In this media-fabricated ecosystem, agency can only find its purpose and meaning in the coordinates of hate and anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies. Under Trump, reality has become a toxic melodrama played out through a relentless display of hypermasculinity, ultranationalism and a culture of utter cruelty that accelerates the death of the unwanted.
White nationalism is now being delivered nationally via emotional taunts parading as spectacle, entertainment and manufactured drama. The making of politics as theater opens up a new connection between contemporary fascist politics and a fascist past. Ilhan Omar was right in calling Trump a fascist.
I keep hearing that the Democratic party has moved “left” and that Democratic candidates may be “too far left”.
But in an era of unprecedented concentration of wealth and political power at the top, I can’t help wondering what it means to be “left”.
A half-century ago, when America had a large and growing middle class, those on the “left” sought stronger social safety nets and more public investment in schools, roads and research. Those on the “right” sought greater reliance on the free market.
But as wealth and power have concentrated at the top, everyone else – whether on the old right or the old left – has become disempowered and less secure.
Informed Comment on the ignorance of Sky News efforts to equate Socialism and Fascism in an effort to promote the latter. Why appearing to be “nice” is dangerous. (ODT)
Fascism can only thrive if the streets are flowing with the blood of working-class militants and socialists.
That is why the lies conflating Left and Right being spread by Professors of Political Science are so insulting to real socialists and to anyone who actually understands the dangers of flirting with fascists.
You only have to read this poem by the German Protestant priest, Martin Niemöller, to know that van Onselen and others who promote the “Left are just like the Nazis” golden lie need to be challenged over every stupid tweet and mis-statement.
First, they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.
2 Media Companies will control 86% of Australia’s Media we need the ABC more than ever but they are demanding the LNP destroy it as well, Where is free speech when it’s privatised and becomes just another product to sell to corporate buyers. (ODT)
In the 1980s, Keating as Treasurer had overseen new media rules that prevented media owners from owning both TV stations and newspapers. They had to choose, as he said, whether to be ”queens of the screen or princes of print”.
Packer thus was ring-fenced into being a queen of the screen, while Rupert Murdoch gained more and more of the nation’s print outlets.
Packer, from a newspaper-owning family, wasn’t suitably gratified. He wanted to get his hands on Fairfax and what he called its “rivers of gold” — massive income from classified advertisements in its newspapers.
And so, a feud grew.
Keating revealed his old penchant for doing over his enemies slowly.
“Kerry Packer had the Nine Network chase me in private life,” he said.
“But I’m a big boy, I know how to punch. People said to me after a whole series of things on 60 Minutes. They said, ‘Mr Keating, are you going to take Mr Packer to court for defamation?’ I said, ‘No, I have more expensive remedies in mind for Mr Packer’.
“That was taking Fairfax from him, which I had [Senator] Brian Harradine do in 1997 to 1998. In other words, I made sure he didn’t allow Howard to get a majority to let Turnbull do what he did today.”
that the longer the stagnation and rot of a dysfunctional democracy went unaddressed, the more attractive fascism would become.
Zetkin warned, arises when capitalism enters a period of crisis and breakdown of the democratic institutions that once offered the possibility of reform and protection from an uninhibited assault by the capitalist class. The unchecked capitalist assault pushes the middle class, the bulwark of a capitalist democracy, into the working class and often poverty. It strips workers of all protection and depresses wages. The longer the economic and social stagnation persists, the more attractive fascism becomes. Zetkin would have warned us that Donald Trump is not the danger; the danger is the growing social and economic inequality that concentrates wealth in the hands of an oligarchic elite and degrades the lives of citizens.
The Game Plan
Nunes and Trump know that Rupert Murdoch’s lying Fox Cable News will be happy to become The Nunes Memo Network 24/7. They know that Sinclair radio stations (which have virtually taken over radio news nationally) will play it up big time. They know that NewsMax and Breitbart and other right wing webzines will beat this drum continually. They know that YouTube celebrities with millions of followers such as Alex Jones will spread the word of the perfidy of the FBI, or the “Kenyan FBI” as they likely will call it.
They already have 36% of voters and just need to create doubts in or support for Trump in 15% of voters who are independents, and they keep winning politically.
Research shows that people with idees fixes don’t change their minds just because they are presented with factual information that challenges them. In fact, they dig in. Thus, by the time the minority Democratic report comes out, many Republicans will be so wedded to the Nunes narrative that it will be very difficult to dislodge their certainty.
Fascism pretends to incorporate the good of the masses (hence the phony Nazi claim on the word “socialism”) while in fact acting in barracuda fashion solely for the benefit of the corporations and elite. It is plutocracy dressed up as a mass movement. Its rhetoric separates out the good workers (white, native-born) from the bad workers (brown or black or Semite, immigrant) in hopes of setting them against one another, for the benefit of the rich spectators. Fascism separates out the poor (about 15 percent of Americans) as lazy burdens on the other workers and enacts punitive policies toward them. Thus, Trump portrays taking away health care insurance from 26 million people as a triumph for workers.
“Once you start to merge the judicial and the political, you begin to erode the separation of powers. It’s a really regrettable path to go down.”
Three bikies are convicted for walking to a car parked on the side of a Brisbane road, under Queensland’s VLAD laws that ban gang members congregating in public.
As we know, in the age of Trump, now more than ever, no one gets to say no to a police officer.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Sunday accused President Donald Trump of perpetrating a “fraud” on American voters by cozying up to Wall Street bankers instead of keeping his campaign promises.
In nature, phase transitions describe changes in states of matter. Depending on temperature, H20 can exist as solid (ice), liquid (water) or gas (water vapour). Societal crises behave similarly. Today, our economic problems have morphed into their social and political phases.
By Dr George Venturini* Grande finale A person who goes under the nom de blog of ‘Winifredjay’, and probably lives in Tasmania, collected sixteen memorable quotations from Tony Abbott. S/he thought that they would have been useful to remember “why he shouldn’t be Prime Minister” – the date: 9 October 2012. Well, yes, but many…
By Dr George Venturini* Should one call it pathocracy? The record of the devious, nay false, statements which preceded a turbulent period of tenure and of the two years of the Abbott Government – 18 September 2013 to 14 September 2015 is too well-know and too recent to be resumed here – although certain aspects…
“When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross,” goes a saying that is widely attributed to the first American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, Sinclair Lewis. In 1935, Lewis wrote a novel called “It Can’t Happen Here,” positing fascism’s rise in the United States. We were taught that fascism was defeated in 1945, with the surrender of Germany and Japan in World War II.
The left is still convinced its late-show hosts can take down the GOP frontrunner. It needs a better plan, and fast