Resist now


We’ve added a new group blog to our roster, FREETHOUGHT RESISTANCE. Many of the writers here can contribute to it, and we’ll be adding more anti-fascist content as time goes on…and as our outrage grows. We’ll also welcome guest posts, and in fact have already added a post from Sunsara Taylor, calling for action at the refusefascism.org site. We would favor posts that have specific proposals and information for activism; tell us about your local event, about organizations working towards good causes, about unjust actions by the illegitimate regime that require responses. Send such posts to any of your favorite bloggers here; we do require that you use a valid email address, but you can request that it be posted anonymously.

What motivated this new blog is the appalling normalization of Trump by the media. We refuse to be part of that, and many of us have decided that we needed to be clear in our stance, that we reject this government hijacking by the alt-right, and further that we oppose the widespread apologetics for racism and misogyny and homophobia and all the other vicious bigotries that have been revitalized by the right. I want to someday be able to tell my grandchildren that I resisted, I fought, I spoke out. I hope you feel the same way.

This will not be us.

When Hitler’s party won influence in Parliament, and even after he was made chancellor of Germany in 1933 – about a year and a half before seizing dictatorial power – many American press outlets judged that he would either be outplayed by more traditional politicians or that he would have to become more moderate. Sure, he had a following, but his followers were “impressionable voters” duped by “radical doctrines and quack remedies,” claimed the Washington Post. Now that Hitler actually had to operate within a government the “sober” politicians would “submerge” this movement, according to The New York Times and Christian Science Monitor. A “keen sense of dramatic instinct” was not enough. When it came to time to govern, his lack of “gravity” and “profundity of thought” would be exposed.

In fact, The New York Times wrote after Hitler’s appointment to the chancellorship that success would only “let him expose to the German public his own futility.” Journalists wondered whether Hitler now regretted leaving the rally for the cabinet meeting, where he would have to assume some responsibility.

Yes, the American press tended to condemn Hitler’s well-documented anti-Semitism in the early 1930s. But there were plenty of exceptions. Some papers downplayed reports of violence against Germany’s Jewish citizens as propaganda like that which proliferated during the foregoing World War. Many, even those who categorically condemned the violence, repeatedly declared it to be at an end, showing a tendency to look for a return to normalcy.

Journalists were aware that they could only criticize the German regime so much and maintain their access. When a CBS broadcaster’s son was beaten up by brownshirts for not saluting the Führer, he didn’t report it. When the Chicago Daily News’ Edgar Mowrer wrote that Germany was becoming “an insane asylum” in 1933, the Germans pressured the State Department to rein in American reporters. Allen Dulles, who eventually became director of the CIA, told Mowrer he was “taking the German situation too seriously.” Mowrer’s publisher then transferred him out of Germany in fear of his life.

We will be taking the Trump situation seriously. We will condemn it without reservation.

Comments

  1. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    stopped over there, donated small amount to support the drive, posted there a link to the change.org petition asking electors to do their job and vote against an unqualified potential. (is that vaguely impersonal enough?)
    to clarify, petition to vote against the Trump assuming the office he clearly not qulfied for and is working hard to be exxact opposite of every thing associated. Cabinet offices he picks people who want to destroy those departments. He goes against all norms of presidential behavior, calling it “presidential by definition default”
    *cough*
    yes we must RESIST. “Hister” (Hitler for all you Nostradameons) fooled us once, don’t let him fool us twice. you know the aphorisms, eh.

  2. says

    Great project! I can only follow from afar. I realise that this is mostly about info and organisation in a concrete, detailed way in the states, but if you ever need a write-up on developments in Germany (or Poland), I can offer to help. I’ve been involved with antifascist organisations in Germany for a few years now and followed the rise of what we usually call the “new right” here (to which parts of AfD and Pegida are strongly connected), and I follow events in Poland because of personal relations.

    Of course, everyday local resistance is more urgent now, but I fear the time will come where we need to organise on an international level. I do hope there are enough people in Europe following the events in the US closely and ready to support and put pressure on their governments to react.

  3. says

    This project was motivated by the recent developments in the USA, but we’re opposed to fascism everywhere, so international developments certainly are appropriate.

    You can even send us article in German or Polish. We want a wide reach.

  4. says

    I feel as if I’m flogging a dead horse, or maybe missing something essential, but when y’all complain about Trump’s fascism, as if it were a new feature, it bothers me.

    Fascism isn’t distinguished by bigotry or whatever.

    Fascism is distinguished by an *essential* lack of patience for our democratic institutions, and a foundational lack of respect for people qua people.

    Those have been problems present in our political sphere since Reagan stepped on the stage. Reagan re-normalized racism with his “welfare queen” story, a lie he never recanted, and a lie that has been driving our country’s attitude towards the poor and towards black people for almost forty years. No, it wasn’t a new lie, it was a zombie lie.

