Category Archives: Donald Trump

A Micropolitics of Fascism

 

By Jeff Shantz

It is important that fascism is openly being named and opposed in the present context. Yet the mechanisms of fascist flourishing and spread in current period require some further understanding. And on levels that are not often considered (beyond the visible manifestations of explicit fascist creeps mobilizing). There is too a soft ground of support and sustenance for the more overt manifestations of fascism.

French psychoanalyst Felix Guattari presented an article in 1973, when few were thinking actively about a present fascism entitled “Everybody Wants to be a Fascist.” Guattari recognized in 1973 that fascism was still very much “a real political problem” and not merely a pure theoretical matter (154). In any event as Guattari asks: “Besides, isn’t it a good idea to discuss it freely while we still can” (1973, 154). And we need to talk about it in ways that go beyond the standard or typical features to understand how fascism survives, reproduces, and recurs.

This was an early discussion of micropolitics and fascism. No one should feel that it is all over and the good guys won. For Guattari: “Through all kinds of means—in particular, movies and television—we are led to believe that Nazism was just a bad moment we had to go through, a sort of historical error, but also a beautiful page in history for the good heroes” (Guattari 1973, 166).

Elements of fascism leap transhistorically across generations. They proliferate in other forms. They adapt to new conditions. They move intergenerationally. There are different types of fascism. Italian, Spanish, German, etc., but there are also continuing threads. Fascism is not renewable like a complete artifact. Fascism is in constant evolution.

Guattari takes neither a historical nor sociological approach. He seeks a micropolitical examination of the molecule of fascism. Fascism is dangerous and molecular. This can be massified but not as a totalitarian organism.

Guattari makes a provocative move in his analysis. He suggests that fascism is an internal part of desire. It is immanent in desire, not something that comes from without, for Guattari. It emerges at a microphysical scale. It is not located in individuals but in sets of relationships. Whenever there is desire there is a microfascist potential.

We need to address the in/visibility of fascism that is (and has been) everywhere operative in the present. The Trump campaign was a lightening rod for tendencies that have been long in play. As Guattari warned at that time, we do indeed need to talk about fascism while we still can. And we need to talk about it more fully.

 

 

Micropolitics and Macropolitics of Desire

In works of Felix Guattari and his colleague Gilles Deleuze, desire is the key economic concept. Desire is both political and psychological as well as financial. The “eco” in economy draws from the original Greek for household or habitat, or milieu in Deleuze and Guattari. For Deleuze and Guattari, desire is productive. Desire involves and structures a specific milieu. Desire acts within social context, the situation. Guattari notes a distinction between desire and pleasure. While one might speak of a revolutionary desire, it would appear odd to refer to a revolutionary pleasure.

For Guattari, fascism is, in fact, a key theme for understanding the issue of desire in the realm of the social. In Guattari’s view, you cannot put pleasure in the same sentence with revolution (1973, 154-155). You cannot talk of a “pleasure of revolution” but can readily speak of a “desire for revolution” or a “revolutionary desire” (1973, 155). The reason Guattari gives is that the meaning of pleasure is connected to, inseparable from, an “individuation of subjectivity” (1973, 155). On the other hand, desire is not intrinsically linked to this individuation.

There is a macropolitics of desire, which acts on larger social groupings. At the same time there is a micropolitics of desire. Guattari emphasizes the micropolitical. His goal is “to put in place new theoretical and practical machines, capable of sweeping away the old stratifications, and of establishing the conditions of a new exercise of desire” (156).

Guattari goes beyond the association of psychoanalysis with the small scale (the person and family) and politics only with large social groupings. Rather there is a politics that addresses itself to the individual’s desire and a desire that manifests itself in a wider social field (1973, 155). For Guattari, this politics has two forms: “either a macropolitics aiming at both individual and social problems, or a micropolitics aiming at the same domains (the individual, the family, party problems, state problems, etc.)” (1973, 155-156).

Macropolitics has been given the dominant emphasis. But politics works at micropolitical levels as well. In his terms, molar and molecular. Not a dichotomy. Not dialectical.

The self is a multiplicity of “desiring machines.” How they operate and what they produce are as crucial as what they are. In Crain’s words: “One’s sense of personal identity is itself a product of desire related to a broader social structure” (2013, 3). As Crain suggests, one does not simply desire an iPhone, one desires being seen as someone with an iPhone.

Desire produces not only objects, but rules. What you want structures your behavior (Crain 2013, 3). The desire for an iPhone produces new desires—taking pictures of trivia, posting them to Facebook or Instagram. Checking repeatedly for likes and follows. These new desires form habits. And these habits form rules governing our actions (Crain 2013, 3).

How do these minute habits and rules relate to your political actions? For Deleuze and Guattari, there is no fundamental difference. Except that one affects others (Crain 2013, 3). This is the notion of micropolitics. The habits and rules speak to desire investing itself in the world (Crain 2013, 3).

Macropolitics draws from “small interpersonal dealings with one another” (Crain 2013, 3). If the macropolitical structure becomes repressive how is it drawing from and organizing desire (Crain 2013, 3)? And why would “we” (specific people in a specific context) desire fascism? This gets to the heart of the growth of fascism, in a particular desiring form of the so-called “Alt Right,” for example, and the rise of Trump.

For Deleuze and Guattari, fascism only emerges because it is wanted, desired. Micropolitics is a sense that others should follow the rules that our own habits have produced. The desire is for others to follow your rules. This is the imposition of desire on others.

Written large you get Trump and “Make America Great Again”—make others follow your rules of an America that you desire (in a context where you perceive the existing rules not working in your favor and where others express diverse views, habits, or rules).

One might ask about the molar level and identity. White supremacy and the figures of Steve Bannon, Richard Spencer, and David Duke. The Authoritarian Personality (of Theodor Adorno and Frankfurt School fame) speaks of the winning loser who is obsequious to those above while being brutal to those below. White rage and hatred of Obama is directed at the Affordable Care Act which hurts mostly the poor (overwhelmingly poor whites).

State fascism always seeks homogeneity (even in a context of diverse microfascisms) (Crain 2013, 4). Fascism seeks to impose an order on the chaos of desire. It is ultimately suicidal. Homogeneity is only realized in death (Crain 2013, 4).

 

 

A Typology

In pursuit of his labors, Guattari develops a typology of fascism. Guattari identifies three approaches that have been undertaken. Of the three approaches, the first two maintain the distinction between small and large social groupings for Guattari. Only the third attempts to move beyond this distinction (1973, 156).

First is “sociological analytical formalist thought.” This seeks to identify and classify “species.” It seeks common elements while distinguishing differences. The first re/produces sociological types. These focus on national, historical types of fascism. Italian, German, etc. Each has specific phenomena that mark it.

Sociological. On one hand this approach minimizes differences to pull out a common feature. In this way it will distinguish three types of fascism—Italian, German, and Spanish. On the other hand, the approach will magnify differences to construct species, as between fascism and Western democracies (1973, 156). Guattari finds little of interest in this approach.

Second is a “synthetic dualist neo-Marxist thought.” This puts forward a collective representation of the desire of the masses expressed through the party and ultimately the state. The second, Marxist approach, distinguishes revolutionary desires of the masses and the Marxist categories imposed on them. This “massifies” mass desires.

There is a dualism. A code wielding political class and a passive mass of followers. This is viewed in relation to the power of the state. What type of state does it produce?

The dualist neo-Marxist approach encounters another gap then. This is between the reality of the masses’ desires and the supposed representation of those desires.

The Marxist system poses itself as the collective representation of the masses’ desires, rather than failing to recognize the creativity and desire of the masses as occurs in sociological thought. Sociology reduces social objects to things. It is reifying. While Marxism recognizes the existence of revolutionary desires, in contrast to the sociological, it imposes mediations on them—Marxist theory and the representation of the party (Guattari 1973, 157).

The differences that flow through the desires of the masses become “massified”—turned into standard formulations viewed as necessary for class and party unity (Guattari 1973, 157). There is a dualism between representation and reality, between the party leaders and the masses. Bureaucratic practices flow from this. The oppositions revolve around a third party—the state.

Third is “political analysis” in a “connection of a multiplicity of molecular desires which would catalyze challenges on a large scale” (156-159). Political analysis speaks to a “univocal multiplicity” rather than the mass (159). Micro-groupings offer challenges and there is no necessary unitary content. For Guattari, the “unification of struggles is antagonistic to the multiplicity of desires only when it is totalizing, that is, when it is treated by the totalitarian machine of a representative party” (159).

Desire creates itself when saying is doing (1973, 160). When saying is doing, as Guattari puts it, the division of labor between the specialists (in saying and in doing) ends (1973, 160).

Guattari is not interested in representing the masses and interpreting their struggles. You do need some political analysis though. Guattari seeks a conception of desire that does not have an object or a center. It does not distance as in representation or interpretation. Mediation must be bypassed.

This is done in the third approach, political analysis. for Guattari, this political analysis “refuses to maintain the disjunction between large social groupings and individual problems, family problems, academic problems, professional problems, etc.” (1973, 158). It does not reduce struggles to alternatives of classes or camps (Guattari 1973, 158). Theoretical and practical truth are not the domain of the party.

A micropolitics of desire, in this way, would not present itself as representing the masses and interpreting their struggles (Guattari 1973, 158). In Guattari’s perspective:

“It would no longer seek support from a transcendent object in order to provide itself with security. It would no longer center itself on a unique object—the power of the State, which could only be conquered by a representative party acting in lieu of and instead of the masses—but rather, it would center on a multiplicity of objectives, within the immediate reach of the most diverse social groupings.” (1973, 158)

Challenges are catalysed on a larger scale by “a multiplicity of molecular desires” (Guattari 1973, 159). There is a “univocal multiplicity of desires” rather than an “ideal unity” representing and mediating multiple interests (Guattari 1973, 159). What Guattari suggests has relevance for thinking about contestational risings, of resistance among diverse forces. In his words:

“This multiplicity of desiring machines is not made of standardized and regulated systems which can be disciplined and hierarchized in relation to a unique objective. It is stratified according to different social groupings, to classes formed by age groups, sexes, geographic and professional localizations, ethnic origins, erotic practices, etc. Thus, it does not realize a totalizing unity. It is the univocity of the masses’ desire, and not their regrouping according to standardized objectives, which lays the foundation for the unity of their struggle.” (1973, 159)

The threat to the multiplicity of desires comes when the unification of struggles is totalizing. As when dealt with by the totalitarian form for the representative party (Guattari 1973, 159). Desire always wants to go “off the track.” It wants not to “play by the rules.”

By Guattari’s own claim he seeks not reductivist comparisons but to complexify the models in terms of fascism, for example. In his words, “[T]here are all kinds of fascisms” (as all kinds of bourgeois democracies, for example) (Guattari 1973, 161).

The groupings break up once one considers “the relative status of, for example, the industrial machine, the banking machine, the military machine, the politico-police machine, the techno-structures of the State, the Church, etc.” (Guattari 1973, 161). So, as Sinclair Lewis famously said—” “When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”

The Nazi party changed. Himmler’s SS was not Rohm’s SA. They operated in specific domains. And, as Wilhelm Reich suggests, they each bore a specific relationship to the revolutionary desires of the masses.

Yet, simplifications should not interfere with grasping “the genealogy and the permanence of certain fascist machineries” (Guattari 1973, 162). This is the same fascism that operates under different forms. And which, for Guattari, can continue to operate in families and in schools.

Totalitarian systems produce formulas for the collective seizure of desire (Guattari 1973, 163). These depend too on productive forces and the relations of production. At the same time, and despite his contributions, Guattari drifts into totalitarian analysis (a la Arendt) and shares some of the limitations of that approach.

 

 

Microfascisms

Guattari stresses that what fascism set in motion continues to proliferate in contemporary social space (1973, 163). Today’s productive forces unleash a whirlwind of desires. Guattari looks at the continuity of the fascist machine in different forms. For Guattari, it is important to confront totalitarian machines in their micropolitical aspect. Otherwise “you find yourself a prisoner of generalities and totalizing programs, and representative instances regain their power” (164).

In Guattari’s view: “Molecular analysis is the will to a molecular power, to a theory and practice which refuse to dispossess the masses of their potential for desire” (164-165). In Western capitalism the totalitarian machine lives in “structures capable of adapting desire to the profit economy” (171). Western capitalism is subversive in this way of molecularization. It gets “under the skin” (we simply have to have the newest newness).

Thus, the bureaucratic systems must “miniaturize their repressive machines” (Guattari 1973, 164). We could see this today in debates over micro-aggressions or in the minutia of memes.

Desire gets away from encoding. It avoids containment. There is no dichotomy between saying and doing. There is a process of connectivity. Machines.

Disobedience, disruption, resistance to demands of stakeholders. Micropolitics of desire: Refuse any formula to slip by at whatever scale. Fascism in family, political structure, etc.

There is a capacity of fascism to spread throughout the social body. Memes. IRC. The meme machine and the circulation of memes is able to coalesce desire in particular ways. In the present period the oddest portions of the Internet become politically important. The memeification of Pepe. “Pepe for President.” Pepe the frog says “It feels good, man.”

4chan was launched in 2003. 4chan is hyper-err-production. It decenters the individual as both source and lack. In 4chan anonymity is a goal. It is keeping individuation at bay. No one wants celebrities or personal benefit in that space. The anonymity of social dislocation, unfamiliarity, market forces.

The aim is to release intense flashes of desire and intention. It is delirious and incoherent. Trump rolls the joy of winning and the despair of losing into one. He is the loser who won.

 

Why Fascism?

