Article 43

 

Thursday, June 09, 2022

Stages Of Totalitarianism

image: fuehrer

“With use of propaganda and speeches Hitler soon became portrayed as the Hand to lift the people of Germany out of the great depression.”
- Fascism - Causes And Effect

The hallmark of “fascist collectivism” in international history is totalizing loyalty to The Leader, which, in a foreign but familiar turn-of-phrase, would be translated to Der Fuhrer. That fuhrer, when it comes to the Republican Party, is Donald Trump. The former president insists he defeated Joe Biden. He insists everyone in the GOP believe and repeat the same lie. Anyone who does not believe and repeat the same lie is quickly identified as insufficiently loyal. This is how “fascist collectivism” works. The sky isn’t green because the fuhrer says it is. It’s green after everyone agrees. If that sounds like mass delusion is the heart of fascism collectivism, that’s because it is.
- The GOP is Falling Into Mass Delusion

“People who shut their eyes to reality simply invite their own destruction, and anyone who insists on remaining in a state of innocence long after that innocence is dead, turns himself into a monster.”
- James Baldwin

---

We can’t pretend we don’t know what’s happening and where it will lead if it’s not stopped - the question is what we will do about it

By Thom Hartmann
The Hartmann Report
June 8, 2022

It’s time to talk about what an American fascist government would look like. The word “fascism” gets thrown around a lot, but most Americans have no idea what it would look like or how it would actually play out.

It’s critical to lay out what a fascist America would look like now because this is what is being envisioned right now by many in the Republican Party, and it might come to pass.

They don’t talk about it out loud very much, like Nixon’s man G. Gordon Liddy used to back in the day when he signed memos using Hitlers SS symbol. But there is a model here and they do have something in mind.

What could it be? What would it look like? How will it most likely come about?

First, and essential to American fascism, Republicans envision a strong-man Leader who will hold power for as long as he (it’s always a “he") chooses, with the transition to the next Leader determined by the Leader himself.

This has been the primary characteristic of every fascistic government to emerge in the 7000-year written history of the modern world.

When Trump was running for re-election, at rallies in both Nevada and Wisconsin, he came right out and SAID that not only would he win the 2020 election but that hed also be re-elected again in 2024.  He was dead serious.

Sure, our constitution says a president can only serve two terms: so did the Russian constitution, until Putin GOT IT AMENDED. Trump was planning the same, and his followers were - if the response at the rallies when he announced it is any indicator - ecstatic at the prospect.

That single strongman Leader is the key to understanding everything else that happens when a country flips from democracy to oligarchy to fascism.

For example, in a fascist state the way that you as an average citizen ensure your own advancement and economic, personal, and political security is by sucking up to that man. You either become an acolyte/follower or you find yourself on the outside looking in.

If you think this sounds extreme, just look at today’s Republican Party.

Liz Cheney spoke against Trump and the Wyoming GOP expelled her and Trump is supporting a primary challenger. Four Republicans who voted to impeach Trump have faced such a backlash that they’ve DECIDED TO RETIRE at the end of this term: Adam Kinzinger, Anthony Gonzalez, John Katko, and Fred Upton.

Republican freshman Congressman Chris Jacobs, representing a district including parts of Buffalo, NY, was FORCED to withdraw from this years primary (and, thus, he’ll be retiring from the House) because after the Buffalo massacre he spoke against Trumps and his party’s embrace of assault weapons.

Not only is fealty to the Leader required for political advancement, it’s also a requirement for individual economic advancement.  Employers eager for state contracts or the Leaders endorsements of their products or services demote or fire those insufficiently loyal to the Leader.

Psychologist Dr. Bandy Lee was FIRED from Yale University for tweeting that Trump was mentally ill. Schoolteacher Leah Kinyon was fired from her job for SAYING that “I hate Donald Trump.  He is a sexual predator. Hes a literal moron.” Juli Brisker was FIRED from her job with government contractor Akima for giving Trump’s motorcade the finger.

Rebekah Jones was FIRED by Ron DeSantis for telling the truth about his covering up Florida Covid statistics. Florida’s Orange County Health Director Dr. Raul Pino was removed for encouraging his staff to get vaccinated.

