There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.

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what the fuck do you think about Ralf?

Started by wade, June 15, 2008, 07:22:46 AM

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tyrannosaurus vex

Modern politics engages in that sort of behavior all the time, across the spectrum. While the GOP claims it is for "small government," it also advocates the idea of America as a society that is culturally, religiously, and at times racially homogeneous. Like Fascism, it elevates the concept of The State to a mythical, almost Godlike importance, and questions not only the loyalty of dissenters but the very human value of anyone who dares to contradict their political dogma.

The Democrats do almost the same thing, but are more global-minded. They elevate other ideas to dangerous importance, but these go beyond the State and include the "Global Community." The sentiment may be essentially the same but I think the implications and consequences of such a worldview are, at this point in history, more beneficial since it tends to diffuse narrow-minded nationalism and emphasize equality among people regardless of origin or culture.

The practical point here, though, is that for the immediate future, the Democrats are in favor of expanding civil liberties, conducting foreign policy with a modicum of restraint and cooperation even with those who don't necessarily agree with us, and recognizing and dealing with domestic and foreign economic problems as they pertain to average people; and they have a vested interest in moving traditionally sidelined groups into political validity, which reinforces the structures of democratic government. I'm not a toe-the-line Democrat. I don't expect to be on the same page with this party forever (I'm not even 100% in agreement right now), but at this moment, this is the party best positioned to enact the kinds of policy I believe to be necessary for my own comfort and security.

The Green Party would probably do a pretty good job of most things too -- but the Green Party isn't an option when I see no indication that they have widespread support necessary to defeat the evil bastards who are practically drooling at the chance to send tanks through downtown San Francisco, and who happen to be in control of the GOP.
Evil and Unfeeling Arse-Flenser From The City of the Damned.

Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

Well, if you gonna modify definitions we can call the fascist if you like ;-)

In the end, I find both parties full of shit and focused entirely on themselves. The GOP tries to appeal to the rich, on the basis that money will get votes. The Dems try to appeal to the hoi polli on the basis that there's a heck of a lot of them.

Individual Senators and Congressmen may well have altruistic and optimistic goals... but the parties, as far as I can tell are simply machines designed to garner power for one group of bastards or the other.

For me, I vote for individuals. My election ticket usually has a mix of R and D and I on it. I can't support either party, but I can figure out the least evil of whichever two or three people I get to choose from.

Besides, if I can help keep both parties at each others throats... maybe neither of them will be able to implement their plans.
- I don't see race. I just see cars going around in a circle.

"Back in my day, crazy meant something. Now everyone is crazy" - Charlie Manson

tyrannosaurus vex

srsly, though, i live in Wyoming and that's why I'm voting for Obama. I can't wait to see the look on all these rural asstards' faces in November when they know they're about to have a Black president. Or on January 20th, when they actually have one.

Also, I can't wait to tell the Rush Limbaugh fanboys around here, "HEY WE'RE AT WAR! GOOD AMERICANS SUPPORT THE PRESIDENT DURING WARTIME!"
Evil and Unfeeling Arse-Flenser From The City of the Damned.

Darth Cupcake

Quote from: vexati0n on June 18, 2008, 06:31:23 PM
Also, I can't wait to tell the Rush Limbaugh fanboys around here, "HEY WE'RE AT WAR! GOOD AMERICANS SUPPORT THE PRESIDENT DURING WARTIME!"




I never even thought of that, and now (hoping Obama gets elected!) I cannot fucking wait to do that. Holy crap. I think that just brought a tear to my eye. :lol:

Be the trouble you want to see in the world.

Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

Quote from: vexati0n on June 18, 2008, 06:31:23 PM
srsly, though, i live in Wyoming and that's why I'm voting for Obama. I can't wait to see the look on all these rural asstards' faces in November when they know they're about to have a Black president. Or on January 20th, when they actually have one.

Also, I can't wait to tell the Rush Limbaugh fanboys around here, "HEY WE'RE AT WAR! GOOD AMERICANS SUPPORT THE PRESIDENT DURING WARTIME!"


