Pic: Bill Sienkiewicz draws Bannon.
Dresdens Rechtsmarschierer lassen sich durch 'ne Skulptur triggern: Gegner stören Einweihung von "Monument" in Dresden: „Die Einweihung des Kunstprojektes 'Monument' an der Dresdner Frauenkirche wird zur Stunde von heftigen Protesten begleitet. Mehrere Hundert Gegner störten die Reden mit lauten Buhrufen und Parolen wie 'Haut ab' oder 'Schande'.“ Hier ein Video auf Periscope voller Trottel, die vor einer Skulptur „Widerstand“ skandieren.
A statement issued by the local branch of Germany’s rightwing populist party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) decried Halbouni’s artwork as an “abuse of artistic freedom” deliberately designed to “snub the citizens of Dresden and drive Pegida on to the barricades”, overshadowing the central symbol of Dresden’s post-reunification revival with “scrap metal”. […]
Halbouni, denounced by the AfD statement as a “rootless wanderer”, has close ties to Dresden. His Syrian father met his German mother while studying architecture at the city’s university. Together they moved to Damascus in 1979. Halbouni was born there but returned frequently to Germany in his youth. He has childhood memories of the Frauenkirche church when it was still in ruins. Since 2009, he has been based at the city’s school of fine arts.
Responding to the AfD, the artist said, in a roundabout way, his critics were partly correct: “I am rootless, in the sense that the war has taken my childhood away from me, by killing or scattering the friends of my youth all over the globe,” he said. “Since then I have been in transit, because I still feel that people here struggle to take me seriously as a German.”
Tagesschau: Großrazzia gegen Reichsbürger in drei Bundesländern: „Es geht um bandenmäßige Urkundenfälschung und Amtsanmaßung: In Bayern, Rheinland-Pfalz und Baden-Württemberg durchsucht die Polizei Wohnungen und Geschäftsräume von Reichsbürgern. 250 Beamte sind beteiligt.“
Zeit.de: NPD Bundesparteitag in Saarbrücken: „Die NPD wird ihren Bundesparteitag am 11. März in Saarbrücken abhalten. Die Partei habe den Festsaal des Stadtschlosses gemietet, ein entsprechender Vertrag sei unterzeichnet, bestätigte Peter Marx, Beisitzer im Bundesvorstand und saarländischer Landesvorsitzender […] Nazi-Gegner mobilisieren bereits für breite Gegenproteste.“
MDR: Rede zu "Geschwür am Volkskörper" Entsetzen im Landtag über Poggenburg: „In einer Debatte löste Poggenburg mit Begriffen aus der NS-Zeit einen Eklat aus. Thema war die abgesagte Veranstaltung einer AfD-nahen Hochschulgruppe in Magdeburg. Nach Meinung der anderen Parteien erinnerte die Wortwahl des AfD-Chefs an Reden von Adolf Hitler. Poggenburg sagte in der Debatte, 'linksextreme Lumpen müssen von deutschen Hochschulen verbannt werden.' Und er fügte hinzu, 'statt eines Studienplatzes sollten die Studenten lieber praktischer Arbeit zugeführt werden'. Als im Plenarsaal daraufhin lautstarke Empörung ausbrach, sagte Poggenburg zu den anderen Fraktionen: 'Helfen sie dabei, die Wucherung am deutschen Volkskörper endgültig loszuwerden.'“
TAZ: Geldstrafe wegen KZ-Rede: „Der deutsch-türkische Rechtspopulist Akif Pirincci hatte bei Pegida bedauert, dass die Kzs nicht mehr 'in Betrieb' sind. Nun muss er 11.700 Euro Strafe zahlen.“
In a lawsuit filed today, First Lady Melania Trump revealed her intention to leverage the presidency to ink new “licensing, branding, and endorsement” deals worth many millions of dollars. In the filing, Melania Trump’s lawyer described the position of First Lady as a “once-in-a-lifetime” money making opportunity. She told the court she intended to pursue deals in “apparel, accessories, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, hair care, skin care, and fragrance.” These kind of endorsement deals would be especially lucrative while Melania Trump is First Lady and thus “one of the most photographed women in the world.” […]
The strategy Melania Trump lays out in her lawsuit is similar to the one already being executed by President Trump.
Donald Trump maintains full ownership over his businesses and recently doubled the initiation fee for his private club in Florida, Mar-a-lago, from $100,000 to $200,000. He then spent last weekend at Mar-a-lago attending events with members. Trump is effectively using his position as president to make membership at Mar-a-lago more attractive and then monetizing the increased demand. Trump is also taking advantage of the increased prominence of his brand and plans to triple the number of hotels with his name in the United States.
