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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

When Fascism Comes To America, It Will Look Like Tea Party Crashers

Liberals love to quote Sinclair Lewis' line that "when fascism comes to America, it will be draped in the flag and carrying a cross." Lewis was wrong. We have had the flag and Christianity for over 200 years, but we have not had fascism.

To the contrary, when fascism comes to America, it will look something like the reaction to the Tea Parties. I do not mean the lunatic rants of the netroots. That's fine. Mockery, hyperbole, and distortion are not the exclusive province of any one political party or ideology. I also do not mean counter-protests. That is fine too.

Fascism is not the exercise of free speech, even offensive free speech. Rather, it is the attempt to silence others through subversion and physical disruption. Think brown shirts in pre-war Germany, and anarchists at almost any world economic meeting. And that is what the Tea Party Crasher phenomenon is all about.

As detailed by Michelle Malkin and others, various groups (mostly from the left, but also from the right) plan to disrupt the Tea Parties by subterfuge. Pretending to be participants to disrupt. Making inflammatory accusations not to express an opinion, but to get the Tea Parties off course or to create a video-opportunity. Co-opting the Tea Parties for another purpose. Phony ambush "interviews" by people pretending to be journalists merely to elicit a reaction. Conduct on the streets similar to the trolls on the internet, who create havoc for the purpose of creating havoc and disrupting the free speech of others.

When fascism comes to America, it will not be wrapped in the flag or carrying a cross. It will look like it always has looked: Ugly and intolerant.

UPDATE: See what I mean?
UNC-CH police released pepper spray and threatened to use a Taser on student protesters Tuesday evening when a crowd disrupted a speech by former Colorado congressman Tom Tancredo opposing in-state tuition benefits to unauthorized immigrants.

Hundreds of protesters converged on Bingham Hall, shouting profanities and accusations of racism while Tancredo and the student who introduced him tried to speak. Minutes into the speech, a protester pounded a window of the classroom until the glass shattered, prompting Tancredo to flee and campus police to shut down the event.

Here's the video (h/t Paul Chesser). Things get crazy at the 2 minute mark when protesters take over the podium with a large banner "No One Is Illegal," and again at the 7 minute mark as the organizers leave. Marching under the banner of "No Human is Illegal," the students chant "shut it down, no racists in our town." I didn't see a single flag or cross.



Here is another video from the hallway outside the room (h/t Gateway Pundit):



UPDATE No. 2: Michelle Malkin has more video and links.

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Related posts:
Passover Is No Time To Wish For The End Of Christian America
The Revolt of the Kulaks Has Begun
Liberal Doughboys Afraid of Tea Parties
"Race" As Political Weapon

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40 comments:

  1. I will be going to the one in Atlanta, if I have not mentioned it before. I will be looking out for anybody who is trying disrupt the even. If I see any,their picture will be taken and posted on my blog.

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  2. Throwing around the word fascism is obscene, and you should be ashamed. Your heroine Michelle Malkin endorsed the internment camps of WWII. See, that's something that actually happened, unlike "Tea Party Protest Disruptions" which are a figment of your perpetually victimized, fevered imagination.

    Don't talk about fascism when you don't know the meaning of the word. It's an affront to the memory of fascism's victims, who were jailed, beaten, gassed, and murdered.

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  3. Because some forms of fascism resulted in mass murder, does not mean that the term is limited to those situations.

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  4. Franglo, while its true that "fascism" is an overused word, usually by the Left, it DOES have an actual meaning. It is not thrown around loosely here, and does NOT mean "that which I do not like or people whom I disdain."

    It DOES not necessarily include violent action or overt capture of people. But it is actually an economic plan coupled with a quasi-nationalism that disrupts and oppresses others.

    It can have many manifestations, and no doubt our nation's version will be different from others.

    It will be encoded into law via various programs, attitudes, PC pieties, speech codes, and other edicts aimed at suppressing dissent on the socialist tendencies that will no doubt be our future, the removal of certain basic core rights, all on behalf of alleged greater social harmony and well-being.

