8.19.2022 – a simplistic

a simplistic
and egalitarian
expression … o
f hate

Thinking about wrongs in place of rights as in voters ‘rights’.

Seems like there should be a bill of wrongs.

A Bill of Rights of what you get through being a citizen of the United States.

A Bill of Wrongs of what you don’t get through being a citizen of the United States.

But I digress.

What I wanted to consider today was a chicken or egg discussion.

And I am going to the land of don’t go there and will ask, did Trump come first and his followers follow?

Or did a certain following find a their voice through Trump and got on his bandwagon by letting Trump get in front.

I came across this discussion about this question.

In fanning the flames of Make America Great Again, involving a profound sense of national conservative community, identity, and destiny, Trump had built upon quite the opposite of what most observers – even the Republican elite, on occasion – assumed.

The “belief that under Trump, the Republicans were, so to speak, subjected to total communicative and ideological brainwashing” by Trump and his right wing accomplices was simply not fact, the official historians concluded.

“The widespread view that systematic government propaganda kept the population ready and willing for action, or even created a unified ‘national’ feeling among them, ignores reality,” the historians pointed out.

“Identification with the nation could not be produced on command, and as a rule propaganda was convincing only to those already converted.”

Right wing radical nationalism, stretching back decades before Trump, was in truth “the precondition for propaganda being successful, not the other way around.”

Trump and the FOX news propaganda had succeeded so well, in other words, because it hinged upon “established nationalist beliefs.”

The “spreading of racist, xenophobic, or authoritarian stereotypes” worked so effectively because such propaganda was directed at “voters already predisposed to them.”

In a country like the United States, given the country’s history since its early times, Trump had understood as a Republican outsider that the very concept of democracy was foreign.

Republican right wing radical intellectuals had for years sneered at it – and had avoided practical politics.

With its rich history of constitutional warfare at the epicenter of America, and its distaste for thinking through or dealing with the necessary compromises involved in civilized society, Republican right wing radicals could therefore, in the wake of deep economic depression, be encouraged to focus on a supposedly egalitarian, simplistic expression of nationalist identity: one that, in order to cohere and remain strong, must see others – whether foreigners or non-whites – as enemies: enemies to be excluded, disrespected, defeated. And where deemed necessary, simply liquidated, without remorse or compunction.

Anyone who objected to the nationalistic program of the Republican right wing was “othered”.

Far from becoming a nation of warrior-serfs obeying a draconian Trump, in other words, nationalistic Republican right wing radicals had become loyal and obedient members of a community – proud and arrogant citizens of a revived country dedicated to MAGA.

Makes you think.

In order to cohere and remain strong, must see others – whether foreigners or non-whites – as enemies: enemies to be excluded, disrespected, defeated.

So here is the twist.

I DID indeed read this passage in a book the other day.

But it wasn’t a book about Trump.

In the book, Commander in chief : FDR’s battle with Churchill, 1943, (2016 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt : Boston), the author, Nigel Hamilton, was making a point about defeating Nazi Germany.

He wrote the above passage about Germany in 1943.

I swapped out Trump for Hitler and Republican Right Wing Radicals for Nazi’s and changes along that line.

The original passage reads thusly: “In fanning the flames of Volksgemeinschaft, involving a profound sense of national German community, identity, and destiny, Hitler had built upon quite the opposite of what most observers – even the Nazi elite, on occasion – assumed. The “belief that under National Socialism the Germans were, so to speak, subjected to total communicative and ideological brainwashing” by Hitler and his Nazi accomplices was simply not fact, the official historians concluded. “The widespread view that systematic government propaganda kept the population ready and willing for war, or even created a unified ‘national’ feeling among them, ignores reality,” the historians pointed out. “Identification with the nation could not be produced on command, and as a rule propaganda was convincing only to those already converted.” German nationalism, stretching back decades before Hitler, was in truth “the precondition for propaganda being successful, not the other way around.” Hitler and Goebbels’s propaganda had succeeded so well, in other words, because it hinged upon “established nationalist beliefs.” The “spreading of racist, xenophobic, or authoritarian stereotypes” had, as instanced in the conquest of Poland and huge swaths of the Soviet Union, worked so effectively because such propaganda was directed at “soldiers already predisposed to them.” In a country like Germany, given the country’s warring history since ancient times, Hitler had understood as an Austrian outsider that the very concept of democracy was foreign. German intellectuals had for centuries sneered at it – and had avoided practical politics, preferring philosophy, the arts, and science. With its rich history of land warfare at the epicenter of Europe, and its distaste for thinking through or dealing with the necessary compromises involved in civilized society, Germany’s people could therefore, in the wake of deep economic depression and defeat in World War I, be encouraged to focus on a supposedly egalitarian, simplistic expression of nationalist German identity: one that, in order to cohere and remain strong, must see others – whether foreigners or Jews, communists or non-Aryans – as enemies: enemies to be excluded, disrespected, defeated. And where deemed necessary, simply liquidated, without remorse or compunction. Anyone who objected to the nationalistic program in Germany was “othered,” while “in foreign affairs” the “seed was planted for the future offensive war of extermination,” the German official historians concluded. “War, established as a permanent component of German politics as an inheritance from the First World War, from then on became the natural means of achieving political ends both at home and abroad.” Far from becoming a nation of warrior-serfs obeying a draconian führer, in other words, nationalistic Germans had become loyal and obedient members of a community – proud and arrogant citizens of a revived empire: a third Reich, a Volksgemeinschaft, a “master race” of individuals each cognizant at some level and largely supportive of the genocide being directed against Jews in Germany as well as outside Germany on their behalf; supportive, too, of barbarous treatment of enemies such as Russian Untermenschen, since the denigration of “others” only increased and inflamed this powerful sense of national German identity.”

Easy to make many conclusions and easy to miss many conclusions.

For myself, I will let you readers come to your own conclusions.

I will say this.

Watch the news.

On one channel you will hear nothing but news about injustice.

On the other channel you will hear nothing but news about injustice.

But there does seem to be a lot more hate,

a lot more disrespect,

a lot more arrogance,

on one of those channels.

As the Bible says, “By their fruit you will recognize them.” (Matthew 7:16)

And the Bible says, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Draws a line in the sand there.

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