How’s it going, #America?

Let’s talk about fascism, because hello, look out the window.

Many think that ending this means beating trump. But history suggests a deeper struggle. So: let’s tour the fall of Weimar. Some themes may leap out.

CW: nazi imagery.
Before fascism came, there was a history of relative progress. Incrementalist left and centrist governments had passed reforms to reduce society’s suffering.

Over decades, progress was made in small steps. Despite periods of bust and devastating times, the arc of progress bent.
But then came a crisis few saw coming. As the global economy tanked, it took a toll that the system could not handle.

In the wake, the centrist coalitions lost power. Just as help was needed most, incrementalists were swept away by a crisis capitalism had guaranteed would come.
Successive new conservative governments pursued austerity. Social services were slashed.

Governing in the minority, they pushed for tax cuts and wage reductions. The economy fully crashed.

As desperation grew, people began to flock to extremes and fringe parties grew.
Parties began organizing paramilitaries. Efforts to ban them were met with general indifference.

The centrists and center-left did not keep large forces, like the communists or nationalists. They believed they controlled the force of the state. Those forces didn’t always agree.
Police sympathy was key. Across the hundreds of street battles, police ignored or abetted violence by right wingers—so long as it was aimed at leftists.

They broke up meetings and marches, with force. Dozens of civilians died to the gun fire of police, which the state excused.
Citizens flocked to those who promised to rule with simple solutions and absolute authority.

The left insisted that the ruling class be held accountable for their strife. The ruling class sought to divide. They offered racist lies, and blamed the marginalized for social ills.
The right began to erode democratic institutions. The legislature was in deadlock, so the executive began to rule by decree.

Friendly judges were as lax with these policies as they were with the violent right wingers inflicting violence in the streets.
Eventually, the right got tired of even state governments that didn’t fall in line with its tune. The largest state of the country saw its government overthrown by federal forces.

The police and institutions centrists thought would protect them actively helped, or stood by.
But the right still needed a single authoritarian figure to accept. The old, flatulent man in charge wouldn’t do. After some infighting, the right finally settled on a young, fringe politician, who trafficked in open racism and conspiracy.

They believed they could control him.
Their regime was given a legal veneer, and the new dictator began to demand power to rule without the legislature. He said it was needed to solve the crisis.

Citizens legal rights were rapidly stripped away. All enemies and dissidents became fair game to state forces.
At the critical moment, there was no response from the left. The radical elements insisted on a general strike, and active resistance. The centrists did not think it would be smart, politically.

They’d never get another free election to find out. All parties were rapidly banned.
There was no more need to hide loyalties. Police and right wingers rapidly fanned out, arresting even the moderate left on a mass scale.

In the first wave, almost every leader who’d argued against uprising found themselves interned, without rights.
As prisoners overwhelmed the prisons, camps were improvised in old factories and warehouses.

Communists and anarchists saw the worst of it first. Many thousands were killed; more were enslaved.

The government insisted they were violent, for the very act of dissent.
After the left, it came time to kill those conservatives and plebeians who’d brought the dictator to power. Even former heads of government were not spared.

Those who’d imagined they maintained true control, or who’d hoped the dictator would solve their woes, were given bullets.
With the vile, the bullies, the avaricious, and the lawmen unified, the better conscience of society was suffocated.

Order and loyalty were violently demanded. A national cult was formed.

Those who’d survived and spoke out now found themselves isolated, and quickly destroyed.
One autocrat is a threat, but the dynamics of autocratic rule are larger than any one man. This economic and social crisis will not pass easily, nor be won with small measures.

Think and act accordingly. Fight, on all fronts. Do not assume you have a second chance.
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