In his 2004 book, “The Anatomy of Fascism,” historian Robert Paxton defines fascism as follows:
A form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion. (from Wikipedia)
Trump has tapped into a “preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood” in the American middle class, especially white, blue-collar workers. Trump and his vice-presidential candidate, Mike Pence, are building a movement of purity that rolls back gay marriage and claims to promote “traditional” American and Christian values, but it’s as yet unclear whether this “compensatory cult” will be one of unity and energy as described by Paxton. Continue reading →
Espousal of an idealist, vitalist, and voluntaristic philosophy, normally involving the attempt to realize a new modern, self-determined, and secular culture
Creation of a new nationalist authoritarian state not based on traditional principles or models
Organization of a new highly regulated, multiclass, integrated national economic structure, whether called national corporatist, national socialist, or national syndicalist
Positive evaluation and use of, or willingness to use violence and war
The goal of empire, expansion, or a radical change in the nation’s relationship with other powers
Trump shows aspects of the first characteristic in that he supports an idealistic philosophy in pursuit of a new modern and self-determined culture that is rooted in the idea of American exceptionalism. Voluntarism is “a theory that conceives will to be the dominant factor in experience or in the world,” and while Trump’s language has echos of the national and personal ambition and aggression that comes with the concept of Will to Power as described by Nietzche, Trump hasn’t explicitly called for his supporters to exert their will upon the nation to change it. Continue reading →
Alexander Putin may not be preparing to invade Europe, but he understands the value of spectacle in establishing a nation’s place in the world.
The Winter Olympics opening ceremonies in Sochi may have been the grandest show in history. It may also have been the grandest propaganda spectacle in history. It’s easy to get caught up in an artistic endeavor of that magnitude – I sat here with my jaw hanging open for a couple of hours – and the fluency with which President Putin’s creative department embedded a boldly geo-political program within some of the most breathtaking artistry we’ve ever seen. Continue reading →
Apparently Hitler seems to have forgotten that eliminating Jews would cause a crippling brain drain from Germany.
Albert Einstein and Robert Oppenheimer, director of the Manhattan Project.
There are many parallels between Hitler and Stalin. On the personal level, they both liked to conduct all-night meetings. On a more critical level, the purge of the Red Army command that Stalin carried out before World War II in order to consolidate his hold on power left the Red Army ill equipped to handle Hitler’s invasion.
While Hitler didn’t order his army command, aside from those who tried to assassinate him, executed, he regularly demoted generals (only later to often promote them again). Continue reading →
I don’t know, this might sound a little too familiar and if anyone comments on this, i’m sure that someone will chime in to tell me that none of our candidates are like Nazis because they don’t have plans to kill every Jew, Slav and person of color on the planet. And that may be true. Nonetheless, on February 20, 1933 a certain mustachioed Austrian met with a list of German luminaries, mostly from industry but perhaps also a board member of Allianz AG. He needed to win an election. You see, Communism could only be stopped if he won. In fact, his pitch to the cigar smoke-filled room blamed democracy for Communism. Continue reading →
Wow, 100 issues of Nota Bene! Props to Russ for helping me for a while with this nifty little S&R feature. Never mind all that now, let’s get on with this issue. “What splendid buildings our architects would be able to execute if only they could finally be less obedient to gravity!” Who said it? Continue reading →
There are a number of problems with these assertions, not the least of which is that when Saudi terrorists started flying hijacked jets into large buildings on September 11, 2001, George W. Bush had been president of the United States for the better part of eight months. The lapses in memory noted above are all striking, but especially so in the case of Giuliani, who was, from September 11 until he dropped out of the presidential race on January 30, 2008 (a span of roughly 2,332 days, if my math is accurate), unable to say so much as “hello” without somehow shoehorning “9/11” into the conversation. Continue reading →
No, no. I’m not going to shake the hand of Hitler Youth. I’m sorry.
The activist in question, Ben Wessel, is Jewish, and his grandparents escaped the Nazis. Furthermore, Monckton’s remarks yesterday could have been considered intemperate as they were made in the heat of the moment. That Monckton would repeat the charge today when he’s not being shouted over suggests that he truly believes the youth activists to be equal to the Hitler Youth. Continue reading →
Our friends over at Colorado Independent have a great new analysis up on free speech zones graveyards at the upcoming DNC. As Constitutional attorney John Whitehead explains, the Dems will be the only party this summer building a fence around open expression.
Protesters at the upcoming Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Denver in late August will be corralled into caged “free speech zones” made of chicken wire and chain link fences which are located more than two football fields from the delegates’ entrance. Those who attempt to exercise their First Amendment rights outside this makeshift cage, which is partially obscured by trees and sculptures, will be arrested. (Ironically, protesters at this year’s Republican National Convention will not face a cage or even policemen in riot gear.) Continue reading →
In an age and a culture dominated by scientism, the word â€œsampleâ€ tends to invoke the adjectival â€œrepresentative,â€ and I cannot begin to imagine culling a meaningful representative sample from LIFEâ€™s 400-plus issues. Still, it seems important to devote a few pages to what happened with LIFE and technology between the Fort Peck Dam and Apollo 17. I will center this discussion on innovations and events that, from our perspective here at the end of the century, appear to have left significant marks on history.
The Medical Morality Play
LIFEâ€™s coverage of medical technology began early and covered, through the decades, the research, development, and application of treatments for a variety of diseases and disorders afflicting humanity. Continue reading →