Welcome to Atheist Discussion, a new community created by former members of The Thinking Atheist forum.

Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Is fascism useful descriptor for modern political landscape?
#26

Is fascism useful descriptor for modern political landscape?
(04-10-2020, 11:05 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(04-10-2020, 09:22 PM)Szuchow Wrote: I would argue for high road (as in politicians having vision they follow, not being cardboard figures changing opinion every poll) coupled with effective use of language and management of public anger. There is no reason for which non-authoritarian politicians should speak like wimps. If your fascist opponent chose to give 2 billions PLN to propaganda instead of cancer therapy* call him killer, not waste such opportunity with weak ass condemnations.

I certainly agree. Decorum is needed when we're discussing divisive issues (on the assumption that our speech is designed to convince and not to castigate), but there are times when bullshit needs to simply be called as bullshit.

The art of politics is in some measure the ability to discern when to use mollifying speech, and when to open the ammunition-train for the heavy guns. There are times when open arms and welcoming opponents is good. There are also times when lining up one's howitzers and scheduling a time-on-target is needed. Understanding the difference between the two times is what differentiates a talented politician from a hack or a demagogue.

Again, I can only say that I would like more politicians to know such. But inability to make such distinction is nothing surprising in era of cardboard politicians, with no vision, whose only function is to vote how party instructs them to.

(04-10-2020, 11:11 PM)Chimp3 Wrote:
(04-10-2020, 04:05 PM)Szuchow Wrote: Fascism is a word that cheapened over the years but privately I still find it useful to describe things, whether in colloquial use or in accordance to one of many definitions of this phenomenon. But how you see it? Is it word that overstayed it's welcome, something best used in historical context or accurate descriptor of some of today political trends?

As I side note I sometimes see fear of labeling something fascist as if fascism should be necessary accompanied by wars, concentration camps or widespread violence. But according to Roger Griffin fascism is merely particularly sick form of nationalism, not necessarily reenactment of Italy and Germany XX century history: 
Quote:[F]ascism is best defined as a revolutionary form of nationalism, one that sets out to be a political, social and ethical revolution, welding the ‘people’ into a dynamic national community under new elites infused with heroic values. The core myth that inspires this project is that only a populist, trans-class movement of purifying, cathartic national rebirth (palingenesis) can stem the tide of decadence*
.

So what is yours take?

*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Definition...er_Griffin

I think there are individual fascists working in our political system today. Trump is a fascist. His disdain for a free press and his love affair with brutal dictators makes this fact transparent. But our political system is not fascist yet. Some times I think U.S. citizens have lost their taste for freedom and wish for an authoritarian system as long as it reflects their personal agenda.

It appears that authoritarian inclinations were important factor when it came to voting for Trump - [...]That’s right, Trump’s electoral strength—and his staying power—have been buoyed, above all, by Americans with authoritarian inclinations. And because of the prevalence of authoritarians in the American electorate, among Democrats as well as Republicans, it’s very possible that Trump’s fan base will continue to grow.

My finding is the result of a national poll I conducted in the last five days of December under the auspices of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, sampling 1,800 registered voters across the country and the political spectrum. Running a standard statistical analysis, I found that education, income, gender, age, ideology and religiosity had no significant bearing on a Republican voter’s preferred candidate. Only two of the variables I looked at were statistically significant: authoritarianism, followed by fear of terrorism, though the former was far more significant than the latter[...]




(04-11-2020, 05:22 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:
(04-10-2020, 06:21 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(04-10-2020, 06:17 PM)Szuchow Wrote: I see Trump mostly as clownish failure but depending on how one interpret his MAGA slogan (and whether he criticizes democrats for alleged lack of morals) I guess he could be called fascist under Griffin definition.

There's also the fact that Trump has weaponized patriotism in a way that has never been seen before in this country, which is, according to my reading, an important tactic in the fascist playbook. Trump defines disagreement with his policies as disloyalty to America.

Firstoff, i think the definition given by Comrade Cat is very good, not perfect but good. Do i see fasicm today? No, but strong tendencies in numerous countries, with rising numbers.
Regarding Thumps comment i want to point out that there is another angle to this: Not only is anyone who disaggrees with the fascist disloyal (a traitor) to his country, but fascists tend to claim to be the only group to represent the will of the people. Anyone else, per definitionem, does not and canot be a representant of "we, the people". This is something one also finds with the MAGA movement and why i think it has fascist tendencies.

I agree that definition is good, that is why I am using it. Also I am willing to say that I see fascism today - thanks to nationalist and transformative aspects of definition PiS fits it quite well, far better than Trump who I would sooner call lying clown than dangerous ideologue.

