Fascism

Updates

  1. Originally published, June 20, 2:46 am.
  2. June 20, 2:05 pm:
    • Donald Trump capitulated on the family separation issue, signing an executive order halting the practice.[1] (Unauthorized migration)
    • There is personal news.
    • I need to nap now. I am no way, no how caught up.
  3. June 20, 4:27 pm:
    • Aaron Blake on Donald Trump’s executive order halting family separations: “Virtually everything [the Trump administration] said about the policy is tossed aside with this executive action. It’s the political equivalent of waving the white flag and the legal equivalent of confessing to making false statements. Rather than letting Congress rebuke it, the White House is rebuking itself and trying to save some face.”[2] (Unauthorized migration)
    • I’m still going through social media, but I’m sort of caught up now.
  4. June 21, 10:56 pm:
    • Prosecutions involving unauthorized migrant families are being suspended. Not much else is clear.[3] (Unauthorized migration)
    • There is an update on the personal news.

Original caption: Immigrant children, many of whom have been separated from their parents under a new “zero tolerance” policy by the Trump administration, are being housed in tents next to the Mexican border in Tornillo, Texas, June 18, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake. (Fair use.)

It happens to be World Refugee Day.

I thought it important to revisit a research journal post I wrote in February, last year, seeking to synthesize a definition of fascism:

Fascism is an ideology that seeks to institutionalize structural and physical violence against some or many subaltern groups on the grounds of bigotry and to increase its own public support through the exploitation of such violence and bigotry. This bigotry may take several forms including nationalism, scapegoating, sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, etc. To the extent that it succeeds, it acts as a self-reinforcing feedback as public support enables further and more extreme violence.[4]

U.S. history is replete with examples of this behavior. The separation of unauthorized migrant parents and children[5] is yet another.


Personal news

On a personal note, some of you may know I was in a traffic collision—entirely my fault—last Wednesday (the 13th). I suffered (and am suffering) minor injuries and my precious Prius was almost certainly totaled.

A crack to my sternum was compounded by bronchitis, stemming from my cat’s urinary tract infection (now treated) and her subsequent refusal to pee in her litter box (think ammonia, lots and lots of ammonia in her urine, that I was breathing in). In health respects, this has been something of a perfect storm with a lot of crap all coming to a head. But I’m recovering (and my cat is back at the shelter for reeducation on litter box usage).

The new (to me) car.
Thursday (June 21), I forked over a bunch of money for a 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid. It’s a bit more spacious, has a bit more oomph, and has a different collection of features from the old Prius (the Prius had a back-up camera but the Camry has automatic headlights, the Prius could play music via Bluetooth but the Camry has heated seats and a moonroof, and so on).

But it’s also very clear to me that I’ve been driving way too many miles. Reflecting on this as I was driving (my mother’s car) back from the dealer, I began remembering all the little slip-ups I’d been making recently while driving, before the big one that ended so catastrophically last week. These were warning signs that I’ve felt unable to heed.

I’ve been driving over 200 miles per day, trying to make any money at all. It’s not paying off, it was hard on—even as good, solid, and reliable a car as it was—the Prius, and I clearly can’t keep it up. I don’t know what I’m going to do here, because the reason I’ve been doing this is that I have had so little success finding work—it’s been over seventeen years now since I was last gainfully employed. This needs to change, rather urgently, and with much more seriousness than anyone in my social network (which surely in all those years should have been able to hook me up with something, even as years and many multitudes of job applications were going nowhere) has been willing to take it.

That I’m hopelessly stuck in this situation means I’m almost certainly setting myself up for another catastrophe.


Unauthorized migration

Aaron Blake, “Trump and Kirstjen Nielsen’s embarrassing surrender on separating families at the border,” Washington Post, June 20, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2018/06/20/trump-and-kirstjen-nielsens-embarrassing-surrender-on-separating-families/

Andrew Restuccia and Lorraine Woellert, “Trump signs executive order halting family separations,” Politico, June 20, 2018, https://www.politico.com/amp/story/2018/06/20/im-ashamed-of-what-theyre-doing-backlash-grows-for-trump-and-his-aides-655498