    Free men don't want freebies and goody-bag politicking or handouts. But what is at stake is the vapor trail of zeros and the day-and-night printing presses of the "stimulus" plan. This is OUR version of the "industrial plans"; 5-year plans, 4-year plans, the Red Beret Plans, the Baader-Meinhoff plans, etc.

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  5. Tolbert, you seem to forget that fascism is, at it's core, a reaction to socialism. It is not socialism but the opposite of socialism. Where socialism would have a world of relatively "equal" people (ideally), fascism embraces the class structure acknowledging the haves and have nots and perpetuating the conditions that make for class separation. As mussolini said, "socialism is a fraud, a comedy, a phantom, a blackmail." He also said "Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." Let us not confound socialism and fascism.

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  6. What do you mean by "when?" Fascism is already here.

    Jonah Goldberg is right; Liberal Fascism is here. Except that today, the Fascists have dropped the 'Fascist' from their label and have co-opted the term 'Liberal.'

    We are at a moment of crisis in our history, from internal and external pressures. What's happening inside America today reminds me of the "Doomsday Machine" episode from Star Trek, in that our Cold War enemies launched an attack against us that has outlived them... but that is destroying us by weakening us and leaving us vulnerable to our present-day enemies.

    America needs to wake up, and quickly, before it's too late and we become the North American equivalent of Argentina.

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  7. Yes, obviously, if the people breaking glass and chasing speakers off of podiums gained control of the violent power of government, they wouldn't start having people rounded up and imprisoned for subversive thought and speech.

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  8. Are you a real law professor. This is among the most idiotic articles I have ever read. How in God's name can equate people exercising their 1st Amendment Right ("disruptig"), to fascism? It's clear that you have no clue what fascism even is.

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  9. Edward,

    While some of the Fascist pols in the 20th century used socialism as a whipping boy, and many of their statements were contradictory, the difference seems to be one of attitude of control, and not always some "nationalist" speak.

    It is not necessarily racist either.

    Fascism can and does incorporate many of the notions of socialism even while cursing at it on the home front for the regular crowd.

    I would not say the definition is a polar opposite. Many modern day socialists speak of "market socialism" and "corporate policy" where only part of an economy is under direct control or auspices of heavy government regulation.


    Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate powerWhen the Dear Leader can effectively dictate economic policy and hiring and firing decisions and short-circuit market desires for the products of major corporations due to enviro religion, we got that definition covered these days under the new administration.

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  10. You obviously didn't read the post carefully. Now that is idiotic.

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  11. I was unaware that breaking glass and other property and disruption equals speech.

    Is this some new artistic angle on the law, Mr. Navetta?


    Hmm.

    Well now.

    I'll keep this in mind when standing before the judge if I ever get the notion to smack someone's car windows out as a form of "protest" about their obnoxious cloud-cuckooland Lefty bumper sticker.

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  12. When Fascism Comes To America, It Will Look Like Tea Party CrashersWhat, you mean invisible?

    What tea party crashers? The event you described wasn't a tea party. And I can't find any evidence that an actual tea party has been disrupted anywhere (if one had been, you guys would be disseminating the story everywhere by now).

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  13. I really wish the critics would actually read the post. I write about what Tea Party Crashers "plan" to do. Maybe they will not follow through, but that doesn't disprove the post's basic premise, which is that disrupting other people's speech is not the exercise of free speech, but a form of fascism (not the only form, or not even the worst form).

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  14. This same kind of thing happened at Umass recently. The speaker never spoke - just left due to the disruption and threat. There really is only one form of speech on college campuses. I live near UNC - Chapel Hill is lovely, but very, very liberal. However, I do love their bike lanes. If I lived there I could ride my bike to work, but I would have to keep my thoughts to myself.

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  15. A problem here could be the exact political definition of fascism. As far as I know, one doesn't exist-- it's seems to be used as sort of a catch-all label or insult for things that aren't directly Marxist.