When companies defy the Leader they are brutally punished, as DeSantis is doing right now to Disney and the Tampa Bay Rays. Soon companies don’t even try to stand up to the DISNEY and the TAMPA BAY RAYS\. Soon companies don’t even try to stand up to the Leader, including media companies.

And now DeSantis has signed legislation giving him the authority to “hold accountable” college professors, reviewing their politics every five years so those who aren’t totally on board with the agenda can lose tenure and be fired. The headline at Salon SAYS IT ALL:

“DeSantis signs bill requiring Florida students, professors to register political views with state: Universities may lose funding if staff and students’ beliefs do not satisfy Florida’s GOP-run legislature.”

You end up doing things on the Leader’s behalf, whether you’re supporting his party, working at a private corporation, or engaged in the nonprofit sector like teaching at a university or medical center.

Defying or challenging the Leader brings opprobrium; supporting the Leader is the path to career advancement.  The Trump White House and DeSantis Governors Office are filled with examples.

Everything is done for the Leader because the Leader is the state. The state and the Leader have become one.

If you challenge the Leader, you’re challenging the state, and thats treason.

Whatever the Leader says becomes the law. This is called ғRULE BY DECREE and itԒs where every fascist in history has ended up.

The power to rule by decree goes back to the days of kings and is also embedded in our laws about the president’s emergency powers. Trump came close to invoking it with an “emergency declaration” when he lost the election. General Flynn BEGGED him to do it and “temporarily suspend the Constitution.”

Next time, he won’t be so restrained and he will have surrounded himself in advance with people like Flynn who will make it happen. While it will change how power is distributed in our government, things will still look much the same.

If a fascist like Trump rises to power again in the United States, there will still be all the trappings of democracy.

The House and Senate, state houses and governors, bureaucracies and political systems will remain intact. Everything looks normal on the surface.

But when you peel off the top layer, you discover that all of those people in all of those offices, whether elected or bureaucratic, are serving only one principle and one person and that is the Leader.

There will even be opposition parties and political candidacies in a Republican fascist America, although if any of them seriously challenge the Leader or show the ability to disrupt the status quo they’ll be discovered to have a secret drug habit or get imprisoned for corruption or other made-up charges.

The prosperity of the company you work for depends in part on how well it supports the politics of the Leader.

The Leader helps a few dozen oligarchs seize control of the nations major industries, and every smaller company in each of those industries must directly or indirectly answer to that oligarch.

Those who fail to are bought out, shut down, or simply cannot find customers or supplies because nobody will do business with them.

The industry where this is most visible at first is the media.

Some media organizations will be absorbed by the government itself, as Putin has done in Russia; others will be bought out and run by the Leader’s oligarch buddies, as is the case today in Hungary and Turkey (among others).

Soon opposition voices vanish from all but the most obscure media, and those few opposing voices that are tolerated are pointed to by the Leader as proof the nation is still an open democracy.

Jews and people of color may find a rougher time maintaining a job or staying safe from vigilantes, abuse, and discrimination but whites will be just fine, particularly white men.

There will still be Christmas parties, although people celebrating Hanukkah or Muslims praying may want to pull the shades closed.

Hate crimes and murders by vigilante groups start happening with such frequency that the media doesnt bother to report them anymore.

Within a few years a little bit of every business activity in the country ends up in the Leader’s pocket. And the Leader uses that revenue to enrich himself, his inner circle, and those who are part of his military entourage, his private military.

ThatҒs right: the Leaders private military.

It’d be put together like what Ron DeSantis is FLYING Customs and Border Protection officers into Portland where they hit the streets without identification on their uniforms to beat and kidnap people protesting George Floyds murder.

When the private militia is created at the federal level itҒll become a substantial national military force with hundreds of thousands of soldiers under the Leader’s direct command. Hitlers was called the SS and answered only to the Leader himself. Mussolini had his, as do Putin, ERDOGAN, el-Sisi, and others today.

Citing “national security,” the Leaders private militia will have an undisclosed and therefore vast budget. Outside of times it’s called on to intimidate people or make a public display of power, itҒll largely operate in secret.