The fascist party is organized like a police force. In this it compartmentalizes the masses in a way a straightforward military dictatorship cannot (Guattari 1973, 165). A military dictatorship does not draw on libidinal energies in the manner a fascist dictatorship does.

In response to the question of why German capital did not simply turn to military dictatorship after 1918 or 1929 (“Why Hitler rather than General von Schleicher?”) Guattari turns to libertarian socialist Daniel Guerin in suggesting that big capital did not want to “deprive itself of this incomparable, irreplaceable means of penetrating into all the cells of society, the organization of the fascist masses” (1973, 165).

For Guattari, the coming together of four libidinal series in the figure of Hitler crystallized a mutation of  a “new desiring mechanism in the masses” (1973, 165). First was a “plebeian style.” This gave him a handle on the people. Second, a “veteran-of-war style.” This allowed him to somewhat neutralize the military elements and gain some of their confidence. Third, and most relevant for the Trumpist figure, “a shopkeeper’s opportunism.” Guattari expands on this: “a spinal flexibility, a slackness, which enables him to negotiate with the magnates of industry and finance, all the while letting them think that they could easily control and manipulate him” (1973, 166). Finally, and crucially, “a racist delirium.” This was “a mad, paranoiac energy which put him in tune with the collective death instinct released from the charnel houses of the First World War” (Guattari 1973, 166).

We should have little question of this in relation to Trump after Charlottesville, his response to it (“on many sides,” alt Left,” etc.), and his pardon, a short week after, of the sadistic Sheriff Arpaio.

Hitler tried to forge a compromise among different machines of power that sought their own autonomy—the military, police, and economic machines (Guattari 1973, 167). Trump, like the early fascist regimes, will provide some economic solutions to current issues. A phony boost to the economy or markets, a dip in unemployment, a public works program (of Brownshirt infrastructure as I have already discussed elsewhere). And  these will be compared favorably by the administration to the feeble efforts of Obama.

Note the similarities of Trump’s language in this regard with the language used by Guattari to describe fascist rhetoric—“The socialists and communists had a bad program, bad leaders, a bad organization, bad alliances” (1973, 168). One might add to this, in Trumpist style: “Sad.”

And remember,  a section of the bourgeoisie only rejected fascism because it stirred too powerful forces of desire in the masses and was too unstable. Global capital could only consider the elimination of fascism in the presence of other means to control class struggles (including Stalinism) (Guattari 1973, 167). The United States could ally with Stalin because his form of containing mass turmoil was more stable than that offered by Nazism.

 

Lessons for the Left and Desire

There is a very real (non-metaphorical) social war that is being waged in the United States. It goes by names like neoliberalism and involves cuts to Medicare and the Affordable Care Act, the increase in military spending, the tightening of borders, growing detention and deportations, cuts to education spending, increases in incarceration, etc. Historically fascism responds to political and economic crisis. The crisis of 2007 and 2008 was an economic crisis. It gave rise to some resistance in the form eventually of Occupy Wall Street.

The Left today is extremely divided amongst itself presently, unlike the lesser divisions that marked much of the 1930s. The rallying cry of a more united Left in Spain was “Let Madrid be the tomb of fascism.”

Guattari reminds us that at the very beginning the Leftist organizations in Italy and Germany had been liquidated. This is always the aim of early fascism. It is the aim of the alt-Right and the anti-antifa today.

Still, as Guattari suggests, we need to ask why these organizations collapsed like houses of cards. His answer is that these organizations never offered the masses a real alternative, one that could tap their energies of desire (or even direct it away from the fascist draw) (1973, 168. Guattari follows Wilhelm Reich in suggesting this.

Wilhelm Reich notes too how an element can change into its opposite under certain conditions. So the anti-capitalist rebellions of the mass of German people, in acute contradiction to the objective functions of fascism, became interwoven with that function and transformed for a period into its own opposite—a reinforcement of German capital and its rule (1972, 29-30). Social democratic support of capital as a defense against fascism.

Mechanistic communism as in the Comintern, overlooked the revolutionary tendencies of the fascist mass movement, where revolutionary and reactionary tendencies were temporarily combined in fascism (Reich 1972, 30). The Comintern could not turn the revolutionary tendencies to its own advantage.

Desire. The micropolitics of desire sparked by the anti-capitalist rebellions, flowed into the revolutionary tendencies within fascism. Especially as the Leftist movements faltered. This is not to say, as some contemporary liberals might, that the Left caused fascism. Rather it is a reminder to the Left to finish the job.

Reich notes, commenting in the 1930s, that:

“In Germany there were, at the end, some thirty million anticapitalist workers, more than enough in number to make a social revolution; yet it was precisely with the help of the staunchest anticapitalist mentality that fascism came into power. Does an anticapitalist mentality qualify as class consciousness, or is it just the beginning of class consciousness, just a precondition for the birth of class consciousness? What is class consciousness anyway?” (1972, 285-286)

Reich points out the challenge of desire for socialists. The average worker in Germany, he says, was not interested in Soviet Five Year Plans or their economic achievements except inasmuch as they present increased satisfaction of the needs of workers (1972, 293). Reich describes the thoughts of the workers as follows: “If socialism isn’t going to mean anything but sacrifice, self-denial, poverty and privation for us, then we don’t care whether such misery is called socialism or capitalism. Let socialist economy prove its excellence by satisfying our needs and keeping pace with their growth” (1972, 293).

Even as sections of the masses acted against their own interests in lifting Hitler to power (Reich 1972, 283). As Reich says:

“While we [communists] presented the masses with superb historical analysis and economic treatises on the contradictions of imperialism, Hitler stirred the deepest roots of their emotional being. As Marx would have put it, we left the praxis of the subjective factor to the idealists; we acted like mechanistic, economistic materialists.” (1972, 284)

 

In different terms, for Guattari:

“By reterritorializing their desire onto a leader, a people, and a race, the masses abolished, by means of a phantasm of catastrophe, a reality which they detested and which the revolutionaries were either unwilling or unable to encroach upon. For the masses, virility, blood, vital space, and death took the place of a socialism that had too much respect for the dominant meanings.” (1973, 168)

And in this is a lesson (an old one) for today. The Left must not be afraid to go beyond the traditional terrain of politics. It must seek more than reformist liberal democracy or politics as usual. And it must make its uprisings all the way, not part way. Lest it dig its own grave.

Guattari concludes:

“It can be said of fascism that it is all-powerful and, at the same time, ridiculously weak. And whether it is the former or the latter depends on the capacity of collective arrangements, subject-groups, to connect the social libido, on every level, with the whole range of revolutionary chains of desire.” (1973, 171)

This again echoes the insights provided by Wilhelm Reich in the 1930s. We might think of this in terms of the collapse of the alt-Right, and its confidence in its desires, after Charlottesville. And we might reflect on this before becoming too confident it will not recover and regroup.

 

Conclusion

Capitalist machines tap the working class potentials for desire. In Guattari’s words: “These machines infiltrate the ranks of the workers, their families, their couples, their childhood; they install themselves at the very heart of the workers’ subjectivity and vision of the world.” (1973, 169). Guattari makes a point, easy to overlook, that industrial capitalism decodes all realities. This liberates greater waves of desire. We might think of this in terms of the desires in trolling, fake news, sarcasm, and nihilism expressed today and which rise along with, as part of Trumpism. Capitalism always needs to search for new formulas for totalitarianism to control struggles of desire (of migrants, of racialized people, of prisoners, etc.).

Political practice is at an impasse. A social totality is locked in inertia. Despite the best intentions of those involved. There is a surplus of information and a lack of action. The Right personalizes national ills. The Left does not personalize. Rather it looks at structural forms. The Right looks for and focuses on particular groups that can be vilified.

Fascism is the charismatic leader with a cult following and religious fervor. It is the regular refusal of all philosophical positions. This is so throughout its various incarnations. On deception Reich suggests:

“A worker trained in the class struggle is not often deceived, but many, very many, have been ideologically softened up. Only a minority are trained. The majority, thanks to the free trade unions, have never known a strike. There is hardly a “dangerous worker” left in the factories. And so the average worker may have a correct sense of what is happening, but he is without leadership and is forced to fall back on the hope that Hitler means well, after all, and that “he’s doing something for us workers.” He accepts the pittance without realizing that he is really the master and nobody has any presents to give him.” (1972, 311)

The fears of anonymous society give rise to a desire to submerge oneself—maintain anonymity—in the figure of the leader—who is known and even famous. The leader carries one’s desires forward for them in a  way that takes the heat—so you can remain anonymous and not have to be accountable. Even if they are wrong or get  hammered they are respected because they have put themselves out there and taken the heat—for you.

Modern society is marked by docile, passive interchangeability. Anywhere, anyone. This is not revolutionary anonymity. It is rather an anonymity to blandness. The mask of democracy and interchangeability of voting or polls.

The black bloc is a visceral response to the phony transparency of liberal democracy. Also  the use of minimal violence to expose much deeper and extreme violence. It rests on masking. That is both its strength and its weakness. Transparency gets you clobbered.

Modern citizens are too comfortable, but not comfortable. They are isolated, detached, fragmented, lonely, exposed. This relates to their susceptibility to social phobias. As Reich puts it: “Such a man is psychically so deformed that simply being told he is a “fully valid member of society” will make him feel better, especially if he is given some kind of uniform to wear” (1972, 310). He wants an impossible comfort.

Trumpism and the end of comfort. Fear based politics related to climate change. First impacts of climate change. Reflected in fear of the refugee. Fear of the “outside invasion.” Which will only increase as the climate crisis increases.

Affect. Trump projects symbolic disarray that only the symbolic leader can address. Support for Trump is acknowledgement that the bet will never be placed. Giving your money and knowing it will not be placed. You will be ripped off. The more it goes off the rails the more it works and the more people join. Trump does not hold together well—and that is a big part of his appeal. The euphoria of empty promises. Finding solace in distress. Alterity and alternative facts. For Guattari, the more it breaks down, the better it works. Unlike totalitarianism it liberates the desires o the masses for their own death. It is an escape that is suicidal.

 

 

References

Crain, Caemeron. 2013. “Microfascism.” The Mantle

Guattari, Felix. 2009 [1973]. “Everybody Wants to be a Fascist.” In Chaosophy: Texts and Interviews 1972-1977. New York: Semiotext(e), 154-175

Reich, Wilhelm. 1973. Sex-Pol: Essays, 1929-1934. New York: Vintage Books.

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Trump’s Transgender Gaslighting

By Gleb Tsipursky

President Donald Trump signed a directive on August 25 following up on his earlier tweets that he “will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.” Whatever you think about the decree, the spin from the Trump administration about it amounts to the gaslighting of the transgender community.

Consider the terms of this order. It prevents any new openly transgender recruits from joining the armed forces. It also orders the military to evaluate the status of currently-serving transgender soldiers and potentially get rid of them as well in line with Trump’s original tweet: Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis is putting together a group of experts to study the matter. Transgender troops decried the order, saying it will create “complete inequality,” in the words of one. The director of the LGBTQ advocacy group Palm Center said that Trump is “pull[ing] the rug out from under a group of service members who have been defending our country.”

Any reasonable person can see that the decree blatantly discriminates against transgender individuals, meaning treating them differently and worse than others. Yet the Trump administration explicitly denies this reality. According to the official briefing the press on the directive, it did not represent in any way discrimination against transgender individuals. The official stated that Trump will “continue to ensure that the rights of the LGBTQ community” are protected, and is not going back on his campaign promise in 2016 to “fight for” that community.

Why make statements that are so clearly false? There is no doubt that the directive discriminates against transgender people, so what explains the blatant lies?

This type of deception falls into the category of gaslighting, a psychological manipulation that aims to create doubt about the nature of reality. Often occurring in abusive relationships, gaslighting is so harmful that victims often report that the impact of this manipulation is worse than the original offense. It can make you doubt your reality, grow confused, vulnerable, and uncertain, unable to fend off the manipulations of the perpetrator and even fall into accepting their reality, known as the gaslight effect.

Trump’s administration has used gaslighting extensively as a psychological weapon. Denying reality creates confusion and uncertainty, a highly useful outcome since the victims of the gaslighting are unsure about what to do next. Should they expend their resources demonstrating the obvious truth of reality, or should they focus on addressing the problem at hand?

In this case, the transgender community is the target of Trump’s gaslighting. The issue they face is whether to address the blatant lies coming from the White House about the decree, or emphasize fighting Trump’s discriminatory actions.

The solution is to make the gaslighting tactic itself unacceptable. Political and social science research shows that trust is vital for healthy democracies. Citizens in a democracy have a basic expectation of their public officials being trustworthy, in their words and actions. In return, citizens comply with laws, pay taxes, and cooperate with other government initiatives. In comparison to a democracy, an autocratic state bears a much higher resource burden of policing to make its citizens comply with its laws. When political leaders act in ways that destroy trust – as the Trump administration is doing through misleading statements and outright lies – people will increasingly stop complying with laws and paying taxes.

While Trump is making short-term gains for conservatives, he is undermining the stability of our political system as a whole. No one – liberals nor conservatives – want the chaos and disorder that would result from the destruction of trust. All can recognize the terrible dangers posed by such denial of reality to our democracy.

Even worse, other politicians, such as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, are adopting Trump’s tactics. For instance, Christie ordered a number of state-run beaches in New Jersey closed on Friday, June 30, 2017, yet he used a closed state beach in Island Beach State Park for himself and his family on July 2, 2017. At a press conference later that same day, he was asked about being on the beach during the time of the beach shut-down order. In a classic example of gaslighting, Christie said “”I didn’t get any sun today.” When Christie’s spokesperson was shown the pictures, the spokesperson responded “He did not get any sun. He had a baseball hat on.”