Nick Miroff, Dan Lamothe, and Seung Min Kim, “Reversal on migrant families deepens confusion over Trump’s immigration order,” Washington Post, June 21, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-will-stop-prosecuting-parents-who-cross-the-border-illegally-with-children-official-says/2018/06/21/4902b194-7564-11e8-805c-4b67019fcfe4_story.html


  1. [1]Andrew Restuccia and Lorraine Woellert, “Trump signs executive order halting family separations,” Politico, June 20, 2018, https://www.politico.com/amp/story/2018/06/20/im-ashamed-of-what-theyre-doing-backlash-grows-for-trump-and-his-aides-655498
  2. [2]Aaron Blake, “Trump and Kirstjen Nielsen’s embarrassing surrender on separating families at the border,” Washington Post, June 20, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2018/06/20/trump-and-kirstjen-nielsens-embarrassing-surrender-on-separating-families/
  3. [3]Nick Miroff, Dan Lamothe, and Seung Min Kim, “Reversal on migrant families deepens confusion over Trump’s immigration order,” Washington Post, June 21, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-will-stop-prosecuting-parents-who-cross-the-border-illegally-with-children-official-says/2018/06/21/4902b194-7564-11e8-805c-4b67019fcfe4_story.html
  4. [4]David Benfell, “A simple definition of fascism,” February 14, 2017, https://parts-unknown.org/drupal7/journal/2017/02/14/simple-definition-fascism
  5. [5]Nancy Cook, “Trump aides plan fresh immigration crackdowns before midterms,” Politico, June 18, 2018, https://www.politico.com/amp/story/2018/06/18/trump-aides-plan-fresh-immigration-crackdowns-before-midterms-652246; Jake Johnson, “Trump Finally Admits He’s Responsible: ‘You Have to Take the Children Away,’” Common Dreams, June 19, 2018, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/06/19/trump-finally-admits-hes-responsible-you-have-take-children-away; Jennifer Hansler, “Cardinal Dolan: There is no Bible passage to justify family separation,” CNN, June 16, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/16/politics/cardinal-dolan-family-separation-cnntv/index.html; James Hohmann, “Trump is losing the debate over splitting up immigrant families,” Washington Post, June 15, 2018, https://s2.washingtonpost.com/camp-rw/?e=YmVuZmVsbEBwYXJ0cy11bmtub3duLm9yZw%3D%3D&s=5b23c997fe1ff66463922db0; Tal Kopan, “New DHS policy could separate families caught crossing the border illegally,” CNN, May 7, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/07/politics/illegal-immigration-border-prosecutions-families-separated/index.html; Tal Kopan, “DHS secretary defends separating families at the border,” CNN, May 15, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/15/politics/dhs-separating-families-secretary-nielsen-hearing/index.html; Kevin Liptak, Kaitlan Collins, Jeff Zeleny, and Sarah Westwood, “White House scrambles to contain immigration fallout,” CNN, June 18, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/18/politics/immigration-white-house-pressure/index.html; Nesrine Malik, “Trump is creating his American caliphate, and democracy has no defence,” Guardian, June 18, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/18/trump-american-caliphate-democracy-arab-world; Nomaan Merchant, “Hundreds of children wait in Border Patrol facility in Texas,” Associated Press, June 17, 2018, https://www.apnews.com/9794de32d39d4c6f89fbefaea3780769; Reuters, “Tent city for immigrant children in Texas,” June 19, 2018, https://www.reuters.com/news/picture/pictures-report-idUSRTX69U2; Brianna Rennix, “Understanding The Administration’s Monstrous Immigration Policies,” Current Affairs, June 17, 2018, https://www.currentaffairs.org/2018/06/understanding-the-administrations-monstrous-immigration-policies; Jennifer Rubin, “Leave the Bible out of it, child separation is not ‘Christian,’” Washington Post, June 15, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2018/06/15/leave-the-bible-out-of-it-child-separation-is-not-christian/; Kelsey Snell and Susan Davis, “President Trump Injects Fresh Chaos Into Immigration Debate,” National Public Radio, June 15, 2018, https://www.npr.org/2018/06/15/620356425/president-trump-injects-fresh-chaos-into-immigration-debate; Julie Zauzmer and Keith McMillan, “Sessions cites Bible passage used to defend slavery in defense of separating immigrant families,” Washington Post, June 15, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2018/06/14/jeff-sessions-points-to-the-bible-in-defense-of-separating-immigrant-families/;

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