It’s members won’t have to obey the law because, as agents of the Leader whos above the law, they are, too. If they have to kill somebody, there will be no investigation unless itҒs to cover up the crime. If they need to make somebody disappear, that person disappears.

They, along with the Leader’s allies, promote a law-and-order crime ideology in public that results in high levels of incarceration, heavily militarized police, and a disregard for the general rights of the average citizen, particularly racial and religious minorities.

This is how the kind of government the Donald Trump was trying to establish in America has played out, over and over again, across the world and throughout history.

In our own time weve seen it in Egypt, Turkey, Russia, Cuba, Hungary, the Philippines, Venezuela, and dozens of other countries around the world less well known for the nature of the government.

It may call itself left-wing or right-wing, but what really matters is that all power and authority rests with the Leader. Stalin was every bit the fascist that Hitler and Mussolini were; his fascism just had a different face and brand.

As dystopian as all this may sound, there are more governments in the world run this way today than there are democracies. It’s “normal.” Once established it’s almost impossible to dislodge without a crisis like the death of the Leader or an actual revolution.

Some of the governments around the world that are structured like this were democracies that turned fascist, like Russia, Turkey, and Hungary. But many have been this way for centuries, like hereditary kingdoms in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.

So, how do the democratic countries that make the transition to fascism allow that to happen? And what is life like in those countries, both during and after it’s happened?

After World War II, a Chicago reporter named Milton Mayer struggled to understand how Hitler was able to flip one of the world’s most stable democracies into fascism.

An American Jew of German ancestry and a brilliant writer, Mayer went to Germany seven years after Hitler’s fall and befriended 10 “average Germans,” asking each how the Nazis rose to power in an otherwise civilized nation.

His book, THEY THOUGH THEY WERE FREE, is his story of that experience. Intertwined through it - first published in 1955 - are repeated overt and subtle warnings to future generations of Americans: to us, today.

Mayer quotes one of his German friends as describing what happened once the Leader seized power:

“This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter.”

Did the German people realize theyd abandoned democracy? That they would soon become international pariahs? The college professor Mayer interviewed answered:

“To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it - please try to believe me - unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us had ever had occasion to develop.”

“Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, ‘regretted,’ that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these ‘little measures’ that no ‘patriotic German’ could resent must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing.”

“And one day it is over his head.”

Is it possible this could happen in America? That all these “small steps” would one day lead to a dictatorial form of government that has so cowed the people, the politicians, and even the business community and media that it cant be challenged?

Doesn’t the nation rise up and protest the destruction of its own democracy? DonҒt the people pour into the streets?

Mayers professor gave us the answer:

“You see, one doesn’t see exactly where or how to move. Believe me, this is true. Each act, each occasion, is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for the one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join with you in resisting somehow.”

“You don’t want to act, or even to talk, alone; you don’t want to ‘go out of your way to make trouble.’ Why not? - Well, you are not in the habit of doing it. And it is not just fear, fear of standing alone, that restrains you; it is also genuine uncertainty.Ҕ

We can’t say we weren’t warned by our own people, our own politicians, the most senior members of our own institutional power structure.

In a speech that was hysterically criticized by Republicans and Fox “News” pundits, President Obama in December of 2017 CAME RIGHT OUT AND SAID IT:

“You have to tend to this garden of democracy, otherwise things can fall apart fairly quickly. And we’ve seen societies where that happens.”

Yes, the former President of the United States was invoked Nazi Germany five years ago while Donald Trump was President, adding:

“Now, presumably, there was a ballroom in Vienna in the late 1920s or ‘30s that looked and seemed as if it - filled with the music and art and literature and the science that was emerging - would continue into perpetuity.”

“And then,"President Obama said, “60 million people died. And the entire world was plunged into chaos.”

The warnings have been there all along. I wrote of this IN 2005, quoting Mayer and going off on Bush and the PATRIOT ACT as the prequel to fascism.

Americans have been shouting about it lately, in venues like THE NEW YORK TIMES and MADELINE ALBRIGHT’S BOOK and from legislators like ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ.

