the reichstag fire

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February 27th 1933: Reichstag fire

On this day in 1933, the Reichstag building in Berlin, which housed the German Parliament, was set on fire. The Nazi government of Adolf Hitler then ordered a thorough hunt to track down the arsonist. The police identified the perpetrator as Marinus van der Lubbe, a Dutch communist; he and four other Communist leaders were arrested for their supposed role in the blaze. The Nazis used the event as evidence of a Communist plot in Germany, and Hitler urged President Hindenburg to pass an emergency decree to counter the Communist threat. This Reichstag Fire Decree gave Hitler considerable powers, and is considered a pivotal moment in Hitler’s consolidation of power into a one-party dictatorship. Van der Lubbe was found guilty and executed by guillotine on January 10th 1934. However, his role has been questioned by historians with some even suggesting he was not responsible and that the fire was ordered by the Nazis themselves.

anyone else who thinks this is fucking terrifying? he’s straight up telling everyone to blame the judge and the entire court system for any future terrorist attack. this isn’t just mr. pissboy throwing a tantrum, it’s worse than that. this is preparing the groundwork, so that when a terrorist attack happens, trump can blame the court system and justify weakening it to gain more power. it’s the fucking Reichstag fire all over again

The number of Americans who have been killed here at home by jihadi terrorists since 9/11 is fewer than 100 — you are literally more likely to get struck by lightning than killed by a terrorist. But it’s vital to Trump that Americans exist in a state of ongoing fear.
 
 

Trump’s presidency, like his campaign, is built on a set of powerful negative emotions: fear, hate, disgust, contempt, resentment. When Americans think of the world outside our borders, he wants us to think of two things: foreigners that are ripping us off, and foreigners that are trying to kill us.
 
 
What is all this leading to? We need to be seriously concerned about a Reichstag Fire scenario, in which some dramatic event like a terrorist attack occurs, and the administration moves swiftly to exploit it for its own ends. We’ve been through that before, and not that long ago. After the attacks of September 11, 2001, Congress rushed to pass the USA PATRIOT Act, giving the government sweeping new powers to monitor, detain, and spy on Americans. In the atmosphere of fear and anger, it was passed 357-66 in the House and 98-1 in the Senate.

Nazis weren’t socialists.  Just Stop.

Look, I get why you think that.  “National Socialism!  It’s right in the name!”  It’s easy to think that, but I’m here to tell you exactly why you’re wrong.

And it’s a matter of stipulative definitions.  If you don’t know what they are:

If you want a clear example of how they’re used, one such example is the social justice definition of racism, dissected in the link.

They’re definitions that only apply to one very specific context, and Hitler’s usage of the term Socialism was clearly shown to be a stipulative one in a speech on November 16th, 1928.

“We have to strip the terms ‘Nationalism’ and ‘Socialism’ of their previous meaning. Only that man is a nationalist who stands by his people, and only that man is a socialist who stands up for the rights of his people both internally and externally.”

Standing up for the rights of Aryan Germans was, in Nazi Germany, the definition of a socialist in the phrase “National Socialist”.  This was in connection to what he pushed as the “National Community” which was the Aryan version of American Exceptionalism (”we’re better than everyone, we have a right to expand and take what we need, etc.”).  It wasn’t “Nationalism + Socialist”, a mixing of two ideologies.  It was an entirely new ideology.

He would go on to explicitly say that National Socialism “did not lie in socialism as a universal panacea nor was it a nationalist variant of that idea.”

“But what about the economics of Germany?”

He explained the over-arching philosophy of Nazi Germany’s economy as well in a meeting in 1930 with Strauss in Munich.  He was asked in reference to major German corporations like Krupp, ver-batim  

“Would everything remain unchanged in terms of ownership, profits and management?” 

Hitler’s reply?

“But of course.  Do you think I’m mad enough to destroy the economy?”

He would only step in and seize control of corporations when they worked against what he determined to be “the national interest”.

Which is why, when you rub two brain cells together, Schindler had enough money to save all those Jewish people.  He had political clout and wealth not from being a Party Member (like in soviet russia) but from being a rich businessman who didn’t work against the “national interest”.

Another thing to keep in mind was that Hitler didn’t call socialists “Socialists”.  He labeled them and their movement as “simply marxist(m)”.

He even used socialists and communists as scapegoats and persecuted them.  The Reichstag fire was famously blamed on communists.  He had Goebbels actively prevent socialists from running articles and speeches promoting their ideas.  Socialists were regularly arrested and sent to labor camps. The Night of Long Knives explicitly targeted Socialists and Communists for execution.

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March 23rd 1933: Enabling Act passed

On this day in 1933, the German Reichstag passed the Enabling Act, which essentially secured Adolf Hitler’s position as dictator of Germany. The law gave Chancellor Hitler legal powers to establish his dictatorship as it gave the Cabinet the power to enact laws independently of the legislature - the Reichstag. Its formal name was ‘Law to Remedy the Distress of People and Reich’. Hitler had been appointed Chancellor on January 30th and just before the scheduled election, the Reichstag fire occurred. The Nazis used the incident to suggest a Communist revolution was imminent and passed the Reichstag Fire Decree which suspended civil liberties and habeas corpus. The Nazis failed to gain an absolute majority in the Reichstag, so Hitler drafted the Enabling Act to secure his position. The Nazis pressured and threatened representatives of the Reichstag to pass the bill, positioning SA men and Nazi swastikas in and around the building. With the bill’s passing, Hitler’s dictatorship was assured, and thus began a brutal regime which would last until 1945.