Christie’s use of gaslighting to justify corruption and abuse of power points to the normalization of gaslighting within our political system. Only by coming together in a nonpartisan manner to call out such lies and commit to truth can we hope to make gaslighting unacceptable and preserve our democracy.

Dr. Gleb Tsipursky is the author of the forthcoming The Alternative to Alternative Facts: Fighting Post-Truth Politics with Behavioral Science. One of the lead creators of the Pro-Truth Pledge, he is a professor at Ohio State and President of the nonprofit Intentional Insights.

Gangsterism and the Trump State: First Notes

By Jeff Shantz

In 1941, two years into World War II, socialist playwright Bertolt Brecht released a play The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (in German: Der aufhaltsame Aufstieg des Arturo Ui) which chronicles the rise of Arturo Ui, a fictional 1930s Chicago mobster, and his efforts ruthless efforts to dominate the cauliflower racket. Subtitled A Parable Play, Arturo Ui is a satirical allegory of the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party in Germany before the start of World War II. Brecht’s depiction of the Nazis as gangsters references a reality of Nazi governance, the Nazis operated as gangsters, a point made by social historians. It further speaks to the Nazi emplacement of its own gang members into key positions within the existing government structures, especially the bureaucracy, and takeover of those structures once in power. This is a trend that can be observed in interesting ways in the developing goon presidency of Donald Trump. The most notable recent example is the naming of Anthony Scaramucci to the position of Communications Director.

In Trump we are seeing a re-cartelization of the economic sphere. Trump is a goon and he admires goons. As fascists did he is putting his own people into the administrative and bureaucratic state, And they are gangsters and goons. He is getting rid of the bureaucracy that forms policy.

 

The State as a Racket

In War Making and State Making as Organized Crime, the sociologist Charles Tilly, in writing about the state has famously said:

“To the extent that threats against which a given government protects its citizens are imaginary or are consequences of its own activities, the government has organized a protection racket. Since governments themselves commonly stimulate, or even fabricate threats of external war, and since the repressive and extractive activities of governments often constitute the largest current threats to the livelihoods of their own citizens, many governments operate in essentially the same ways as racketeers.”

Neoliberalism has already decimated any notion of popular sovereignty or social welfare. The crisis of capitalism results in the crisis of the traditional parties and the liberal democratic order. The ruling class can no longer rule in its familiar ways. As this crisis deepens they become more ruthless in their attacks on the working class and its historic gains (social welfare, etc.). Health care, education, social welfare, etc. Become “luxuries” (which the truly luxurious strata become envious of). Attacks on these bare, but essential services, ratchet up already churning resentment and anger.

With the stripping of the state of its “luxuries” or inessential (for capital) features it is returned to its status as what Friedrich Engels called “armed bodies of men,” of gangsters—it is restored to the status of a racket.

So the army, police, prisons, are underwritten and grown. So too the Brownshirt industries associated with them. But the dictatorship of capital is no longer disguised. This is the resort to fascism.

In a period of sharp crisis the disguise slips. And it can slip. Obscuring ideology is not needed. How else to understand Trump’s open appeal to police across the country to not be too nice to suspects being arrested (in a context of racialized MS-13 panic), in front of a group of cheering and applauding cops.

As an aside we might suggest that the strange attack on MS-13 is a one-sided gang war-waged from the White House. And it occurs while his regime is raiding families of Latin American background in California, New Mexico, Arizona, etc.

Capitalism in crisis has always in periods given rise to the bare gangster form. Marx identified it as Bonapartism. The deep crisis of capitalism produces armed thug gangs who can oppose working class resistance.

In fascism, the state loses its monopoly over non—state violence. That is partly the threat of the Brownshirts. They are a parallel force of violence that shows up the loss of the state monopoly. With fascism, the bourgeoisie gives over power to the gangsters, the thugs, the goons.

 

The Trump Gang

If the protection racket us a scheme in which a group provides protection (to business, clubs, etc.) through violence enacted outside of the sanction of law, then the Trump regime, like all fascist regimes, has taken form as a base protection racket, a gang. This type of authoritarian formation maintains existing property relations while taking a piece of the pie for their own benefit. The Trump inner circle is made up of gangsters.

This is highlighted in liberal terms with the undermining or circumventing of the judiciary. It cannot provide legal protection. Trump poses it as incompetent. One can see this most forcefully in his attacks upon the courts over his Muslim ban. The Muslim ban is itself a racialist, fascistic offering of protection (for nativist whites, Christians, etc.) against a “foreign” other posed solely as a threat—and terroristic one at that.

As in an extortion racket there is also an implied threat that the protected may also be turned on themselves if they do not come through—so Trump’s call to let Obamacare implode—with costs assumed by poor whit Trump supporters (and Republican insiders alike).

The distinction between capitalist and gangster is simply one of state definition so it is not surprising that a capitalist would be surrounded by gangsters. One need not go into detail on the Kushner clan. Insider Jared’s father Charles Kushner was sentenced to two years after pleading guilty to 18 counts of making illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion, and witness tampering (involving a nasty case in which he set up his’ wife’s husband in a videotaped fling with a sex worker). Trump is of and for such people. This is his milieu. This is he.

Trump becomes the autonomous figure—the decider who can stand above the fray of divided politics. Trump is a magical gangster. He has a calling—it is the market. His is a counter-revolution based around the market, in the face of impending catastrophe.

At the same time he always has an alibi. His is an alibi of being. It does not allow the acknowledgement of the other. Except, that is, to destroy the other. He admits freely and jokingly to sexual assaults, in public, but denies the very realities of his accusers.

 

Postscript: Farewell Mooch, We Hardly Knew Ye

At the time of his appointment, commentators noted that Scaramucci was nothing more than “a thug for hire.” Unlike Steve Bannon, Scaramucci had no agenda beyond self-debasing loyalty and no ambition beyond time with the boss. In the end he got neither.

Like the gangster Nazis in power, Scaramucci immediately took out two figureheads of the Republican orthodoxy, Press Secretary Sean Spice and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus. In their place are committed Trumpites Sarah Huckabee Sanders and, notably a military guy, General John Kelly. The Scaramucci hire is symptomatic of the gangster mode of organizing. It follows and reproduces the Nazi gangster inclination for management of underlings through envy, fear, aspiration, in which all are expected to give complete loyalty (typically unrequited) to the leader who need show none. This latter point was made hilariously clear when Scaramucci was himself tanked only 10 days into his role, surely a record of sorts.

Of course history tells us that the generals felt uncomfortable with the gangsters in the SA (largely because they viewed them as a potential competitor breaking the monopoly on violence). We do not want to read too much into John Kelly’s urging of Trump to dismiss the Mooch but on the night of July 30, 2017, it would seem that at least one long knife was out. Still the unexpected hit on the loudmouth who talked too much is not entirely outside of Trump’s gangster management of the White House.

 

We might finally remember that for Brecht, the name Ui was meant to sound like a pig screaming.

 

References

Brecht, Bertolt. 1941. The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui: A Parable Play.

 

 

Producerism: The Homegrown Roots of Trumpism

Jeff Shantz

The disturbing rise of Donald Trump to the presidency and the growing  mobilization of rightwing forces in the United States has driven attempts to understand and situate trumpism and the particular brand of politics his rise signals. Most commentators have been tempted to look at rightist traditions outside of the US, whether right populism in Europe or Latin America or historic fascist movements as in Italy, Germany, or Spain. Yet I would suggest we can better understand trumpism and its place in rightist developments in the US by looking at a forgotten homegrown American lineage—producerism.

Producerism refers to a political-economic perspective of right wing populism. At the center of producerist ideas and movements is the notion that so-called productive members of society, typically industrial or more skilled workers, small business people, and individual entrepreneurs are threatened by dual pressures coming from so-called parasitical strata both above and below them in the social hierarchy. From above are the economic and political elites who live parasitically by usurping the value produced by their workers in the form of surplus value or profit. From below the middle class workers are threatened by the poor, unemployed, and those who receive social welfare. Both the elite and the non-elite strata live off of the value produced by the middle classes. Producerists present a picture of an imperiled middle class that is responsible for social wealth, growth, and development but is constantly squeezed by non-productive forces from above and below. The dual squeezing of middle class labor is said to drain society of its productive faculties and resources, leading to stagnation and eventual decline. The end result is a society that is lazy and unproductive due to pressures toward idleness, parasitism, and freeloading. For producerists, the middle class are the real engines of social growth and development are should fully enjoy the fruits of their labor, free of undue control from capital or taxation by government.

Producerism is an undertheorized, often overlooked perspective, yet one that has influenced a range of historical and contemporary right wing movements. Producerism was developed by organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan to mobilize working class whites against former slaves, union organizers, and Jewish workers in the aftermath of the American Civil War. Producerism found some expression in William Jennings Bryan’s populist opposition to the rail and mining monopolies in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In the 1960s producerist rhetoric was used by George Wallace in his anti-federal, campaigns for states’ rights. It also found expression in Richard Nixon’s appeals to the “silent majority” and his so-called “Southern Strategy” to become president. Contemporary expressions of producerism are found in the Reform Party of America and figures like Pat Buchanan and Glenn Beck. The more recent Tea Party movement in the US, and its rhetoric of middle class decline, tax-cutting, cuts to social spending, anti-immigration policies, etc. is perhaps the most dramatic recent expression of producerism as a political movement. The images of the “Momma Grizzly” or “Hockey Mom,” popularized by Sarah Palin, are expressions of the tenacity or resilience of the middle class and entrepreneurialism.

Producerism represents a critique of capitalism and free market ideologies, but does so from a conservative or reactionary rather than a radical or progressive perspective. For producerists, the primary class within social change is the middle class rather than the proletariat or working class more broadly, as in anarchism and communism. In producerist perspectives, it is the so-called productive middle class, particularly better paid industrial or skilled workers rather than service sector workers or the poor, that produces value in society.

The value produced by middle class workers suffers a dual expropriation by economic and politics elites. On one hand the value they produce at work is expropriated by executives and owners who retain that value as profit. On the other hand the portion of value retained by middle-class workers as their wages is expropriated by government elites in the form of taxation. For producerists, middle class workers always bear a disproportionate and unfair burden in national taxation schemes.  On the one end, corporations enjoy a variety of tax breaks, rebates, and loopholes.  On the other end, producerists claim that the poor and lower wage workers are not taxed as heavily. This latter claim, of course, overlooks the heavier burden placed on lower paid and poor workers by regressive taxes such as consumption or sales taxes. The earnings expropriated through taxes are redistributed both upwards (as corporate grants and tax relief) and downwards (in social welfare spending for the poor and unemployed).

The usurpation of middle class value by large corporations and international finance capital siphons wealth out of the country, limits free enterprise and entrepreneurship, and destroys small business through monopolization. At the same time, the underclasses and migrant labor drain productive wealth away from entrepreneurs and industrial production giving it instead to supposedly wasteful government programs that benefit the least, rather than the most productive, strata in society.

Producerists, unlike anarchists, anarcho-syndicalists, and communists, are typically not anti-capitalists. Producerists differ from anarchists or anarcho-syndicalists even in the way that they view capital. Some producerists draw a distinction between what they view as productive industrial capital (which is usually portrayed as domestic) and so-called idle or unproductive financial or speculative capital (which is often constructed as international). While industrial capital is involved in the production of real material goods that address specific needs, such as automobiles or refrigerators, financial capital is viewed as purely symbolic or frivolous, undermining productive capital by wasting resources on speculative schemes aimed only at profiting the financiers. Speculative capital is connected with the rootless interests of cosmopolitan or multinational investors. This distinction between national capital and international capital or investors can give rise to racist formulations as in anti-Semitic constructions of finance capital as part of a Jewish world conspiracy. Such were the infamous formulations at the center of Nazi ideology, in which ill-defined notions of Jewish, cosmopolitan, and communist were equated in a paradoxical framework that also included global capital (also ill-defined).

In the period of capitalist globalization companies engaged in outsourcing, global movement, or investment, rather than domestic production, are viewed as a threat. Some producerists advocate protectionist policies and high tariffs to safeguard the domestic economy and workers. Foreign transnational companies are viewed as a threat, yet domestic transnationals, such as Wal-mart and Ford are viewed more favorably. The internationalist threat is, once again, posed from above (bankers, financiers, Trilateralists, the United Nations) as well as from below (socialists, communists, migrants, labor solidarity).

While primarily economic in orientation producerism often takes on cultural critiques.  Middle class values, associated for producerists with a sturdy work ethic, patriarchal and heteronormative family structure, and values of thrift and conservatism, are counterpoised against the so-called “decadence” of supposedly unproductive classes such as artists and writers.  These cultural workers, who are believed to live from government subsidies, grants, or welfare, are viewed as dangerous bohemians who threaten economic prosperity as well as cultural values.  Their “lifestyles” are again viewed as being subsidized or underwritten by the productive work and surplus value produced through the labors of the hard working middle class.

Often the terms are racialized as the middle class is presented as white and African-Americans and Hispanics are presented as lazy or bound by “cultures of poverty.” Producerists often take on nativist, even explicitly racist, positions toward immigrants.  Immigrants are viewed as a threat to the middle classes as they can be used to drive down labor values by expanding the labor market and, thus, depressing wages. Producerists accuse migrants of representing a drain on social services, particularly welfare, education, and health care.

Producerist narratives are often also gendered, presenting middle class workers as male and proper families as male-headed.  The narratives are also often heteronormative, presenting homosexuality as a form of unproductive decadence that threatens cultural values of restraint and discipline.

Producerism bears some relation to notions of social Darwinism in which poverty is viewed as the lack of “fitness” of the poor who should be left to survive by their own labors. Where the poor fail to succeed or survive the outcome is viewed as a reflection of natural selection at work.