:lulz: :lulz: :lulz: :lulz: :lulz:
- I don't see race. I just see cars going around in a circle.

"Back in my day, crazy meant something. Now everyone is crazy" - Charlie Manson


Quote from: vexati0n on June 18, 2008, 06:31:23 PM
Also, I can't wait to tell the Rush Limbaugh fanboys around here, "HEY WE'RE AT WAR! GOOD AMERICANS SUPPORT THE PRESIDENT DURING WARTIME!"

Damn straight!  :evil:

The Good Reverend Roger

Quote from: vexati0n on June 18, 2008, 06:31:23 PM
srsly, though, i live in Wyoming and that's why I'm voting for Obama. I can't wait to see the look on all these rural asstards' faces in November when they know they're about to have a Black president. Or on January 20th, when they actually have one.

Also, I can't wait to tell the Rush Limbaugh fanboys around here, "HEY WE'RE AT WAR! GOOD AMERICANS SUPPORT THE PRESIDENT DURING WARTIME!"

I've been waiting for the same thing.   :lulz:
" It's just that Depeche Mode were a bunch of optimistic loveburgers."
- TGRR, shaming himself forever, 7/8/2017

"Billy, when I say that ethics is our number one priority and safety is also our number one priority, you should take that to mean exactly what I said. Also quality. That's our number one priority as well. Don't look at me that way, you're in the corporate world now and this is how it works."
- TGRR, raising the bar at work.


Quote from: vexati0n on June 18, 2008, 04:16:39 PM
The GOP consistently campaigns on a Fascist platform -- lower/no taxes for business, the economic belief that freeing corporations to do whatever they want ultimately benefits the entire population, the belief that "freedom of speech" should include allowing wealthy companies to dictate government policy on just about every matter, the complete dissolution of social safety nets, a complete reliance on "private business" for all needs, doing away with government regulation (or "interference") in almost every industry. These are the ideas that the GOP campaigns on. They never accomplish any of this because they haven't been allowed to. But the party has gotten some of this done on a local level in some places (it's all pretty much failed horribly, of course) so it's obvious that they genuinely want to.

More recently, the GOP has also begun to espouse the belief that the federal military should be used for domestic police activities, that the people have only a severely limited right to petition the government for redress of grievances, and especially since 9/11 they seem to think that security and liberty are mutually exclusive, and favor security over liberty.

Thats not fascism.

There is a strong proto-Fascist component to the GOP, and often Fascists are unable to seize power without being invited into it by a business/conservative coalition of some sort, but it doesn't immediately follow that such a coalition is necessarily fascist.  Its garden-variety autocracy, with a dash of free market theory.

Here are some actual definitions of Fascism:

The idea underlying Fascism is irreconcilably different from that which underlies Socialism. Socialism aims, ultimately, at a world-state of free and equal human beings. It takes the equality of human rights for granted. Nazism assumes just the opposite. The driving force behind the Nazi movement is the belief in human inequality, the superiority of Germans to all other races, the right of Germany to rule the world. Outside the German Reich it does not recognise any obligations.
- Eric Blair, AKA George Orwell, The Lion and the Unicorn (1941)

    A. The Fascist Negations:
    -- Antiliberalism
    -- Anticommunism
    -- Anticonservatism (though with the understanding that fascist groups were willing to undertake temporary alliances with groups from any other sector, most commonly with the right)

    B. Ideology and Goals:
    -- Creation of a new nationalist authoritarian state based not merely on traditional principles or models
    -- Organization of some new kind of regulated, multiclass, integrated national economic structure, whether called national corporatist, national socialist, or national syndicalist
    -- The goal of empire or a radical change in the nation's relationship with other powers
    -- Specific espousal of an idealist, voluntarist creed, normally involving the attempt to realize a new form of modern, self-determined, secular culture

    C. Style and Organization:
    -- Emphasis on esthetic structure of meetings, symbols, and political choreography, stressing romantic and mystical aspects
    -- Attempted mass mobilization with militarization of political relationships and style and with the goal of a mass party militia
    -- Positive evaluation and use of, or willingness to use, violence
    -- Extreme stress on the masculine principle and male dominance, while espousing the organic view of society
    -- Exaltation of youth above other phases of life, emphasizing the conflict of generations, at least in effecting the initial political transformation
    -- Specific tendency toward an authoritarian, charismatic, personal style of command, whether or not the command is to some degree initially elective
- Stanley Payne, in Fascism: Comparison and Definition (1980)

Robert O. Paxton, The Anatomy of Fascism

Fascism may be defined as a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal constraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.

