Friday, February 17, 2017
What the elite mean by Fascism
Brendy is pretty right about current usage below but his definition of historical Fascism is weak. As a retired Marxist, he relies largely on Trotsky for a definition of it. And that definition is conventional rather than history-based. The classic Marxist lie is that Fascism/Nazism was middle class. Yet the most fanatical Nazis -- the "Sturmabteilung" -- were overwhelmingly working class. And Hitler's origins as a hobo are also not middle class.
The defining characteristics of Fascism are socialist rhetoric and extensive government control of industry. And those things are true of most developed nations to this day. Control of industry these days is done by laws and regulations rather than by having a party representative on-site at major business establishments but the result is very similar. There is great government control in both cases. So does Fascism still exist in the world today?
It does to a considerable degree. The overt hostility to other countries is gone but that is about it. Historical Fascists had great national pride and tried to take over territory from other nations -- but America's many wars abroad are not so different. The propaganda is better but there has been an obvious intention to reform other nations along American lines. America has tried to Americanize the world.
And it may be noted that most of America's wars have been entered into by people who also espouse socialistic rhetoric. Socialistic rhetoric was joined with war by Hitler and the same is largely true of the USA. Democrat President Woodrow Wilson got America into WWI. FDR got it into WW2. Kennedy got it into Vietnam. Only the Iraq intervention was the work of a Republican and that was in response to a direct attack on the U.S. homeland -- so was essentially a defensive war.
And, as with past Fascist military adventures, American interventions abroad have had very poor success. The last clear success was in Korea and even that succeeded only in the South.
But in a sense America's military efforts are incidental to American dominance. American mass culture has conquered the world. Guns and bullets are a crude instrument of influence compared to that.
So I do think that real Fascism is not only alive and well but is the dominant form of government today.
Having divorced politics from popular opinion as a way of keeping in check the presumed fascist tendencies of the masses, it is not surprising that the political class views the public’s recent attempts at ‘taking back control’, at joining back together opinion and democracy, as a return of fascism. Their great fear is that the lid they put on the masses’ latent fascism, their distancing of the political machinery from public prejudices, has been lifted. They are screaming ‘fascism’ because they see fascism in us, in ordinary people. Thus the accusation of fascism expresses a profound hostility towards democracy itself, and to the demos. It is pure elitism to see fascism in the new politics. Which is why the most elite sections of society — archbishops, princes, heads of global institutions — are often to the fore in the fascism frenzy.
And of course, what they describe as ‘fascism’ — Brexit, people worried about immigration, Trump — is nothing of the sort. These things don’t even come close to fascism. As Weismann argued, even ‘dictatorship, mass neurosis, anti-Semitism, the power of unscrupulous propaganda, the hypnotic effect of a mad-genius orator on the masses, and so on’ do not necessarily constitute fascism. Fascism, he said, was something different to all that, something more than all that. Fascism, in essence, is a mass, paramilitary movement that acts as a stand-in for normal politics and normal statehood when that politics and statehood cannot deal with a threat it faces, primarily the threat of revolution or of organised, agitating labour. As Trotsky put it, fascism occurs when the ‘police and military resources’ of a society, and its parliamentary process, ‘no longer suffice to hold society in a state of equilibrium’. In such circumstances, as happened most notably in Italy and Germany, the rulers of society give way to, or rather push to the front, a mass violent movement fashioned to crush the threatening force. Fascism, basically, is when a society in crisis green-lights civil war as a means of stabilising itself in the longer term.
This fascist movement is made up from the ‘crazed petty bourgeoisie and the bands of declassed and demoralised lumpenproletariat’, in Trotsky’s colourful, cutting phrase. Brought to ‘desperation and frenzy’, this mass, paramilitarised section of society sets about ‘annihilating’ workers’ movements and of course executing anti-Semitic savagery. The consequence is that ‘a system of administration is created which penetrates deeply into the masses and which serves to frustrate the independent crystallisation of the proletariat’ — ‘therein precisely is the gist of fascism’, said Trotsky. This is why those who say ‘the Nazis were left-wing, you know’ are wholly wrong. Fascism fundamentally represents the violent marshalling of a certain strata of society to the end of crushing the left and the working class. Yes, the Nazis in particular used socialist terms, even calling themselves the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. But as Trotsky says, that was merely the means through which a mass movement could be built. Fascism’s leaders ‘employ a great deal of socialist demagogy’, he said, for this is ‘necessary to the creation of the mass movement’.
Nothing even remotely like this exists today. None of the conditions or groups that make fascism, and which make it distinct from hatred and demagoguery and even from dictatorship, exist in Europe or the US in 2017. There is no powerful workers’ movement posing such a threat to the stability of capitalism that it needs to be destroyed. No ‘crazed’ petty bourgeoisie is being armed and goaded into civil or class war as a means of ‘annihilating’ vast numbers of their fellow citizens. People — well, ordinary people — have not been whipped into a frenzy. Indeed, it is the patience of Brexit and Trump voters in the face of incessant defamation by the media and political set that is most striking.
