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TRUMP ALONE CHOOSES THEIR ENEMIES
I explore the validity of this statement
“Men often make up in wrath what they want in reason.”
Horatio Alger, also called Horatio Alger, Jr., (born Jan. 13, 1832, Chelsea, Mass., U.S.—died July 18, 1899, Natick, Mass.), one of the most popular American authors in the last 30 years of the 19th century and perhaps the most socially influential American writer of his generation.
Perhaps most of America is catching on to the neofascist movement now so glaring to all who wish to take a sober look at it, for those not embracing it, or for those caught up in it delusionally, somehow not comprehending where their thoughts are now leading them. The authoritarian mindset to me is very troubling, and the thought that control of oneself is given over to another willingly is my worst nightmare.
I wished to ponder the scenario by which a group is so easily manipulated into choosing hatred for others, only for the reason that an authoritarian leader so chooses. I’m certainly not off-base that this is true today for the committed MAGA cult follower, to the exact prevalence of this phenomenon is certainly of a question. There is a barrage of propagandist information now on social media, and on the ‘conservative media’ staple to enhance the spread and devotion to this goal of shared hatred now.
The Black Shirt model from Mussolini’s rise seems very equivalent to the model which appears to be attempted in America today. The vigilantes of Italy attacked the socialists of the communities in Italy freely, and helped solidify the fascist movement at that time. It was very frightening to read of the the Black Shirts, as I did. We concentrate upon the Nazis, but Mussolini and his fascists were perhaps a bigger influence worldwide to change at that time.
So I have included some writing from both Hitler and Mussolini and their movements, and tried to understand how the shared enemy came about. I’m not entirely sure I have succeeded, but the following is my effort.
I’ve two images of Twitter and TruthSocial posts of the shared enemy, and of the “boss.” There appears to be an acceptance and embrace of Trump being a mob boss now openingly on TruthSociol. This should concern everyone with rational thinking. I end with some tweets from the scholar of fascist moments Ruth Ben-Ghiat which may lend some credence to what I’ve attempted to do with my verse.
DEFINING THE ENEMY
A key part of Nazi ideology was to define the enemy and those who posed a threat to the so-called “Aryan” race. Nazi propaganda was essential in promoting the myth of the “national community” and identifying who should be excluded. Jews were considered the main enemy.
Night of the Long Knives, in German history, purge of Nazi leaders by Adolf Hitler on June 30, 1934. Fearing that the paramilitary SA had become too powerful, Hitler ordered his elite SS guards to murder the organization’s leaders, including Ernst Röhm. Also killed that night were hundreds of other perceived opponents of Hitler.
What Hitler’s Associates thought of him
(23) Equally important has been his ability to persuade others to repudiate their individual consciences and assume that role himself. He can then decree for the individual what is right and wrong, permissible or impermissible and can use them freely in the attainment of his own ends. As Goering has said: "I have no conscience. My conscience is Adolph Hitler."
(24) This has enabled Hitler to make full use of terror and mobilize the fears of the people which he evaluated with an almost uncanny precision.
"Almost anything might suddenly inflame his wrath and hatred .... But equally, the transition from anger to sentimentality or enthusiasm might be quite sudden."
Then he has fears of being poisoned, fears of being assassinated, fears of losing his health, fears of gaining weight, fears of treason, fears of losing his mystical guidance, fears of anesthetics, fears of premature death, fears that his mission will not be fulfilled, etc. Every conceivable precaution must be taken to reduce these dangers, real and imagined, to a minimnm. In later years, the fear of betrayal and possible assassination by one of his associates seems to have grown considerably. Thyssen (308) claims that it has reached the point where he no longer trusts the Gestapo. Frank (652) reports that even the generals must surrender their swords before they are admitted into conferences with him.
“We do not argue with those who disagree with us, we destroy them.”
— Benito Mussolini
The Lazio Speeches (1936), as quoted in The Book of Italian Wisdom by Antonio Santi, Citadel Press, 2003. p. 88.
The Fascist Squadristi were seemingly running the show but there was still discontent from the left wing, especially in the form of one man, Giacomo Matteotti. The head of the United Socialist Party (PSU) who stood up for everything Fascism was against, Matteotti took every opportunity to pour scorn over the government. He saw Fascism as ‘agricultural slavery’, and in 1922 interrupted one of Mussolini’s speeches with a cry of “Long live parliament!”
