40 Matching Annotations
  1. Jun 2020
    1. what do we lose when we don’t read laterally, when we passively scroll information feeds and accept what seems to be true and dismiss what seems to be wrong.

      I read for me first. I read my way second. We all have reading blind spots. I think reading laterally reduces these blind spot, but it adds others. When I read people like Green it puts my back up and I say, "Who the fuck made you king of the lateral reading hill?" Another expert/sociopath rises up to keep me down. I teach to make people more powerful. Reading tools help, but the idiosyncratic ways we use those tools are grandly variably. I want it that way not one way.

  2. Apr 2020
    1. In fascist literature, we see repeated a language of enemies, traitors, parasites and foreigners, and the dehumanising metaphors of pigs, dogs, rats and cockroaches, accompanied by the readiness for violent action by paramilitary and extrajudicial forces.
    2. The idea of the need to restore national purity is common to all fascisms. As the American political scientist and historian Robert Paxton wrote in The Anatomy of Fascism (2004): ‘Fascisms seek out in each national culture those themes that are best capable of mobilising a mass movement of regeneration, unification, and purity, directed against liberal individualism and constitutionalism and against Leftist class struggle.’ This allows a person ‘the gratification of submerging oneself in a wave of shared feelings’.
  3. May 2019
  4. Feb 2019
    1. Though the names glory and grati-tude be the same in every man's mouth through a whole country, yet the complex collective idea which every one thinks on or intends by that name, is apparently very different in men using the same language.

      I'm reminded here of Orwell's "Politics and the English Language"--the ways that language is manipulated to evoke feeling or a widespread reaction although it may not be grounded in feeling or reaction. One of Orwell's examples is fascism.

  5. Sep 2018
    1. All tribes need tribal leaders, who in turn need loyalty. Followers of Corbyn and Trump will both detest the comparison, but note how both have the merch, the chants, the hagiography. They’re radically different, but both are products of the tribalism that social media has accidentally brought about.
  6. Aug 2018
    1. After the war, it seemed to most people that German fascism as well as its other European and Asian variants were bound to self-destruct. There was no material reason why new fascist movements could not have sprung up again after the war in other locales, but for the fact that expansionist ultranationalism, with its promise of unending conflict leading to disastrous military defeat, had completely lost its appeal. The ruins of the Reich chancellery as well as the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed this ideology on the level of consciousness as well as materially, and all of the pro-fascist movements spawned by the German and Japanese examples like the Peronist movement in Argentina or Subhas Chandra Bose's Indian National Army withered after the war.

      And yet somehow we see these movements anew in America and around the world. What is the difference between then and now?

  7. Jun 2018
    1. So the idea of zero tolerance under the stated policy is that we don’t care why you’re afraid. We don’t care if it’s religion, political, gangs, anything. For all asylum seekers, you are going to be put in jail, in a detention center, and you’re going to have your children taken away from you.


      So if you cross any other way besides the bridge, we’re prosecuting you. But . . . you can’t cross the bridge.


      The zero-tolerance policy really started with Jeff Sessions’s announcement in May.


      And so we saw about six hundred children who were taken away from October to May, then we saw an explosion of the numbers in May. It ramped up. The Office of Refugee Resettlement taking in all these kids says that they are our children, that they are unaccompanied. It’s a fabrication. They’re not unaccompanied children.


      the idea that these parents don’t have the ability to obtain very simple answers—what are my rights and when can I be reunited with my kid before I’m deported without them?—is horrible. And has to go far below anything we, as a civil society of law, should find acceptable.

  8. Mar 2018
    1. Last month at Portland State University, when biologist Heather Heying made the point that women and men are biologically different, protesters in the audience screamed and excoriated her and tried to damage the sound system before they were removed. “We should not listen to fascism. Nazis are not welcome in civil society,” a protester scowled.

      The belief that sexism is at the root of fascism, although well founded, causes hyperactivists to censor scientists.

