August 22, 2016

Trump is "an improviser" — "someone who jumps out and tries to provoke and tries to connect with people by speaking plainly."

"And he truly believes that all publicity is good publicity. He also truly believes that where you are on a particular issue doesn’t especially matter. What matters is connecting with people and getting what you wanted, getting the final step. The bottom line is what’s important to him. And this has been true throughout his business career and his personal life. It’s all about him. It’s am about getting to the goal. And he is quite willing to run roughshod over people to get there."

Said Marc Fisher, co-author of "Trump Revealed: An American Journey of Ambition, Ego, Money, and Power." Fisher was answering a question, on "Face the Nation" yesterday, from the host John Dickerson, about what are Trump's "core beliefs." After that answer, Dickerson sums it up as: "Just getting a win. Just calling it a win."

At that point, I was talking to the television, saying something like: Yes, but what counts as a win when you are President of the United States? There's no way to win for yourself alone. You have to win for the country. It doesn't make sense any other way. That's the definition of a win — Make America Great Again.

Fisher continued:
Getting a win. He grew up in a house where his father warned him against being a nothing. And his whole life has really been structured around proving to himself and others that he is something, something big and important. And this is only the latest step in really a very consistent pattern throughout his life.
And now he offers to win for us as a country. What is wrong with that idea? And I'm not asking that question as a way to say Nothing wrong with that! I'm really asking the question seriously. What is wrong with a man with a powerful, deep-seated orientation toward winning offering to merge his independent individual persona with the entire country and then winning for us?

I mean, other than that it seems to jump off the page as the definition of fascism.

62 comments:

mikeski said...

So any leader who wants to win is a fascist?

What's the word for a leader who wants to lose? (The Obama joke goes here.)

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I mean, other than that it seems to jump off the page as the definition of fascism.

Link to that definition of fascism, please?

rhhardin said...

It's the gangster vs the psycho, on the grounds that American prefer gangsters.

Fred Rawlings said...

Was Vince Lombardi fascist? Nowadays he probably would be.

Hagar said...

“All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.”

Trump seems to be more of a freebooter type.

Sebastian said...

"You have to win for the country." Huh? You mean Bill and O did it "for the country"? Maybe Bill had it in the back of his mind. For O the plan was to tear it down, weaken it, and build up our adversaries, trying to do enough damage to our domestic institutions and international standing that any successor cannot easily remedy it. The one redeeming quality of Hill's posse is that they are not as destructively progressive and may in fact attempt such repair. May.

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

The entire Global Earth First Movement is agreed that the USA needs a huge loser President to get the job done, like Obama, who did the job of losing from behind so well.

Losing is what we can all be proud of. Do it for the children and do it for the Persians. It's like the smell of killing 6 million Jews in the morning and 600 million Christians next.

How does winning to stop that slaughter sounds like a fascist plot?

CWJ said...

Althouse,

Are you taking Fisher's observations seriously, or are you just intellectually playing with what they imply? I thought you were averse to arm chair psycho-analysis. Fisher skates awfully close to that line.

Ann Althouse said...

"Link to that definition of fascism, please?"

I am describing my own subjective experience. I wrote something, a serious question, and then I had a thought, which I chose not to censor.

It's now your turn to think and write.

readering said...

You constantly over think the guy. If he gets elected it will be like the line at the end of "the candidate." "What do we do now?"

Unknown said...

Just listened to NPR where host says now we turn to trumps white nationalist backers...serious question did NPR ever turn to obama a black nationalist backers for an answer about a policy change

Very frustrating the constant editorializing

Ann Althouse said...

"Are you taking Fisher's observations seriously, or are you just intellectually playing with what they imply? I thought you were averse to arm chair psycho-analysis. Fisher skates awfully close to that line."

Fisher is the co-author of a very substantial biography, though it is not on the level of a serious work of a historian — such as (ideally) Robert A. Caro's books about Lyndon Johnson. A biography OF COURSE should delve into the psyche of its subject!

