How History Ends Up Repeating Itself
Fascism is a way to ration a stagnant economy to in-groups. If you understand just one sentence about fascism, let it be that one — because it’s the key. Like everything in life, our love, our fear, our desire, so too, our hate serves a purpose. Fascism exists for a reason: to ration the dwindling fruits of a stagnant economy. Think about it this way: if the harvest suddenly fails, then the crop must be rationed somehow — a way must be found to take from some, and give to others, because markets and prices and so on will begin to leave people hungry. What is that way? Who will get it, and how much?
Well, that way is usually this: blaming a scapegoat for the stagnant economy, for the failed harvest, whether it’s Jews in the 1930s, Muslims and Jews and immgrants today, or virgins and witches in the dark ages. And then therefore excluding those scapegoats from the economy altogether, just as laws were passed to first expropriate, take the possessions of, Jews, and then to push them into ghettoes, then into labour camps, and then, finally, terribly, into
.. Of course, the problem then is that even those chosen few must either dwindle, along with the failed crop, in a vicious circle — or the fascist must declare war, and find someone else’s crop to seize, which is what Germany did. Either way, the point remains.
.. Fascism rations stagnation. It’s so vital I’ll say it again. We have never, ever once seen fascism arising during good times in all of human history because fascism is a way to take from some and give to others — a bad, inhuman, and foolish way to solve a problem: the problem of stagnation, when the harvest begins to fail. But it is a way to solve a problem nonetheless, and until we understand that, we have understood precisely nothing about it at all.
.. The fascist’s hate in this way serves a purpose: it is a social mechanism of rationing in order to solve the problem of stagnation.
.. Myth: our existing institutions will save us from fascism.
Reality: fascism can only arises when those institutions have already failed
.. So the rise of fascism tells us in the strongest terms possible that institutions don’t work anymore—fascism rising is their ultimate failure. That is what we see in America today: an institutional vacuum. Nothing works anymore, does it? Not the law, the media, politics, capitalism, democracy. That is precisely what gave fascism the room, space, fuel, freedom to arise.
A women confessed that she was not a witch but was poor and that, even if set free, no one would give her food.
Sir George estimated that 2/3 of the accusations were false and that many of the victims were poor and that the confessions were through torture (1:30)
Woman who forgives her persecutors (1:27) but the prosecutor believes she is still guilty.
Test whether witches float via ordeal. (1:30)
King James exports witchcraft persecution from Scotland (1:31)
Floating Test, Reciting Lord’s Prayer (1:38)
Weigh more than the Bible (1:39)
Man who is paid per witch caught. Threatens not to come (1:40)
People feel no one is safe from his reproach. Mob accuses him of being a witch (1:42)
Educated people stop believing in modern witchcraft ~1650 (1:45)
Not 1/100 witches would be convicted if a normal trial would be given (2:11)
Duke has woman accuse Jesuits of Sorcery (2:35) Frederick S, Schondbrun, Duke of Brunswick (~1650)
- condemned torture, swimming of witches
Man couldn’t account for headache (2:43)
Native Americans think Salem settlers an inferior species because he Great Sprit sent no witches(2:50)
Even as India modernizes, witchcraft accusations are common, leading to the murders of over 2,000 people, mostly women, in the last 15 years. One woman in Assam State in the country’s northeast is confronting accusers and demanding government action.