“The authority of the Führer has now been wholly established. Votes are no longer taken. The Führer decides. All this is going much faster than we had dared to hope”
- Joseph Goebbels after the passage of the Act

The Reichstag fire was an arson attack on the Reichstag building (German parliament) in Berlin on February 27, 1933. The Nazis stated that Marinus van der Lubbe, a young Dutch council communist, had been caught at the scene of the fire, and he was arrested for the crime. Van der Lubbe was an unemployed bricklayer who had recently arrived in Germany. The Nazis stated that van der Lubbe had declared that he had started the fire. Van der Lubbe was tried and sentenced to death. The fire was used as evidence by the Nazi Party that communists were plotting against the German government. The event is seen as pivotal in the establishment of Nazi Germany.

Adolf Hitler, who had been sworn in as Chancellor of Germany on January 30, urged President Paul von Hindenburg (President of the Weimar Republic) to pass an emergency decree, the Reichstag Fire Decree, to suspend civil liberties in order to counter the ruthless confrontation of the Communist Party of Germany; under the decree, most civil liberties in Germany, including habeas corpus, freedom of expression, freedom of the press, the right of free association and public assembly, and the secrecy of the post and telephone were suspended and were never again renewed under the Nazi regime.

After passing the decree, the government instituted mass arrests of communists, including all of the Communist Party parliamentary delegates. With their bitter rival communists gone and their seats empty, the Nazi Party went from being a plurality party to the majority, thus enabling Hitler to consolidate his power through the passage of the Enabling Act, a special law that gave the Chancellor the power to pass laws by decree, without the involvement of the Reichstag; the Nazis devised the Enabling Act to gain complete political power without the need of the support of a majority in the Reichstag and without the need to bargain with their coalition partners.

The measure went into force on March 27, 1933, and, in effect, made Hitler dictator of Germany. [x]

Yale historian, professor, and Holocaust expert Timothy Snyder shared the following powerful thoughts:

Americans are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience. Now is a good time to do so. Here are twenty lessons from the twentieth century, adapted to the circumstances of today.

1. Do not obey in advance. Much of the power of authoritarianism is freely given. In times like these, individuals think ahead about what a more repressive government will want, and then start to do it without being asked. You’ve already done this, haven’t you? Stop. Anticipatory obedience teaches authorities what is possible and accelerates unfreedom.

2. Defend an institution. Follow the courts or the media, or a court or a newspaper. Do not speak of “our institutions” unless you are making them yours by acting on their behalf. Institutions don’t protect themselves. They go down like dominoes unless each is defended from the beginning.

3. Recall professional ethics. When the leaders of state set a negative example, professional commitments to just practice become much more important. It is hard to break a rule-of-law state without lawyers, and it is hard to have show trials without judges.

4. When listening to politicians, distinguish certain words. Look out for the expansive use of “terrorism” and “extremism.” Be alive to the fatal notions of “exception” and “emergency.” Be angry about the treacherous use of patriotic vocabulary.

5. Be calm when the unthinkable arrives. When the terrorist attack comes, remember that all authoritarians at all times either await or plan such events in order to consolidate power. Think of the Reichstag fire. The sudden disaster that requires the end of the balance of power, the end of opposition parties, and so on, is the oldest trick in the Hitlerian book. Don’t fall for it.

6. Be kind to our language. Avoid pronouncing the phrases everyone else does. Think up your own way of speaking, even if only to convey that thing you think everyone is saying. (Don’t use the internet before bed. Charge your gadgets away from your bedroom, and read.) What to read? Perhaps “The Power of the Powerless” by Václav Havel, 1984 by George Orwell, The Captive Mind by Czesław Milosz, The Rebel by Albert Camus, The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt, or Nothing is True and Everything is Possible by Peter Pomerantsev.

7. Stand out. Someone has to. It is easy, in words and deeds, to follow along. It can feel strange to do or say something different. But without that unease, there is no freedom. And the moment you set an example, the spell of the status quo is broken, and others will follow.

8. Believe in truth. To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power, because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle. The biggest wallet pays for the most blinding lights.

9. Investigate. Figure things out for yourself. Spend more time with long articles. Subsidize investigative journalism by subscribing to print media. Realize that some of what is on your screen is there to harm you. Bookmark PropOrNot or other sites that investigate foreign propaganda pushes.

10. Practice corporeal politics. Power wants your body softening in your chair and your emotions dissipating on the screen. Get outside. Put your body in unfamiliar places with unfamiliar people. Make new friends and march with them.

11. Make eye contact and small talk. This is not just polite. It is a way to stay in touch with your surroundings, break down unnecessary social barriers, and come to understand whom you should and should not trust. If we enter a culture of denunciation, you will want to know the psychological landscape of your daily life.

12. Take responsibility for the face of the world. Notice the swastikas and the other signs of hate. Do not look away and do not get used to them. Remove them yourself and set an example for others to do so.

13. Hinder the one-party state. The parties that took over states were once something else. They exploited a historical moment to make political life impossible for their rivals. Vote in local and state elections while you can.

14. Give regularly to good causes, if you can. Pick a charity and set up autopay. Then you will know that you have made a free choice that is supporting civil society helping others doing something good.

15. Establish a private life. Nastier rulers will use what they know about you to push you around. Scrub your computer of malware. Remember that email is skywriting. Consider using alternative forms of the internet, or simply using it less. Have personal exchanges in person. For the same reason, resolve any legal trouble. Authoritarianism works as a blackmail state, looking for the hook on which to hang you. Try not to have too many hooks.

16. Learn from others in other countries. Keep up your friendships abroad, or make new friends abroad. The present difficulties here are an element of a general trend. And no country is going to find a solution by itself. Make sure you and your family have passports.

