Thursday, August 20, 2015

mr. miracle's not an uberman, slaves are just terrified of free speech in public...,

thedailycaller |  A recent Newsweek piece asked “Is Donald Trump a Fascist?” Another column at The Week (where I’m a contributing editor) is titled: “How Nietzsche explains the rise of Donald Trump.” These are just two examples of the many “think” pieces examining the dangerous roots behind Trump’s style and ideology (to the degree he has an ideology). To put it mildly, the criticism transcends concerns about populism that might have been found in William Jennings Bryan, or even Ross Perot.

But I’m less alarmed by Trump than I am by the fact that he has tapped into something.Trump’s gonna Trump—that’s just how it is. But the scary part is that a pretty good slice of the public is falling for what could (if one finds the term “fascist” to be overwrought) fairly be described as demagoguery.

Of course, the fascist label has been bandied about as a catch-all slur against “people we don’t like.” But it actually means something fairly specific. And Newsweek made the case for why it’s not an inappropriate designation for Trumpism:
In the 19th century, this penchant for industrial protectionism and mercantilism became guild socialism, which mutated later into fascism and then into Nazism. You can read Mises to find out more on how this works.
This is how strongmen take over countries. They say some true things, boldly, and conjure up visions of national greatness under their leadership. They’ve got the flags, the music, the hype, the hysteria, the resources, and they work to extract that thing in many people that seeks heroes and momentous struggles in which they can prove their greatness.
Over at The Week, Damon Linker sees a parallel to Nietzsche.

Nietzsche understood himself to be reviving what he called the morality of the strong against the morality of the weak — the outlook that has prevailed in the West ever since Jesus Christ inspired a “slave revolt in morality.” Before then, the strong preyed on the weak at will, and both parties took for granted that this was the natural order of things. But Christ taught a different lesson, one rooted in the resentment of history’s victims: the cruelty of the strong is a sin, God loves the powerless most of all, the winners deserve to lose, and the meek deserve to win. And they will.
Linker doesn’t go there, but it’s worth noting that fascists like Hitler and Mussolini, channeling Nietzsche, believed in a sort of  “übermensch.”

This worldview is at odds with a Christian philosophy that involves caring for “even the least among us” and believes in compassion and human dignity for everyone — even immigrants, “losers,” the weak, and … the unborn. Trump’s own words betray this sort of Nietzschean weltanschauung.