We have reason to be dubious about this book, put together by WaPo, which has been biased against Trump, and published at a time when the interest in affecting the election is as big as it could be. But I'm taking the statement as a jumping off point and trying to understand the candidate and my fellow Americans as we decide what do make of him.

So there's some aversion. My aversion is calibrated to the circumstances. But I'm completely interested in thinking about human psychology.

A related topic, blogged recently, is psychiatrists who make public statements DIAGNOSING disorders in candidates and palming them off as expert opinions and getting more credence than they deserve and the profession's interest in reining these characters in.

That's a complex knot of problems and I'm not averse to analyzing the problems. I find them very interesting. I want to discuss the psychology of candidates but I always want to help people not be bamboozled by experts. Not all experts pervert their expertise.

It's all context specific and I write about what interests me and react to it as seems fit.

Darrell said...

George Soros' paid Democrat brownshirts are the fascists jumping on Trump's car hood and beating on Trump supporters at political rallies, so it sounds like Trump is the anti-fascist.

Tommy Duncan said...

readering said: You constantly over think the guy. If he gets elected it will be like the line at the end of "the candidate." "What do we do now?"

That line can be interpreted to mean: "Where do we start?"

Trump is not one to stare at his navel. Results matter to businessmen. His first act when elected will be to list the highest priority actions and dispatch his team.

Darrell said...

I associate "Fisher" with nuts.

CWJ said...

Thank you for your very thoughtful reply.

Laslo Spatula said...

"Fascism" has become like the old definition of "obscenity": I know it when I see it.

From Wiki:

"The phrase "I know it when I see it" is a colloquial expression by which a speaker attempts to categorize an observable fact or event, although the category is subjective or lacks clearly defined parameters. The phrase was famously used in 1964 by United States Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart to describe his threshold test for obscenity in Jacobellis v. Ohio.[1][2][3] In explaining why the material at issue in the case was not obscene under the Roth test, and therefore was protected speech that could not be censored, Stewart wrote:
I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description ["hard-core pornography"], and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that.[4]
The expression became one of the most famous phrases in the entire history of the Supreme Court..."

I am Laslo.

buwaya puti said...

The purposes of enemy propaganda are -
- encourage their side
- discourage the opposition

The effect of this sort of thing, the three poropaganda items you posted today, are of course to drum up opposition to Trump, that is obvious and overt, but also through the blandly disingenuous tone and other tricks, to frustrate and depress his supporters.

To all of Mr. Trumps supporters - this is the voice of your enemy. Nothing at all from that side can be taken at face value, not the facts, not the reasoning, not the tone. And since these are all professionally conceived and executed, you cant assume sincerity.

And of course, on the Trump side it is similar, the only differences are the lack of coordination and professionalism.

David Begley said...

And what are Hillary's core beliefs?

The only one I can think of is cash in the bank for Hillary.

Oso Negro said...

I would figure the Clinton/Democratic/Beltway Republican crony capitalist/semi-socialist/regulatory state as a lot closer to fascism. Multi-cultural fascism, rather than nationalist fascism. But certainly of the "all within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state" variety. And the products of today's institutions of higher learning are totally good to go with that. Forced collectivism!

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I thoroughly suspect that the vast majority of men, if they had Trump's money, would spend as much of their time as possible doing blow and banging hookers.

n.n said...

1922, originally used in English in 1920 in its Italian form fascismo (see fascist). Applied to similar groups in Germany from 1923; applied to everyone since the Internet.

A form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion. [Robert O. Paxton, "The Anatomy of Fascism," 2004]

-- etymonline.com

Ouroboros? Perhaps. Still, there is class diversity, anti-native policies, monopoly formation, immigration replacement, special and peculiar interests, KKK/BLM/CAIR/NCLR/etc, redistributive change (e.g. trickle-up poverty), progressive wars (i.e.g social justice adventurism), trial by sodomy and abortion, selective-child, Pro-Choice religion (i.e. selective or arbitrary principles), etc.

