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Do we live in a fascist regime?

In an article yesterday in response to the news that Trump had gagged government scientists and agencies, I included a list of the 14 defining characteristics of fascism.

As I read through the expanded explanation, I got a very uneasy feeling that I was reading about our own government. The similarities are chilling.

Recognise any of this behaviour?

Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. Britt found 14 defining characteristics common to each:

  1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism – Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.
  2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights – Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of “need.” The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.
  3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause – The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial, ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.
  4. Supremacy of the Military – Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.
  5. Rampant Sexism – The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.
  6. Controlled Mass Media – Sometimes the media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.
  7. Obsession with National Security – Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.
  8. Religion and Government are Intertwined – Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government’s policies or actions.
  9. Corporate Power is Protected – The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.
  10. Labor Power is Suppressed – Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.
  11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts – Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.
  12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment – Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.
  13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption – Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.
  14. Fraudulent Elections – Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

Is this where we are headed?

 

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83 comments

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  1. Kate Ahearne

    Thanks, Kaye. I wondered the same thing when I was reading the list you published yesterday with your Trump article. Yes, we’re well on the way, and the Trump Triumph will surely inject our own right-wing with new hope and enthusiasm. We live in serious times.

  2. John Richardson

    Some might say we are already there & sadly, some might say that most don’t care!!

  3. bobrafto

    I read this quote on fb and it goes something like this:
    You elect a billionaire as president who appoints billionaires to government to fix up a system that they created and profited from.

  4. Keitha Granville

    All of the above – both in the USA under Trump, and here under Abbott / Turnbull.

    Many people will say “he’s nothing like Hitler”.

    Just wait for it.

  5. keerti

    Fascism is a part of the liberal party’s history k

  6. Kaye Lee

    About the only thing missing from the usual attributes of a fascist state is a strong leader.

    But not to fear…the business lobby groups are filling that void.

    The ACCI has hit the road running saying we have to compete with Trump so we must cut corporate taxes, remove red tape, reform industrial relations (read get rid of unions, strip away entitlements and be able to sack people), get rid of penalty rates, contract and part time work etc etc

    Housing affordability is the new catch phrase – will we tackle negative gearing and capital gains tax discount – NO. The property barons are too invested and must be protected.

    Our government has its own alternate facts and its own version of advisers who are very similar to Trump’s.

  7. Terry2

    Since senior Trump adviser, Kellyanne Conway spoke of ‘alternative facts’, George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four has hit the No 1 spot in Amazon’s book sales chart. No that is not fake news or is it ? https://www.amazon.com/best-sellers-books-Amazon/zgbs/books

    So, is the age of Newspeak here?

    Alternative Facts and fake news are the issues of the day and I have always appreciated the irony of The Ministry of Plenty where Winston Smith worked, massaging the truth so that the government of the day could say how well things were going when , in fact things were going very badly.

    For example :” the Ministry of Plenty’s forecast had estimated the output of boots for the quarter at one-hundred-and-forty-five million pairs. The actual output was given as sixty-two millions. Winston, however, in rewriting the forecast, marked the figure down to fifty-seven millions, so as to allow for the usual claim that the quota had been overfulfilled. In any case, sixty-two millions was no nearer the truth than fifty-seven millions, or than one-hundred-and-forty-five millions. Very likely no boots had been produced at all. Likelier still, nobody knew how many had been produced, much less cared. All one knew was that every quarter astronomical numbers of boots were produced on paper, while perhaps half the population went barefoot. And so it was with every class of recorded fact, great or small. Everything faded away into a shadow-world in which, finally, even the date of the year had become uncertain. ”

    Trump constantly repeats things like : “it’s so good” : “it’s going to be great” : “we’re going to make America Great Again”: “America First” – I notice that Scott Morrison is already saying “Australia First”.

    Soon we will be told that there are jobs for all and cheap affordable housing for all (mainly in Tamworth it seems).

    It pays to maintain a sense of humour and scepticism, folks.

  8. Klaus Petrat

    I have said it since I watched the systematic destruction of the RGR government by the LNP in full cooperation by the MSM.

