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Old 05-16-2020, 05:55 PM
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If fascism comes to America, can blue states and large cities provide meaningful resistance


Assume the worst happens, and the US becomes more and more fascist. The judiciary is packed with radical partisans who endorse authoritarianism and assault civil rights. Gerrymandering means the gop has a lock on power unless they lose by 20 points. Voting rights are badly suppressed. Elections eventually are openly stolen and the federal judiciary rubber stamps it.

In the US, when the south engaged in state sponsored terrorism and authoritarianism against black people the federal government stepped in and (eventually) helped stop it.

So if the federal government goes authoritarian like the government in Poland or Hungary are doing, can the states and large cities put up meaningful resistance to it? Do they have any power to push back? Much of the US economy comes from large cities and blue states. Can they use that to resist?

Can they use their state courts to resist orders given by the federal courts or federal government?
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Old 05-16-2020, 06:02 PM
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In a country this large, I don’t see how states can’t have an impact. I also don’t see how the federal government could practically exert military will against every single blue area without consequence or resistance.

As I keep saying in these thought experiments, “America structured as it is now, except fascist dictatorship or what have you” is about as unlikely a concept as I can think of.
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Old 05-16-2020, 06:07 PM
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I disagree. Black people have been kept under slavery and Jim crow which were both very authoritarian. Authoritarianism is entirely possible here since we've done it to people we don't like for hundreds of years.

But black people never had wealth, their own local and state governments, their own state courts or produced 60-80% of America's gdp like urban areas and blue states do.
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Old 05-16-2020, 06:13 PM
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People still had hope of changing things basically within the system. If that hope goes away completely, I think the country will break up long before we have the 50 States of Trump.

Are there enough ready and willing troops to storm coastal California, NYC, L.A., Chicago, etc, basically at the same time? I have trouble imagining it.

Balkanization, absolutely I can imagine that. But “the country structured as it is now, except dictatorship”? Like I said above, I just don’t see it.
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Old 05-16-2020, 07:13 PM
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"If"?
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Old 05-16-2020, 08:22 PM
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So if the federal government goes authoritarian like the government in Poland or Hungary are doing, can the states and large cities put up meaningful resistance to it?
Are the governments of Poland and Hungary actually authoritarian, or are they merely right-wing and anti-immigration? I have heard a hell of a lot about the Russian government being authoritarian, especially as it pertains to Ukraine and Crimea. I have never heard that Poland and Hungary were authoritarian.
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Old 05-16-2020, 08:26 PM
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If it takes on a racial dynamic, blue voters would be at a disadvantage. Since minority voters are quite strongly majority liberal (90% for blacks, 60-80% for Hispanics, etc.) but white voters are hard to distinguish (could be leftish, could be righty), it would be easier for right-wingers to target left-wingers than vice versa.

Plenty of Democrats own guns (and such gun ownership would no doubt spike among liberals as things got worse,) but restrictions might be placed against minority Americans owning guns. Ironically, 2nd Amendment folks may be proven to be correct: You do indeed need guns to defend against a tyrannical government..........but not in the way people thought.
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Old 05-16-2020, 09:15 PM
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Are the governments of Poland and Hungary actually authoritarian, or are they merely right-wing and anti-immigration? I have heard a hell of a lot about the Russian government being authoritarian, especially as it pertains to Ukraine and Crimea. I have never heard that Poland and Hungary were authoritarian.
https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/02/05...authoritarian/

https://www.ecfr.eu/article/commenta...e_of_democracy
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Old 05-16-2020, 09:18 PM
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As much as I criticize the whole dual federalism at times, this is what makes it more challenging (though not impossible) for a would-be dictator to consolidate power. All states have their own cultural and political identity. He can punish states if he and his allies desire but that could backfire; it could have the effect of unifying a state against him.

That brings me to the point about blue vs red states. Don't assume that everyone in a "blue" state would join the revolution against him. Even in a state like New York, there would be a lot of Trump supporters in, say, upstate NY who would say "Fuck you" to a resistance movement. In Pennsylvania, pretty much anything between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia is "Pensa-Bama."
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Old 05-16-2020, 09:27 PM
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Yeah, it's more of an urban vs rural divide than a blue vs red state divide. Outside of a few new England states, most states are deeply red in white rural areas.