Bob Ellison said...

Personality cult, not fascism, jumps off the page to me.

Trump goes back and forth on his own personality cult. Sometimes he builds it up, and sometimes he tamps it down.

I think that's what scares people about Trump most. If he becomes Hitler, or Mao, or Stalin, or Kim, it'll be because he is good at marketing himself as a savior that people come to worship in religious fashion.

He's evidently not a racist or a misogynist or a fascist. Just a narcissist, hungry for power, which pretty much describes every POTUS ever.

virgil xenophon said...

The difference between Trump and those on the left--ALL those on the left--is that, unlike Trump, the left--both collectively and as individuals-- are all too willing to "march us to virtue" at bayonet-point when push comes to shove. "Scratch a lefty and you'll find a Robespierre."

buwaya puti said...

The important difference in dealing with a propaganda machine vs a person with an opinion different from yours -

- You can argue with a person. You can reason with a person. You can imagine, even Walter Mitty-like, arguing with and reasoning with a person.

- You cant argue or reason with a machine. There is no-one there with an independent thought, or at least those human components, though they may have independent opinions, are not expressing them nor are they going to respond personally even if you catch them in person. And the Walter Mitty imagined argument is not fun, and ultimately depressing, because what you read is so obviously, blankly stone-wall disingenuous, the mark of professional propaganda. Its one thing to yell at imagined people, in Walter Mitty mode, but quite another to yell at imagined blank walls.

mockturtle said...

virgil xenophon said: The difference between Trump and those on the left--ALL those on the left--is that, unlike Trump, the left--both collectively and as individuals-- are all too willing to "march us to virtue" at bayonet-point when push comes to shove. "Scratch a lefty and you'll find a Robespierre."

Exactly! No better example.

khesanh0802 said...

Ann: before I read comments I want to say that you have hit the nail on the head as far as the message of wanting to win for us. Clinton clearly wants to win for part of the country - I think it changes from day to day depending on who she's talking to. Trump's motto - and, so far, his speeches - include everyone who is a citizen. If he can stay on that message and begin to expand it, as he has been doing, he is going to peel off some Hillary voters.

As for fascism, my Mac dictionary gives the following: "an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization." I think it's too big a stretch from your penultimate paragraph to your last sentence. Wikipedia is more verbose but it still doesn't make the connection you do. "Megalomania" maybe, but all politicians are megalomaniacs!

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Dint we have sumthin cupla weeks ago bout amateurs psychoanalyzing the candidates?

Rex said...

Fascism? I don't think that word means what you think it means.

Paul Snively said...

Dr. Althouse, you've answered your own question. As others have pointed out before, the biggest visible difference between the Democrats and the Republicans, at least in presidential electoral politics, is that the Democrats come across as "America as it is is fundamentally broken. I'm the person to fix it" and Republicans come across as "America as it is is still amazing, but shouldn't be taken for granted. I will support it." Whatever else you may say about Trump—and there's plenty to say—he comes across like a very successful immigrant's kid who hasn't forgotten how bad his grandparents had it, believes in the core of his being that you can make it in America by sheer dint of will and effort, and finds the patterns of thought and behavior of the left not just an intellectual, but an experiential, affront. Especially to the extent they make America more like places where you can't make it by sheer dint of will and effort, because of politics.

traditionalguy said...

@Bob Ellison...Trump is Napoleon, not those other two bit tyrants. The British Empire has so denigrated Bonaparte after they finally won that we ignore him or despise him, for no known reason.

But that guy left his mark for reform of old style European tyranny to this day. And he was loved and willingly followed by the French common man.

