Charlie Kirk Is Right to Be Afraid of Spinoza

Right-wing culture warriors recently attacked Immanuel Kant as the father of “critical race theory.” Now, figures like Charlie Kirk are going after Baruch Spinoza — a radical enlightenment thinker who can actually teach us a few things about how to fight the Right.

Portrait of Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza, 1877. (Wikimedia Commons)

According to the National Review, conservative talk show host Charlie Kirk has recently added the name Baruch Spinoza to a list of enemies that includes so-called “cultural Marxists” Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault.

Derrida and Foucault are familiar enough names, especially to anyone who remembers the political correctness debates of the 1980s, in which postmodernism was declared the enemy of reason and even America. But Spinoza, a seventeenth-century Dutch rationalist, seems distinctly out of place and nonthreatening. At least initially.

One of the things that distinguishes the current panic over “wokeness” from the earlier political correctness debates is that, while the latter was about defending the Western canon against postmodern identity politics, today’s culture warriors increasingly trace the roots of ideas like what they call critical race theory back to fixtures of Western philosophy like Immanuel Kant — a view that was recently repeated in Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing. Now, it seems, Spinoza has joined a centuries-old conspiracy to destroy our Western values with something called “social justice.”

However, if you take a step a back from the increasingly paranoid turn in right-wing culture wars, you could argue that Spinoza is actually a worthy enemy for the Right. After all, Marxist philosophers and theorists have repeatedly turned to Spinoza in the past. In fact, there is an entire tradition of “Marxist Spinozism,” from Louis Althusser to Antonio Negri.

It seems unlikely though that Charlie Kirk has been reading Frédéric Lordon’s Figures du Communisme. Rather than focus on Spinoza’s embrace by the Marxist left, a better question might be: What specifically did Spinoza write that poses a legitimate challenge to right-wing kooks?

Very Superstitious

Spinoza’s main political intervention during his lifetime, the Theological-Political Treatise, has the wordy subtitle: “By means of which it is shown not only that the freedom of philosophizing can be allowed in Preserving Piety and the Peace of the Republic: but also that it is not possible for such Freedom to be upheld except when accompanied by the Peace of the Republic and Piety Themselves.” In other words, Spinoza advocated for the freedom to think and philosophize.

Given that much of the Right, from Donald Trump to Elon Musk, has coalesced around the demand for “free speech,” Spinoza would seem a natural ally. But, it is precisely in how Spinoza configures this demand for speech, and how he understands the connection between philosophy and politics, that shows he is anathema to everything the Right stands for.

For starters, for Spinoza, the true enemy of the freedom to think, speak, and philosophize is not state censorship at all, but something else altogether: superstition. And superstition is something today’s right-wing demagogues traffic heavily in.

Writing in the middle of the seventeenth century, Spinoza was acutely aware of the way Scripture became not just an authority of knowledge but for politics as well. He was even banned from the small Jewish community in Amsterdam for his heretical beliefs and witnessed firsthand the struggle between modern philosophy and the political authority of religious scripture.

The conflict between the authority of scripture and science defined Spinoza’s period, affecting thinkers from Galileo to Descartes. Uniquely, Spinoza saw the dispute over superstition and reason not as one between rulers and the people, as liberal philosophers argued, but as intrinsic to all political life and, more intriguingly, as a struggle internal to every individual.

In other words, superstition is not just an external power, like state censorship, but is the force of obedience that in a sense comes from within us.

As Spinoza writes,

The supreme mystery of despotism, its prop and stay, is to keep men in a state of deception, and with the specious title of religion to cloak the fear by which they must be held in check, so that they will fight for their servitude as if for salvation, and count it no shame, but the highest honor to spend their blood and their lives for the glorification of one man.

Long before Karl Marx, Spinoza’s formulation offers something akin to a theory of ideology: it’s not as though the ruling ideas are just the ideas of the ruling class, while the rest of us suffer passively under their domination. People actively fight against their own interests, and their own liberation. Instead of striving to be more free and rational, they struggle to maintain their servitude and with it the authority of those who claim to know for them.