As for second point it is not only fascists who claim such. Populists are fond of using such way of argumentation too if what I recall from Jan-Werner Müller book What is populism is correct. I would say that pretense of being only voice of true Volk is common feature of illiberal politicians of every stripe.
The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
The following 1 user Likes Szuchow's post:
  • Thumpalumpacus
Reply
#27

Is fascism useful descriptor for modern political landscape?
Basically, Mussolini and Giovanni Gentile's 1932 "The Doctrine Of Fascism" was the official general definition of fascism. To define fascism, start here. Surprising to some is that German Nazis rarely used the term fascism to describe National Socialism doctrine. Which was basically based on race and Hitler himself declared National Socialism was not a doctrine for export to foreign nations, it was a strictly German ideology. Mussolini's fascism omitted the racism of German National Socialism, but was explicitly nationalistic.
Plunk your magic twanger Froggy!   Boinnnnnng!  Hiya Kids!  Hiya! Hiya!



Reply
#28

Is fascism useful descriptor for modern political landscape?
(04-11-2020, 05:27 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote: Basically, Mussolini and Giovanni Gentile's 1932 "The Doctrine Of Fascism" was the official general definition of fascism.  To define fascism, start here.  Surprising to some is that German Nazis rarely used the term fascism to describe National Socialism doctrine.  Which was basically based on race and Hitler himself declared National Socialism was not a doctrine for export to foreign nations, it was a strictly German ideology.  Mussolini's fascism omitted the racism of German National Socialism, but was explicitly nationalistic.

Is there any reason that makes you think that such basic information needs to be written here?

Also as I don't see fascism as something only tied to Mussolini and era of his reign in Italy I don't particularly care about how he defined it. There are other perfectly serviceable definitions.
The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
Reply
#29

Is fascism useful descriptor for modern political landscape?
(04-11-2020, 09:03 PM)Szuchow Wrote:
(04-11-2020, 05:27 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote: Basically, Mussolini and Giovanni Gentile's 1932 "The Doctrine Of Fascism" was the official general definition of fascism.  To define fascism, start here.  Surprising to some is that German Nazis rarely used the term fascism to describe National Socialism doctrine.  Which was basically based on race and Hitler himself declared National Socialism was not a doctrine for export to foreign nations, it was a strictly German ideology.  Mussolini's fascism omitted the racism of German National Socialism, but was explicitly nationalistic.

Is there any reason that makes you think that such basic information needs to be written here?

Also as I don't see fascism as something only tied to Mussolini and era of his reign in Italy I don't particularly care about how he defined it. There are other perfectly serviceable definitions.

 Mussolini created Fascism and defined it.  That matters.  When debating what is Fascism, we start here.  The fact that we use Fascism to describe Nazis when Nazis saw Fascism differently, and did not describe themselves as Fascists is something I have long noticed, many people don't know.   When debating these issues, there is a lot that everybody knows that isn't true about Fascism.  Fascism had its predecessors that Mussolini drew on, and so did Hitler.  Then there are the morons like Jonah Goldberg, and Dinesh D'Souza that tell us that Fascism had it's roots in Liberalism, which sort of idiocy has become gospel to many ignorant right wingers in America.  Debunking that crap when one deals with one of these right winged ignorami needs an understanding of just what Fascism and National Socialism are and their features and sources.
Plunk your magic twanger Froggy!   Boinnnnnng!  Hiya Kids!  Hiya! Hiya!



The following 1 user Likes Cheerful Charlie's post:
  • Deesse23
Reply
#30

Is fascism useful descriptor for modern political landscape?
(04-11-2020, 10:22 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote:  Mussolini created Fascism and defined it.  That matters.

That might matter when one discuss origins of fascism. What Mussolini thought may not have much relevance to discussing fascism in modern context. To be frank Mussolini thoughts on fascism hold absolutely no relevance to topic of OP as there is multitude of different definitions to chose from.

 
Quote:When debating what is Fascism, we start here.

You don't get to say from where discussions should start.

 
Quote:The fact that we use Fascism to describe Nazis when Nazis saw Fascism differently, and did not describe themselves as Fascists is something I have long noticed, many people don't know.

Fact that colloquial language makes no differentiation between these system of thought is of no moment. 

Quote:When debating these issues, there is a lot that everybody knows that isn't true about Fascism.

Perhaps. Or they use different sources.

 
Quote:Fascism had its predecessors that Mussolini drew on, and so did Hitler.  Then there are the morons like Jonah Goldberg, and Dinesh D'Souza that tell us that Fascism had it's roots in Liberalism, which sort of idiocy has become gospel to many ignorant right wingers in America.  Debunking that crap when one deals with one of these right winged ignorami needs an understanding of just what Fascism and National Socialism are and their features and sources.

