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Yale philosopher Jason Stanley: “Regular and repeated obvious lying is part of the process by which fascist politics destroys the information space. A fascist leader can replace truth with power, ultimately lying without consequence.”

2018-11-16

From a New Yorker article by John Cassidy:

Now another Yale academic, the philosopher Jason Stanley, is reiterating the point. In his new book, “How Fascism Works,” Stanley writes,  “Regular and repeated obvious lying is part of the process by which fascist politics destroys the information space. A fascist leader can replace truth with power, ultimately lying without consequence. By replacing the world with a person, fascist politics makes us unable to assess arguments by a common standard.”

The beginnings of this “post-truth world” can be seen already:

In a Quinnipiac University survey that was carried out this summer, seventy-five per cent of Republican respondents said they trust Trump more than the news media to tell them the truth about important issues. Just sixteen per cent said they trust the news media more than Trump.

One reason for this withdrawal from reality is the propagandistic nature of the Trumpian screed. I mentioned in a previous blog the essential elements of propaganda, but they bear repeating: repetition; a catchy slogan; color; a specific objective; a kernel of truth; concealment; and timing.  (quoted from who knows where.)  Republicans are subjected to a constant torrent of propaganda from their Republican National Committee and their fund-raising apparatus.

Fortunately for us, although it may not be enough of an advantage, the Republicans are in the minority.  Independents make up the largest voting bloc, and Democrats the second-largest.  We have to point out at this juncture, that Adolf Hitler won his way to the chancellorship with only 33% of the popular vote (he was the head of the Nazi party, the largest or second-largest party in contention at the time, and Communists were excluded from the final “free” vote of the Weimar Republic.)  The example of Nazi Germany should make us cognizant of the need for Democrats to enlist the cooperation of the smaller parties, although that may not be easy; a united majority front against minority Fascists would be essential should push come to shove.

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