But how do we know? Is there a sudden proclamation by the Leader that the nation is now “officially fascist”?

Back to Mayers German friend in 1954:

“But of course this isn’t the way it happens. In between come all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you not to be shocked by the next. Step C is not so much worse than Step B, and, if you did not make a stand at Step B, why should you at Step C? And so on to Step D.”

“And one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you. The burden of self-deception has grown too heavy, and some minor incident, in my case my little boy, hardly more than a baby, saying ‘Jew swine,’ collapses it all at once, and you see that everything, everything, has changed and changed completely under your nose.”

I thought about this quote yesterday when a caller to my radio/TV show told the story of his very progressive son who moved to Tennessee and married a local woman; now hes a complete Trump-humper who uses the N-word at the slightest provocation and rails about Jews and communists. He obsessively watches Fox News and listens to right wing radio.

America is changing as you read these words. In this fall’s election many of us will no longer be able to know if our voices, our attempts to vote, will actually decide who leads our nation.

Five Republicans on the Supreme Court RULED in 2018 that you can be purged from the voting rolls on a whim. In most states Republicans can take over electoral precincts, install their people (as we just learned THEY ARE DOING right now) and run them under whatever rules they want.

Already, when the GOP inflicts 10-hour lines to vote on a stateԒs people, for example, you go to jail if you bring them water. If you make a mistake on your voting registration or ballot they can choose to send you to prison for five years or more.

Somehow, of the many people from both parties who are busted for this, only the Democrats end up going to prison.

And yet everything seems “normal.” As Mayers’ professor friend told him, when the Leader finally seizes control of all the levers of power from political to economic to spiritual, everything changes but everything also stays the same:

“The world you live in - your nation, your people - is not the world you were in at all. The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays.”

“But the spirit, which you never noticed because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms, is changed.”

“Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves; when everyone is transformed, no one is transformed. Now you live in a system which rules without responsibility even to God.”

Were already quite a ways down this road, which is why our democracy has been rated by numerous international groups as being ғat risk or similar designations.

Voter suppression, gerrymandering, the proliferation of phony media selling rightwing propaganda as “news,” armed militias on our streets (and the GOP recruiting them for “election monitors") are the visible tip of the proverbial iceberg.

“How is this to be avoided, among ordinary men, even highly educated ordinary men?” Mayer’s friend asked rhetorically.

And, without the benefit of a previous and recent and well-remembered fascistic regime to refer to, Mayer had to candidly answer: “Frankly, I do not know.”

That was 1954; this is 2022. We now know.

We know how the poisonous hate that animates fascism seeps into a society because weve seen it ourselves in the 4 years of the Trump administration.

We know how easily a government can be toppled and how close we came in 2020: if just five Republicans had not refused to go along with Trump we’d be in this fascist dystopia today.

We cant pretend we don’t know whats happening and where it will lead if it’s not stopped.

The question is what we will do about it.

SOURCE

---

image: biden

The Five Stages of Totalitarianism

By Walker Larson
Mises Institute
June 11, 2022

Fears of a growing totalitarian tendency in the US have swelled during 202022. But how close are we really to a totalitarian state? How have such regimes come about historically and what are the warning signs? This article will answer these questions by examining totalitarian regimes in the eighteenth and twentieth centuries and the pattern by which they came to power.

Stage 1: Discontent and Rumblings

Every new order rises on the ruins of the old.

Those who would establish a new regime must tap into or generate dissatisfaction with the status quo. However much those desiring a reset may despise the old order, they can֒t accomplish much without harnessing or fabricating a similar attitude in the public. Then the revolutionary totalitarian appears as the solution to these problems.

The Reign of Terror in Revolutionary France, for example, didnt begin with blood but with bread. Between 1715 and 1800, the population of Europe doubled, creating food shortages among the French people. Many of the French people resented the KingҒs growing centralized authority. In addition, the ideas of the EnlightenmentӔ thinkers were stirring up revolutionary feeling. Finally, the French government was massively in debt due to the many wars of the eighteenth century, and it increased taxation even on nobles.

