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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
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