By Benjamin Doscher
Fascism has been omnipresent throughout American history. The Republican Party used the hate generated in response to the twisted fear of the accomplishments of the Civil Rights era, to make it GOP policy ever since — known as the Southern Strategy.
While the Democratic Party steered in a neoliberal direction, the Republican Party took a sharp alt-right — towards fascism. That turn has brought the United States to the present day and represents the overt continuum of this omnipresent protofascism in American history.
Republicans have embraced Trump – his outright racism, xenophobia, misogyny, anti-Semitism, nationalism, worship of corporation and tax cut – all part of the cult of Trump, which is part of his neofascism (and fascism is a religion I posit – dealt with in more depth later in this writing) – the GOP establishment supports this and of course their Protofascist Neoantebellum Ideology is part of that agenda – so the leap to Trump (as many have written) and Trumpian Neofascism was not so much a leap, as a baby step.
As Richard Cohn writes, in the Washington Post, Trump’s GOP enablers take a page from the fascist-era Vatican:
Mussolini was vain, bombastic, vulgar and, while the creator of fascism, he believed in nothing aside from himself. A former Italian prime minister, quoted in David Kertzer’s book “The Pope and Mussolini,” thought that Mussolini’s chief attribute “was his devotion to the cult of his own personality.” Is this our guy or what?
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It is instructive to read how the Vatican, a moral institution, once put its own self-interest above its moral duty and embraced Mussolini. It is just plain depressing to note how history repeats itself. The Vatican, at least, sold out for church privileges. The GOP business and political class has sold out for greed.
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Pius XI did not like Mussolini – not his swagger, not his use of violence, not his libidinous ramblings and not his vanity. Bit by bit, however, he came to terms with what he loathed and instead concentrated on what was good for the church. This amorality is often called pragmatism.
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In today’s Republican Party, a similar process is under way. The princes of the GOP have elevated business concerns to the level of national interest. This accounts for the procession of Wall Street types who have backed Trump almost from the start – Wilbur Ross, Carl Icahn and Steve Schwarzman, who once said of a possible tax increase on private-equity firms: “It’s a war. It’s like when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939.”
In a 2015, YouGov Poll Republicans (43%) were more than twice as likely as Democrats (20%) to say that they could conceive of a situation in which they would support a military coup in the United States – this dictatorial tendency is further evidence that the Republican Party is more likely to lead to American Neofascism. Further, a person’s inclination towards authoritarianism directly coincides with support of Trump.
The GOP’s embrace of anti-intellectualism is also a clear embrace of fascism, as Robert Paxton makes clear:
The anti-intellectualism of Trump has also been a long time in the making. It was the Republican establishment that has for decades refused to even consider the science of climate change and has through local education boards strove to prevent the teaching of evolution. Although not as explicit as the Fascists were in their efforts to use the woman’s body for reproducing the nation, the Republican attempts at restricting abortion rights, and women access to healthcare in general have often been designed with the same purpose in mind. Of course American historians have pointed to this larger strand of anti-intellectualism in American politics, but what is different about this moment is that Trump has successfully wedded this anti-Enlightenment mood with the anti-political rage of the Republican base.
In Plato’s Republic, Socrates opined, Tyranny is probably established out of no other regime than democracy. Meaning the longer a democracy exists, the more susceptible it is to autocracy. Thus, this is an acknowledgment of tribalism winning the day over logic.
The United States is the longest continuous form of (pseudo) democracy in history. Trump’s election has, at the very least, validated Socrates’ argument about the potential for American democracy to fall to tyranny.
Trump’s campaign and election exposed what the GOP would never openly acknowledge — its underlying Christian White Supremacist Protofascism led to Trump — now blazingly obvious with its Trumpian Scream.
As Jeet Heer writes in the New Republic:
(Trump) he’s the natural evolutionary product of Republican platforms and strategies that stretch back to the very origins of modern conservatism in the 1950s and 1960s.
The propaganda campaign emanating from the Republican Party has been going on for years, with a wink and a dog whistle. Suddenly, its White Supremacist ideals are clear as day and with Trump’s election it now echoes with the sounds of a conversation in a Berlin cafe circa 1939. Propaganda once concealed has now been given a specific name … alternative facts.