Somehow I dare to think that most of people posting here already know what fascism and nazism are. So yet again I ask what is your reason for writing such basic things? You are not offering new insights, interesting perspectives or anything that couldn't be found with quick internet search.
The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
Reply
#31

Is fascism useful descriptor for modern political landscape?
But I think it's absolutely appropriate of @Szuchow to point out that while Fascism may first have rose to power in Italy, it came to power in other countries -- not just Germany -- in different forms.

To borrow from Linnaean terminology, fascism is the genera, and NaZiism/Japanese fascism/Polish fascism are species. Zebras and horses are both equines. Japanese fascism and Bulgarian fascism were related and part of the same phenomenon, but both had evolved and were different from Italian fascism, and each other.

It's a fair point.
Freedom isn't free.
The following 1 user Likes Thumpalumpacus's post:
  • Szuchow
Reply
#32

Is fascism useful descriptor for modern political landscape?
(04-11-2020, 11:06 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: But I think it's absolutely appropriate of @Szuchow to point out that while Fascism may first have rose to power in Italy, it came to power in other countries -- not just Germany -- in different forms.

To borrow from Linnaean terminology, fascism is the genera, and NaZiism/Japanese fascism/Polish fascism are species. Zebras and horses are both equines. Japanese fascism and Bulgarian fascism were related and part of the same phenomenon, but both had evolved and were different from Italian fascism, and each other.

It's a fair point.

As far as I am concerned nazism being called subset of fascism or thing different enough to have it own name is matter of very little importance. I'm only opposed to authoritative tone being backed by basic information and not really fitting with OP.
The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
The following 1 user Likes Szuchow's post:
  • Thumpalumpacus
Reply
#33

Is fascism useful descriptor for modern political landscape?
(04-11-2020, 11:06 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: But I think it's absolutely appropriate of @Szuchow to point out that while Fascism may first have rose to power in Italy, it came to power in other countries -- not just Germany -- in different forms.

To borrow from Linnaean terminology, fascism is the genera, and NaZiism/Japanese fascism/Polish fascism are species. Zebras and horses are both equines. Japanese fascism and Bulgarian fascism were related and part of the same phenomenon, but both had evolved and were different from Italian fascism, and each other.

It's a fair point.

The rise of right winged authoritarian systems is indeed an important issue.  But Fascism is a subset of this.  So is national Socialism.  Or for that matter Bolshevism.   Not all far right political systems manage to take power.  In France for example, Liberals confronted proto-Fascism successfully.  Some of these French right wingers very much influenced Mussolini.  In his autobiography, Mussolini states he had no ideology after WWi when Italy seemed to decend into chaos.  He was a self described reactionary.  he then crafted a more organized political and philosophical system, he called Fascism.  And Mussolini was not the only one who did this sort of thing.  Movements like Fascism have a sort of internal logic to them, which is important to realize.
Plunk your magic twanger Froggy!   Boinnnnnng!  Hiya Kids!  Hiya! Hiya!



Reply
#34

Is fascism useful descriptor for modern political landscape?
(04-11-2020, 11:15 PM)Szuchow Wrote: As far as I am concerned nazism being called subset of fascism or thing different enough to have it own name is matter of very little importance. I'm only opposed to authoritative tone being backed by basic information and not really fitting with OP.

It ignores the fact that ideas and ideologies both evolve, and also develop along local lines. One simple definition laid down by one movement in one country doesn't convey the fullness of the phenomenon.
Freedom isn't free.
Reply
#35

Is fascism useful descriptor for modern political landscape?
(04-12-2020, 02:35 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(04-11-2020, 11:15 PM)Szuchow Wrote: As far as I am concerned nazism being called subset of fascism or thing different enough to have it own name is matter of very little importance. I'm only opposed to authoritative tone being backed by basic information and not really fitting with OP.

It ignores the fact that ideas and ideologies both evolve, and also develop along local lines. One simple definition laid down by one movement  in one country doesn't convey the fullness of the phenomenon.

Not really. Whether we call nazism part of  wider family of fascism or phenomenon distinct enough to not be grouped together with it matters little to studying it origins and evolution. I mean if one researcher will say that nazism focus on antisemitism, racial superiority and national community mean that it was different enough from fascism to not be subset and second will say that these differences are to little to justify such  what will change?
The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
The following 1 user Likes Szuchow's post:
  • Thumpalumpacus
Reply
#36

Is fascism useful descriptor for modern political landscape?
(04-10-2020, 06:21 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(04-10-2020, 06:17 PM)Szuchow Wrote: I see Trump mostly as clownish failure but depending on how one interpret his MAGA slogan (and whether he criticizes democrats for alleged lack of morals) I guess he could be called fascist under Griffin definition.

