Sunday, October 31, 2004

Heil Bush!

I recently wrote about Bushism-fascism comparisons (why I think they are not invalid or inappropiate), starting with a link to a comparison of a Bush rally and a Nuremberg rally of Hitler, and finishing with my own comparison of the Republican activists in who'll question Ohio voters with the SA guys 'policing' polling places.

Billmon re-emerged with another comparison, the Bush pledge to the SS loyalty oath. And then he posted another comparison, on hate.


At 4:55 PM, Blogger FransGroenendijk said...

Reading this I get curious how you think about this post on a fistful.

My first reaction on your post here, your earlier post and on the (lots of) reactions on Bilmon's piece is: this is exaggarated. But I must admit: this is my wish too, of course. But still I think most is incidents summed up. Worrying ones, but still. The problem I have with this is that it appeals to fear too strongly. That's what Bush cs is blamed for rightly. We should not do the same.
Most worrying part to me is not the sum of these incidents but what I read at Kleiman first:
"It may also explain why Kerry has a much bigger lead among those with advanced degrees than Gore had four years ago. (Can someone supply a cite for that? I read it a couple of days ago.) On the other hand, there are advantages to denying reality, too: Bush has a much larger lead among those with less than a high school education than he had four years ago. "

Thanks btw for putting my inn-rnc-logo in your blogroll, looks nice!

At 6:26 PM, Blogger DoDo said...

Frans, I read in the preceding hours that a federal judge ordered Republican 'observers' out of Ohio election offices, and the Bush Oath was as yet only taken in Florida, not throughout the USA by freepers - so you may be right that this is now only a series of incidents that hasn't as yet gained its own momentum.

My reply on fear will be double-edged. On one hand, our very reactions to developments influence how they will progress later. That is, if people react (say through a high voter turnout), full-blown fascism might not be possible, but if they reject the danger as fear-mongering and don't, it would come.

On the other hand - I first thought of using the argument that while the Bushistas' fear-mongering seeks to freeze people to allow them to act freely, such fear activises the people. But on second thought, my own distaste for Kerry [something I suspect goes far beyond yours, and has surprising elements of agreement with the German BILD paper's argumentation behind its endorsement for Bush] and the effect his candidacy had on the grass-roots movement that was born around the Dean candidacy could be termed this way:

Kerry and the DNC is using the fear of what the Bush admin could do to get progressives to ignore their not much better economic and social policies and just as bad imperial foreign policy.

I read Tobias's article at AFOE. I agree with most of it, but of course not with his opinion that the USA can't (as opposed to won't), as he put it, "develop a modern version of the Wilhelminic disease".

Traditions change or get abadoned. I think Hitlerism had substantial breaks with Wilhelmism (not the least with the latter's limited democratic elements), even if sharing much, while 'Wilhelmism' broke with many earlier traditions and was opposed by parallel traditions (which could gain power in the Weimar years, but failed to prevail).

Worse, the USA (more precisely, segments of its population and some of its institutions) doesn't just have democratic, but anti-democratic traditions, too. As implied elsewhere, I count the worldview of the Creationist movement as such. There are widely held non-democratic traditions that when combined in a system can become strongly anti-democratic. For example the sanctifying revenrence of the troops. Or that the chief of the government has the shared role as revered ceremonial figurehead (the role of kings of Presidents Of The Republic here in Europe). Then the obsession with security that allowed the creation of such essentially anti-Constitutional institutions as the Dept. Of Homeland Security, the PATRIOT Act, military projects with budgets undisclosed to the Congress, the CIA and cohorts, and the FBI. And, of course, there is the voter-fraud and voter-fooling traditions of both major parties.

It is not a given which traditions prevail, and when.

Also, 'social divisions' as Tobias put it, are not enough to prevent the success of fascism. Witness Spain in the thirties, or Chile in the seventies. On this part, and I wrote about this in the earlier posts too, I am much more sceptical of a coming Democratic Majority - in fact, I rather see the opposite, a growing hyper-ignorant section of the population.

Now, you decide, should I re-post the above at AFOE, or was meaninful discussion already put beyond hope by FelixUSA et al? ;-)

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