To grasp this paradox — that people can fight for their servitude as if it were salvation — it is necessary to understand the connection Spinoza draws between knowledge and politics, which holds the key to understanding the power of superstition. The relationship between knowledge and politics, how we think and how we live, is at the center of Spinoza’s philosophy. In fact, while Spinoza’s contemporaries were separating their method for knowing the world from their way of living in it, Spinoza, in one of his most provocative formulations, saw thinking and living, mind and body, as two sides of the same reality.

Reading the Ethics

Spinoza’s central work, the Ethics, is as much a book about the nature of knowledge, reality, the mind, and the body as it is a guide for how to live. There, Spinoza shows that we are subject to superstition because we are born conscious of our desires but ignorant of the causes of things. Moreover, we necessarily fill the gaps in our understanding of the world with our desires: we call things chaotic because they do not fit with our plans, or evil because they seem to threaten our desired way of life.

What Spinoza calls imagination, or inadequate knowledge, is what happens when we confuse the way something affects us for what it is. For example, our fear of snakes becomes misrecognized as a quality of the snake itself, which we then perceive to have evil properties. Since, according to Spinoza, we always act in light of some end, trying to realize our desires and plans in the world, we also tend to interpret the world in a similar manner, as if all things in it were guided by a determinate end. In that way, things that help us in nature are understood to be the product of a divine plan to assist us, while the things that harm us are understood to be a judgment or punishment for our actions.

It is at that point that what Spinoza refers to as prejudice, the basic ignorance of causes and lack of awareness of our own desires, becomes superstition, a doctrine or dogma that claims to know the true motives and causes of the world. The default in our knowledge becomes a doctrinal way of making sense of the world.

In other words, prejudice turns into superstition when our ignorance and desire are socialized: when the belief in final causes becomes something that people can exploit by convincing others of their interpretation. Prejudice is an attempt to make sense of the world with the little that we know, based on our own desires; superstition is an attempt to organize that basic striving of individuals to grapple with the world with the ultimate goal of gaining power.

Of course, the dilemma that Spinoza wrote about, in which natural prejudice is exploited by superstition, was specific to the social dynamics of a period in which ignorance could be manipulated through Scripture. However, Spinoza’s ideas extend beyond the critique of religion. Spinoza’s fundamental point is that we all start from a point of fundamental ignorance, unaware of the causes of things; the relevant political distinction, in Spinoza’s day and our own, is between those who exploit that ignorance and those who seek to overcome it. For Spinoza, liberation is just that: a striving to overcome ignorance through the transformation of how we think about the world.

“A Good Conspiracy Theory is Unprovable”

This brings us back to Charlie Kirk and the world of right-wing talk radio, podcasts, and TV media — a world full of prejudice and superstition.

In a sense, the entire right-wing media sphere begins from simple desires, often to hold onto one’s status or sense of security in the world. What matters in the world of Alex Jones, Ben Shapiro, and others is not the nature of the threats or their actual causal relation to the insecurity we are feeling. What matters is the way that they affect us and influence our desires.

To take contemporary examples, things like mandatory corporate diversity training or learning about the history of slavery in school can make one feel bad. One deduces that the effect (knowing the history of slavery) must be the cause of what one is feeling, so that the specifically bad way we feel about diversity training or slavery can somehow explain its causal condition. Effects are turned into causes. If learning about slavery makes one feel bad then it must be because it was designed to do so.

Critical race theory exists to make people feel bad — and advance the cause of “liberal guilt”in the same way that snakes are evil. An effect of the thing has become its defining attribute.

This inversion, taking effects as causes, becomes a formula for making sense of the world. The less one understands the real causes of the economic and political factors that have made the world bewildering and threatening, the more willing one is to make sense of it in terms of our desire and the unseen intentions that inform them.

Since, according to Spinoza, desires and intentions are how we act in the world and make sense of our actions, they also become the way that we interpret the workings of the world. Conspiracy theories, we might say, are the secular version of the final-cause frame of mind once associated with Scripture and religion: through the conspiracy theory, we see behind the world to the darker forces orchestrating devious plans.

