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In the political discussion of today, there always comes a risk of being discounted as a crackpot when using a word like “fascist” to describe a political opponent. The word, much like “socialist,” has been so abused since the fall of fascism that it lost its meaning quite some time ago. Comparisons of modern leaders to Hitler tend to be completely void of any substance, and there is even an Internet adage, “Godwin’s law,” that says, “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.”

The word “fascist” has been abused by the left over the years. But a look at Trump’s rhetoric shows scary parallels

ADD TO THAT THE TEN  EASY STEPS TO FASCISM 

by Naomi Wolf

1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy.

2. Create a gulag.
3. Develop a thug caste.

4. Set up an internal surveillance system.

5. Harass citizens’ groups.

6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release.

7. Target key individuals.

8. Control the press.

9. Dissent equals treason.

10. Suspend the rule of law.

#Objectoftheday >> During the Spanish Civil War, many posters were created in support of the anti-fascist Republican forces. The disembodied parts and organic forms in this example attest to the influence of surrealism. Through a collage-like layering of images, the poster contrasts the evil masked face of fascism with the dove of peace. The colors reinforce the message of peace (blue) against that of war (yellow).

Image: Badia Vilató (designer), Ambiciones, Militarismo, Guerra. Esto es el Fascismo. Destrúyelo uniendo tu esfuerza al de los demás. [Ambition, Militarism, War. This Is Fascism. Unite to Destroy It], poster, 1936.

Palazzo della Civiltá Italiana, EUR, Rome, 2009.

The Palace of Italian Civilization is the icon of fascistic architecture under Mussolini. EUR is a new town on the edge of Rome and this building is at its focal point. The building has been used in a number of films, including Julie Taymore’s very strange version of Shakespeare’s Titus with Jessica Lange and Anthony Hopkins. It will soon become the headquarters of the luxury goods firm Fendi.

A rough translation of the inscription: A people of poets, artists,heros,saints,intellectuals, scientists, navigators and migrants

France sees 23.5% rise in Islamophobic attacks post Charlie Hebdo: Report

July 7 2015

Less than 10 minutes after a delivery driver, apparently inspired by al-Qaeda or the Islamic State, last month decapitated a man and rammed a company van into a gas factory in Isere near Lyon, tweets started coming in.

Christian Estrosi, the mayor of Nice and a close associate of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, was one of the first to respond, branding in 140 characters an entire community: “…this dramatic attack in Isere reminds us of the presence of a fifth column in FR [France].”

Nadine Morano, a former minister, quickly followed suit, also denouncing the presence of a “fifth column".  

The reference to France’s “enemy within” is not new: during World War II, the same charge was brought against communists who were described as the “eye” of Moscow. It was also used by anti-Semites to designate French Jews as those who did not assimilate and allegedly plotted against society.

It was far right-wing politician Aymeric Chauprade who, after the Charlie Hebdo massacres in January, first applied the term to French Muslims, a million of whom he described as “sympathetic to terrorism”.

In France, the lure of Islamophobia is strong and can be set off by something as trivial as a culinary recipe: last month the Le Marmiton restaurant in Dunkirk received a barrage of hateful and racist comments after publishing “oriental recipes” on its website.

But France’s mounting hostility towards Muslims goes beyond words. A report published last week by the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF), documents a 23.5 percent rise in “Islamophobic acts” - physical assaults, verbal abuse, and damage to property - since the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January.

CCIF’s chairman, Samy Debah, sees the spike in attacks as a sign of a new malaise in France:

“We have never experienced such a large increase in Islamophobic acts in such a short period of time… Mosques have been attacked and very few have been convicted,” he said.

The report contains numerous cases of Islamophobia: a security guard at a Paris airport who was denied work because “his behaviour and morality” did not meet “necessary safety requirements”; a young woman working in a shop in a Paris suburb who was told by her boss, after her contract was abruptly terminated, “I cannot put my team at risk”; a Muslim schoolgirl who was lectured in front of her class by her teacher on the “principles of secularism and France’s wars of religion” because she was wearing a long skirt.

The report also points to another worrying trend: an increase in violence against women.

“Women are more easily identifiable as Muslims because of their veil,” said Debah. “The attacks tend to target the most vulnerable sections of society.”

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In many settler societies, historically the white population not only supported the police, in part they were the police. Unlike in Old Europe, where in general the masses of people were kept disarmed and landless, in settler colonies often the entire euro-male culture revolved around common and cheap access to land and rifles and the bodies of the oppressed. Posses or militias or “Committees of Correspondence” or lynch mobs of armed men enforced the local settler dictatorship over Indians, Latinos, Afrikans, Asians, North Afrikans, women, etc.  And white men of all classes joined in, to affirm their membership in the most important “class” of all. Settlerism filled the space that fascism normally occupies.

Troops referred to Ferguson protesters as ‘enemy forces’, emails show

Documents detailing military mission during unrest over the police killing of Michael Brown designated ‘enemy forces’ to include ‘general protesters’

Apr. 17 2015

As the Missouri national guard prepared to deploy to the streets of Ferguson last year during protests sparked by the shooting death of Michael Brown, the troops used highly militarised language such as “enemy forces” and “adversaries” to refer to citizen demonstrators.

Documents detailing the military mission divided the crowds that national guards would be likely to encounter into “friendly forces” and “enemy forces” – the latter apparently including “general protesters”.

A briefing for commanders included details of the troops’ intelligence capabilities so that they could “deny adversaries the ability to identify Missouri national guard vulnerabilities”, which the “adversaries” might exploit, “causing embarrassment or harm” to the military force, according to documents obtained in a Freedom of Information Act request by CNN.

And in an ominous-sounding operations security briefing, the national guard warned: “Adversaries are most likely to possess human intelligence (HUMINT), open source intelligence (OSINT), signals intelligence (SIGINT), technical intelligence (TECHINT), and counterintelligence capabilities.”

In less military-style language, the briefing then goes on to detail how protesters might obtain this intelligence – a list of sources no more technical than public records, social media and listening to conversations “being carried out in public” by civic officials or law enforcement, according to the report.

The Missouri governor, Jay Nixon, deployed the state national guard to Ferguson in August after local police forces caused international uproar by firing teargas on demonstrators while armed with gear that even US military veterans said was better suited for the streets of Afghanistan than an American suburb.

“It’s disturbing when you have what amounts to American soldiers viewing American citizens somehow as the enemy,” local alderman Antonio French told CNN.

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Fascism is hard to nail down. However, all of the fascist regimes had the following things in common:

  • Pathological hatred of liberal thinking and the left in general
  • Fetishizing the military
  • Violent homophobia masked as concerned for the traditional nuclear family
  • Destruction of unions or any attempt to organize labour
  • Fear and hatred of immigrants and foreigners generally
  • Blind, unquestioning nationalistic patriotism
  • Use of religious iconography and paradigms
  • Suppression (and mockery of) any kind of intellectualism
  • Elimination of corporate taxes, or any other impediment to private wealth
  • Overt and extensive use of propaganda

Sound familiar?