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Nederlog

Friday, August 18, 2017

Crisis: "Antifas", "Nazis", "Neo-Nazis", Civil War, Trump's Resignation?



Sections                                                                     crisis index
Introduction

1. Summary
2. Crisis Files
    A. Selections from August 18, 2017 

Introduction:

This is a Nederlog of Friday, August 18, 2017.

1. Summary

This is a crisis log but it is a bit different from how it was the last four years:

I have been writing about the crisis since September 1, 2008 (in Dutch) and about the enormous dangers of surveillance (by secret services and by many rich commercial entities) since June 10, 2013, and I probably will continue with it, but on the moment I have several problems with the company that is supposed to take care that my site is visible [1] and with my health.

As I explained, the crisis files will have a different format from July 1, 2017: I will now list the items I selected as I did before (title + link) but I add one selection from the selected item to give my readers a bit of a taste of the item linked.

So the new format is as follows:

      Link to an item with its orginal title, followed by
      One selection (usually) from that item (indented)
      Possibly followed by a brief comment by me (not indented).

This is illustrated below, in selections A.


2. Crisis Files

These are five crisis files that are all well worth reading:

A. Selections from August 18, 2017

The items 1 - 5 are today's selections from the 35 sites that I look at every morning. The indented text under each link is quoted from the link that starts the item. Unindented text is by me:

This article is by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez on Democracy Now! It starts with the following introduction:

President Trump is facing widespread criticism for his latest comments on the deadly white supremacist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia. Speaking at Trump Tower on Tuesday, Trump said the violence was in part caused by what he called the "alt-left." President Trump’s comment were widely decried. Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney wrote on Twitter, "No, not the same. One side is racist, bigoted, Nazi. The other opposes racism and bigotry. Morally different universes." We look at one of the groups who confronted the white supremacists in the streets: the anti-fascists known as antifa. We speak to Mark Bray, author of the new book, "Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook."

Ahem.

My father was an anti-fascist from 1935 till 1980 (when he died). Because he was both an anti-fascist and a communist he went in to the resistance when the German Nazis occupied Holland in 1940, as indeed did his father, who also had become an anti-fascist and a communist in the later 1930ies.

Both were arrested in June 1941, and condemned as "political terrorists" to concentration camp imprisonment, where my grandfather was murdered. My father survived over 3 years and 9 months of four Geman concentration camps.

In the end, 3 months before his death in 1980 he was knighted, for making and designing (with others) what was then the National Exhibition on Fascism and Resistance (which may have been a mistake, because - other - communists were never knighted in Holland at least not till the Dutch Communist Party disappeared, in 1991).

Indeed, my mother was also in the communist resistance against the Nazis [2] and brought around the communist paper "Truth" and helped Jewish children in hiding. She never was arrested, but also was a communist and anti-fascist for more than 45 years.

Of course, within 10 or 15 days of returning to Holland in 1977 I was called "a dirty fascist" by the Stalinist terrorists from the ASVA, and have remained so ever since:

I have been systematically called "a fascist" or "a dirty fascist" or (at best) "somethng like a fascist" from 1977 till 1989 by the Stalinist terrorists from the ASVA, simply because I was not a Marxist and because I was pro - real - science. [3]

The UvA - University of Amsterdam  - was first a Marxist and then a postmodernistic "university" from 1971 till 1995 (that is, for twentyfive years!), with a completely unique structure in the whole world in these days, where everyone - professors, lecturers, students, secretaries, toilet-cleaners - got 1 vote to vote each year for the university parliament, that guaranteed that - formally - the students always had the absolute majority. And in Amsterdam "the students" were nearly all members of the ASVA from 1971-1995, while the ASVA was communist from 1971-1983 and postmodernistic from 1983 to well after 2005.

Please note that no one in Holland (or elsewhere) ever mentions these - very true - facts since they happened:

At present the UvA is more authoritarian than it was in the 1950ies; it is still the "university" of the social democrats, which it has been since 1950 (for these always produced the leaders, always "democratically", if you can believe it); and the present leaders of the UvA rather pretend nothing happened in the UvA between 1971 and 1995 than admitting the truth, which was that it was politically a "Marxist" or post- modernistic totalitarian quasi-university (apart from a few studies like mathematics).

But I have been discriminated as a fascist and as a terrorist by the UvA from 1977 till 1989, without any excuses whatsoever, and I have also been denied the right to take the M.A. in philosophy, again because I was not a Marxist, because I was pro real science, and because I was an opponent of both the ASVA and the social democratic leaders of the UvA. And the leaders of the UvA let me be terrorized by a madman in a student flat for three years, again because I had created a student party that opposed them. Next, five years later, the narko-nazistic mayor of Amsterdam put his illegal drugsdealers in the bottom floor of the house where I lived and permitted his illegal drugsdealers to threaten me with murder and - literally - gas me. (The illegal drugs-dealers thrived ever since, as does the illegal drugstrade that the Dutch politicians organized: It turned over around 300 billion dollars in illegal money since 1988.)