But blue states and urban areas are where most of the economic activity happens. Urban areas subsidize rural areas and blue states subsidize red states. I'm not sure if they could refuse to pay taxes as a form of protest. Or if they could tie the federal government up in state court for years and years.
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Old 05-16-2020, 09:33 PM
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If it takes on a racial dynamic, blue voters would be at a disadvantage. Since minority voters are quite strongly majority liberal (90% for blacks, 60-80% for Hispanics, etc.) but white voters are hard to distinguish (could be leftish, could be righty), it would be easier for right-wingers to target left-wingers than vice versa.

Plenty of Democrats own guns (and such gun ownership would no doubt spike among liberals as things got worse,) but restrictions might be placed against minority Americans owning guns. Ironically, 2nd Amendment folks may be proven to be correct: You do indeed need guns to defend against a tyrannical government..........but not in the way people thought.
Ideally it wouldn't come to a military conflict. I'm more wondering about blue states and urban areas using their governments, state courts, economies, etc to resist. One example would be urban areas and blue states refusing to cooperate with the trump government regarding immigration. There wasn't military conflict, just resistance.

As far as targeting people, around ~40% of white voters are democrats. Not quite fifty fifty but close. However in rural white areas around 65-80% of white voters are Republicans. However many people don't even vote. In a rural area maybe out of 100 white people, around 50% are non voters, 35% republican and 15% democrats.
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Old 05-16-2020, 09:43 PM
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The federal government would prevail as ultimately, it has the biggest guns.

When the federal government wanted to integrate schools in the South and some Southern States didn't, what happened? The federal government sent an Army division and federalized the State National Guard. It's not like doing something like that would be beyond the GOP.

At that point, it might come down to military personnel choosing sides.

If cities and States governments refused to cooperate on tax raising or immigration, the federal government could still do its job, just not as efficiently and there's little indication they care about efficient government in general.
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Old 05-16-2020, 09:50 PM
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The federal government would prevail as ultimately, it has the biggest guns.

When the federal government wanted to integrate schools in the South and some Southern States didn't, what happened? The federal government sent an Army division and federalized the State National Guard. It's not like doing something like that would be beyond the GOP.

At that point, it might come down to military personnel choosing sides.

If cities and States governments refused to cooperate on tax raising or immigration, the federal government could still do its job, just not as efficiently and there's little indication they care about efficient government in general.
But what happens when those states/big cities (which are the bulk of the population) stop sending money to Washington and they cannot pay their soldiers? Red states cannot support the military on their own (or, if they can, there is precious little for anything else).

In short, the country has collapsed into a civil war and I doubt anything good would come from that.
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Old 05-16-2020, 10:00 PM
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But what happens when those states/big cities (which are the bulk of the population) stop sending money to Washington and they cannot pay their soldiers? Red states cannot support the military on their own (or, if they can, there is precious little for anything else).

In short, the country has collapsed into a civil war and I doubt anything good would come from that.
When you say "states/big cities", do you mean the people/corporations paying federal taxes or the governments at the State and municipal levels? Does the NY State government itself send much money to the federal government? Even if the NYC mayor says "fuck the feds", the federal government can still get its money from NYC taxpayers. Or maybe there's some aspect of US government I'm not getting.
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Old 05-16-2020, 10:09 PM
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There's really no way to predict how something like this would go down. Suffice it to say, though, that America's nemeses would revel in our conflict.
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Old 05-16-2020, 10:21 PM
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I think the only way to prevent some fascist federal government from taking over is if you could form a splinter group of enough military and police that would not side with some huge authoritarian government, and honestly I'm not sure enough would refuse to along with it.
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Old 05-17-2020, 12:14 AM
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When you say "states/big cities", do you mean the people/corporations paying federal taxes or the governments at the State and municipal levels? Does the NY State government itself send much money to the federal government? Even if the NYC mayor says "fuck the feds", the federal government can still get its money from NYC taxpayers. Or maybe there's some aspect of US government I'm not getting.
I think this supposes a Civil War between blue states and red states.

There are more red states but blue states have more population.

If such a thing came to pass and blue states withheld money to the federal government what do you think would happen?

How long do you think federal troops would be getting a paycheck and what do you think most of them will do when those paychecks stop?
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Old 05-17-2020, 01:01 AM
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I think this supposes a Civil War between blue states and red states.

There are more red states but blue states have more population.

If such a thing came to pass and blue states withheld money to the federal government what do you think would happen?

