How Democracy Dies Part I

“There’s a battle ahead
Many battles are lost
But you’ll never see the end of the road
While you’re travelling with me.” — Neil Finn

There are numerous sites we can go to on this, but I want to take a few posts to chronicle exactly what fascism is and how it happens. It’s easy to just list the characteristics. However, there are multiple spots that do that. There is another site that has most of those as well, so we will simply go with the twelve they agree upon.

Instead of focusing on each one in a separate piece, I will try to link a few together each time to demonstrate how these characteristics go hand in hand. In many cases, I’m sure the people calling for these things may not grasp fully what they are calling for. That’s certainly true of supporters. However, there are clear forces that know exactly what they are doing.

Powerful and Continuing Nationalism

There is absolutely nothing wrong with patriotism. However, let’s consider some isolated news items. Apparently the state of Texas is toying with the idea of not calling slavery what everyone knows it is. Of course, that didn’t work yet, but they have banned critical race theory without a full understanding of what critical race theory is. Instead, it is has become a campaign to avoid the topic of racism in general. It makes people feel bad.

Nationalism is nothing more than the intense feeling of loyalty to the state. That’s easier done when we remove the more negative aspects of our history. In this case, it is important to think of the United States like your local sports team. It is possible to love your team, but not love all the things your team does. Then, you can demand more from your team.

Identification of enemies as a unifying cause

This starts off innocently enough, but if you take the above as a strengthening of “us” then the next logical step is a hatred of “them.” Of course, the bugaboo is in determining exactly who “them” are. It could be something as innocent as foreigners, but slowly evolve into anyone that doesn’t subscribe to the “America is great” mindset.

Notice how fiercely we are fighting over “critical race theory” and acknowledging racism and slavery. They say that it interferes with student’s self-esteem because it gets them to internalize what happened and accept undue blame for what their ancestors may have done. So, teachers that teach “that stuff” are calling their child racist. It doesn’t take long for the events of the past that zealots don’t want taught to become “fake news” and therefore just wayward beliefs held by enemies of the state.

Obsession with national security

These things flow naturally. If we have intense love for our country and we have intense hatred for outsiders, then we need protection from outsiders. We need to build a wall. We need more forces on the border to stop the influx of caravans of criminals that are flowing across the border. We gotta lock that shit down and stop everything at the source.

So, imagine how that whole issue is framed. Someone that doesn’t want to spend more money on the wall or want to expand security is for “open borders”. Notice how people from countries south of us are characterized. They are not sending their best. They are murderers, rapists, and drug traffickers. I guess some of them are good people.

So, if people from south of the border are bad people then they are a threat. We need to protect “us” versus “them.” Anyone that doesn’t speak in these absolutes is also an enemy of the state. They are a threat to your way of life. So, we can justify increased security because that is the only way to prevent “them” from infiltrating “us.” Naturally, once you have increased security, convinced people that if you don’t love the America they sell you, and if you aren’t sufficiently like them then you are a threat and they now have the ability to neutralize threats.

Author: sbarzilla

I have written three books about baseball including The Hall of Fame Index. I also write for You can follow me on twitter @sbarzilla.

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