17. Watch out for the paramilitaries. When the men with guns who have always claimed to be against the system start wearing uniforms and marching around with torches and pictures of a Leader, the end is nigh. When the pro-Leader paramilitary and the official police and military intermingle, the game is over.

18. Be reflective if you must be armed. If you carry a weapon in public service, God bless you and keep you. But know that evils of the past involved policemen and soldiers finding themselves, one day, doing irregular things. Be ready to say no. (If you do not know what this means, contact the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and ask about training in professional ethics.)

19. Be as courageous as you can. If none of us is prepared to die for freedom, then all of us will die in unfreedom.

20. Be a patriot. The [new] president is not. Set a good example of what America means for the generations to come. They will need it.

anonymous asked:

Thoughts on Antifa?

Antifa is just the tip of the iceberg.

I first got this question in my inbox shortly after the first Antifa riot on the night of Milo Yiannopoulos’s Berkeley speech, but I’ve been sitting on it for two reasons: one, to take time to formalize my thoughts better, and two, to avoid a “rush to judgement.” You see, it’s not Antifa specifically we must worry about, but rather how the left wing itself reacts to them.

In my multipleresponses to my Friendly Local Antifa, I’ve been very clear that just because extremists exist (and they will always exist -) doesn’t mean that they speak or act for any larger group. To claim they do is a classic fascist tactic, as evidenced by Hitler’s exploitation of the Reichstag fire as a casus belli to round up his Communist political opponents. Letting violent radicals act without serious efforts to stymie or punish them, or even praising and normalizing their motivations while weakly impugning their behavior, is also a classic authoritarian tactic, something the left wing is quick to note in the context of the Ku Klux Klan, but never apply to the likes of the Earth Liberation Front. That’s why I mention “Illinois Nazis” so much - the mere existence of some goose-stepping retards doesn’t even establish them as a threat in and of themselves, much less a movement with actual national political power.

This applies to “Antifa” because what they really are is pro-Communist radicals. It’s curious that reporting on Antifa never, ever seems to mention it, even though ten seconds on Google turns up some damning images pretty fast. These people have never been shy about being Communist radicals, or advertising it to the world. Considered in a vacuum, then, they’re just Illinois Commies brawling with Illinois Nazis. As the Beatles reminded us, just because they carry pictures of Chairman Mao doesn’t mean they’re gonna make it with anyone, anyhow. So I waited, and watched, to see if the larger wave of hysteria, obstructionism and outright violence would abate naturally as people wound down from the heightened passions of the election.

They haven’t. On the 15th of April (two days ago,) yet another wave of mass protests were staged across the country, with the theme being “Trump should release his tax returns.” The closest one to me was only twelve miles distant, in Ann Arbor, MI. Home of the University of Michigan, the city’s small, wealthy, ultra-left and nestled in the middle of a conservative, rural area - and the protest’s highlight speakers (including a few Senators) delivered their speeches on the University’s quad. (This is the exact kind of campus speaking event that Antifa used violence and thuggery to silence at Berkeley when the speaker was conservative.) Obama-appointed government officials have openly defied the lawful orders of the sitting President, and been openly and loudly lauded for it by the left wing. Members of our intelligence agencies have committed actual, unambiguous treason by leaking classified intelligence to a corporate media that writes every article with malice aforethought in a concerted and untiring effort to undermine the legitimacy of the office of the President of the United States. The left has proudly bragged of the multiple municipal governments - you know, cities - swearing to defy Federal law and law enforcement authorities, and some have even called for left-wing enclave California to secede from the Union. They have scrambled to erect every possible barrier to the President’s cabinet nominations, damn the consequences to effective governance, and the unfolding intelligence scandal is revealing how the power of secretive agencies was abused by Obama’s administration to undermine and slander his incoming successor. And of course, there’s the thuggery and violence on the street, waged by the likes of Antifa.

These are the tangible consequences of the left wing’s constant calls for “resistance” to the President - these are not just words, but a national policy that’s been put into action. This isn’t just cute pins to show off to your lit club buddies how “woke” you are - it’s widespread, tangible popular support for the politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen working towards their ends. And though they might call that end “resistance,” they really mean revolution.

Daniel Greenfield of Frontpage Magazine wrote a beautifully succinct summary that you should absolutely read in full, but his most crucial paragraphs were these:

There is no form of legal authority that the left accepts as a permanent institution. It only utilizes forms of authority selectively when it controls them. But when government officials refuse the orders of the duly elected government because their allegiance is to an ideology whose agenda is in conflict with the President and Congress, that’s not activism, protest, politics or civil disobedience; it’s treason.

After losing Congress, the left consolidated its authority in the White House. After losing the White House, the left shifted its center of authority to Federal judges and unelected government officials. Each defeat led the radicalized Democrats to relocate from more democratic to less democratic institutions.

This isn’t just hypocrisy. That’s a common political sin. Hypocrites maneuver within the system. The left has no allegiance to the system. It accepts no laws other than those dictated by its ideology.

Democrats have become radicalized by the left. This doesn’t just mean that they pursue all sorts of bad policies. It means that their first and foremost allegiance is to an ideology, not the Constitution, not our country or our system of government. All of those are only to be used as vehicles for their ideology.

That’s why compromise has become impossible.

The ideological divide in the left wing is nothing new - it started in earnest in 1969, when the socialist-communist bloc of the party first gained real traction versus the “classic” New Deal progressive Democrats. The rift has grown steadily since then, culminating in the last election, when the New Deal Democrats, the blue-collar union voters flipped the “blue wall” of the Rust Belt red for the first time since Reagan. The difference now is that the socialist-communist based branch of the party now control it, definitively. Their ideology and values are completely alien to the founding principles of America, the principles for which its laws were built to enshrine, nurture, and protect. This is why political compromise has grown more and more difficult in America - the common ground between parties simply doesn’t exist, and even if it did, socialist-communist ideology has never been based on the concept of compromise or reconciliation.

