Josh Dunigan |||

The Origins of Trumpism

juxtaposition

  1. The act or an instance of juxtaposing or the state of being juxtaposed.
  2. The act of juxtaposing, or the state of being juxtaposed; the act of placing or the state of being placed in nearness or contiguity.
  3. A placing or being placed in nearness or contiguity, or side by side.

… the curious contradiction between the totalitarian movements’ avowed cynical realism” and their conspicuous disdain of the whole texture of reality. - page viii


… the road to hell may just as well be paved with no intentions as with the proverbial good ones. - page xviii


… an idealogy which has to persuade and mobilize people cannot choose its victim arbitrarily. - page 7


Plato, in his famous fight against the ancient Sophists, discovered that their universal art of enchanting the mind by arguments” (Phaedrus 261) had nothing to do with the truth but aimed at opinions which by their very nature are changing, an which are valid only at the time of the agreement and as long as the agreement lasts” (Theaetetus 172). He also discovered the very insecure position of truth in the world, for from opinions comes persuasion and not from truth” (Phaedrus 260). The most striking difference between the ancient and modern sophists is that the ancients were satisfied with a passing victory of the argument at the expense of truth, whereas the moderns want a more lasting victory at the expense of reality. In other words, one destroyed the dignity of human thought whereas the others destroy the dignity of human action. The old manipulators of logic were the concern of the philosopher, whereas the modern manipulators of facts stands in the way of the historian. For history itself is destroyed, and its comprehensibility–based upon the fact that it is enacted by men and therefore can be understood by men–is in danger, whenever facts are no longer held to be part and parcel of the past and present world, and are misused to prove this or that opinion. - page 9


They made the original claim that they were not a party among parties but a party above all parties”. In the class and party-ridden nation-state, only the state and the government had ever claimed to be above all parties and classes, to represent the nation as a whole. - page 38


The conscience of the nation, represented by Parliament and a free press … - page 133


This privateness and primary concern with money-making had developed a set of behavior patterns with are expressed in all those proverbs–“nothing succeeds like success,” might is right,” right is expediency,”etc.–that necessarily spring from the experience of a society of competitors. - page 138


The decline of nations has invariably started with the corruption of its permanent administration and the general conviction that civil servants are in the pay, not of the state, but of the owning classes. At the close of the century the owning classes had become so dominant that it was almost ridiculous for a state employee to keep up the pretense of serving the nation. - page 154

Elaine Chao etc


At the turn of the century, the Dreyfus affair showed that underworld and high society in France were so closely bound together that it was difficult definitely to place any of the heroes” among the Anti-Dreyfusards in either category. - page 155


For no matter what learned scientists may say, race is, politically speaking, not the beginning of humanity but its end, not the origin of peoples but their decay, not the natural birth of man but his unnatural death. - page 157


Historically speaking, racists have a worse record of patriotism than the representatives of all other international ideologies together, and they were the only ones who consistently denied the great principle upon which national organizations of peoples are built, the princple of equality and solidarity of all peoples guaranteed by the idea of mankind. - page 163


… who was drunk with contempt for everything human until he drifted like a detached leaf … without ever catching on to anything.” They were irresistably attracted by a world where everything was a joke, which could teach them the Great Joke” that is the mastery of despair.” - page 190


The point, however, is that no matter whether racism appears as the natural result of a catastrophe or as the conscious instrument for bring it about, it is always closely tied to contempt for labor, hatred of territorial limitation, general rootlessness, and an activistic faith in one’s own divine choseness. - page 197


… he will think of himself as a mere function, and eventually consider such functionality, such an incarnation of the dynamic trend, his highest possible achievement. - page 215


What held the pan-movements’ membership together was much more of a general mood than a clearly defined aim. - page 225


Yet, much more essential was the fact that the totalitarian governments inherited an aura of holiness: they had only to invoke the past of Holy Russia” or the Holy Roman Empire” to arouse all kinds of superstitions in Slav or German intellectuals. Pseudomystical nonsense, enriched by countless and arbitrary historical memories, provied an emotional appeal that seemed to transcend, in depth and breadth, the limitations of nationalism. Out of it, at any rate, grew that new kind of nationalist feeing whose violence proved an excellent motor to set mob masses in motion and quite adequate to replace the older national patriotism as an emotional center. - page 226