There's also the fact that Trump has weaponized patriotism in a way that has never been seen before in this country, which is, according to my reading, an important tactic in the fascist playbook. Trump defines disagreement with his policies as disloyalty to America.

I think there are parallels with the rise of fascism in the U.S. in the 1930's.  We see the same forces at play today.
Philosophy is about asking questions.
Science is about answering questions.
Theology is about avoiding questions.
The following 2 users Like Chas's post:
  • Szuchow, Thumpalumpacus
Reply
#37

Is fascism useful descriptor for modern political landscape?
(04-13-2020, 06:01 AM)Chas Wrote:
(04-10-2020, 06:21 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(04-10-2020, 06:17 PM)Szuchow Wrote: I see Trump mostly as clownish failure but depending on how one interpret his MAGA slogan (and whether he criticizes democrats for alleged lack of morals) I guess he could be called fascist under Griffin definition.

There's also the fact that Trump has weaponized patriotism in a way that has never been seen before in this country, which is, according to my reading, an important tactic in the fascist playbook. Trump defines disagreement with his policies as disloyalty to America.

I think there are parallels with the rise of fascism in the U.S. in the 1930's.  We see the same forces at play today.

Good point. I know fascism was somehow popular in the US (some famous footage from Madison Square Garden that was pretty reminiscent of Berlin). How come that fascism became so popular there?
R.I.P. Hannes
Reply
#38

Is fascism useful descriptor for modern political landscape?
(04-13-2020, 06:05 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:
(04-13-2020, 06:01 AM)Chas Wrote:
(04-10-2020, 06:21 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: There's also the fact that Trump has weaponized patriotism in a way that has never been seen before in this country, which is, according to my reading, an important tactic in the fascist playbook. Trump defines disagreement with his policies as disloyalty to America.

I think there are parallels with the rise of fascism in the U.S. in the 1930's.  We see the same forces at play today.

Good point. I know fascism was somehow popular in the US (some famous footage from Madison Square Garden that was pretty reminiscent of Berlin). How come that fascism became so popular there?

Because a significant proportion of humans of all nationalities seem to prefer being told what to think rather than doing the thinking themselves?
Freedom isn't free.
Reply
#39

Is fascism useful descriptor for modern political landscape?
It's a really interesting question, IMHO it's definitely appropriate to use the term on occasion and where merited but like swearing if used indiscriminately it loses its impact, true meaning and value. 

Not every nationalist is a fascist and not every socialist is a communist but from the way many talk and how lightly these two words are bandied about by both sides an alien visitor to our planet would be forgiven for thinking they were. 

Anyway this is just my opinion and as we know opinions are like assholes ya de ya etc etc.
Justaminute   The whole point of having cake is to eat it! 
Reply
#40

Is fascism useful descriptor for modern political landscape?
(04-10-2020, 04:05 PM)Szuchow Wrote: So what is yours take?

I personnaly like the expression palingenetic ultranationalism coined by the man in question. It's extremely descriptive an very illustrative of the insanity of fascism.
The following 1 user Likes epronovost's post:
  • Szuchow
Reply
#41

Is fascism useful descriptor for modern political landscape?
One problem with describing something as fascism is that people immediately compare it to the Nazis at the height of their power who went to great extraordinary lengths. But this is only one form that fascism has taken. People forget that it started in Italy, also took hold in Austria & Hungary, and continued on in Spain all the while Franco was alive. There were pre-war movements in almost all European countries, most of which failed at some point. Fascism being nationalistic, takes on the cultural flavour of the country, so it doesn't make sense to assume fascism in the UK or US will be the same as it was in Germany.

I think a more meaningful comparison can be made when you judge the current state of politics with fascist movements in the past at a similar state of development and ignore differences in cultural values.

I was getting very worried indeed about the rise of fascism in the UK after the last general election. I was thinking that it was basically game over for us because the biggest stumbling block is in gaining power and that had happened in the UK. My one hope left was Scottish independence. I honestly think we have dodged a bullet though because the pandemic came along. This is exactly the kind of impetus that's needed in society to shift it from fearing and hating people's differences to appreciating diversity and the need to care for one another. I always expected a global pandemic like this to occur but never expected it to be so good for my mental health.