    From what I've researched fascism supposedly is a political system that has most of these characteristics:

    1)Nationalism tinted with a sense of historic mandate
    2) Aggressive militarism or militancy
    3) Use of violence or threats against opposition and to impose their views on others
    4) Cult of personality around charismatic leadership
    5) Centralized, top-down organizational structure
    6) Dehumanization and scapegoating of outsiders, presenting them as an enemy to society
    7) Self-images as a superior form of social organization to capitalism, democracy, and socialism, presented as a heroic national endeavor
    8) Promotion of strict moral values and social control, prioritizing security over civil liberties
    9) Patriarchal attitudes toward women while while advocating equal involvement from both sexes
    10) Romantization of a mythic heritage

    I'm not saying this is what fascism is, I'm saying that is what political theorists seem to be saying fascism seems to be (lots of "seems"). But again, there doesn't seem (again) to be a clear consensus.

    Marx was nice enough to define communism and watered down socialism for us. Unfortunately, fascism isn't nearly so clear.

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  16. You are right there is no one definition, and whether the term fits may vary from situation to situation. The point of my post was what it would "look like" here. It will be people taking over podiums, shouting others downs, blocking access, and sometimes using more subtle forms which accomplish the same thing, to suppress speech.

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  17. The most fascist part of the Tea Parties comes from their association with corporate and wealthy-backed FreedomWorks and Fox News. Having supposedly "grass roots" groups support policies that protect corporations and the wealthy sounds a lot more like the national conservatism Mussolini would support. Since the Tea Partiers were silent as Bush kept government big and kept the big contracts coming in to big corporations, and since there is nothing but scorn for any attempt by Gates or McCain to slow down the military-industrial complex, I assume the Tea Partiers are either major hypocrites or they are tools.

    By the way, if you guys think Obama is a socialist, what must you think of Eisenhower???

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  18. Even "disruption" is not fascism. Sorry, this type of unhinged faux outrage is counter-productive. Come up with some ideas, abandon the ones that have not worked, and then, maybe somebody will take you seriously.

    P.S. Why weren't there any tea parties protesting Bush's record deficits? You lack credibility as well.

    P.P.S. Obama just passed one of the biggest tax cuts in history, what is the beef exactly? Raising the marginal rate 3%? Really?

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  19. Brilliant. The only change in the economy and tax structure Obama wants to make is a 3% increase in the top marginal rate. Really, now that is embarrassing.

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  20. hat's your definition of fascism? If you're going to write a complaint about it, then as any decent advocate knows, you have to have a definition.

    Umberto Eco provides a useful definition which clearly fits fascism in Germany, Italy, and today's American right. So what's your definition?

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  21. I guess you can't answer the question then William? Where were your tea parties while Bush and teh GOP ballooned the deficit/debt by trillions (when there was no economic emergency)? You have zero credibility my friend.

    Anyway, the point you ignore: a couple people disrupting a protest is not facism. You sound completely unhinged and hysterical when you make such a claim.

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  22. Biggest tax cut in history?

    Really?

    Does this include those little ditties not typically included in this sales pitch--like the impending Cap-n'Trade Gaia earth goddess crap that will be effectively a tax on almost all products now transferred to most all of us, regardless of overall tax rate?

    Do any serious economists REALLY believe that a 3% tax hike on the upper 2% of earners is going to cover even the freight charge on the tens of trillions of dollars we're now in hock to?

    Do the retractions on the Bush tax cuts not count in your estimation?

    We'll see next April. Currently we have a situation where it's true that about 45% of us pay no Federal tax at all. I doubt Obama could get away with extending that margin of non-payers.

    Too many open crocodile mouths to feed at this point.

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  23. I enjoy the comments from the loony left, because they demonstrate the ignorance of those who don't carefully read the post about which they are commenting. The post is clear that the threat to democracy in this country is not from those wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross (which is a fairly standard liberal mantra both explicitly and implicitly), but from those who are intolerant of speech they don't like and seek to silence that speech. In this country, that threat is almost exclusively from the far left, and Obama supporters, as the videos show. Conservatives, moderate Democrats, and independents don't take over the stage when a liberal is speaking. These groups also don't make plans to sabotage liberal rallies, as liberals have done with regard to the Tea Parties. The fact that liberals plan, but don't act, doesn't change the intent.