… wherever nation-states came into being, migrations came to an end … - page 229


Rootlessness was the true source of that enlarged tribal consciousness” which actually meant that members of these peoples had no definite home but felt at home wherever other members of their tribe” happened to live. - page 232


No human dignity is left if the individual owes his value only to the fact that he happens to be born a German or a Russian … - page 235


Pan-Germanism, founded by a single man, Georg von Schoenerer, and chiefly supported by German-Austrian students, spoke from the beginning a strikingly vulgar language, destined to appeal to much larger and different social strata. - page 238


The mob was not much concerned with such niceties of historically correctness … - page 240


Open disregard for law and legal institutions and iedological justification of lawlessness has been much more characteristic of continental than of overseas imperialism. - page 243

STEPHANOPOULOS: Your campaign this time around, if foreigners, if Russia, if China, if someone else offers you information on opponents, should they accept it or should they call the FBI?

TRUMP: I think maybe you do both. I think you might want to listen, I don’t, there’s nothing wrong with listening. If somebody called from a country, Norway, We have information on your opponent.” Oh, I think I’d want to hear it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You want that kind of interference in our elections?

TRUMP: It’s not an interference, they have information. I think I’d take it. If I thought there was something wrong, I’d go maybe to the FBI. If I thought there was something wrong. But when somebody comes up with oppo research, right, that they come up with oppo research. Oh, let’s call the FBI. The FBI doesn’t have enough agents to take care of it, but you go and talk honestly to congressmen, they all do it, they always have. And that’s the way it is. It’s called oppo research.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Surprising. Thank you.

TRUMP: Thank you. Okay. Fine. abc


… a colossal herd, obedient to the arbitrary will of one man, ruled neither by law nor interest, but kept together solely by the cohesive force of their numbers and the conviction of their own holiness - page 249


All that matters is emobodied in the moving movement itself; every idea, every value has vanished into a welter of superstituous pseudoscientific immanence. - page 250


and no better appeal to the masses than a clear insistence that it was not a party” but a movement”. - page 251


Since these parties did not organize their members (or educated their leaders) for the purpose of handling public affairs, but represented them only as private individuals with private interests, they had to cater to all private needs, spiritual as well as material. - page 254


… merely usurped the slogan movement” in order to attract the masses, became evident as son as it seized the state machine without drastically changing the power structure of the country, being content to fill all government positions with party members. - page 257

Political Appointments by Donald Trump


The pan-movements made a virtue of this shortcoming by transforming parties into movements and by discovering that form of organization which, in contrast to all others, would never need a goal or program but could change its policy from day to day without harm to its membership. - page 260


Pan-Germanism discovered how much more important for mass appeal a general mood was than laid-down outlines and platforms. For the only things that counts in a movment is precisely that it keeps itself in constant movement. - page 260


Both mistook this cynicism for growing wisdom in the ways of the world, while actually they were more baffled and therefore became more stupid than they ever had been before. - page 268


The first great damage done to the nation-states as a result of the arrival of hundreds of thousands of stateless people was that the right of asylum, the only right that had ever figured as a symbol of the Rights of Man in the sphere of international relationships, was being abolished. - page 280


The second great shock that the European world suffered through the arrival of the refugees was the realization that it was impossible to get rid of them or transform them into nationals of the country of refuge. - page 281


Laws that are not equal for all revert to rights and privileges, something contradictory to the very nature of nation-states. The clearer the proof of their inability to treat stateless people as legal persons and the greater the extension of arbitrary rule by police decree, the more difficult it is for states to resist the temptation to deprive citizens of legal status and rule them with an omnipotent police. - page 290


The danger is that a global universally interrelated civilization may produce barbarians from its own midst by forcing millions into conditions which, despite all appearances, are the conditions of savages. - page 302


… would be totalitarian rulers usually start their careers by boasting of their past crimes and carefully outlining their future ones. - page 307


… propaganda of evil deeds and general contempt for moral standards is independent of mere self-interest, supposedly the most powerful psychological factor in politics. - page 307


… it may be understandable that a Nazi or Bolshevik will not be shaken in his conviction by crimes against people who do not belong to the movement or are even hostile to it; but the amazing fact is that neither is he likely to waver when the monster beings to devour its own children … - page 307


… the fanatacized members can be reached by neither experience nor argument …


The totalitarian movements aim at and succeed in organizing masses–not classes … not citizens with opinions about, and interests in, the handling of public affairs … - page 308