The Fascist Blackshirts were aware of this and swiftly moved to dispose of this outspoken socialist.
By 18 August 1924, a new grave had appeared in a cemetery in the outskirts of Rome. The name on the headstone was Giacomo Matteotti. He had disappeared after a walk along the River Tiber on 10 June after being kidnapped by six squadristi and murdered. A carpenter’s file had been driven into his chest and he was found buried in the Riano Flaminio area of the city after onlookers reported a bloodstained car.
There was no point in the Fascists trying to distance themselves from the murder. It was only on 30 May that Matteotti’s speech had denounced everything the Fascists stood for, condemning their violence, intimidation and corruption. The murder shocked the nation and caused a minor international incident. Fascist rule was teetering on the edge of the political abyss.
In a speech to the Italian Chamber, Mussolini took full responsibility for the six squaristri who undertook the murder but declined to state specifically that he ordered the assassination. This grey area was essential, as it portrayed the notion that the prime minister felt guilt for the actions taken against Matteotti and hastily closed the matter. Mussolini finished the speech by daring his critics to stand up against him. Predictably, none of the weak non-Fascist deputies raised a hand.
The diary of a young Tuscan woman, who confessed that the duce made her “tremble with excitement” (“I only need to hear his words to be transported in heart and soul into a world of joy and greatness”), shows well the reverence that many Italians accorded Mussolini. In August 1939 she wrote:
“O duce, duce of our life, commander of an entire people, everyone places their love in you, everyone hopes in you… Thank you, O Lord, for having given to Italy the pride and joy of a unique man, the pride and joy of having a man admired and envied by all the world.”
The cult of the duce was the supreme expression of Fascist ‘faith’, and the evidence of diaries – and of the letters that poured into Mussolini’s personal secretariat well into the war – shows how extraordinarily internalised and resilient this faith could be. The duce occupied an exalted sphere above the cut and thrust of daily life. He was not responsible for setbacks or misfortunes: the military disasters of 1940–43 were commonly blamed on incompetent advisers or traitors. And as individual suffering increased, so men and women strove, assiduously in many cases, to preserve Mussolini as a source of consolation and hope. The long and passionate letters that distraught women wrote to the duce after the death of a husband or son were often inspired, it seems, by a need to find meaning for their loss.
From 1920 to 1922, armed fascist squads faced minimal interference from the police or army as they roamed the country causing property damage and killing an estimated 2,000 political opponents. Many other citizens were beaten up or forced to drink castor oil. Then, on October 24, 1922, Mussolini threatened to seize power with a demonstration known as the March on Rome. Though Prime Minister Luigi Facta knew of these plans, he failed to act in any meaningful way.
After becoming prime minister, Mussolini reduced the influence of the judiciary, muzzled a free press, arrested political opponents, continued condoning fascist squad violence and otherwise consolidated his hold on power. However, he continued working within the parliamentary system at least somewhat until January 1925, when he declared himself dictator of Italy. Following a series of assassination attempts in 1925 and 1926, Mussolini tightened his grip even further, banning opposition parties, kicking out over 100 members of parliament, reinstating the death penalty for political crimes, ramping up secret police activities and abolishing local elections.
The Mussolini terror group employed the use of intimidation and violence (Ebner, 2017). According to the founder, these acts of terror against socialists were similar to assaults that were acts of heroism. In his own words he declared “This is heroism… this is the violence of which I approve and which I exalt. This is the violence of Fascism” (Ebner, 2017).
Political violence in the years after the March on Rome continued to serve the same purposes as before: it suppressed opposition, replaced Socialist and non-Fascist administrations, and extended Fascist control over the rest of Italy. Mussolini occasionally decried the illegal activities of the squads, but they operated as the motor that drove his government along the road to dictatorship.
“Find the toughest guy in the room. Embrace him like a brother. And then slam his head against the wall.”
― Al Capone
It is difficult to understand the money behind Trump, or possibly DeSantis, although it must certainly be substantial. The destruction of democracy is the main impetus, and this is by all accounts a very large folly, by people who can’t understand history, or rather they feel they are omniscient enough to shape history and society to their whims. They are effective in focusing a portion of the population on a common enemy, but there is certainly a limit to this strategy in America. They may soon find out this limit, much to their chagrin. Trump is mentally unstable, and most likely would be replaced in time if he were to regain power. But he is needed still, he’s a tool which has found traction. But for now he says who the enemy is.
38th post, May 18, 2023