It was these sufferings and fears, combined with the machinations of the secret societies (admitted by the Marquis de Rosanbo at the Chamber of Deputies session of July 1, 1904) that led the to the revolution and the totalitarian Jacobin government. The Reign of Terror came after the fall of the king and the Ancien Rgime, which the revolutionaries accomplished in part because of the problems and suffering in French society prerevolution.

The Bolshevik Revolution in Russia in 1917which established a totalitarian regime so bloody that it would make the Reign of Terror look like a mere red drop in the guillotine bucket闗followed a similar blueprint. The Bolshevik communists exploited the sufferings of the Russian people for revolutionary purposes. What were these sufferings? The Russian people had lost faith in Tsar Nicholas II and his government, Russia contained restless ethnic minorities, and the poorly equipped and led Russian armies were losing against the Germans in World War I. Russias failures in the war led to demoralization and disrupted the economy. In January 1917, transportation to cities like Petrograd broke down, and this caused food and fuel shortages, and, eventually, riots.

Not long after the rise of Bolshevism in Russia, Adolf Hitler became involved with the Nazi Party during the Weimar Republic. Struggling postwar Germany bubbled with discontent. The Treaty of Versailles had been harsh: Germany was expected to accept full responsibility for the war, pay massive indemnities to the Allies, surrender large amounts of territory, possess no military worth speaking of, and be monitored by Allied troops. In the years following the war and the treaty, the German economy suffered mightily, including through hyperinflation. When Germany defaulted on some of its payments, French and Belgian troops occupied GermanyҒs richest industrial region, the Ruhr district, which only made Germany poorer and the people angrier.

Stage 2: The False Savior and the First Revolution

After identifying and appealing to the peoples discontent, the totalitarian presents himself as a savior. In stage 2, the revolutionary totalitarian enacts a dramatic change to “solve” the problems and discontent of stage 1.

To find a solution for its debt crisis, the French government called the Estates General assembly to advise the king on what to do. The Third Estate quickly claimed full governmental authority as the “National Assembly.” The National Assembly wanted to draw up a new constitution that would change the nature of the government to deal with injustices. After the storming of the Bastille, peasants in rural areas revolted against their lords. The National Assembly declared feudalism abolished and introduced the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. With the execution of Louis XVI on January 21, 1793, the first stage of the revolution was over. The regicide left a massive power vacuum. Various groups struggled to fill this hole, but in the end, the Jacobins - the radicals - dominated the new revolutionary government.

In the Russian Revolution, the Bolsheviks took advantage of the food riots that began early in 1917. When the military began siding with the rioting workers, rather than restoring law and order, Tsar Nicholas knew all was lost. He abdicated on March 2, 1917 (and was later shot). The Bolshevik-run Petrograd Soviet quickly took control of post-tsarist Russia. Their slogan - Peace, Land, and Bread - attracted many frightened and angry people to them as to a savior. On November 6Җ7, they staged a coup that finally overturned the provisional government.

The initial rise of Nazism in Germany was less bloody but similarly based on messianic promises. Capitalizing on the resentment in Germany due to the Versailles Treaty and global economic downturn in 1929, the Nazi Party grew in size and influence. The Nazis had attempted a violent coup in November 1923 but had failed, and they turned to legal means of gaining control of the government. Due to Hitlers skill with propaganda, the Nazi Party won more and more of the vote by the early 1930s. Eventually, it was the second-biggest political party in the country. At this point, Hitler was demanded that President Paul von Hindenburg appoint him chancellor, which Hindenburg agreed to in 1933. This was not a violent revolution, but the failed 1923 attempt shows the party’s violent tendencies.

Stage 3: Censorship, Persecution, Propaganda, and the Ending of Opposition

In stage 3, the initial upheaval of stage 2 has passed. The old order has been fundamentally changed, and now various forces begin to react. The rising totalitarian government faces many enemies, often dubbed “counterrevolutionaries” or “extremists.” Here in its infancy, the new order must struggle to gain more power and maintain that which has been acquired. For this reason, it sets about combatting its enemies through censorship and persecution.

