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Tags Nazi comparisons , noam chomsky

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Old 16th October 2009, 04:20 PM   #1
applecorped
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Noam Chomsky - Right Wing Media = Nazis

http://www.mediaite.com/online/oh-bo...edia-to-nazis/

"Speaking to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, he alluded to right-wing media as “substantive content — crazy content, but it does give answers,” and warned that if Americans weren’t properly educated about what was really happening to them, they could be in for a repeat of the Nazi takeover of Germany in the 1930s"


So, Nazis are going to take over Germany again because of Right Wing radio in the US?
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Old 16th October 2009, 04:23 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by applecorped View Post
http://www.mediaite.com/online/oh-bo...edia-to-nazis/

"Speaking to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, he alluded to right-wing media as “substantive content — crazy content, but it does give answers,” and warned that if Americans weren’t properly educated about what was really happening to them, they could be in for a repeat of the Nazi takeover of Germany in the 1930s"


So, Nazis are going to take over Germany again because of Right Wing radio in the US?
Chomsky always knows how to deliver topnotch humor!
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Old 16th October 2009, 04:28 PM   #3
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What a silly thing for him to say.

Here are literally dozens and dozens of examples of right wingers using the exact same rhetoric:

http://mediamatters.org/search/index...=nazis&x=0&y=0

http://mediamatters.org/search/index...hitler&x=0&y=0
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Old 16th October 2009, 04:29 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Arcade22 View Post
Chomsky always knows how to deliver topnotch humor!
Well, Chomsky, after all, is a linguist for his day job.
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Old 16th October 2009, 04:32 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Marc39 View Post
Well, Chomsky, after all, is a linguist for his day job.
a cunning-linguist...at that.

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Old 16th October 2009, 04:49 PM   #6
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Old 16th October 2009, 05:22 PM   #7
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He's clearly off base since everyone knows that what will really happen is that the "Liberal Media" will turn America into a new Democratic Kampuchea.
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Old 16th October 2009, 05:29 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by parky76 View Post
a cunning-linguist...at that.

Wins thread.
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Old 16th October 2009, 06:03 PM   #9
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But, But, I'm a master debater!
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Old 16th October 2009, 06:22 PM   #10
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What exactly do you find to disagree with in what he said?
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Old 16th October 2009, 06:43 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Fiona View Post
What exactly do you find to disagree with in what he said?
SARC!! Because you forgot the tag.
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Old 16th October 2009, 06:46 PM   #12
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I find the statement hyperbole. Both sides always call each other Nazi. It's a very overused term. In truth the librals want to take awayh our firearms byh regulating them out of existence and the conservatives want to take away our porn and force us all into church.

I've come to believe that nobody truly values individualism anymore. What people value most is conformity in that we must all be normal. It's just that nobody can agree on what to conform to.
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Old 16th October 2009, 06:50 PM   #13
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He did not call them nazis.
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Old 16th October 2009, 06:51 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Fiona View Post
What exactly do you find to disagree with in what he said?

This part:

"they could be in for a repeat of the Nazi takeover of Germany in the 1930s"
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Old 16th October 2009, 06:53 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Fiona View Post
He did not call them nazis.
Nice semantics. See applecorped's last post.
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Old 16th October 2009, 06:56 PM   #16
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I watched it twice but I missed where he said that
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Old 16th October 2009, 07:11 PM   #17
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Hmm, interesting. "The fault of the Jews and the Bolsheviks". Kind of like...the fault of the liberals, or the fault of the conservatives. All George Bush's fault, brainwashed Bush sheep--it's all their fault. It's all Obama's fault. Yeah, I get what he's saying. I don't think *he* gets what he's saying, however.
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Old 16th October 2009, 07:13 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by sugarb View Post
Hmm, interesting. "The fault of the Jews and the Bolsheviks". Kind of like...the fault of the liberals, or the fault of the conservatives. All George Bush's fault, brainwashed Bush sheep--it's all their fault. It's all Obama's fault. Yeah, I get what he's saying. I don't think *he* gets what he's saying, however.
I think he is quite clear. What do you think he is missing?
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Old 17th October 2009, 12:19 AM   #19
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Actually, the Republican Party here in Germany is the Nazi-Party. It all makes sense now.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Republicans_(Germany)
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Old 17th October 2009, 12:53 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by applecorped View Post
http://www.mediaite.com/online/oh-bo...edia-to-nazis/