Karl Marx, in his infamous metaphor illustrates that religion is the opiate of the people, countless words and minds have debated this notion before and after Marx — the GOP’s Protofascist Neoantebellum Ideology provides an obvious conclusion — the addict is blinded to logic and empathy in pursuit of a fix — so to are the pious.
Alternative facts are the neofascist hit. This is Propaganda in the United States circa 2017.
A storm of hate is engulfing the world — this hate correlates with the demonization of the other — this fear historically, the catalyst to relinquish reason, power and humanity — that release plants the seed of hate, in the fertile ground of ignorance, which sprouts, the roots of neofascism.
Far-right fascist parties have demonized the other in time and memoriam — demonization of the other is currently part of all the Nationalistic Fascist movements in Europe.
of Seats in Parliament held by Right Wing Nationalist Partiesmaps.esp.tl
Putin surely is ecstatic — it is no secret that the Kremlin has aligned itself with these far-right movements — the United States no different, no matter how many alternative facts are tweeted by Alt-POTUS.
It is not coincidence that all far-right fascist parties in Europe and the United States have scapegoated refugees, immigrants and Muslims — demonizing them as the other. This is apparent in Trump’s own brand of American Fascism. And history repeats — Jewish Refugees fleeing Hitler’s hell on earth were demonized in the same way and stopped from refuge in the United States — sent back to certain death. As Smithsonian.com writes:
In a long tradition of “persecuting the refugee,” the State Department and FDR claimed that Jewish immigrants could threaten national security
Anti-Semitism is the underlying current of hate in all these fascist movements — The Blood Libel runs deep in their dementia — Jews were the original scapegoats — demonized as part of the myth of the resurrection.
Hitler’s virulent weaponizing of this hate created a pit of rabid dogs throughout Nazi occupied Europe — Roosevelt could have lowered a ladder to these Jewish refugees — instead he intentionally refused to, covering the hole and forcing them back into the Reich’s abominable, virulent bite.
The Daily Banter hits the nail on the head:
We are witnessing the opening stages of organized anti-Semitism in the United States. For decades, it was relegated to the fever swamps of the far right, out of sight, out of mind. The KKK and neo-Nazis and Ron Paul Libertarians were still virulent haters of Jews but they mostly kept it among themselves. Now it’s a new day in America and the monsters are crawling out of the shadows again.
When Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller had Trump remove any mention of Jews and anti-Semitism on Holocaust Remembrance Day, they were signaling the white nationalist “alt-right” that their time had come. A few days after that, word went out that the government would stop keeping an eye on white nationalist extremists. A few weeks later, Trump said, out loud, that maybe the attacks were committed by Jews to make other people look bad, a well-worn anti-Semitic trope.
The message was delivered: No longer would the extremist fringe be considered the detritus of society with their hate-filled philosophy; they had friends at the highest levels of power in the United States. White nationalism and its perennial handmaiden, anti-Semitism, were free to blossom once again. Yes, Trump makes wet mouth noises that sound like condemnations of anti-Semitism and his lackeys tout his daughter and her Jewish husband as proof he loves “The Jews,” but for some reason white nationalists are receiving the message loud and clear anyway: Go crazy, guys.
If it seems strange to you that in the midst of Trump screaming about dangerous immigrants and Muslim terrorists, anti-Semitism is taking root with terrifying speed, you don’t understand the mind of a Jew-hating white nationalist. There’s a special place in the black void that passes for their heart for us. While brown and yellow skinned people are offensive to them, the true threat is and always has been the Jews. We provide the money for black people to move into your white neighborhoods and rape your white women. We keep the borders open so Latinos can swarm into America and steal the jobs that belong to white people. We turn your movies and TV into pro-Jew propaganda. We control the banks and foreclose on your white homes to destroy your white communities. We’re the masterminds of everything that’s wrong with the world today.