No one ever protested against most of these facts, except myself. But that is Holland, where between 1940 and 1945 over 1% of the population was murdered for being Jewish, while around 98% of the population stood by, watched, and did nothing. [4]

And presently, when a neofascist has become president of the USA, there - somewhat suddenly also, at least in my eyes - there is talk of fascism in the USA, while there even are anti-fascists there, or so Mark Bray tells the readers of Democracy Now!:

MARK BRAY: Yes, well, it’s pronounced on’-tee-fah. The emphasis is on the first syllable, and it’s pronounced more on than an, so on’-tee-fah. It’s commonly mispronounced. But antifa, of course, is short for anti-fascist.

And, you know, President Trump’s comments that the alt—quote-unquote, "alt-left" and alt-right are equivalent moral forces is really historically misinformed and morally bankrupt. The anti-fascist movement has a global history that stretches back over—about a century. You can trace them to Italian opposition to Mussolini’s Blackshirts, German opposition to Hitler’s Brownshirts, anti-fascists from around the world who had traveled to Spain to fight in the Spanish Civil War. More recently, modern antifa can largely trace its roots to the anti-fascist movement in Britain in the ’70s, and the postwar period more generally, that was responding to a xenophobic backlash against predominantly Caribbean and South Asian migration, also to the German autonomous movement of the ’80s, which, really, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, had to respond to a really unprecedented neo-Nazi wave—unprecedented in the postwar period, of course.

I am sorry, but my father, my mother and myself are not "on’-tee-fah"s and not even "antifa"s: I think it is utterly ridiculous to reduce those you are against from "fascists" to "fa"s, but indeed my parents and myself were or are genuine anti-fascists - which seems to be a quite rare breed, and certainly in Holland (where nearly everyone is a relativist and a conformist: that pays the most).

And while I have read this interview with Mark Bray and indeed also the next one (also on Democracy Now!), and while what he says about (classical, European) anti-fascists is mostly correct, one of my reasons to write the above is that I have been hearing much talk about "fascism" ("Nazism", "neofascism", "neo-fascism", "neo-nazis") for over 40 years now (indeed because I was falsely accused of being a fascist in 1977, which falsity was repeated and repeated until 1989) I have NEVER read any definition of "fascism" or "neofascism" (etc.) that made much sense or indeed was more or less adequate given the - enormous - amounts of facts known about the fascists.

Do people want to be ignorant? It seems like it - and see the next item:


2. Is There a Nazi in the White House?

This article is by Sonali Kolhatkar on Truthdig. It starts as follows:

The Nazi website The Daily Stormer even declared this season the “Summer of Hate.” (The website has recently been dropped by its hosting company, GoDaddy). On Saturday, protesters gathered, wearing swastikas and chanting the Nazi slogan “Blood and Soil,” and marched KKK-style with lit torches. One attendee literally emulated those who pledge allegiance to Islamic State by plowing down people in the street with his car, killing a young woman named Heather Heyer.

Anyone claiming to be non-Nazi who marched alongside the Nazis either agreed with their fascist ideology or condoned it. Either way, Trump appears even more deluded than usual in his attempt to defend the Nazis when the Nazis themselves are proudly proclaiming their fascistic credentials.

I have been reading that Trump is "a fascist" since the beginning of 2016, that is for more than 1 1/2 year. (Check the index for 2016, for example.) I have been reading he may be "a neofascist" for at least half a year. NO journalist (that I read, of which there were many) that used these terms ever mounted anything like a decent definition of either term.

I think these are reasonable definitions of "fascism" and "neofascism", but then I have the major setbacks that I am intelligent and informed, which makes me something like less than 5% (or 1%) of those currently "discussing" on the internet. Also, my parents and grandparents were real - resisting - anti-fascists, which makes them something like 1/10th of 1% of the Dutch (in WW II, where over 1% of the total population was murdered while around 97% of the Dutchmen stood watching by doing nothing).

And now another term is used for those who were formerly called "fascists": "Nazis". Again NO journalist who uses there terms takes the trouble to define them (or if they do their "definitions" are ludicrous).

Also, when I read that "the Nazis" (an abbreviation of "national socialists") "themselves are proudly proclaiming their fascistic credentials", I do not say "No!" but I do wonder about the definitions Kolhatkar presupposes of these terms.

I got no clarification whatsoever: Apparently "Nazi" and "fascist" are self-evident terms (like "white" or "sweet") that do not require definition.

Then there is this:

A recent psychological study of people professing to be alt-right confirms that they actually look upon nonwhites as less human. So if you talk like a Nazi and walk like a Nazi, you are a Nazi unless you can prove otherwise. Another way to put it: You’re either with the fascists or against them.