    The media has become the voice of the government.

    Obsession (in the absence of vision) with terror and security is rampant.

    The Australian people are subdued by constant messages of how great this nation is.

    Key roles in politics, justice, media, business are stuffed with incompetent right wing ideologues.

    Transparency is kicked in the butt.

    And Australia watches like a herd of sheep.

    This is a fascist nation with an incompetent, spineless straw man at the helm.

  9. Klaus Petrat

    Yes Kaye.

    The finance scandal appears to have been successfully weathered.

    Torture is condoned.

    The planet continues to being raped.

    The vulnerable continue being punished to compensate for gross/criminal conduct by this government.

    Australia continues watching this.

    There is cricket, tennis, all is good.

  10. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I’ve posted this article to Twitter.

    Neoliberalism crept up on us and was not defined until much later after it had already confined our lives and our aspirations for a better quality of life.

    Fascism is a blunter force but more obvious, even to lazy, disinterested observers. Its rewards are selective for only a privileged few and its punishments are harsh and widespread.

    Fascist freaks in Australia and America will likely cause their own demise, as they overstep their power over ordinary people’s thinking and deference.

    When the tide turns, I want both Fascism and Neoliberalism that have worked to demean us and confine our lives, to be swept away and robustly replaced by Democratic Socialism that will clean up ALL their mess.

  11. Derpenberg

    He’s nothing like Hitler. 😛

    For the first few years, Hitler had rather sensible economic plans partly because he actually bothered to listen to experts.

    The social policies between Abbott/Turnbull are slightly better than Hitler for a comparable amount of time in power (which goes to show how poor Abbott/Turnbull really are)

    And keep in mind that Hitler did invest in production/new technologies/major infrastructure (albeit war economy) whereas Libs are actively sinking infrastructure, Science and technology and manufacturing.

    TLDR – 10/10 Would prefer Hitler over the Libs.

  12. John Lord

    Alarming to say the least. Trumpism reflects many of these points and Australia is following suit.

  13. Wayne Turner

    YES,and we already are there.

    Klaus Petrat – Spot on.Sad,but totally true.Well said.

  14. Trish Corry

    No we don’t live in a fascist regime. We got rid of the closest thing this country has ever had to a fascist. His name is Campbell Newman. I even hate typing his name. If Newman had continued and elected to another term, I’m too scared to think what would have happened to us next. Isolate us from the other states? Make us our own country? Police on every corner – maybe even army?

    You have not given the reader your thoughts on how these 14 points relate to our country. You have left this up to the reader to assume. The reader’s assumption may or may not be correct.

    I don’t like to be critical, but I am only raising it because we are accepting to much of just letting people make their minds up these days. Facts or discussion or putting forward a solid argument don’t seem to matter anymore. “I am correct! and the facts are fake” – Here – look at this link – let’s not discuss it in depth – just here is a link for you to interpret. See point proven. I gave you a link. That is the scary world I see every day – I don’t know about anyone else. I see the world spiralling out of control.

    I’m sorry Kaye, I very rarely give a negative review of an article, but I think it is important that as bloggers we think about how we are constructing our articles. All I see in this article is – Here are some facts about Fascism. See how it applies to our country? – Um well no. You haven’t told us. How is that different to “Here is a burqa – see how that is a bad thing for our country? We must ban it.” (yes, yes, you haven’t told us why Pauline, but we agree).”

    I am disappointed that this does not link the elements to the actions so far of the Australian Government or even anything the Opposition or other parties have on the table to measure where on this scale of fascist rule we are and how much more will we accept and what should we do about it.

    I believe it is important we discuss the differences between Nationalism and Fascism and how Nationalism can lead to Fascism – and why it is important to discuss that for our future Particularly with the voters and children posing for selfies with Nationalists and the the media paying the Nationalists to be on their breakfast shows and the rest of the media never ever ever asking the Nationalists the hard questions.

    The serious issue in Australia right now is the rise of Nationalism. We need to understand that first, before we decide if we are under a fascist rule.

  15. crypt0

    The australian sheeple have the same view of impending fascism as they do of homelessness …
    If it doesn’t affect me, then I’m alright Jack.
    Until it happens to them … and then they will squeal loud and long …
    Too late.