President Jefferson bought the Louisiana Purchase from Napoleon in 1803 because Napoleon claimed he owned it having taken it from Spain. The British Empire never acknowledged that sale, and after Napoleon's April 1814 abdication, Britain sent its victorious Fleet and Army back across the Atlantic to take it away. Fortunately for the USA that mass Military invasion effort ended on January 8, 1815 when it encountered an Andrew Jackson lead force that lost 18 of its men while it killed 4,000 British officers and Regulars.

But the British Fleet hung around in Mobile until March when to the lucky USA's benefit Napoleon escaped exile and the Brits were called home to end his 100 days at Waterloo.

Lyle Smith said...

What is the definition of fascism?

Rex said...

"What is wrong with a man with a powerful, deep-seated orientation toward winning offering to merge his independent individual persona with the entire country and then winning for us?"

Serious answer: it all depends on what is meant by winning. And there's the rub. Several decades ago, it sure seemed as if winning meant the same thing to repubs and dems alike, with the major diff between the parties being the means to accomplish the goals. That doesn't appear to be the case anymore. The repubs haven't changed much, but the dems are quite willing to destroy the country in order to destroy the repubs and come out on top. It's turned into quite the power grab, with "winning" now being defined as being on top. Or, as Obama famously phrased it, "I won."

cubanbob said...

"At that point, I was talking to the television, saying something like: Yes, but what counts as a win when you are President of the United States? There's no way to win for yourself alone. You have to win for the country. It doesn't make sense any other way. That's the definition of a win — Make America Great Again. "

For the Clinton's what counts as a win is the prospect of huge bribes being paid to them as tribute. Indeed if the country were to get back on track and have real growth it would certainly benefit Trump so in a way he has a vested interest in making America Great Again. The Clinton's on the other hand sell indulgences which benefit the payers of the indulgences but at the expense of the nation as a whole. Making America Great Again is bad for thee Clinton's. And for the Democrat Party.

Phunctor said...

Yes, disingenuous is the word. More troubling is Ann's low estimation of us, her commentariat. We know that Mussolini both named and explicitly defined fascism. So what is Ann thinking, dropping a meme clearly targeted at historically illiterate morons?

Tendentious!

Paul Snively said...

khesanh0802: As for fascism, my Mac dictionary gives the following: "an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization."

Too bad fascism is not historically a right-wing system, then.

tomaig said...

The Hitler analogies have been overwroughtly overused and lost their sting apparently. EVERY Republican presidential candidate is Hitler to the media, but Trump represents something much worse (to the fainting goats of the MSM/social media Anti- Trumpers) than sad old John McCain, or Northern Liberal Romney. So now we move on to the "Mussolini = Fascism, Fascism = Trump" phase.

More subtle, but perhaps more sinister. Hitler killed himself, thereby avoiding any personal consequences for his abhorrent actions.
Mussolini was - along with his mistress and 15 "ministers and officials of the Italian Social Republic" - captured by "communist partisans" and summarily executed the next day.
From wikipedia's LONG article about Mussolini, the source of my quotes above:

"On 29 April 1945, the bodies of Mussolini, Petacci, and the other executed Fascists were loaded into a moving van and trucked south to Milan. There, at 3:00 a.m., they were dumped on the ground in the old Piazzale Loreto...

After being shot, kicked, and spat upon, the bodies were hung upside down on meat hooks from the roof of an Esso gas station... The bodies were then stoned by civilians from below...The corpse of the deposed leader became subject to ridicule and abuse.
Fascist loyalist Achille Starace was captured and sentenced to death and then taken to the Piazzale Loreto and shown the body of Mussolini. Starace... saluted what was left of his leader just before he was shot. The body of Starace was subsequently hung up next to the body of Mussolini."

The switch from Hitler to Mussolini as the preferred pejorative could be a subtle signal to - oh, i don't know...maybe those angry, violent and obscene folks that swarmed Trump supporters in MN the other night? - that "Sure, Hitler was worse but he took the coward's way out. Mussolini, OTOH.... Well, he wasn't "Hitler" Hitler, but he was Hitler's ally, a bad guy in his own right, and the "people" captured him and executed him! Now THAT'S how you deal with an out-of-control Executive!

