Friday, August 07, 2009

Mass Inanity...or how a once proud nation shoots itself in the ass

...the subject which will be of most importance politically is Mass Psychology. ... The populace will not be allowed to know how its convictions were generated. ... As yet there is only one country which has succeeded in creating this politician’s paradise.” - Bertrand Russell, The Impact of Science on Society, 1960.

Russell wrote these lines in 1960 and the country he was referring to at the time was Nazi Germany...and yes, the Nazis became masters of political manipulation through the use of fear, prejudice and paranoia.

But, to go back a few years, to the rise of fascism in Italy after World War 2, we might be able to see some alarming connections with the world we are faced with today.
The manipulator in this modern world is not a charimatic personality, l
ike Benito Mussolini, but it is a corporate entity which has the advantage of controlling media.
The charismatic figure is the hypnotic ranting of talking heads like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. The tools are the same, economic panic, racial fear, using loaded concepts which the public which has been trained to respond to in a Pavlovian fashion.

What is happening in America now, the violent suppression of speech and debate, the use of force to prevent communication is not new.
After the first world war, in Italy, as in most of Europe, there was real economic hardship. The labor movement was being born and the concept of Socialism was growing. In Italy, the Socialist Labor movement also had an ally in the Liberal/humanist elements of the Catholic Church. Italy was one of the first countries in Europe to have a Socialist Party.

This of course was percieved as deadly threat to the established order, the corporate and class interests of the ancient nobility and wealth. The fact that Socialism was an international movement made it easy to attack as being unpatriotic. Fear of socialism as being a foreign influence was played upon as the movement to suppress it gained momentum.
Benito Mussolini was a young officer in the first world war, like Adolph Hitler who was determined to create a political movement. Italy was an ally against the Germans, but after the war, the political realities of the repartioning of territories seemed to punish Italy. They lost territory to the Austrians.

Mussolini was elected to parliament, Italy st that time was still a monarchy and he used the rise of the Socialists and their strikes for higher wages and better working conditions as a springboard for his Fascist Party.

The Fascists were never a very big percent of the Italian population, but through the use of his organized gangs of "blackshirts" to violently suppress meetings, destroy the press, burn down their buildings and murder and maim the opposition and creating an aura of fear, he was able to cow a nation in to subservience.

The rhetoric he used was seductive as well, he spoke of the inherent nobility of Italy as a true vestige of Ancient Rome and promised a new Roman Empire. The aura of violent power and the dark power of totalitarianism was seductive to a young generation facing a bleak economic reality.

In 1922, he was able to stage a coup and sieze control of the government. he
theatrically stage a spectacle with thousands of people recruited to be brought in to participate in his mass march of Blackshirts into Rome. The language he used was seductive to a nation, but the only ones who benefited were the upper classes and nobility, of course we know the end of the story...
A dictator hunted down and hung upside down and burnt by an enraged populace after he destroyed the country. These big dreams of power and control always seem to crash and burn, but that doesn't seem to deter a new generation of psychopaths from believing they are different....or are they?

Here is a video shot yesterday in Tampa, Florida of todays brown shirts, driven into a frenzy by the corporate mind controlling media drones. Thay are destroying a ttown hall meeting to discuss health care. They have been brought in and told what to do. This is the current state of Republican political discourse in action. They have nothing but hate and fear to bring to a discussion. This is Glenn Becks army of ignorant blackshirts shooting themselves in the ass:


mud_rake said...

Great history lesson, Microdot. It seems that the far-right in any society act in pretty much the same way no matter where or when it takes place. The subversion of free speech is an especially critical part of their control pattern. Following that as a close second, is the use of propagandists to spread the fear and fire-up the audience. Beck and Limbaugh do that quite well.

That Tampa scene is the tip of the iceberg; that nut-fringe has weapons in great quantities and I have no doubt that, if things appear not to be going their way, that they will not be afraid to use them and/or bombings.

What else do they have left? They've lost their power completely and are now just a small knot in the shrinking GOP.

The radical and reactionary right, as the history of not only Italy, but Central and South America has shown, can be a lethal force against the government when things get desperate.

Just imagine, if you can, what must be going through the minds of that idiotic group of people- a black president who isn't listening to any of their 'complaints.' What's that uppity ni--er trying to pull on us!?!?

Racism is alive and simmering just under the surface in many places in America and, during this economic downturn [again read the history books] that means that anger easily comes to the surface and 'blame' and 'stereotyping' becomes common.

We must look barbaric to your French neighbors. It's barbaric-looking to us, too!