The long term benefits of this pandemic go further than just stopping fascism though. I see there being two competing drives in any society. One is to push for conformity so that people can work together to exploit the Earth's natural resources more quickly. The other is to value diversity so the resources can be exploited more efficiently over time. The former can win out over the latter in the short term, but not in the long term. And societies will fluctuate between the two trying to find the best balance. But what's different this time is that the Earth's natural resources, including its capacity for pollution (climate change and plastic pollution being two examples), are finite and rapidly depleting. This is a critical time in human history because we could well be at the height of human civilisation and how we proceed from here will determine what kind of resources we have available to transition to a more sustainable economy and society. Or we could spend it all waging war over the last few scraps.
The following 3 users Like Mathilda's post:
  • Deesse23, Thumpalumpacus, Dānu
Reply
#42

Is fascism useful descriptor for modern political landscape?
(04-16-2020, 11:03 AM)Mathilda Wrote: One problem with describing something as fascism is that people immediately compare it to the Nazis at the height of their power who went to great extraordinary lengths. But this is only one  form that fascism has taken. People forget that it started in Italy, also took hold in Austria & Hungary, and continued on in Spain all the while Franco was alive. There were  pre-war movements in almost all European countries, most of which failed at some point. Fascism being nationalistic, takes on the cultural flavour of the country, so it doesn't make sense to assume fascism in the UK or US will be the same as it was in Germany.

I know. Such level of stupidity boggles the mind as even quick skimming of Wikipedia shows how diverse a thing fascism is. But I suspect that such stance is useful for some people as it allows them to deny reality by pointing at lack of concentration camps or death squads killing "untermenschen". 

Quote:I think a more meaningful comparison can be made when you judge the current state of politics with fascist movements in the past at a similar state of development and ignore differences in cultural values.

I was getting very worried indeed about the rise of fascism in the UK after the last general election. I was thinking that it was basically game over for us because the biggest stumbling block is in gaining power and that had happened in the UK. My one hope left was Scottish independence. I honestly think we have dodged a bullet though because the pandemic came along. This is exactly the kind of impetus that's needed in society to shift it from fearing and hating people's differences to appreciating diversity and the need to care for one another. I always expected a global pandemic like this to occur but never expected it to be so good for my mental health.

The long term benefits of this pandemic go further than just stopping fascism though. I see there being two competing drives in any society. One is to push for conformity so that people can work together to exploit the Earth's natural resources more quickly. The other is to value diversity so the resources can be exploited more efficiently over time. The former can win out over the latter in the short term, but not in the long term. And societies will fluctuate between the two trying to find the best balance. But what's different this time is that the Earth's natural resources, including its capacity for pollution (climate change and plastic pollution being two examples), are finite and rapidly depleting. This is a critical time in human history because we could well be at the height of human civilisation and how we proceed from here will determine what kind of resources we have available to transition to a more sustainable economy and society. Or we could spend it all waging war over the last few scraps.

In Poland pandemic did nothing to stop the spread of fascism, if anything it allows fascist to strengthen their grasp on the country. That's not surprising though as according to Dani Rodrik article [...]The crisis seems to have thrown the dominant characteristics of each country’s politics into sharper relief. Countries have in effect become exaggerated versions of themselves[...]

I don't think that there will be much of long term benefits of this pandemic. Or perhaps there will be but only for countries that were already doing well. Shithole made from cardboard like Poland will just fall further into rabbit hole of insanity.
The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
The following 2 users Like Szuchow's post:
  • Mathilda, Thumpalumpacus
Reply
#43

Is fascism useful descriptor for modern political landscape?
(04-16-2020, 02:36 PM)Szuchow Wrote: In Poland pandemic did nothing to stop the spread of fascism, if anything it allows fascist to strengthen their grasp on the country.

That's key. Here in America, the current administration is clearly trying to use the pandemic to arrogate powers to itself. Thankfully, being split into fifty different states, and not having a national emergency clause built into our constitution, the governors of the individual states still retain enough power to fight against the federal government making absurd claims such as "total power".

This pandemic may draw individuals to seeing that social, nongovernmental actions can be good things. This pandemic may help to draw people closer, emotionally, politically. But I'm skeptical of its ability to convince governments of their natural limitations. I see our government here trying to expand powers, and it's worrisome.

We're not fascist yet, but that doesn't mean the gov't here won't try to leverage the situation. Now, more than ever, I distrust our government. They will likely use any straw to expand their power. We see that in Texas, where the governor is fighting to ban all abortions, including pharmaceutical-induced abortions requiring no PPE, in order to preserve that personal protective equipment (that isn't being used) ostensibly to provide for the need anticipated.

But yeah, "small government".
Freedom isn't free.
The following 2 users Like Thumpalumpacus's post:
  • Szuchow, Deesse23
Reply
#44

Is fascism useful descriptor for modern political landscape?
(04-16-2020, 07:24 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(04-16-2020, 02:36 PM)Szuchow Wrote: In Poland pandemic did nothing to stop the spread of fascism, if anything it allows fascist to strengthen their grasp on the country.

That's key. Here in America, the current administration is clearly trying to use the pandemic to arrogate powers to itself. Thankfully, being split into fifty different states, and not having a national emergency clause built into our constitution, the governors of the individual states still retain enough power to fight against the federal government making absurd claims such as "total power".