It is established fact that any mention of anti-Semitism was left out of Trump’s Holocaust Remembrance day debacle, (a play right out of the Holocaust Denial playbook), Trump’s false flag attack against Jews, his shaming of a Jewish reporter, a prominent Hitler historian delineating that Trump’s playbook is Mein Kampf (and the fact that Trump slept with a copy of it by his bed), a prolific rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes since Trump’s election (legality withstanding), the utter disregard to disavow this, except when he felt forced and than it was done as a side note and a dog whistle, not to mention the meme with Secretary Clinton and a Star of David, and the television commercial just before election day which portrayed the old anti-semitic tropes straight out of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
The Trump platform has always been openly anti-Semitic. Trump’s son, Don, Jr., used Nazi propaganda in his description of refugees as skittles. He is not smart enough to create this type of propaganda on his own — the Nazis used the same illogical argument against Jews — back then it was mushrooms instead of candy.
Nothing new is happening here, and nothing new was happening in 1933 either —there has been an undercurrent of hate via anti-Semitism historically. Hatred of Jews has been part and parcel of demonization and scapegoating for millennia and the fact that anti-Semitism is an overt Trump message is all the more vile.
The anti-Semitic, Sebastian Gorka, Trump’s Deputy Assistant to the President, is illustrative of this fact.
Gorka is a member of the far-right Hungarian group Vitézi Rend. No matter what the vile individual says he will always be a member of this group – part of the membership process was a life long oath to always be part of the demonic cult.
Róbert Kerepeszki of the University of Debrecen told a conference in 2014 that Vitezi Rend operated an unofficial secret police to report on dissent and was:
radically rightist, ultra-Nationalist as well as anti-Semitic, never admitting Jews to their ranks
And according to The Forward, Gorka voiced support for and defended the establishment of the Hungarian Guard, an extreme right-wing paramilitary militia led by known anti-Semites.
Needless to say Gorka is a Neonazi and Trump an obvious sympathizer to those views — or more specifically and more accurately a collaborator. Jargon aside they are Nazis. Of all the people in all the world there is a reason Trump chose Gorka.
I go into more detail about Gorka here.
Hate is still Trump’s platform, as a recent article in the Nation indicates:
Trump’s Muslim entry ban and aggressive crackdowns on undocumented immigrants show that he is still campaigning on the undercurrent of hatred that energized his base. Many community activists see an organic link between Trump’s rhetoric and policies and the perceived groundswell of street-level violence, especially in areas with visible Muslim and Latino communities. Though right-wing hate groups are relatively rare in New York City, according to Fahd Ahmed, executive director of the South Asian American advocacy group Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM), recent law enforcement crackdowns on Muslim and Latino communities reveal a “feedback loop” between Trump and hardship for communities of color on the ground. Trump’s overheated rhetoric is now directly channeling the talking points of bigots and white supremacists tied to the administration.
Far-right ideologues in Europe and the United States have scapegoated immigrants — that is what fascists do — blame societies ills on a minority to attain power through propaganda and ultimately control the minds of the masses.
Propaganda was and is used to demonize refugees in Europe and the United States. Refugees are associated with Muslims and immigrants on both sides of the Atlantic and Muslims are associated with terrorism.
In the United States immigrants are associated with Hispanics as well — specifically Mexicans. Trump’s demonization of them began following his infamous golden escalator descent. ICE is implementing the horror that Trump inspired and that he has made policy since his inauguration.
Now each word, immigrant, refugee and Muslim can be replaced with other. The propaganda campaign has worked. The other is feared. Even though the other is fiction — the germination of fascism requires mass glorification of absurdity and the championing of meaningless cruelty, writes Alexander Reid Ross in Against the Fascist Creep.
In the United States, Immigration Law is under the direct purview and control of the Justice Department and now Alt-AG Sessions (this reprehensible individual is an obvious representative of the clear connection between the GOP’s Protofascist Neoantebellum Ideology and Trumpian Neofascism) — Article III Courts only have jurisdiction over Appeals from the BIA (Board of Immigration Appeals and Writs of Habeaus Corpus) — the AG appoints immigration judges.
Protofascist Neo-antebellum Ideology resonates in Immigration Law. Immigration violations are, for the most part, civil offenses — this is propaganda, as violation engenders criminal consequence. No other civil violation in American Federal Jurisprudence can cause indefinite detention and a Petition for Habeus Corpus as the only means to redress the injustice. The Petition often failing, and this after prolonged detention in the massive American prison industrial complex.