  16. Kate Ahearne

    Derpenberg, What you say about Hitler is very interesting, and I daresay most of us don’t know enough about the pre-war years in Germany. But I’ve been wondering whether we shouldn’t be allowing for the fact that fascism has changed over the decades, as has everything else, including democracy and communism. Democracy in Australia today is not the same as democracy was at the time of Federation in 1901. It’s still defined as democracy, even though in 2017 many of its strengths are different as are many of its faults and weaknesses. Another important consideration is the fact that American democracy, for instance, is very different from ours, and yet we define both these systems as democracy – government of the people for the people by the people. A Rottweiler is a dog. A Toy Poodle is a dog. They’re both dogs, but they’re different – the Rotty is big and the poodle is small (and a little bit silly?) So I suppose the question for me is something like, ‘At what point does democracy cross the line and become fascism?’

  17. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    crypt0,

    it will happen to the sheeple too and that’s when things can dramatically change. The Bloodless Revolutionary leaders must be nimble and skillful in how they lead the change into proper revolutionary reforms, so that we don’t just end up with the same old, same old.

    This is where Trish’s requirement for examples of where fascism is starting to rear its ugly head is important. We can accept the truisms of Kaye’s argument, but we need concrete examples of where they exist and HOW they can be extinguished and replaced by true democratic socialist reforms.

  18. Kate Ahearne

    Trish, I’m sorry, but I have to disagree with you, most vigorously. There’s not just one way to present an article. Such an idea is simply absurd. Sometimes, (and my response to Kaye’s post is that this is one of those times), it really does work to do it in the way Kaye has done it here. I actually found Kaye’s presentation very powerful. There’s always another way to skin a cat. Horses for courses, and all that. If writers were obliged to adopt the attitude that you have outlined here, that there is one way and only one way to present a piece of work, where would literature be?

    You say, ‘You have left this up to the reader to assume. The reader’s assumption may or may not be correct.’ Two things about this. Kaye did not leave it up to her readers to ‘assume’ anything. She did leave it up to them to consider, to think, to enquire, to wonder. Secondly, ‘correct’? What on earth would be the ‘correct’ conclusion for the reader to arrive at? Good grief. How could there possibly be a ‘correct’ anything other than a correct fact?

    I was quite astonished at the prescriptive, and in my view, dictatorial tone of your comment.

  19. Kaye Lee

    Perhaps you could write that article Trish. I felt this one was long enough as was and, in writing for an informed audience, I did not feel it necessary to point out the obvious. If you need some examples, pick a point and I will elaborate.

    “See how it applies to our country? – Um well no. You haven’t told us”

    Sometimes it is just as productive to start a discussion and listen to other people’s thoughts rather than telling them what conclusions they should be drawing.

    “I believe it is important we discuss the differences between Nationalism and Fascism and how Nationalism can lead to Fascism – and why it is important to discuss that for our future ”

    Me too, Feel free. That is the whole point of this article. My aim was to see if other people had the same reaction reading through the list. I was mentally ticking off each point as I read it. Were others too? Do they see it too? I did not want to tell them what to see, what to think.

  20. helvityni

    crypt0, we don’t hear much about the homeless, and the bits that we are told, are about how they uglify our cities…. We can’t let overseas tourists coming to our big Sporting events to see them…we are after all a rich and great and generous country, aren’t we?

    Any solutions, Mr Turnbull? It’s getting urgent

  21. Miriam English

    I wonder if Australia is too captured by the mainstream media to react against this slow creep toward fascism. Campbell Newman’s biggest mistake was to move too fast. Same with Abbott, though he was kinda destined to fail anyway. He was just far too stupid and it was much too obvious on camera.