The most fanciful and fervent dreams of the Bush/Cheney/Halliburton Derangement folks come true...If you think they hated Bush, just wait until President Trump takes office!

So why are you subtly pushing eliminationist rhetoric toward Trump, Professor?

buwaya puti said...

Most of the people demonstrating or jumping on cars have no idea who Mussolini was, and have never heard his name. Very, very few of them would I think. I know this through long aquaintance with US high schools.
They would have a vague idea about Hitler, but not Mussolini.
This is of course a comment on the condition of education.

BrianE said...

"The essence of crony-capitalism is the merger of state and corporate power--the definition of fascism.

When it comes to the real world, the difference between fascism, communism and crony-capitalism is semantic."- OfTwoMinds blog
--------------------------
"As an economic system, fascism is socialism with a capitalist veneer."- Library of Economics and Liberty
---------------------------
"Today 70% or 80% of all that federal money (and power) has shifted from the military sector over into domestic public sectors, especially where an array of special relationships between EPA and its environmental contracts, Energy and its beneficiaries (Solyndra), or Education and their union networks, all with the ability to funnel a sizeable percentage of those contracts right back into the coffers of the Democrat Party and the President (the “enabling agents”) so the money can go right out and do it all over again in the next election cycle. Rush Limbaugh calls this “money laundering”, which it is.

Who is doing the money laundering are the fascists."-- Vasserbushmills
----------------------

Without an agreed definition of facism, I would suggest that Hillary is the most likely candidate to be tarnished as the facist-- not Trump, since Trump's economic policies would take on the Wall Street crony capitalists. Remember who was receiving millions of dollars giving speeches. Hillary is in bed with Wall Street.

R.J. Chatt said...

As Trump noted, Hillary's motto is "I'm with her." Trump's response is, "I'm with you." Trump doesn't need to be loved, he doesn't need everyone's validation, as Hillary does with the whole "first woman president" fame. Trump is not tribal or particularly partisan. He doesn't want a government which runs everyone's life from cradle to grave, he's wants a government which enables people to pursue success in their own lives. There's a different philosophy and it produces different results. Who's the fascist?

CStanley said...

There isn't anything wrong with the idea of a president who wants to win for us, but the gauzy definition of winning is the problem. What does it mean to make America great again? What played a part in the decline of greatness, and what policies will reverse the decline? And how do you get those policies enacted?

Make America Great Again is the 2016 right wing version of 2008 Hope and Change.

Paul Snively said...

CStanley: Make America Great Again is the 2016 right wing version of 2008 Hope and Change.

Yeah. My problem with "Hope and Change" was never its vacuity; it was that anyone paying even the slightest bit of attention knew that the candidate was a hard-left Chicago machine pol raised by Communists, who got his political career started by hanging out (yes, "pal-ing around") with honest-to-God bomb-throwing domestic terrorists, who sat in the pew of a liberation-theology hate-whitey-spewing "preacher" for decades, and who had the most solidly leftist voting record in his brief tenure in the senate. So if you were willing to engage your brain rather than your emotions over "first black president!" you had a pretty solid indication of what kind of "change" you were likely to get.

If anything worries me about Donald Trump, it is indeed that he's less predictable than either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. They are thoroughly known evils.

C R Krieger said...

Isn't Fascism what you get when you decide Communism won't work, but you aren't ready to go with Free Markets?  For instance, has China slipped into Fascism?

Regards  —  Cliff

Paul Snively said...

C R Krieger: Isn't Fascism what you get when you decide Communism won't work, but you aren't ready to go with Free Markets? For instance, has China slipped into Fascism?

