The Ups And Downs Of Ignorance And The Rise Of Fascism

As a student of history, a person who spends as much time watching documentaries and TV progs on ancient history as I do crime drama’s or leftist YouTube channels, I sometimes suppose my perspective is a bit different. Basically, because once you begin to look back, and the farther that one goes back, you do begin to see these patterns, the rising and falling of empires, emperors, kings and queens, tyrants and traitors.

Confucius says…

Study the past if you would define the future.

Leaders rise and fall, as do their empires and whatever security they offered, and the average pleb is often caught in their net. The subjects, the plebs, the average joes, well they are always merely fodder within these winds of change.

Whether they be knowledgeable and informed, ‘woke’, or remain ignorant, maybe strive for ignorance, wish to be out of the loop, desire nothing more than the comfort of that bliss of having no idea what is going on outside their bubble, each and every one within these regimes of empire and aristocratic structural pyramids of power is weak and without any real power to effect the course of their life, beyond the moment, the future is not theirs to shape .

I abhor the idea of someone dictating to me my future, my livelihood, my values and morality. No, I would not have done very well in medieval times, would have been probably burned at the stake as a witch.

I am the sort that while I personally desire oblivion from the truth and reality, it is not a place I can happily reside for any length of time. Distracted as I may be on occasion with watching the light transverse the shaded nooks of my Wabi-sabi garden, I am not hardwired to remain for long in the dark.

Ignorance for me is not bliss, but instead boring.

“That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.”

Aldous Huxley, Collected Essays

I question, I look, I educate myself on the why’s and why nots. I hunt for the alternate point of view, I delve down the rabbit hold, of conservative thought, for instance, of right-wing feeder channels, such as Ben Shapiro and their ilk.

When chancing upon terms that I know little about, other than in passing, I often stop and look around for understanding, clarity as it were, to grasp the concept – for instance, what the heck is a Libertarian?

Libertarianism, political philosophy that takes individual liberty to be the primary political value. It may be understood as a form of liberalism, the political philosophy associated with the English philosophers John Locke and John Stuart Mill, the Scottish economist Adam Smith, and the American statesman Thomas Jefferson. Liberalism seeks to define and justify the legitimate powers of government in terms of certain natural or God-given individual rights. These rights include the rights to life, liberty, private property, freedom of speech and association, freedom of worship, government by consent, equality under the law, and moralautonomy (the ability to pursue one’s own conception of happiness, or the “good life”). 

The Encyclopedia Britannia

It goes on to say that government power should be limited to that which is necessary to accomplish this task, which in essence means that piece by piece you give over, agree to let the government take control of, certain rights and freedoms in order to maintain one’s security.

It’s a new idea, a modern concept, of allowing the individual the right to property, freedom of speech, worship and such. Ok, now were talkin’, that’s my kind of thing.

The idea gained momentum in the 19th century, with the industrial revolution, as the regular Joe began to make scads and scads of money, hobnobbing with the aristocracy for the first time, and more and more others got the notion that they’d like some of that autonomy as well. Gone where the peasants tilling the land, in came the chugging steam powered factory banging out toys and textiles for the masses.

At the same time as this revolution of things was transpiring, the revolution of government, of philosophies of governing were taking shape, toppling monarchies that had ruled for hundreds of years all across Europe.

Basically I suppose you could sum it up by saying that more and more people did not want some tyrannical authoritarian god king deciding their fate and finances.

As the decades of the 18th century passed, as the darkness and Draconian ideals of the past gave way to a more enlightened pleb, the plebs began to slowly chip away at the power and pageantry of the aristocracy, the nobility that greedily held on to all the land.

Aristocracy, government by a relatively small privileged class or by a minority consisting of those felt to be best qualified to rule.

Encyclopedia Britannica

As the industrial revolution took hold one by one the nobility fell from favour, as gradually some clever souls gathered wealth for themselves and began to buy the land off these fallen lords and ladies. Over time, it became apparent that these rich snobs were not really required, and in fact had become a bit of an anvil, useless tarts and toadies only out for their own selfish desires.

When you look at the last few hundred years of history in the West, what I see is this gradual shift away from concentrated power controlled by unstable monarchs, towards power by consensus with the idea that this kind of government offers more stability than the wiles of some megalomaniac who believes he was chosen by god to rule.