    What bothers me most is that we don’t have the time for these shitty games with shitty dictators. We have pressing problems with the poles melting at accelerating rates, global warming setting records every year, the animal and plant extinction rates continuing to rise, the seas becoming barren, oil production nearing its end, and droughts and storms increasing in severity. We have to waste too much effort dealing these petty kings. I’m not saying we shouldn’t be deposing them. I’m saying that having to deal with these arseholes is another problem we really don’t need at this point in history. We should be devoting all our energy to solving the other pressing problems. Unfortunately we don’t have a choice. The fascists make all the other problems much worse, so we must fix that problem in order to deal effectively with the rest of them. Thankfully there are many, many people beavering away in the background, focused on solving the other problems at the same time. We can deal with the authoritarians.

    The Indivisible document contains tactics for stopping the authoritarians.

    The book Beautiful Trouble contains more such tactics.

    The From Dictatorship to Democracy contains many tactics. It is also available as a nearly 4 hour long audiobook at YouTube (where you can enable captions to read along), or at LibriVox as downloadable audio files for each chapter so you can listen in your car, or while doing the gardening, or housework.

  22. sandrasearle

    Okay ladies, you are now in the discussion stage. Both of you are really great people who have got the ability to make us all sit up and take note of what is happening in our country and around the world.
    I just hope that the good folk here at TAIM don’t start taking sides. We need you both and the rest of the contributors who join in with the discussions – making for good debate.
    Keep up the great work.

  23. corvus boreus

    I find amusement in the idea that if an author posts a list of defining parameters without explicitly stating their own conclusions of judgement or interpretation, they are ‘leaving it to the reader to assume’, rather than allowing the reader to make their own assessment relatively unclouded.
    Funnily enough, not all readers want all articles on this site to be dichotomous black and white projections of the author’s strongest opinions, thickly coated in hyperbole and condescendingly spoon-fed..

  24. Roswell

    Corvus, what are you see in the article that I don’t? I see questions. Not statements, opinions, or points of view.

  25. Kaye Lee

    There are no sides sandra. I welcome Trish’s comment. I considered doing what she suggested but discarded the idea mainly on length grounds. I then thought about highlighting certain phrases but then chose not to because I wanted others to have their own experience reading through the list. I too find Trish’s contributions valuable and welcome her back. If I sounded petulant, I apologise – it was not my intention.

    Roswell, I think you have misunderstood cb.

  26. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Kaye’s laid the groundwork with the article, and contributors help identify areas where fascists are making their mark and how to deal with them. For example, Miriam has already pointed out places to learn some strategies to defeat fascism and neoliberalism, its cousin.

  27. Kate Ahearne

    Kaye, Yes. If Trish wants to write an article doing all the things she thinks you ought to have done, she can write that article herself. Quite frankly, the massive irony of one writer so fascistically telling another writer how she should present her work, and what issues she should raise, in a discussion thread on an article entitled, ‘Do we live in a fascist regime?’… Truly breath-taking.

  28. Roswell

    I’ve done that before, Kaye, and I again am finding myself apologising to CB.

    He must surely be sick of me by now. ?

  29. Harquebus

    The militarization of law enforcement is also a worrying sign.

    “This is not to say that the elites are “omnipotent.” Frankly, they don’t need to be. With the utter lack of vigilance and awareness within our society, the elites only need to be relatively intelligent and exceedingly morally bankrupt to manipulate the masses.”
    “To put it even more bluntly, the elites get away with subversive tyranny because there are too many willfully stupid people.”
    “When this evolution is complete, the Left WILL resort to direct violent action on a larger scale, and they will do so with a clear conscience because, in their minds, they are fighting fascism. Ironically, it will be this behavior by leftists that may actually push conservatives towards a fascist model. Conservatives might decide to fight crazy with more crazy.”
    “People must understand that the real threat in all of this has been and always will be the globalists. Instead of fighting each other in a futile theater of the absurd, we must fight and remove them from the chess board, wherever and whenever they show their faces in the daylight.”
    http://www.alt-market.com/articles/3067-order-out-of-chaos-the-defeat-of-the-left-comes-with-a-cost

    “When it gets down to having to use violence, then you are playing the system’s game. The establishment will irritate you – pull your beard, flick your face – to make you fight. Because once they’ve got you violent, then they know how to handle you. The only thing they don’t know how to handle is non-violence and humor.” -– John Lennon

  30. Andrew McKenna

    It’s not where we’re headed, it’s where we are.