Here gov does not even bother to hide it's ambitions - increasing the length for which president can held his position mere month before elections can look like anything but actions of gov valuing democracy. There are also unconstitutional laws, illegal restrictions on citizens freedoms, police brutality, and ruling clique disregarding it's own rules. Standard fascist package.

While there is some autonomy here it is far too little to oppose such power grab.

Quote:This pandemic may draw individuals to seeing that social, nongovernmental actions can be good things. This pandemic may help to draw people closer, emotionally, politically. But I'm skeptical of its ability to convince governments of their natural limitations. I see our government here trying to expand powers, and it's worrisome.

I think that this pandemic will only result in jackbooted thugs feeling more secure in their power. Sure there are some spontaneous actions to help doctors, or to make masks for ordinary citizens but that is at most tiny candle in darkness of increasing authoritarianism. Authoritarianism that isn't meet with protest but rather accepted.

Quote:We're not fascist yet, but that doesn't mean the gov't here won't try to leverage the situation. Now, more than ever, I distrust our government. They will likely use any straw to expand their power. We see that in Texas, where the governor is fighting to ban all abortions, including pharmaceutical-induced abortions requiring no PPE, in order to preserve that personal protective equipment (that isn't being used) ostensibly to provide for the need anticipated.

We are (though certainly not by all definitions, merely by one I use most often) and we're slipping further into fascism. Coincidentally our gov tries to (or is using it as distraction) ban abortion too, probably counting on limited ability to protest. I just wonder when Poland will end like another Belarus?

Quote:But yeah, "small government".

In times like this "small government" sentiment suddenly becomes understandable which is rather strange as during pandemic reverse should hold true, and perhaps it does for countries where gov isn't poor man Reich.
The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
The following 1 user Likes Szuchow's post:
  • Thumpalumpacus
Reply
#45

Is fascism useful descriptor for modern political landscape?
(04-16-2020, 07:42 PM)Szuchow Wrote: Here gov does not even bother to hide it's ambitions - increasing the length for which president can held his position mere month before elections can look like anything but actions of gov valuing democracy. There are also unconstitutional laws, illegal restrictions on citizens freedoms, police brutality, and ruling clique disregarding it's own rules. Standard fascist package.

Understood. We're not so far along here in America, but the current Administration is trying to push these sorts of things, too. Thankfully, power here is dispersed a little more and that allows for stands to be made and fights to be fought. It's not a silver bullet, but it does provide an anchor-point for those who wish to fight back.

(04-16-2020, 07:42 PM)Szuchow Wrote: While there is some autonomy here it is far too little to oppose such power grab.

I think the guys who drafted the American Constitution had the right idea about splitting power, I just wish they'd done so more thoroughly. For instance, I could see a fourth branch of government being useful: an inspector-general branch subject only to Congressional financial support and judicial review; removed from Congressional and executive oversight, but subject to judicial oversight. Calling bullshit when it needs to be called.

Of course that too could be abused. But it would be one more impediment to untrammeled power.

(04-16-2020, 07:42 PM)Szuchow Wrote: I think that this pandemic will only result in jackbooted thugs feeling more secure in their power. Sure there are some spontaneous actions to help doctors, or to make masks for ordinary citizens but that is at most tiny candle in darkness of increasing authoritarianism. Authoritarianism that isn't meet with protest but rather accepted.

No doubt the situation in your country is more ripe for this sort of abuse. We here thankfully don't have to address the issues you do ... yet. It is still ripe here, and the current Administration seems intent upon pushing the boundaries; but power isn't so concentrated here as it seems to be (from this perspective) in your country.

(04-16-2020, 07:42 PM)Szuchow Wrote: We are (though certainly not by all definitions, merely by one I use most often) and we're slipping further into fascism. Coincidentally our gov tries to (or is using it as distraction) ban abortion too, probably counting on limited ability to protest. I just wonder when Poland will end like another Belarus?

I hope not, not only for your sake, m'friend, but for the many millions.

I personally think that abortion-rights as a governance issue is not raised by the government because that government cares about prenatal lives. I personally think it is raised as an issue in order to expand government powers. After all, if a government has the power to tell a woman what she can do with her body, why cannot it tell a man what he can do with his body?

In other words, they don't give a shit about unborn babies. They want to exert control over people and wish to expand that in any way possible.

(04-16-2020, 07:42 PM)Szuchow Wrote:
Quote:But yeah, "small government".

In times like this "small government" sentiment suddenly becomes understandable which is rather strange as during pandemic reverse should hold true, and perhaps it does for countries where gov isn't poor man Reich.