In this conspiratorial thought, the effect of a thing becomes a cause, and everything is interpreted according to intentions and plans: not only is the “final cause” taken as the interpretive principle, but in doing so, the real effects of material things are inverted to become causes, and, eventually, sinister plans. Following that same logic, the world becomes a series of signs to be decoded — usually by a self-anointed “free thinker” — in order to see the true intentions underlying them.

True Knowledge

This actually has much to do with freedom of speech and philosophy. It certainly is true that Spinoza was an advocate of the freedom to speak and voice opinions, even (possibly) conspiratorial ones. In fact, Spinoza, who always grounded his understanding of politics in an understanding of both human nature and broader natural processes, foresaw that it was inevitable and natural that people with different experiences and histories would see things differently. Any attempt to suppress our natural divergences would only make it so that people did the same things, said the same things, and thought the same thoughts. Which would be both tyrannical and doomed to fail.

However, this does not mean that the proliferation of opinions and prejudices is itself good or worthwhile. Spinoza’s political ideal may have been, as philosopher Étienne Balibar put it, “as many people, thinking as much as possible,” but the point was not to celebrate a multitude of conflicting prejudices free to vent and rage at each other. For Spinoza, the point of freedom of thought and speech has a determinate end: to arrive at “adequate,” or true knowledge.

How do we arrive at true knowledge? This happens through what Spinoza called common notions. Notions are “common” when they involve understanding the causal relations — physical, natural, but also social, economic, and political — that affect everything (i.e., that are held in common). Understanding things through their complex and intersecting causal relations is the opposite of understanding things through their effects: the latter, characteristic of conspiracy theories, can find only intentions. Spinoza’s knowledge in common recognizes that the world in all of its complex causality not only exceeds our intentions but the intentions of any one individual, class, or group. This is one of the important points of contact between Spinoza and Marx, of which there are many.

For Spinoza, the question of speech was ultimately about power, understood as an increase or decrease in our collective and individual power to act or think. Nearly four hundred years later, this still seems to be a good way to approach the central question of freedom of speech: rather than focus on the abstract right to say something or not in a classroom or internet forum, it might be more useful to ask how can such spaces be used to spread common notions and help us make sense of our collective conditions, rather than disseminate prejudices and superstition.

Charlie Kirk and the world of right-wing radio are right to see Spinoza as their enemy. Although they are not quoting Scripture, they are on the side of superstition in the specific sense that Spinoza had in mind: they build their base of power from inadequate ideas, cobbling together a worldview that only sees the effects of the complex interaction of social, political, and economic factors.

Most importantly of all, right-wing conspiracy theorists do not seek to transform ignorance but exploit it, captivating their audience with a never-ending search for signs of impending danger. Naturally, this suits them just fine since they are the self-anointed interpreters of those same ciphers.

For the rest of us, however, we can’t let our very real fears and anxieties be connected to imaginary causes. The costs are too high: at stake is our understanding of the actual causes of our fears, and, with that comprehension, the collective power to grasp the conditions of our knowledge and transform them.

This Historical Moment was Inevitable, but the Outcome is not

may uh the
i’m seeing with a little more clarity
that all these moments of
you know reactionary apparel
the sociological parallel is that you
have or a political parallel
is that you have a reactionary minority
that has a parliamentary
and a paramilitary wing
and the republicans are just reproducing
this pattern with with just you know
elegance right and if you look at the
january 6
uh investigation you know they’re
proceeding on two tracks and the two
tracks are the majority literally the
majority of senators and house represent
house members who tried to overturn
their elections using their votes
as outside the gates you have you know
people kind of messing you know with
with truncheons
you have to kind of follow that thread
you know in 2020 you know you talk about
you know the movement you know for black
at the same time as
i think it was about a dozen states were
indemnifying people for the crime of um
driving their vehicles vehicular
homicide into crowds right
and if you look at the statistics i
think there was something like you know
like there were there there were nearly
a hundred vehicular assaults you know
this is terrorism right the automobile
as a weapon
uh uh and you know kind of pushing back
you know movements for democracy and
you just
you know we we we need to be and you
know i think
and then as we look at this january 6
investigation you have this house
committee that seems to be doing very
aggressive work and this justice
department that seems to be you know
nowhere to be found because they’re
quote unquote institutionalists that’s
where you get into the democratic party
fecklessness where we have this attorney
general who
um you know hopefully is building these
cases from the ground up but we don’t
know we haven’t heard anything right so
we have no kind of organized voice
within the democratic party
who is saying you know really kind of
naming the stakes with any kind of
uh clarity and aggressiveness
that has the power to do something about
it or maybe not and that’s why we’re
kind of on the the precipice you know
and you know you still have this kind of
adlai stevenson kind of obama strain in
the democratic party
that says the problem is
polarization and we’re saying too many
mean things about the opposition
and that’s a real problem
and bill
yeah so um