    1. De Benoist had famously drawn from Italian Marxist theorist Antonio Gramsci, who believed that ideas the public held were key for revolutionary change. Using this philosophy, De Benoist also rejected the old tactics of fascism, such as paramilitary marches, violence, and parliamentary politics. He argued that the pre-condition for all revolution is “the capture of cultural power,” Tamir-on explains. A Coup d’état was no good for the Nouvelle Droite, they were now concerned with winning the battle of ideas.
  9. Nov 2017
    1. This new society of information flows can use the internet to disrupt the power dynamics

      I also wonder if digital can work to consolidate power. We tend to think of disruption as a move towards more equality but what if it is a move towards fascism?

    1. Millions of Americans believe (or are willing to claim that they believe) insane bullshit. So what happens if Mueller finds evidence that Trump committed a crime, and the right-wing media says he didn't, or it doesn't matter?

  10. May 2017
  11. Apr 2017
  12. Mar 2017
    1. The early years saw a number of distinguished faculty, including five presidents of the American Political Science Association: Walter J. Shepard
    1. APSA presidents serve one-year terms
    2. The American Political Science Association (APSA) is a professional association of political science students and scholars in the United States.
    1. Welcome. I am an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto. My work examines how international forces shape democracy and domestic reforms, 
    1. Sebastian Gorka, President Trump’s top counter-terrorism adviser, is a formal member of a Hungarian far-right group that is listed by the U.S. State Department as having been “under the direction of the Nazi Government of Germany” during World War II, leaders of the organization have told the Forward.


      Gorka’s membership in the organization — if these Vitézi Rend leaders are correct, and if Gorka did not disclose this when he entered the United States as an immigrant — could have implications for his immigration status. The State Department’s Foreign Affairs Manual specifies that members of the Vitézi Rend “are presumed to be inadmissible” to the country under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

    1. heckled like Hitler within

      This and the parenthetical, written only 5 years after Hitler's suicide, seems really important for how we perceive Hitler (and all authoritarians). We have a tendency to accept their own logic, to assume that Hitler was a commanding, forceful leader instead of someone often suffering from internal indecisiveness and inter-organizational sniping. "Made the trains run on time" and all that, even though Hitler and Mussolini's fascist regimes were consumed by bureaucratic infighting and disorder.

  13. Feb 2017
    1. Robert Mercer, Steve Bannon, Breitbart, Cambridge Analytica, Brexit, and Trump.

      “The danger of not having regulation around the sort of data you can get from Facebook and elsewhere is clear. With this, a computer can actually do psychology, it can predict and potentially control human behaviour. It’s what the scientologists try to do but much more powerful. It’s how you brainwash someone. It’s incredibly dangerous.

      “It’s no exaggeration to say that minds can be changed. Behaviour can be predicted and controlled. I find it incredibly scary. I really do. Because nobody has really followed through on the possible consequences of all this. People don’t know it’s happening to them. Their attitudes are being changed behind their backs.”

      -- Jonathan Rust, Cambridge University Psychometric Centre

  14. Jan 2017
    1. we first need to see the Russian state for what it really is. Twenty-five years ago, the Soviet Union collapsed. This freed the Russian security state from its last constraints. In 1991, there were around 800,000 official KGB agents in Russia. They spent a decade reorganizing themselves into the newly-minted FSB, expanding and absorbing other instruments of power, including criminal networks, other security services, economic interests, and parts of the political elite. They rejected the liberal, democratic Russia that President Boris Yeltsin was trying to build.

      Following the 1999 Moscow apartment bombings that the FSB almost certainly planned, former FSB director Vladimir Putin was installed as President.

  15. Dec 2016
    1. Nigel Farage is a piece of shit.

      If anybody has a right to speak out about the dangers of hatred and extremism in modern Britain, it is Jo’s bereaved husband, Brendan.

      On Tuesday morning, hours after a truck was driven into a Berlin Christmas market, Nigel Farage spotted an opportunity. “Terrible news from Berlin but no surprise,” he wrote, not even bothering to separate his horror and his vindication with a comma. “Events like these will be the Merkel legacy.” Brendan Cox’s response – “blaming politicians for the actions of extremists? That’s a slippery slope Nigel” – was logically flawless.

