Frog in slowly boiling water

You know the old bit about the frog in a pot of warm water.  Heat turned up slowly, as the frog adjusts to the new heat, turn it up another bit.  The frog eventually gets uncomfortable, but it’s not bad enough yet that he tries to jump out of the pot.  Then the water boils and Froggie gets parboiled.     So it goes with creeping totalitarianism, the heat gets turned up one tick at a time.

Medical Deportation Order, recently promulgated by POTUS.   “Illegal aliens” who are being treated for deadly medical conditions in the United States must be deported to die back in their shit-hole countries of origin.  Fair is fair, criminals must not be allowed to get away with their crimes.  The law applies to all, except for certain special exceptions we don’t need to go into.    Look, honestly, if you’re rich enough to have an army of lawyers, you can fight off the law for a long time, sometimes indefinitely.  If not, we slap the cuffs on you, get on the bus and back to your shit-hole to die.

This calculatedly cruel policy is part of slowly turning up the water in the pot.  Let’s see if there’s any kind of outcry among the loyal base.   Yes, it is arguably horrible that very sick people will basically be taken off life support and sent back to places they’ve left, to die.   On the other hand, these illegal alien criminals should not be rewarded for their terrible crime of leaving a worse place to come to a better one.  Where are their papers?   Their respect for law and order?    Remember, a criminal alien is nothing like you and me!   Our pure nation is infested by this dangerous vermin and we need to fumigate the place.

This kind of divisive play is part of the standard fascist playbook.  Villainize groups of people that the Nation/People can turn its collective rage upon.   This goes back through history, when local aristocrats unleashed mobs to vent their fury on the Jews, the moneylending parasites [1]  who were the cause of all their problems.   When the mob was done venting, they put their yokes back on and went back to work for the aristocrats, who had them whipped.

If you are a person of limited intelligence, angry, frustrated at your declining possibility for the American Dream as more and more wealth flows upward to your betters, racism is probably for you.  I know there are also a few racists of average or even above average intelligence, but I’m not talking about those vile creatures.   I’ll go out on a limb, and no insult intended:  most racists are dumber than shit.

If you are a populist politician, eye on the crowd’s reactions, you love the mass of people at your rallies who are dumber than shit.   They get a vote just like everybody else.   They tend to do what they’re told.   They will support you, if you keep telling them what they want to hear, even if you go out on Fifth Avenue and start shooting them in their adoring faces.  It’s true!  Hah, kind of funny when you think about it.

I just listened to the audiobook of Jason Stanley’s brilliant How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them.    I read the slim volume some time back after hearing Medhi Hassan’s interview with the author.   Listening to it I noticed many fascinating details I’d missed the first time.  Among them was Stanley’s description of his German Jewish mother’s heroic action during the early days of the Third Reich.    She dressed as a Nazi Social Worker and went to the local concentration camp every day.  She was able to extract Jews, one or two at a time, from the escalating Nazi killing machine.   

Most Jews at that time did not believe her stories about conditions in the concentration camp, few believed that this awful fate, even if true, would ever be their’s.   After all, mass killing of German Jews had not started, things were bad, true, but not horrendous, and they were German citizens still, after all.   She and her husband got out of Germany in time (hence the birth of their son Jason) but many other Jewish frogs in that rapidly heated pot that was The Thousand Year Reich, did not.  

We don’t see the worst arriving in one dramatic clap.   It advances by stages.  First you consolidate and control the mass media, decide what people learn about events and what they don’t.   You control the narrative on every important subject, creating distracting controversy as needed.  Say the massive release of carbon from fossil fuel is actually 70% of the cause of the rapid, disastrous warming of our planet — create and fund as many think tanks as needed to debunk that awful fact.    One step at a time, you get extremist judges into lifetime posts, you pack state legislatures with pliable, ambitious politicians who will pass legislation you write, just one foot after the other, forward, onward, endlessly.  If you have unlimited money, make sure the Supreme Court declares that you have unlimited political influence.    In the end, there will be nobody able to challenge your privileges and immunities.

The water warms one degree, two degrees, at a time.  Like the so-called ice sheets and the “permafrost” that’s melting much faster than predicted.  You know what?   There’s liquid gold under that permafrost, a shit ton of money for someone with the know-how to go get it.   Two sides to every story, yo.   Now, Mr. Doomandgloom, let’s turn this jacuzzi up just one more tiny notch, shall we?  [2]

 

 

[1]  In many places, Jews, who were not allowed to own land, or to practice many professions, were employed by aristocrats as tax collectors and money lenders, as usury was formerly forbidden between Christians. 

Today, of course, money lending parasitism is big business, largely out of Jewish hands.   If you need $600 dollars quick you can always go to a payday lender and get the money right away.   Only trouble is, you will often pay back up to three times that amount.   Don’t bother reading the fine print when you sign for your loan, you’d need a lawyer to explain it to you.    As far as I’ve heard no mob with pitchforks and torches has ever gone after one of these lucrative corporations.   In fact, they got a recent gift from Trump’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

[2]  I know, I know, what happened to cleaning part of my kitchen table today?   I’m on it, set the timer to 30 minutes, boss.

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