How long do you think federal troops would be getting a paycheck and what do you think most of them will do when those paychecks stop?
If there's an actual civil war using the assets and personnel of the US military today (as opposed to the 1860s), payroll won't have time to be a major issue. Running out of missiles, aircraft and people will matter way before making payroll. Wars aren't fought like in the 1860s anymore.
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Old 05-17-2020, 07:35 AM
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... Even if the NYC mayor says "fuck the feds", the federal government can still get its money from NYC taxpayers. Or maybe there's some aspect of US government I'm not getting.
Money is mostly electronic these days; employers send electronic money to federal accounts; much of this activity is controlled by banks headquartered in New York City. With conflicting directives would these banks obey the New York Governor or the GOP-appointed SecTreas?

Control of financial networks might become important. The feds have the most powerful computer-hacking organizations in the Western Hemisphere, but there are plenty of talented anti-Trump hackers. Let's hope there is already an underground organization aware of the danger and making plans to take control of key networks.

If financial networks are severed, there will be confusion about which dollars are "real." Demand for printed banknotes might rise. At present banknotes are printed in Fort Worth, TX and Washington, DC.

Physical control of the City of Washington would become important. Although nominal headquarters of the GOP dictatorship, its population is the most anti-GOP of any territory. Perhaps that city is where armed fighting, if any, will be crucial.
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Old 05-17-2020, 01:50 PM
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I wonder if the 130 or so known street gangs (who are better armed than the police usually )in LA county would form a resistance if so cal was invaded

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Old 05-17-2020, 02:38 PM
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In the event of any kind of civil war in America, I can't see the full force of the military being brought to bear on any states. You can't rule over a pile of rubble and corpses. Also, while the enlisted ranks lean conservative, the officers are often more moderate. This especially applies to the people who are tasked with operating the really high-powered war machines like the planes, missiles, and ships - often graduates of military academies, highly educated, and with a pretty reasonable perspective on the world. The guys with their fingers on "the buttons" of all this stuff are not mindless sheep that can be easily manipulated by a dictatorial leader.

The population needs to be "kept in line" but it isn't going to be by airstrikes and missiles. As in Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, much of the dirty work would be done by civilians snitching on each other; by volunteers, paramilitaries and irregulars. Remember that even during the Holocaust, huge numbers of people all over Europe were killed not by gas chambers or bombings but by police officers, army reservists, and enthusiastic civilian volunteers, just going around and shooting people in the head.

Can that kind of fascism be resisted? Yeah, it can.
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Old 05-17-2020, 03:38 PM
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In the event of any kind of civil war in America, I can't see the full force of the military being brought to bear on any states. You can't rule over a pile of rubble and corpses. Also, while the enlisted ranks lean conservative, the officers are often more moderate.
Even among the enlisted, 43% of men and 56% of women are a racial minority https://www.cfr.org/article/demographics-us-military

As you say, officers tend to be educated professionals and education is one of the main cleavages in US politics https://www.theatlantic.com/educatio...litics/575113/

So, neither the enlisted nor the officers could be relied upon to side with the GOP. They might split about evenly.



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The guys with their fingers on "the buttons" of all this stuff are not mindless sheep that can be easily manipulated by a dictatorial leader.
I've read, don't remember where, that Trump's underlings often undermine him by not doing what they're told and presumably not mentioning/hiding information from him. He likely can't keep track of who he told what to do anyway. So, military personnel who were unenthusiastic about following orders might often forget or perform them badly.


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much of the dirty work would be done by civilians snitching on each other; by volunteers, paramilitaries and irregulars. Remember that even during the Holocaust, huge numbers of people all over Europe were killed not by gas chambers or bombings but by police officers, army reservists, and enthusiastic civilian volunteers, just going around and shooting people in the head.

Can that kind of fascism be resisted? Yeah, it can
So, you'd have GOP militias fighting Democrat militias? It seems hard to believe the US would devolve into Lebanon but at this point, it's difficult to wave aside the possibility even if it has a low probability.

The GOPers would have a headstart since they've been preparing and yearning for a race war since the 70s.

I wonder the steps the transformation would take. You'd like have "concerned citizens" harassing non-whites for being intruders, sometimes killing them as happened in famous cases. You'd have "second amendment rallies" where fascists forces would parade with their guns to intimidate others. There would be more acts of terrorism. Burning crosses might make a comeback. The goal might be to drive PoCs and non-GOP whites out of GOP areas.

