Tuesday, June 26, 2018
On Medium, Haque warns Americans that we are slouching into fascism because of our own personal values
Umair Haque issues a real tongue lashing to self-confident, libertarian and individualistic (and complacently so) Americans in a Medium essay, “Is America Undergoing a Fascist Collapse?” Then, “What Americans still haven’t learned from how democracies implode”, link.
Haque believes that this is very personal, and comes from a common belief that some people are “born better” than others, and is particularly validated by American history, starting with slavery, of course.
He also claims that in the 1920s and early 1930s, pro-fascists look to Americans to support their ideology. His comments seems to imply Trump is now complicit with North Korea in order, as Trump says, simply to prevent future nuclear attack on the US homeland – “America first”.
It’s particularly troubling because at a personal level, men, in particular, as Leonard Sax points out in his reissued book “Why Gender Matters”, naturally like to be affiliated with other men who are stronger than them – everybody wants to play for the Yankees. Winner takes all, indeed.
It is possible than a legacy online essay supporting this idea, I had written in 2004 actually contributed to the blowup when I was working as a substitute teacher (July 27, 2007 here). I saw it as just a mathematical tautology, in totally impersonal terms. But people were “offended” by it when they found it. Oddly, China seems to be bringing the idea back by proposing its social credit score to be implemented by 2020. Communism and fascism can look so much alike.
On the “drama” blog, Feb. 26, 2012, I recount a sermon by a precocious teenager that all giving should be personalized, not simply done from a distance with money. Now we see Facebook desperately trying to get people to run others’ gofundme and action campaigns from their own personal accounts rather than at a distance. I do my giving privately and impersonally through an automated process set up at a bank, in conjunction with a trust. I just talked about this last Friday here. But Facebook is trying to push the idea that other people who are “different” from you can be personally important (with all kinds of reminders about birthdays and the like) and some friends seek confirmation with chain letter messages. And in the gay community Rayceen Pendarvis is known for conducting mandatory, personalized “hug-ins” (LGBT blog June 18). Another trend, some people will present someone with disabilities as their “best friend’ on FB or social media, something I just won’t do. But given what Haque says, I see where this silent, internalized clinging to upward affiliation and “meritocracy” is headed.
Picture: a random ("alt-right"??) demonstrator at Lafayette Park in front of the White House on June 23