It is a fantasy to claim fascism has made a comeback. And it’s a revealing fantasy. When the political and media elites speak of fascism today, what they’re really expressing is fear. Fear of the primal, unpredictable mass of society. Fear of unchecked popular opinion. Fear of what they view as the authoritarian impulses of those outside their social, bureaucratic sphere. Fear of the latent fascism, as they see it, of the ordinary inhabitants of Nazi-darkened Europe or of Middle America, who apparently lack the moral and intellectual resources to resist demagoguery. As one columnist put it, today’s ‘fascistic style’ of politics is a creation not so much of wicked leaders, as of the dangerous masses. ‘Compulsive liars shouldn’t frighten you’, he says. ‘Compulsive believers, on the other hand: they should terrify you.’ In short, not leaders but the led; not the state but the people. This, precisely, is who terrifies them. This, precisely, is what they mean when they say ‘fascism’. They mean you, me, ordinary people; people who have dared to say that they want to influence politics again after years of being frozen out. When they say fascism, they mean democracy.
A successful media hit job on a Trump associate -- BEFORE General Flynn
Colonel Ken Allard
When CNN and Politico charged last month that Monica Crowley - my longtime friend and editor at The Washington Times - was a serial plagiarist, the sickening headlines left me angry. And more than slightly confused.
Had the well-known Monica Crowley - soon slated to become deputy national security adviser to President Trump - really plagiarized large portions of her doctoral dissertation from Columbia University as well as her 2012 best-selling book? Because headlines are often crafted with the deliberate intent of silencing the victim, the unchallenged evidence seemed doubly damning. She stepped away quietly from her prestigious White House position and could no longer be found in the familiar climes of Fox News or The Washington Times. Her once-prominent persona had seemingly vanished in the whiff of scandal.
Or so you might have thought - unless you really know her and appreciate the skullduggery of her attackers. I do because our two-decade friendship was forged in a far-away galaxy, back when MSNBC was a respectable news network. It then employed Ms. Crowley and Tucker Carlson as conservative commentators and me as an on-air military analyst. Both then and ever since, Monica has been a woman of great character and a consummate professional, both a tough editor and a good friend.
So it was gratifying but not really surprising when Andrew McCarthy recently wrote in National Review that the CNN attack on Monica Crowley had been a "major hit job" with many mistakes "being blown wildly out of proportion, to the point of smear." Mr. McCarthy's argument became even more interesting when reinforced by the detailed analysis conducted by Lynn Chu, a highly experienced and authoritative literary copyright attorney. Her conclusions: "I found CNN's splashy "plagiarism" accusation to be ill-supported - a heavily exaggerated, political hit job. Instead, after reading texts side by side with footnotes, I came away impressed by the very high quality and care taken by Ms. Crowley in her writing, scholarship and research overall." How's that for plagiarism?
That irony runs even deeper because those same tactics were perfected in a now-forgotten prologue. In 2008, I was one of the network military analysts accused of corruption in a 7500-word New York Times "expose" splashed across its front pages. Written on the eve of the 2008 presidential campaign, The New York Times story accused the Rumsfeld Pentagon of stage-managing news about the war on terror, suborning television's military analysts with privileged access and trips to the combat zones. Precisely on cue, over 40 congressional Democrats, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama among them, loudly demanded investigations.
Eventually we were exonerated after repeated investigations by three federal agencies, lasting almost four years and costing millions of taxpayer dollars. The New York Times even won the Pulitzer Prize for its story, despite the aura of plagiarism. Eighteen months earlier, I had written a book, "Warheads," a first-person memoir about the supposedly secret program so heroically exposed by the Times. Despite extensive interviews with me about the book's contents, the Times' story somehow failed to mention its existence. Was that plagiarism-by-omission or just deliberate distortion? As The Wall Street Journal noted in announcing our final vindication, "those investigations have now shown that the liars weren't at the Pentagon."
But where do you go to have your reputation restored? Our oppressors at The New York Times never apologized and neither did Congress, under whose authority those federal investigations were launched. Instead, we were simply exiled, just as Monica Crowley is today. It's nothing personal, as Tony Soprano would assure us, it's just business - the sometimes regrettable but essential business of the leftist media cabal now systematically corrupting this country's once-proud institutions.
In 1787, Thomas Jefferson wrote, "were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter." Today, media objectivity is a politically incorrect ideal, possibly even an invitation to hate-speech. Rather than restraining the powerful, Big Media is largely indistinguishable from Big Government, 90 percent of its practitioners lifelong Democrats eager to extend its already intrusive powers.
After Donald Trump's election, they didn't lose a moment organizing the hysterical resistance now dominating every news cycle. CNN and Politico did their bit by going after Monica Crowley - like a burglar trying back-door locks in an exclusive neighborhood. (Had they applied more timely diligence to either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden could well be our president.)
But Americans can no longer underestimate the dangers that "journalistic jihadis" pose for a representative democracy. In addition to trashing old soldiers and all who disagree with them, they are ideologues and propagandists who have far more in common with Joseph Goebbels than Joseph Pulitzer.