  31. Roswell

    Trish, you’re asking Kaye to do what has already been done here. Dr George Venturini had a 50-part series about fascism and the Abbott Government published on The AIMN recently.

    It was one of the most compelling articles one could wish to read.

    If you do decide to write about nationalism, and I certainly hope you do, you can do no wrong in referencing Dr Venturini’s discussion on it.

    Here is the link to Part 1:

    The facets of Australian fascism: the Abbott Government experiment (Part 1)

  32. Kaye Lee

    Harquebus, I agree. We are facing corporate fascism facilitated by one of the only institutions capable of protecting us – government. The other institution, unions, is under sustained attack. Individuals cannot fight violently but we can withdraw our labour.

    General strike anyone?

  33. Roswell

    Harquebus, I wonder how long we’ll have to wait before Trump has the military marching in the streets as a show of strength.

    Btw, loved that John Lennon quote.

  34. Roswell

    Kaye, you and I are agreeing with Harquebus.

    Next we’ll be marching together. ?

  35. Kaye Lee

    Selective targeted strikes might be better.

    I think all food outlets in Canberra should refuse to serve Barnaby Joyce as his pork barreling is hurting Canberran families and the whole ACT economy. All outlets, including the parliamentary dining room, every restaurant, cafe and supermarket should carry a sign saying “We reserve the right to refuse service to Barnaby Joyce”

  36. John Richardson

    Yes Michael, I agree with your comments regarding the quality of George’s work … wonderful.

  37. Roswell

    Michael?

  38. Trish Corry

    Thanks Roswell. I am well acquainted with this work. it was not my point to Kaye. Simply pointing something out, should never be a basis for blind acceptance. Surely on the independent side of the pond we should be more critical than what this article suggests. One of the problems with Hanson is she just makes blanket statements without discussion or explanation. I’m sorry to be critical, but it is how I see it. I’m more talking to Kaye as an Author to Author not as a commentator.

    I have written a number of articles on Nationalism recently. Sorry you missed them.

  39. Harquebus

    Kaye Lee
    Unions are either eliminated or severely curtailed via jailing and murder of union officials under fascism. The ABCC is just part of the process.

    Roswell
    We had to find some common ground sooner or later.
    Alternative media, from what I can gather, has it somewhere between the second half of this year and 2020. Most fall in that range with a decaying or collapsing economy as the catalyst. Some say even this has been engineered to produce the required chaos to implement marshal law.

    Cheers.

  40. Kaye Lee

    It’s hard to have a one-on-one in a public comment thread Trish. That being said, you did not acknowledge my reasons for this presentation. Can you see any value in letting someone read the list and then, considering the political acuity of the audience, discuss their feeling as they read it without direction or interpretation from me?

    Harquebus, we have a great deal in common. I just prefer variety and a willingness to learn about new possibilities. I like suggestions better, particularly here, where the alarm was well and truly raised long ago.

  41. Roswell

    Trish, I’d forgotten. My apologies. Time I kept quiet.

    I’m off down the street to do some protesting.

  42. Trish Corry

    Hi Kaye – no not at all. Not in this climate at the moment. Information dumping and leaving it up to people to decide how it applies is now like an insidious cancer on our society. I appreciate the value of your bringing this to the attention of readers. I just wanted more. That is all. I have apologised for being critical twice. I’m not doing it to be painful. I really just think strong arguments from the Independent side is all we have. The media is very much controlled.

  43. corvus boreus

    Harquebus
    The militarization of our law enforcement, indeed a very worrying trend, particularly since it has corresponded not only with a vast increase in powers, but with an overall drop in the standards of personal discipline and public courtesy being displayed by police.

    20 years age, police wore dress caps, ironed shirts, pressed slacks and black shoes. They carried a revolver, baton, handcuffs and a radio. They were clean shaven and showed no visible tattoos. When approaching members of the public for routine matters, they were trained and expected to greet people politely, and identify themselves and their station of assignment before proceeding.

