Monday, November 27, 2017

JASMIN MUJANOVIC ON THE NEW YORK TIMES' NAZI PUFF-PIECE

Political scientist Jasmin Mujanovic's Twitter take on the recent controversy over at the NYT is pretty on-point, so I thought I'd share it with y'all here as another Tweet-storm post. That existential crisis he's referring to? I call it the rise of the New Fascist International, and I hope to give a full accounting of my theories about this in the very near future. - Jerky

The NYT Nazi fluff text is only further proof that, at a fundamental level, large segments of the US intelligentsia do not appreciate the existential crisis now facing their republic. In short, they’re not actually concerned — and they really should be.

You can only really write pieces like that if you’re convinced that the violence which these extremists represent, and engineer, will never touch you. Likely because you’re white, wealthy, and mobile and they’ll probably target vulnerable, static “minorities”.

The form is very familiar to me from the Balkans. It was rampant during the 1990s: Karadzic gave interviews to Western media every other day, there’s hours of footage. In the meantime, he was murdering thousands. But hey, dead Bosnians are so “other” and his English was great.

Now the fascists are in the US, they’re in the UK, they’re in the EU and sober ur-journalists roll their eyes at the alarmists who tell you that the normalization of extremism, illiberalism, and violence never ends well — not even in established democratic regimes.

But trust your gut: trust that sick, queasy feeling you’ve had for months, trust your anxiety, and trust the fear you see in your neighbors eyes. All is not well, and everything won’t be OK. Not unless both ordinary citizens and responsible politicians act today.

Don’t go down the road where the normalization of hate speech leads to (more) deaths and then tit-for-tat reprisals. That’s when the wheels truly fall off and no think people piece will help then. And we’re too close to that as it is. 

Closer than the NYT can admit. 

/xx

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