I've always cottoned to small government, when it comes to individual rights. Governments should be afraid of the people; that's the only way I think we the people can ensure the government acting on our will.

It's when government steps into big boots that individuals get squashed under the heels.
Freedom isn't free.
The following 1 user Likes Thumpalumpacus's post:
  • Szuchow
Reply
#46

Is fascism useful descriptor for modern political landscape?
(04-10-2020, 04:05 PM)Szuchow Wrote: Fascism is a word that cheapened over the years but privately I still find it useful to describe things, whether in colloquial use or in accordance to one of many definitions of this phenomenon. But how you see it? Is it word that overstayed it's welcome, something best used in historical context or accurate descriptor of some of today political trends?

As I side note I sometimes see fear of labeling something fascist as if fascism should be necessary accompanied by wars, concentration camps or widespread violence. But according to Roger Griffin fascism is merely particularly sick form of nationalism, not necessarily reenactment of Italy and Germany XX century history: 
Quote:[F]ascism is best defined as a revolutionary form of nationalism, one that sets out to be a political, social and ethical revolution, welding the ‘people’ into a dynamic national community under new elites infused with heroic values. The core myth that inspires this project is that only a populist, trans-class movement of purifying, cathartic national rebirth (palingenesis) can stem the tide of decadence*
.

So what is yours take?

That's an interesting definition, seems quite relevant to Iran, you just need to add some religious elements (my modifications)

a revolutionary form of national Islamism, one that sets out to be a political, social and ethical Islamic revolution, welding the ‘people’ into a dynamic national community under new elites infused with Islamic heroic values. The core myth that inspires this project is that only a populist, trans-class, Islamic movement of purifying, cathartic national/spiritual rebirth (palingenesis) can stem the tide of decadence

The Islamic revolution was meant exactly as a political, social and ethical revolution, lead by a charismatic and heroic character, Khomeini, with a promise of national spiritual awakening and purification from the decadence of "material bondage". 

The current leader is quite the continuation of Khomeini's idealogy, he is not as charismatic as he was though.
The following 4 users Like Hussein's post:
  • Thumpalumpacus, Szuchow, Deesse23, DLJ
Reply
#47

Is fascism useful descriptor for modern political landscape?
(04-16-2020, 08:19 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: Understood. We're not so far along here in America, but the current Administration is trying to push these sorts of things, too. Thankfully, power here is dispersed a little more and that allows for stands to be made and fights to be fought. It's not a silver bullet, but it does provide an anchor-point for those who wish to fight back.

Here fight could be fought at state level but with most of the opposition not being fundamentally different than gov it's a futile wish. In a few years (if not already) Lenin way will be only way to change this country.

Quote:I think the guys who drafted the American Constitution had the right idea about splitting power, I just wish they'd done so more thoroughly. For instance, I could see a fourth branch of government being useful: an inspector-general branch subject only to Congressional financial support and judicial review; removed from Congressional and executive oversight, but subject to judicial oversight. Calling bullshit when it needs to be called.

Of course that too could be abused. But it would be one more impediment to untrammeled power.

When president is puppet of ruling party leader and minister of Justice is also prosecutor general any talk about splitting power became hilarious comedy. Add to this high number of seats in Parliament and dismantling of judiciary and you will see recipe for authoritarianism, or Poland reality.

Quote:No doubt the situation in your country is more ripe for this sort of abuse. We here thankfully don't have to address the issues you do ... yet. It is still ripe here, and the current Administration seems intent upon pushing the boundaries; but power isn't so concentrated here as it seems to be (from this perspective) in your country.

Nothing to add here.

Quote:I hope not, not only for your sake, m'friend, but for the many millions.

I lost that hope. And the fact that millions seem to be OK with way things are fills me with contempt for this parody of a country.

Quote:I personally think that abortion-rights as a governance issue is not raised by the government because that government cares about prenatal lives. I personally think it is raised as an issue in order to expand government powers. After all, if a government has the power to tell a woman what she can do with her body, why cannot it tell a man what he can do with his body?



With the exception of some nuts being pro forced birth (at least at gov level) is just issue of wanting more power, of having authoritarian personality and of misogyny, not of concern for "unborn life". I do not think however that abortion is used as first step to deprive male citizens of rights, it is more ideological project and nod to church going voters who don't want women having reproductive rights, but do not want theirs to be curtailed.

Quote:In other words, they don't give a shit about unborn babies. They want to exert control over people and wish to expand that in any way possible.

Yes, but PiS is more for women being confined to Kinder, Küche, Kirche than using abortion as wedge to deprive all citizens of their rights. While it is authoritarian party in this they're anti women, rather than anti freedom for citizens I think.