Communist ideology is based on revolution - in fact it’s a cornerstone of the ideology. Revolution, by definition, is a complete and utter rejection of the legitimacy of the existing structure of society. The left wing reveals their disdain for our society in everything they say and do - their perennial crusade against every aspect of capitalism, (“Big Whatever,” “Occupy Wall-Street,”) their endless trust in the sanctity and flawlessness of public institutions versus “greedy” private enterprise and, above all, their unceasing devotion to righting the myriad “crimes” of “social injustice.” Hell, with “social injustice” it’s right there in the name. They reject, on every possible level, the most basic building blocks of Western society in general.

The true significance of Antifa is the widespread popular support their thuggery has received from the left wing - it indicates the final abandonment of any pretense to democracy or fair dealing on their part. This is precisely why their language has taken on the tones of revolution and war as of late, dividing the populace into “us” versus “Nazis.” In our secular society, Nazis are tantamount to demons; inhuman, beneath consideration save through a rifle scope. The label’s a simple and effective way to dehumanize people, and that’s the first step in the conditioning required to kill.

It’s already accelerating. After the Berkeley police made a point of confiscating weapons - and anything usable as a weapon - from anyone converging on the park ahead of the latest scuffle in Berkeley, Antifa took to reddit to argue for outright arming themselves with firearms. (Note how California’s ban on open carry, implemented by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown in 2011 suddenly becomes Reagan’s fault.) And other outlets are calling for leftists to degrade or destroy any government apparatus they do not control.

We have been down this road before, more than once - the spate of anarchist bombings back in 1919, the radical left terrorist bombings by the Weatherman Underground, and many others. But even at the height of anti-war activism in the late 60s and early 70s, things were never this bad. Much of it owes to new media - it’s atrophied the once-ironfast stranglehold the corporate media had on political discourse in this nation, which has pushed the left wing to resort to more brutish tactics to silence their opposition - doxxing, threats, intimidation and, of course, “de-platforming.” New media has also allowed the classic “grassroots” organizational tactics pioneered by Chicago machine politics to go large-scale (moveon.org et al.) The older people, the wiser people, the experienced and the jaded - I’ve talked to them all, and they all agree that it has never been this bad. The battle lines have been clearly drawn and the battles are being waged openly, vigorously and without apology.

Not every Democrat or liberal is a leftist - far, far from it, in fact. But I fear that the Democratic party is far too gone for the sane people to reassert control over it. As Greenfield points out, the left has retreated to “cultural urban and suburban enclaves where it has centralized tremendous amounts of power while disregarding the interests and values of most of the country. If it considers them at all, it is convinced that they will shortly disappear to be replaced by compliant immigrants and college indoctrinated leftists who will form a permanent demographic majority for its agenda. But it couldn’t wait that long because it is animated by the conviction that enforcing its ideas is urgent and inevitable. And so it turned what had been a hidden transition into an open break.” These people, long assured of their intrinsic superiority, are now confident in their eventual supremacy - and thus they are contesting the legitimacy of the President of the United States, and indeed our entire government, directly. We have been down this path before, too - it led to the Civil War.

That phrase - civil war - is the second reason I let this post percolate for so long. I’m naturally antithetical to hysterical “sky is falling” arguments, as they’re invariably full of shit and trying to sway people with fear and emotion, the facts be utterly damned. The current spate of gay, lesbian and transgender people buying guns for self-defense against the imaginary hordes of Right-Wing Gestapo comes as no surprise, because I’ve watched Conservatives panic-buying AR-15s after every shooting on the evening news for eight goddamn years. And for eight years I called them hooting morons because Obama’s desire to “git all yer gunz” far, far outstripped his ability to do so, legally and politically. Political vigilance against gun control is always needed, yes, but people rushing to the stores and stockpiling (then-scarce) ammo in their basement were expecting a ban tomorrow, despite over a decade of Democrats losing ground on the national gun control debate, to say nothing of the Supreme Court rulings upholding - and incorporating - an individual right to keep and bear arms. And the ones I scorned and mocked the most were the ones insisting they might need to use their new rifles in the not-so-distant future; that social unrest and even violence was just around the corner. I held these people to be the right-wing incarnation of the hysterical left-wing ninnies I so loathed and spared not my scorn, because being on my side of the fence didn’t make them any less an idiot.

The day after the Berkeley riot, I decided it was about time I got off my ass and purchased an AR-15.

For the first time in my life, I am truly afraid for my country - and for my friends, my family, and myself.

A talk on fear

refering to this post that’s about how Major cities aren’t save anymore because of terrorism.

A Disclaimer, I don’t judge anyone who reblogged this. I - by Chance - saw it.