The political ideology with which producerism bears the greatest similarities is indeed fascism. Indeed fascism is often viewed as a form of producerist ideology. Fascism, like producerism, also presents a view of society in which the middle class suffers a dual threat coming from above (financial capital) and below (the poor, unionized workers, the left). Hitler expressed the view that the state should respond only to the claims of the productive classes which excluded migrants and the poor.

Some producerists support skilled craft associations, even craft unions, as free associations of individuals. Yet they oppose industrial unions, particularly radical or syndicalist unions, as threats to production or advocates for the less productive. It bears watching to see what types of union formations might emerge as part of contemporary trumpist initiatives and to oppose them.

 

Further Reading

Berlet, Chip and Matthew N. Lyons. 2000. Right-wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort. New York: Guilford Press.

Betz, Hans-Georg and Stefan Immerfall, eds. 1998. The New Politics of the Right: Neo-Populist Parties and Movements in Established Democracies. New York: St. Martin’s Press

Laclau, Ernesto. 1977. Politics and Ideology in Marxist Theory: Capitalism, Fascism, Populism. London: NLB

Zernike, Kate. 2010. Boiling Mad: Inside Tea Party America. New York: Times Books

 

Originally Published in the Anarcho-Syndicalist Review #70

On the Messy Psychology of Trumpism: Deception, the Right, and Neoliberal Trauma

By Jeff Shantz

In fascism, the monsters of childhood come true. – Theodor Adorno

 

In the words of tragic cultural theorist, and victim of actual fascism, Walter Benjamin, “Behind the rise of every fascism is a failed revolution.” A contribution of the Frankfurt School is thinking through the connection of the failed revolutions and fascism. While Trumpism might differ from historic fascism in not following a failed revolution (unless one looks at the failings of a mass movement like Occupy which is a stretch) it does respond to the failings of hopeful liberalism.

This is expressed in terms of fear and a seeking for comfort among those who feel or perceive a loss of status. Understanding rebellion and resistance in the current period also must involve coming to grips with the Trumpist counter-revolution and currents running through it.

How might the Trump phenomenon, and seemingly rising proto-fascism, be understood? While it is still early in the development of Trumpism (it is also late in terms of stopping real social harms from being inflicted) some outlines can be drawn.

 

Deceiving The Crowd

Trump can readily be situated within historical trajectories of fascism and Right wing populism. One can look to the historical social and psychological conditions of the nineteenth century. Then too popular progressive movements from below, including anarchism, were (quite rightly) viewed as a challenge to conservative elites. The growth of the masses in democracy raised concerns for elites about how to preserve their rule. Elite concern over these movements was the subject of numerous public discussions. Examples of social scientific writing on this include Gustave LeBon’s The Crowd and The Psychology of Revolution and John Henry Mackay’s Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.

In The Crowd LeBon recommends mass deception to ensure a favorable outcome for elites. In the approach outlined by LeBon, conservative elites cannot actually practice democracy but must deceive the masses to appear to be doing so. One might pursue this argument in thinking about the role of so-called fake news and alternative truths in the Trumpist mobilization and the centrality they find among his key organizers like Kellyanne Conway. LeBon focused on supposedly irrational crowds that could be used by demagogues. LeBon was cited favorably by Mussolini and Hitler.

Passive democracy is no match for the power of the myth to mobilize the masses. This perspective finds an echo in the work of Georges Sorel and his emphasis on social myth. Sorel identifies the supposedly irrational in politics. In his view political actors must understand feelings that move the masses to action. LeBon speaks of elite manipulation. Sorel focuses on popular mobilization. These tendencies are combined in the figure and action of Mussolini. This convergence is reproduced in the Trumpist movement.

Nazi theorist of political power Carl Schmitt suggests conservatives must play the democratic game in order to maintain power. According to Andrew Sullivan, Trump is a result of too much democracy. Trump is of the crowd, by the crowd, for the crowd.

Precursors to Trumpism can be found in the works of Gottfried von Herder and Joseph de Maistre. In Trumpism, the artist of Romanticism is transferred to the entrepreneur or magnate who is presented as an artist (the art of the deal). The supposed genius of the entrepreneur, the “art of the deal” is contrasted with the supposed mediocrity of the mass and the degeneracy of the political establishment (the corrupt hacks of the swamp of Washington). Fascism proposes an elite that can save the nation from the degenerate state. This makes clear the choices made by Trump in his cabinet. The cabal of millionaires and billionaires are the elite who will bring about national rebirth. The ones posed as “doers.” They will make America great again. (Notably, Kevin O’Leary a financial blowhard and reality TV star is running for leadership of the Conservative Party in Canada as one of the entrepreneurial “doers,” his word, who will make Canada great again also).

 

The Trauma of Neoliberalism

To understand the response to Trumpism one must also understand the trauma of neoliberalism, the context of popular dissatisfaction fear, and hope. The advent of neoliberalism initiates a crisis period (see Shantz 2016, Crisis States). This involves punitive accumulation and a redoubled accumulation of wealth for the wealthy. The neoliberal period can be understood as a traumatic period of four decades. Social trauma. Margaret Thatcher even referred to “a short, sharp, shock.”

Fundamentally, neoliberalism has changed and dismantled processes of socialization and mutual aid. Indebtedness and a sense of being alone in your own debt. It is your responsibility alone in a context of declined social support. Supporters are people dispossessed and feeling left out or feeling threatened economically. This is a sense of being dispossessed or not cared for by society. Neoliberal trauma  is a loss of power as a collective capacity to act. Dislocation and isolation are conditions ripe for authoritarianism (both are central to Hannah Arendt’s account of authoritarianism).

Clinton, foolishly, took on the task of reducing expectations and denying people their frustrations. She played a role of lessening the experienced impacts of neoliberalism. Impacts that Trump acknowledged and affirmed. Sanders offered another story of the white working class, if in limited, constrained, terms. Clinton held a bond to the failed program of neoliberalism. This was a condition for Trump’s victory.

Properly understanding Trumpism perhaps requires a theory of trauma related to association with the aggressor. In an actual assault, one can get through with support and understanding. Hypocrisy gives victims a sense of abandonment. This leads to compliance. You perceive things as you are supposed to not according to your own feelings. One has to give up critical thinking since it raises possibilities of separation. You comply so you belong. Any feeling of abandonment can evoke this. This is associated with feelings of shame.

Compliance is a response when society does not accept or value someone for who they are. There is an intimate connection between neoliberalism and hyper-responsibility. Issues of inequality and injustice are viewed as being the individual’s fault. Society does not owe you anything (unless you are wealthy, in which case you are owed tax breaks, grants, subsidies because of your greater contributions to a trickle down economy that will benefit everyone).

A response is compliance and omnipotent fantasy. Excess can be directed toward scapegoats. This relates to a sense of exceptionalism and belonging for those who align with the authority. A reality of compliance is expressed through a rhetoric of standing up for oneself. People whose trauma has been invalidated need their trauma to be known. Trumpism expresses a move from individual trauma to social trauma. There is an individual sense of loneliness and sense of dispossession.

 

An Agitator-In-Chief

The crowd is typically understood by theorists like LeBon in relation to the agitator. Trump is an agitator rather than an insurrectionist. The agitator focuses on groups who can be targeted. The agitator does not want followers to think too much.

There is an attempt to individualize the mob in the form of the figure. The figure will tolerate reality for them. What they cannot tolerate, the figure can and will.  He speaks to discreet self-identified groups who identify in terms of losers (in trade, globalization, internationalism, metropolitanism, etc.) but not as classes. Agitation uses emotional tools to reinforce the power structure. The agitator differs from revolutionaries and reformers.

Trump is an over-inflated narcissist. He appears, on surface, to have none of the insecurities his followers are trying to escape. He is the mirror they look into and wish to see themselves. He is appealing to people who otherwise feel powerless. Secondary narcissism stimulates feelings of belonging and loss. Trump, unlike his followers, exhibits no self-questioning, no self-doubt. This is a great relief to his supporters. He is shameless, he has no shame. Refusal to feel shame is a guide to people. Trump expresses a politics of shame and a politics of repugnance.

Fascism promises certainties. It promises a return to more easily understood or familiar conditions for sectors of the population who feel threatened with loss of standing or position (these are often middle strata groups that feel economically insecure or threatened with decline rather than the poor).

Regular folks who support Trump (even as he represents elite interests) can see Trumpism as making the country great again while they are largely able to continue on with their lives. It does not ask much of them but promises much (even if it never delivers on those specific promises). The imagined community or imaginary love of a powerful leader emerges as an outlet for repressed drives even if the program is not realized. Charismatic nationalism offers narcissistic gratification and an outlet for repressed drives against the externalized other.

 

On Fake News and Alternative Facts

It has been well remarked that Trump shows a contemptuous regard for truth or facts. He is appealing to the constrained who do not want to be hemmed in or constrained by facts either, as they are by so much else in their lives. This is related to the wish to win that Trump so effectively conjured during his campaign (with his repeated emphasis on America winning again, winning huge, etc.).

Primacy of the wish to win is related to the sense to which one feels dispossessed. Trump tells an emotional truth for his supporters even if he is widely seen to be lying. This truth is his anger and the affirmation of his followers’ anger. This is the truth that comes to matter, a point rational critics generally overlook or misread. Omnipotent fantasy cannot be told the factual truth. There is a turn to emotional truth. Trust is based not on his truth claims but on the sense that he will do what really needs to be done. His supporters trust his promised power.

There is a libidinal investment of the masses in the leader. They have fallen in love with him. The crowd enjoys vicariously through the leader. Trump, on their behalf will restore the lost narcissistic idea of the nation. He will “Make America Great Again.”

Critical thinking isolates you and isolation is part of the problem in neoliberal societies. There is a pleasure in feeling free from thinking. It is partly presented as a reaction against the constant thinking through of political correctness (doing what you are supposed to do and thinking through the implications of all utterances, let alone actions). So-called political correctness (simple decency perhaps) is constructed as an artificial strategy that maintains hypocrisy.

Unknowing is derided but critics fail to see the enjoyment it can provide. Ignorance can indeed be bliss. Trump represents a poverty of ideas. He expresses a cathartic change. Trump is a grotesque character type. In the enactment of aggression, Trump is both a fool and a wizard.

Trump speaks the analytic session: be spontaneous; speak the repressed; no emphasis on truth; free association. Trump brings the language and posture of the analytic session. What of the return of the repressed? What is repressed is fear and hatred of the other.

 

Conclusion

Living with fascism has been the underbelly of US politics for a very long time. It is not coming, it has been there. Frankfurt School theorists Max Horkheimer and Erich Fromm did not see the United States as immune to fascism.  Their view is developed significantly in the largely forgotten “Studies in Prejudice.” See also The Authoritarian Personality and an earlier study on anti-Semitism in the US.

Fascist tendencies exist in all modern capitalist societies. This was true even after the defeat of fascism in World War Two. Resentment has been mobilized against the post-war social welfare state and union movements. It has focused on the progressive redistribution of wealth, particularly as it has benefited members of minority groups.

From the 1980s on there has been a reversal of these tendencies as state capitalist regimes have abandoned welfare state policies in favor of Crisis State arrangements (Shantz 2016). This shifted has been effected under the so-called neoliberal consensus for state managers. The turn to neoliberalism coincides with the rise of a new generation of Right wing parties. At the same time this period has seen the decline of communist and socialist parties and movements in the West. There is a rise to prominence of Right wing parties and fascist groups. This is happening everywhere. Russia and Putin. India. Much of the blame belongs with failed democratic, labor, and social democratic parties that still refuse to break with neoliberalism. Trump breaks with neoliberal consensus. This is expressed in his election opposition to trade deals.

What the Left wishes to secure through cultural means (recognition and inclusion) the fascists will actually secure through material and military means. The challenge of Trumpism is also a challenge to rethink positive resistance politics. There is certainly a need for the Left to re-evaluate its politics. On the Left, there has been a loss of the language of solidarity as a shared fate. And a politics unrestrained by economics or program.

 

Further Reading

LeBon, Gustave. 2002 [1895]. The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind. New York: Dover

Shantz, Jeff. 2016. Crisis States: Governance, Resistance & Precarious Capitalism. Brooklyn: Punctum

 

Originally published in the Anarcho-Syndicalist Review.

Tendencies of Trumpocalypse

By Jeff Shantz

The rise of Trump and more importantly the far Right movements around him raise some questions about the nature of the Trumpocalypse (and its relation to Right populism or more to the point to fascism). The question is now being asked whether or not it is true that there is fascism of some sort in the US at the present time. While not providing a firm answer on that question there are some initial tendencies or shaping features that are suggestive and should be addressed. These are outlines of Trumpocalypse rather than hard and fast conclusions.

Fascism refers to a unique and most extreme form of bourgeois rule. This is so because under fascism the bourgeoisie gives up some of its control to shock troops and loses its customary hold over the mechanisms of liberal democracy. Big capital desires fascism to do its dirty work for it and fascism becomes a tool of big capital. Finance capital through fascism gathers all the organs and institutions of the state. Schools, press, municipalities. Not only the executive. Workers groups are crushed. At its heart fascism is an armed movement that uses extreme violence against the Left.

Some suggest that populism is a more useful term than fascism right now. Yet there are problems with the use of populism to describe the far Right movements today. Centrist notions of populism equate Left and Right. Both are lumped together as non-liberal, against trade, etc., and therefore both are bad. In this way the centrist notions of populism are similar to earlier versions of totalitarianism analysis, as in the work of Hannah Arendt, for example. FDR was referred to as a fascist by some communists. While at the same time Hitler was called a passing phenomenon—to be followed in turn by a victorious proletarian revolution.