    Nowadays it is baseball caps, flak/tac vests, combat pants and stomper boots. Revolvers have been upgraded to Glocks (+ more ammo), and tazers and mace added to the arsenal each copper carries. Many now sport visible tats (on arms, hands and neck) and shaving seems to have become entirely optional. The old policy of greeting people and identifying/introducing themselves has been officially dispensed with (because, you know, terrorism).
    Older people I know have expressed fear when dealing with this new style of cop; rudely anonymous and overly aggressive, swaggering and slovenly, bristling with weaponry and inked attitude.

    The increasing militarization of our police forces, particularly when coinciding with increasing laxity in standards of discipline and systemic alienation from the rest of society, is heading us down a very scary path.

  44. Kaye Lee

    “no not at all”

    OK. That is your view. You do realise that others may disagree with you? You could be providing “more” in the discussion section – making the links. That was my hope. I was curious about what others would think.

    I admit to skim reading very long articles to get to the discussion – then often going back for clarification. My short attention span was another contributing factor which no doubt also doesn’t matter at all in your estimation.

  45. Harquebus

    corvus boreus
    Is why I refer to them as “law enforcement” and not as “police”.
    Cheers.

  46. Miriam English

    Trish, please don’t take this as confrontational. I value both your contributions and Kaye’s. I just wanted to point out that the beauty of AIMN is that there’s nothing preventing you, or anybody else adding the conclusions that you speak of.

    Where you think Kaye’s article should be extended I would be extremely happy to read more. (I mean that genuinely — the curse of textual conversations is that irony or sarcasm can appear to issue from words where that was not intended.)

  47. Trish Corry

    Kaye, I rarely comment on any of your articles at all. I thought long and hard before commenting today. As I said, it is my opinion. Hordes may disagree with that opinion and you may also as well. You do not need to accept my opinion, nor do you need to take it out of context, without the qualifier and ridicule it, you can just ignore it. I’m off now. I hardly think my opinion is anymore significant than anyone elses. Enjoy your day.

  48. Kaye Lee

    Lots of customs people were horrified when they said they had to carry guns.

    Zis is Border Force. Ve are armed.

  49. Kaye Lee

    Ridicule? Trish, the only options you give me are to totally agree with you or to be quiet.

  50. Miriam English

    Something emphasised over and over again in “From Dictatorship to Democracy” is that violence plays into the hands of authoritarians. They will always be able to use violence much more powerfully than we can. We need different tools that target their weaknesses. Gene Sharp spends much of the book elaborating upon them.

  51. corvus boreus

    Miriam English,
    On the flipside, typed facetiousness, irony, or straight-up smart-arsed sarcasm can sometimes be taken at face value.

    Kaye Lee,
    Sorry, no offense meant, but your article is ‘like an insidious cancer upon society’.

  52. Kaye Lee

    cb, you made me giggle.

    Miriam, I agree. I quote Mahatma Gandhi all the time. His quotes are inspirational – well not so much the religious ones but I often find them applicable.

    Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.

    I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.

    Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.

    In a gentle way, you can shake the world.

  53. John Richardson

    Sorry Roswell!

  54. Michael Taylor

    Don’t be sorry for him, John. He should have taken it as a compliment. ?

  55. John Richardson

    Thanks Michael … clever.

  56. Kate Ahearne

    Trish You said, ‘The media is very much controlled.’ Isn’t that what you’ve been doing? Haven’t you been trying to control how one particular writer expresses herself in the media?

  57. bobrafto

    Kate

    Yes she is trying for the good for all unlike the MSM feeding us garbage to benefit the LNP and their corrupt corporate masters and corporate King Rupert leads their dirty charge.

  58. Phil

    Well Kaye Lee – you sure have opened a Pandora Box here and rightly so – the times demand it.

    The term fascism is so ill defined as to be more confusing than illustrative, although I have no doubt that the Australian government displays creeping fascistic tendencies along the lines you have identified in your article.

    One can call this constellation of fascistic elements whatever one likes, but nonetheless it rings arm bells for democracy and a peaceful coexistence amongst nations and all species that share the planet. Nothing new there – humans have traversed this path many times before – the path is well trodden. The consequences have never been without pain, nor without gain if one allows for the passing of time.

