Jared Yates Sexton Profile picture
Sep 26, 2020 34 tweets 12 min read Read on X
This is one of the most important threads I'll write.

Trumpism is fascism.

We are in a full-blown crisis. We must recognize we're dealing with a religious death cult and warring over reality itself.

Here's what I discovered writing AMERICAN RULE.

1/

penguinrandomhouse.com/books/611439/a…
MAGA is a religious cult that worships a fake past, a mythology of America that never existed and was only used as a weapon for political and economic power.

It is dragging us into the fascistic abyss, and we need to understand what fascism really is before it swallows us.

2/
We must start with Benito Mussolini, who organized the fascistic ideology in the 20th century and defined it as a purposeful rewinding of history and a rejection of liberal democracy and the idea of equality and freedom.

It is MAGA. Pure and simple.

3/
Mussolini's writings on fascism declared that progress was a myth, that men of strength and will could roll back the clock, erase freedom and democracy, and create cults of meaning that were greater than science or evidence.

It was a call to drive us backwards in time.

4/
In the fascist world, a supreme leader owned "truth" and "reality."

Evidence didn't matter. It was about "higher truths" that originated from faith and a believe in the leader's infallibility.

It twisted reality into a religious, supernatural cult of leader worship.

5/
Fascism was particularly attractive to countries that had believed themselves "exceptional" but had suffered humiliating losses.

It saved the concept of nationalist exceptionalism, or being ordained by the universe as special, and "explained" those humiliations.

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One of the defining characteristics of fascism was a racist paranoia and set of conspiracy theories that scapegoated national losses on vulnerable populations

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion gave fascists an explanation for their national failures and a religious crusade

7/
It's important to note that the spread of antisemitism and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion was largely due to the efforts of Henry Ford, who was lauded by Nazi Germany.

Hitler wanted to send troops to America to make him a dictator.

8/
The conspiracy theory of "the Knife in the Back" has given fascists scapegoats to paper over national failings while blaming vulnerable people, legitimizing preemptive violence, extralegal measures, and mass killings.

It worked in Germany and it's working here.

9/
Adolf Hitler offered a demoralized, failing Germany an alternate reality. If they simply believed they were exceptional, that they'd been betrayed, if they gave him their faith and worship, they would be instantaneously transported into an alternate reality.

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It's often overlooked, but fascism relied on religious faiths like Christianity to create cults of religious worship, using their iconography and authority to appeal to citizens' need for something larger than themselves that existed beyond empirical evidence.

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Hitler used Christianity to make himself a prophet until it wasn't needed any longer and his cult was told they didn't need the Bible anymore and that Hitler and Nazism had become a new revelation of god.

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It's not a coincidence that the swastika and idolatry of the Third Reich was so ubiquitous. Fascism and Nazism became nationalist, political religions and the expression of identity through the symbols (think MAGA hats, Trump flags) became like displays of crosses.

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The giant Nazi rallies were meant to create a sense of myth and power, to make believers feel as if they were chosen to be part of a larger calling.

They were church services worshiping the leader and the cult of fascism. It put them beyond the natural world.

14/
The problem was that in order for fascism to be a public religion, it relied on indoctrination and the conquering of reality.

Through schools and propaganda, alternative thought was destroyed, punished by violence and murder.

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We have to take a second and really sit with this.

Fascism is the conquering of reality by force and violence. It's the conquering of shared society based on lies, untruths, and misleading information.

It is a literal war with reality and truth.

16/
Nazism and fascism found homes in America because the US was fertile with these religious, national, racist myths.

Swastikas and American flags stood alongside one another, right there with icons like George Washington.

We watched fascism grow here.

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With Charles Lindbergh, the America First Movement, a purely white supremacist, fascist party, grew into a major force.

Lindbergh called for America to join with Hitler to defend white supremacy and gained unbelievable traction in the leadup to World War II.

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The disturbing truth is that America is predisposed to fascism because of our myth of American Exceptionalism.

It is a fascistic, white supremacist lie that legitimized slavery, genocide, internment, and so much oppression.

This is what MAGA and Trumpism are about.

19/
The idea that our Founders, racist, slaveholding, wealthy white men, were chosen by God to found this country, to protect slavery, to suppress the poor and vulnerable populations, is weaponized propaganda that the Right, now a fascist movement, is trying to protect.

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Trumpism and "patriotic education" are fascist movements that seek to protect and continue the white supremacist lie of American Exceptionalism.

This is a new iteration of fascism, but it works exactly the same. We've been in denial for way, way too long.

21/
Like other fascists before him, Trump has centered himself as the ultimate arbiter of truth, a prophet of white supremacist American Exceptionalism, the leader of a cult that lives and dies by his lies and propaganda.

This isn't exaggeration. It's not alarmist.

22/
Like other fascists leaders, Trump has been lifted to the level of being chosen by God to carry out a divine plan.

That means truth and reality belong to him and are subject to his whims. Anything he does is legitimized by the threat of possible, theoretical violence.

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We've seen this from the beginning, the war on reality and the truth.

Fascism says there's no such thing as empirical evidence. Reality is dependent on the cult leader to decide.

We see a sad, poorly attended inauguration. He sees record crowds.

The war is over reality.

24/
This is why the pandemic has unfurled like it has. Trump denies it's real even as he believes it is deadly. His belief, like the visions of a prophet or cult leader, spreads through his faithful.

Why? Because it's HIS TRUTH. HIS REALITY. He owns it like a revelation.

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Experts who disagree with Trump's reality are cast as traitors, because the alternate reality of the fascist cult demonizes anyone who doesn't defer to the leader's reality.

The result is intimidation, violence, even murder, for anyone who doesn't agree with the reality.