Hey SNL, let Leslie Jones do a Trump: White House rattled by McCarthy's spoof of Spicer: „More than being lampooned as a press secretary who makes up facts, it was Spicer’s portrayal by a woman that was most problematic in the president’s eyes, according to sources close to him.“
Das Ziel des (neu)rechten Kampfes um kulturelle Hegemonie ist, die Grenzen des Sagbaren aufzuweichen und die politische Kultur der Bundesrepublik auf diese Weise schleichend nach rechts zu verschieben. […]
Ein Teil dieses Kampfes um kulturelle Hegemonie sind visuelle Strategien: mit kurzen Parolen die Öffentlichkeit durch einprägsame Bilder zu erobern. Die politische Gruppe, die sich diesen rechten Kampf um die visuelle Realität zum Hauptanliegen gemacht hat, ist die Identitäre Bewegung. Ihre Strategie besteht darin, im realen Leben möglichst spektakuläre Aktionen (vor allem gegen Zuwanderung) durchzuführen. Dabei hat man sich eine visuelle Strategie korrumpierter Trivialisierung zu eigen gemacht, wie die zahlreichen nur für die Bild- oder Videoaufnahme inszenierten Aktionen der Identitären zeigen – deren Strategie aufgeht, sobald über sie visuell in den Medien berichtet wird. Denn ihr einziges Ziel ist die öffentlichkeitswirksame Inszenierung von auf Plakaten und Transparenten formulierten völkischen und antidemokratischen Politikinhalten, die so inszeniert und dargestellt sind, dass virtuell zudem der Eindruck entsteht, eine Handvoll identitärer Aktivisten sei eine große, machtvolle Masse von Menschen.
Die Unterschiede zwischen linker und rechter „Fake News“ liegen vor allem in der Korrektur (und deren Geschwindigkeit) und der Motivation (ich wäre allerdings nicht überrascht, wenn sich diese Unterschiede im Laufe der Zeit marginalisieren). Trotzdem ärgerlich, hier bin ich auch reingefallen: How Liberal Websites Pushed A Dubious Claim That Trump "Turned Off" A Recorder For His Call With Putin.
Trump’s chaotic first weeks in office – filled with a steady stream of astonishing news developments that have rattled progressives – has laid the groundwork for what could be a significant uptick in fake news, misleading articles and propaganda with a distinctly liberal bent.
“Whoever is in power is going to be the target [of fake news],” said Eugene Kiely, director of FactCheck.org, which is partnering with Facebook to help identify false news stories. […]
On the left, there are numerous styles of misinformation that appear to be gaining traction. In addition to blatantly fabricated stories, there have been increasing concerns about articles featuring deceitful and hyperbolic headlines, viral memes that have a very tenuous connection to the truth and poorly sourced articles that use inaccurate visuals to draw readers.
At Standing Rock, for example, progressive sites have published random photos of massive buffalo herds suggesting they were at the demonstrations. One Facebook page posted footage of Trump talking to tech leaders in a highly misleading video about tribal leaders meeting with the president’s transition team.
Was linke „Fake News“ allerdings nicht tut, sind Meta-Angriffe auf Institutionen („Systemparteien“, „Lügenpresse“). Trump macht genau das: Why Trump wants to disempower institutions that protect the truth.
Donald Trump is hardly the first president to lie. But what distinguishes Trump from previous presidential fibsters are his meta-lies. These claim that the very institutions empowered in a democracy to expose lies are themselves corrupt, dishonest and lying. In spreading his meta-lies, Trump poisons the well of democratic discourse.
The great political thinker Hannah Arendt once dryly observed:“lies have always been regarded as necessary and justifiable tools … of the statesman’s trade.” Arendt writes that what distinguishes democratic from authoritarian regimes is not the greater honesty of democratic politicians. The saving grace of democracies is the existence of neutral, politically-independent institutions capable of safeguarding truth from the politics of prevarication.
It is precisely these institutions that are the target of Trump’s most persistent lies and calumny.
Boing Boing: Stephen Bannon fooled Trump into signing executive order that gave him national security role: „President Trump was reportedly not fully briefed on the executive order he signed that allowed his chief strategist Steve Bannon a seat at the meetings of the country’s top national security efforts.“
Aides confer in the dark because they cannot figure out how to operate the light switches in the cabinet room. Visitors conclude their meetings and then wander around, testing doorknobs until finding one that leads to an exit. In a darkened, mostly empty West Wing, Mr. Trump’s provocative chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, finishes another 16-hour day planning new lines of attack.