The Nazis, who had an unfailing instinct for such differences, used to comment contemptuously on the shortcomings of their Fascist allies while their genuine admiration for the Bolshevik regime in Russia was matched and checked only by their contempt for Eastern European races. The only man for whom Hitler had unqualified respect” was Stalin the genius”. - page 309


Totalitarian movements are possible wherever there are masses who for one reason or another have acquired the appetite for political organization. - page 311


The term masses applies only where we deal with people who either because of sheer numbers, or indifference, or a combination of both, cannot be integrated into any organization based on common interest. - page 311


They presented disagreements as invariably originating in deep natural, social, or psychological sources beeyond the control of the individual and therefore beyond the power of reason. - page 312


It has frequently been pointed out that totalitarian movements use and abuse democratic freedoms in order to abolish them. - page 312


This apolitical character of the nation-state’s populations came to light only when the class system broke down and carried with it the whole fabric of visible and invisble threads which the people to the body politic. - page 314


So that the first signs of the breakdown of the Continental party system were not the desertion of old party members, but the failure to recruit members from the younger generation … - page 315

During the primary season, Donald Trump received a slightly larger proportion of youth votes than the two previous Republican nominees, Senator John McCain (2008) and Governor Mitt Romney (2012). Before all other candidates suspended their campaigns, Trump was receiving an average of 33% of youth votes per state, compared to McCain’s average of 29% and Romney’s 28% in their competitive primaries.

civicyouth


The chief characteristic of the mass man is not brutality and backwardness, but his isolation and lack of normal social relationships. - page 317


Without the instincts of a mass leader–he was no orator and had a massion for public admission and analysis of his own errors, which is against the rules of even ordinary demagogy … - page 318


… derives his sense of having a place in the world only from his belonging to a movement, his membership in a party. - page 324


it was no longer possible to predict what course or action it would inspire - page 324


… one could follow the party line if only one repeated each morning what Stalin had announced the night before–naturaly resulted in the same state of mind, the same concentrated obedience, undivided by any attempt to understand what one was doing, that Himmler’s ingenious watchword for his SS-men expressed: My honor is my loyalty.” - page 324


The practical goal of the movement is to organize as many people as possible within its framework and to set and keep them in motion; a poltical goal that would constitute the end of the movement simply does not exist. - page 326


This is obvious for the new mass leaders whose careers reproduce the features of earlier mob leaders: failure in professional life and social life, perversion and disaster in private life. The fact that their lives prior to their political careers had been failures, naively held against them by the more respectable leaders of the old parties, was the strongest factor in their mass appeal. - page 327

They show that, between 1985 and 1989, a period when the economy was forging ahead and Trump was busy portraying himself as a billionaire with the Midas touch, his core businesses—apartment buildings, hotels, and casinos—somehow managed to lose $359.1 million. That was only the beginning. As the economy weakened, in 1990 and 1991, Trump’s core businesses racked up losses of $517.5 million. And, between 1992 and 1994, as the economy recovered, they lost another $286.9 million.

new yorker

Trump: I moved on her, actually. You know, she was down on Palm Beach. I moved on her, and I failed. I’ll admit it.

Unknown: Whoa.

Trump: I did try and fuck her. She was married.

Trump: Yeah, that’s her. With the gold. I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.

Bush: Whatever you want.

Trump: Grab em by the pussy. You can do anything.

Bush: Uh, yeah, those legs, all I can see is the legs.

Trump: Oh, it looks good.

Bush: Come on shorty.

Trump: Ooh, nice legs, huh?

new york times


They were satisfied with blind partisanship in anything that respectable society had banned, regardless of theory or content, and they elevated cruelty to major virtue because it contradicted society’s humanitarian and liberal hypocrisy. - page 331


What proved so attractive was that terrorism had become a kind of philosophy through which to express frustration, resentment, and blind hatred, a kind of political expressionism which used bombs to express oneself, which watched delightedly the publicity given to resounding deeds and was absolutely willing to pay the price of life for having succeeded in forcing the recognition of one’s existence on the normal strata of society. - page 332

Alexandre Bissonnette obsessively searched for Donald Trump on social media and posed with a MAGA hat in the months before he killed six Muslim men at a mosque in Quebec City.