I don't see how they could really go on the offensive to invade other states though, just ethnically, religiously and politically cleanse the areas where fascists have enough of a majority. The political cleansing might take the form of a religious proxy in that evangelical Christianity would stand as a dog-whistle/fig-leaf for fascism and white supremacy. A white person saying they're Evangelical would be a way of indirectly saying they're on the side of fascists/white supremacists.
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Old 05-17-2020, 05:57 PM
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I think that Bogart put it best.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjkRd288caQ
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Old 05-17-2020, 06:11 PM
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A lot of people talk about how blue cities generate the most tax revenue, have the most education, technology, business, finance, etc.


All of that unfortunately takes a back seat to the survival reality of food. Major urban centers typically have only a few weeks' worth of food, but millions of mouths to feed. When they run out, they will have to go into the countryside or ocean for food. Granted, a wheat farm isn't exactly edible in its state, but the breadbasket of America is where the food is at. Farmers and ranchers have edibles they produce. In circumstances like that, having banks on your side is meaningless. Tax revenue, arts, humanities, social sciences, thousands of PhDs in the city, isn't meaningful.
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Old 05-17-2020, 06:16 PM
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If fascism comes to America, My money would be that it will be coming FROM the blue states. You know, the ones that pass laws preventing people from being 'gig' workers, and who believe that the government controlling the economy is a good thing. FDR and many on the left loved Mussolini, right up until he allied with the Nazis.

If fascism comes to America, it will come with a smile and a government promising to 'help' you.
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Old 05-17-2020, 06:40 PM
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A lot of people talk about how blue cities generate the most tax revenue, have the most education, technology, business, finance, etc.


All of that unfortunately takes a back seat to the survival reality of food. Major urban centers typically have only a few weeks' worth of food, but millions of mouths to feed. When they run out, they will have to go into the countryside or ocean for food. Granted, a wheat farm isn't exactly edible in its state, but the breadbasket of America is where the food is at. Farmers and ranchers have edibles they produce. In circumstances like that, having banks on your side is meaningless. Tax revenue, arts, humanities, social sciences, thousands of PhDs in the city, isn't meaningful.
As much as people talk about the political divide between urban blue and rural red, I'm not sure the food supply is under redneck control: I think food producers will still want to bring their products to city markets.

As chaos comes, there will be shortages, but shortages of gasoline and diesel fuel may have more immediate effect than food shortage. Expect electricity outages — Hacking or damaging the electric grid will be a simple way for factions to disrupt their enemies.

Just two years ago, conversations like this would be idle chatter — material for a dystopic sci-fi story. Now in 2020 these scenarios seem less far-fetched. I seriously hope there are white-hat cybersecurity experts making plans. Civil War will begin with attacks on networks: the side which strikes first will gain advantage.
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Old 05-17-2020, 06:44 PM
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A lot of people talk about how blue cities generate the most tax revenue, have the most education, technology, business, finance, etc.


All of that unfortunately takes a back seat to the survival reality of food. Major urban centers typically have only a few weeks' worth of food, but millions of mouths to feed. When they run out, they will have to go into the countryside or ocean for food. Granted, a wheat farm isn't exactly edible in its state, but the breadbasket of America is where the food is at. Farmers and ranchers have edibles they produce. In circumstances like that, having banks on your side is meaningless. Tax revenue, arts, humanities, social sciences, thousands of PhDs in the city, isn't meaningful.
Yeah but food can be bought on the international marketplace if domestic supply dries up. plus food in rural areas is grown mostly by international companies.

Plus those rural areas will need to sell their food to 'someone' to fund their society. So they'll sell it to China who normally buys food from Brazil, so now the urban areas buy food from Brazil they normally sell to China.
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Old 05-17-2020, 07:05 PM
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I don't know if y'all have noticed, but we are already at war. Watching President Obama deliver some of his comments from yesterday brought that home to me. He's pissed and it appears he's ready to join the fight.

The fight isn't being fought with guns, bombs or troops and I don't expect that to change in any meaningful, significant way. That's old-school stuff. It's being fought mainly on the Internet, with television media a secondary weapon. It's intensifying now and at this point it's a real tossup as to who is going to win. Propaganda, lies, deceit, conspiracy theories and all that related bullshit is as old as the hills, but it all now has powerful new tools to wield, reaching more people than ever, and it sure seems to be working. How do we fight that most effectively?
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Old 05-17-2020, 07:10 PM
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Yeah but food can be bought on the international marketplace if domestic supply dries up. plus food in rural areas is grown mostly by international companies.