Apparently, The United States has been criminalizing (otherizing) immigrants since its inception and the only place it is not obvious is in the propaganda of semantics.
The Alt-AG, Alt-POTUS and Alt-POTUS Puppeteer (Steven Bannon — I go into more detail about him here) are directly responsible for the demonization of immigrants and the suffering ICE is causing.
This strategy – one designed to single out a particular group of people, suggesting that there’s something particularly sinister about how they behave – was employed to great effect by Adolf Hitler and his allies. In the 1930s, the Nazis used a similar tactic to stir up anger and hatred toward Jews. Professor Richard Weikart of California State University explained that Nazi leaders used different kinds of communication tools to sell the message that “Jews are criminal by disposition,” as a 1943 Nazi directive to the German press put it. “The Jews are not a nation like other nations but bearers of hereditary criminality,” the order said. Germany, in other words, was out of control, and only Nazi anti-Semitic policies could “restore order.”
Further, the Trump administration created VOICE:
Trump celebrated the creation of the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement office, or VOICE. It will, among other things, put out a regular report on the illicit doings of the undocumented. “I have ordered the Department of Homeland Security to create an office to serve American victims,” he said. “We are providing a voice to those who have been ignored by our media and silenced by special interests.” (It will be paid for by money spent, in the Obama years, on advocating for undocumented immigrants.)
And like Hitler’s demonization, Trump’s is based on nothing but fear mongering and evil. Senator Sanders called out Trump’s insidious plan, Let’s be clear about what Donald Trump is doing, … He is stirring up fear and hatred against immigrants and trying to divide our nation.
The fear in immigrant communities is palatable — the suffering never ending — the racism and xenophobia, clear as day, and accepted as normal, as is obvious from the lack of adequate media coverage. The Guardian notes:
‘Psychological warfare’: immigrants in America held hostage by fear of raids
The normalization of this hate is noted by Ross:
The “fascist creep,” as I am using the term in this text, refers to the porous borders between fascism and the radical right, through which fascism is able to “creep” into mainstream discourse.
Watch Sessions do just that in his demonization of Sanctuary Cities.
As Nafeez Ahmed illustrates, in Return of the Reich: Mapping the Global Resurgence of Far Right Power — an INSURGE intelligence investigative series:
The anti-EU agenda of these neo-Nazi parties constitutes perhaps one of the greatest threats to international security since the Second World War. Whatever the faults and failures of the European Union — and there are many — this emerging trans-Atlantic neo-Nazi movement sees the collapse of the EU as essential to its fascist project of enhancing highly parochial conceptions of nationalist supremacy premised on excluding an array of ‘Others’ — Muslims, Jews, foreigners, the disabled and sexual ‘deviants’
On January 21, 2017, the day after Trump’s inauguration, Marine La Pen, the leader of the French far-right party, Front National, met with a group of other far-right fascist movement demagogues in Europe and said:
“We are living the end of a world and the birth of another … 2016 was the year that the Anglo-Saxon world rose up — 2017 will be, and I am sure of it, the year of the awakening of the peoples of continental Europe. We must pass to the next stage, the stage where we are no longer contented with being a minority in the European parliament, the step where we get the majority of the votes in the ballot boxes at each election.”
She called for a “new treaty” on the European Union’s structure, based on far-right fascist rejection of “all authoritarian or totalitarian plans,” … “supra-national model,” and the collective demonization of the other: “to control and regulate immigration” as a “fundamental right” of nation states.
These European and American Nationalistic Fascist movements dream of a once great past — this is a fever dream of the deluded — the creation of this past is what propaganda does and it is within this delusion that those predisposed to fascism already dwell.
Fascists indoctrinate with the promise of a return to a nonexistent gilded age: a time of Anglo-Saxon and pure, of white and of right, of military, of men, of riches, of diamonds, of gold, of adventure, of conquest, of women and weapons, of castles and canons, of murder and mayhem, of hate and of fate.