At the same time there is a Trumpism—against urbanism, rationalism, metropolitanism. It is a proto-fascist movement. It is about a dynamic. The proposed “purification” of society. A new anthropology—creating the human anew (as in fascism).

Of some importance, there is a tendency to underestimate the movements of contemporary brownshirts in the US. Some commentators might still assume that real fascists in the US live in bunkers in the desert and are merely odd survivalists. But that is a dangerous misreading of current movements. It is an analysis from the 1990s. Fascists today, and this is one thing that can be said about the Trump campaign, have come above ground.

 

Trump and Brownshirt Infrastructure

Trump represents the construction wing of Wall Street. He will oversee a regime of infrastructure building particularly of Brownshirt infrastructure. That is infrastructure of repression such as prisons, policing infrastructure. His will be a regime of building as his campaign expressed—build a wall; build prisons; build detention centers. He will provide help to banks and he will provide help to construction industries.

Trump will build his base and reward it through Brownshirt infrastructure and physical infrastructure (roads, bridges, airports). This will help the Midwest and the Rust Belt and shore up his base in those areas. That means it will reinforce the white nationalist base and white nationalist rhetoric.

Tax holidays for corporations to repatriate wealth. If taxed at one percent it could be used to fund Brownshirt infrastructure. Funding would be through banks and government would secure the loans. This will be a state assisted accumulation of capital.

 ***

Trump represents warmed over Reaganomics. His plan is the dream of investment bankers. The DNC will carry out his agenda as it benefits Wall Street. There will be a battle in the DNC over the nature of support for Wall Street. They will do so around infrastructures spending and a child care tax.

The Democrats will align with Trump. Sanders, Warren, Chuck Schumer, and the AFL-CIO have all said they could work with Trump. They will hope to gain some credit for some policy decisions. Yet this will only reify Trump as the dealmaker who gets stuff done and can work with anyone (on his terms) as he has said throughout his campaign. There will be no benefit accruing to Democrats for doing this.

This raises the need for organizing within the infrastructure industries. At present too many unions in those industries are crass business unions with less than progressive practices.

Contemporary far Right populism, Trumpism, in the US, is something of a coalition of the one percent with people of all classes who are outcast (dislocated from the social system at all levels), declasse (particularly, of course, among white American males). People supporting Trump are not the most downtrodden, not the classic lumpenproletariat, as is often assumed. They are instead the ones who fear losing their assumed place in the social structure, those who fear precarious status and economic decline (the much talked about loss of the middle class).

 

Context

Fascism comes to power when the Left has abdicated its role and responsibility. That is when it is not fighting fascism directly in the streets or when it has not carried through a revolution in the making. Today’s far right operates in a different context and has a different intent.

In Europe and Latin America there are right populist movements. There are fascist organizations, but they are small and few in number. Furthermore, they have no significant connection to either capital or state power. Big capital is not significantly supporting the fascist groups. The main purpose of the current far right is anti-globalism. But big capital wants globalism. Social phobias find a home in the parties of the far right—nationalism, not globalism.

The one percent (particularly building capital) has little interest in populism. It wants migration, for example, in order to keep wages down and increase completion on the labor market. Indeed, many of the voices for the movement of refugees come from neoliberal capital rather than the broad Left.

Historic fascism emerged in face of an imploding world market. Some might suggest that there is no need of fascism for capital since there is no Left working class movement and no imploding world market.

Yet one can see hints of an answer in current social struggles, particularly over extreme energy. As one instructive example we might look to the militarization of police at Standing Rock. Some mobilization against extractives. Is this being used as an impetus for capital to mobilize fascism in the present period? The militarization has already happened in Canada. As the stakes get higher this militarization will increase. It has not yet developed in the form of Right wing mobilization of civilian gangs to attack Indigenous peoples defending their lands. But there are isolated individual instances that suggest it could.

 

When Reform Fails

Far Right populism is what you get when social reform or social democracy fails. Today there are not significant working class movements of the Left in the US. Right wing populism thrives where the Left has failed. There have been mass movements representing refutation of elites and neoliberalism recently. Arab Spring, Indignados, Occupy Wall Street represent examples. There has been, since the decline of these movements, a hard swing to the Right. This is represented in Trump, Modi, UKIP, and the Front National in France, etc. In the current context the far Right has taken up the challenge that the Left has failed to meet.

The Left has abandoned even its bread and butter “wheelhouse” issues. There is virtually no Left movement against global trade agreements anymore. While there has been some spoken opposition against CETA and the TPP there is no semblance of the public mobilizations that challenged NAFTA in the 1980s and early 1990s and the WTO in Seattle in 1999 or the FTAA in Quebec City in 2001. There has been no large scale movement against any of the smaller agreements passed over the last few years either. And that is at the level of manifestations, not at the level of organization in workplaces and neighborhoods.

And this has been an organizational challenge. The Left in the West has built very little in the way of real world, material infrastructures of sustenance and resistance. Unfortunately the far Right has moved in to occupy this abandoned territory. Megachurches gave a center to sprawling suburbs. They provided community life. The Left used to do this but does not anymore.

Unions are business unions and there is no contestatory ideology. They offer service for workers for pay. They organize over contracts and grievances. It is a commodified form of unionism. There is nothing that makes mainstream unions inherently working class, let alone radical working class. Organized labor has become a form of clientalism. Organized labor does not organize labor. It is focused on contract negotiations. There are some public campaigns on issues like education. There are some “get out the vote” efforts.

 

Neoliberal Populism Today

The present period is perhaps closer to the 1970s period of neoliberal populism. The Left in the 1970s was marked by three different tendencies. First was welfare state social democracy. Second was the advocacy of class conflict. Third was the denial of class (post-modernism).

Neoliberalism impelled a shift from understandings of classes to notions of taxpayers versus elites. Corrupt elites were understood not as capital and politicians but as state bureaucrats and unions within neoliberal frameworks. Individual liberation was viewed as everything. The aim of neoliberal populism was identified as getting welfare state and union bosses off your back, not capital. This would supposedly allow anyone to win in the market game. These were staple views espoused by Reagan and Thatcher.

After some years of course the realization grew that the market game produced mostly losers. And these losers were working class. By the time this realization set in for broad cross-sections of people there was no likelihood of getting back the welfare state that neoliberals had transformed (into a carceral or workfare state). Capitalist globalization circumvented and destroyed unions.

Now neoliberalism is unpopular and the welfare state is not on offer. The Left cannot deliver on hopes for a return to the welfare state. Right wing populism emerges keeping at its center the rugged individualism of neoliberal populism. But now it has also to focus on bailed out bankers and big capital. It must focus on corporate welfare as well as social welfare as its motivating social ills. But, not surprisingly, Right wing populism gives less focus to corporate welfare. Indeed, for Right wing populists many of their leaders are part of the establishment.

Neoliberalism has made the irrationality of supporting capitalism (a planet destroying system) seem to be the only possibility on the planet. Right wing populism has been ramping up a counter-revolution in culture. It is a cultural counter-revolution rather than an economic counter-revolution.

The Democratic Party claims that they can be and will be better managers of neoliberal capitalism. They claim to be more efficient and thus will be able to manage more tax money to put into some, limited range of, social programs. They also claim a more diverse base of interests in their representative politics. The Democratic Party since 2008 has, despite the hopeful rhetoric, been pro-Wall Street and pro-war as, indeed, it has always been. They offer nothing to the working class, even in the Sanders wing.

 

In Response

Fascism always needs to be fought directly, not argued with. You cannot fight power unless you build power. There is a need for organizing infrastructures of sustenance and resistance. Syndicalist organizing and a militant approach to challenging structures of ownership and control are crucial. On the one hand there will be a need to organize against development capital. On the other green syndicalist approaches can connect struggles over extreme energy and extractives.

It might be recognized that organizers have to engage with some Trump voters (some, not by any means all). Not doing so is to replay the elitism of Hillary Clinton. At the same time, and crucially, organizers have to support and defend the main targets of Right wing populism. There is a pressing need to find the common ground there.

There are real questions about how to provoke progressive politics in the US. One necessity is to refocus on locally based struggles and work to share them and their lessons internationally.

Some have suggested a Left Tea Party. This is a futile hope. There is no Left equivalent of the Kochs and Coors who build up Right wing infrastructures. The Left cannot have a Left version of the Tea Party. The Left has no real organizational form or movement like the Tea Party. The Tea Party was a real movement, it was not strictly Astroturf. There is no equivalent on the Left.

One approach is to think of organizing space. Especially in the cities. Trumpism is a war against the cities. It is a war against diversity. It is a war against metropolitanism. Cities are refuges of migrants, queers, women, unions, the Left. Cities are also a concrete space. Imagined communities do not exist the way cities do. There could be a broad based strategy focused on cities.

Cities are controlled by real estate developers. Thus struggles confront the Trump wing of builders and real estate capital. Cities are huge bases of support and opposition. They are large economies. There is a need to organize city by city. At the same time it is a historical fault of the Left not organizing the working class in the suburbs. Suburbs are the areas of the working class. Yet the Left organizes downtown in the city center.

Finally something must be said about the anti-Trump protests. The Republican Party wants to pose the working class as white reactionaries. Anti-Trump protests are working class protests. The diversity of the working class. A working class revolt against Trump. These manifestations are already posing questions of organization (beyond street manifestations) anew.

 Originally published in the Anarcho-Syndicalist Review, Issue # 69 

 

What Would Have Happened to the Alt Right if Trump Had Lost?

 

The presidential election of 2016 is going to go down as one of the largest political upsets in history.  Even into the evening, most mainstream pollsters and political rags were declaring a decisive Clinton victory, and as the states rolled in red, a sense of desperation hit the streets.  Sure, Clinton was a candidate of the capitalist class, but Trump had awakened the racist id of white America.  No matter what you think of the political caste, he provided a mass mobilization to the Alt Right, who lacked a connection to the mainstream before his campaign.  They had grown by leaps and bounds, but what would have happened to them if Trump had actually lost?

***

A slight tone of mourning would have graced the Ronald Regan building as the suit and tie guests make their way through metal detectors and waves of counter-protesters. But also a feeling of victory. The sold-out conference, which sold out its discounted “Millennial” tickets weeks in advance, knows where its boost has come from. Even if Trump had lost, their numbers had increased more than any of them could have dreamed.

The National Policy Institute’s annual conference took place on November 19th, and was the largest Alt Right meeting of the year. With the steroid injection they have received from crossover figures like Milo Yianouplous and the caustic rhetoric of Trump, it was not surprising it was the biggest in their short history. The National Policy Institute is the benign name for the central institution of the diffuse Alt Right, the latest attempt at rebranding the white nationalist movement. Founded by William Regnery, the inheritor to the Regnery Publishing operation, and Sam Francis, now deceased paleoconservative and racialist author known for his work at the Washington Post, the organization was taken over several years ago by Alternative Right founder Richard Spencer. In the years since, Spencer has made it an “identitarian” think-tank, bringing together the various strains of the Alt Right into a meeting point that can try to take the movement’s ideas forward.

Their conferences have become a “who’s who” of the movement, linking up “shitlords” on Twitter with white racialists who have been in the movement for decades. In years past we have seen people like long-time white nationalist Sam Dickson, VDare founder Peter Brimelow, French New Right philosopher Alain De Benoist, and “male tribalism” advocate Jack Donovan.  In 2016 they rode the wave of celebrity and even included Tila Tequila, the bi-racial reality-television celebrity who has come under fire for her virulent anti-Semitism, anti-black racism, and Holocaust Denial and “flat earth” conspiracy theories. Peter Brimelow was ported over again, as well as Dr. Kevin MacDonald, a former University of California at Long Beach professor whose work on Jews has become the central doctrine for modern anti-Semitism. Millennial Woes, F. Roger Devlin, and the people behind Red Ice Creations, all of which have become Alt Right stars in the world of Internet podcasting and streaming video, joined them. British nationalist politician Matthew Tait spoke about Brexit after his time supporing the UK Independence Party.

In an attempt to make the NPI gatherings more of a social network and fraternal community, they included nationalist neofolk and post-industrial musicians Xurious and Upward Path, as well as evening cocktails and polite banter before the main conference presentations begin the following afternoon.

For the Alt Right as a branded movement, this was the high water mark, and though the Trump victory added an element of celebration, a loss would have had much the same atmosphere.  One of rebellion, race, and revolution.  The cameras from The Atlantic later caught conference goers Seig Heiling as Richard Spencer yelled “Hail Trump, Hail our people, Hail victory!”

 

Breaking Through to the Mainstream

What is undeniable is that a Trump loss in the Presidential election would have cost the Alt Right their bridge to the GOP.  As Spencer has often derided, the GOP is not explicitly in line with their political vision. Instead, the Republican focus on free markets, tax policy, foreign intervention, and other disparate “idea clusters” distracts from what they want, which is an institution dedicated to manifesting white ethnic interests. Beyond all of their guesses, the GOP then turned in their favor as Trump rode a populist-wave into the Republican nomination, and if Hillary had taken the White House that branding would not have stuck.

Instead, a Trump loss would lead the GOP to strip out all remnants of the Trump campaign, including supporters, messaging, and partnerships. For years the GOP has searched to reestablish a soul, one that was lost after the George W. Bush presidency took the country to the nadir of Neoconservative approval. It went through various stages of possible rebranding, such as the Tea Party and hard libertarianism, but all failed to galvanize the base into a real ideological force that they could ride into a new coherent identity. Trump’s civic nationalism represents another branding opportunity, and a loss would have added it to the list of losing identities.

