Video: America’s coming Weimar moment

Does the title have your attention? Does it fill you with a feeling of dread?

It should.

Over the years, I’ve heard a lot of conflicting narratives about how the Nazis came to power, but at this point I think the biggest obstacle to understanding history might be the way we’re taught history through the lens of so-called Great Men. Everyone wants to focus on Hitler. I think it’s no accident that this perspective on history came about in viciously hierarchical societies like the ones that brought us the world as it exists today.

I think this is a bad approach to history because as we are currently seeing with the fascist Republican Party, while “charismatic” leaders are a key component, they are also eminently replicable. This is why the notion that getting rid of Trump will “cure” the GOP is little more than a childish fantasy. Trump is not the cause, he is the current vehicle. The party base loves him passionately, and will defend anything he does, but if he leaves the picture, they’ll happily transfer that worship to whoever wins the next dick-swinging contest. Trump’s continued power in the GOP is not required for the United States to become a fascist regime. The oligarchs will happily find a new vehicle if he can’t go the distance. I also think they honestly would be fine with Trump dying in prison (though I doubt that’ll happen), because it’ll be such a useful propaganda tool for them.

So it’s useful to look at the larger system, and in this case, the judiciary. Hopefully by now you are already alarmed about the U.S. Supreme Court, and their naked abuse of power, but I’m here to make clear that you’re probably not alarmed enough. Well, I’m here to encourage you to listen to the Iron Dice podcast, and learn about how conservative politicians and judges sabotaged the aspiring democracy of Weimar Germany, and brought the Nazis to power:


  1. Allison says

    I did not view the video and don’t plan to.

    I’ve been living in this kind of dread for a long time. I don’t see how it makes the world any better to simply add to it.

    If you want me to watch a video (I normally don’t like videos anyway), then find one that tells me what I can do to act against these awful futures. (Not just “X Y and Z should happen,” without seeing someone in your audience that can do it. That’s basically the same thing as asking God to fix it.) Otherwise, it’s just masochism.

    P.S.: I read a lot about trauma and PTSD, and one thing that really makes PTSD worse and more likely is being in horrible fear and not being able to do anything. Doing something, even something stupid, feels less horrible than doing nothing at all.

  2. SchreiberBike says

    My first though after it was clear that the January 6 attempt had failed was “Beer Hall Putsch”. The Reichstag fire is what I’m watching for now.

  3. says

    Allison – nobody is obligated to interact with anything on this blog.

    That said, your point is why I try to consistently present options for direct action. None of what’s available for normal people to do will solve these problems NOW, but in building the capacity for real change, we can also help each other survive and cope with this dystopian society.

    I’m trying to find a balance between directly acknowledging reality, and promoting ways to do something about it. Sometimes that means presenting grim and terrifying content, because that’s the world we’re stuck with right now.

    Edit: I think it’s also important to remember that a lot of people have NOT been living with this dread, or if they have, they don’t know enough history to actually understand what is happening, why it’s happening, and how it’s happening. Some of what’s in the video is new to me, and I find audio content to be a useful way for me to learn. It seems reasonable to assume that I’m not alone in that.

  4. says


    I will try to make more of an effort to include positive news and/or action posts. I can’t promise I’ll have that stuff weekly, but it IS something I spend a lot of time looking for. It’s just that few things are uncomplicated these days, and a lot of what’s billed as good news or “activism” is stuff that I think is neither.

    But I will try to post more about organizing tactics, campaign strategy (not talking about electoral campaigns), and stuff like that.

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