Plus those rural areas will need to sell their food to 'someone' to fund their society. So they'll sell it to China who normally buys food from Brazil, so now the urban areas buy food from Brazil they normally sell to China.
Yes but most blue cities in America are inland. The red countryside could cut off rail lines, highways. Granted, without SAMs they couldn't shoot down the airspace but it's hard to ship food from abroad to Kansas City other than by plane.
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Old 05-18-2020, 02:59 AM
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Cut off food to Kansas City and the inhabitants aren't just going to passively sit down and starve. When they get hungry enough they're going to leave the city and loot the countryside.

That would be ugly.
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Old 05-18-2020, 07:07 AM
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Yes but most blue cities in America are inland. The red countryside could cut off rail lines, highways. Granted, without SAMs they couldn't shoot down the airspace but it's hard to ship food from abroad to Kansas City other than by plane.
King Cotton didn't work. Neither would King Corn.

Even if most blue cities are inland, most of the blue population isn't. So GOPpers would, at worst, capture Kansas City and other minor cities in flyover land. Ok.

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Old 05-18-2020, 07:32 AM
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I think the Electoral College is a big key because it literally circumvents the will of the majority, as we so graphically witnessed in the last election. It's a system that allows large expanses of virtually unpopulated land to have far too much influence. A nation is its PEOPLE. It's not wrong for urban areas to have far more influence on decision making than rural areas because that's where all the PEOPLE are. The government gets a huge majority of its tax income from those areas, and government decisions affect far more people in those areas.
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Old 05-18-2020, 08:23 AM
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One thing to keep in mind is that Nazi-style totalitarianism is one outcome but not necessarily the only one. It's probably the worst that enters our imagination, but it's less likely than many of the outcomes that fall short of that. However, those less extreme scenarios can be pretty bad.

The immediate danger is a defacto hybrid democratic-authoritarian regime - a government that poses as a democracy in many forms but is, in fact, behaving more and more like an oligarchy and kleptocracy.

And the bad news is, we are already there now in some respects. The firings of the IGs, the abdication of the senate to do its basic responsibilities, the hyper-politicization of the judiciary selection process - that's one aspect of this system. It's significant in that these steps destroy confidence in the democratic systems, both in terms of the electoral processes and also in terms of a public legislature that is responsive to the needs of people.

Ordinary people won't notice the effects of the de facto authoritarian democracy right away. Instead it's the people who are directly in the path of the authoritarians who feel it first. And right now, the public servants in this country absolutely have virtual bullseyes on their backs. They are no longer valued for their intelligence or their competence; instead, they are despised for it. They are targeted for their independence and for their attempts to faithfully execute the law and the public interest. That is typically a very, very bad sign for a democracy. Using Turkey's authoritarianism as an example, one of the steps that Recep Erdogan took was to purge the ranks of government civil servants - even school teachers - of anyone who was considered to be disloyal (the failed coup was the green light for the purge). This happened in Putin's Russia as well - civil servants who stood up to him had to flee the country eventually.

The next step is the assault on the rule of law and also on the ability to control the flow of official information. Democracies depend heavily on fair and impartial justice and the flow of information, and on having people who value these things. What we're seeing now is that the rule of law is not only being used to exonerate criminal loyalists but also to target or to merely intimidate opponents. The idea that Trump and his surrogates openly toss around the prospect of investigating people who conducted the Mueller probe or the initial Russia meddling investigation isn't just talk; it's psychologically conditioning people to accept that this is normal, and that "truth" and "justice" and "laws" and "constitutional principle" really depends not on facts, but rather on who owns power and who owns the flow of information.

Odds are, America may not end up quite as bad as Nazi Germany, but that's hardly consolation. What's very likely is that, if given enough time, the Republicans will erode confidence in the system to the point where people no longer expect it to function properly. The more likely outcome is that we know the government is corrupt and stealing our tax dollars but feel powerless to stop it. Those who speak out get prosecuted, perhaps even convicted and die mysteriously in a federal prison. Others get assaulted by violent right wing militia members who get winks and nods from the administration that they can do the country a favor by roughing up a journalist or a rising progressive political star.

And the further the right wing minority government goes down the path, the more enemies they make, the more laws they break, and the more important it is to remain in power indefinitely. And with that, the more extreme measures they will take to maintain and consolidate power. The only thing that can stop it is a massive "fuck you" from the people who finally get out of their own way and put their petty little differences and desires for political idealism aside and can effectively unite as an opposition to "illiberal democracy."
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Old 05-18-2020, 11:15 AM
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I think the prospect of a fascist style corporate oligarchy in the United States is very low probability. Instead it's more likely to break up, instead.

