How Authoritarians Take Over Democracy Part One



said I wrote an op-ed over the weekend that I sent off to alternet it hasn't yet shown up on their website but I'm assuming it will shortly and I just wanted to go through it with you there's some good news at the end of this but it's going to take a little while to get to that but but starting out how do a Thorat Aryans take over a country is this is an old playbook it goes all the way back to ancient Rome how authoritarians take over a country and there are some very specific actual steps in the process by FDR in 1944 you've heard me play the clip on this show many times he said the opposition this year has already imported into this campaign a very interesting thing because it's foreign they've imported the propaganda technique in fact invented by the dictators abroad to the first strategy for seizing and maintaining power if you're an authoritarian is to lie often and lie big FDR says remember a number of years ago there was a book mine comforting by Hitler himself the technique was all set out in Hitler's book and was copied by the aggressors of Italy and Japan creating that technique he should never use a small falsehood always a big one but it's very fantastic nature would make it more credible if only you keep repeating it over and over and over again yeah George Lakoff points this out in his book don't think of an elephant I pointed out in my book cracking the code if you say to a little kid don't run out in the street in order to process that don't they have to first process the run out in the street they have to imagine running into the street and then kind of put a red X through it you know so so you know when you say don't think of an elephant the first thing you have to think of is an elephant so that you can then not think of it and so when Trump says there's spies the FBI put spies in my campaign which would be a mind-boggling breach of the ethics of the FBI of law enforcement when he makes that accusation when the news pay purrs and the and the non billionaire are owned and controlled press push back on insane there's no spy inside your campaign there never was them you know for people to understand that they first have to imagine a spy in the campaign and and so this is one of the reasons why Trump lies so often and so big is because those lies actually get him something this is this is why 48% of Republicans believe that more than three million illegal immigrants voted in the 2016 election causing Hillary Clinton to have a popular vote total greater than Donald Trump's 48% of Republicans believe that more than half Republicans believe that climate change is a hoax more than more than 70% of Republicans believe that the Republican tax scam was a giant tax cut for the middle class actually the largest middle class tax cut in the history of the United States happen in the second actually in the first year of the Obama administration it's also why Republicans believe the tax cuts excuse me that deregulating environmental and workplace protections leads to more jobs and more prosperity all these things are lies all of them have been repeated over and over and over again by Republicans and all of them are now believed by if not a majority certainly plurality of Republican voters lying works number one technique number two consolidate your power while you're challenging or co-opting the institutions that might hold you accountable now there's a second piece to this and that is humiliate and then bring into your orbit people on your side this you know intimidate your own allies into submissive servility that you know so start out you know with the attacks that judge was a Mexican the this is this robert muller is running a witch-hunt congress doesn't have the authority to investigate republicans stuff like that right and then when corker and McCain and flake come out and say you know this president does not speak for me in fact he does not reflect American values destroy them politically none of these guys will mccain is dying this sadly I mean oh he has brain cancer but flake and and and corker have both been pushed out of the Republican Party they can not these are senators I mean being a senator is like a major job it pays well there's all kinds of perks it's a big deal and you can do some real good for your country if so inclined or some damage if you're a Republican but flaking corker have been kicked out of the club because they dared to challenge Trump it's not about flaking corker it's about all the other Republicans who will now not challenge Trump because they don't want to end up like flaking corker the second part of this is I mean this is the calling card it's in pot dictators by the way the second part of this is to pack the courts Mitch McConnell started this process when Barack Obama became president denying him his court appointees over and over and over again including Merrick garland his court appointee to the Supreme Court but from literally the lowest courts to the highest courts Mitch McConnell for eight years blocked President Obama's nominations now they are they're not just pushing them through they're blowing up the old blue slip rule where a senator from the state that the where the judge is going to be installed can say no that I don't want that judge in my state which was by the way one of the techniques that Mitch McConnell use to block so many of Donald Trump of consuming Barack Obama's judges but now when any Columba sure comes out and says you know I don't want these you know you know I don't want these guys in my state McConnell says we're going to ignore you're not turning your blue stuff yeah we're just gonna ignore the whole blue step process and then finally as part of this consolidating power while changing co-opting the institution's attacking the FBI attacking the intelligence communities as as partisan as hustlers and this whole mens rea a thing which is Latin for state of mind which says that basically and this has been included in all of the prison reform sentencing reform legislation including the bipartisan stuff Democrats have been buying this have been falling for this basic what the mens rea a provision says is that you can't hold billionaires and CEOs accountable for decisions they make that lead to environmental destruction or death unless you can prove in a court of law that that was their goal that they specifically made that decision because they wanted Johnny on the factory floor to die when they decided that you know we're not going to use that safety equipment anymore for example you've got to draw that Direct Connect an other words no more purple walks no more CEOs being held accountable and then another tool for the authoritarians in this context destroying the institutions of governance is destroy the vote you've got Kansas's Crisco bak KKK Kansas is Kris Kobach's interstate cross-check program which has thrown hundreds of thousands of African American and Hispanic and Asian voters off the voting rolls you have in Detroit in the 2016 election that Donald Trump won by ten thousand four hundred votes in Michigan over 75,000 people stood in line for hours in Detroit to vote and the voting machines recorded no presidential votes for 75,000 people in Detroit largely black Detroit the state and and you know had Trump lost Detroit he would have lost Michigan ahead he lost Michigan Hillary Clinton to be president right now 75,000 voting machines said nobody pushed the president button they pushed all the other buttons Senate state Senate whatever but not president they stood in line all those hours because they didn't really care about who is president so when you take all this stuff together what you see is these deeply anti-democratic changes happening that many historians are just flipped out about okay that's that's number two number three attacked the press Edmund Burke Sir Edmund Burke who I'm only am I'm no fan of you know he was a major British Conservative during the era of the American Revolution is one redeeming virtue was that he supported the revolution but he did not support for example the right of people to vote unless they were you know land holders and a wealthy he coined the phrase the Fourth Estate in 1786 1787 excuse me and he coined that phrase as a way of saying you know that you know you've got the first three estates of government the the legislative branch the executive branch the judicial branch but there needs to be a Fourth Estate of governance to hold the first three accountable and that would be a free and independent press and every democracy since Edmund Burke coined that phrase in 1787 every democracy has included a provision protecting the Free Press but when tin-pot dictator x' take over whether it's duterte in the philippines or air tawan in Turkey or or Bond in Hungary you know what goes the Free Press or what gets attacked the Free Press all these guys are screaming fake news they're they're following Trump so that's number three is I recall I don't have these number I think this is number four Villa Tai vilify protesters minorities and political enemies to the point of provoking violence against them Dwight Eisenhower warned that we should not become a nation of dreadful fear and hate all right one of my great one of my favorite quick clips great quote it's from his farewell address in 1961 and in January of 1961 and he says you know that America should not become a nation of dreadful fear and hate well that is what the Republican Party has become and what they are fearing and hating our protesters I I write we see it an institutionalized police violence against African Americans on the part of our police across the United States against immigrants by ice we see it in excessive arrests and punishments for people protesting Trump's inauguration in speeches we see it new laws punishing journalists for reporting on things like factory farms and environmental abuses we see it in Trump's violence violence tinged rhetoric against Mexican rapists using ms-13 is rhetorical proxy for Hispanics saying that NFL players ate and disrespect our flag things like that so we're up to four I've got this list here that I compiled over the week more afterwards you