see first of all i think i i’m going to
say two things that will sound perhaps
one is that i think this moment was

the second is
i do not think that the outcome
is inevitable

so i think that this moment was was
inevitable because this is the result of
racial settler colonialism

this is the result of
the failure of the civil war
actually resolve
part of the question

and it was also the result of the fact
that during this great democratic or
small d moment in the south called
native americans were being annihilated
in the west
right so yeah these contradictory things
are going on so in in so i think that
the the failure of the united states to
ever come to grips with its own past
with the question of a genuine democracy
um even within the context of capitalism
made this inevitable this clash
and and i think that when i talked
before about right-wing populism as the
herpes of capitalism it’s because the
virus is in the system

it’s not outside of the system and
periodically like a stomach bug hitting
you right it’s in the system
so the system needs to be cleansed
um and and and so the outcome of this
is not inevitable
um so
we have at least
of the population that has not lost its

i mean that’s very significant
and and i think that what is critically
important mark you and i have talked
about this
is that people have to organize at the

and and it can’t be relying on
the eloquence of barack obama or the
feistiness of of biden in order to stop
this plague
when the right shows up at school board
we need to be there

when the right attacks
uh or tries to
stop the vaccine
we need to be there
when they come after election officials
we need to be there

now i realized the implications of this
i realize that that may lead to physical
altercations but in general i have found
the right to be quite cowardly
this is true not just in the united
states but in other places they are
and they they often think they can get
away quite literally with murder

until and unless progressives stand up
and say
no pass iran
we’re not playing this game yep
um and and we should remember just
historically the spanish fascists in
could have been defeated in a matter of
months had it not been for the nazis and
the italian fascists
intervening we can actually stop this
thing from happening so i think it’s
really important that we do not fall
prey to fatalism which i see certainly
in the liberal media
but also in segments of the left and one
final thing mark there’s also segments
on the left you and i have discussed
that really downplay this danger from
right wing authoritarianism and continue
to think that the main enemy are
centrist democrats