"Speaking to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, he alluded to right-wing media as “substantive content — crazy content, but it does give answers,” and warned that if Americans weren’t properly educated about what was really happening to them, they could be in for a repeat of the Nazi takeover of Germany in the 1930s"
Yeah, I kept telling the GOP that we needed to take over in 2008, not let Obama get elected, but they said, "Don't worry, he's with us,"--oh, wait this isn't the conspiracy theory forums--forget I said that.
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Old 17th October 2009, 02:33 AM   #21
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I think chomsky has destroyed all shreds of his credibility after that.

Oh, BTW, Godwin's law.
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Old 17th October 2009, 02:35 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Eyeron View Post
I find the statement hyperbole. Both sides always call each other Nazi. It's a very overused term. In truth the librals want to take awayh our firearms byh regulating them out of existence and the conservatives want to take away our porn and force us all into church.

I've come to believe that nobody truly values individualism anymore. What people value most is conformity in that we must all be normal. It's just that nobody can agree on what to conform to.
Except for you, of course. You're special.
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Old 17th October 2009, 02:49 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
Actually, the Republican Party here in Germany is the Nazi-Party. It all makes sense now.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Republicans_(Germany)
You really have no idea what "Nazi" is, right?
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Old 17th October 2009, 03:05 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Arcade22 View Post
You really have no idea what "Nazi" is, right?

How should I know, I'm not a Conservative.
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Old 17th October 2009, 03:08 AM   #25
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All I know is, we'll be a lot closer to a reasonable, substance based political system when one simple thing happens:

When representatives of an ideology tell us about their ideology, and what they want to do, and STOP telling us about their opponents ideology, and what they want to do.

Anytime I see anything advertised by the means of discrediting the competition, it's a red flag. Tell me what you do, don't tell me what your competition does wrong.

This is the biggest problem of all. Both sides just insist on constantly demonizing and destroying the other sides credibility. It's the pure focus of first attack for too many people. Exaggerated beyond ethical limits. Lies, misrepresentation.. whatever it takes... TO DESTROY!

You don't have any business telling me what my opinion really is, or what my beliefs really constitute. Tell me what you will do, and keep your rhetoric and deplorably dishonest hyperbole to yourself.

Last edited by Whiplash; 17th October 2009 at 03:11 AM.
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Old 17th October 2009, 03:28 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by NWO Sentryman View Post
I think chomsky has destroyed all shreds of his credibility after that.

Oh, BTW, Godwin's law.

It is a curious thing that the over extension of godwin's law is used in this way, imo. While accusing your opposition of nazism is not generally a good tactic in argument, that is generally because it is neither true in the context nor demonstrable in the circumstances.

What Chomsky seems to be doing is outlining his perception of a process.

According to him a large number of people have real grievances: that is they have seen their standard of living drop over an extended period, for example.

They have not been able to alter this by ballot, since voting for either of the practical alternatives has not improved the situation in the way they would like to see.

He then argues that people in this situation do seek a solution and he also says that in those circumstances there are always going to be people who offer answers. Some of those people will offer answers which are wrong: however it is a fact that at least once in history (I think many times) people have accepted wrong answers and acted on them. And on at least one occasion in a civilised society this led to barbarity

I have no idea if this particular aspect of the rise of nazism was particularly important; or if other factors were enough to have led to the problem even if a large number of people had not had those real grievances. But I think that it is likely that a great deal of dissatisfaction with the status quo is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for radical change of that sort or of any sort.

There will always be people who have a will to power and they will always find a way to exploit dissatisfaction to their own ends. They will not always do it in the same way but the identification of a scapegoat is quite common: whatever form that might take.