Trump has repeatedly sent the message that he is with the Nazis. Which makes him a Nazi sympathizer at best, or simply a Nazi by default.

But what is a Nazi? How do Nazis differ from fascists? How do fascist differ from neofascists? How do neofascists differ from neonazis? No one took the trouble to - even - define their terms. And see the next item:


3. 7 Things to Know About the Mindset of the Neo-Nazis

This article is by Kali Holloway on AlterNet. It starts as follows:

The neo-Nazis with whom Donald Trump openly sympathizes fit a psychological profile for the most part, according to two psychologists who just released a survey on the subject. Patrick Forscher and Nour Kteily, researchers from the University of Arkansas and Northwestern University respectively, compiled their findings into a working paper titled “A Psychological Profile of the Alt-Right.” To arrive at their conclusions, they polled 447 neo-Nazis who self-identify as members of the “alt-right,” and compared their answers with 382 non-group affiliated survey subjects.

O Lord! This time it is the "neo-Nazis" whose "psychological profiles" are taken by "psychologists". I am sorry, but I am a psychologist, who is an anti-fascist, but this is not the way to study "neo-Nazis": This very probably is academic baloney. (Who identified the neo-Nazis as neo-Nazis is one relevant question; why the opinions of those selected are relevant is another.)

But I am getting quite sick of this subject of totally undefined important terms that are used as if everybody knows their meanings, while in fact no one even can or does frame any reasonable definition.

(Again, I think these are reasonable definitions of "fascism" and "neofascism" but I thought them up, helped by quite a few historians and philosophers. I have in nearly two years of reading about "fascism" etc. not seen any definition like that.)


4. Trump’s Civil War

This article is by Robert Reich on his site. This has the following bit in it:

It’s almost as if someone had declared a new civil war. But who? And for what purpose?

One clue came earlier last week in a memo from Rich Higgins, who had been director for strategic planning in Trump’s National Security Council.

Entitled “POTUS & Political Warfare,” Higgins wrote the seven-page document in May, which was recently leaked to Foreign Policy Magazine.

In it Higgins charges that a cabal of leftist “deep state” government workers, “globalists,” bankers, adherents to Islamic fundamentalism and establishment Republicans want to impose cultural Marxism in the United States. “Recognizing in candidate Trump an existential threat to cultural Marxist memes that dominate the prevailing cultural narrative, those that benefit recognize the threat he poses and seek his destruction.”

There you have it. Trump’s goal has never been to promote guns or white supremacy or to fuel attacks on the press and the left. These may be means, but the goal has been to build and fortify his power. And keep him in power even if it’s found that he colluded with Russia to get power.

Trump and his consigliere Steve Bannon have been quietly encouraging a civil war between Trump’s base of support – mostly white and worried – and everyone who’s not.

It’s built on economic stresses and racial resentments. It’s fueled by paranoia. And it’s conveyed by Trump’s winks and nods haters, and his deafening silence in the face of their violence.

I do not know whether Reich is right in this (though I often agree with him), but I do want to say something about Higgins' charge that "a cabal of leftist “deep state” government workers, “globalists,” bankers, adherents to Islamic fundamentalism and establishment Republicans want to impose cultural Marxism in the United States":

If you believe that utterly nonsensical propaganda, you must be completely crazy. It is a purely propagandistic total lie, that takes the criticisms of the left, "translates" them into rightist terms, and serves the nonsensical product as if it makes sense.


5. Trump on the Brink? Impeachment Support Grows Amid Speculation He'll Resign

This article is by Jessica Corbett on Common Dreams. It starts as follows:

The walls appear to be closing in on President Donald Trump this week—following his outrageous equivocation on white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia—as public support for impeachment grows, predictions of resignation surface, and his political isolation intensifies.

A new poll from Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) found that 40 percent of Americans support impeaching Trump and removing him from office, a 10-point jump in a mere six months, NBC News reported
(...)
That number now could be much higher, though, as the poll was conducted before last weekend's deadly demonstrations in Charlottesville, and Trump's troubling responses, which have evoked intense criticism from the public, as well as Democratic and Republican

This suffers from - at least - two difficulties: First, 40% of the American people is not a majority, while also "the American people" these days have very little real political influence: Most political decisions are taken by politicians (of whom the majority is usually bought, these days).

Then there is this:

In light of all the swirling anti-Trump sentiment—following months of historically low approval ratings—The Hill reported on Thursday that Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn) will introduce articles of impeachment based on Trump's defense of the white supremacists. Rep. Cohen said in a statement:

Instead of unequivocally condemning hateful actions by neo-Nazis, white nationalists, and Klansmen following a national tragedy, the President said 'there were very fine people on both sides.' There are no good Nazis. There are no good Klansmen.... President Trump has failed the presidential test of moral leadership.

