|George Grosz, God of War, 1940, |
Fear of the Other
'You can see how easy it was, then, not to think about fundamental things'
Madison, Wisconsin — President* Trump holds occasional rallies with cops, noting his political support from the local police gangs in blue and military-black.
The police-anti-liberty-Trump movement does not draw much attention.
It should. Ever wonder why cops are so in thrall of Trump?
Trump and cops share the same values: Fascistic distaste of civil liberties, hostility towards ethnic minorities and disdain towards open expression.
Consider Trump's administration* is the first openly white-supremacist executive branch in modern America.
Its pro-white, anti-human rights values are shared by most American cops.
Simon Davis-Cohen and Sarah Lazare report at In These Times a new front against Americans from cops.
Across the country cops are working for new legislation to devastate Americans who protest increasingly fascistic policies and misconduct, especially protests against police violence.
Report Davis-Cohen and Lazare:
'Cops are going to keep pursuing ways to keep themselves above the fray and unaccountable for the things they do,' says Tony Williams, a member of the MPD150, a police abolitionist project that recently released a "150-year performance review of the Minneapolis Police Department. 'It's a naked case of self-interest more than anything else.'
Minneapolis police aren’t alone: According to research conducted for In These Times in partnership with Ear to the Ground, law enforcement in at least eight states—Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Washington and Wyoming—lobbied on behalf of anti-protest bills in 2017 and 2018. The bills ran the gamut from punishing face coverings at protests to increasing penalties for 'economic disruption' and highway blockage to criminalizing civil protests that interfere with 'critical infrastructure' like oil pipelines.
Victory, power, freedom, safety, greatness, the Trump-police alliance against disruption and terrorists is becoming more ambitious as a nation sleep-walks its way into the Spring 2018.
One book to suggest to America's youth, to anyone, it is Milton Mayer's They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45 (University of Chicago Press. ©1955).
Mayer, an American Jewish writer who had gone to Germany in the 1930s, made friends with 10 people, all of whom were members of the NAZI Party. He found them courteous, funny, genuine human beings whom he called "friends." They were also fools and certainly were guilty.
From Milton Mayer:
But Then It Was Too Late
"What no one seemed to notice," said a colleague of mine, a philologist, "was the ever widening gap, after 1933, between the government and the people. Just think how very wide this gap was to begin with, here in Germany. And it became always wider. You know, it doesn’t make people close to their government to be told that this is a people’s government, a true democracy, or to be enrolled in civilian defense, or even to vote. All this has little, really nothing, to do with knowing one is governing.
"What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could not understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it.
"This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter.
"You will understand me when I say that my Middle High German was my life. It was all I cared about. I was a scholar, a specialist. Then, suddenly, I was plunged into all the new activity, as the university was drawn into the new situation; meetings, conferences, interviews, ceremonies, and, above all, papers to be filled out, reports, bibliographies, lists, questionnaires. And on top of that were the demands in the community, the things in which one had to, was ‘expected to’ participate that had not been there or had not been important before. It was all rigmarole, of course, but it consumed all one’s energies, coming on top of the work one really wanted to do. You can see how easy it was, then, not to think about fundamental things. One had no time." ...