Good question. I do tend to think of Fascism as "Mercantilism with an army and navy," and Mercantilism as "Communism without literal state ownership of the means of production," which is also to say, as a form of Corporatist Socialism. This lays out Mercantilism, Fascism, and Corporatism fairly well, I think, but doesn't even mention Socialism. I think its insistence that Mercantilism is "just an economic system" whereas Fascism is a "total political system" is overly facile, too: there's no such thing as "just an economic system."

HoodlumDoodlum said...

If I really stretch I can say a nice thing about Hillary Clinton: she certainly seems more pro-American than the prior Democrat nominee (and eventual President). Her campaign even got him to say really nice, pro-American things during the last Democratic nominating convention! His wife, too--she started out feeling proud of her nation for the first time as an adult only when that nation nominated her husband for President...but to hear her talk at the Dem Convention you'd never know it.
So thanks, Hillary, for somehow convincing the Dems that American exceptionalism is real and that they should profess a love for their country just like Repubs. usually do (without immediate caveats about racism, sexism, bigotry, slavery, etc).

I'm 100% sure it's sincere and will last...100%.

mockturtle said...

Isn't it labeling to call it fascism? After all, just like gender identity, political identity is really a spectrum. Isn't it???

Lucien said...

The trouble with focusing on winning is that it too easily becomes a requirement that someone else must lose, and one can get stuck obsessed with beating "enemies".

Folks who are too fixated on winning also have a hard time recognizing the occasions (and there are many) when they and the countries they lead should just shut up and do nothing. Better than nothing is a high standard.

Personally, I think the US is long overdue in getting a leader who will think through and set out real policies and stick to them. We've been in ad hoc policy mode ever since the Berlin Wall came down, especially in foreign policy.

But none of the candidates for President this time look like they'll do any of that.

Paul Snively said...

Lucien: Folks who are too fixated on winning also have a hard time recognizing the occasions (and there are many) when they and the countries they lead should just shut up and do nothing. Better than nothing is a high standard.

We had a primary candidate who was skeptical of endless foreign wars, and actually filibustered against drone surveillance of our own citizens. But remember, kids, Ron and Rand Paul are crackpots.

gadfly said...

Fisher wrote:

Getting a win. He grew up in a house where his father warned him against being a nothing. And his whole life has really been structured around proving to himself and others that he is something, something big and important. And this is only the latest step in really a very consistent pattern throughout his life.

My observations about Trump, which many choose to scoff at, evolve around Trump's disregard for truth, honesty and the rule of law. Fisher confirms for me that Dad didn't care how Donnie won as long as he won. And therein lies the conundrum.

Ann asks: "What is wrong with a man with a powerful, deep-seated orientation toward winning offering to merge his independent individual persona with the entire country and then winning for us?" Answering a question with a question, Why would you believe him about anything he says since the man has proven to be a congenital liar?

First we were going to deport 11 million illegal immigrants and now we are going to find a way to keep families together. Ilya Somin at The Volokh Conspiracy leads us through specific incidents of Trump saying one thing and doing another. His vow to appoint conservative judges to the Supreme Court is questionable and his lie to Hugh Hewitt about showing his tax returns are covered in detail.

Somin writes:
The most obvious reason why Trump can’t be trusted is that he has a long history of lying and deception. As Conor Friedersdorf recounts, Trump’s first two wives, business partners, employees, and contractors all learned the painful lesson that Trump’s word means nothing whenever it becomes convenient for him to break it.

mockturtle said...

But remember, kids, Ron and Rand Paul are crackpots.

Yep, I love those two crackpots! :-)

n.n said...

political identity is really a spectrum

Individually it is a constellation. A constellation that is mapped to three-dimensions, then two, and finally a consensus.

mockturtle said...

BTW, I was being sarcastic. The remark: 'Gender identity is really a spectrum' came from a Bud Light commercial. If a beer drinker, I would never buy Bud again.

mikee said...

Wanting to win is fine, as long as you don't offend the sensibilities of those who have already won in life. See "Chariots of Fire" for a good movie on this subject.