25 thoughts on “How Authoritarians Take Over Democracy Part One

  • Well Thom you paint a pretty grim picture for your country up in Canada we are worried for you also but we are also worried about our next election going conservative with the influence of what Trump and others have said about us especially our more social agenda…

  • So using Germany as an example the consequence of the people sitting back and just talking was that a fascist regime took power and killed millions of people. Given this cold Stark reality at what point do we stop talking and start physically changing the power structure?

  • Could it be that the Republican party is being so vicious and behind this authoritarianism is because they know their agenda, in the long run, is a losing one. They know they have to seize power now while it's still possible, before the demographics make it absolutely impossible to win on their anti-humanistic and pro-rich agenda.

  • I suspect that our non-stop hell-bent dash towards massive environmental destruction, direct effects of climate change, heat waves, floods, droughts, wildfires, etc. all of that together will have a major influence on politics by 2020. These things are already happening now in 2018 and it's irreversible.

    Ignorant political hacks are being stacked in Trump's favor, and real science takes a backseat. The new NASA AdministratorJim Bridenstine is a perfect example. Follows the party line religiously. He supposedly "gets" climate change now, that's really pathetic. We could have had a real scientist in there.

    Putting an irresponsible Rethug in control again, by the usual electoral fiat and rigged voting systems. Popular vote will continue to be ignored, and that will consolidate a march toward fascism. Which will polarize society more than before, and we could see elements of massive civil unrest predictably becoming widespread in major cities by 2020.

  • Hitler had a MINORITY GOVERNMENT (35 %) which was expected to fail btw. German Conservatives rolled over every step on the way of the power grab – and the Democratic Party takes that role NOW. The Dems do it to keep the Big Donations flowing (from the people who PAY BOTH parties. – And they are careerists w/o strong convictions so why take the trouble to fight ?

    Never mind that in most cases they would need to oppose the donors to do so.

    The Conservatives in Germany in winter 1932 – spring 1933 (gladly) cooperated because they had so much contempt for the Left even the moderate Left.

    And the Nazis targeted the Left and their rights not them (their civil rights, elected Communist members of parliament were excluded or even thrown to prison for the arson of one member of the Communist Party etc).

    Society was much more authoritarian, many were nostalgic for the good old times under the emperor where everyone "knew their place". Now they had to put up with the fact the the unwashed masses had a voice – and those times were very politically active.