Paxton's nine "mobilizing passions" of fascism:

    -- a sense of overwhelming crisis beyond the reach of any traditional solutions;

    -- the primacy of the group, toward which one has duties superior to every right, whether universal or individual, and the subordination of the individual to it;

    -- the belief that one's group is a victim, a sentiment which justifies any action, without legal or moral limits, against the group's enemies, both internal and external;

    -- dread of the group's decline under the corrosive effect of individualistic liberalism, class conflict, and alien influences;

    -- the need for closer integration of a purer community, by consent if possible, or by exclusionary violence if necessary;

    -- the need for authority by natural leaders (always male), culminating in a national chief who alone is capable of incarnating the group's destiny;

    -- the superiority of the leader's instincts over abstract and universal reason;

    -- the beauty of violence and the efficacy of will, when they are devoted to the group's success;

    -- the right of the chosen people to dominate others without restraint from any kind of human or divine law, right being decided by the sole criterion of the group's prowess in a Darwinian struggle.

Fascism: modern political ideology that seeks to regenerate the social, economic, and cultural life of a country by basing it on a heightened sense of national belonging or ethnic identity. Fascism rejects liberal ideas such as freedom and individual rights, and often presses for the destruction of elections, legislatures, and other elements of democracy. Despite the idealistic goals of fascism, attempts to build fascist societies have led to wars and persecutions that caused millions of deaths. As a result, fascism is strongly associated with right-wing fanaticism, racism, totalitarianism, and violence.
- Roger Griffin

1. The first feature of Ur-Fascism is the cult of tradition.

Traditionalism is of course much older than fascism. Not only was it typical of counterrevolutionary Catholic thought after the French revolution, but is was born in the late Hellenistic era, as a reaction to classical Greek rationalism. In the Mediterranean basin, people of different religions (most of the faiths indulgently accepted by the Roman pantheon) started dreaming of a revelation received at the dawn of human history. This revelation, according to the traditionalist mystique, had remained for a long time concealed under the veil of forgotten languages -- in Egyptian hieroglyphs, in the Celtic runes, in the scrolls of the little-known religions of Asia.

This new culture had to be syncretistic. Syncretism is not only, as the dictionary says, "the combination of different forms of belief or practice;" such a combination must tolerate contradictions. Each of the original messages contains a sliver of wisdom, and although they seem to say different or incompatible things, they all are nevertheless alluding, allegorically, to the same primeval truth.

As a consequence, there can be no advancement of learning. Truth already has been spelled out once and for all, and we can only keep interpreting its obscure message.

If you browse in the shelves that, in American bookstores, are labeled New Age, you can find there even Saint Augustine, who, as far as I know, was not a fascist. But combining Saint Augustine and Stonehenge -- that is a symptom of Ur-Fascism.

2. Traditionalism implies the rejection of modernism.

Both Fascists and Nazis worshipped technology, while traditionalist thinkers usually reject it as a negation of traditional spiritual values. However, even though Nazism was proud of its industrial achievements, its praise of modernism was only the surface of an ideology based upon blood and earth (Blut und Boden). The rejection of the modern world was disguised as a rebuttal of the capitalistic way of life. The Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, is seen as the beginning of modern depravity. In this sense Ur-Fascism can be defined as irrationalism.

