Somehow this afternoon the Internet was talking to me about serious and worrying things. They’re all interesting and thought-provoking articles, so I thought I’d post them – partly for other people to see, and partly so that I don’t lose them*…
This article – dated last friday – looks at the stages of fascism, as developed by an historian, Robert Paxton, and how these stages have been expressed in the US in the last few years. The author points out the current “tea-bagging” drama in the US as fulfilling the last of the criteria for moving into fascism: “a deliberate, committed institutional partnership forming between America’s conservative elites and its emerging homegrown brownshirt horde”. This, according to Paxton, is the most important tipping point variable: “The most important variables…are the conservative elites’ willingness to work with the fascists (along with a reciprocal flexibility on the part of the fascist leaders) and the depth of the crisis that induces them to cooperate”. This crisis being the Republican Party’s current inability to appeal to the sane parts of its traditional support base – instead it must try even harder to appeal to and keep the support of the fruit-loops – birthers, tea-baggers and militant anti-abortionists are only recent examples. But keeping their support will eventually mean supporting them, ideologically, politically, and materially – and this astroturfing tea-bagger movement seems to be an example of that.
This article talks about the way that the poor are targeted and criminalised as a result of their poverty, which all to often forces them into a cycle of further poverty and thus further ‘criminality’. This trend to criminalise has apparently picked up during the financial crisis, right when more and more people are vulnerable to being caught in the cycle.
Here a woman is talking about the unfunny of rape jokes, their relation to similar joke topics like racism and homophobia, (white|male|straight|whatever) privilege, the crossing of boundaries, issues of ownership. Very interesting read.
* Like I’ve lost the link I wanted to put in part 2 about how Chicago is effectively banning homeless people from the bus system.