    In summer 1914 they were (well siutated) citizens in a strong nation (trying to compete with the British empire also regarding military strength) – in 1918 they found the monarchy dismantled and democracy slapped on them by the winners or the war.

    Not to help the Germans. Democracy was meant to remove the old monarchy and therefore curb any unifying force for a militarily ambitious Germany.

    The U.S. post WW1 economy was doing better Although wages were stagnant while productivity increased vastly. So output grew much more than disposable income of consumers – which ultimately was a strong incentive for speculation. It did not make sense for the rich to invest more in manufacturing, the people could not afford the stuff that was already being produced resp. there were over capacities.

    And consumer debt had not yet been invented, but the haves of course insisted that the already existing fortunes should make them MORE money. The only thing that can earn money in a healthy way is economic activities, profitable production of goods and services. So it got unhealthy. But the U.S. population had some tolerable years until 1929.

    On the other hand the economy was not doing well in Europe generally. On top of that the Germans had to pay crippling sanctions.
    Plus: they had to dismantle most of the army (a Conservative bastion). Another hit against the pride of the nation, and it allowed France in the mid 1920s to invade a region across the common border when Germany could not pay the reparations

    The Germans tried to print their way out of that obligation – which caused a quick dropping of the value of the currency = hyperinflation. Tthe allies refused to accept the "paper" money and demanded gold. Well Germany did not even have goldmines and could not pay at least not w/o impoverhishing the population completely. So France invaded the coal and steel region and established martial law there.

    They left after some time, I think the conditions were softened a little bit. During the hyperinflation time the wages had to be constantly adapted, at the worst time twice a day. Which of course irritated and scared people and did not indicate stable times.

    That said everyone who had machines or goods or could produce was on the good side of inflation, so there was also an incentive for EMPLOYMENT.
    After that they had AUSTERITY – then they had deflation and real problems with unemployment.

    Hyperinflation was not that bad for blue collars, people with small to medium savings (as opposed to real estate, things, machines) lost their nest egg, rich people had of course ways to protect their fortunes in money. And usually also houses etc. to soften losses. Plus these were the "elites" that could have prevented the war.

  • I wonder why the handful of sensible Republicans like McCain, Comey, Mueller, Murkowski and Collins still call themselves Republicans? When he has the power, Trump will line these people up against the wall and shoot them.

  • "Tell the lie. Make it big. Repeat it often and be sure it reaches the population with the highest concentration of the least intelligent" Josef Goebels. Hitler's minister of propaganda.

  • Not gonna watch this because the premise of the title is untrue. Authoritarians do not take over Democracies. Neoliberalism WILLING hands Democracy to Fascism in order to protect the interests of wealthy elites. There is plenty of historical and empirical evidence that demonstrates this, if you look.

  • The War — IS I v I AM v IRn't, has already been Approved by the Silent Majority. It begins in 2019 for 7 years of tribulation — Unless we overcome. Forgive us, we have been struck Dumb. This war proves most of Mankind Unfit for God's Kingdom.

  • is know that actually mein kacht was not writing by Hitler but associated of him when he was incancerated, second Gobbels said not Hitler about the repeat of lies etc

  • Just add 3.
    {1} Nationalism
    {2} At the beginning, please or favor to the interest groups: privatize state property, (Nazi). Distribute fields to the poor, (Soviet)
    {3} Increase import taxes, foreign goods ware scapegoats

  • Thom, one of the most interesting articles you've written. What I find so disturbing is what it has historically taken to combat a successful authoritarian coup. With the US surveillance state, I'm not clear that the people can avert disaster.

  • 6:40 what nonsense. Who would fall for this? You don't have to prove intent to show criminal negligence, i.e. wanton disregard for proper conduct with regard to your duties. Allowing subordinates to do dangerous things without proper protective gear, or whatever. Corporations exist to provide a legal shield to the high up executives. They are simply trying to escape real accountability.

  • Why be an authoritarian? This is a question I've thought about a long time. The answer I've come to, that makes sense to me, is that anyone who would support an authoritarian movement must think (naively or otherwise) that their "loyalty" with secure for them a place of power in the new authoritarian reign. In other words, authoritarians want to BE the authority. They want to be king.

  • with all dues with respect, all is about smearing in politics which is out of control in the hands of god delusion-laced oligarch politicians…republic loves deception and democracy loves division. Smearing is lame tool in hoping to deceive their own constituents. Smear this, smear that and smear all over like pee-marking territories, ah yes, that gerrymandering is also another lame tool like cheaters to win and suppress opposition voters.

  • Every PROGRESSIVE website that kicks off people for "offensive" or controversial speech is TOTALITARIAN. If the government doesn't bring civil rights violations against the service providers, then you see how the government and the billionaires are in cahoots against the average citizens.

  • America is a Representative Republic not a democracy. Big differance. FDR WAS A DICTATOR.All politicians lie, you libs are so stupid on this point. Clinton MURDERED Vince Foster and you pos just turn a blind eye. HAPPY TRAILS

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