The Gathering Storm (annotated)
Keep your eyes open, your heads up, your minds alert and your bodies ready. Trump ran an explicitly fascist campaign, and no one should now be surprised that he’s moving quickly to promote a fascist program and consolidate a fascist government. It’s not fascism yet, but demonstrably pre-fascist, and what we do now will be decisive.
The fight-back is inspiring—but we must keep organizing, gathering, staying mobilized, joining hands and rising up.
An authentic and effective opposition (I repeat myself) will not be led by the Democrats, because a bipartisan effort got us to this spot: permanent war, austerity, privatization, trade unions destroyed, mass incarceration, income inequality, hyper-segregation, and more. Take education…Democrats and Repulsicans alike have agreed that education is a product to be sold at the market place; yes Betsy DeVos is a monster, but she stands at the end of a long road taken decades ago.
So we must build the opposition, unite all who can be united, and offer an alternative to both neoliberalism and fascism. The US empire is in a steady and irreversible decline, a moment of great danger and real possibility.
Here we go!
Forges national unity under an autocratic, authoritarian leader—the classic Strong Man—who will “solve all your problems” as he implements a program advocating stability, law and order, and more and more centralized power, claiming all of this is necessary in order to defend the homeland, and to respond effectively to economic instability.
Trump’s inauguration speech is a textbook: “America first;” depicting the country as damaged—“American carnage”— and in need of radical restoration; claiming legitimacy exclusively from the people who voted for him; stating that he alone stands above the corrupt political class and has a mandate to sweep the slate clean and start over.
Trump issues an executive order denying federal funds to “Sanctuary Cities.”
White nationalist and top Trump advisor Steve Bannon is appointed by Trump to a permanent seat on the National Security Council, as the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence are removed.
Trump purges most of the top officials at the State Department in a single day.
Attempts to mobilize a mass base through deliberately constructed fear and hatred as the leader prepares for armed conflict and permanent war, The Gathering Storm (annotated) | Bill Ayers: