Waking Up to a Neo-Nazi Government

Like most, this month’s presidential election results took me by complete surprise. Coming to grips with it has been a textbook grieving process, with distinct phases for shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and more.

I’m starting to settle down into a place where I can think about the big picture of what’s going on. I’m still working on my personal plan for action, and will post more about it in the future (hold me to that, friends!)

Here is my outline of where we are now. This is a big picture, so I’m skipping over a lot of fine details, “gotchas,” and exceptions. It’s also completely possible I’ve missed some major parts. Forgive me if I have.

Neo-Nazis just won. Period.

  • 24% of voting-age Americans put them there and 45% took no action against them.

Neo-Nazi success depends on the passive inaction of privileged moderates.

  • It’s crucial to resist pressure to treat what is happening as normal.
    • Refuse pressure to use doublespeak language which masks the historical origins of what’s going on now
      • “Neo-nazi,” not “alt-right”
      • “Propaganda,” not “fake news”
      • “Lying,” not “post-truth”
      • “Theocracy,” not “religious freedom” (Actual religious freedom is an American value, but in its current use it is a euphemism for sanctioned discrimination in public life.)
    • Watch out for businesses rushing to normalize bigotry in an effort to avoid controversy or protect themselves from fascist reprisal.
    • Reject efforts to silence dissent because it’s “negativity” or “too political”
    • If you are not living in poverty, spend money to support quality journalism, which the Trump regime working to destro (with some success already).
      • This is the main thing they need to win future elections without an informed electorate.
      • This is not a luxury. Accurate information requires real investment. It’s worth a section of your budget.
  • White people have an obligation to use their privileged position to defend people of color and those whose status (sexuality, immigration, religion, gender, disability) makes them a Neo-Nazi target.
    • It’s never acceptable to be a bystander to hate, legal or not.
    • Progressive whites may be the most shocked group out there – or the least-equipped to deal with fascist rule.
      • Every group historically oppressed by White America has built systems to resist annihilation and support each other in a society that did not support their own existence.
      • Be respectfully deferential – these people are experienced leaders in fighting white oppression, and white allies are novices hoping to benefit from their experience.
      • Don’t bring the white power structure into the movement for equality.
    • Learn about intersectionality. Don’t treat one group’s struggle for equal treatment as more important than another, and don’t treat an individual as if one aspect of their identity defines them.
      • This outline focuses on white supremacy because that’s the central bloc which put Trump in power – Trump swept the white vote. But many groups are vulnerable under a Neo-Nazi regime.
    • You may be scared to put yourself in danger while defending the vulnerable. Remember that a country is only as free as its most oppressed residents. If you don’t take risks in protecting them, you are participating in a system that feeds off of them.

Neo-Nazis now control the most advanced spying apparatus ever.

  • Making people afraid to speak in public and in private is a key weapon of autocracy.
  • Security is not an app you install or a state you reach. It must be an ongoing conscious effort to evaluate your own threat profile and the measures you take to protect yourself and those you communicate with. It can’t wait. You must always take the time for proper security. Read up on the EFF’s guides to surveillance self-defense.
  • Stay updated with the EFF’s coverage of which tech companies are protecting their users. Any company that hasn’t made user security a top priority will become a key fascist weapon.

When they go low, we go high.

  • America’s Neo-Nazi movement is cribbing from an autocratic playbook already seen across the globe.
    • It depends on accusing adversaries of the very same corrupt tactics being employed by the accuser.
    • It’s also extremely good at turning the opposition’s anger into an advantage. The more they can make us hate them, the better.
  • Now, more than ever, we must hold true to (and loudly stand up for) American ideals. We can’t simply defend the country from fascism — it’s on us to create a more equitable, inclusive, and free nation. There is nobody else who can build it for us.
  • How will you act to create a better country today? This is only a picture of where we are now. Carrying on with daily life is not an option. Don’t be a bystander in annex-Nazi regime.
  • We must remain above reproach.
    • Be peaceful. Fascist states want nothing more than to turn their opposition into terrorists. It keeps them in power.
    • Love, forgive, and de-escalate tensions. Never give in to hate, both from others and from within.
      • This doesn’t mean you have to tolerate intolerant rhetoric. Bigots manipulate that indulgence to further their agenda. It means we can’t counter hate with hate.
      • If we fail at this, we have not created a better country.