Quote:I've always cottoned to small government, when it comes to individual rights. Governments should be afraid of the people; that's the only way I think we the people can ensure the government acting on our will.

It's when government steps into big boots that individuals get squashed under the heels.

I don't necessarily think that gov should be afraid of people it govern, as being afraid may lead to dumb decisions, but politicians should be constantly reminded that they are servants and nothing more. Certainly not someone above law like it is now.
The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
Reply
#48

Is fascism useful descriptor for modern political landscape?
(04-16-2020, 02:54 AM)epronovost Wrote:
(04-10-2020, 04:05 PM)Szuchow Wrote: So what is yours take?

I personnaly like the expression palingenetic ultranationalism coined by the man in question. It's extremely descriptive an very illustrative of the insanity of fascism.

It catches the core of fascism I think and shows difference between naked dictatorship and ideological one - one attempt to build a new man and other is merely interested in power. Still, there is more to fascism, as per Enzo Traverso "Fire and Blood":

Quote:For historians such as George Mosse, Emilio Gentile and Zeev Sternhell, fascism was at one and the same time a revolution, an ideology, a world-view and a culture: a revolution, since it sought to build a new society; an ideology, because it had reformulated nationalism within a perspective that, after rejecting Marxism, was equally opposed to both conservatism and liberalism, seeking an alternative way – a world-view, as its political project followed from a view of history, seeking to create a ‘new man’ and presenting itself as the providential destiny of the nation; and a culture, since it sought to transform the collective imaginary, change lifestyles, and suppress any cleavage between private and public life. This was manifestly a ‘revolution of the right’, its social driving force lying in the middle classes and its ambition being to construct a new civilization, focused on the state, the nation or the race. In other words, a revolution both anti-liberal and anti-Marxist, ‘spiritual’ and ‘communitarian’. It located itself at the opposite extreme from that of Communist revolution, which also carried an ideology, a world-view and a culture.
[Enzo Traverso, Fire and Blood, chapter 7, subchapter Legality and Legitimacy of Epub edition]
The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
The following 3 users Like Szuchow's post:
  • Thumpalumpacus, epronovost, Deesse23
Reply
#49

Is fascism useful descriptor for modern political landscape?
(04-16-2020, 08:41 PM)Hussein Wrote: That's an interesting definition, seems quite relevant to Iran, you just need to add some religious elements (my modifications)

a revolutionary form of national Islamism, one that sets out to be a political, social and ethical Islamic revolution, welding the ‘people’ into a dynamic national community under new elites infused with Islamic heroic values. The core myth that inspires this project is that only a populist, trans-class, Islamic movement of purifying, cathartic national/spiritual rebirth (palingenesis) can stem the tide of decadence

The Islamic revolution was meant exactly as a political, social and ethical revolution, lead by a charismatic and heroic character, Khomeini, with a promise of national spiritual awakening and purification from the decadence of "material bondage". 

The current leader is quite the continuation of Khomeini's idealogy, he is not as charismatic as he was though.

It struck me even as a boy that the Islamism of the 78-79 revolution was not only a backlash against Pahlevi's Westernism, but also against the Soviet influence on the Tudeh party. In particular, I noted the resentment against Americans treating Iranians as a subset of Arabs, or puppets in general. In my view, there was an intense nationalism involved in the rejection of being a poker-chip or pawn, rather than us recognizing indigenous feelings.

I think our American failure was assuming that Iranians as a people would simply accept our "tutelage" without considering that Iranians might have aims of their own outside of our own power politics. "Material bondage", indeed.
Freedom isn't free.
Reply
#50

Is fascism useful descriptor for modern political landscape?
(04-16-2020, 09:26 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: It struck me even as a boy that the Islamism of the 78-79 revolution was not only a backlash against Pahlevi's  Westernism, but also against the Soviet influence on the Tudeh party. In particular, I noted the resentment against Americans treating Iranians as a subset of Arabs, or puppets in general. In my view, there was an intense nationalism involved in the rejection of being a poker-chip or pawn, rather than us recognizing indigenous feelings.

Yes indeed, national independence was one of the main slogans, and it still is. But Khomeini didn't allow that sentiment to become the main pillar of revolution, he infused nationalistic sentiments with Islamism, he didn't support any liberal/nationalist parties and they all faded away during the first years of revolution, communist parties were also suppressed by violence. 

His revolution and awakening project was something to export, it couldn't be based merely on Iranian sentiments. 

Quote:I think our American failure was assuming that Iranians as a people would simply accept our "tutelage" without considering that Iranians might have aims of their own outside of our own power politics. "Material bondage", indeed.

Exactly, you have had a very good grasp of the situation as a child  Smile
The following 1 user Likes Hussein's post:
  • Thumpalumpacus
Reply




Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)