Places like Breitbart would of moved on to the next trendy thing in conservatism, just like they did in the various incarnations it has been through since Andrew Breitbart first dreamed it up at the Huffington Post. This would have pushed the ‘Alt Lite,” the people like Milo Yianoupoulos and Gavin McGinnis who mainstream the Alt Right’s message, further away from the Alt Right’s ideological core, turning on the white nationalists and repudiating their radical base.

Since the base of Trump’s support in rural and midwestern states have yet to prove that they have a grassroots movement building strategy separate from the Trump campaign, it would have been unlikely that there would have been a mainstream “Trump Republican” movement beyond this election. This message can be drawn explicitly from the Bernie Sanders campaign, which has yet to show that it has legs to exist as something tangible past the election and piecemeal victories like influencing the Democratic Party platform.

For the Alt Right and the various strands of white nationalism, this would have effectively become the “black pill,” a tool for them to lose faith in the political system and forces them to look to other options.

 

No Enemies to the Right

Even before the election, the Alt Right began consolidating itself to the right. In a large part this came from the growth of the Alt Lite and the desire that many had in core Alt Right circles to define themselves ideologically. They were not just “anti-PC, “anti-SJW,” against immigration and for Trump, they were white nationalists. This meant creating strong allies within the “1488 crowd,” which means the more explicit neo-Nazi and KKK communities. This is going to help them re-enter the white nationalist subculture as access to mainstream conservatism shrinks over the coming months. This would help to slowly dissolve the cultural identity that made the Alt Right distinct from the larger white nationalist project, one that was forged out of its middle-class character and associations with high paying tech jobs. As they further meld with the larger mass of white nationalism it will further radicalize their constituency, even if people like Richard Spencer and American Renaissance’s Jared Taylor will desperately try to hold on to the moderate intellectual tone they have achieved.

“I do think that their approach, generally speaking, will be to double down and triple down on overt appeals to Ethnonationalism,” says Tim Wise, an anti-racist writer discussing their possibilities if Trump was to lose.

“There will be a threshold that they will find themselves bumping up against because there is still an aversion to their open fascism.”

This exit from the political sphere would force a “reform vs. revolution” discussion inside of the fascist right, one that has happened for years in anticipation. Even as recently as the 2015 American Renaissance conference there was as a staged debate about whether or not the “race problem” can be solved inside the American political system. Peter Brimelow and former National Review writer John Derbyshire sided with the electoral system, while Spencer and Dickson took a more revolutionary position. With their feelings confirmed, Spencer would likely have continued his call for a “meta-political identity” that can eventually take advantage of what many on the Alt Right see as the inevitable “Balkanization” of American states. They want to foment white revolution just as many neo-Nazis have suggested for years, and that notion would have crystalized after the loss. Their proposed “Ethnostate” would then become a revolutionary project; one that will require the overthrow of the U.S. government in some form, even if they believe the American project is doomed even without their revolutionary opposition.

 

U.S. Under Attack

The most dramatic increase in possibly violent tension from the far right would have happened in the form of the militia movement, which already poses itself as a revolutionary faction. Though Trump will only intensify this turn, it has been validated in the recent acquittal of the Bundy family and accomplices in the 2015 occupation and standoff at the Malheur Wildlife Sanctuary outside of Burns, Oregon. The recent verdict in federal court shocked many, especially as arrests and confrontations littered the largely peaceful encampment blocking the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock. The armed occupation, which damaged sacred Paiute land and cost the state millions, was the latest stage in a build up coming from Patriot groups fighting for privatizing land rights.

Though the Trump camp would likely have been unable to create a grassroots movement outside the election, it is fertile territory for a well-crafted message from militia groups like the Oath Keepers and the 3%ers. They will be able to speak to the rural angst of many of these groups, intermixing their experiences of financial instability with a reactionary white anger. As rural America sees hits on small farms, the decrease of unionized manufacturing, and the shrinking of local economies, the instability is likely to increase these feelings of isolation. The militias have used this to their advantage and have stoked a racially motivated anger out of that situation in the absence of the left.

Though the Alt Right is an outsider to these movements, they can continue to contribute rhetorically by continuing to ignite fears about immigration, non-white crime, and the perils of a “progressive government.” There may even be a material support that begins to transpire as the wealthier elements of the Alt Right attempt to hedge their bets, but either way it will means an effort to further racialized the Patriot movement and prepare them for nationalist confrontation.

 

A Move Towards Violence

The Alt Right, especially in its leadership, has been clear that they do not want violence. For people like Spencer and Taylor, this would change the public perception of their movement and stop them from achieving the mass groundswell they would need for a radical change in the country. They have an uphill battle since the history of white nationalism is the history of racist violence, and its one they are slowly trying to build an alternative for.

The problem for them is that this dynamic would begin to change with a swiftness as their core constituencies, who are radical white nationalists, saw that their previous efforts were partial failures and they begin to look towards possibilities with more firepower. Their rhetoric turns violent through an image of revolution where confrontation with the government, and eventually other races, is inevitable.

“Some of the people who have been brought into this Alt Right orbit, who are not the intellectuals…are going to turn to a much more reactionary approach,” says Wise.

“I fear that there will be a sort of uptick in blatantly terroristic actions, probably done in lone-wolf fashion, not necessarily organized… I think there will be certain there will be some folks in that movement that say ‘It’s time for war.’”

For years, white nationalism has seen this logic through its notion of “lone wolf” violence. This comes from the “leaderless resistance” model proposed by people like Louis Beam, who saw a failure in electoral politics after his participation in the early campaigns of David Duke. The notion was further proposed by Tom Metzger, the founder of the Nazi skinhead allied White Aryan Resistance who was sued into oblivion by the Southern Poverty Law Center after WAR affiliated skinheads murder an Ethiopian student. Lone wolf action sees spontaneous, disconnected violence and murder as a possibility, with the targeting of Jews, non-whites, and political officials as key action items. While this seems disconnected from the discourse inside the Alt Right, its further consolidation within the larger white nationalist movement and a feeling of political helplessness as conservatism abandons them after Trump’s loss could increase its likelihood. When the rhetoric is of necessity and the method is revolution, unstable individuals who feel like they “must do something” have the potential to slip into acts of seemingly random mass violence.

This turn would be self-reinforcing, as the increasingly violent rhetoric would continue to marginalize the Alt Right, which will continue to push it towards violent tendencies.

 

History Repeats Itself

The pattern of white nationalist failure has been seen over the last several decades as they have had similar periods of crossover. In the 1960s, as the Civil Rights movement began to set fire to the policies of the Jim Crow South, many white nationalists saw a crossover potential in the pro-segregationist movement and organizations like the White Citizen’s Councils. As they began to lose the third-era of the Ku Klux Klan began resorting to terrorist violence, including the bombing of children in churches and the murders of civil rights activists.

Through the 1980s, the failure of white nationalist politics to head into mainstream conservatism led to the creation of the revolutionary group The Order. Using support from militia groups and neo-Nazi havens like the Aryan Nations, they went on a stream of bank robberies and murder until federal agents took them down in fiery episodes of violence.

White nationalism from the Second World War onward has a pattern of attempting to find crossover movements that they can use to mainstream their messages. They are inevitably betrayed by those movements as they moderate, which sends their ideological core to become more radical. This often leads to disorganized actions of mass violence that horrifies their leadership, which were hoping that their ethnic nationalism could finally be taken seriously by the mainstream.

With this pattern in mind, it could be a mistake to dismiss the Alt Right as merely a fringe phenomenon of over-privileged white men using Anime avatars from their basement. The Alt Right has shown its ability to utilize electoral campaigns, but that is the end of its reach since it shares the same identity as the organizations posting on Stormfront, reveling in their long history of violence.

Anti-racist movements will have to tangle with this counter force for years to come, and that is only intensifying in Trump’s America. The advantages that these organizations have today is the years of education and multiracial organizing that have built a base to confront these voices, though undoing their logic of conspiracy theory, scientific racism, and manipulation is going to require an ongoing focus on anti-racist education and community empowerment. As these voices transmute and possibly become more pernicious it will mean a stronger effort in communities to see the threat that white nationalism actually presents for safety and to find solutions that both bring the community together and protect the most vulnerable.

Now that Trump has won, the question remains, what’s next?  As Trump betrays his promises, capitulates to international capital, and is a failure at his primary policy points, it is likely the same direction will happen with the Alt Right.  Some segments are growing, as seen with the recent Lauren Southern event, but others are shrinking as well.  It seems like now that Alt Right is trying to define itself back into its radical image, and the final break with Trump could signal a return to the terrorism that white nationalism is known for.

 

 

 

Deputy Assistant to the President Sebastian Gorka is a Fascist

By Benjamin Doscher

Sebastian Gorka is a Neo-Nazi — semantics aside his ideology makes him a Nazi — his collaborating ideological brethren trace directly back to Hitler.

As the Hungarian Free Press writes on March 6, 2017:

On October 19, 2003 Tamás Molnár (later far-right Jobbik Party’s Vice Chairman) organized an event in the Hungarian city of Visegrád to discuss the future of “Hungarian National Radicalism,” a euphemism for the Hungarian neo-Nazi movement. Prominent far-right activists were invited to the Visegrádi Disputa as they called it, among them Gorka Sebestyén aka. Sebastian Gorka, today President Trump’s counterterrorism adviser. No mainstream political party would attend.

Far-right event Visegrád Disputa poster in 2003 featuring Gorka

The event poster depicted an angel wrapped in a US flag with EU stars around him and Hungarian Stalinist symbols in the background. The Hungarian far-right is equally anti-Communist, anti-American and anti-EU. They believe that Hungary should revive its mystical eastern past, the Turul, the connection with the Turkish and Kazakh people and the Aryan brotherhood with the Iranian people. They called for a fight against worldwide Zionist conspiracy, or what the Hungarian far-right frequently called at that time, “the New-York Tel-Aviv axis.”

Visegrád Disputa participants included:

Balázs Lenhardt — Mr Lenhardt later became a Jobbik MP. He has flashed Iranian flags at soccer games and burned an Israeli flag with a blowtorch in 2012 before his neo-Nazi brethren.

Mátyás Usztics — Mr. Usztics is an actor and one of the first members of the later banned neo-Nazi Magyar Gárda — Hungarian Guard. (The Magyar Gárda was Jobbik party’s Stormtroopers unit.)

Z. Kárpát Dániel: Long time far-right activist, he is currently an MP of the Jobbik party.

Kornél Döbrentey: Mr. Döbrentey is a poet and long-time far right activist. He recently inaugurated a statue of Albert Wass in a park at Margitsziget, Budapest. Mr. Wass was a convicted World War II criminal and a writer who depicted Jews as rats.

Mária Wittner: Ms. Wittner fought in the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and received lengthy prison sentence after that. She supported the creation of Magyar Gárda, attended several far-right Jobbik rallies. Later she switched colors and became a ruling Fidesz party MP and also developed a close relationship with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

István Lovas: A journalist and author of numerous anti-American and anti-Semitic pieces.

Mária Wittner (right) with Jobbik leader Mr. Gábor Vona
Visegrád Disputa participants included Balázs Lenhardt: Mr Lenhardt later became a Jobbik MP. He has flashed Iranian flags at soccer games and burned an Israeli flag with a blowtorch in 2012 before his neo-Nazi friends.
Balázs Lenhardt — Mr Lenhardt later became a Jobbik MP. He has flashed Iranian flags at soccer games and here is burning an Israeli flag with a blowtorch in 2012 before his neo-Nazi brethren.
Mátyás Usztics: Mr. Usztics is an actor and one of the first members of the later banned neo-Nazi Magyar Gárda — Hungarian Guard. (The Magyar Gárda was Jobbik party’s Stormtroopers unit.)

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 — part of the membership process was a life long oath to always be part of the demonic cult.

Further, Gorka co-founded with two former members of the far-right, anti-Semitic Jobbik Party, the New Democratic Coalition. 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.

The Forward elaborates:

In a video obtained by the Forward of an August 2007 television appearance by Gorka, the future White House senior aide explicitly affirms his party’s and his support for the black-vested Hungarian Guard (Magyar Gárda) — a group later condemned by the European Court of Human Rights for attempting to promote an “essentially racist” legal order.

Asked directly on the TV interview program if he supports the move by Jobbik, a far-right anti-Semitic party, to establish the militia, Gorka, appearing as a leader of his own newly formed party, replies immediately, “That is so.” The Guard, Gorka explains, is a response to “a big societal need.”

Hungary’s official military, he stressed, “is sick, and totally reflects the state of Hungarian society…. This country cannot defend itself.

Immediately after the interview, the New Democratic Coalition, which Gorka co-founded with two former members of the far-right, anti-Semitic Jobbik party, posted news of the interview on its website under the headline: “UDK Supports The Hungarian Guard: Sebestyen [Sebastian] Gorka on EchoTV.”

Credit — The Forward

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.

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.”

The group was dissolved in Hungary after World War II under the terms of the Allies’ armistice with Hungary, it was reconstituted by veterans’ groups in exile, including prewar members of the group appointed by Horthy — Nazi sympathizers — Nazis.

As the article in the Forward notes – Gorka could be subject to deportation if he did not disclose his membership in this hate group. (I’m not thinking he did)

According to the Hungarian Free Press:

The late Congressman Tom Lantos considered some of the Hungarian fascists dangerous; not to be admitted to the United States. He introduced a bill in Congress, House Resolution 4197 in 2007 “to prevent the admission of any member or leader of the Magyar Garda into the United States, and for other purposes.”

Full Text of H.R. 4197 (below):

Gorka was born in the UK to Hungarian immigrant parents. And in just that sentence the hypocrisy is as obvious as the sky is blue. Far-right fascist parties have demonized immigrants in time and memoriam — it is part of all the Nationalistic Fascist movements in Europe and this propaganda was and is clearly a part of Trump’s own brand of American Fascism.