Terrorism is scary. Being afraid of it is human. But fleeing the cities is giving into fear. That’s what the terrorists want – to make you fear for your life, to have control over you.
Don’t get me wrong, for anyone who lost or loses someone in an attack, I can understand the hate, grief and sorrow. I don’t disregard this.
Terrorism can and will never destroy the western world. All they can do is make us fear. Make us stop living a normal life. This is all they want – control over your mind by fear.
They want you to believe you could die tomorrow. It’s an irrational fear, it’s highly unlikely you die because of terrorism. Do you enter a car? Using your reasoning, you probably shouldn’t even leave your room.
Think about it: Have you been in a car accident? Do you know someone whose life was impacted because of a car accident? Maybe died because of it? Do the same for terrorism.
Terrorist want to exploit your fear, they want to make you vote for right-winged-extremists because of it. They want you to elect someone who wants to fight all Muslims because of terrorism, so they can justify their war against the west.
Don’t obey their will: Accept the fact that we have had more terrorist attacks in the last years – in Europe. Accept it as there is no way around it. And show them you don’t let them control you. Stand up for what you believe, tolerance, safety, freedom, peace. Defend your values, don’t let fear take them away from you. Because terrorists aren’t the only ones who want to use your fear against you – politicians, at least a little group of them, want to do that, too. They want you to give them more power by willingly giving up on freedom for security. Truth is, as Dwight Eisenhower said, “if you want total security, go to prison”. But you will be lacking freedom. If you are willing to trade freedom for security, you will lose both.
And now, I want to give you an example in history where people gave into fear. 1933, Germany. Hitler hadn’t ceased power when the attack on the Reichstag occurred. In German, we call it the ‘Reichstagbrand’. To this day, it’s not clear who lit the Reichstag on fire. But it lead to an executive order signed by the former General and chancellor of Germany, Hindenburg, to declare a state of emergency. A few days later, Hitler was elected and told to form a government. The state of emergency granted him a lot of power and the state ended 12 years later – in 1945. When Hitler was dead, Germany defeated. Hitler passed another decree a bit later, the enabling act, that let him be Führer, not just chancellor. But people accepted this, no, they wanted it. Because they wanted security – if it meant giving up a bit of their freedom, so be it. A similar thing happened in Italy. A lot can be justified in the name of security if you give into fear.
Believe me, I don’t want anyone to die because of terrorism. But we must not hide. It’s the only way, as citizens, to fight them. To win against them. By continuing to live normally, we show them they can’t control us. Defend your freedom, and your institutions. There are too many who want to take them away from you, the worst is, they can justify it well. Mourn the dead of terrorist attacks, be angry. But be weary of the impact of terrorist attacks. You may give people more power, specifically your government and the terrorists, if you let yourself be controlled by the fear of terrorism.

Watch for the Reichstag Fire.

This orange jackass tricked his people.
Dementia-ridden, obese and feeble,
He slams his name on every executive order,
Increasing tensions while targeting our borders,
Racing towards an isolated authoritarian state,
He attacks bad press and calls it fake.
Our sedated country awakens from slumber,
As if Russian collusion were sharp claps of thunder.
Our fragile system resists reinvention,
But one day his efforts will see ascension.
Oppression, confusion, proposed ‘tax cuts,’
Division, Obstruction,
As he blocks the truth from us.
Is he just out for money?
Or long deprived validation?
Neither would qualify running our nation.

We organize marches and our town halls are packed,
but I fear for our nation.

We’re under attack.

blackblocberniebros  asked:

Do we have much writing by anarchists in Europe who lived through fascism or the lead-up to fascism? I'd especially value Rudolf Rocker's opinion. What did they think about how to go about practicing anti-fascism?

well Nationalism and Culture would be the closest Rocker text to what you’re talking about, but it’s more about the intellectual underpinnings of fascism, he left Germany in 1933 I think… I think it was a pretty mixed bag in terms of strategies, Erich Muhsam did a lot of ridiculing and satire, wrote anti-nazi cabaret shows etc, but he was arrested immediately after the Reichstag fire - the big orgs like the FAUD were basically smashed and non existent by the 40s, but there was an underground anarchist network in Germany which did stuff like smuggle people out of the country so they could go and fight Franco, we’ll never really know much about it though, because the only hard evidence we have is the documentation from the Gestapo raids and trials. 

There were assassination attempts, like when Gino Lucetti threw a bomb at Mussolini in 1926, and anarchist partisans who fought all over Italy in the forties, but not a lot of writing was done by those folks. One of the best accounts of street level antifascist organising in the 30s is Joe Jacobs autobiography’ “Out of the Ghetto”, he wasn’t an anarchist though, he was a communist party member (but quite an unruly one who was thrown out of the party twice) - it’s good because it has an account of the Battle of Cable Street from the perspective of a Jewish communist antifascist organiser, involved at the grassroots in the struggle against fascism in the UK - so definitely worth a look.

3

February 27th 1933: Reichstag fire

On this day in 1933 the Reichstag building in Berlin, which housed the German Parliament, was set on fire. The Nazi government of Adolf Hitler then ordered a thorough hunt to track down the arsonist. The police identified the perpetrator as Marinus van der Lubbe, a Dutch communist; he and four other Communist leaders were arrested for their supposed role in the blaze. The Nazis used the event as evidence of a Communist plot in Germany, and Hitler urged President Hindenburg to pass an emergency decree to counter the Communist threat . This Reichstag Fire Decree gave Hitler considerable powers, and is considered a pivotal moment in Hitler’s consolidation of power into a one-party dictatorship. Van der Lubbe was found guilty and executed by guillotine on January 10th 1934. However, his role has been questioned by historians with some even suggesting he was not responsible and that the fire was ordered by the Nazis themselves.