i want to go upside people’s heads and
ask them what what are you smoking what
is it is it like alcohol and herb or
you’re adding some other stuff
what is it that that you think is going
on here yeah so i think we just have to
grapple with that
so let me let me jump in here for a
minute and this is we so we brought us
youtube just brought us to this moment
let’s talk about this moment what that
what what you just said um uh really
means bill and what you were saying
earlier rick that so so how does that
happen though let me posit something
that may sound negative but let me just
pause it anyway and you can tear it
apart okay
so i’m watching the right
and i see a right wing
appears to be
more organized
than progressives of the left or anybody
and well-funded
and well-armed i might add
in all these complications that we
talked about whether it was hitler in
1930 germany 1932 or
or or 1877
or right now a lot of it is being fueled
by no no don’t take that back that part
of it is
people who have been in the military
are upset and angry and on the right
as my two grandsons who now serve in the
united states army said to me
that almost all the guys they meet
in the combat units are on the right
as opposed to units they’re in when
they’re much more open-minded
because they’re in the space core and
all that kind of stuff so they’re in a
very different kind of place but so so
they so so that reality exists
and the fact that
the right wing inside the republican
literally control of 26 states in the
union and in 41 states they’re put in
legislation to diminish voting rights
and to control the vote so they can
control the elections coming up
and that means that they could possibly
for numerous reasons including the
failure of bodies and others to take
over in 2022 the the federal legislature
which is significant
and the left is kind of and progressives
are kind of embedded inside the
democratic party and i’m not saying here
go start another party that has no power
at the moment but that are embedded
inside the democrats with very little
power within them
and the unions are now struggling to get
back on their feet and you see strikes
taking place and people organizing
but the power of the unions are not what
they were
so what do we mean
and what do you mean but when you say
now it’s time to kind of stand up i i
mean i understand standing up to them
and i
even in my even if even in my if my
dotage here i’m willing to stand up
against these fools
but but
but but the question is what does that
mean if we are not organized to really
either industry
polls or in the community in the
elections in school boards and more
so that that so so what is it going to
take to really stop them
is the question i’m asking the two of
you well mark the democratic party
didn’t organize the civil rights
the democratic party didn’t organize the
chicano moratorium in 1970 right right
democratic party didn’t organize
right i mean so i think it’s really
important that people
break with passivity and start thinking
about okay
how do we organize
uh like like i’ve been talking for years
about the necessity to organize
democracy brigades and my critical image
was the union leagues of the 1860s and
1870s that were organized based
particularly among african americans but
also among poor whites to fight to
reconstruction the problem
is that they didn’t take the necessary
to ultimately smash the terrorists the
white terrorists but i think that we
need to be thinking at the local level
of building brigades of people
that are engaged in this fight for
and i think that the longer that we sit
back and we wait
for something to come out of congress or
out of the white house it ain’t gonna
happen and i agree with you rick about i
mean i
i keep hoping that the justice
department is working something up and i
actually think that they probably are
but man are they quiet
yeah you know and and and so i think
that that’s necessary i mean you know i
want to see
at a school board meeting
when these lunatics show up i want to
see our forces there
right and basically saying to these
lunatics do you want to debate about
critical race theory let’s have the damn
but you are not going to bully this
board into some ridiculous stuff like
these different uh pieces of legislation
are being uh passed in in various state
legislatures but we have got to we we
can’t we are our own liberators we’re
the ones that are going to have to
constitute these organizations and so it
might not be entire national unions it
might be local unions it might be naacp
chapters it might be immigrant rights
groups right that come together even if
on an ad hoc basis
and say one of the things we’re going to
take up making sure to protect these
election officials making sure that
people can vote making sure that
vaccines happen
uh making making sure to protect the
right to abortion right that we’re gonna
do this and we’re gonna do it in the
rick you want to jump in on that
well uh
but another thing is you know i’m a big
fan of um
a socialist thinker carl palani who
points out that um
society is organized around market
values always create you know basically
nihilistic apocalypses
and that there are always people within
basically the the ambit of capital in
the ruling class who grasp this
and so we have allies within the ruling
like you know the Rockefellers who
you know in the 1860s and 70s you know
built a school system in the south for
african americans right which was a very
radical thing to do
so we have allies and we have to search
them out uh because these people grasp
that um if you know we’re uh talking
about a republic of of insects and grass
as um
um uh you know who was it the great
writer about nuclear apocalypse you know
they they don’t win either
so um
you know when after but you know power
yields nothing without a demand and you
know after the urban rebellions of the
60s one of the things that happened was
you know employers were like holy crap
you know if you read the harvard
business review they’re like we need to
bring african-americans into you know
corporate america
so um
we have to find all sorts of pressure
right all sorts of pressure
points because you know we’re talking
civilization or barbarism and
uh we might have allies that um
you know um
are not our usual allies
because we’re
talking about whether the thing you know
basically human life can
be sustained on the planet
and um so bottom up top down inside out
outside in you know we got a you know we
got to build a real popular front for
i i want to just add to that i just
agrees 100 rick and and uh just point
out that
uh something that uh your comment
in in response to the 50s and 60s
there was what you described
and but there was also
the response from the right the the the
what become becomes a right-wing
populist movement
and this this this politics of revenge
yeah uh that we see
germinating in the late 60s and and and
then spreading out
and i um i thought about that a lot
after 2020
because we had this historic post-george
floyd murder
uh uh movement around the country right
we had demonstrations uprisings
so there were two responses part of
corporate america and the political
establishment responded with greater
attention to so-called diversity
to re-examining u.s history et cetera et
but then there was equally this
authoritarian backlash
that i would argue that the black lives
matter movement as a whole was
completely unprepared for
because that right-wing backlash
organizing it wasn’t just protesting
they were organizing and the george
floyd black lives matter movement
was protesting but did not create
lasting organizations and points of