Dromedary Hump said...


We need to keep in mind that this is a small minority of people whose party of choice has lost power and credibility, and is devoid of ideas. This is their desperation oozing out.

But The vast majority of Americans see this for what it is, brutish intrusion into free speech and exchange of ideas and the American way. It will backfire on them.

Mud, racist they may well be, armed (oy) no doubt, but so is the vast majority of this country, and embarrassing...perhaps. But lets not give this media exploiting hand ful of asshats more credibility or threat to us than it is due. I'm not saying ignore it's obvious similarity to Micro's history lesson on fascism ... but this isn't 1920's- 30's Europe.
If we can survive the civil war, the racism of the early 20th century, the devisiveness of the Vietnam war, and two terms of Bush...these fucktards don't even hold a candle to the potential disaster those issues wreaked on America.

As for embarrassment in the eyes of the French. Hmmm. I seem to recall some folks some where calling for Americans to emulate the French student riots. It may have been on your very own blog some monthsback, maybe someone elses, I can't recall.
Their point was that radicle activism was something to be admired when the Gov't doesn't kowtow to the will of a minority. To that way of thinking, these right wing nut jobs are doing no more than what those French students seem to do every few months. Maybe when we see how ugly it is in practice here, it doesn't look as heroic and admirable as it does on the French.


microdot said...

Very interesting perspective, but the "student riots" you refer to, Hump never happened. You are referring to the violence that occurred at the end of the demonstrations in Paris and in other cities.
Here in France, there is a tradition of demonstrations ending with incidents that are used by the government to exploit the idea of violence being a product of the left.
In the case of the student demnstrations, it was violence caused by "provacateurs". This was documented in the French press after the initial events is the ritual...

I think there is a very big difference between a demonstration and the activities of the Republican party that has been occurring lately.
In this country violence occurs as a result of the extreme right or the CRS instigating it.

There are riots, but this is a social problem, not a political manifestation.

There is a constant flow of ideas in the media and political analysis and discussion is the life blood of French media.

The immediate danger in America is the fact that the media is very much in the pocket of corporate interests. You have a network, FOX, that is not only the voice of the opposition, but it is a source of constant immflamatory distortions and out right lies.
You have to take into account the power of media and the images that are presented as news.

I agree though that the majority of Americans are probably embarrassed and disgusted by these tactics, but the majority of Americans won't really give a fuck until it's too late.

nunya said...

We are definitely on the same page on this one :)

microdot said...

Hi Nunya! I wanted to add that I did not intend to imply that a fascist coup was immenent in America.
I did want to draw attention to the fascistic techniques being used by a dumb down mass of people to keep the corrupt status quo.
And yes, if this doesn't get condemned by the majority of Americans, then the USA could very well shoot itself in the ass.

Dromedary Hump said...

point taken.

I shouldn't have let my commments infer that the demonstrations in France are the same as what we are seeing in the US from these politically manipulated rightwingers.
I was only responding to
ud's comment, and was suggesting that as far our being "embarrassed" in the eyes of the French we have no more to be embarrassed about than the French do for the acts of their extremists.

Dromedary Hump said...

"ud's comment," = "Mud's comment,"

Engineer of Knowledge said...

Hello Microdot,
I was listening to the radio today and they spoke about a Town Hall meeting in Michigan. The Tea Baggers even bused in some of these radical BROWN SHIRTS to make it look like it is a grass roots issue against adressing our medical short comings here in the states.

I think that the only thing this group is really accomplishing is exposing their own extremism.

mikeb302000 said...

I agree with those who say although this is nothing to ignore, there's nothing to panic about either.

In Italy the impression seems more like bewilderment than anything else.

-Sepp said...

You jokers are a riot. Seriously.
You can delude yourselves into believing that anyone who disagrees with this crap health bill and exercises THEIR first amendment rights can only be hired goons, nazis, GOP operatives, etc...keep dreaming. The fact is that people who have actually READ the damned thing are getting off their asses for a change and voicing their oppinion to their congressmen who have up until lately been ignoring those folk's letters and phonecalls.

BTW, the only thugs who have been seen at these meetings all seem to be wearing ACORN and SEIU shirts and in at least 3 cases been arrested for assaulting attendees...but, you won't bother to mention that part...nor will you mention Obama's snitch line where free speech can be reported directly to the whitehouse!

If you're going to tell a story, why not tell the whole story?

microdot said...