Americans are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience. Now is a good time to do so. Here are twenty lessons from the twentieth century, adapted to the circumstances of today.
1. Do not obey in advance. Much of the power of authoritarianism is freely given. In times like these, individuals think ahead about what a more repressive government will want, and then start to do it without being asked. You’ve already done this, haven’t you? Stop. Anticipatory obedience teaches authorities what is possible and accelerates unfreedom.
2. Defend an institution. Follow the courts or the media, or a court or a newspaper. Do not speak of “our institutions” unless you are making them yours by acting on their behalf. Institutions don’t protect themselves. They go down like dominoes unless each is defended from the beginning.
3. Recall professional ethics. When the leaders of state set a negative example, professional commitments to just practice become much more important. It is hard to break a rule-of-law state without lawyers, and it is hard to have show trials without judges.
4. When listening to politicians, distinguish certain words. Look out for the expansive use of “terrorism” and “extremism.” Be alive to the fatal notions of “exception” and “emergency.” Be angry about the treacherous use of patriotic vocabulary.
5. Be calm when the unthinkable arrives. When the terrorist attack comes, remember that all authoritarians at all times either await or plan such events in order to consolidate power. Think of the Reichstag fire. The sudden disaster that requires the end of the balance of power, the end of opposition parties, and so on, is the oldest trick in the Hitlerian book. Don’t fall for it.
6. Be kind to our language. Avoid pronouncing the phrases everyone else does. Think up your own way of speaking, even if only to convey that thing you think everyone is saying. (Don’t use the internet before bed. Charge your gadgets away from your bedroom, and read.) What to read? Perhaps “The Power of the Powerless” by Václav Havel, 1984 by George Orwell, The Captive Mind by Czesław Milosz, The Rebel by Albert Camus, The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt, or Nothing is True and Everything is Possible by Peter Pomerantsev.
7. Stand out. Someone has to. It is easy, in words and deeds, to follow along. It can feel strange to do or say something different. But without that unease, there is no freedom. And the moment you set an example, the spell of the status quo is broken, and others will follow.
8. Believe in truth. To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power, because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle. The biggest wallet pays for the most blinding lights.
9. Investigate. Figure things out for yourself. Spend more time with long articles. Subsidize investigative journalism by subscribing to print media. Realize that some of what is on your screen is there to harm you. Learn about sites that investigate foreign propaganda pushes.
10. Practice corporeal politics. Power wants your body softening in your chair and your emotions dissipating on the screen. Get outside. Put your body in unfamiliar places with unfamiliar people. Make new friends and march with them.
11. Make eye contact and small talk. This is not just polite. It is a way to stay in touch with your surroundings, break down unnecessary social barriers, and come to understand whom you should and should not trust. If we enter a culture of denunciation, you will want to know the psychological landscape of your daily life.
12. Take responsibility for the face of the world. Notice the swastikas and the other signs of hate. Do not look away and do not get used to them. Remove them yourself and set an example for others to do so.
13. Hinder the one-party state. The parties that took over states were once something else. They exploited a historical moment to make political life impossible for their rivals. Vote in local and state elections while you can.
14. Give regularly to good causes, if you can. Pick a charity and set up autopay. Then you will know that you have made a free choice that is supporting civil society helping others doing something good.
15. Establish a private life. Nastier rulers will use what they know about you to push you around. Scrub your computer of malware. Remember that email is skywriting. Consider using alternative forms of the internet, or simply using it less. Have personal exchanges in person. For the same reason, resolve any legal trouble. Authoritarianism works as a blackmail state, looking for the hook on which to hang you. Try not to have too many hooks.
16. Learn from others in other countries. Keep up your friendships abroad, or make new friends abroad. The present difficulties here are an element of a general trend. And no country is going to find a solution by itself. Make sure you and your family have passports.
17. Watch out for the paramilitaries. When the men with guns who have always claimed to be against the system start wearing uniforms and marching around with torches and pictures of a Leader, the end is nigh. When the pro-Leader paramilitary and the official police and military intermingle, the game is over.
18. Be reflective if you must be armed. If you carry a weapon in public service, God bless you and keep you. But know that evils of the past involved policemen and soldiers finding themselves, one day, doing irregular things. Be ready to say no. (If you do not know what this means, contact the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and ask about training in professional ethics.)
19. Be as courageous as you can. If none of us is prepared to die for freedom, then all of us will die in unfreedom.
20. Be a patriot. The incoming president is not. Set a good example of what America means for the generations to come. They will need it.
— 

Timothy Snyder, Housum Professor of History, Yale University, 15 November 2016.

This blog is no longer attempting to be an apolitical entity. Silence is complicity. Knowledge is power. And now is the time for historians to take a stand and speak out against dangerous precedents, official erasure, presidential untruths (or “alternative facts”), and the histories of authoritarian movements and oppression as they relate to our national and global realities.

I’m sorry for posting political stuff on my main blog, but people really really really need to be watching for this.

Trump has lost control of his own narrative with the backlash from his firing of James Comey. He needs it back, so he’ll try to distract us again, and soon. Whatever it is, it’ll have to be big. 

I wouldn’t put it past him to bomb Syria again or provoke North Korea. If he’s run out of time for a Reichstag fire moment, Bannon will help him make one.

Brace yourselves.

Germany 1918-1939 (Dawn of the Third Reich)

To any student sitting their History GCSE exam like me in the next month or so, this may prove helpful! I wrote it up in class, using my textbook to get the correct dates.

1918
January:
Wilson’s 14 Points announced
November: Kaiser Wilhelm abdicated the throne of Germany
November: Armistice was signed and World War 1 officially ended.

1919
January:
Sparticist Revolt. Led by Rosa Luxembourg and Karl Liebknecht. Stopped by the Freikorps. Luxembourg and Liebknecht murdered.
February: Friedrich Ebert declared first President of the Weimar Republic.
June 28th: Treaty of Versailles signed by all parties. Formally ends the war.
September:
Hitler joins the German Workers’ Party in Munich.

1920
March:
Kapp Putsch. Led by Dr. Wolfgang Kapp. Seized the city of Berlin. Ebert called a general strike which crippled the putsch. Kapp fled but was captured later, died in custody from cancer.

