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Is fascism useful descriptor for modern political landscape?
#51

Is fascism useful descriptor for modern political landscape?
(04-16-2020, 08:59 PM)Szuchow Wrote: 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.

This is a frightful thought.

(04-16-2020, 08:59 PM)Szuchow Wrote: 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.

Agreed that it isn't immediately a drive to control all. But once the camel has its nose in the tent at night, we often wake up with him the next morning.

(04-16-2020, 08:59 PM)Szuchow Wrote: 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.

A government that can deprive some citizens of rights is a government that can deprive all citizens of rights.

I've never seen a power granted to government that it has not abused.

(04-16-2020, 08:59 PM)Szuchow Wrote: 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.

With the arrogance that comes with power wielded over the years, I think it's appropriate that a government should fear being turned out at the will of the people. Ceaușescu comes to mind as someone who himself knew that were he to be turned out, his goose was cooked. If your country, or Hungary, or America, or Brazil -- or any number of countries which nowadays labor under proto-fascist governments -- suffer these assholes, we should indeed instill in them fear of the people.

I think all governments should fear and respect the will of the people they govern, at risk of losing their own jobs if nothing else. Them being afraid may lead to dumb decisions, sure. But at that point who will the people revolt against? Themselves?
Freedom isn't free.
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#52

Is fascism useful descriptor for modern political landscape?
(04-16-2020, 10:01 PM)Hussein Wrote: 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. 

Certainly it was understood in 1978 that he didn't support liberal factions, or for that matter Tudeh aims either; but that he used both to his own ends, it seems to me. Everyone on the ground in-country knew that if he took power a veil would fall.

His main pillar was always his faith, so far as I read, but after the fact, when I was educating myself about what I'd experienced, it seemed (and seems) to me that he was pretty sharp about using factions and factionalism in order to finish his job. They were tools to be used and then discarded, is my understanding.
Freedom isn't free.
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#53

Is fascism useful descriptor for modern political landscape?
(04-16-2020, 10:41 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: Certainly it was understood in 1978 that he didn't support liberal factions, or for that matter Tudeh aims either; but that he used both to his own ends, it seems to me. Everyone on the ground in-country knew that if he took power a veil would fall.

Yes, he was very pragmatic, and indeed sharp. He even took advantage of the US influence for his own ends, declassified information demonstrates he assured the US officials that he is not opposed to their interest in the region. But after he took power, the veil was dropped, as you said. 

Quote:His main pillar was always his faith, so far as I read, but after the fact, when I was educating myself about what I'd experienced, it seemed (and seems) to me that he was pretty sharp about using factions and factionalism in order to finish his job. They were tools to be used and then discarded, is my understanding.

He was indeed faithful. His deeply political understanding of religion allowed him to be pragmatic as well.
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#54

Is fascism useful descriptor for modern political landscape?
(04-16-2020, 11:05 PM)Hussein Wrote: He was indeed faithful. His deeply political understanding of religion allowed him to be pragmatic as well.

As we say here in Texas, he was canny.
Freedom isn't free.
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#55

Is fascism useful descriptor for modern political landscape?
(04-16-2020, 10:31 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: This is a frightful thought.

It is, but it is possible that I am seeing things in bleaker colors than they really are. I'm no political analyst after all.

Quote:Agreed that it isn't immediately a drive to control all. But once the camel has its nose in the tent at night, we often wake up with him the next morning.

It may be just smokescreen for general health crisis as while it wasn't thrown out of Sejm now it can be "worked on" indefinitely if I recall correctly what news on this I read.

Quote:A government that can deprive some citizens of rights is a government that can deprive all citizens of rights.

I've never seen a power granted to government that it has not abused.

Yes, it certainly can but question here is it interested. While this bill isn't about politicians concerns about fetuses but about control, it has ideological motive. So I see it as gov another way of shitting on women and not a prelude to taking rights of all citizens.

On the other hand gov certainly is infringing on rights of all citizens but these are two separated events I think, or perhaps relation is such that outrageous bill about abortion is used as something to draw and redirect attention.

Quote:With the arrogance that comes with power wielded over the years, I think it's appropriate that a government should fear being turned out at the will of the people. Ceaușescu comes to mind as someone who himself knew that were he to be turned out, his goose was cooked. If your country, or Hungary, or America, or Brazil -- or any number of countries which nowadays labor under proto-fascist governments -- suffer these assholes, we should indeed instill in them fear of the people.

I think all governments should fear and respect the will of the people they govern, at risk of losing their own jobs if nothing else. Them being afraid may lead to dumb decisions, sure. But at that point who will the people revolt against? Themselves?

Here gov does not seem to be afraid and given what shit it already did this lack of fear is warranted. Despite national mythology Poles aren't all that politically active when it comes to protests* or ousting governments.

*There were glorious exceptions, even in the last year.
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.
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#56

Is fascism useful descriptor for modern political landscape?
(04-17-2020, 03:32 AM)Szuchow Wrote: Yes, it certainly can but question here is it interested. While this bill isn't about politicians concerns about fetuses but about control, it has ideological motive. So I see it as gov another way of shitting on women and not a prelude to taking rights of all citizens.

On the other hand gov certainly is infringing on rights of all citizens but these are two separated events I think, or perhaps relation is such that outrageous bill about abortion is used as something to draw and redirect attention.

