Threat of US Authoritarianism is Real – Has Nothing To Do With Trump – Glen Greenwald
- Total Posts: 4,543
The COVID-driven centralization of economic power and information control in the hands of a few corporate monopolies poses enduring threats to political freedom.
Asserting that Donald Trump is a fascist-like dictator threatening the previously sturdy foundations of U.S. democracy has been a virtual requirement over the last four years to obtain entrance to cable news Green Rooms, sinecures as mainstream newspaper columnists, and popularity in faculty lounges. Yet it has proven to be a preposterous farce.
In 2020 alone, Trump had two perfectly crafted opportunities to seize authoritarian power — a global health pandemic and sprawling protests and sustained riots throughout American cities — and yet did virtually nothing to exploit those opportunities. Actual would-be despots such as Hungary’s Viktor Orbán quickly seized on the virus to declare martial law, while even prior U.S. presidents, to say nothing of foreign tyrants, have used the pretext of much less civil unrest than what we saw this summer to deploy the military in the streets to pacify their own citizenry.
But early in the pandemic, Trump was criticized, especially by Democrats, for failing to assert the draconian powers he had, such as commandeering the means of industrial production under the Defense Production Act of 1950, invoked by Truman to force industry to produce materials needed for the Korean War. In March, The Washington Post reported that “Governors, Democrats in Congress and some Senate Republicans have been urging Trump for at least a week to invoke the act, and his potential 2020 opponent, Joe Biden, came out in favor of it, too,” yet “Trump [gave] a variety of reasons for not doing so.” Rejecting demands to exploit a public health pandemic to assert extraordinary powers is not exactly what one expects from a striving dictator.
A similar dynamic prevailed during the sustained protests and riots that erupted after the killing of George Floyd. While conservatives such as Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK), in his controversial New York Times op-ed, urged the mass deployment of the military to quell the protesters, and while Trump threatened to deploy them if governors failed to pacify the riots, Trump failed to order anything more than a few isolated, symbolic gestures such as having troops use tear gas to clear out protesters from Lafayette Park for his now-notorious walk to a church, provoking harsh criticism from the right, including Fox News, for failing to use more aggressive force to restore order.
- John F. Kennedy
- George Orwell
"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."
- Jiddu Krishnamurti
"Sometimes a pessimist is only an optimist with extra information."
- Idries Shah
"A riot is the language of the unheard."
- Martin Luther King
December 31, 2020 at 2:58 AM #389723PunxsutawneyModerator
- Total Posts: 2,088
Though no disappearances, that we know of, which would be the next step. But the author is correct, concentrated economic power is a danger to democracy and freedom, which is lost on the MAGA types. There was a time where we understood this in this country, lost down the memory hole and drowned in pro corporate propaganda and bs economic messaging.
In America, “Liberty” means “Free to Die in Service of Capital” - Amfortas the hippie.
Most of today’s elites have the moral and social reasoning capacities of spoiled toddlers.
“People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage...but the privileged also feel that their privileges, however egregious they may seem to others, are a solemn, basic, God-right. The sensitivity of the poor to injustice is a trivial thing c
December 31, 2020 at 7:06 PM #389877MaedhrosParticipant
- Total Posts: 730
Trump deployed a coalition of Federal agencies working with state and local law enforcement to attempt to shut down the Portland BLM protests, just as Obama did in 2012 to shut down the Occupy movement. The difference is that Obama was much more successful at it than was Trump.
Obama’s DOJ also snatched and imprisoned several anarchists who were squatting in an abandoned NE Portland home. Federal agents invaded the home, seized anarchist political literature, and then shipped the squatters off to “communications management units” – special prisons in which inmates are prevented from communicating with people outside. The squatters pretty much disappeared into the system and, because the Glorious and Most Benevolent Obama was President, nobody on the “left” said anything.
When you throw in warrantless surveillance, execution of citizens without due process, war crimes in Libya and Yemen, and use of the Espionage Act to prosecute whistleblowers and journalists, it’s pretty clear that Obama was a much more effective despot that was Trump.
His body recovered from his torment and became hale,
but the shadow of his pain was in his heart;
and he lived to wield his sword with left hand
more deadly than his right had been.
December 31, 2020 at 9:48 PM #389921rudycantfailParticipant
- Total Posts: 338
when he signed the NDAA, Democrats and liberals would’ve shat out their brunch. Imagine the Hitler references in mother jones, the nation, counterpunch, the intercept etc. that it would invoke if Trump did that today instead of Obama doing it then. Of course, they’d be right to have their hair on fire that a U.S. President would cast our justice system back to 12th century Europe but when it actually occurred there was hardly a whimper.
December 31, 2020 at 9:16 PM #389911EarthartistParticipant
- Total Posts: 1,328
So true Obama was by far the more dangerous of the 2 in part because the our team mentality blue is sooooo much better blinds the fools. This will be what really kills this country once and for all! TEAM SPORTS
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