Gorka has been caught on camera wearing a Vitézi Rend medal given to his grandfather by Miklos Horthy the Nazi collaborating Hungarian Leader during WWII. Scholars have asserted that they cannot be certain that the medal worn by Gorka is the one given by Horthy but there is no doubt it is an alt-right nationalistic fascist symbol that is enamored by these hateful individuals.

Gorka’s explanation is that he wears it only to honor his family — suggestion, wear one of his old ties. And, where did he defend wearing this symbol of the most horrific and certainly the most organized genocide in history, the Holocaust — a Breitbart interview by none other than the Fascist, otherwise known as Milo (postolusly destroyed by joking about pedopehilia, but nothing else) Yiannopolus.


Fascist Fucks talking about hate — sounds like a sunny day in Berlin circa 1939.
(Fox News screenshot)
(Fox News screenshot)
Photo: Sebastian Gorka appearing on Fox News after the inauguration ball. Gorka seen wearing a medal from the Vitezi Rend, a Hungarian group listed by the State Department as having collaborated with the Nazis during World War II. 927mag.com
Gorka as a young fascist with vitézi rend medal. http://lobelog.com

As the Hungarian Free Press writes, concerns about Gorka were overt and Trump must have known and ignored this information to garner support from his alt-right base.

Michael S. Smith II, a respected terrorism analyst who has advised members of Congress and White House officials, has raised serious questions about Sebastian Gorka’s qualifications as a counterterrorism advisor to President Trump, dubbing him on Twitter a #FakeTerrorismExpert.

Smith said “no one has anything nice to say” about Gorka who has the level of expertise “one would expect from a Congressional intern.” “His work is of little interest because he has never — not that I can think of — contributed anything to the body of knowledge which informs understandings of threats posed by the Salafi-jihadist groups of interest to him.”

Congressman Robert Pittenger responded by releasing the following statement in Gorka’s defense.

“Dr. Sebastian Gorka is a friend and trusted adviser on efforts to combat radical Islamic terrorism and increase the safety and security of American families. Since 2014, I have hosted seven Parliamentary Intelligence-Security Forums, bringing together more than 600 Members of Parliament and other leaders from 60 nations to discuss efforts to combat terrorism financing, money laundering, and other national security issues. Dr. Gorka has provided expert testimony at these forums, and I applaud President Trump for bringing him to the White House.

While I did meet Mr. Smith when he stopped by my office several years ago with another trusted adviser, he does not serve the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare in any capacity, nor has he contributed to any of the work we have produced.”

I am stunned to learn from this statement that “Dr. Gorka has provided expert testimony” to Congressman Pittenger’s Parliamentary Intelligence-Security Forums because in an earlier HFP article I called attention to the fact that Congressman Pittenger has invited openly pro-Iranian Mr. Márton Gyöngyösi, an MP of Hungary’s far-right Jobbik party to his Forum. (To read HFP article click here) His name even appears in the Forum’s report. (Pittenger report 2015–16.)

Mr. Gyöngyösi is not only openly pro-Iranian; he is also Hungary’s best known anti-Semite who has requested a “lists of Jews” in the country. (Read more here)

Mr. Gorka and Mr. Gyöngyösi together on Congressman Pittenger’s Intelligence-Security Forums? Is that possible?

Mr. Sebastian Gorka is certainly familiar with Jobbik since in 2007 he founded his Hungarian political movement with Mr. Tamás Molnár, the ex-vice-chairman of Jobbik. Mr. Molnár later warmly praised Gorka in an article published by kuruc.info, a California-registered Hungarian neo-Nazi website which was investigated by the FBI. Mr. Molnár was a regular contributor.

Mr. Gorka and Jobbik’s ex-vice-chairman Mr. Molnár announce their political movement in Budapest in 2006

Mr. Gorka’s name also appears on a Jobbik campaign event announcement in 2004 where Mr. Molnár introduced Mr. Balázs Kirkovits, Jobbik’s candidate in the city of Sopron. Alajos Chrudinák and Sebestyén Gorka planned to speak at the event.

Logo of the movement

These are uncomfortably cozy relationships with Hungary’s worst far-right thugs! For the record, Gorka was not a member of Jobbik and he also mercilessly criticized the current Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s dead-end policies in 2007. At the same time, he associated with Jobbik leaders and even appeared at party events when it was well known that Jobbik maintains strong ties with Iran and Russia. In 2008 Jobbik leader Mr. Gábor Vona even wanted to call in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to Budapest. (watch here)

Mr. Gorka has some explaining to do. Many of us have a hard time to understand why didn’t he, a seasoned security expert and “trusted advisor,” warn Congressman Pittenger that pro-Iranian Gyöngyösi might present security risks to the US? Why didn’t he react to the kuruc.info articles? Why didn’t he raise his voice when Hungarian diplomats met with Jobbik members here in the US?

In 2008 Jobbik leader Mr. Gábor Vona even wanted to call in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to Budapest.

Gorka’s PhD dissertation lists his name as “Sebestyén L. v. Gorka” — this suggests that he used his grandfather’s title given to him by Horthy. This title carrys with it Horthy’s anti-Semitic beliefs and of course the same reprehensible evil. Horthy is quoted as saying the below in:

As regards the Jewish problem, I have been an anti-Semite throughout my life. I have never had contact with Jews. I have considered it intolerable that here in Hungary everything, every factory, bank, large fortune, business, theatre, press, commerce, etc. should be in Jewish hands, and that the Jew should be the image reflected of Hungary, especially abroad. Since, however, one of the most important tasks of the government is to raise the standard of living, i.e., we have to acquire wealth, it is impossible, in a year or two, to replace the Jews, who have everything in their hands, and to replace them with incompetent, unworthy, mostly big-mouthed elements, for we should become bankrupt. This requires a generation at least.

Image of Gorka’s medal : http://forward.com/fast-forward/363065/top-white-house-adviser-wears-nazi-collaborator-medal/The founder of the news analysis blog Hungarian Spectrum, Eva Balogh, a former Yale professor of Eastern European history, identified it.

Eva Balogh, former professor of Eastern European History at Yale University, told lobelog the identity of the medal worn by Gorka. Balogh said the following about the medal:

Yes, the medal is of the ‘vitézi rend’ established by Miklós Horthy in 1920. He, as a mere governor, didn’t have the privilege to ennoble his subjects as the king could do before 1918, and therefore the ‘knightly order’ he established was a kind of compensation for him. Officers and even enlisted men of exceptional valor could become knights. Between 1920 and 1944 there were 23,000 such knights. The title was inheritable by the oldest son. I found information that makes it clear that Gorka’s father, Pál Gorka, used the title. However, since he was born in 1930 he couldn’t himself be the one ‘knighted.’ So, most likely, it was Gorka’s grandfather who was the original recipient.In Magyar Idők, Far-Right European Fascist groups have complimented Gorka for wearing the attire shortly after Trump’s inauguration. If this is not proof of loyalty to evil, what is? Gorka knows what the symbol means and what the message wearing it will send. So to do all of Trump’s fascist friends.

Hitler and Horthy|927mag.com

From: downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/search?q=jobbikFurther

Gorka’s involvement with the far right includes co-founding a political party with former prominent members of Jobbik, a political party with a well-known history of anti-Semitism; repeatedly publishing articles in a newspaper known for its anti-Semitic and racist content; and attending events with some of Hungary’s most notorious extreme-right figures.

Jobbik’s own website has the following description:

Our intentions and goals are genuine, our programme is clear. We want nothing but to be able live in proud, free and liveable Hungary where the society is characterised by integrity, faith, security, order and solidarity. While preserving our national traditions and passing on our cultural heritage to the next generations, we also wish to represent universal humane values that are common in all cultures and religions. This is what we work for. For a better future, in a better world.

Haaretz reports that Jobbik is a Party with blatant anti-Semitism espousing from its platform:

Jobbik has a long history of anti-Semitism. In 2006, when Gorka’s political allies were still members of Jobbik, articles in the party’s official online blog included headlines such as “The Roots of Jewish Terrorism” and [“Where Were the Jews in 1956?”] (http://www.jobbik.net/index.php?q=node/3170), a reference to the country’s revolution against Soviet rule. In one speech in 2010, Jobbik leader Gabor Vona said that “under communism we licked Moscow’s boots, now we lick Brussels’ and Washington’s and Tel Aviv’s.

Simply, this short passage from the book Fabricating Authenticity in Soviet Hungary, establishes exactly what Horthy supported and what Gorka and Trump support – omission is no better than commission.


The ridiculous justifications for wearing this medal must end—there is only one reason. And now that Vitézi Rend has openly acknowledged that Gorka is a member and Gorka has not disavowed that fact — it can be unequivocally said that the Deputy Assistant to the President is a Nazi. And the President is a Nazi collaborator.

It is already 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 commercial just before election day which portrayed the old anti-semitic tropes straight out of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

The Nazi that he is, Trump used Nazi propaganda as his own throughout the campaign,during the transition and currently during his administration — lying press, synonymous with fake news, signaling out specific journalists and attempting to usurp the Fourth Estate via Twitter — this is what dictators do. The definition of Lügenpresse in German is lying press, coined by Hitler to discredit the media. This among other demonic tactics Trump has copied from past tyrants t0 garner power and discredit dissent — if they benefit him, he uses them.

As Politico delineated on December 21, 2016:

In Germany just after the American election, the AfD Chairwoman (the far-right fascist party leader), agreed with Trump and the Führer of the Third Reich, her country’s fascist tyrant and Germany’s Dance with the Devil, whose scars have yet to heal in her own country just as the tattoos branded on Hitler’s victims never would. Her concern for any of this nonexistent.

This election result gives courage for Germany and Europe,” read AfD Chairwoman Frauke Petry’s statement on November 9. “Just as the Americans did not believe the manipulations of their mainstream media, citizens in Germany also have the courage to make their decision in the election booth themselves and not to remain resigned at home.

Now, the party is poised for a historic result in next year’s national elections, in which Merkel faces her stiffest challenge yet. After narrowly missing the 5 percent needed to enter national parliament in the 2013 elections, polls now suggest the AfD will receive 16 percent of the national vote in 2017, making it the third-largest political party in Germany, after Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), and the Social Democratic Party (SPD), part of Merkel’s grand coalition. The terror attack that killed 12 people at a Christmas market in Berlin on Monday is expected to bolster the AfD even more, and in turn, lower support for Merkel, who has been criticized for welcoming nearly 1 million migrants in 2015 alone, without proper background checks.

That level of success for a far-right party in the country that gave rise to Adolf Hitler would represent a political earthquake for Europe — and a national trauma for Germans, who have sought to expunge and confront their history in the 70 years since World War II. The country’s politics have been solidly liberal since the reunification of Germany in 1990. But over the past two years, as Merkel has welcomed Muslim refugees and led the bailouts of struggling European economies such as Greece, populist sentiments have surged — and the AfD is now reaping the rewards.

The AfD’s platform is a collection of right-wing themes: EU reform, closed borders and a return to the Germany of yesteryear, before what many of its members and supporters refer to as the “Islamization” of Europe. The party seeks to ban large minarets and the call to prayer, and require Muslim preachers to undergo government vetting. “Islam does not belong in Germany,” the platform states.

The AfD’s rise has been stunning, accomplishing in just three years what took other populist European parties — like France’s National Front and Austria’s Freedom Party — more than four decades to achieve. And it could have serious consequences. Unlike France and Austria, Germany, under Merkel’s leadership, has become the widely accepted leader of the liberal West. Now, the pillars of this leadership — from Merkel’s stewardship of the refugee crisis and the euro crisis — are under attack from the country’s increasingly popular populist party. That popularity has already led Merkel to veer to the right, hardening her stance on refugees and Islam in Germany.

“What they are managing right now is to make a very radical brand of right wing politics not exactly fashionable, but acceptable in Germany, and that’s new,” says Kai Arzheimer, a professor of politics at the University of Mainz. “They should be taken very seriously, insofar as I think they will do pretty well in the upcoming election. Sixteen percent on the national level is a very strong showing by German standards.

The true test will come soon with the Presidential Elections in France and far-right fascist Marine La Pen as well as elections later this year in Germany. And seemingly closing the doors tighter or loosening them for Putin?

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Will 2017 depict this 1899 illustration of Russian power, as shown on an European Map, as it seemed to do in 2016, or will it mostly be in Putin’s head? Remember it’s just a drawing — not deemed historically accurate.

Push back has been holding against these movements with La Pen behind and PM Merkel Coalition leading as well. Unlike the United States — parliamentary systems draw representation based upon percent of the electorate won. So even though France and Germany seem to be holding back the fascist fire — the far-right parties are picking up governing power. This occurred in the Netherlands even though Geert hit the dirt and and in Austria but Turkey seems to be falling to autocracy, Poland and Hungary are no longer liberal democracies, at best illiberal, swinging closer to fascism.

These countries are on a straight trajectory with tyranny — as any recent study will make clear. Trump would foam at the mouth to tell you he was behind the far-right BREXIT — he’s not so fast to spew — its epic fail or Putin’s real pull.Putin has backed these fascist movements . Will Putin’s open aid help the movements going forward — that is still an open question but he clearly is the alt-right God King.

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I’m going to run a joyful campaign,” La Pen said towards the beginning of her campaign, the opposite of what fascism is — fascism is joyless, cruel — evil. Not to be outdone by the or hypocrisy of her lying ami transatlantique — La Pen said whatever she thought would sound good.

Le Pen wanted to soften her harsh image and “soothe” voters — she had posed for pictures hugging horses and pet kittens — but also to offer a hardline programme she believed would “reassure” a French population despairing of decades of mass unemployment and a persistent terrorist threat.

