Special Programming

Overcoming Fascism: The Latest Speech by Chris Hedges

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Forget the firing of James Comey, forget the paralysis in Congress, forget the innanity of our dissent into tyranny as if it were a sports contest between corporate Republicans and corporate Democrats or a reality show starring our maniacal President and the freaks that surround him. Forget the noise, the crisis we face is not embodied in the public images of the politicians that run our┬ádysfunctional state. The crisis we face is the result of a four decade long slow-motion corporate coup d’etat that has rendered the citizen impotent. Left us without any authentic democratic institutions and allowed corporate and military power to become omnipotent. The crisis has spawned a corrupt electorial system of legalized bribery and elevated public figures that master the arts of entertainment and artifice.

Trump is the symptom he is not the disease

  • Gtpx

    What’s the resistance to fascism has right and wrong:
    Right:
    Recognizing and and resisting fascism is, IMHO, the right thing for humanity, as fascism will result in tremendous human suffering. It is unavoidable where ever fascism continues to exist and thrive.
    But within this statement lies what the current resistance has gotten wrong – namely recognizing it.

    Ask 100 people “what is fascism” and you will most likely get 100 different definitions with a great number of them referencing known fascists such as Hitler, Mussolini, maybe even Stalin, in place of an actual definition, because most people don’t have a definition for it. Most people don’t really know what it is beyond a vague idea of the state, or a dictator, oppressing the people. There’s nothing incorrect about that notion, it’s just painfully short of any real understanding of what it is they fear and want to prevent, and with out that, it it can develop and grow right under their noses until the abuses become so conspicuous they are unavoidable, and largely unstoppable without a major upheaval.

    And that is what has happened here and now, in the past decade and more in the US. The ground work for fascism was laid long before Trump. He has inherited a land ripe for the taking precisely because we don’t understand or recognize what fascism requires and what it looks like as those requirements develop.

    Let me make an example:
    A web site I viewed recently misleadingly listed fourteen defining characteristics of fascism. For simplicity I’ll focus on just two of them: Controlled mass media and rampant sexism or bigotry.

    The first is a REQUIREMENT of fascism. Fascism cannot exist without it as no majority of people will ever approve of it. By it’s nature it favors a small minority of elites at the cost of the majority. No rational person outside of the elites would willingly accept this, so controlling the information, ideas, and opinions the majority have access to becomes essential. And since establishing a fascist state in most parts of the free world requires breaking current laws and/or removing civil liberties, they must be able to control what the public is aware of and their ability to rally in resistance. So controlling the media is not just a symptom of fascism, it is a fundamental component without which fascism will fail or be overthrown. This is an important distinction.

    The second item listed, rampant sexism or bigotry, is not essential. it often accompanies fascism, it’s convenient tool often used by fascists, but it is not essential to fascism. a fascist state could easily allow and advance people of all sexes, races, and genders that supports its agenda and equally oppress people of all sexes, races, and genders that do not support it or are useful as a servant class.

    There is the cost of not having the convenient tool of discrimination, and many fascist leaders may well have been bigots, but it’s not actually essential. Fascism does not require it.

    Why is this important?
    Because most people identify the personality characteristics of fascist leaders, such as sexism or the bigotry of Hitler, as key indicators of fascism and easily overlook or dismiss development of key essential elements that develop right under their noses.

    Trump displays personality characteristics of a fascist, but few people recognize that a great deal of groundwork that prepared the way for him took place under Bush and Obama. The danger here is that should Trump be removed, the resistance will dissipate, but the danger is far from removed. In fact the development will continue under a more “democratic” sounding leader, an individual who does not raise the “personality triggers” of fascist while the forces leading to fascism in this country continue to build their power structure right under our noses. .

    I consider the media in this country culpable at a minimum and more likely collusive in this effort as they have remained silent on so much that has developed in the previous decade. They are already controlled. Trump did not accomplish this. It was done under previous administrations, but advance significantly under Obama.

    So using just the two item listed above (similar arguments exist for the others) Obama has actually done more in the advancement of fascism than Trump (at this point). Trump is the beneficiary of those advancements and will certainly use them to his advantage, but getting Trump out will not save us. The only thing that will save us is a widespread understanding and recognition of, and resistance to the essential elements of fascism no matter the personality of the leader attempting it.

    The key is not to focus on Trump, or any single individual, as no individual could implement fascism in this country alone, but to clear our eyes, educate ourselves, and resist the essential components of fascism. This will have to continue long after Trump is gone, unless you’re ok with having fascism served up under a facade of democracy.

  • Gtpx

    Good

  • Kittiehart X

    “…forget the innanity of our dissent into tyranny…” did you mean “inanity” and “descent”
    and is there a transcript of this talk anywhere online? Thank you.

    • liaisonsus

      There must be…To err is human to forgive is divine. Spelling mistakes are common…I copied and pasted this text, so I don’t own it but you can always listen to the speech.

      • Thx 4 the post, then, & I’ll await a transcript of it to arrive later on, unless you happen to know where to find it already?

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