Thanks much for this, Szu. I guess our two different governments are attacking it two different ways. The infringement of rights has been moving merrily along for the last couple of decades at a slow pace, but this seems to be kicking things into gear, here.
Freedom isn't free.
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#57

Is fascism useful descriptor for modern political landscape?
(04-17-2020, 03:55 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(04-17-2020, 03:32 AM)Szuchow Wrote: Yes, it certainly can but question here is it interested. While this bill isn't about politicians concerns about fetuses but about control, it has ideological motive. So I see it as gov another way of shitting on women and not a prelude to taking rights of all citizens.

On the other hand gov certainly is infringing on rights of all citizens but these are two separated events I think, or perhaps relation is such that outrageous bill about abortion is used as something to draw and redirect attention.

Thanks much for this, Szu. I guess our two different governments are attacking it two different ways. The infringement of rights has been moving merrily along for the last couple of decades at a slow pace, but this seems to be kicking things into gear, here.

No problem. 

Differences are to be expected but when it comes to abortion it may be about chasing rabbit and not catching it.
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.
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#58

Is fascism useful descriptor for modern political landscape?
(04-16-2020, 08:41 PM)Hussein Wrote: 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.
What you gave here is, coincidentally or not, a very good definition of the "völkisch" movement which was at the core of the german nazi ideology and is again a core part of the (at least partially) neo-fascist AfD.

Replace islamism in what you just said with "nordic race ideology" and the "völkisch" movement and you have 1:1 German 1930 fascism.
R.I.P. Hannes
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#59

Is fascism useful descriptor for modern political landscape?
I tend to refer to Trump as a "proto fascist" because I do not think he holds to any personal ideology other than the primacy of his need for narcissistic supply. He wants first and foremost to be worshipped in a cult of personality, and fascistic leanings are only a means to that end. In other words Trump's primary driver is not political, but psychological.

His secondary driver is grifting -- the acquisition of the appearance of personal wealth and power as a signifier of his greatness.

Fascists usually make at least a pretense of having a vision for rescuing a nation from decline but Trump actually doesn't give a fig about what happens to the nation so long as his own needs are met, and he makes no pretense about it. He's actually possessed of an almost childlike frankness about it.

Of more concern to me than Trump are people like Barr and McConnell who "manage" Trump as their useful fool while they solidify their personal and party power in more Machiavellian ways.

What comes after Trump will make Trump look like a Sunday School teacher by comparison. In my view, Trump is the symptom of all that came before and now with the lack of a fundamental sea change in political thinking we are going to get, on balance, more authoritarianism no matter who wins the general election, because we have not addressed root causes. In my view the root cause is increasingly stark concentration of power and wealth in a few people. Biden does not set that trend back, and in fact helps it consolidate. A less overtly clownish and more moderate elitist in office will convince too many that we've dodged a bullet, when in fact we are still perpetuating and intensifying the concentration of wealth and power. Give the nation a breather and then back to the project of overtly dismantling democratic norms and institutions with even greater vengeance.
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#60

Is fascism useful descriptor for modern political landscape?
Spot on!
R.I.P. Hannes
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#61

Is fascism useful descriptor for modern political landscape?
No, I do not think fascism as its proper definition is accurate to describe what we see today. Fasism target was the corporativism, thus going beyond libaralism VS socialism and define a 3rd economic model, where the interests of the workers coincide with the interst of the workers. In a certain how in economy can be similar to the german mitbestimmung but in reality it never worked. Fascism also is strange since from one side plauded belonging to a certain group X of citizens, but from the other side everyone who wanted to believe was the group X could join the fascist movement/ideology despite its origin. In Italy during the fascism we had prominet "half blacks" (sons of italian fascists in Africa wit local women) and they were well accepted and integrated in the society, though his could sound very odd.
Until 1938 also many prominent fascists were jews and the racial laws of the 1938 depriving italian jews of civil liberties* were instituted more for pleasing the nazis than because people really thought that. We had (and still have) in Italy one of the oldest jews community (in the Ghetto of Rome, being there since 20-23 centuries) and they were by any mena considered "100% italian fascists" by the regime...


*anyway an oxymoron during fascism...
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#62

Is fascism useful descriptor for modern political landscape?
Fascism in a fully realized sense involves a push to save the nation from some imagined bogeyman or other that becomes the designated scapegoat for national ills. For the Nazis, it was Jews; for the Italians in WW2, it was various dissident groups, such as communists. The value proposition is that if you just get rid of this group we can return to an imagined former greatness (or at least resume an inexorable march to deserved greatness), which is usually cloaked in the soaring language of manifest destiny.

Since the US has long had the notion of manifest destiny and now has would-be immigrants in concentration camps, it's not too much of a stretch to apply this definition to the US. You can hedge by calling Trump "proto-Fascist" or "fascistic" but it's increasingly a difference without much of a distinction. The main problem with an unqualified label of "fascist" for Trump is that he's not ideologically as coherent or consistent as we usually attribute to fascists. He seeks a scapegoat not in the name of racial, national, or ideological purity, but to deflect blame from himself for his own incompetence, cowardice and sloth. The list of scapegoats is growing in ways it usually doesn't in fascist regime. Fascism is not something he believes in or seeks to lead to promised greatness with, and the cult of personality around him doesn't serve those ends, but only himself. With Trump, the cult of personality is the entire point. Fascism is just a means to an end, not the end itself.

So I can understand people thinking the label is overdetermined for Trump. I don't consider it overdetermined in practical terms, though. If it looks like a ducks and quacks like a duck ...
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