It seems to me that in most societies most of the time there are protective factors of one kind or another: for example the government remains responsive enough to the interests of the majority to ensure that they do not all become very unhappy; and especially do not all agree about what is causing that. But sometimes those factors fail.

I am not american and so I have no idea if that country is showing signs of that sort of generalised dissatisfaction and the attendant search for very simplistic explanations for that. But actually some of what has been posted in this thread suggests it might be: if everybody is calling each other nazis it does rather suggest a polarisation and this readily gives rise to scapegoating, or so I think.

All I have seen in this thread is a refusal to consider whether that process is in play on the grounds that "it can't happen here".

Well it can happen, here or anywhere. Chomsky may not have identified the process correctly; it is certainly not simple and many factors are required I think: but he knows that; he may have misunderstood what is actually going on in his society and be wrong for that reason too. But none of that is Godwinning. He raises a serious issue and to dismiss it is to dismiss the fact people can and do make silly, stupid and outright dangerous decisions, as a body politic, from time to time

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance, I gather. That will mean that many many people will press the alarm button and the alarm will be false: but sometimes the alarm is true. And I would rather that the alarm was overused than underused, because the consequences can be quite bad, really. Rather than assuming that any mention of what happened in germany in the 30's (or russia in the early 1900's)automatically means that the argument is ad hominem, it is preferable to consider what is actually being said

So:
Is he wrong about there being widespread dissatisfaction?
Is he wrong in thinking that many people feel that neither of the existing parties will solve their problems?
Is he wrong in thinking that where people are disillusioned in that way they are apt to look for alternative, often simplistic solutions?
Is he wrong to say that at least some of the right (and left) offer such solutions?
Is he wrong to say that this is worrying?
Is he wrong to say that such a situation has led to bad consequences in the past?
Is he wrong to think that drawing attention to aspects of a process might itself help to reinforce those factors which are protective for society
Is he wrong to think that it is reasonable to look for reasoned argument as to why the situation is not one which could lead to a rise in totalitarianism of whatever stripe?

I don't think he is
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Old 17th October 2009, 03:36 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Eyeron View Post
I've come to believe that nobody truly values individualism anymore.
If by "truly values" you mean "elevates to supreme importance to the exclusion of valuing everything else", then I certainly hope people are moving away from such an irrational stance, if many of them ever held it.
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Old 17th October 2009, 05:59 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by NWO Sentryman View Post
Oh, BTW, Godwin's law.
Doesn't apply here, for several reasons.
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Old 17th October 2009, 08:31 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Fiona View Post
I think he is quite clear. What do you think he is missing?
How is him basically saying "the right wing media are reminiscent of nazis" (paraphrasing) any different than his own example of "it is the fault of the Jews and Bolsheviks"? He's being an accuser in his own right, no? To my way of thinking and reasoning, that just creates a huge circle of everyone accusing everyone of something with no substance. That's what I think he is missing...that he's doing exactly what he's accusing someone/something else of doing.
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Old 17th October 2009, 08:33 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Whiplash View Post
All I know is, we'll be a lot closer to a reasonable, substance based political system when one simple thing happens:

When representatives of an ideology tell us about their ideology, and what they want to do, and STOP telling us about their opponents ideology, and what they want to do.

Anytime I see anything advertised by the means of discrediting the competition, it's a red flag. Tell me what you do, don't tell me what your competition does wrong.

This is the biggest problem of all. Both sides just insist on constantly demonizing and destroying the other sides credibility. It's the pure focus of first attack for too many people. Exaggerated beyond ethical limits. Lies, misrepresentation.. whatever it takes... TO DESTROY!

You don't have any business telling me what my opinion really is, or what my beliefs really constitute. Tell me what you will do, and keep your rhetoric and deplorably dishonest hyperbole to yourself.
Yes, yes, yes. Thank you! I couldn't figure out how to say it. The way it is currently, it's a giant non-sensical circle.
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Old 17th October 2009, 09:44 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
How should I know, I'm not a Conservative.
You don't even vote.