it was predictable
it’s what we saw in 1968
nixon didn’t appear out of nowhere
george wallace didn’t appear out of
it was a particular response
that we have to always keep in mind it’s
part of
of the the this virus
in the u.s system
that’s an interesting analogy i i think
that’s that’s true i mean i
as someone who was in the midst of 1968
i think about all the failures of 68
that those of us who were too busy in
the streets battling as opposed to uh in
the community organizing and i think
that’s that’s part of part of the issue
we face
um but i’m gonna be getting this in kind
of a positive note that there is
there’s light at the end of this tunnel
and there’s room for there’s room to
the right and to build something new and
i think that’s really the kind of
message that we that we need to kind of
push really hard
that’s right um and and i and i you know
we in the conversation they both have
been really great and kind of describing
why we’re here and also what we have to
do to get there um and i do want to
thank both of you for joining us today
um uh and rick palestine and bill
fletcher this has been a really good
and i want to tell all the folks out
there who are watching listening to us
today um that we’re going to continue
this conversation that bill fletcher and
i will be producing a whole series of
conversations not just about oh woe is
me but what can be done why we’re here
and what can we do
um and we’ll also be also talking to
organizers from across the country the
poor people’s campaign and other
organizations who are actually
organizing on the ground there is a way
to stop this and that’s what we’re going
to focus on
uh and we are uh in the middle of a
battle for the future and i think
we’re all here and for me who has
children and grandchildren and waiting
and even great grandchildren which is
kind of scared to say but i do
that it’s for them
not we’re going to let them inherit a
better society not something that the
right can control
uh and again thank you both so much both
for the work you do and for being with
us here today on the steiner show on the
real news it’s always good to talk to
both of you i mean it’s really important
to do that thank you so much
and uh i want to thank you all for
listening here today
with uh and loving hearts like like
these we can’t fail
amen to that and i want to and all of
you out there remind you that to hear
the real news you can still go to forward slash donate
continue your donations real news to
keep these things alive uh and look at
to our reports on the rise of the right
and uh other projects we’ll be doing i’m
gonna thank dwayne gladden and stephen
frank for editing and monitoring this
broadcast and thank you all for watching
today and listening to the i mean and
being part of the mark steiner show here
on the real news thank you take care and
keep on fighting stay the course