As Reinhold Martin writes, in Places Journal:
In today’s United States, this is the ground of white nationalist patriarchy, or what its stage managers euphemistically call “economic nationalism.” Its jargon includes “alt-right” code words like “tradition” and “neo-traditionalism,” often accompanied by qualifiers like “Judeo-Christian” or “European.” This is the nativist jargon of a pseudo-philosophy peddled by self-promoting, anti-intellectual impostors. As such it fortifies a mythic, white “people” against their imagined enemies, both political and economic, and implies a gendered division of labor where men produce and women reproduce. As toxic common sense, this jargon helps to construct a socio-technical theater of power that authorizes and enables patriarchal, demagogic speech acts in the first place.
The United States conservative population is indoctrinated with worship — worship of made up morals, worship of preacher, worship of patriotism, worship of flag, worship of military, worship of country, worship of party and ultimately worship of Trump.
The GOP’s fascist flock have been indoctrinated to pray to an all powerful, invisible, omnipotent being and to follow its rules or burn in hell.
The Republican Party’s Platform is epic, pious hypocrisy— evil. The Jesus myth like all others was created to control and abuse the weak — to garner, consolidate and keep power.
And it still is — transcendent hypocrisy — which echoes with Trumpian bombast.
The Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings offer stark evidence of this — Alt-Judge Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s nominee, an exemplary conservative hypocrite, will implement the GOP’s agenda— he did not answer questions with answers, only originalist alt-jurist obfuscation — because doing so would expose this evil.
Senator Al Franken’s questioning at the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings illustrates this point.
The religious are more susceptible to fascism — magical thinking begets magical thinkers. One demagogue can replace another.
Fascists don’t wait until death to meet their god — they strive to recreate a past heaven on earth — all they get is a present hell. Zealotry, religious or otherwise, is illustrative of ignorance — it represents the illogical nature of humanity and it will be the downfall of humanity.
The omnipresent chaos that followed 1.20.17 at 12:01PM is intentional — sowed to foment true chaos. Either Trump is malevolent, ignorant or both — but it’s got to be one or the other. This is a zero sum game. It is obvious that the propaganda campaign occurring now is helping both sides and so to would a terrorist attack. ISIS has stated numerous times that Trump is the proverbial harbinger of American and western disdain for Islam — when in reality they need each other — not Islam and Trump but ISIS and Trump.
Trump’s base rallies around fear and hate and so to does the ISIS synchophant. So closely do both sides share the same vitriol towards each other that a Trump synchopant’s brain could be tinkered with and easily flipped to hate himself if immersed in the propaganda of Daesh. It would fit seamlessly into the clash of civilizations that has been the subject of rigorous conspiratorial debate since before that horrendous September day almost sixteen years ago. George W. used the attack to consolidate power, wield war, win election — ISIS grew out of the exact same thing.
The modern American era of propaganda began during those somber days — propaganda feeds fear, the melancholy national mood was primed for Nationalistic fervor — with the other created — the American government began a psyops campaign against its own supposed core values and citizens.
The Republican Party embraced 9/11 with Trumpian gusto and it represents part of the current GOP neofascist narrative, its own origin story or myth.
Martin writes, in reference to the fallen Towers (emphasis mine):
Often it is said that the deaths of thousands made these voids sacred. Before this they were mere property. But it would be more precise to say that after 9/11 the absent towers, like Ground Zero itself, became a sacred stage on which two ways of imagining the nation, as property and as homeland, converged. Speech acts uttered upon this stage secure its sanctity even as that sanctity secures those acts, in a circle of performativity.
This circle is a version of art for art’s sake. Today, it draws the outline of a neo-fascism, or fascism for its own sake. Despite the evident affinities, the current performers do not bear all the markings of their forbears. But the stage that they are building does, in altered form. Modern fascism aimed to build a murderous utopia; postmodern fascism builds a murderous hall of mirrors. It does so ubiquitously, on countless little screens rather than on one big one. Rather than the mass media of cinema and radio favored by their predecessors, today’s pretenders to the throne do their work on Twitter and Facebook, syndicated talk radio and cable television, relying more on recirculation than on rapture. With all the talk of “rebuilding,” of return to a triumphal state of nature where America is American, and where all ground, all property, is sacred “again,” it is easy to miss the difference. What matters in the new theater of power is not (yet) the half-hearted apocalyptic finale, but unending repetition. The show must go on at all costs.