So you're neither a liberal or a conservative, you're literally "nothing".
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Old 17th October 2009, 09:47 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Fiona View Post
Well it can happen, here or anywhere.
Again with that platitude?

Quote:
Chomsky may not have identified the process correctly
Yeah yeah, so did Naomi Wolfe. It didn't happen.

It could happen, sure, but so could anything.

Stop crying Wolfe.

Last edited by Pardalis; 17th October 2009 at 09:48 AM.
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Old 17th October 2009, 09:54 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Fiona View Post
So:
Is he wrong about there being widespread dissatisfaction?
Is he wrong in thinking that many people feel that neither of the existing parties will solve their problems?
Is he wrong in thinking that where people are disillusioned in that way they are apt to look for alternative, often simplistic solutions?
Is he wrong to say that at least some of the right (and left) offer such solutions?
Is he wrong to say that this is worrying?
Is he wrong to say that such a situation has led to bad consequences in the past?
Is he wrong to think that drawing attention to aspects of a process might itself help to reinforce those factors which are protective for society
Is he wrong to think that it is reasonable to look for reasoned argument as to why the situation is not one which could lead to a rise in totalitarianism of whatever stripe?
All of this could lead to anything else as well. One could easily apply that list to any ideology, and make it look like its final destination could be the possible rise of communism in the USA, or the possible rise of Islam, etc. Nothing in that list is intrinsically a characteristic of nazism.

It depends on who is "connecting the dots". Here, it's Chomsky, but someone like Limbaugh could use that same list and come up with an entirely different outcome.

It's just fear mongering.

Last edited by Pardalis; 17th October 2009 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 17th October 2009, 09:56 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Fiona View Post
So:
Is he wrong about there being widespread dissatisfaction?
First define both "widespread" and "dissatisfaction." And then compare it to other eras. Has there ever not been "widespread dissatisfaction" by some definition of the term? A little context and definition is necessary to answer that question.

Originally Posted by Fiona View Post
Is he wrong in thinking that many people feel that neither of the existing parties will solve their problems?
Again, define "many." And this is implying that people think those parties are supposed to solve their problems. I don't think it is the job of either party to solve my problems.

Originally Posted by Fiona View Post
Is he wrong in thinking that where people are disillusioned in that way they are apt to look for alternative, often simplistic solutions?
As a very general statement, no he's not wrong. That doesn't mean that statement applies in a significant way right now.

Originally Posted by Fiona View Post
Is he wrong to say that at least some of the right (and left) offer such solutions?
Sure, some do. I'm sure you can go to any country on the planet and find some people offering extreme, simplistic solutions.

Originally Posted by Fiona View Post
Is he wrong to say that this is worrying?
Yes. At least, it's no more worrying than it ever has been. We've been in far worse states than this when it was far more worrying (the Depression... McCarthyism, etc.).

Originally Posted by Fiona View Post
Is he wrong to say that such a situation has led to bad consequences in the past?
"Such a situation" being what, exactly? A hypothetical situation that isn't true right now? Sure.

Originally Posted by Fiona View Post
Is he wrong to think that drawing attention to aspects of a process might itself help to reinforce those factors which are protective for society
If he is doing so in a way that is overstating the problem, then yes, he is wrong.

Originally Posted by Fiona View Post
Is he wrong to think that it is reasonable to look for reasoned argument as to why the situation is not one which could lead to a rise in totalitarianism of whatever stripe?
I don't follow this. It is reasonable to look for an argument for why the situation is not one that would lead to totalitarianism? Urr.. okay. I got the impression from the article that he is doing the exact opposite: trying to lay out why the situation could lead to totalitarianism. And I think it's drastically overstated. I'm all for eternal vigilance and certainly reminders of why it is important are always good, but Fox News isn't remotely close to taking us to totalitarianism. We've been in much much worse states, as I've said, and come much closer than we are today.

Last edited by ARubberChickenWithAPulley; 17th October 2009 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 17th October 2009, 10:01 AM   #35
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It's like cold reading, really. Start real broad with general claims with no specific criteria, and you could make it look like anything you want.
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Old 17th October 2009, 11:14 AM   #36
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"Speaking to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco...."