huffpost


To this aversion of the intellectual elite for official historiography, to its conviction that history, which was a forgery anyway, might as well be the playground of crackpots, must be added the terrible demoralizing fascination in the possibiliy that gigantic lies and monstrous falsehoods can eventually be established as unquestioned facts, that man may be free to change his own past at will, and that the difference between truth and falsehood may cease to be objective and become a mere matter of power and cleverness, of pressure and infinite repetition. - page 333


He proved his supreme ability for organizing the masses into total domination by assuming that most people are neither bohemians, fanatics, adventureres, sex maniacs, crackpots, nor social failures, but first and foremost job holders and good family men. - page 338


… he can never admit an error. - page 349


Mass leaders in power have one concern which overrules all utilitarian considerations: to make their predictions come true. - page 349

The Wall


Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such, for in their opinion fact depends entirely on the power of man who can fabricate it. - page 350


For masses, in contrast to classes, want victor and success as such, in their most abstract form. - page 350


More important to them than the cause that may be victorious, or the particular enterprise that may be a success, is the victor of no matter what the cause, and succes in no matter what enterprise. - page 351


The mob really believed that truth was whatever respectable society had hypocritically passed over, or covered up with corruption. - page 351


The effectiveness of this kind of propaganda demonstrates one of the chief characteristics of modern masses. They do not believe in anything visible, in the reality of their own experience; they do not trust their eyes and ears but only their imaginations, which may be caught by anything that is at once universal and consistent in itself. What convinces masses are not facts, and not even invented facts, but only the consistency of the system of which they are presumably part. - page 351


The stubbornness with which totalitarian dictators have clung to their original lies in the fact of absurdity is more than superstitious gratitude to what turned the trick … - page 362

In May 2019, however, a private organization called We Build The Wall constructed, with President Trump’s encouragement, 3/4 mile of new wall on private property near El Paso, Texas and promised further wall construction in the future.

wikipedia


… chose Himmler, a man without the slightest knowledge of military matters, as reorganizer of the SS. - page 371

During an exchange with Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA), Carson revealed that he’s unfamiliar with a common acronym used to described foreclosed properties — REO, which stands for real-estate owned.

Do you know what an REO is?” Porter asked.

An Oreo?” Carson replied, apparently thinking of cookies.

vox


The important factor for the movements is that, even before they seize power, they give the impression that all elements of society are embodied in their ranks. - page 371


His position within this intimate circle depends upon his ability to spin intrigues among its member and upon his skill in constantly changing its personnel. - page 374

Several Trump appointees, including National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, and Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price have the shortest-service tenures in the history of their respective offices.

wikipedia


The claim inherent in totalitarian organization is that everything outside the movement is dying,” … - page 381


In an ever changing, incomprehensible world the masses had reached the point where they would, at the same time, believe everything and nothing, think that everything was possible and that nothing was true. - page 382


Mostly such orders were intentionally vague, and given in the expectation that their recipient would recognize the intent of the order giver, and act accordingly”… - page 399

The only difference was the the elite formations, thanks to their special indoctrination for such purposes, had been trained to understand that certain hints meant more than their mere verbal contents”. - page 400

SEN. JAMES RISCH: Words matter. You wrote down the words so we can all have the words in front of us now. There’s 28 words now in quotes. It says, quote, I hope — this is the president speaking — I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.” Now, those are his exact words, is that correct?

JAMES COMEY: Correct.

RISCH: You wrote them here and put them in quotes.

COMEY: Correct.

RISCH: Thank you for that. He did not direct you to let it go?

COMEY: Not in his words, no.

RISCH: He did not order you to let it go?

COMEY: Again, those words are not an order.

RISCH: He said, I hope. Now, like me, you probably did hundreds of cases, maybe thousands of cases, charging people with criminal offenses and, of course, you have knowledge of the thousands of cases out there where people have been charged. Do you know of any case where a person has been charged for obstruction of justice or, for that matter, any other criminal offense, where they said or thought they hoped for an outcome?

COMEY: I don’t know well enough to answer. The reason I keep saying his words is I took it as a direction.

RISCH: Right.

COMEY: I mean, this is a president of the United States with me alone saying I hope this. I took it as, this is what he wants me to do. I didn’t obey that, but that’s the way I took it.

vox


The emphasis on the police as the sole organ of power … - page 420


Practically speaking, the totalitarian ruler proceeds like a man who persistently insults another man until everybody knows that the latter is his enemy, so that can, with some plausibility, go and kill him in self-defense. - page 424


… it proceeds with a consistency that exists nowhere in the realm of reality - page 471


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