      Farage’s response in turn – that Cox “would know more about extremists than me” because of his links to the anti-fascist organisation Hope Not Hate – is shocking on a number of levels. First, he is talking about a widower whose wife was murdered by an extremist six months ago. Second, he smeared an organisation that exists to drive back racism – at a time when hate crimes have surged after a referendum campaign made inflammatory by politicians including Nigel Farage.

    1. Trump's character and America's recent political climate are familiar to people who have lived in or studied authoritarian states. Russia is using the same tactics on us that they've used, and continue to use, in Europe.

    1. A crude, quick and flippant assessment is what he deserves. He is semi-fascist: more fascist than any successful American politician yet, and the most dangerous threat to pluralist democracy in this country in more than a century, but — thank our stars — an amateurish imitation of the real thing.

      Let's hope this holds up.

    1. From 27 July 2016, Masha Gessen recognizes Donald Trump as a dangerous fascist. She also recognizes that Trump is "a thoroughly American creation that poses an existential threat to American democracy."

      But the top point of the article is to dismiss the idea of connections between Trump and Putin. Bullshit.

      Putin assisted the Trump campaign with hacking and propaganda. The only questions are exactly how much the Russians did, and whether they actually hacked the election itself. We need to investigate ties between Trump, his associates, and Putin, and we need a thorough audit of the election.

    1. Leading up to Ms. Tolokonnikova’s trial, Russian news reports carried suggestions that she and her bandmates were pawns of Hillary Clinton’s State Department or witches working with a global satanic conspiracy — perhaps linked to the one that was behind the Sept. 11 attacks, as lawyers for one of their offended accusers put it. This is what we now call “fake news.”

      Pussy Riot became an international symbol of Mr. Putin’s crackdown on free speech; of how his regime uses falsehood and deflection to sow confusion and undermine critics.

      Now that the political-media environment that we smugly thought to be “over there” seems to be arriving over here, Ms. Tolokonnikova has a message: “It’s important not to say to yourself, ‘Oh, it’s O.K.,’” she told me. “It’s important to remember that, for example, in Russia, for the first year of when Vladimir Putin came to power, everybody was thinking that it will be O.K.”

  16. Nov 2016
    1. From 11 Oct 2016, Donald Trump and his followers fit all 14 of Umberto Eco's criteria for Ur-Fascism.

      Also note that many of the videos of Trump doing and saying horrible things come from pro-Trump YouTube channels. His fans love that he’s a fascist. It’s what they want — a strong man who will take care of them, scare off the bad people and tell them what to do.

    1. Donald Trump is using the methods of tyrants to control the media. He was already doing this during his campaign, and he has only gotten worse since becoming President-Elect.

      • Berate them directly.
      • Refuse access to those he disapproves.
      • Turn the public against them.
      • Condemn criticism and satire aimed at him.
      • Threaten them with lawsuits and potential new laws.
      • Limit media access.
      • Speak directly to the public. (There has been mention of Trump continuing to hold rallies. He likes the instant gratification and adulation of a cheering crowd.)


  17. Dec 2015
    1. Of course, many fringe fascists themselves like Donald Trump and view him as the best they're going to get on a national scale. They argue he's sparking a big spike in activity around and interest in white nationalism. "Demoralization has been the biggest enemy and Trump is changing all that," Stormfront founder Don Black told Politico recently. But that does not make Trump himself a fascist.
    2. Griffin, who is a professor of history and political theory at Oxford Brookes University, puts it best: "You can be a total xenophobic racist male chauvinist bastard and still not be a fascist."

      Don't forget "narcissistic blowhard dunce".

    3. To be blunt: Donald Trump is not a fascist. "Fascism" has been an all-purpose insult for many years now, but it has a real definition, and according to scholars of historical fascism, Trump doesn't qualify. Rather, he's a right-wing populist, or perhaps an "apartheid liberal" in the words of Roger Griffin, author of The Nature of Fascism.

      Good article on the definition of fascism.

      Quotes from scholars:

      • The Nature of Fascism, Roger Griffin
      • The Anatomy of Fascism, Robert Paxton
      • Fascism: Comparison and Definition, Stanley Payne
      • A History of Fascism, 1914-1945, Stanley Payne

      And historical fascists:

      • Reflections on Violence, Georges Sorel
      • The Doctrine of Fascism, Benito Mussolini