And if it does - along state lines, then there's going to be some third world countries suddenly appearing in the heartland.

Suppose the west coast secedes for what it considers its own protection. Ditto New England. Chicago sets up its empire.

You think Mississippi isn't going to try. It might be in concert with Alabama and Georgia, but it won't be in partnership with Utah and Idaho.
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Old 05-18-2020, 01:19 PM
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As much as I criticize the whole dual federalism at times, this is what makes it more challenging (though not impossible) for a would-be dictator to consolidate power. All states have their own cultural and political identity. He can punish states if he and his allies desire but that could backfire; it could have the effect of unifying a state against him.

That brings me to the point about blue vs red states. Don't assume that everyone in a "blue" state would join the revolution against him. Even in a state like New York, there would be a lot of Trump supporters in, say, upstate NY who would say "Fuck you" to a resistance movement. In Pennsylvania, pretty much anything between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia is "Pensa-Bama."
It’s shocking! Shocking I say how the left rediscovers every once in awhile the concepts of states’ rights and the 9th and 10th amendments.

A civil war isn’t going to happen because if it does the results are going to leave all of US looking like post WWII Hiroshima or modern Detroit.

State vs state is delusional. Neighborhood vs neighborhood is where a fight would occur. Furthermore the density of the urban core has a weakness to biological warfare. So it would be chaotic and devastating.
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Old 05-18-2020, 02:39 PM
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State vs state is delusional. Neighborhood vs neighborhood is where a fight would occur. Furthermore the density of the urban core has a weakness to biological warfare. So it would be chaotic and devastating.
So you're expecting the rural red-shirts to use biological weapons? Good to know.
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Old 05-18-2020, 04:40 PM
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So you're expecting the rural red-shirts to use biological weapons? Good to know.
I expect if things escalate to serious talks of secession which was settled in Sherman vs Atlanta, 1864 and violence occurred that the sectarian fighting, aided by foreign interests that have a vested interest in the Balkanization of the West, would be no holds barred.
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Old 05-18-2020, 07:04 PM
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If fascism comes to America, My money would be that it will be coming FROM the blue states. You know, the ones that pass laws preventing people from being 'gig' workers, and who believe that the government controlling the economy is a good thing. FDR and many on the left loved Mussolini, right up until he allied with the Nazis.

If fascism comes to America, it will come with a smile and a government promising to 'help' you.
Fascism and Nazism mean Republican (maybe I should say right wing) now a days, seems to have no correlation to Authoritarian governments.
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Old 05-19-2020, 05:17 AM
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If we're going to talk about "fascism" perhaps we might want to agree on what the term even means. George Orwell addressed the question "What is Fascism" in an essay of that name:
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Originally Posted by George Orwell
... It will be seen that, as used, the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless. In conversation, of course, it is used even more wildly than in print. I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox-hunting, bull-fighting, the 1922 Committee, the 1941 Committee, Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley's broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else.

... [But] [e]xcept for the relatively small number of Fascist sympathizers, almost any English person would accept ‘bully’ as a synonym for ‘Fascist’. That is about as near to a definition as this much-abused word has come.
In another article of the same title we meet 'Robert Paxton, a professor emeritus of social science at Columbia University in New York who is widely considered the father of fascism studies [who] defined fascism as "a form of political practice distinctive to the 20th century that arouses popular enthusiasm by sophisticated propaganda techniques for an anti-liberal, anti-socialist, violently exclusionary, expansionist nationalist agenda."' Perhaps we should use his "seven mobilizing passions" to describe Fascism:
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Originally Posted by https://www.livescience.com/57622-fascism.html
Paxton, author of several books, including "The Anatomy of Fascism" (Vintage, 2005), said fascism is based more on feelings than philosophical ideas. In his 1988 essay "The Five Stages of Fascism," published in 1998 in the Journal of Modern History, he defined seven feelings that act as "mobilizing passions" for fascist regimes. They are:

1. The primacy of the group. Supporting the group feels more important than maintaining either individual or universal rights.
2. Believing that one's group is a victim. This justifies any behavior against the group's enemies.
3. The belief that individualism and liberalism enable dangerous decadence and have a negative effect on the group.
4. A strong sense of community or brotherhood. This brotherhood's "unity and purity are forged by common conviction, if possible, or by exclusionary violence if necessary."
5. Individual self-esteem is tied up in the grandeur of the group. Paxton called this an "enhanced sense of identity and belonging."
6. Extreme support of a "natural" leader, who is always male. This results in one man taking on the role of national savior.
7. "The beauty of violence and of will, when they are devoted to the group's success in a Darwinian struggle," Paxton wrote. The idea of a naturally superior group or, especially in Hitler's case, biological racism, fits into a fascist interpretation of Darwinism.