Why don't you tell the whole story?
I know all about the St. Louis, MO SEIU assault case and how the victim was a participant in the instigation of the violence and was about to assault a SEIU member on the ground when he was wrestled to the ground by a friend protecting the guy on the ground.
Kenneth sustained a few scrapes and was recorded on camera talking to his cohorts and walking around showing his scrapes, the conversations were recorded and then he was urged to filke a complaint with the police.
The next day, he has a press conference with his lawyer in a wheel chair, supposedly so medicated and sedated that he cannot speak.
The rest is history. SEIU is getting death threats, you are playing into the game of the perpretater becoming the victim and abetting and embellishing this lie.
Sepp, I know you are fervently anti union and against the administration.....don't let yourself be a tool of fascist tactics and intimidation,

Anonymous said...

How about those SEIU folks who were paying visits to the guy in Detroit in the middle of the night who demanded answers from Dingell? The SEIU thugs in Atlanta on film beating a guy's ass? ACORN members making threats to people asking questions?

And heres 2 things for you to digest. I organized my department and got the ball rolling for union representation so I'm hardly anti-union. I'm pro-fairness which means management needs to be held to the same standards it sets for me and my bretheren and the union is a tool to keep them on the straight and narrow...not just for me to screw the company which is what most unions turned into.

And, I'm a tool of nobody period. And you know it. When Bush was busy sticking it to us, I was in the front fucking rank calling it what it was.

I don't see the same integrity from you at all where Obama is concerned. You clowns are marching in lockstep and have tossed reality and thinking right out the window. You have demonstrated that regardless of the facts available, you're just willing to swallow anything they tell you as the gospel truth.
You support the healthcare bill.
It's pretty easy to do it when you have no clue whatsoever as to whats in that bill you haven't read or investigated at all.
Obama told you it's good...and thats good enough for you! Especially good for you microdot since you're 2000 miles away from any direct effect!

I guess I could be just as logical and blindly support any idiotic thing Sarko pulls out of his ass and brand you as an idiot or a leftwing tool for not supporting it.
You read this bill they're trying to force us into then get back with me. Anyone who would support this thing couldn't possibly have read it.

microdot said...

Sepp, I had assumed from some of your posts that you were in fact anti union, but if youu say you support unions, then I will take your word for it.
Believe me, I have read a lot of the health care bill and I have had some pretty intense arguments with people who only have the rumors and fear mongering of the right as their talking points.
I talk to people who don't even realize that medi care is a government program.
Are you just plain set against health care reform?
That's what I got from you in the past. You seem to implie that everything was just hunky dory as it is.
What is it aboput the bill that you disagree with?
Is there anything that you agree with?
It is precisely because of the fact that I have had a lot of respect for your opinions in the past that I even want to know what you think.

I am not totally happy with Barack Obama...but, I am sure glad we don't have to be living in the nightmare of a McCain/Palin Dopacracy. The guy has a lot of good points. The problem with the level of the argument these days is that if a person says that they support the idea of health care reform, then the opposition starts in with smearing Obama and me as an idolizer of Obama.
There is no discussion because ther is too much noise.

-Sepp said...

MD, I'm only anti-union when the union is no longer a means for parity for the workers and becomes worse than the management tyrany the brotherhood was formed to fight but, thats for another post.

As for heathcare reform, no actually I'm not against fixing the system and making the cost and accessability better / easier.

However,I do believe that this can be accomplished without all the shady bullshit that is stashed inside the bill as it stands.

The people don't hate the poor or, simply want to screw Obama out of his limelight. This bill is labeled and packaged to look like an eclaire but is chock full of shit as it's filling...and after the last 2 "middle of the night" bills that were filled with shit and passed without even a cursory speedread, people here are simply done with the bullshit.

You're a reasonable person MD and, do you really think people would be so angry if the bill simply "made access to affordable healthcare for all Americans" as it's misleading title claims?
Seriously, the angry crowds would be far smaller if the bill simply fixed the problems that needed fixing and ONLY focused on doing just that.
Revamping medicaid / medicare to serve those who need those services could be done at a lower cost in cash, jobs and personal liberty and privacy.

And, just the fact that Obama was pushing and arm twisting to ram the bill through unread with the hurry, hurry, hurry attitude did nothing but raise alarms as to what the government was trying to pull next!
We can both agree that Bush was bad...really bad. But, this current administration has become nearly Orwellian in it's secrecy and deceptions that it's making Bush look nearly honest.

So thats where I'm at with this. i think healthcare CAN be fixed WITHOUT Obama's Orwell crap crammed between pages. And, I believe it's not passing the public scrutiny because of that crap alone.