14 Characteristics of Fascism-“Lite” in the US

Published: Nov 8, 2020


Lawrence Britt: 14 Characteristics

Umberto Eco’s:  2003 article


well howdy there internet people it’s
beau again
so today we’re gonna talk about a
question i got um
because it kind of threw me through a
loop pretty thought provoking
actually when you really get down to it
um it was about systems of government
and it was trying to determine
if there was a uh
a comparable system to social democracy
on the other side and basically
the idea of the question was i
understand that social
democracy is kind of a blend of
socialism and capitalism it’s socialism
is there something on the other side is
there something in the right wing
that is a blend
between normal capitalism normal western
governments as we know it
and fascism
leads to an interesting place so
we’ve got our list the one we’ve been
using on this channel which is
uh put out by lawrence britt i think is
his name 14 characteristics
of fascism to be clear i use this one
it is it tends to speak to americans
it’s more practical there are other
that break down the characteristics
there’s one by umberto echo
but this is more practical rather than
so it’s the one that i tend to use if
you really want to get into the subject
you might want to look at the others too
okay so the first one is powerful and
nationalism now if you’re looking at a
version you would just kind of lighten
it up so maybe you don’t have
the marches and parades all the time
but you have like flags everywhere
so much so that it kind of loses meaning
becomes more like a bumper sticker a
sports team logo
than a display of the nation
it’s something that everybody feels is
symbol disdain for the recognition of
human rights
so you want to lighten it up maybe it’s
not overt
you know maybe it’s not legislated that
people don’t have human rights
however if you know somebody that’s
accused of a crime gets roughed up a
little bit
nobody’s going to cry over it you know
in this case it’s going to be more de
facto it’s going to be stuff that
just happens rather than it being
identification of enemies and scapegoats
is a unifying cause
now when you’re talking about the overt
version of this it’s
typically an internal enemy
that they get scapegoated if
it’s a light version it would probably
be external
you know well the ones of that group
that are inside the country
they’re different they’re okay but we’re
gonna all rally around the idea
that those on the other side of the line
on the map they’re bad
supremacy of the military so in a light
version you could imagine that
rather than it just basically having
control of the entire government
it uh it
maybe has a place of honor that is
you know really revered and probably
gets the biggest share of the budget
rampant sexism again this would be
something that’s a de facto
it’s a male-dominated society but
there’s not legislation
that backs up a whole lot of it it’s
the way it is because tradition
is also a characteristic that uh
goes along with this system but that
gets into the philosophical list
controlled mass media so
rather than it being overt and
the government just basically telling
the news organizations what to say
maybe it’s just more collusion maybe
it’s more of the media
parroting the government talking points
so they can get access
and so everybody’s on the same page
again it’s just de facto it’s just the
way it is in practice
rather than something that’s
obsession with national security
in regimes like this i don’t think you
would find
um a light version i think you would
still have a maze
of agencies that were devoted to
national security and anytime the
government needed something done
that’s the card they would pull because
they would have that
that reverence for the military already
so they’d be able to gain compliance
from the population by kind of pulling
that card
we need to do this so we don’t have to
send our troops over there
we just need you to comply and do what
we ask it’s going to keep you safe
religion and government are intertwined
again they’re going to want to keep up
the facade
of some form of liberal democrat
so it probably wouldn’t be legislation
it wouldn’t be institutionalized
but there would be like little rituals
to show that you were on the right team
maybe you
swear in on a holy text when you take
you know there’d be little things that
you would do to demonstrate that
you were one of the good guys you were
part of the club
corporate power is protected and that’s
one of the ones on this list that i
really object to
in the overt form it’s not protected
it’s blended
the government has a lot of control
direct control
of corporate power in that system
if you’re just talking about corporate
power being protected it’s what you have
in the united states
i mean that that’s what it is the the
government looks out for corporate
interest for the sake of the economy
and that’s how it gets framed but it’s
also for their own personal benefit
labor power is suppressed it probably
wouldn’t be as brutal
as you find in the over regimes it would
be more
legislation that just undermines
collective bargaining
makes it harder to unionize and just
undercuts the rights of the worker
disdain for intellectuals in the arts
so it probably wouldn’t be open
it would just be
something that they didn’t encourage
maybe they don’t fund art
in school they don’t teach the
appreciation of it
and they don’t encourage the youth to be
intellectual so it just goes by the
wayside on itself
all all by itself there’s no reason for
the government to
push against it too hard they’re just
going to let it fade out
obsession with crime and punishment so
you’d probably have a huge prison
population in a regime
operating under a blend like this
rampant cronyism and corruption
so what you’d have is like no bid
you’d have government officials giving
jobs and construction contracts to their
cousins and stuff like that
that’s what you’d find again it wouldn’t
be overt
the last one is fraudulent elections you
probably wouldn’t see any of this
not much because they’d want to keep up
the facade
that it isn’t one of those regimes
so it would just be controlled in a
different manner
perhaps the major parties
would keep everything in house
and really only give you a couple
but they’d want to keep that one at
least the appearance
of legitimate elections
sounds really familiar doesn’t it
yeah if you want to know what fascism
light looks like
look out the window the united states
is the blend
um that’s one of the reasons it’s so
important that we watch
for the creep towards the overt
real thing because we’re already really
close to it
we’ve talked about it before on this
channel even our
left wing party in the united states
is center right because the country is
that far right to begin with
if you’re talking about a blend between
and the idea of western liberal
it’s the us
that that’s where we’re at already we
wouldn’t need to go anywhere
it already exists um
again i think it’s an interesting little
thought exercise and something i’d never
thought of before
nobody’s ever asked um that’s probably
one of the biggest
dangers to the united states as a whole
is the creep that direction further and
further right
to an authoritarian rule
especially when it’s done slowly
and it’s this soft form of it that we
don’t even realize is there so much so
that we don’t even think about it
because it’s just
the way it is it’s just tradition it’s
de facto
anyway it’s just a thought y’all have a
good day