1922
June 24th:
German foreign minister Walter Rathenau is assassinated by terrorist group Organisation Consul.
December 27th: French and Belgian troops invade and occupy the Ruhr after Germany fails to make reparations payments. Over 100 civilians die as Ebert calls for passive resistance. Ebert begins printing money to cover the cost of supporting expelled civilians.

1923
October:
Hyperinflation begins gripping the German economy. Prices soar.
November 8th-9th: National Socialist party (Nazis) launch the Munich Putsch in an attempt to seize the Bavarian (Munich) government. Put down by police and army units. Hitler, Ludendorff and Rohm arrested. Hitler sentenced (February 24th 1924) to 5 years imprisonment in Landsberg prison.

1924
December 20th:
Hitler released from Landsberg prison after serving less than a year of his sentence.

1925
February 25th:
President Ebert dies in office. Hindenburg replaces him.
May: Hitler orders the formation of the Schutzstaffel (SS)
May 22nd: Hitler becomes the leader of the Nazi party.

1926
October:
The Hitler Youth is formally established.

1929
October 24th:
The Wall Street stock exchange in New York city crashes, forcing America and the majority of the major powers into the Great Depression. The number of seats in the Reichstag for the Nazi party increase as Hitler begins winning Germany over.

1930
January:
Ernst Rohm becomes the leader of the SA – the Sturmabteilung.
July:  League of German Girls is established.

1932
July:
The Nazi Party becomes the biggest political party in the Reichstag.
August 30th:
Hermann Goering, Hitler’s deputy, is elected president of the Reichstag.
December 3rd:
Kurt von Schleicher instated as chancellor.

1933
January 27th:
Kurt von Schleicher resigns as chancellor.
January 30th: Hitler is elected as chancellor.
February 27th: Reichstag fire. Communist revolutionaries like Marinus van der Lubbe are blamed.
March 23rd: Enabling Act is passed. Gives Hitler the power to pass laws without Hindenburg.
July: The Nazi Party declared the only official party. All others illegalised
July 20th: Hitler agrees to leave the Catholic churches alone. They agree to stay out of politics.
October 14th: Germany withdraws from the League of Nations.
November 30th:
Goering forms the Gestapo.

1934
June 30th:
Night of the Long Knives. Ernst Rohm assassinated, as are many politicl opponents or threats to Hitler’s power.
August 2nd: President Hindenburg dies. Hitler becomes Fuhrer.

1936
March 7th:
Hitler orders the remilitarisation of the Rhinelands, against the Treaty of Versailles.
July 22nd: Hitler pledges support to General Franco of Spain for the civil war. Tested out new military weapons.
August 1st: Berlin Olympic Games. All Anti-Jewish propaganda removed.
October 25th: Hitler and Mussolini form the Rome-Berlin Axis.
November 25th: Germany, Japan, and later Italy, form the Anti-Comintern Pact.

1938
March 13th:
Germany achieves Anschluss with Austria, defying the Versailles treaty.
November 9th: Kristallnacht (Crystal Night, The Night of Broken Glass). Mass destruction of Jewish property and shops. Over 1,000 Jewish men arrested.

1939
January 5th:
Hitler declares the Polish city of Danzig to be “German” and will “again be part of Germany.”
May 22nd: The Pact of Steel strengthens the German-Italian alliance.
August 23rd: Nazi-Soviety Non-Aggression Pact signed. Contained a plan to divide and invade Poland.
September 1st: Nazi forces invade Poland from the west and triggers World War II when Britain pledges support to the Polish.

A Warning to the People

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After what happened yesterday, the 9th of November 2016, I felt that I had to write something.

I’m going to tell you a story. No, I will tell you about a situation, about a historic period that is not so different than the moment we’re living in.

To let you undestand this story, we have to came back at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. First of all we have to remember what happened in the last years of the 19th century.

The 19th was a cetury of riots and fights. Many nations fought for indipendency and unity. Italy and Germany are the best examples of what happened in those years.

In the 18th of Jenuary 1871, Germany was unified. For the entire century, philosophers, writers, artist, celebrated the German spirit and nationalist ideals were spreading. This situation is the basis to understand the following events.