Say no more.
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Old 17th October 2009, 11:19 AM   #37
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Know more.

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Old 17th October 2009, 11:37 AM   #38
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We should remember the context in which Hitler was a part - the polarization in that society was off the charts. The communists and marxists in Germany were a powerful group - holdin Berlin and wide swaths of the north, with activists in every part of the country. Opposite them was a network of right-wing groups with nascent militarization. In the middle were the socialists and the catholics.

It was common for meetings to be disrupted by force from political opponents and their thugs. Hitler and his movement carried these kinds of operations out repeatedly. Marches were commonplace, with thousands upon thousands and the attendant loose cannons showing force in numbers and sometimes just force.

Out of this environment Hitler organized what was essentially a private military. I see no such dynamic occurring here.

We are a long ways from that. Chomsky's vision (from an offhand comment) is certain not to come to pass anytime soon. Given the pithiness of the remark, we should perhaps hold back from bandwagon castigation - in one small sentence we are not going to get the underlying rationale for his remark. And surely there is one.

For there are certain traits to the right wing brand of the Limbaugh nexus that are compatible ideologically with fascism:

- the vision of a nation in decline, a lost glory - a tarnished purity.
- a vision of national rebirth through a return to first principles (the phoenix, or eagle rather, rising from the ashes)
- a list of identifiable culprits responsible for the decline of the nation: in this case liberals. Note the particular attention to internal threats: the liberal plan to destroy American tradition, the illegal immigrants siphoning the system like parasites. There is a strong strain of scapegoating already. THere is a certain sense that liberals exist outside the acceptable realm of political discourse - that they are also outside of American tradition. And so you have major figures selling books like "Treason" - which show this mindset in exquisite detail.
- a rather narrow political doctrine that is repeated endlessly by major figures in the movement, the grassroots of which accepts uncritically
- a martial reverence and general emphasis on force in maintaining national prestige

Now clearly, there are major differences. The strength of the democratic tradition in America is such that there is no visceral hatred of democracy in this movement. Rather there is a veneration of it. And so the solutions proffered by this movement are typically democratic ones: "the permament Republican majority" for example - at least on the dominant, mainstream portion. The point is that the mechanisms with which they seek to achieve their ends are democratic ones - even if they think deep down the politics of their opponents are alien to American tradition.

But on the fringes there is an active group (the minutemen, various militias, stormfront, etc) that reject democracy and forsee force as the only way to save the nation (the Turner Diaries crew).

So I don't think Chomsky's simplisitic one-liner is all that accurate, and i typically despise world war two comparisons of any kind. We should move past the emotionally charged nature of such discussions, which are rather pointless and never get anywhere productive. Leave the WWII references behind. Distill some of the essence of the Nazi mindset, explore fascism in its other manifestations, and create a list of characteristics that that could refer to any political movement without reference to Nazi-ism specifically.

Also remember that every country is different, every era is different - the political development of nations is a product of their unique histories and character and so political ideas will manifest themselves quite differently across countries and centuries.

Last edited by Praktik; 17th October 2009 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 17th October 2009, 11:39 AM   #39
Tailgater
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The political pendelum is backwards for this to match up right to the analogy. Right-wing radio is not calling for the heads of bankers, but actually going against the grain of the people in a time when more people are looking to government.
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Old 17th October 2009, 12:30 PM   #40
Fiona
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Originally Posted by sugarb View Post
How is him basically saying "the right wing media are reminiscent of nazis" (paraphrasing) any different than his own example of "it is the fault of the Jews and Bolsheviks"? He's being an accuser in his own right, no? To my way of thinking and reasoning, that just creates a huge circle of everyone accusing everyone of something with no substance. That's what I think he is missing...that he's doing exactly what he's accusing someone/something else of doing.
You have completely misunderstood what he is saying if you think he is accusing the jews and Bolsheviks. Listen to it again (around 2 mins 30 in the video).
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