Once in power, "fascist dictatorships suppressed individual liberties, imprisoned opponents, forbade strikes, authorized unlimited police power in the name of national unity and revival, and committed military aggression," Paxton wrote.
Do these seven "mobilizing passions" relate to present-day American politics? It might be interesting — or at least amusing — to debate whether it is the D blue-shirts or R red-shirts who most fit the idea of "fascist." I know which way I'd vote.

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If fascism comes to America, My money would be that it will be coming FROM the blue states. You know, the ones that pass laws preventing people from being 'gig' workers, and who believe that the government controlling the economy is a good thing. FDR and many on the left loved Mussolini, right up until he allied with the Nazis.

If fascism comes to America, it will come with a smile and a government promising to 'help' you.
It is Trump who has embraced the autocrat Putin, and even has kind words about North Korea's Kim. It is the GOP who ally with rich corporations, and use 'right-to-work' laws and much worse to fight the common man. And it is Trump, and other top GOP leaders who actively encourage racism, xenophobia, insurrection and even physical violence.

It was American right-wingers, some of whom liked Hitler. Might it be partisan tunnel vision to ignore that and focus on the alleged affinity between Mussolini and one "leftie"?
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Old 05-19-2020, 07:41 AM
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So you're expecting the rural red-shirts to use biological weapons? Good to know.
I think that octopus is right in the sense that the divisions are no longer strictly along state lines. In the pre-Civil War era, we had radically different societies and economies that started and ended literally along state boundaries, which is not to suggest that Southerners didn't have economic interests in the North or that Northern banks didn't have economic interests and investments in Southern plantations - they did. But at the end of the day, these economic interests formed deep cultural identities that were demarcated by state (and regional) boundaries.

That is less the case today. Instead of Northern investors having stakes in Southern cotton production, you have Manhattan and Chicago (and hell, Shanghai) bankers investing American farm production. You have cities against rural folk and suburbanites. Educated versus less educated. Most of all, though, rich against poor. Those who own capital and those who depend on capital expenditure, which is now dependent on fewer and fewer individual hands and brains, just to get by.

Secession by state would probably be a messy affair, and you'd have counties and municipalities wanting to secede from the states that secede from the Union.
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Old 05-19-2020, 04:08 PM
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... You have cities against rural folk and suburbanites. Educated versus less educated. Most of all, though, rich against poor....

Secession by state would probably be a messy affair, and you'd have counties and municipalities wanting to secede from the states that secede from the Union.
Finally Dopers see that the Red-vs-Blue struggle doesn't split on state boundaries. But y'all still don't get it. The divide is certainly NOT about rich vs poor. There are roughly equal numbers of reds as blues at each income level!

And to think of cities unified against rural areas is also too simplistic. Here are some ruralish California counties (none of them tiny), with Trump's vote share followed by Hillary's vote share:
Amador 60-35
Butte 48-44
Calaveras 58-35
El Dorado 53-40
Fresno 45-49
Humboldt 32-58
Kern 55-40
Lake 49-44
Lassen 73-21
Nevada 44-49
San Joaquin 41-54
Solano 32-62
Sonoma 23-71

Santa Clara 21-73
Humboldt County was once called the "redneck" center of California IIRC — it voted strongly Clinton. Even Lassen County had 21% blues, just as Santa Clara (urban Silicon "elites") went 21% red.

My own recent post excerpts from a recent NY Times article and argues that the alleged divisions of American politics are often a figment of right-wing lies.

Rich-vs-Poor; Elite-vs-Blue Collar; Religious-vs-Secular — these are not the main political divisions. Urban-vs-Rural is closer to reality but still very wrong.

What is the divide about? Brain structure, perhaps genetic, may be a big factor! Racism is also strongly correlated with voting Republican.

There are bigots in cities; and there are tolerant humane people in rural areas. Let's stop over-emphasizing a "geographic divide."
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