3. Irrationalism also depends on the cult of action for action's sake.

Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, reflection. Thinking is a form of emasculation. Therefore culture is suspect insofar as it is identified with critical attitudes. Distrust of the intellectual world has always been a symptom of Ur-Fascism, from Hermann Goering's fondness for a phrase from a Hanns Johst play ("When I hear the word 'culture' I reach for my gun") to the frequent use of such expressions as "degenerate intellectuals," "eggheads," "effete snobs," and "universities are nests of reds." The official Fascist intellectuals were mainly engaged in attacking modern culture and the liberal intelligentsia for having betrayed traditional values.

4. The critical spirit makes distinctions, and to distinguish is a sign of modernism.

In modern culture the scientific community praises disagreement as a way to improve knowledge. For Ur-Fascism, disagreement is treason.

5. Besides, disagreement is a sign of diversity.

Ur-Fascism grows up and seeks consensus by exploiting and exacerbating the natural fear of difference. The first appeal of a fascist or prematurely fascist movement is an appeal against the intruders. Thus Ur-Fascism is racist by definition.

6. Ur-Fascism derives from individual or social frustration.

That is why one of the most typical features of the historical fascism was the appeal to a frustrated middle class, a class suffering from an economic crisis or feelings of political humiliation, and frightened by the pressure of lower social groups. In our time, when the old "proletarians" are becoming petty bourgeois (and the lumpen are largely excluded from the political scene), the fascism of tomorrow will find its audience in this new majority.

7. To people who feel deprived of a clear social identity, Ur-Fascism says that their only privilege is the most common one, to be born in the same country.

This is the origin of nationalism. Besides, the only ones who can provide an identity to the nation are its enemies. Thus at the root of the Ur-Fascist psychology there is the obsession with a plot, possibly an international one. The followers must feel besieged. The easiest way to solve the plot is the appeal to xenophobia. But the plot must also come from the inside: Jews are usually the best target because they have the advantage of being at the same time inside and outside. In the United States, a prominent instance of the plot obsession is to be found in Pat Robertson's The New World Order, but, as we have recently seen, there are many others.

8. The followers must feel humiliated by the ostentatious wealth and force of their enemies.

When I was a boy I was taught to think of Englishmen as the five-meal people. They ate more frequently than the poor but sober Italians. Jews are rich and help each other through a secret web of mutual assistance. However, the followers of Ur-Fascism must also be convinced that they can overwhelm the enemies. Thus, by a continuous shifting of rhetorical focus, the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak. Fascist governments are condemned to lose wars because they are constitutionally incapable of objectively evaluating the force of the enemy.

9. For Ur-Fascism there is no struggle for life but, rather, life is lived for struggle.

Thus pacifism is trafficking with the enemy. It is bad because life is permanent warfare. This, however, brings about an Armageddon complex. Since enemies have to be defeated, there must be a final battle, after which the movement will have control of the world. But such "final solutions" implies a further era of peace, a Golden Age, which contradicts the principle of permanent war. No fascist leader has ever succeeded in solving this predicament.

10. Elitism is a typical aspect of any reactionary ideology, insofar as it is fundamentally aristocratic, and aristocratic and militaristic elitism cruelly implies contempt for the weak.

Ur-Fascism can only advocate a popular elitism. Every citizen belongs to the best people in the world, the members or the party are the best among the citizens, every citizen can (or ought to) become a member of the party. But there cannot be patricians without plebeians. In fact, the Leader, knowing that his power was not delegated to him democratically but was conquered by force, also knows that his force is based upon the weakness of the masses; they are so weak as to need and deserve a ruler.

11. In such a perspective everybody is educated to become a hero.

In every mythology the hero is an exceptional being, but in Ur-Fascist ideology heroism is the norm. This cult of heroism is strictly linked with the cult of death. It is not by chance that a motto of the Spanish Falangists was Viva la Muerte ("Long Live Death!"). In nonfascist societies, the lay public is told that death is unpleasant but must be faced with dignity; believers are told that it is the painful way to reach a supernatural happiness. By contrast, the Ur-Fascist hero craves heroic death, advertised as the best reward for a heroic life. The Ur-Fascist hero is impatient to die. In his impatience, he more frequently sends other people to death.

