Page 1 of 10 [ 153 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 10  Next

B19
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator

User avatar

Joined: 11 Jan 2013
Gender: Female
Posts: 9,993
Location: New Zealand

11 Oct 2016, 1:12 am

The acclaimed novelist Sinclair Lewis once wrote a novel that may interest book lovers who are also worried about where the current political hysteria may lead. The Guardian also published an article about the grim possibility of parallels to now represented by Lewis's novel, which was written in the first half of last century:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/sho ... nald-trump

Book lover or not, could it happen in the USA?



Kraichgauer
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 12 Apr 2010
Gender: Male
Posts: 45,695
Location: Spokane area, Washington state.

11 Oct 2016, 2:10 am

Yes. If fascism comes to America, it will come in with the flag and the cross. So far, extreme nationalism and fundamentalism has been attracting droves of supporters, even though all either has to offer is a bag of roaches.


_________________
-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer


B19
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator

User avatar

Joined: 11 Jan 2013
Gender: Female
Posts: 9,993
Location: New Zealand

11 Oct 2016, 2:13 am

I asked a friend of mine in Mexico City whether he had read this book, as he is very interested in novels of this kind. I was surprised by his reply: "Funny you should ask me that. Two other people spoke about it to me today, in relation to what is happening in the USA. I must read it"



Darmok
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 18 Dec 2015
Gender: Male
Posts: 12,030
Location: New England

11 Oct 2016, 2:30 am

Well, Obama has been laying the foundations for centralized Leftist control throughout the government for the last eight years, and one of the most important pieces -- use of the national police (FBI) for political manipulation -- has now been set. With Hillary in place and above the law, four years of vicious revenge will follow. Yes, "it" can happen here. That's why #NeverHillary.


_________________
 
There Are Four Lights!


B19
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator

User avatar

Joined: 11 Jan 2013
Gender: Female
Posts: 9,993
Location: New Zealand

11 Oct 2016, 2:50 am

The politician Windrip in it has lately been compared with Trump, rather than Obama:
http://www.salon.com/2015/09/29/it_real ... an_appeal/



Evam
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

User avatar

Joined: 24 Mar 2015
Posts: 309

11 Oct 2016, 4:43 am

The (partly German or Austrian) authors of "The Authoritarian Personality" had been asking the same question at the beginning of the 40s and found in their study that a preoccupingly high percentage of Americans are of the F-scale personality type (F like fascism), so prone to fall for autocratic or dictatorial systems and irrational and over-polarized ideology.

I think, however, that there are good reasons to believe that nowadays, things cant derail as they did in Germany at that time.
1. we have more experience with mass manipulation techniques
2. we can easily and quickly debunk wrong information given by anybody.
3. we get a much more complete picture of a public person nowadays.
3. we have a better understanding about socio-psychologic development (Piaget), psychology (Anna Freud: Ego defense mechanisms, Adler: compensation of a minority complex, others: neuroses), and the neurologic underpinnings of people who lack the power of judgement (Hannah Arendt: The Banality of Evil), an instrumenal reasoning (Dialectic of Enlightenment), and a propensity to develop individual or shared anxiety disorders.
4. it has gotten more difficult for people to consider themselves as superior, although they are actually cognitively challenged.
5. people have gotten much more aware of the vanity of the people who seek power, and dont fall for it that easily anymore. Charisma/demonic attraction is basically a phenomena of the past.
6. education is much less violent than it used to be, and values a little more the differences between children than it used to

I link the current hysteria to the hysteria about ASD epidemic and think that contrary to seemingly similar findings in history (Joachim Radkau, "The Age of Nervousness. Germany between Bismark an Hitler", the eugenic movement), this hysteria has a different, somewhat more entertaining and disillusionating quality, even with anxious-driven people. But even if things cant turn that bad, they might still go quite terribly wrong and a lot of harm can be either done - or avoided.

It would for example help a lot, if the US was capaple of modernizing their political system soon, and a majority would form and opt out of this debilitating two-party system with its focus on presidential power. That system of yours comes out of an historic period a modern democracy should have long left behind. It would be also good if the US would recognize themselves as a country with a higher than average degree of autism (due to being a migration society and due to more stress), to understand that stress is doing a lot of harm to people in general (and people on the spectrum in particular), and to take the necessary measures to lower stress.

I see it as very beneficial that third party candidates have gotten so much support and sympathy, in particular from younger voters, that Bernie Sanders policies attracted a lot of interest, that maternity leave and an employers attitude towards the parental duties of their employees have got a lot of attention, while the formerly very disputed health care reform has gotten much less.

That misogyny and rape culture gets so much attention is a very necessary part of the process, too. As is that much tougher regulation on gun control is not a taboo anymore. The true politial revolutions take always place in the private sphere first.
7. Women take a more active stand in politics.
8. ... and so should neurotypics.

Btw, I am neurotpyic, and this has a lot to do with why my answer to the question turns out more optimistic than that of others here.

For the broader perspective, I recommend "The Better Angels of Nature" from Stephen Pinter that has come to the same conclusion from a different (albeit at times a little faulty) way of reasoning, which might appeal more to pessimists than mine. The book takes a closer look at the long history of human violence, and comes to the - somewhat surprising, but comprehensible - conclusion that things have gotten better over the milleniums, as well as over the last centuries and decennies.



auntblabby
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 12 Feb 2010
Gender: Male
Posts: 110,283
Location: the island of defective toy santas

11 Oct 2016, 4:46 am

When and if fascism comes to America...it will not even be called 'fascism'; it will be called, of course, 'Americanism'" --Professor Halford E. Luccock of Yale Divinity School; New York Times article from September 12, 1938, page 15



B19
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator

User avatar

Joined: 11 Jan 2013
Gender: Female
Posts: 9,993
Location: New Zealand

11 Oct 2016, 5:00 am

Evam, thank you for your considered and thoughtful contribution to the thread. I agree with most of it, not all. It is very refreshing to read posts like yours though, with carefully weighed ideas and analysis.

