A very major, critically important U.S. election is tomorrow, November 8, 2016. I am asking people to vote AGAINST Donald Trump. Why? Here is why.
Comments and share welcome.
(Photo courtesy: all the photos in this article are taken from http://agamikal.com/?p=1510, where they published a Bengali version of this article.)
Footsteps of Fascism — Part 1
By Partha Banerjee
In the 1930’s, Weimar Republic in Germany failed to stop the economic, political, and social chaos. Although the global economy was not nearly as global as it is today, and media was not so grotesquely pro-1% and interconnected worldwide, Euro-American colonialism was acting together for a long time, destroying mankind. But its heydays were over.
Great Depression in America caused by an extreme inequality, rampant privatization of banks, industries and financial institutions, and corporate profiteering and corruption impacted Germany and Europe, and economic uncertainties unraveled. Capitalism was falling apart, capitalists’ modus operandi was being exposed, and a strong socialist revolution in Russia was moving the working class people and younger generation away from the status quo. Europe was more and more leaning left and progressive. Labor unions and social justice movements were getting stronger.
The rulers of corporate capitalism — now in crisis — was looking for a way to distract people’s attention from their depravity and their own political parties’ created turmoil. The ordinary people were extremely angry at the elite’s corrupt practices, indifference, and a depraved, immoral lifestyle.
Weimar’s so-called liberal leadership failed them: unemployment was high, prices were high, deflation of the currency was causing havoc, and people worked longer hours sacrificing family life and time for children. Their savings evaporated, and the wage-productivity gap was at an all-time high.
The working men and women didn’t quite figure out the reasons: media and mainstream politicians both from the liberal and conservative sides disillusioned them.
The time was ripe for a leader who would crush down on the socialists and communists and trade unions and social justice groups, find a variety of people as convenient scapegoats, and unite and mobilize the ordinary men, women and families around a doctrine of ultra-nationalism, old glory, total employment, severance from internationalism, and social morality.
Time was ripe for Hitler. Time was ripe for a Nazi Germany.
Footsteps of Fascism — Part 2
By Partha Banerjee
So, Hitler came to power, first with help from Hindenburg of Weimar Republic (who shared power with him as an appeasement effort — a huge blunder), and then through a self-styled chancellorship, followed by landslide mandate on his own. He called his political base National Socialist Workers’ Party — a German acronym of which is NAZI (I don’t know German, but that’s what I read — correct me if I’m wrong).
But Hitler was no socialist; it was a pre-meditated, calculated confusion created to project himself as a socialist leader. (Today, some of the far right wing organizations in the U.S. have strange, naive-sounding names — such as Center for Immigration Studies or CIS, American Legislative Exchange Council or ALEC, Federation of American Immigration Reform or FAIR-US, etc.) Hitler was anything but a socialist. There was no concept of equality in his party structure; Hitler assumed the role of a dictator, and his words were the last. This didn’t happen overnight; rather, by purging people who dissented, and rewarding those who complied, he went on to become the undisputed tyrant that he was.
Hitler did many things during his approximately a decade of global plundering, and we all more or less know it. But the striking resemblances of what he did and what we see today are the following: (1) He destroyed labor unions and social justice groups that were left and progressive (In 1933, Hitler’s storm troopers occupied all trade union headquarters across Germany, and union leaders were arrested and put in prison), (2) He began a massive and all-pervasive spying and phone-tapping of German citizens, particularly those who showed an iota of opposition; even totally innocent citizens were called spies, arrested, and executed, (3) He orchestrated a propaganda against Jews and communists labelling them responsible for the social and economic woes, and even though we hear about concentration camps (through plethora of Hollywood movies and corporate media) throwing Jews in gas chamber, hundreds of thousands of socialists, communists, trade union leaders, and left and progressive intellectuals and authors were also detained and killed — a part of history that is conveniently ignored and later distorted, and (4) He through his media and propaganda machine of that time whipped up an ultrapatriotic fervor for old German-Aryan glory, projecting Germany as the “best country in the world.”
Then, as we all know, Hitler, Mussolini, Franco and such people in Europe and rulers like Tojo in Japan built a global force of aggression that was called the Axis (the post-9/11 Bush-termed “Axis of Evil” could have come from that old, three-country force: at least, the similarity was there). The Axis quite rapidly started a series of military aggression on neighboring countries, eventually drawing a large number of countries worldwide into the war, which later became known as World World II.
Noam Chomsky discusses Germany’s plummet from its cultural and political heights in the 20’s—when Hitler received only three percent of the vote—to the decay of the 30’s, when the Nazis rose to power. Chomsky says although the situations are “not identical,” they are similar enough, to warrant concern. Likewise, the economic destruction of Greece, according to Chomsky, may lead to the rise of a fascist party, a phenomenon we’ve witnessed all over Europe. In India also, the failure of a corrupt center-left (Gandhi’s Congress Party) has seen a rapid surge of an ultranationalist, Hindu party, which is now in the seat of power, with an overwhelming majority.
“The fall of the Weimar Republic has a complicated history whose general outlines most of us know well enough. Germany’s defeat in WWI and the punitive, post-Treaty of Versailles’ reparations that contributed to hyperinflation and total economic collapse do not parallel the current state of affairs in the U.S. But Hitler’s rise to power is instructive.”
Hitler used to be ridiculed as a clown too, before Hindenburg gave him the position of a chancellor. In U.S., our question is (question that media bypasses): who made Trump, Trump?
“Hitler’s struggle for dominance truly catalyzed when he allied with the country’s conservatives, who made him Chancellor. Thus began his program of Gleichschaltung—“synchronization” or “bringing into line”—during which all former opposition was made to fully endorse his plans.
In similar fashion, Trump has fought for political relevance on the right for years, using xenophobic [anti-immigrant] bigotry as his primary weapon. It worked. Now that he has taken over the Republican Party—and the religious right—we’ve seen nearly all of Trump’s opponents on the right, from politicians to media figures, completely fold under and make fawning shows of support. Even some Bernie Sanders supporters have found ways to justify supporting Trump.”
[The last couple of paragraphs are paraphrased from an article in openculture dot com].
Footsteps of Fascism — Part 3 of 3