As soon as they had gained sway over their countries, the first move of totalitarians like Hitler and Vladimir Lenin was to censor opposition and put out propaganda. Each of these totalitarian leaders also gained control of education and had secret police forces to monitor and even kill anyone designated as an enemy. Another strategy was to establish youth organizations to indoctrinate citizens in the stateҒs propaganda from an early age and tear their loyalties away from family or religion. Religion was almost universally persecuted once these regimes came to power.

Finally, Hitler and Lenin outlawed (either de jure or de facto) all political parties and views besides their own after coming to power.1 Totalitarians create a one-party system that often maintains a faade of democracy.

Stage 4: The Crisis

Stage 4 prepares the way for the totalitarian government to grasp total control over those under its rule. It consists of a crisis moment, which may be either a real threat or a false flag that seems to threaten the nation.

By 1793, the French Revolution was at a crisis point. Defenders of the old order rose up on all sides to crush the new order. Austrian and Prussian armies encircled France, while the Vendean peasants revolted against the revolutionary government and army. And so, in the name of 穓public safety, the government decided to take harsh measures against all enemies of the revolution. And so, of course, they needed more control. This was the task of the Committee of Public Safety, and it suffered from no scruple in its methods.

On August 3, 1918, Lenin was shot after giving a speech at a factory. While recovering in the hospital, he wrote to a subordinate, “It is necessary secretly - and urgently - to prepare the terror. This initiated a campaign of mass killings and detentions by the government, known to history as the Red Terror. As always, the justification for these acts was the “emergency” indicated by the attempted assassination. The “radicals” and “counterrevolutionaries” were allegedly “at the gate,” and it was necessary to use extreme measures to deal with this imminent “threat.” So the rhetoric went. And so it always goes.

Hitler also used a “state of emergency” to justify his clampdown. On February 27, 1933, the Reichstag went up in flames. In response, Herman Gorrin, minister of the interior, ordered a raid on Communist headquarters, allegedly for evidence of sedition and a Communist plot to attack public buildings. This, in Hitler’s mind, was the signal for seizing complete control. On February 28, the cabinet abolished freedom of speech, assembly, privacy, and the press. Around four thousand people were arrested that night. This “crisis,” with the usual language about safety and countering threats, ushered in totalitarianism in Germany.

Stage 5: Purges, Genocide, and Total Control

Using the crisis of stage 4 as an excuse, the totalitarian government now seizes absolute control over the lives of its citizens. The regime overcomes the enemies of stages 3 and 4. It begins brutally enforcing its “utopia” and ideology on the populace. This stage also sees the greatest atrocities committed against the populace because resistance to the totalitarian regime has been crushed. The people are defenseless and demoralized. Nothing stands between the regime and its victims. This stage involves mass killings as the regime liquidates any remaining enemies while seeking to control every detail of citizens’ lives.

During the latter stages of the French Revolution, the Committee of Public Safety received dictatorial powers to defeat anyone who opposed the revolutionary government. During 179394, the CPS eliminated rival revolutionary groups before passing a law that suspended citizens֒ rights to a public trial or legal assistance and gave the jury only two options, acquittal or death. The result was horrifying: throughout France, three hundred thousand suspects were arrested, seventeen thousand were executed, and about ten thousand died in prison or without trial.

But it was nothing compared to the Red Terror and Joseph Stalin’s purges. The party used the attempted assassination of Lenin as justification for intense persecution of its enemies. Tens of thousands of people became victims, as discussed in Richard Pipes’s THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION. But Lenin’s handiwork was only a precursor to Stalin’s “purges” of political enemies. Historians are divided on just how many people Stalin killed, but estimates reach as high as sixty million.

Estimates of the people killed by Hitler and his Nazi Party vary as well. According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the figure stands at seventeen million, but only God knows for certain.

In addition to carrying out mass killings, established totalitarian regimes seek to control everyday life through measures like censorship, propaganda, gun control, and internal passports.

The United States in 2022

So is the United States headed for totalitarianism? Here we move from facts to speculation - a risky business. The answer is not straightforward. But if we are careful to avoid exaggeration, some useful comparisons can be made.