26/
In the fascist society, everything is a conspiracy against the chosen reality of the leader. Anyone who dissents, anyone who complains, anyone who even asks questions is doing it from a point of opposition to the religion.

They're literally agents of a satanic conspiracy.

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The Deep State and Qanon are just revamps of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Ways to explain how an exceptional, chosen country has failed. Because it has to be a conspiracy. It can't be mistakes, poor choices, and national failings.

It has to be a supernatural battle

28/
And, in this white supremacist reality, protesters or dissenting voices are cast as evil, as parts of a giant, satanic conspiracy against the godly country.

This has been the case in America since it's very beginning, and we're watching it play out again.

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What we are seeing, with Trumpism, is an attempt to actively outlaw, vilify, and destroy any alternative worldview.

This is a literal battle over reality where the fascist cult will intimidate, harm, or kill anyone who disagrees with their manufactured worldview.

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Trumpism isn't populism. It's literally fascism.

We must face this truth and call it what it is before it's too late. Because we're lost in our myths, because we think we're exceptional, it makes so much more susceptible to this poison. It aids fascism.

31/
Again. This is a war over the very nature of reality. Fascism weaponizes it, vilifies opposition, rejects empirical evidence, destroys democracy, and creates an altered reality where power and profit can be run by a single cult leader or their fascist religion.

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The antidotes to fascism are truth, community, and love.

Fascism hides behind these lies, behind its weaponized veneer. We have to name it, expose it, diagnose it, and reject it.

We must repair our communal bonds before the atomization damns us to a fascist future.

33/
Trumpism is a fascist death cult.

It will destroy us.

We must disabuse ourselves of these myths, these lies, this poisonous division, and we must do it in a hurry.

He isn't kidding. He isn't playing around. This is a full-blown crisis and we must meet it head-on.

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More from @JYSexton

Feb 18
The economy was built on capitalizing on insecurities and a desire to present fantasy selves.

Since neoliberalism systematically depowered collective action and representative government, politics have largely become yet another consumer identity.

This should help explain MAGA. Image
MAGA is actually a fascist movement, but it’s also a brand identity. It’s meant to sell white Americans who terrified about their futures the ability to express the fantasy that they’re powerful mavericks when they’re just consuming the same garbage.
MAGA isn’t alone in commodifying political fantasy identities. We’re awash in these brands, whether it’s shirts or acts or movies and shows.

But the act of participating in democracy has largely been replaced by a simulation of politics through the consumption of products.
Read 8 tweets
Feb 18
One of the most damaging things that happened was the proliferation of the idea that politics were a thing to watch, root for, and, at most, something to post about it donate to.

The participatory elements of democracy have been intentionally undermined.
The universalization of punditry and Beltway insider was an incredibly damaging component. People beyond the real-life consequences of politics and creatures of the culture taught so many to treat it like a sport or even the stock market. And that has spread so far.
Now it’s almost impossible to avoid gamesmanship, even in just posting, that takes peoples lives for granted. It’s grotesque.

And politics has been largely sapped of populist/democratic participation in favor of hero worship and customer service style requests to “fix” things.
Read 4 tweets
Feb 16
What the Right does and has done for centuries is redirect critiques of capitalism, entrenched power, and white patriarchal supremacy to their enemies and vulnerable populations by creating conspiracy theories playing on prejudices.

That’s the whole ballgame and always has been.
The Right pounces on dissatisfaction with the market and capitalist trends by telling white people it’s actually a sinister plot carried out by Jews, traitors, and ignorant or malevolent minorities.

It’s a misdirection operation and prejudices make it an effective one.
MAGA is a faux-populist movement created by the very people who have plundered this country to redirect anger from themselves to their enemies.

All of this culture war nonsense is to that end. Distracting from market and capitalist trends and redirecting anger and suspicion.
Read 5 tweets
Feb 15
You’re either against authoritarianism or you’re not. There’s no negotiating with it. There’s no accepting it here and rejecting it there. There are no half measures. The moment you start sacrificing innocent peoples is the moment you lose it all.
History is littered with cultures that play games with rights. Playing both sides, picking and choosing. And those cultures look up one day and see authoritarianism sweeping in like a plague. It’s a predictable cycle. And we must, must, must do better.
It’s not okay to sacrifice anyone. Red States. Houseless communities. Gay and trans people. Palestinians. Any number of people in marginalized nations or anywhere. Either you want to lift up everyone or you’re flirting with authoritarian energies. That’s it. Period.
Read 5 tweets
Feb 9
Authoritarianism is a system of abuse that activates the trauma of followers while inflicting vicious trauma on everyone else.

It’s meant to ward off challenges by systematizing intimidation and violence, all while destroying any imagination about a better future.
Authoritarians embrace a reality of violence and forcibly narrow windows of opportunity, creating an environment where the only options are increasingly dire.

And then the choice: accept that future or risk being ground into dust.
The solution to authoritarianism is to reject the weaponized fear and fight for a better, healthier future.

There is no reckoning with it just as there is no reckoning with poison.

You can’t make deals with it. You have to reject it and fight for something more humane.
Read 6 tweets
Dec 13, 2023
Reportage continues to gift The Right the benefit of the doubt it doesn’t deserve.

Some Republicans do believe unless immigration is curbed bad things will happen. But many are interested using fear to control cheap, exploitable labor while also reinforcing a tiered legal system
Way, way too many people are afraid to recognize that America is a thinly-veiled apartheid state that is looking to expand the numbers of almost completely oppressed and exploited people without any hope of representation or legal protections.
We’re in the barrow period of neoliberalism where continued operation requires a closing in of walls, a narrowing of privileges and rights, and the growth depends on plunging even more people into undeniable non-personhood that makes exploitation acceptable.
Read 5 tweets

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