Although the announcement comes on the heels of impeachment articles filed last month—which accused Trump of "obstructing justice during the federal investigation of Russia's 2016 election interference"—it also comes amid reports that the president is becoming increasingly isolated within the West Wing and from his fellow Republicans.

I agree with Steve Cohen that "Trump has failed the presidential test of moral leadership" (unless it is a neofascist moral leadership, for I think Trump is both a neofascist and a madman), but I must disagree a bit with his thesis that "There are
no good Nazis
".

And I have two reasons:

First, Germany was very rapidly made a totalitarian dictatorship after Hitler was - democratically! - elected. There were concentration camps for his political opponents within three weeks of his becoming chancellor. This means that is was quite risky to publicly deviate from Nazism. And there were a few nominal Nazis who were more or less decent.

Second, my father, who survived over 3 years and 9 months as a "political terrorist" in German concentration camps, really hated the SS, but he also said a few (not: many) of the SS'ers (in concentration camps) were somewhat more decent than their comrades.

And in fact, simply because we are talking of very many persons, this is a fairly natural conclusion: Even under dictatorial totalitarianism a few remain more or less decent.

The article ends as follows:

Despite growing resistance to Trump among White House staff and Republican legislators, impeachment efforts could be nullified if Trump decides to quit first. Although predictions have been circulating for months that he "won't make it four years," on Wednesday, his Art of the Deal co-author Tony Schwartz posited on Twitter that the president will resign "by fall, if not sooner."

Schwartz's recent tweets echo statements the co-author made in May: "I surely believe that at some point over the next period of time he's going to have to figure out a way to resign," Schwartz said, adding that in quitting, Trump will try to "figure out a way, as he has done all his career, to turn a loss into a victory so he will declare victory when he leaves."

I think this is fairly interesting, simply because Tony Schwartz knows Donald Trump quite well, in considerable part because he wrote most of Trump's Art of the Deal.

But whether it is true remains to be seen.

------------
Notes

[1] I have now been saying since the end of 2015 that xs4all.nl is systematically ruining my site by NOT updating it within a few seconds, as it did between 1996 and 2015, but by updating it between two to seven days later, that is, if I am lucky.

They have claimed that my site was wrongly named in html: A lie. They have claimed that my operating system was out of date: A lie.

And they just don't care for my site, my interests, my values or my ideas. They have behaved now for 1 1/2 years as if they are the eagerly willing instruments of the US's secret services, which I will from now on suppose they are (for truth is dead in Holland).

The only two reasons I remain with xs4all is that my site has been there since 1996, and I have no reasons whatsoever to suppose that any other Dutch provider is any better.

[2]
In fact, the Dutch Communist Party was the only - considerable - group of Dutchmen who went into the resistance (and they did so, I should add, before the Soviet Union and Hitler's Germany broke their pact).

It is not known how many communists there were in 1940, but probably 10,000 (in nearly 10 million Dutchmen then) is probably more or less correct. What is known is how many of them did not survive WW II: Around 2000.

Compared to the further Dutch resistance - there was some Christian and some socialist resistance, for example - the communists were by far the largest group resisting the Nazis.

Directly after WW II they were rewarded with 10% of the votes (some ten times more than in 1940) but they were again soon discriminated: My parents were quite often called "traitors" in the 1950ies, simply because they were communists.

[3] Please note that I have not scolded for forty years now, but I do insist now that the ASVA was a Stalinist terrorist organization, that owe me 6 million euros, and the same holds for any of these Stalinist terrorists.

And in fact I was terrorized first from 1981 till 1983 by the University of Amsterdam (and I won the courtcase about it), and then
I was again terrorized from 1988 till 1992 by the City of Amsterdam, that desired to deal illegal drugs from the bottom floor of the house where I lived, and who allowed those exploiting it to gas me (in August 1988) and to threaten me with murder (between 1988 and 1992).

[4] The numbers are as follows: Between 106,000 and 116,000 Dutch Jews were murdered in WW II. These were rounded up with the assistance of the Dutch leaders of the Jewish Council, David Cohen and Abraham Asscher, who also were very rich men, who were promised that they could keep their riches if they collaborated with the SS.
They collaborated and kept their riches - and they did not even have to face a court after the defeat of the Nazis (and their - very rich - (great-)grandchildren again dominate politics in Holland, while pretending to be "social democrats").

Next, there were less than 10 million Dutchmen between 1940 and 1945, of which some 130,000 were Jews, of whom between 106,000 and 116,000 were rounded up and murdered.

Also, while around 10,000 communists went into the Resistance on May 15, 1940, about as many Dutchmen, or a little more, also went into the resistance, eventually. Even if it were more (the numbers are guesses anyway, by anyone), at least 95% of the Dutch collaborated with the Nazis (forced or not).
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