Wanting to win because you can then continue your uninterrupted decades of corruption and graft and spreading of real evil, like Hillary, is something we should disapprove. All she wants is vengeance on the world for the humiliations she has suffered all her life as the spurned wife of a serial adulterer who had to remain loyal to keep her money and influence growing. She should be a bad example in a political novel, not a real presidential candidate.

BN said...

As has been stated above, "fascism" was (supposed to be) a social "scientific" system where Govt, Capital, and Labor are all managed in synchronized fashion working together like the cogs of a machine toward the best possible societal outcome for everyone. As such, of course, it requires some sort of driver, i.e., an "authoritarian" entity that could wield control over all the many various switches that make the machine work. That control, inevitably and naturally, must fall to Government (see "Philosopher Kings").

Given that most formerly Communist countries in the world today (e.g., Russia, China, and even Vietnam) have transitioned to a "mixed economy" (aka fascism), as have most of the formerly Liberal "Capitalist" Republican countries (e.g., Social Democratic Europe, Japan, Taiwan, crony-capitalist USA), I believe it is fair to say that Mussolini/Hitler actually won WWII. It just took longer than they thought. We are all fascists now.

Note that authoritarianism used to require a "strong man," but these days a strong bureaucracy works even better--and The Bureaucracy lasts forever. After all, the phone and the pen of the president hisself are only useful as instruments for unleashing The Bureaucracy to make all the decisions that control our lives (and deaths).

Liberty was a sweet dream, but it turned out that allowing people to choose granted them permission to screw up and screw everything else up too. Things That Affected Us All. So it's the good of the individual vs. the good of the hive.

No choice to be made there, is there? Fascism is a baby step as we Transition to Borg.

Paul Snively said...

BN: Note that authoritarianism used to require a "strong man," but these days a strong bureaucracy works even better--and The Bureaucracy lasts forever.

I've said for decades now that Brazil is far more horrifying than 1984, because Brazil has no Big Brother. What's so unbelievably weird is that Terry Gilliam doesn't understand why his film about a man and a woman dealing with a dystopian totalitarian state is popular with the American right. He should perhaps ask co-screenwriter Tom Stoppard, a naturalized Englishman actually of Czech-Jewish descent.

mockturtle said...

Given a choice between an all-powerful corporate oligarchy or an all-powerful state, I will take the former. And as Paul Snively points out, an all-powerful bureaucracy with no single authority in charge is scarier, still.

BN said...

I agree, Paul. And I think "Brave New World" is the most realistic of the three. They'll fuck us--they're doing it now-- and we'll LIKE it.

Free will is hard!

BN said...

The reason Terry Gilliam doesn't understand is "persuasion without ethical consideration" (see Gramsci). The same reason fascism is thought to be "right-wing." Or as the sage, David Crosby (or was it Paul Kantner) said, "We're going to steal their eggs."

Bob Boyd said...

"....I had a thought, which I chose not to censor."

What is wrong with a woman with a powerful reputation for thoughtful, fair-minded, cogent analysis just throwing something emotionally provocative out there without explanation or elaboration?

I mean, other than that it seems to jump off the page as the definition of trolling.

Andrew Pardue said...

Professor
I think your jumping to far ahead since I think that winning for Donald Trump at this point, would be to have his hand on a bible while the Chief Justice says repeat after me. I also don't see the case of Trump identifying himself with the State. Also I can't see how a leader identifying himself with the state make him fascist, unless Louis XIV ( l'état, c'est moi) was a fascist. If I was to compare Trump to any historical figure then he is more of a Andrew Jackson than anyone else. Oh, and I don't mean that as a compliment.

C R Krieger said...

Going back to the original line about Mr Trump being an improvisor, isn't that what FDR was?  He ran against Herbert Hoover for spending to much and then decided to try it.  He "experimented" with various Federal agencies until he got the ones he wanted (and SCOTUS would allow).

Regards  —  Cliff