    And my post doesn't say that we are fascist as a result, but such tyranny is what fascism would look like if it ever came to the U.S. The truth hurts those who can't stand someone who disagrees with them, but it's my blog, so you can't shut it down as much as you might like.

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  24. Whatever it's called, I don't think I'm going to like it. It's definitely a form of community organizing, whether it more closely matches communism, fascism, or socialism, is the debate I guess. I don't know how left leaning persons defend whatever it is as Americanism, or what they are calling this new era besides Hope and Change.

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  25. I'm glad to that none of the planning referred to in the original version of the post seems to have come to fruition. I'd like to think that was more hysteria than reality. That would imply better things about the citizens of this country.

    It is interesting to see people such as MrRadium, who assume that nobody minded Bush's expansion of the debt, or assume that because some backing has materialized for the protests that they must be entirely astroturf (fake grassroots). In three months Obama has managed to increase the debt by more than Bush did in years. Should that not be the subject of protest? Is it not plausible that the normal people who will pay that debt are opposed to it without being incited by corporate or media interests?

    The Heckler's Veto referenced in the videos is certainly a fact of life non-liberal life as well. It's been happening for years in speeches such as that. I'm sure many have seen the more pedestrian version of it on the internet -- just try putting up a non-liberal comment on the Huffington Post or similar forums and watch them shout you down, as opposed to refuting your arguments. They seem to accept the idea that weight of numbers implies correctness of ideas.

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  26. "The post is clear that the threat to democracy in this country is .... from those who are intolerant of speech they don't like and seek to silence that speech."

    First, mere intolerance of speech, the shouting down of a speaker, is not fascism. Bush wouldn't allow people to wear t-shirts with dissenting messages into his speeches (or do you consider Bush a fascist?).

    Second, you seem to forget how those of us who opposed the Iraq war were labeled traitors and subjected to very thinly veiled threats of violence (see, e.g., Ann Coulter).

    Third, "loony left"? You're an attorney and a teacher. Supposedly a learned man and professional. Yet this is the level of your discourse?

    Show us you have the intellectual qualities demanded by our profession. Give us a working definition of fascism which will apply to the fascism we saw in Nazi Germany and in Mussolini's Italy, and then show us what facts make that definition apply to liberals in the U.S. today.

    This 'fascism' thing from the right is mere projection. And your facile invocation of it to tar those whom you find politically unpalatable is both ironic and poorly reasoned.

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  27. The discussion "What is Fascism" is well laid-out in "Liberal Fascism" by Jonah Goldberg. Other pertinent titles include "Rules for Radicals" by Saul Alinsky, and "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" by William Shirer.

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  28. "Because some forms of fascism resulted in mass murder, does not mean that the term is limited to those situations."And just because we've had the flag and cross for 200 years doesn't mean they won't accompany fascism if it arrives someday. Glad you liked my header quote, old man. Have you looked up "tea bagging" in the Urban Dictionary yet?

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  29. Welcome back JBW. Trying to drive some more traffic to your site? And no I didn't know what the term meant until yesterday, I'm not as sophisticated as you are.

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  30. Facism is NOT the opposite of socialism. it is a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism (like J. Garafalo calling people racist but she's the racist). Hmmm. Starting to soundly vaguely familiar.

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  31. This post is rather dull. Yes, silencing a protest is a characteristic of fascism, but that doesn't exonerate the motivation behind most of those who gathered for the teabag revolution. Folks who never protested ONCE during Bush's massive spending sprees. A pack of ideologues with blinders on...Fox News says jump, they ask "how high?" Here are your drones. Those most likely to be used for the purposes of a liar's war, torture, illegal wiretapping, you name it. When their guy was in, laws were obsolete...now they've had an epiphany large enough to organize a protest. Hypocrites.

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  32. I can't believe somebody is using Jonah Goldberg as a reliable source. Truly absurd.