..

And it's always good to hear from you, AB :)



Mootoo
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 1 Oct 2010
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,942
Location: over the rainbow

11 Oct 2016, 5:01 am

Evam wrote:
I think, however, that there are good reasons to believe that nowadays, things cant derail as they did in Germany at that time.
1. we have more experience with mass manipulation techniques

Not collective experience per se, magic can always be seemingly conjured up.

Evam wrote:
2. we can easily and quickly debunk wrong information given by anybody.

I keep thinking that but then I keep linking to snopes and all kinds of possibilities that this cult just discounts, because somehow they're critical when it comes to one thing but totally open to everything else.

Evam wrote:
3. we get a much more complete picture of a public person nowadays.

Does this really matter when all it means is an excess of information? When someone also has multiple faces people will believe whichever is convenient...



B19
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator

User avatar

Joined: 11 Jan 2013
Gender: Female
Posts: 9,993
Location: New Zealand

11 Oct 2016, 5:06 am

This might be interesting to you Mootoo:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... s-ideology



auntblabby
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 12 Feb 2010
Gender: Male
Posts: 110,283
Location: the island of defective toy santas

11 Oct 2016, 5:15 am

B19 wrote:
Evam, thank you for your considered and thoughtful contribution to the thread. I agree with most of it, not all. It is very refreshing to read posts like yours though, with carefully weighed ideas and analysis. ..And it's always good to hear from you, AB :)

thank you B19 :) I am guessing this has to be the first time that during a debate, one presidential candidate threatened to jail another presidential candidate. that is not reassuringly American, sounds more third world to me.



B19
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator

User avatar

Joined: 11 Jan 2013
Gender: Female
Posts: 9,993
Location: New Zealand

11 Oct 2016, 6:12 am

I watched it live, and the first commentator down here, from the media pack, made an interesting observation: that presidential debates of the past were typically always interlaced with positive aspirational messages, a hopeful inspirational and cohesive vision for a better future, whereas this one was focused almost entirely on negative dispute about past events, and any mention of the future was only in that context of the negativity both candidates displayed in relation to past events and claims.

I went back and watched it again, with that comment in mind, which illuminated the point. Both kept looking back negatively (though not in equal measure and not in equal ways).

A photo of the menacing look on Trump's face as he was standing very close behind Clinton as she spoke was chilling for me, very triggering, and I had a visceral response to it.



auntblabby
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 12 Feb 2010
Gender: Male
Posts: 110,283
Location: the island of defective toy santas

11 Oct 2016, 6:17 am

^^^^wasn't it depressing? I can only take some solace, that we have this thing called the bugs bunny/daffy duck theory which states that in past presidential contests, the candidate who was consistently cool and collected [bugs bunny, coolly insouciant] won out over the daffy duck candidate [volatile, sputtering]. prime example was ronnie raygun [bugs] versus jimmy carter [daffy]. who would you say this time, was bugs bunny?



B19
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator

User avatar

Joined: 11 Jan 2013
Gender: Female
Posts: 9,993
Location: New Zealand

11 Oct 2016, 6:21 am

Thank you for that, because I was badly in need of something that made me smile. I think both Daffy and Bugs are far too genuine in character, behaviour and integrity to ever be a match for political manipulators, it defames the little blighters!!



auntblabby
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 12 Feb 2010
Gender: Male
Posts: 110,283
Location: the island of defective toy santas

11 Oct 2016, 6:24 am

^^^on the subject of defaming little blighters ;) do you at least take some comfort in the fact that, relative to our sour political spectacle, that your home nation's political struggles come off comparatively sweet in comparison?



B19
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator

User avatar

Joined: 11 Jan 2013
Gender: Female
Posts: 9,993
Location: New Zealand

11 Oct 2016, 6:46 am

Of course there are political divisions and sometimes chicanery, sometimes crony capitalism, sometimes lies, here too, as elsewhere. But if you rated the level of those elements in the two countries on a 1-10 scale at present, where 1 was "not like that" and 10 was "absolutely like that", I would rate New Zealand right now as a 4, and the USA as a 9.

Things are probably not as rose coloured here as Americans may generally think; perhaps that misunderstanding is the influence of seeing the pretty pictures of impressive scenic locations.

Not surprisingly, New Zealanders as a whole know far more (far, far more) about the USA than vice versa. A very large proportion of New Zealanders have spent time there, and we are an American ally. For the time being. This has been so ever since the Americans were invited to and hosted in New Zealand for rest and recreation periods during WW2. Until recently, I don't think anyone seriously thought that the situation as allies could, would or should change markedly. It is different now. The vast majority of kiwis are alarmed by Trump, he is far more disliked here on a per capita basis than in his own country, and editorial opinions tend to be the same, even from the most conservative newspapers. He is seen as boorish, bullying, narcissistic and dangerous, not only to Americans but to the world. Clinton is not particularly liked either, though she is not seen as any of those things (she is almost unanimously preferred here for that reason).

New Zealand has only had one Prime Minister in the past with proto-fascist demagogue tendencies, and not so long ago. These memories are still fairly fresh, (he was voted out in 1984, after he called a snap election during a drunken episode captured on television), people still remember the damage to others that his vindictive nature caused, he took the slightest disagreement as a personal slight on himself. They can see the same fault in Trump, I think, and this has been another influence in the nationwide anti-Trump feeling here.