1933 and 2017

What President Trump could do with now, while his travel ban is suspended by the courts, is a Reichstag fire, and an immigrant close at hand to pin it on. He’s almost said as much: ‘if anything happens now it’s the judges’ fault’. It doesn’t have to be the Federal Capitol; it could be almost anywhere public (Trump Tower?), but it has to be blamed on a recently-arrived Muslim refugee. (Preferably one that is shot dead in the course of his arrest – the typical American way – so he can’t be questioned too closely.) I wouldn’t put it past either Trump’s people or the Islamic terrorists to arrange this; both sets of extremists, after all, want the same thing – to ratchet up the ‘war’. Let’s hope to God it doesn’t happen.

Of course this isn’t 1933, and Trump (it needs to be emphasized) isn’t Hitler. For those who scoff at that comparison, however, two points need to be made. Firstly, German Fascism didn’t begin with the death camps. Hitler’s first solution to the ‘Jewish problem’ was to boot them all out. This didn’t make him any less Fascist. Secondly, take a look at this poster, currently displayed in the US Holocaust Museum in Washington. I don’t know its provenance, but still. Trump ticks every one of these ‘early warning signs’.


So aren’t we right to be vigilant, even afraid?

About bernardporter2013

Retired academic, author, historian.
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5 Responses to 1933 and 2017

  1. I think that disregard for the rule of law is a core component of fascism. Under the Nazis, most judges lacked all respect for the principles of legal objectivity and justice. The denigration of judges whose decisions conflict with Trump’s agenda has already been a feature of the new administration. One wonders whether Trump will be prepared to defy orders from the Supreme Court if he is compelled to divest himself of his business assets.
    Another core component missing from the list is the involvement of the masses in coercion against opponents. As yet there is no SA-type organisation willing to violently carry out or anticipate Trump’s wishes; however, there is no shortage of armed white supremacists and their analogues who would happily volunteer should an opportunity arise.
    The willingness to tell outright lies and repudiate conventional distinctions between truth and falsehood was a staple of the Nazi era and is another glaring vice of Trump and his acolytes.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. cm8958 says:

    Hmm, just need to add ‘Disdain for science and scientists’ and how could we spot the difference?
    Thanks for writing, or do I say blogging!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. TJ says:

    Vigilance is always needed, but I still think the US constitution + the 4th Estate are robust enough to contain Trump and his acolytes until the Democrats get their act together and Trumps ratings encourage Republican dissidence.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope you’re right, and – from my pretty extensive and sympathetic acquaintance with the US – think you probably are. I place most hope in the more genuinely conservative wing of the GOP.
      On the other hand the US has had some close encounters with proto- or neo-fascism in the past: the early 1920s, for example, and the 1950s. The raw material has always been there. But countered, of course, by the American liberal, libertarian and simply ‘cussed’ traditions. That’s the main difference from 1930s Germany.
      Anyway, thanks for the reassurance.


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