12. Since both permanent war and heroism are difficult games to play, the Ur-Fascist transfers his will to power to sexual matters.

This is the origin of machismo (which implies both disdain for women and intolerance and condemnation of nonstandard sexual habits, from chastity to homosexuality). Since even sex is a difficult game to play, the Ur-Fascist hero tends to play with weapons -- doing so becomes an ersatz phallic exercise.

13. Ur-Fascism is based upon a selective populism, a qualitative populism, one might say.

In a democracy, the citizens have individual rights, but the citizens in their entirety have a political impact only from a quantitative point of view -- one follows the decisions of the majority. For Ur-Fascism, however, individuals as individuals have no rights, and the People is conceived as a quality, a monolithic entity expressing the Common Will. Since no large quantity of human beings can have a common will, the Leader pretends to be their interpreter. Having lost their power of delegation, citizens do not act; they are only called on to play the role of the People. Thus the People is only a theatrical fiction. There is in our future a TV or Internet populism, in which the emotional response of a selected group of citizens can be presented and accepted as the Voice of the People.

Because of its qualitative populism, Ur-Fascism must be against "rotten" parliamentary governments. Wherever a politician casts doubt on the legitimacy of a parliament because it no longer represents the Voice of the People, we can smell Ur-Fascism.

14. Ur-Fascism speaks Newspeak.

Newspeak was invented by Orwell, in Nineteen Eighty-Four, as the official language of what he called Ingsoc, English Socialism. But elements of Ur-Fascism are common to different forms of dictatorship. All the Nazi or Fascist schoolbooks made use of an impoverished vocabulary, and an elementary syntax, in order to limit the instruments for complex and critical reasoning. But we must be ready to identify other kinds of Newspeak, even if they take the apparently innocent form of a popular talk show.

- Umberto Eco

Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

- I don't see race. I just see cars going around in a circle.

"Back in my day, crazy meant something. Now everyone is crazy" - Charlie Manson



Most informative thing I've read all month.
"If I owned Goodwill, no charity worker would feel safe.  I would sit in my office behind a massive pile of cocaine, racking my pistol's slide every time the cleaning lady came near.  Auditors, I'd just shoot."


Its a handy little list I keep on hand for such times as this.

I think there IS a fascist faction within the GOP, and it does have surprisingly powerful links with the main movers and shakers, but its not going to be found within the NeoCons who, as we know, are in it mainly for the money.  More likely its going to be people like Trent Lott, the sort of people who traffic with Neo-Confederate organizations, make speeches for powerful anti-immigration groups that attract racists, the paleo-conservatives that cluster around Pat Buchanan and Ron Paul.  And, of course, the legion of keyboard warriors from FreeRepublic and various conservative blogs such as Little Green Footballs, or Misha the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler, who are desperately trying to slay the liberals and atheists and terrorists with their mad typing skillz.  Finally, of course, you have the militias themselves, who espoused a proto-fascist and conspiracy-laden doctrine that was picked up on, modified and then made into "news" and "commentary" by the right-wing media ("Iraq was behind the OK bombings", "Clinton had Vince Foster killed", "The UN is a cover for a socialist takeover of the USA under a Satanic one-world government" etc etc) which has turned America's biggest right-wing party into the sort of place where pseudo-fascist sentiment can grow relatively undetected by the party leadership.

That said, Bush and Co do engage in dog whistle politics when they are up against the wall on something, which suggests to me they know these lunatics are out there and have no problem with using them to achieve their own goals.  For example, Cheney suggesting those who protested against the Iraq War were traitors.  Soon after that, antiwar protests were being trashed by supposed Bush supporters, mainly from far-right groups or watering holes online.  The Swiftboating of John Kerry was followed by vandalism of Democratic Party property all over the mid-west, as the Kerry = unpatriotic quasi-traitor meme spread.  So the current leadership are not fascists, however they are part of a wider climate of fascism on the right of US politics, and have no qualms about making alliances with fascists.