The Fascists Among Us

Haven’t you met natural fascists? Don’t give me the salesman b.s. about “I’ve never met a man I didn’t like.” You know who they are, even if they are only latent fascists. A matter of personality? It’s too broad a phenomenon for that. It’s population wide and pervasive.

Let’s summarize what state we are in now: one presidential candidate’s party and supporters believe, some sincerely and some in a cynical move to curry favor with the cult leader, that their candidate really won by a huge margin and the election was stolen. Large numbers of election officials and volunteers are not only harassed but stalked. When armed persons show up outside their house and the police are called, the police either do not respond or drag their feet; when these terrorists send them the locations of their children’s schools to strike fear in them, the police do not investigate or do so only perfunctorily. Beyond election officials, volunteers, elected officials of the state, school board members who do not support the bizarre, ahistorical approach to curriculum these fascists want installed, are similarly terrorized.

OK. Well, you know, maybe there really isn’t that many of them and maybe those police departments are just overloaded and short on manpower. Then point out to me one Republican politician who has spoken out against these fascist tactics. Don’t waste your time, you can’t. The whole party is complicit. When the Third Reich fell and East Germany collapsed, we didn’t look for ‘good’ Nazis and ‘good’ Communists; we looked at their membership in the party apparatus (in Russian apparatchiki) and condemned them for that even though many no doubt joined just to get a job or into a university. They still supported it all.

That is why they are fascists. Ignore them and make excuses for them at our peril.

6 Comments

  1. Sandra Verbeke says:

    SV – Perfect timing for this Blog Topic to come into my mailbox.
    I am in “A Jeff Daniels and Aaron Sorkin” dedication OR obsession. Recording everything they have dipicted, written, acted on OR near this subject.
    _________________________
    Aaron Sorkin’s Depiction of Patriotism Curdling Into Fascism Is Visceral *
    https://www.wweek.com/arts/2020/10/21/aaron-sorkins-depiction-of-patriotism-curdling-into-FASCISM-is-visceral-in-the-trial-of-the-chicago-7/

    Sorkin’s depiction of patriotism Curdling into Fascism is visceral, not didactic—Frank Langella as Judge Julius Hoffman unleashes a nauseating portrait of real-life evil. Sorkin also shows us devastating images of demonstrators being tear-gassed by police, but he doesn’t belabor the similarities between 1968 and 2020. He knows when to shut up and let history speak for itself.

    1. Pat Barrett says:

      I know you are not real young, so do you remember all that? Jerry Rubin, etc.? It was interesting that in the trial of Rittenhouse, who killed 2 people at the protest in Kenosha, the judge seemed to “take sides” with the defense, but Neal Katyal on MSNBC explained that such behavior is not off limits for a judge and does not necessarily portend decisions on his part against the prosecution.
      The descent into fascism here is real. I am making progress on claiming my Italian citizenship – I believe I actually found the ‘town’ my grandfather was born in (it’s just one farmhouse) and will write to the nearby municipality to see about birth records. Lots more to do; the Italians are strict about granting citizenship on the basis of descent but I think I can do it. It’s an escape hatch. Between seeing what the Republicans all over the country, esp here in Arizona, are doing plus my reading The Narrow Corridor and how the Nazis took over, my search for documents was speeded up.

  2. Paul Widergren says:

    Pat, are you saying you might want to be an ex-Pat?

    I have been fantasizing about travelling to Scandinavia and living in each Scandinavian country for 10 weeks or so. I would love to interact in a normal human way with speakers of Swedish and Danish, and maybe Icelandic. When I was in my twenties, I spent several years living as a foreigner in Germany. I loved it, and had reality been different I might have liked to continue living there and eventually gain German citizenship myself, but I did see as a foreigner that I was American first, and was seen as an American, regardless. Same thing in Sweden. American first. It did not matter that my father’s grandparents all were born in Sweden, or that several of my mother’s ancestors were born in Germany. All interactions were on the basis of being American and being foreign and through the lens of what they thought Americans were. In order to gain proficiency in languages I am interested in, I would be happy to spend sufficient time to do so in a country where those languages are spoken, but at this point in my life, I would never consider leaving American permanently. The more I know about Sweden, the more I am an American, because I am not Swedish, just of Swedish descent.

    When I lived in Germany, I was getting by on about $200 a month. Now I wonder if I could get by on $1000 a week which theoretically I could possibly afford now. But regardless, it is probably not in the cards for various reasons and it is more likely that everything I do with languages will involve a computer and a monitor and I will never set foot out of the US of A again.

    The following article arrived in my feed today about Singapore. The label used for Singapore is “authoritarian one-party state”. Pretty scary. Perhaps, Italy ain’t never gonna be that bad.

    https://restofworld.org/2021/singapores-tech-utopia-dream-is-turning-into-a-surveillance-state-nightmare/

    1. Pat Barrett says:

      You read that ex-pat thing in my reply to the only other person besides the guy who set up my blog who replies to my stuff. Lots of people go to the site and read but no one responds. So, first, thanks for reading and for responding.
      Living here in Maricopa County gives us a solid sense of just how wide-spread the authoritarian trend in the GOP is and just how likely they are to stay in power and enhance it. So yes, I am concerned. But you live in a state that might turn ugly, too. Having a passport might allow and encourage that country to protest if, for example, the legislature here were to cut off my teacher’s pension. They have been trying to get at the fund for some time.
      I don’t believe Italy is any sort of magical place. Scandinavia, OTOH, just might be pretty magical.
      Neither of the books I’ve read that treat of personal/civic freedom deal with Singapore. Disappointing. So I’m looking forward to reading the article you forwarded to me. Thanks.
      My biggest problem with moving out of country is how do I get my books over there.
      pb

      1. 伟思礼 says:

        When I hit the road, I put most of my books on an iPad. But if I were relocating (as opposed to going nomadic), I’d have shipped them. Expensive, but not greatly so. Almost anything else can be bought when you get there. Any appliances that have moving parts will probably be ruined and/or not work in Europe. Most electronics will work with an adapter for the plug. I don’t have ancestry in a country as generous as Italy for giving citizenship on that basis. But many countries will allow long-term or permanent residence with proof of sufficient income and/or assets. I’ve heard from people living in Panama who stay legal without a visa by going to Belize for a couple of days every three months.

        1. Pat Barrett says:

          Great information. Thanks.

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