parts they don't like, or have no knowledge of it.

Libertarians-Fascists? A Strange Alliance.

First off we have to understand that Libertarianism was invented by the decadent Viennese Frederich von Hayek and von Mises in the service of greedy landlords and other bloodsucking exploiters.
(Neither of them ever seem to have held a single academic appointment that didn't involve a corporate sponsor). .Libertarianism was further developed at the London School of Economics by Sir Lionel Robinson. This toxic doctrine was brought to the United States under the auspices of David Rockefeller, who was so stupid that he needed to hire Von Hayek to pass at the London School of Economics. Von Mises was brought over later.
The peculiarity of libertarianism is that, while it is formally distinct from fascism and Nazism, libertarianism, practiced on a sufficient scale eventually destroys a society to such a point that the door opens wide for Fascism and Nazism...they become much easier to impose. The classic example is the German Chancellor Heinrich Bruening, whose austerity policies destroyed the German economic and political system between 1930 and 1932, leaving the country just a few months away from Hitler’s seizure of power when Bruening left office. There is unquestionably an affinity between fascism and libertarianism as seen in this example. Libertarians create the vacuum that sucks in fascism. We are seeing an appalling capitulation to Trump by leading members of the so-called libertarian movement. Republican operatives like Matt Drudge and Roger Stone are evidently attempting to incorporate large parts of the libertarian/conspiracy/fear porn/paranoia alternative media community into a kind of a cheering section for the fascist Trump. But many of that audience have been duped a number of times already, and might now decide to assert a different perspective. Let's hope so.
Is Trump a statesman? Is he the George Washington of our time? Certainly not. Is Ronald Reagan our greatest president? In no way. One would have thought that a libertarian might have come up with something a little more believable than "the Gipper" to usher in Trickle Down & Free Market Trojan Horses, but alas people fell for it . The political landscape is now filled with libertarian orphans who don’t want to go down with Rand Paul, and who may be eyeing the fascism of demagogue Trump.

After all this negativity about Trump, I must confess that I don't think he is any more dangerous than a Ted Cruz. Maybe less. However he is more obvious. He makes no effort to disguise it.

The Nazi Hydra in America ... political science text by Glen Yeadon

  The Rise Of Fascism And Nazism
Venice’s War Against Western Civilization
Appeared in Fidelio, Summer 1995

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Verity, Verity, I say unto you...(Or Maloderous Maxims of Mystery)

Demographics would suggest that most non-voters would likely not support GOP candidates if they did vote. Reality may be altogether different though.
We all have truths, or beliefs at least that we adhere to.
I'd like to think that personally, when presented with new information; I would be inclined to adjust my beliefs to take this new information into account.  It would seem that I've had an epiphany of late regarding a long held belief that does not seem to stand in light of observable reality. This belief is a common one, especially among folks with liberal political sensibilities. It has a reasonable theory behind is the postulation that most non-voters would benefit from Democratic policies, so if turnout were increased it would help get more Democrats in office. It's a common belief among conservatives too, as great effort has been put into suppressing the vote by the right. But let's have a closer look at what we know about these "non voters".  Empirical reality may be very different than the way we perceive it.

     As we can ascertain from the Pew Research Center data in the chart above, demographically speaking we might say that these were likely Democratic voters. However there are basically 2 kinds of non-voter. There are those who are the "meh" type, who don't care or know much about policies or how it effects them. And there are those who feel disengaged from the process for various reasons.
These reasons range from historical oppression, to viewing refraining from voting is a protest of some sort.  As we look a little closer at non-voters, this belief I (and many others ) hold about getting them to vote making a big difference in the outcome of elections may be entirely erroneous.

Eligible non voters numbered 80,632,506 in the 2008 election, a larger number than people who voted for either party. (59,934,814 voted for the Republican candidate, 69,456,897 voted for the Democratic candidate).

     Before digging deeper I apologize for focusing on American politics here, but the data I'm talking about is gathered about the U.S.  We can't assume it applies internationally, but it may or at least some of it may. You'll have to form your own view on that. 
     In 2014, research was conducted on political beliefs of non voters by PEW and they found that despite big differences in demographics, (most non voters are under 30, have incomes below 31K annually, and are  non-Caucasian), there wasn't a significant difference in the makeup of their political views from the actual voters. 

As you can see, the non voter's views on the president, and on both political parties seem to be divided about the same as the views of voters.

On most matters, the opinions are divided similarly among non voters compared to voters, or the general population. Except it seems we make assumptions that may not be so. We assume that these people would vote based on their stated positions. In truth one area they do tend to show a divert from the voting public on is actually knowing what is going on. (68% of likely voters have given some thought to the election, while only 13% of non voters have given any thought to it. 77% of likely voters follow public affairs while only 13% of non-voters do).

     Yes, I know that is rather disillusioning, and contrary to intuition.  I think we can all agree that many voters don’t fully understand the effects of the policies proposed  by various candidates or political parties. For instance in conversations I have had with the public at large, Bernie Sanders is often perceived as an extravagant spender while the republican candidates are considered fiscal conservatives, even though the republican tax plans expand revenue shortfalls, create deficits, and widen the income gap. (Historical fact)
     While Sanders’ proposed spending programs are demonstrably affordable and can mostly be covered by simply eliminating ludicrous wasteful tax loopholes

    Yet generally the  voter who primarily is concerned with balancing budgets is far more likely to support republicans than they are Bernie Sanders. They’re making this judgement on "folklore"   instead of doing the research necessary for a well-informed opinion. There are many issues similar to this where people’s stated policy preferences are not actually reflected in their votes.
Among women and black voters for instance, Hillary Clinton is leading Sanders although Sanders has a more vigorous concrete record of supporting policies that aid these groups, especially on the economic front.   If "voters" can be profoundly uninformed about which candidates and policies will actually accomplish their objectives, non-voters are absolutely less informed by their own descriptions of themselves in this research. This is reflected currently in the reality that non-voters are far more likely to support Donald Trump.

    So what does all this mean? Simply that it may be a complete canard that getting more people to vote would be helpful. because the assumption that non-voters would vote rationally does not seem to be true.
So what would be helpful? Better information, or better informed voters.
How is that accomplished?
Well, I think an independent press would be a good start.
It does not bode well for the "4th Estate" when it is primarily in the hands of only 4 or 5 corporate owners, all with socioeconomic and political agendas contrary to public interest.

It may be that the downfall of democracy and the advent of corporate oligarchy is not the fault of the non voter, but rather the fault of uninformed, misinformed, or under-informed voters.

All charts and figures are from the Pew Research site.
For further reading...