· Have any forces in the US taken advantage of real or imagined problems in the country to stir up discontent and even violence? The death of George Floyd and the associated claims of systemic racism in 2020 gave rise to violent and destructive riots. Fortunately, this has calmed down, but, like in pre-Soviet Russia, ongoing tensions surrounding racial minorities continue to threaten more social unrest. This unrest could intensify if predictions of food shortages and increasing inflation come true in the coming months and years.

· Has any figure or group presented themselves as a savior with the solution to our problems, a solution that will require the curtailing of individual rights? Are freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, due process, or religious rights under attack? The covid pandemic was used by governments around the world to justify vast restrictions on personal freedom, including limitations on freedom of assembly, the closing of religious centers, and censorship of information or viewpoints that opposed the official covid narrative and dictates. Many of these public officials presented themselves as “experts” whose forceful policies were “necessary” for “public safety.” Entities such as the World Economic Forum and many global leaders continue to discuss the need for a “Great Reset,” in part as a response to the “threat” of covid. This reset includes everything from redesigning health systems and education to the implementation of vaccine passports. This is presented to us as our “salvation” from covid and other dangers, including racism.

· Are we experiencing any censorship in the US? Are our media sources independent and objective or coerced and controlled? As the recent Musk/Twitter debacle has highlighted, Big Tech bears responsibility for censoring certain information and views with increasing regularity in recent years, and particularly conservative voices.

· Does the US live under a one-party system? As far as we can tell, the answer to this question is no. However, if the claims of election fraud abounding since the 2020 elections are true and the fraud remains unremedied, we effectively live in a one-party system, since one party can maintain power indefinitely through illegal means. But that is a substantial if.

· Are we witnessing MASS ARRESTS or mass killings? We clearly have not progressed into stage 5 type mass arrests and killings at this time, although the data on ADVERSE REACTIONS SURROUNDING THE COVID VACCINE is concerning. Still, that data, even if accurate, does not definitively show that premeditation or a totalitarian regime is the culprit behind these injuries and deaths. Yet the possibility, I think, should not be ruled out entirely.

One final point must be made. Though troubling similarities exist between the trajectory of the US and the historical examples of totalitarianism outlined above, we must avoid both the extremes of an alarmist fatalism and a starry-eyed state of denial. On the one hand, the events of the past few years in our country are grim. On the other, history does not work like a machine, and many factors are at play here. I do not claim to know the future, and I do not believe in historical determinism. In the end, whether the United States is headed for totalitarianism or not is largely up to us and whether or not we resist these trends.

About the author

Walker Larson teaches literature and history at a private academy in Wisconsin, where he resides with his wife. He holds a Masters in English Literature and Language, and his writing has appeared in The Hemingway Review, Intellectual Takeout, and his SUBSTACK.

SOURCE

Related

CAN YOU FEEL FASCISM’S RISE

FACT AND FICTION

Posted by Elvis on 06/09/22 •
Section Revelations • Section Dying America • Section Fascism
View (0) comment(s) or add a new one
Printable viewLink to this article
Home
Page 1 of 1 pages

Statistics

Total page hits 12002914
Page rendered in 3.9021 seconds
41 queries executed
Debug mode is off
Total Entries: 3445
Total Comments: 339
Most Recent Entry: 10/05/2022 10:32 am
Most Recent Comment on: 09/26/2021 05:03 pm
Total Logged in members: 0
Total guests: 6
Total anonymous users: 1
The most visitors ever was 172 on 12/25/2019 07:40 am

Current Logged-in Members: 


Email Us

Home

Members:
Login | Register
Resumes | Members

In memory of the layed off workers of AT&T

Today's Diversion

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed, second it is violently opposed, and third, it is accepted as self-evident. - Arthur Schopenhauer

Search


Advanced Search

Sections

Calendar

October 2022
S M T W T F S
            1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31          

Must Read

Most recent entries

RSS Feeds

CNN Top Stories

ARS Technica

External Links

Elvis Favorites

BLS and FRED Pages

Reference

Other Links

All Posts

Archives

RSS


Creative Commons License


Support Bloggers' Rights