The aim, as always for the far-right Front National founded by her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, in 1972, was keeping France for the French. There would be a referendum to change the constitution so that “national priority” would be given to French people over non-nationals in jobs, housing and welfare. There would be another referendum to leave the European Union. Le Pen promised an immigration clampdown and a ban on religious symbols, including the Muslim headscarf, from all public places in France.

1 6CZwjXOWT104H9R7NvJltA@2x.jpeg

France elects a new president in two rounds of voting on 23 April and 7 May.

Polls have forecast for more than two years that the populist, nationalist, authoritarian Marine Le Pen will advance to the run-off.

The polls also suggest Le Pen, who has promised to take France out of the euro and hold a referendum on France’s EU membership, would then lose to Emmanuel Macron, a former Socialist economy minister running as an independent centrist.

But the race is very tight. Both François Fillon, a former rightwing prime minister hit by an alleged corruption scandal, and Jean-Luc Mélenchon, a far-left veteran with a radical economic programme, could also make the final two.

In fact, with an estimated one-third of voters yet to make up their minds, polling inconsistencies and margins of error make it impossible to predict with certainty which two of the top four will face off in the final round.

After Britain’s Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump in the US, a President Le Pen would deal a heavy symbolic blow to Europe, send markets into turmoil, and be seen as the next step in a populist, nativist insurgency.

A victory for the Eurosceptic Mélenchon would also seriously shake the establishment, while a Macron win could — after the defeat of Geert Wilders in March’s Dutch elections — point to a future for centrist, pro-European politics.

 1 2Kq_UEHwzrLI1orb1nfumg@2x.jpeg

As The Guardian writes …

 1 GEFBEkuLqCQtgzNAooo76A@2x.jpeg

Emulating these European fascist movements — The Trump platform has always been openly anti-Semitic and racist and xenophobic. 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. In fact the Nazi that originated this propaganda was hung at Nuremberg according to The Intercept.

1 q45oHxskzsbspM3-rZd15w@2x

http://research.calvin.edu/german-propaganda-archive/story2.htm – Nazi Propaganda
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Available from Amazon as of 4.13.17

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 alt-right are Neo-Nazis with a different name — like I said in the beginning of this piece — semantics aside — they are Nazis. The reason Trump has Gorka and Bannon (among other reprehensible individuals, I go into more detail on Bannon here) on the United States payroll, in high profile positions, is to appeal to this base.

The National Policy Institute is an alt-right conspiracy think tank. Nothing but Nazi propaganda. Because they are Nazis.

The below is taken directly from the NPI website.

The independent organization is dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of people of European descent in the United States, and around the world. It was founded in 2005 by William Regnery and Samuel T. Francis, in conjunction with Louis R. Andrews.

NPI hosts regular public events and conferences; we publish books, journals, essays, and blogs; we produce videos and podcasts — all dedicated to the revival and flourishing of our people.

Richard Spencer, the alt-right darling said the below in November after the election. This was followed with audience members shouting “Heil victory!” and other exhortations. A video of the scene, released after the article was published, showed that Mr. Spencer himself shouted “Hail victory!” — the English translation of the Nazis’ “Sieg Heil!” — as well as “Hail Trump! “ and “Hail our people!”

But now his tone changed as he began to tell the audience of more than 200 people, mostly young men, what they had been waiting to hear. He railed against Jews and, with a smile, quoted Nazi propaganda in the original German. America, he said, belonged to white people, whom he called the “children of the sun,” a race of conquerors and creators who had been marginalized but now, in the era of President-elect Donald J. Trump, they are awakening to their own identity.

Spencer, using Nazi propaganda as his own, was so flagrant and obvious with his hate, it was as if the crowd descended into a literal hell while espousing:

One wonders if these people are people at all, or instead soulless golem,” he said, referring to a Jewish fable about the golem, a clay giant that a rabbi brings to life to protect the Jews.

And the evil, continued to spew, from his sick mind, carrying his delusional, virulent, hateful propaganda:

Mr. Spencer said that while he did not think the president-elect should be considered alt-right, “I do think we have a psychic connection, or you can say a deeper connection, with Donald Trump in a way that we simply do not have with most Republicans.

White identity, is at the core of both the alt-right movement and the Trump movement, even if most voters for Mr. Trump aren’t willing to articulate it as such.



WAKE UP! There are Nazis in power at the highest levels of the American Federal Government!

Here is Gorka on Fox News (Propaganda) with Trump, in August 2016, well after all the information I have reported on above was available. In fact, almost 13 years.

And these Nazis are freely espousing, implicitly at the very least, what Goebbels propaganda ministry flouted as reality in the 1930’s. The Reich’s Ministry of Propaganda, created in 1933, almost immediately after Hitler took power, and run by the Minister Joseph Goebbels, ignited the inferno of already virulent anti-Semitism, like a match to a gasoline soaked rag. The sole purpose of the Ministry — to demonize and control the minds of the masses.

The espousal of alternative facts should send a chill down humanity’s spine. This is done for only one reason — to demonize the other and control the minds of the masses — Goebbels, quickly instituted Nazi propaganda throughout the population so what was already a common societal delusion, (as is Protofascist, Neoantebellum Ideology and now Trumpian Neofascism, in the United States circa 2017), could become a collective delusion and soon after — law.

As can clearly be seen with an eye to the historical use of propaganda, the assertion that Trump’s Counselor to the President espoused that an alternative fact existed, was pure evil, and simply propaganda. George Orwell called it Newspeak in his novel, 1984 — Conway calls it alternative facts.

Conway like Goebbells has only one purpose — to espouse propaganda — she is not the Counselor to the President — that is propaganda — she is the Neo-Minister of Propaganda. Press Secretary, Sean Spicer — Neo-Mini Goebbells or Spicy Neo-MG.

Alternative facts can only be described as Hitlerian. The current nationalist, fascist movements around the world are fueled by similar hateful delusion and are a threat to all of humanity.

The creation of the other apparent in the video below, as Trump compares immigrants to venomous snakes in March 2016 — is what fascists do. The other is a historical basis for hate. Even as I write these words and you read them; this brutal evil is being indoctrinated into nationalist, fascist movements around the world.

Far-right fascist parties have demonized the other in time and memoriam — demonization of the other is currently part of all these Nationalistic Fascist movements in Europe, Venezuela and in the Philippines. ‪

BBC Newshour — Venezuelan Protesters Clash With Riot Police: Venezuelan Protesters Clash With Riot Police. Venezuela sees the worst outbreak of political violence in three years; we hear from Caracas and assess the other.

When a President Says ‘I’ll Kill You’ is a Times documentary on the deadly crusade led by President Rodrigo Duterte of…In the Philippines President Duterte murders the other.

This propaganda is clearly a part of Trump’s own brand of American Fascism.

So, yes, along with all the other fascists running around the White House and hating all that don’t look and think like them — meaning pure evil thoughts. Trump and Gorka are fascists and they both are that particular kind of fascist that Mein Kampf inspired — Nazis.

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The Political Theocracy – Trump, the GOP and Fascism

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.

Credit – Daily Kos

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?

– – –

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.

– – –

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.

– – –

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.

Alternative Ethics

Alternative Ethics

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.

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

Further, Gorka co-founded with two former members of the far-right, anti-Semitic Jobbik Party, the New Democratic Coalition.

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.

Credit — The Forward

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.

There is now a weekly list of immigrant crimes — this is nothing less than Hitlerian. As the Washington Post explains:

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.

 

GOP Pious Hypocrites

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.

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Credit-Benjamin Doscher -Washington, DC 1.20.17

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.

Steve Bannon’s Twitter Cesspool

 By Benjamin Doscher

With all the noise emanating from Trump’s Twitter account it is interesting to find that Steven Bannon’s account is almost silent. Not interesting in a surprising way but definitely illuminating — indeed a perfect metaphor for how he lurks quietly within Trump’s agenda. Why is it this way? There is no way to be sure and that is not really the question that needs to be answered but analysis of the account is definitely intriguing. As it sets out exactly what his ideology is without saying the words — all in four tweets — which is all it is comprised of.

The words being … White Supremacist Christian Western Culture v. everyone and everything else, and destruction of the current world order. And the easiest enemies, meaning the most accepted in American culture currently, are Muslims and immigrants.

Steven Bannon’s 4 Tweets — his entire account as of 3.23.17
It is also notable that out of the 23 Bannon is following (as of 3.23.17) on Twitter, the above are the only foreign entities. PM Merkel, Kremlin News and the far-right French party, Front National.
The 5 tweets (as of 3.23.17) that Bannon likes on Twitter — who is this Joshua Pedraja? And why is he the only like besides these two usual suspects?
Joshua Pedraja’s Twitter feed (right) and Bannon’s Tweet which he replied to and Bannon liked. (left) This is out of 312 replies to Bannon’s Tweet — the only liked one. A cursory Google search found nothing. (seems like the typical alt-right sick mind from his feed and media) Maybe he’s just “lucky.” Bannon has no media.

Bannon is Trump’s Chief Political Strategist, and his possible (probable) puppeteer. He has been placed on the NSC (as his 2.3.17 Tweet references), an unprecedented power play that has shaken up the intelligence community, the military, the federal government, Washington, DC — literally the entire world.

There has been much written about Bannon of late, most recently his origin story, which the Wall Street Journal published and interestingly cross published on a Fox News site. It has been ripped apart as a myth by numerous outlets and thousands of words. My own take is that it is simply a play on the early 20th Century, anti-Semitic, Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which in turn is based on the much older Blood Libel. This is at the heart of all of Bannon’s beliefs — Jews control everything in a vast global conspiracy.

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a fabricated document purporting to be factual. Textual evidence shows that it could not have been produced prior to 1901. It is notable that the title of Sergei Nilus’s widely distributed edition contains the dates 1902 — 1903. Wikipedia

                                    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Bannon’s alt-right ideology and his specifically delineated Leninism*, is reprehensible and is downplayed by the mainstream media, (I use this term to call attention to television news, the medium that is, besides social media which is tailored to one’s own beliefs, constantly blaring in the background.), as it is obviously no coincidence that Trump has surrounded himself with people of this ilk. Besides Bannon, Sebastian Gorka, Michael Anton, Stephen Miller, Senator Jefferson Beauregard “Jeff” Sessions III (The new, and already disgraced Attorney General – for lying about speaking to the Russian ambassador at his confirmation hearing, because he was caught, not because of the lie – and having to recuse himself from all Russia related investigations.), and Lieutenant General Michael T. Flynn (The already resigned (fired) chief of the NSC — again, not because of a lie but because he was caught speaking to the Russian ambassador.) come to mind quickly as alt- light ideologues. Not to mention Trump’s cabinet which seems designed for destruction, in a nod to Bannon’s Leninism.


*

There is a problem with the main stream media and the public in general — that problem is accepting reality and, to a lesser extent, disregarding the propaganda that is inherent in it. The United States is at war and the Nightly News makes it seem as if government is Reality TV.

If the United States was occupied by a foreign power it would be acceptable to say so but there is a disconnect between what Russia accomplished, the alt-right controls and what is occurring daily — it has begun to seem like the population is getting more distant from the seat of power because that is exactly the goal — that is until the hammer of realty hits the collective delusion squarely on the head.

The root of the problem, the needle in the haystack, the foul that must be called — and has not as of yet — Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch believes in independent judges, not an independent judiciary. His appointment would give Trump and thus Bannon control of all three branches of government.

Bannon’s alt-right ideology is inspired by the most vile of humanity’s beliefs — that race is a real thing and that one is superior to another. It is this White Christian Supremacist ideology that has taken hold prominently in the White House but in reality permeates the entire Republican Party and as Chauncey DeVega writes in Salon, “has been a 50-year backlash against the civil rights movement.” Bannon treats The Camp of the Saints, a racist French treatise that describes immigrants as people that eat feces, as gospel.

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The Camp of the Saint in the original French and an English translation.

He touts the clash of civilizations as reality, not as conspiracy. At the Vatican in 2014 he said …

“There is a major war brewing, a war that’s already global,” …

Every day that we refuse to look at this as what it is — and the scale of it, and really the viciousness of it — will be a day where you will rue that we didn’t act.”

It is this, radical, hardline that seems to be running White House policy, even changing the wording of a letter to Iran (which reporting indicates he was against sending at all but seemingly his letter is more destructive than none at all), for the Persian New Year of Norwuz, to reflect this incendiary agenda.  This is all on top of his references to Julius Evola and Aleksandr Dugin.

Simply, hate and power are the two words that easily describe Bannon’s view, as this anything but subtle and infamous quote exemplifies:

“Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power”

As his cult of hate is fond of, Bannon masquerades conspiracy theory as theory and academic scholarship as jargon. Cunningly, he passes off the, The Fourth Turning: What Cycles of History Tell Us About America’s Next Rendezvous with Destiny, as something that is more than fiction.

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Needless to say it is his ideology that has led to the engineered chaos that is currently occurring and causing so much human suffering, as ICE’s continued unfettered assault on undocumented individuals illustrates. This too, represents the demonization of the other, which is part of all fascist regimes. Control of the masses through propaganda — stoke fear and hate, to garner control and power.

Taken together, this is the culmination of capitalism — the birth of neofascism and the on set of denial — the White House is under investigation for collusion with Russia, yet the government continues unfettered, with of greatest consequence, the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings for Trump’s nominee, judge Neil Gorsuch, an alt-right jurist in Bannon’s image, hidden underneath black robes and a choir boy facade.

***

Benjamin Doscher is a criminal defense attorney and freelance politics reporter.  You can find his work here.