So, as I’ve said I was going to tell a story. This story began at the end of the First Wolrd War, in 1919. Officially the war ended with the Treaty of Versailles. It ended thw war against Germany. Infact that Treaty was hard and humiliating for the defeated nation. Germany was forced to disarm, make territorial concessions, and pay high reparations. Germans reacted agaist these conditions as a insult to the nation’s honour. Anyway, they had to pay high reparations. This contributed to impoverish the already damaged economy. The country was devasteted by hunger, uneployment. In addiction inflation  reached appalling  levels so as to reduce the mark to a mere waste paper. The riots,  were the order of the day and the government appeared too weak to stem the protests. The specter of a pro-Bolshevik revolution was always more concrete. In political landscape emerged the figure of Adolf Hitler.  He thought that Jews and Communists were responsible for Germany’s defeat. He was nominated leader of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. His party had a military organization through the SA that were used during the Munich putsch, a failed coup attempt in 1923 . Hitler was arrested  and in prison he wrote the Mein Kampf, where he explained his ideas. From 1925 to 1928 Hitler and his party began to have more and more consent. Nevertheless the Nazi Party lost the elections in 1932. But thanks to  the line opponent divisions, to clever political moves and delicate alliance mechanisms, Adolf Hitler nominated  on the 30th of Jenuary 1933, Chancellor of the Reich. At this point we have to understand why a nationalist party had such an increasing success. The answer arrives from America: the Great Depression. In the 1929 there was the Wall Street Crash, the most devastating economic depression of the 20th century. It affected worldwide. The Great Depression hit Germany hard. With the Wall Street Crash America was no longer able to finance the loans to help rebuild the German economy.The unemployment rate reached nearly 30% in 1932, reinforcing support for the Nazi and Communist  parties, causing the collapse of Social Democratic party. Hitler ran for the Presidency in 1932, and even if he lost to the  Hindenberg in the election, it marked a point during which both Nazi Party and the Communist parties rose in the following years. Hitler’s success is based of the support of the middle class that was hardly hit by the economic crisis. Farmers and veterans, instead, were attracted by ideals of folk, the mith of purity of blood and and land. On the 30th Jenuary 1933 Hitler gained power.  Using  the pretext of the Reichstag fire , Hitler issued the Reichstag Fire Decree on the 28th February 1933. The decree suppressed much of the civil rights guaranteed by the Constitution of 1919 of the Weimar Republic in the name of national security and the  opponents of the regime, where jailed. At the same time the SA launched a wave of violence against trade union movements, Jews and other “enemies”.(Seems familiar?). He gained his power legally, and was always popular until the end of the regime. He was an incredible speaker, and  with all the media under the control of his propaganda chief, Joseph Goebbels, he  was able to persuade Germans that he was their savior from the depression, the communists,  the Treaty of Versailles and the Jews.He wanted to make Germany great again! (It reminds me something). Once he became Führer, his campaing against Jews. In 1935 were promulgate the Laws of Norimberga. According to these laws Jews lost their status of German citizens and were expelled from government employment, professional bodies, and from its economic activities. They were attacked by the propaganda. These restrictions were further exacerbated, especially after the anti-Jewish action of the night between 9 and 10 November 1938, known as the “crystal night”. Since 1941 the Jews were forced to wear a yellow Star of David in public. Well at this point we all know what happend to Jews, gays,opponents, gypsies, disabled people.

I wrote this because nowadays, in the 2016 we’re living in a very similar situation. I felt that we need to remind where fear, desperation and anger could brought us.

As in 1929 we are experiencing a severe economic crisis that has brought poverty everywhere. All citizens are oppressed and want to breath. In addition the recent terrorist attacks, increased immigration have led  increased xenophobia, the fear of foreigners. In the past were the Jews today are the Muslims. Right-wing governments are pressing on these factors to fuel hatred and violence. Not only fear of foreigners but also fear of difference. The members of the LGBT community continue to be discriminated hated, killed, persecuted. Look around, listen to the newspapers, pay attention to your workplace, school, cities. Hatred, bullying, violence are commonplace. The right-wing governments have more and more success.
An economic crisis, poverty, labor crisis, fear, violence, racism, misogyny, sexism. With Trump in power this is what we have, with Trump to power the right-wig of countries are stronger. I do not know what the future holds but analyzing the facts I know what could happen. Please, study the past, do not forget,  not let it happen again. I know it’s hard, I’m afraid too, I found myself being intolerant sometimes, but we are humans. we need to listen to our rationality and remember that we are all equal. 

Adolf Hitler was appointed as Chancellor of Germany on 30 January 1933. On 28 February, he persuaded Weimar Republic President Paul von Hindenburg to issue the Reichstag Fire Decree, which suspended most civil liberties. On 23 March, the Reichstag passed the Enabling Act of 1933, which gave the cabinet the right to enact laws without the consent of parliament.

“Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

armin re: snk 55 (spoilerish)

hot damn Armin

I mean, when anyone starts snk it’s all like, oh this is armin:

and in chp 55:

Armin casually talking about doing a false flag operation a la the Reichstag Fire in Nazi Germany to rally people around the Scouting Legion. (“Hmm, we could cause a huge accident and blame it on the monarchy- and the people will rally around the scouting legion because they’ll see us as their saviours!”)

by now hell no THIS is the real Armin Arlert- cleverer than you and he knows it and WILL use it against you

#armin arlert is the scariest badass in the scouting legion # he rips people apart with his mind alone

damn i didn’t think i’d like a character like him so much but i do because he’s so interesting and full of contradictions. He’s vulnerable but he’s also bloody scary and manipulative.

3

March 5th 1933: Nazis win German elections

On this day in 1933, the Nazi Party won 43.9% in the German federal elections, more than any other party. The National Socialist German Workers Party (the Nazis’ official name), capitalising on German frustration by promising ‘work and bread’, won 37.3% in the July 1932 elections. The party leader, Adolf Hitler, was appointed Chancellor by President Hindenberg on January 30th 1933, but the Nazis only had one third of seats in the Reichstag. Upon becoming Chancellor, Hitler announced new elections, while the Nazis secured considerable donations to fund their campaign and stacked the police with their supporters. Just before the scheduled election, the Reichstag fire occurred, and young Dutch Communist Marianus van der Lubbe was immediately arrested. The Nazis used the incident to suggest a Communist revolution was imminent, and passed the Reichstag Fire Decree which suspended civil liberties and habeas corpus. Nazi henchmen arrested electoral candidates from the Communist Party, and began a campaign of violence against left-wingers. This climate of intimidation allowed the Nazis to increase their support and win 43.9% of the vote, but this only translated to 288 out of 647 seats - not an absolute majority. In order to secure the party’s position, the Nazis drafted the Enabling Act, which gave Chancellor Hitler legal powers to establish his dictatorship by giving the Cabinet the power to enact laws independently of the Reichstag. The Nazis pressured and threatened representatives of the Reichstag to pass the bill, positioning SA men and Nazi swastikas in and around the building. With the bill’s passing, Hitler’s dictatorship was assured, and thus began a brutal regime which would last until 1945. The March 1933 elections allowed the Nazis to consolidate their rule, and marked the last election to be held under Hitler’s rule.