    I think the writings of Jean Paul Marat get us as close as we can get to seeing the essence of our circumstances today. The link below is to a short taster, but you can download for free his full writings “The Chains of Slavery’ (1774)

    These must be the most truthful and hard hitting treatises on the absolute corruption of power I have ever read. His thesis is timeless – it just gets repeated over and over through time and we would do well to understand this as we seek ways to ride out these fascistic storms in our own time.

    Marat’s Chains of Slavery Revisited

  59. Christian Marx

    Australia has every one of these characteristics. We ARE already a Fascist state. 🙁

  60. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Fascist states can be overturned and replaced by Democratic Socialism.

  61. totaram

    Christian Marx: So this is already a fascist state, and your name is Marx? Get in the van!

    Sorry for the humour, but there is nothing else left.

  62. Kate Ahearne

    Hilarious, Jimhaz. Orange Vader?

  63. jimhaz

    There are lots of similar versions on youtube. People are scared. Even I who have stated similar views in a few certain areas (protectionism, limiting muslim immigration, takeover by lobbyists), think he is way way over the top and vile (and always have thought so), as are all his appointments I have seen or read about. Nothing is done with any form of grace, but the opposite. He takes no measures to minimise avoidable harm – so even within small percentage of areas which I have a common desire in principle, I’d rather he did nothing whatsoever. I’m sad for America and the world that we do not have Sanders.

    To be honest the way Trump is going I’m a bit worried about what my mental health might be like in year or two. Hatred is unhealthy. There was a wee bit of Abbott that made him human – but I’ve seen no humanity in Trump. I do not recall any western politician who frightens me as much as Trump. You just don’t know how far out of bounds he might step, or how far his examples might other power obsessed leaders choose.

    Normally a women’s protest would make me get annoyed in that primevil way some of us males are towards contemporary feminist expectations, but this time I find no complaint. Good on them.

  64. Kaye Lee

    What will happen if the Senate and the House of Representatives, both of which have Republican majorities, choose to disagree with Trump? He doesn’t handle that well. Are they going to feel intimidated to ratify his pronouncements? Will there be no checks and balances? He is making Supreme Court appointments, What if he also controls the judiciary?

  65. jimhaz

    Not reassuring enough, but is still positive news. Perhaps Australia has helped to set a good example – yes you can! depose an astray leader felt to be mismanaging from within. Getting Trump supporters with guns to accept that makes it unlikely for a while.

    It will probably depend on what big business sees in their best interests. They’ll be obedient only to a point. There is considerable economic danger in Trumps policies. There must be point when the debt acceleration and losses from industry restructuring by way of overdoing protectionism, becomes GFC Part 2. International reactions to his steamrolling and probable military defense blackmailing will cause economic troubles, not everyone will grin and bear it, support of the US dollar will decrease.

  66. Kate Ahearne

    Kaye, rather belatedly I have organised a Donald Trump Google Alert for myself, and so far it’s v. interesting and v. scary. (I had been relying on the usual sources, but they don’t, probably can’t, address all the bits and pieces.) Anyhow, I’m beginning to think or hope there is a distinct possibility that the Republicans will reject him.

    Jimhaz, Your frankness and your willingness to wonder about long-held attitudes/beliefs is so refreshing. Thank you.

  67. Kaye Lee

    jimhaz and I disagree about many things but he always at least explains his point of view and listens to others. I respect that.

  68. Kate Ahearne

    Kaye, I’ve just been over on your link to read that article. It’s horrible. I need my nighnighs now – nightmares.

  69. strobedriver

    Excellent and succinct article. As an addendum one could checkout the interview back in the 1960s between Gore Vidal and William F, Buckley Jnr, (it’s on Youtube). Buckley became so enraged at being called a krypto-fascist that he threatened to punch Vidal in his ‘queer mouth.’ Vidal however, called it as he saw it with neo-conservatives–there is a deep element of fascism at play in their mindset.