Usually around 6:30 p.m., or sometimes later, Mr. Trump retires upstairs to the residence to recharge, vent and intermittently use Twitter. With his wife, Melania, and young son, Barron, staying in New York, he is almost always by himself, sometimes in the protective presence of his imposing longtime aide and former security chief, Keith Schiller. When Mr. Trump is not watching television in his bathrobe or on his phone reaching out to old campaign hands and advisers, he will sometimes set off to explore the unfamiliar surroundings of his new home.
News of Trump’s plan to reverse that symbolic recognition of right-wing threats prompted a wave of celebration in white nationalist circles.
“Donald Trump wants to remove us from undue federal scrutiny by removing ‘white supremacists’ from the definition of ‘extremism,’” the founder and editor of the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer (which takes its name from a Nazi propaganda publication) wrote in a post on the site. “Yes, this is real life. Our memes are all real life. Donald Trump is setting us free.”
Breitbart — the “news” site previously run by Steve Bannon, now Donald Trump’s top political advisor — ran a story about my column, headlined “Ex-Obama Official Suggests ‘Military Coup’ Against Trump.”
Within a few hours, the alt-right internet was on fire. The trickle of critical email messages turned into a gush, then a geyser, and the polite emails of the first few days were quickly displaced by obscenity-laced screeds, many in all capital letters. My Twitter feed filled up with trolls.
Soon, extremists and conspiracy-oriented outlets from InfoWars to openly white supremacist websites had moved from claiming that I had “suggested” a coup to asserting that I was demanding, planning, and threatening the violent overthrow of the U.S. government. (Together with my sinister friend George Soros, of course, and a cabal of deranged left-wing academics.)
By mid-afternoon, I was getting death threats. “I AM GOING TO CUT YOUR HEAD OFF………BITCH!” screamed one email. Other correspondents threatened to hang me, shoot me, deport me, imprison me, and/or get me fired (this last one seemed a bit anti-climactic). The dean of Georgetown Law, where I teach, got nasty emails about me. The Georgetown University president’s office received a voicemail from someone threatening to shoot me. New America, the think tank where I am a fellow, got a similar influx of nasty calls and messages. “You’re a fucking cunt! Piece of shit whore!” read a typical missive.
How is it that we’ve seen populist rhetoric emerge on both the left and the right? How can movements with ostensibly similar goals in theory (workplace empowerment, economic security) reach such different conclusions about how to get there and what people are legitimate?
Populism is a movement that identifies a struggle between "the People" vs. the "elite." Populism then breaks down into various camps, including right-wing populism, conservative populism, but also variations on left populism. In some ways one can understand the distinction by looking at who specific individuals or movements classify as "the People," as well as how enemies or opponents are classified. In Rwanda in 1994, for instance, the Hutu regime demonized the Tutsi minority as "cockroaches" that needed to be squashed in order to remove the burden from the "People," i.e., from the Hutus. In that sense it important to remember that right-wing populism contains a genocidal element and that within right-wing populism one can generally find a fascist current. Left and Right populism can identify the same or similar problem yet come up with different solutions. One of the dangers in right-wing populism is that it frequently uses the language of the Left, thereby influencing the base of left and progressive movements, at least confusing them.
Where should the focus of anti-racist activists be? How can we work to build alternatives to the appeal of right-populism?
In order to defeat right-wing populism one must confront matters of race and capitalism. In other words, the grievances that masses of people have with capitalism have to be identified as not the result of a particular religious, racial or ethnic group, but must be linked to the system itself. It is also critical that the gender aspect of right-wing populism be identified. Right-wing populism, in all of its manifestations, is highly misogynist and seeks the return to a world that never existed, except in myth. Central to that world is the subordination of women to the authoritarian domination of men. This is one of the reasons that the misogynist attacks by Trump on Clinton needed an active response. The issue was not Clinton; the issue was that she was a woman and Trump was, in effect, asserting that a woman could not and should not lead. But you cannot stop there, which is why both anti-racism and anti-sexism are insufficient in order to stop right-wing populism. One must have a critique of capitalism and be prepared to offer radical solutions that resonate with masses of people. Simply suggesting that the status quo is better than the dystopia envisioned by the right-wing populists is insufficient.
You note that the right is not monolithic, but rather multi-tendency. What does this mean for progressive organizing?
It means that within the Right there are different tendencies that have different objectives and visions. Neofascists, for instance, wish an end to political democracy. They wish to radically reconstruct society in order to bring forth a new version of capitalism, frequently by eliminating certain populations. There are other currents within the Right that are conservative but are not prepared to do away with democratic institutions. What this can mean is that there are wedges that sometimes can be driven between different tendencies. It also means that there are certain forces on the Right, e.g., the neofascists, that have no interest in non-violence and are prepared to take swift action against opponents. There are no grounds for compromise with the neofascists.