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Defining Fascist, Illiberal and Authoritarian

In our global slide toward despotic unaccountability, three words act as the primary signifiers of the changes in governing and political norms at work around the globe. The words are fascist, illiberal and authoritarian.

Let’s take a look at the dictionary definition of each.

Fascist: A political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.

Illiberal: Opposed to liberal principles; restricting freedom of thought or behavior.

Authoritarian: Favouring or enforcing strict obedience to authority at the expense of personal freedom. Showing a lack of concern for the wishes or opinions of others; dictatorial.

Whether we’re talking about Donald Trump, Viktor Orban, Jair Bolsonaro, Benjamin Netanyahu, Narendra Modi, Vladimir Putin or Daniel Ortega you see aspects of each these dangerous modes of social control being normalized and, in many instances, enacted through executive or legislative means.

While it is natural to be most alarmed by the rise of neo-fascist political parties in Italy, Germany, Poland, Sweden, France, and the UK, perhaps a more dangerous trend is the emerging religious authoritarianism infecting Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, and Buddhism. In India, Modi’s BJP has actively encouraged ethnic cleansing campaigns by Hindus against Muslims in northern states. In Israel, Netanyahu successfully passed a new law elevating the citizenship rights of Jewish Israelis over those of Muslims. In Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi has given tacit approval to Buddhist death squads attacking Muslim Rohingya villages. Across the Middle East, leaders leverage the Sunni/Shia divide to redraw national boundaries resulting in the refugee crisis in Europe. In the United States, Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell are rushing the decisive Christianist candidate onto the nation’s Supreme Court. In Brazil, the leading candidate in October’s presidential election is an open supporter of military dictatorship is supported by 90% of white Catholic and Evangelical voters.

Any of these political-religious movements could result in illiberal, authoritarian or fascist governing regimes. Adding the accelerant of religious dogma any of these are much more likely to spread across national boundaries and endanger regional or even global peace.

ADDED 09/14/2018

Our new international movement will fight rising fascism and globalists

FROM 09/13/2018 | The Guardian

BY Yanis Varoufakis

Our era will be remembered for the triumphant march of a globally unifying rightwing – a Nationalist International – that sprang out of the cesspool of financialised capitalism. Whether it will also be remembered for a successful humanist challenge to this menace depends on the willingness of progressives in the United States, the European Union, […]

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ADDED 09/13/2018

It happened there: how democracy died in Hungary

FROM 09/13/2018 | Vox

BY Zach Beauchamp

The Hungary-Serbia border runs through a wilderness, tall grass flatlands ringed by imposing clusters of trees and thickets. When I visited a stretch of the Serbian side on a sunny day in June, the landscape would have been lovely — had it not been for the gigantic barbed-wire fence running straight through the middle of […]

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ADDED 09/12/2018

A new illiberal world order is taking shape

FROM 09/12/2018 | Gulf News

BY Fawaz Turki

The cruelty took place in the distant past. Tour the Smithsonian’s Museum of African American history in Washington (this columnist’s hometown for the last 45 years) and there you will stumble upon a slave narrative from 1848 that is part of the Weeping Time exhibit, documenting the tragic history of enslaved children being separated from their enslaved […]

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ADDED 09/12/2018

Inside the Sweaty Glasgow Gig Using Hip-Hop to Resist the Far-Right

FROM 09/12/2018 | Noisey

BY Jonathan Rimmer |

It’s a typically grey Saturday evening in Glasgow’s south side, where punters are beginning to drift towards the many local boozers. McNeill’s sports bar, with its shabby exterior and tinted windows, would ordinarily look like the most unremarkable of all, but for the incongruous banner pinned to the top of the stairs – black and […]

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ADDED 09/12/2018

FASCIST FEST AS TRUMP’S AMERICA MEETS MODI’S HINDUS

FROM 09/12/2018 | South China Morning Post

BY Rohit Chopra

The recent World Hindu Congress in Chicago, an attempt to endow the intolerant majoritarian philosophy of Hindutva with international legitimacy, couldn’t have chosen a better time to bring the party to the US. Socialism, the saying goes, subjects art to politics, while fascism is guilty of the opposite. The goal of the extreme aestheticisation of […]

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ADDED 09/11/2018

E.U.’s Leadership Seeks to Contain Hungary’s Orban

FROM 09/11/2018 | New York Times

BY Patrick Kingsley

BRUSSELS — As Prime Minister Viktor Orban steadily established an “illiberal state” in Hungary, dismantling the country’s checks and balances, stacking its constitutional court with loyalists and creating a template for other far-right leaders, a powerful group of European politicians took note. And said little. Mr. Orban is now seen as a threat to Europe’s mainstream leadership, […]

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ADDED 09/11/2018

Fascist fight clubs: how white nationalists use MMA as a recruiting tool

FROM 09/11/2018 | The Guardian

BY Karim Zidan

Far-right groups across Europe and North America are using mixed martial arts to swell their numbers, spread their ideology and fight their enemies. “You will not replace us.” This was one of the slogans chanted during a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia on the night of 11 August 2017. Approximately 100 young white men – most of […]

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ADDED 09/08/2018

America, The Farewell Tour – Chris Hedges Speaks

FROM 09/05/2018 | Rising Up with Sonali

BY Sonali Kolhatkar

Pulitzer prize winning reporter and veteran foreign correspondent Chris Hedges has just released his newest book America, the Farewell Tour. Hedges is the author of numerous best-selling books including War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, Empire of Illusion, Death of the Liberal Class, and Days of Destruction Days of Revolt which he co-wrote […]

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ADDED 09/07/2018

Errol Morris on Steve Bannon’s Dangerous ‘Dharma’

FROM 08/24/2018 | Boston Review

BY ERROL MORRIS, DEBORAH CHASMAN

Errol Morris’s career as an Oscar-winning documentarian has been shaped by his fascination with crime, from the false murder conviction at the center of The Thin Blue Line (1988) to the war crimes of Robert S. McNamara (The Fog of War, 2003) and Donald Rumsfeld (The Unknown Known, 2013). His new film, American Dharma, profiles Donald Trump’s former […]

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ADDED 09/06/2018

Michael Moore Plays His Trump Card: A New Movie, Modern Fascism and a 2020 Prediction

FROM  | Hollywood Reporter

BY Gregg Kilday

He’s America’s most successful documentarian and one of the few on the left who predicted the 2016 election upset. Now, as Moore readies his anticipated polemic ‘Fahrenheit 11/9’ for its Toronto film festival debut, he takes aim at Trump (and Nancy Pelosi … and Harvey Weinstein …) and those actually responsible for the president’s rapid […]

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ADDED 09/06/2018

Neoliberal Fascism and the Twilight of the Social

FROM 09/05/2018 | Truthout

BY Henry Giroux

Donald Trump’s increasingly dangerous, incendiary attacks on the media, his willingness to separate children from their parents at the southern border, his efforts to strip citizenship from naturalized citizens and deport US citizens on the groundless claim that they have fraudulent birth certificates, and his relentless attempts to pressure Attorney General Jeff Sessions and others to obstruct the rule of […]

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