    Reagan also instituted a the lack of patience for our democratic institutions. He was aided and abetted in this by Gingrich’s “Contract with America,” which has driven our Congress to the edge since then.

    Trump is merely the logical result. He’s not the start: he’s the finish.

  5. qwints says

    We will be taking the Trump situation seriously. We will condemn it without reservation.

    As opposed to to the Bush or Reagan situations?

  6. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    Hege@8:

    but when y’all complain about Trump’s fascism, as if it were a new feature, it bothers me.

    I don’t think I am alone in complaining about it being a not a new feature of the Drumpster, Can I not complain about as simply the feature of the Drumph, without it bothering you?
    If it does, be bothered.

  7. qwints says

    The lack of historical context is just funny, in a morbid way. This didn’t stop the Iraq war, and Bush’s 2000 victory was far less legitimate than Trump’s.

    On a serious and constructive note for those who haven’t seen it already: https://ssd.eff.org/en

  8. multitool says

    Thank god for this finally.

    Quints: I feel your doubts about the effectiveness of all this, but you have to understand: In 2003, the organized Left was just getting started. So much has grown since then.

    And if done right, this won’t just be a collective howl of outrage in protests. If done right, this will be a network to move resources, information, and physical action outside of the permission of incumbent media and power.

    Get to know everyone who you might have to hide in your attic someday.

  9. unclefrogy says

    I am old enough to have seen this guy live and in person
    I wish I could say I helped when he lived way back then, I agreed with him and the causes of freedom justice and truth that were primary then but I sat back and was content to just live those values in my life I did not speak out in public I did not march, I voted but did not get involved.
    I have watched things slide ever so irresistibly toward a crisis by luck and good fortune and the hard work of others we have escaped each time only to find out that it has only been postponed and we have had but a little reprieve
    A rude question keeps nagging me “If not now when?”
    uncle frogy

  10. chrislawson says

    I have spent most of my adult life objecting to the lazy misuse of “fascist” to describe anyone even remotely conservative. This time the label is 100% spot on.

  11. chrislawson says

    qwints: there have been many unsuccessful protest movements but there have also been successful ones. The DAPL protest is the most recent example, but famous wins include the Salt March, the Suffragette movement, the Velvet Revolution, and many more…

    There’s a fine line between cynicism and defeatism.

  12. says

    Even if the protests don’t work straight away, there is some value in standing up and being counted.

    If people don’t protest, the fascists can claim to have the support of the people.

  13. zardeenah says

    @15

    Just to spread the word, don’t worry about Godwin – he’s already got this:

    ://www.washingtonpost.com/pwa/?utm_term=.f73f8fcdb0f0#https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/12/14/sure-call-trump-a-nazi-just-make-sure-you-know-what-youre-talking-about/

  14. rpjohnston says

    If I wanted to submit a post to Resistance, how would I do that? Admittedly all I’ve got is moral hectoring, but if ya’ll don’t mind reading and deciding whether to post or not, I have a couple of post ideas.

  15. Freodin says

    I’m all with you. I think that resistance to a movement that is bound to destroy the USA as we have come to know it is a noble cause.

    I just wonder… what do you propose to do when the other side simply doesn’t care about your resistance?

  16. ck, the Irate Lump says

    Freodin wrote:

    I just wonder… what do you propose to do when the other side simply doesn’t care about your resistance?

    The idea is to make sure the resistance is large and loud enough that they cannot easily be squashed by the other side. There is some safety in numbers, even if it’s not guaranteed safety for every single member.

  17. Freodin says

    The idea is to make sure the resistance is large and loud enough that they cannot easily be squashed by the other side. There is some safety in numbers, even if it’s not guaranteed safety for every single member.

    Oh, I get that idea. The problem that I see isn’t “squashing”. It is ignoring.
    You protest largely and loudly about losing healthcare, enviromental protection, voting rights… you protest largely and loudly about corporations and the One-Percent gutting social security and placing their own wealth above the interests of the nation?
    So what, we will do it anyway. Who is going to stop us? The ass-lickers in Congress or government, who know on which side their bread is buttered? Who can count on their constituents vote against their own interest, as long as they present another scary boogeyman? Who deflect every obvious lie the president tells with “Well, I don’t know that it is false.”

    What can you do? Hope that enough people recognize how they have been cheated on the next election? Hope that there still is enough of the liberal America left on the next election . Hope they won’t do that much damage to your society that you cannot fix it anymore?

    I do hope that I am too negative here… 2016 has really brought me down, on more than the (foreign) political level. But I don’t have much hope. I think you are screwed over quite thoroughly. My main hope is that the US doesn’t manage to fuck up us rest of the world in the same way.

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