Thing is though, seems that for some just being wealthy isn’t enough, and they longingly look to the death of the aristocracy. Some theories I’ve read recently suggest that this bringing back of this rich ruling class is the hallmark of the right-wing agenda.

I guess you can say, that they believe the HAVE’s should rule, and the HAVE NOTs can be manipulated into allowing it by good old fashion fear mongering.

However, first one must weaken the strength of certain pesky ideas that have built up over the ensuing centuries, such the freedom of the press, and the rule of law applied to all.

Pft, they say, we don’t need no stinkin’ laws, that sort of stuff should not apply to us, as we are rich, and we therefore are far more qualified to rule, we know best.

But it’s ok, they’ve got GOD on their side, eh? They won’t have to worry about losing all their rights and freedoms, because….the ALMIGHTY choose him, and by golly, GOD should know, eh?

No kidding, seriously, there is a number of evangelical Christians, well, they believe GOD choose this rumpTus as their great and worthy leader, don’t ya know! He is the embodiment of a flawed sort of King Cyrus the great of Persia, who, non-believer though he may be, freed the Hebrews from their slavery to Babylon.

Ey gads, so this is the new mythology some of his loyal pious are spouting, basically to slap a righteous face on his serial adultery, as well as his sins of pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed and sloth.

I really wonder about the American educational system. Seriously, what on earth are they teaching them?

Or not teaching them, better question. Em, perhaps paying your educators dirt doesn’t lead to an informed and critical thinking adult who can navigate the waters of reality, who’d a thunk it?

So, sorry, maybe democracy can be fragile, maybe it is flawed at times, however, living day to day at the whims of a madman has proven historically to be not so profitable for you, me and the guy and gal down the road. Power in the hands of some right-wing neo-aristocracy can quite easily, and very quickly turn on the average dude in the blink of an eye, at the whims of individuals whose self-interest and control is their only mandate.

Basically, what might look well and good for you one day, can easily, and beyond your control, turn against you.

In the 20th century this concept was termed FASCISM.

“The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerated the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism: ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power.”

― Franklin D. Roosevelt

Some may say that if you do not learn from history you are doomed to repeat it. I say, yes and no. Yes, we indeed run the risk of repeating the mistakes of our ancestors, however, no, it will not look the same.

Not even close to the same as before. Historically, just like a lot of things, actually, if we do not learn the lessons of the past than in fact what happens can, and often is, far worse, more invasive, and more likely to cause long-lasting and far-reaching damage.

Fascism breeds under the guise of hate, a collective sort of hate for one thing or other, person, place, thing. It festers and grows, fed on fear, and its strength lies in its ability to artificially appear FOR THE PEOPLE. In fact, fascism isn’t about people, it is about power, and the righteous reign of one bully to rule the realm. While one may benefit in the short term, historically, and by its very nature, fascism serves primarily the elite, the anointed great one – all other needs of the many are of no consequence, and the rules and who is hated is subject to change without notice.

Fascism, basically, is monarchy for the modern era, aristocracy in disguise. With the kings dead, empires broken apart, the greedy power hungry class still longed for that sort of control of the masses. All this Democratic malarkey was often against their best interests, profit margins, and with power in the hands of the people at large, shudder to think what those poor plebs will get up to, and certainly not feed their financial interests.

The elite have always had the power to go to higher ground. The needs of the many are not relevant to them, and if it comes to it, they can go where they need to survive. Deregulation of environmental protections, for instance, is another method of wresting control of the land BACK from the hands of the people. And, science is pesky and gets in the way, so what has the Trump administration done? They’ve gone out of their way to delegitimize climate change – in a nutshell, science is bad for the old dinosaurs of the energy corporations.

So, for me at least, it is impossible not to look at the current version of the Grand Old Party and not see this absolute power they appear to crave is dangerous – and we know better, or should.

I find it difficult to understand, as the student of history that I am, what exactly these followers of the commander of chaos think they will get? I mean, other than the short term glee from watching liberal heads spin and lose everything they’ve worked so hard for over the last few decades to make more lives a bit better. Is banning abortion, deregulation of environmental protections, and no universal healthcare worth it? Is losing liberty and democracy worth it to satisfy the whims of a bunch of rich white men?

But they’re not listening.

“Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.”

Rosa Luxemburg

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