The GOP lashed onto this protofascism — stoked the kindling of fear and ignited the fire of hate — Trump emerged from the flame.
What is occurring now was always the goal of Osama Bin Laden — freedom that we once had has descended into the same netherworld of delusion that he dwelled in. Terrorism has hit the United States with small blows throughout this war — the biggest perpetrated by Al Qaeda on 9/11 — the smallest occurs every second of every day. We are no longer free — we have destroyed ourselves and become what he was — lunatics with only one goal — kill because we fear.
The United States is now led by a moral heathen whose base is ignorant — pious naïveté — indoctrinated with Christian White Supremacy — Protofascist Neoantebellum Ideology — current Trumpian Neofascism.
However, indoctrination is not education. Ultimately, fascism, is a solidarity of cruelty, of the belligerent against the defenseless, masked as spiritual truth for lack of rigorous understanding of fact.
Thus, there is a fundamental disconnect between thinking one is educated and being educated. This is a failure of our educational system and a direct cause of the blinding of the mind by religion. Two separate facts can be linked to reach a logical conclusion. But when these two facts are complementary and this cannot be understood that is the root of the problem. It does not seem as though humans can learn basic logic. Without basic logic philosophy cannot be understood. Humans cannot see that the defending of a supposed culture (or race) which of course is the unconscious mindset of humanity — the nebulous need to be part of and thus to exclude — this is defending the exclusion of every single human that does not conform or ever did not, to every bigoted aspect of what that means — this is racism.
The true failing of our educational system — without a knowledge of the hate that is more a part of the history of humanity … sociologically, historically, biologically … than anything else — and the obvious realization that we are the most brutal, evil animal ever to evolve — we as a species can never evolve.
Human history has from the beginning been based on the simple premise that the quest for power and the comfort of identity (which necessitates the companion of fear of the other) leads to the downfall of society. Fascism and religion are intertwined, fascism and religion are part of human nature.
Fascism is ultimately a religion of reality — an alt-reality — both divine and fascist religions offer a savior and both offer their own demons.
This is a truism that can clearly be seen when you open your eyes — religion and fascism share many of the same components — in fact fascism is just political religion and worship of an earthly god.
It begins on page one of the figurative book of human history … with death — death had to be explained because we feared it. And, what could explain death? It was of course the first gods humanity created. Those gods explained what could not be understood — humans longed for comfort, protection and solace. These gods had the power to provide all of this and those of us that were vessels for those gods preached their will upon the group we lived with — and those that preached these words took the power of those gods and that power was intoxicating.
Soon that group that heard the preaching and was comforted by it, identified as followers of those gods and that preacher continued espousing divine words to his flock. The preacher told his followers what the gods wanted in order to provide for an afterlife that would be heavenly and the preacher was given anything he desired. The followers of that preacher identified with the gods and soon that preacher controlled those followers. An identity was created — religion was all that mattered — it was everything.
With identity cemented, the followers came upon others that did not know of these gods and did not subordinate themselves to the gods or the preacher and they were castigated — they were the other.
Thus, the origin of religion was the unknown, fear of this unknown was explained by a story — the fear was assuaged by that story but the fear had to be replaced — we, as humans, are always afraid — the other took its place. The other is a historical basis for hate.
Hate and fear leave us vulnerable to tyranny — the first tyrants were religious fundamentalists. Fascism preaches fear of the other — hell has been replaced by a literal hell on earth and this hell has its own demons. All tyrants use human nature to take power and historically religion provides that power — fascism is another form of religion — history has shown that religious indoctrination controls. Fascist religion is a set of rules that must be followed or punishment ensues. Fascists punish with an earth bound hell — religion offers hell after death.
Religion and fascism both destroy free thought, set rules, create order and require worship. Propaganda is used in the same way and for the same reason. Fascism is the religion of party, of identity, of now — religion affords an unquestionable answer, so to does fascism. Follow the rules or die — follow the rules or be punished for eternity. Nietzsche (a fascist himself) opined that God is dead — fascist hell hath no fury regardless; for fascism exists in the here and now.
This is when you realize that chaos is fundamental to history because humans did not evolve to learn from the past. At the pinnacle of technological progress the world is still the same as it always was – tribal.