In January, Gavin Williamson announced that our increasingly authoritarian Govt of philistines intends to cut University funding by 50% to performing & creative arts, media studies & archaeology, with further reductions sought in future years.

Unlike our corrupt Government of liars, bankers, lobbyists & charlatans, Britain's cultural, communication & creative industries are genuinely world beating, & among the fastest growing sectors of our struggling economy.

It makes *zero* economic sense.

So why are they doing it?
The importance of communications & media in the lives of British citizens has never been greater, with an epidemic of disinformation & misleading, deeply polarizing, & ideological #propaganda passed off as news - much of it emanating from Downing Street via the billionaire press.
The excellence of UK teaching & research in these fields is internationally recognised, & the importance of understanding the relationship between persuasive communication, media systems, & modern societies cannot be overstated: #democracy depends on an informed citizenship.
This latest move by our increasingly tyrannical, intolerant, ideological & authoritarian Govt has clear & disturbing historical parallels, which all decent citizens across the world will find extremely concerning.

This THREAD paraphrases this article:

There are more ways of destroying a democracy than sending troops into the streets, storming radio & TV stations, & arresting activists & politicians. I'd criminalise protest, identify & demonize enemies, implant stooges to regulate the media, & reorganize the education system.😳
We know as historical fact that Hitler’s seizure & remaking of the German state in the 1930s was buttressed by breaking with foreign partners, redefining German culture in a patriotic/nationalistic direction, & a wholesale reorganization of the #education system.

Sound familiar?
The story of German politics in 1933 is about how the Nazis shut down the country’s democratic institutions, destroyed freedom the press & media, & created a one-party state in which opposition was crushed.

Imho, the Tories are borrowing key features from the Nazi playbook.
There was nothing underhanded about these changes: Nazi leaders announced what they planned to do. But too few people saw them as a threat before they came to power.

With the disappearance of a critical media, the path was open for a massive expansion of political #corruption.
The Nazi regime was, among other things, a #kleptocracy; dependent on patronage & clientelism all the way down the line, since the formal procedures for state appointments & the rules of conduct for the occupants of high office were ignored, in favour of a personal style of rule.
These changes were possible to do these things because Hitler had pushed a bill through the national legislature on March 23, 1933, that effectively disabled the parliament & devolved its power to make laws onto his cabinet.

Can you see what it is yet?
Just last week, the Law Society warned that the Tories' proposed changes to the judicial review process will reduce the accountability of Government: some proposals "would allow unlawful acts by Govt or public bodies to be untouched or untouchable."

The concentration of political & legislative power in the cabinet didn’t last long in the Nazi regime.

Beneath the surface appearance of normality, the cabinet was being marginalized as Hitler appointed his own cronies & disciples to new positions or pushed out non-believers.
But this is a #THREAD about education.

Hitler’s seizure & remaking of the state was buttressed by a wholesale reorganization of the education system & an effort to redefine German culture along patriotic nationalist lines, which celebrated Germany's glorious culture.
The regime started to make it very uncomfortable for academics who did not tow the Nazi line, & many were forced out - 'cancelled' by the regime.

The intellectual quality of German universities, which had led the world in research before 1933, plummeted & never fully recovered.
Hitler didn’t care. For the Nazis, education was largely a matter of practical instruction; it had nothing to do with the transmission of pure knowledge, let alone the traditional humanistic values that had underpinned the German educational system since the early 19th century.
Before Hitler took over, a fifth of all university students were enrolled in the humanities; by 1939, that portion had been cut in half, in a student body that was itself shrinking rapidly, from a total of 104,000 in all universities in 1931, to just under 41,000 in 1939.
By 1939, fully half of all students were taking degree courses in medicine - an area singled out by Gavin Williamson, along with engineering & other STEM subjects.

The Nazi regime’s assault on culture, just like the Tories' current one, ex­tended to its policy toward the arts.
Funding for modern painting, sculpture, & music was culled - just like the Tories have just announced - & allegedly subversive artists were banned from working.

Almost all of Germany’s major artists & writers left the country, turning it into a cultural desert.
The mostly second-rate artists & writers who stayed behind had little choice but to propagate “German” art & culture, & their work - just like Tory MPs - was often unimaginative, conformist, & dull.

Theater & cinema put out trivial productions aimed at a broad popular audience.
Outright #propaganda films were relatively rare, though these are the ones remembered today.