  70. wam

    yes, kaye, we are there in many minds but many are waking.
    The golf club right(including retired police) is no longer vocally ‘adamant’,
    face book is no longer swamped with septic and pommie slogans. Even, the tripe out of usa and brexite has noticably mellowed

    jimhaz it great idea but score gillard the lemon nil – the rabbott nil trunbull nil.

    My casual observation, trump 100 pence zero,
    ps
    Has the success of the women’s march, started a political revolution in Australia?

  71. wam

    oops gillard 100 the lemon 10.

  72. Alan Baird

    It is quite clear from this discussion on contemporary fascistic tendencies that the elevation of Trump is exciting these thoughts. We need to prevail upon Mark Riley of Channel 7 to cross the Pacific and ask one, just one, impertinent question. Almost certainly, this one action by this powerful, hypnotically controlling individual will trigger Trump to instantly tune out and begin nodding in a distracted fashion for the following 30 seconds. His mojo will be lost, irrevocably, as our immediate past PM amply demonstrated, again as seen on television. Trump will never recover (as Tony didn’t), and the American will soon be munching distractedly upon onions as he vainly attempts to regain attention and legitimacy on factory tours clad in hi-vis gear plus helmet. Er, as seen on television, that is. He’ll be sunk without trace, honest.

  73. jimhaz

    [oops gillard 100 the lemon 10]

    🙂 thats better. I had lot of complaints about Gillard in relation to poor or rushed implementation of strategies and no increase in Newstart – but I feel she was just unlucky to have both the ultimate oppositionalist in Abbott and no real attack dog counterbalance on her side, together with the blatantly corrupt press suffering from Murdoch cancer.

  74. Kaye Lee

    Not to mention the Rudd factor.

    I agree that some of her policies weren’t perfect (mining tax for example) but she got them started and they could have been tweaked and improved as time passed.

    I cannot fathom why both parties are so resistant to increasing Newstart. Everybody, including the Productivity Commission and the Business Council, have agreed it is essential.

  75. helvityni

    Oh, dear, now David Pendleton is leaving ABC, he is the fourth executive to leave since Michelle Guthrie took over….

    Sad, but I’m not surprised, I’m sure more will follow…

  76. Ella Miller

    I am starting to wonder whether sections of our community are living in a domestic violence like relationship, where the PERPETRATOR

    our GOVERNMENT is trying to convince;

    the unemployed..that it is their fault for not “earning or learning”
    the pensioners that “they should be ashamed if they apply for the pension”
    it is the home buyers fault if they can’t buy a home because they are not moving to B.Joyce country
    the sick on waiting times in hospitals ..it is their fault for not having private insurance
    those who find it hard to live on the minimum wage are blamed for not getting a better job.
    It is all the refugees fault for seeking refuge.

    I wonder what and how long will it take for the victims to wake up to the fact that it is NOT ALL their fault.

    When a government tries to reinterpret our lived experience we are on a slippery slide.

    Kaye Lee I agree with you. YOU ARE SPOT ON.

  77. jimhaz

    @ Kate and Kate

    Thanks guys for the positive feedback. Being honest is important to me. More important than being nice so as to fit in. I like to challenge conventional or group thinking, even though this increases my “error rate” (The Australia Day-Muslim girls billboard a recent example – I didn’t know it was just a fleeting image in a sequence).

    I’m a Gemini and for whatever unfathomable, illusionary or coincidental reason the traits of that star sign seem to match quite well with me. Two minded and inconsistent for example.

    Lol..i just googled Gemini traits and noticed one referring to addictions. It said I should stay off the internet!

    “Gemini would benefit from cultivating self-discipline by taking breaks from the Internet entirely and channelling their pursuit of mental stimulation by doing something that promotes concentration, like reading”

    Nahh.

  78. jimhaz

    The Netherlands welcomes Trump in his own words.

    quite well done.

  79. jimhaz

    The All-Seeing Simpsons Predicted Donald Trump’s Presidency in 2000

    here

    Simpsons writer Dan Greaney told the Hollywood Reporter back in March that the episode was intended as “a warning to America.”
    “That just seemed like the logical last stop before hitting bottom. It was pitched because it was consistent with the vision of America going insane,” he said.

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