Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
The Opposition Is Born | Jacobin -
What is the first thing fascists or Nazis do when they come into power, the very first thing? They destroy the Left.

Before they go after the Jews, as in Germany, before they go after the liberals and anyone who is not a fascist, before they go after national minorities, they arrest, imprison, torture, and murder the communists, the socialists, and the trade unions. Because they know that in order to pursue their maximal agenda, they need to drain the field of all opposition.

Trump hasn't done that; in fact, he's done just the opposite.

Now you could say that the reason Trump hasn't done that is that there is no real left to do it to. Trump thinks he can do what he's doing now because no one will stop him. I actually think there is something to that argument. And one could see how, from the point of view of a conservative or Republican activist, the last forty years would suggest that you have little to worry about from the left: not from the activist left and certainly not from the Democrats. I think the facts on the ground with regard to the Left has begun to change, slowly, but knowledge of the world is path dependent, and changes like this take a long time to register, particularly when you're in an ideological bubble. Look how long it took Democrats and the Left to realize that Reagan was for real and here to stay.

That is why I don't buy the notion that somehow yesterday's events, with all the opposition at the airports and the imposition of a stay, was part of a grand plan. I think they have no idea what they might be facing from the left. And let's be honest: neither do we.

Whatever the case may be, the point is this: If Trump is a fascist -- I'm dubious, as many of you know -- he may be the most backasswards fascist we've ever seen. Having seized control of the state, he doesn't destroy his opposition in order to pursue his maximal agenda. Instead, he creates an opposition -- what may be shaping up as the largest mass movement this country has seen in fifty years -- by pursuing his maximal agenda first.


For the moment I tend to agree. Unless there follows a very fast and thorough trashing of the protest movement the Trumpkins are weakened by this. Of course the situation remains rather fluid.
by generic on Mon Jan 30th, 2017 at 11:47:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Another one in the overreach not plan column:

LENIN'S TOMB: Under the sign of Saturn, a movement is born. -

Of course, the effect of the Trump victory can be seen in the fact that some law enforcement officers ignored the ruling and acted on what they interpreted as the effect of Trump's executive order anyway. The re-deployment of legal/police networks, will rely on key actors willing to resist orders from the courts, or at least passively circumvent them. Nonetheless, the attempted blitzkrieg in the apparatuses hasn't stopped bourgeois legality from being effective yet. The Department of Homeland Security has indicated that it will comply with the court's ruling.

This indicates the problem with Trump trying to exacerbate fissures in the state too quickly. He has over-reached. It is not he, but his opposition who now seem most able to exploit these fissures. He also over-reaches in continuing his war with the capitalist media, which are sources of powerful institutional legitimacy, closely looped into the reproduction of the state. (Indeed, following Althusser, we should just say that media apparatuses are state apparatuses.) He behaves as if he has an alternative source of political authority outside the state, an alternative ideological legitimacy capable of rivalling CNN and the New York Times. He doesn't. He is premature in that respect.

by generic on Mon Jan 30th, 2017 at 11:54:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And one in the plan column but with very good short term advice:

The Method to Trump and Bannon's "Madness" | Ian Welsh -

The current focus on Bannon might bear fruit. He and Kushner are the most competent people Trump listens to, and if a wedge can be driven between them, using Trump's ego "President Bannon" then perhaps Bannon's power can be reduced or he can even be gotten rid of. Kushner, as the son-in-law, is probably not someone who can be peeled off. Bannon might be.

Bottom line: if you are a civil service member who can expect to not be let go soon anyway, you should keep your head down and work from within. If you are going to be let go of anyway (as with the acting Attorney General who defied Trump),  you might as well go out with a bang.

One minor positive effect of real existing president Trump is that the focus has moved away from supposed Russian meddling to the fascist running his campaign.

by generic on Tue Jan 31st, 2017 at 10:39:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And that his Supreme Court nominee, as a student at a Jesuit high school, founded a group called 'Fascists Forever' as a protest against 'liberal' teachers.

If past is prologue....


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Feb 2nd, 2017 at 06:07:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Occasional Series