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  33. William, you are incredibly histerical. Fascism can come in many forms...I encouraged the teabag rallies because I knew it woudl only reinforce the truth. The teabaggers are a pack of hypocrites who didn't protest Bush when he was impersonating Paris Hilton on High Street. So a couple of college kids disrupted Tancredo's talk. Could you please overreact a little more? Whenever I hear somebody using liberal or conservative as bad words I know they have no intention of getting to the truth of an argument. You sound like one of those fringe voices who paint everything in black and white. A petty partisan with predictable arguments.

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  34. Free Speech cuts both ways--it can be Tea Partiers OR it can be anti-Tea Partiers standing among them with signs that say, "These people have no idea what they're talking about!" or "Have you ever seen so many misspelled signs, flags and crosses?!" or whatever.

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  35. Found your post while searching for the Sinclair Lewis quote.

    William, a bunch of people protesting loudly about what they believe in is fascist? isn't that what the tea party types were basically doing? all those town hall meetings that they disrupted, was that fascism as well? I didn't see anything that happened there as fascim.

    i'm not necessarily saying that the quote from Sinclair Lewis is correct, but you want to know what real fascists in their formation stages might be like? read up on the C-Street bunch. probably the closest to fascism that you could actually get.

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  36. Don't you love how the loons are swooping down on conservative websites just as the Tax Day Protests are getting into high gear. Very timely, don't you think?
    Lefties, the professor is right. You are embracing fascist tactics in order to slander a group whose sole purpose is to reign in government spending and keep our economic freedoms alive. It's that simple. What are you so afraid of? Why are you resorting to these tactics of intimidation and slander?

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  37. whatgorilla,
    I'd like to point out that your tactic wouldn't be considered fascist. Getting into the Tea Party mix with your own signs questioning the Tea Party and being honest about what you represent isn't as bad as "pretending" to be a Tea Partier with hateful signs and shouting racial slurs in order to smear and marginalize them in front of the media. That's vicious and intolerant. If liberals actually had a point, they wouldn't have to resort to such tactics. Again, what is the left so afraid of?

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  38. How about stopping the lies? Whenever I see the tea parties I see people screaming antibig govt and no to higher taxes. At one rally someone spoke up and said that 2009 taxes were the lowest in decades for the middle class - and he got booed! Fact - you are paying less taxes than yast year, or the prior at least through 1991. The health care death panel scares, the tax lies, the Obama birther movement - all propaganda to scare the hell out of people, no matter if it's real or not.

    Fascism is defined in several ways, one is as a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.

    Don't like government spending? Where were you in 2000-2008 when the national debt went up 4.9 trillion? Where was the tea party when manufacturing jobs went down over 20%. Where were you when the housing market started to collapse in 2005? And to use the term "patriotic" is pathetic. There is nothing patriotic about the tea party - all I see is spoiled children throwing a fit because they broke their toys and things were taken away from them in 2009.

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  39. As one of them bleeding heart libruls you so love to hate, I would like to note that the quote you speak of refers to the grandstanding fundamentalists and attendant plutocrats who would not only establish a socially repressive society but concentrate wealth in the hands of the few. If you look at the statistics, the bottom 50% of society's share of the pie shrunk drastically in 2007. Your precious GOP (don't think for a second the Tea Party is independent) has a member doing very well in his Congress race who wants to reintroduce debtors' prisons.

    I do not think the 'fascism' you saw exhibited by the protestors was 'fascism'. Hapless liberal-arts-major protestor stupidity from the part of the left we more rational liberals would like to disown, perhaps (loud noise? The Tea Party spews it too), but not fascism. No; fascism as it really is is the corporatism and authoritarianism - social conservatism combined with a dangerous intermingling of government and business - that the right seems to be trending toward. Ever heard of Benito Mussolini?

    You're supposed to be a learned individual; I had thought you'd read some polisci. I was apparently wrong about that, silly man.

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  40. ugly and intolerant? Oh, so it will look like Maggie Gallagher. Thanks for the clarification!

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