German police hunt knife-carrying Muslim 'sex pest who said victim was asking for it'
Since the advent of the Muslim invasion of Europe …. comes the rape epidemic. And the Democrats wants this for Americans
POLICE in the German city of Hamburg are hunting a Tunisian man who failed to show up at court to face allegations over an alleged armed sex attack.
A judge issued an arrest warrant two days ago after the man, identified as Anter B, absconded.
The suspect is believed to have used a knife to detain a woman at a bus stop before making her walk to a petrol station before making sexual threats.
While the woman was kidnapped, she claimed the man told her the reason for his attack was because she was German and she was asking for it.
The 24-year-old man, who is said to have achieved permanent residence status in Hamburg, was charged with 'verbal abuse and coercion' according to prosecutors.
However after being freed from custody the man failed to show up for a scheduled court appearance. A judge issued an arrest warrant for the individual on Tuesday but it has not been confirmed whether he has been apprehended.
The arrest warrant was issued just one week after German chancellor Angela Merkel announced far-ranging immigration reforms.
Bundestag politicians have instigated an Asylum Procedures Acceleration Act in a bid to speed up the process of deportation.
The German parliament has banned family reunion for two years, meaning battles to bring relatives of migrants over to Germany, as currently happens in Britain, will no longer take place.
And they have introduced a new law to allow for the easier expulsion of offenders in the case of asylum seekers suspected of committing a criminal offence.
Mrs Merkel's Government says this law will allow them to identify "strange behaviour of foreigners" that could put them at risk of expulsion.
Angry campaigners held placards with slogans reading 'Merkel not welcomed' and 'Merkel must go' following a spate of terror attacks against Germany.
However it is not clear if these new laws will apply to those who have already been granted leave to remain.
Germany is also digitising its immigration protocols as they implement an 'introduction of proof of arrival' scheme to identify those who have no paperwork.
Trump is right: Settlements don't impede peace
by Jeff Jacoby
THE WORLD'S restless fixation with where Jews live has flared up again.
On Monday evening, Israel's parliament passed a law authorizing the government to legalize thousands of homes built in the West Bank, in many cases on land against which there are claims of prior ownership. The measure allows the homes to remain, while compensating the previous owners with their choice of an alternative parcel of land or a payment equal to 125 percent of the land's value.
The new law, highly controversial in Israel, is sure to be challenged in court. Many experts predict that Israel's aggressively independent judiciary will strike the law down. It wouldn't be the first time Israel's government has lost a litigation battle - and if it comes to that, the country's elected officials will bow to the court's authority. Just days ago, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, following orders from the Supreme Court, sent in security forces to remove hundreds of Jewish residents from Amona, an unauthorized hilltop community in the West Bank.
Stories about Israeli settlements invariably generate breathless international headlines, as though there is something uniquely newsworthy about Jews in the Jewish state building homes and schools to accommodate a growing population. When those homes and schools are constructed in the West Bank and East Jerusalem - land Israel seized from Jordan in the Six Day War 50 years ago - there is inevitably much handwringing about the harm they pose to the prospect of peace with the Palestinians and the "two-state solution" on which an end to the conflict supposedly depends.
Actually, the two-state solution is a chimera. The explicit goal of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas is the elimination of the Jewish state, not the building-up of a Palestinian counterpart. That is why they have rejected multiple offers of statehood, why they insist that Jews cannot live in any territory claimed by Palestinians, and why the Palestinian Authority regards the sale of land to Jews as a capital crime punishable by death. When Israel relinquished all of Gaza to Palestinian control, the new owners used the territory not to develop a constructive and peaceful new State of Palestine, but to launch rockets and terror raids against the state of Israel next door.
It takes a curious derangement to conclude from this that all would be well in the Middle East if only Israel would stop enlarging Jewish neighborhoods. Yet that is the mindset of the UN and much of the international community. It was also the mindset of the Obama administration, which rarely missed an opportunity to condemn Israeli settlements - going so far as to facilitate a Security Council resolution declaring even East Jerusalem, with its storied Jewish Quarter, "occupied Palestinian territory."
To its credit, the Trump administration rejects that paradigm. The Republican platform adopted last summer made no reference to the "two-state" unicorn, and Trump's ambassador to Israel firmly backs the expansion of Jewish communities in the historic Jewish heartland. Last week the White House spokesman, while advising caution toward the construction of new settlements, made a point of emphasizing that the new president and his foreign-policy team "don't believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace."
Bizarrely, those words were spun in the media as a sign that Trump had come to embrace Obama's way of thinking about Israel and the Palestinians. That interpretation strikes me as thoroughly wrong-headed - and when Trump warmly welcomes Netanyahu to Washington next week, I expect it to seem more outlandish still.
Anything can change, of course, especially given Trump's volatility and impulsiveness. But on the evidence so far, Obama's frostiness toward Israel is anathema to the new administration. Palestinian rejectionism, not Jewish housing, has always been the insurmountable impediment to ending the Middle East conflict. Obama could never bring himself to acknowledge that fundamental truth. I'm guessing Trump won't have that problem.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.