The Resistance Reports
March 22, 2017
There have been many credible media that have written about Trump and Fascism. Here is another one from Fortune. But first what is Fascism? Basically, Fascism is Nationalism and Corporation supremacy in a country.
Fascism is a form of radical authoritarian nationalism that came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe. The first fascist movements emerged in Italy during World War I, before it spread to other European countries. Opposed to liberalism, Marxism, and anarchism, fascism is usually placed on the far-right within the traditional left–right spectrum.
Fascists saw World War I as a revolution that brought massive changes to the nature of war, society, the state, and technology. The advent of total war and the total mass mobilization of society had broken down the distinction between civilians and combatants. A “military citizenship” arose in which all citizens were involved with the military in some manner during the war. The war had resulted in the rise of a powerful state capable of mobilizing millions of people to serve on the front lines and providing economic production and logistics to support them, as well as having unprecedented authority to intervene in the lives of citizens.
Fascists believe that liberal democracy is obsolete, and they regard the complete mobilization of society under a totalitarian one-party state as necessary to prepare a nation for armed conflict and to respond effectively to economic difficulties. Such a state is led by a strong leader—such as a dictator and a martial government composed of the members of the governing fascist party—to forge national unity and maintain a stable and orderly society. Fascism rejects assertions that violence is automatically negative in nature, and views political violence, war, and imperialism as means that can achieve national rejuvenation. Fascists advocate a mixed economy, with the principal goal of achieving autarky through protectionist and interventionist economic policies.
Since the end of World War II in 1945, few parties have openly described themselves as fascist, and the term is instead now usually used pejoratively by political opponents. The descriptions neo-fascist or post-fascist are sometimes applied more formally to describe parties of the far right with ideologies similar to, or rooted in, 20th century fascist movements.
From Fortune Magazine
Why Trump’s Experiments With Fascism Will Fail (source)
In his first 50 days in office, President Trump has made innumerable unsubstantiated assertions and false statements, claiming untruthfully that millions of Americans voted illegally, that terrorist attacks in the U.S. are not being reported by the media, and, most recently, that Barack Obama wiretapped the phones in Trump Tower. He has also attacked civil liberties, threatened individuals and institutions that appear to stand in the way of his agenda, and declared outright war on the press. It is time for Republicans, Democrats, and Independents to make common cause in what has become, remarkably, the greatest threat to the United States of America in 2017: not religious extremism, nor an adventurous and totalitarian Russia, but the specter of homegrown fascism.
It is a most dangerous time in America. Trump borrows from the playbooks of Benito Mussolini, Slobodan Milosevic, and Vladimir Putin. Like Mussolini, he spins a “mutilated victory” narrative that discards the truth of America’s long and steady march toward enhanced strength and prosperity in order to support his claims that America needs to be made great again. Like Milosevic, to consolidate power, he invokes nationalist sentiment and stokes primitive fears and anxieties that survive by channeling insecurity into hatred and then masquerading as racial superiority. But most of all, he emulates Putin. He does so when he weakens civic institutions, creates crises, and sabotages alliances so that he might profit from the arbitrage opportunities that conflict and uncertainty oft afford.
He does so when he trades so unabashedly and unapologetically in strategic fictions and outright lies that it threatens to entirely dislodge facts and evidence from civic and political discourse. And he does so when he paints as “enemies of the people” the most vital of American institutions—the free press—whose role is to ensure that no one dares to put himself above the law. As any reader of history will attest, we have seen these strategies employed before.
But this is not the weakened Italy of the inter-war years, nor the troubled Balkans of the 1990s, nor the battered Russia that Putin inherited at the turn of the century. Things work differently in the U.S. Despite recent events, most of us still prefer facts to fiction, and enough Americans retain an appreciation for the lessons of history. Most importantly, there remains a deeply held conviction in this country that when a young and still inexperienced America showed that it was possible to pursue freedom and democracy without sacrificing security or strength, it was the most important political contribution any nation had ever made to humanity.
Americans will not so easily relinquish the hard-won gains of liberal democracy to the first bully that tells us he is indispensable but that our liberties and ideals are not. As evidence, we need only to look to journalists who are fact-checking and speaking truth to power with increasing volume and resolve, judges who have pushed back on Trump’s travel bans, and citizens who have taken to the streets to make sure their voices are heard. That Trump and his administration have been able to push things as far as they have is certainly cause for serious concern and reflection, but I remain confident that Americans have a keen eye for scams and can identify a harbinger of totalitarianism, regardless of the mask it wears or the promises it makes.
American values will prevail, and the bullies will be forced to retreat, or else drastically change their ways. Such course corrections are never swift enough, but history gives us some reason for optimism: The Sedition Act of 1798, which made criticism of the federal government or the president a punishable offense, met a deserved end; Sen. Joseph McCarthy, famous for his communist witch hunts and character assassinations of political opponents, was eventually censured for behaving “contrary to senatorial ethics” and bringing the Senate “into dishonor and disrepute”; and President Nixon was forced to resign after lying to cover up his knowledge of the Watergate crimes.
History proves that the costs of standing up to a bully are always lower when we make it clear that we are willing to bear them, and when we show that there is no scope for compromise where our sacred values are at stake. We are presented with the same test of moral courage that humanity has faced in every part of the world where a would-be dictator or despot or strongman has gambled that the masses are too afraid to push back, too self-absorbed to stand up, or too naive to realize that they are being swindled.