There were no trivial game shows or reality TV in Hitler’s day, but if there had been, Joseph Goebbels would have absolutely loved them.
The main objective of Nazi education & culture was not to distract people from issues of political importance; rather, it was to instill a new sense of #patriotism.

Pupils were made to salute the flag before school every morning.

Sound familiar?
History lessons were turned into a celebration of German heroes from the past.

Geography was Nazified in order to justify German claims on other parts of Europe.

Maths students were required to do calculations based on the number of “racially inferior” people in the population.
Such exercises pointed to the fact that the regime - like ours - constantly targeted minorities as a way of mobilizing popular approval & support.

The Nazis may have dominated state power, but this wasn’t the kind of dictatorship that depended solely on repression.
Like many other modern dictatorships, it wanted to appear popular, not least because this strengthened its hand in negotiations with foreign powers.

Elections & #referendums were put to the voters, and they routinely delivered majorities in favor of whatever the Govt proposed.
Results were achieved by depriving known or potential opponents of the vote, by manipulating the electoral process, using sophisticated propaganda techniques, & by directly or indirectly intimidating the great mass of people into supporting Hitler’s government.
A key part of the process was the vilification of political opponents. We've just witnessed, clear as day, how a supportive & sympathetic press & broadcast media can easily be mobilised to destroy the reputation of an opposition leader, with often extremely tenuous allegations.
The Communist Party, a mass movement that had gained 100 seats in the national legislature in the last free elections of the Weimar Republic, was suppressed, relentlessly & ruthlessly demonized, & accused of being anti-German.

'War on woke' anyone?
The moderately progressive Social Democrats, who enjoyed even more widespread support, were damned as “traitors". Nazi media & officialdom heaped abuse on democrats, & harassed them at every turn.

Isn't this, in no small part, *exactly* what the largely fake culture war is for?
The Tories aren't Nazis, & nobody has been imprisoned.

But if you *really* can't see the clear parallels I've outlined, or if you're *really* unconcerned by the vitriolic, relentless & divisive culture war, with its anti-British undertones, I'd suggest you read some history. 👍
The vitriolic, relentless, & divisive culture war - the "war on woke" - with it's patriotic populist nationalism, constant exaggeration & disinformation, demonization of Govt critics, & denial of structural disadvantage, is disseminated & perpetuated by a vicious partisan media.
Liberal democracy has served us well, but powerful populist nationalist forces have it in their sights, motivated by greed, inequality & cultural changes brought by deregulated, globalised free-market capitalism, & the realisation of the impossibility of infinite economic growth.
It's no coincidence the 'war on woke' is funded to the tune of $BILLIONS by right-wing Libertarians supportive of highly deregulated free market capitalism: they manufacture then exploit polarized populations & political instability, further consolidating their wealth & power.
So what's all this got to do with the Govt's proposed educational reforms? It takes an educated population, equipped with essential critical thinking skills, including advanced media literacy, to see the REAL reason for the fake culture war, namely, the subversion of democracy.🙏
Fascism is a form of far-right authoritarian patriotic ultranationalism, characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, & strong regimentation of society & the economy.

The Tories aren't fascists, but how many of these warning signs can we tick off?
2018: 'When news emerged that Steve Bannon was in discussions with Boris Johnson, Gove, Rees-Mogg & Farage, it did not come as a surprise. Bannon is drawn to chaos, & nowhere has chaos reigned more completely recently than in Britain.'

Have a nice day.


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More from @docrussjackson

3 May
What the 'culture war' is for:

40 years of years deregulation & free-market policies, compounded by a decade of #austerity, means almost EVERYONE is worse off: while the rich are MUCH richer, we have a poverty & housing crisis, broken public services, & low paid insecure work.
After FORTY YEARS, all that the right-wing free-market ideologues have left is to distract & divide us by relentlessly provoking outrage over tenuous stories about statues, race, gender, & flags, which keep us constantly distracted from the reality of much more pressing issues.
If @UKLabour & the Left are serious about creating a fairer, greener society, we have to stop talking to each other, & take the argument to THE MOST right-wing constituencies, & SPELL OUT not only what the Tories have done to them, but also EXACTLY how we're going to fix it.
Read 4 tweets
3 May

53 years ago today, May 3rd 1968, following conflict between students & University of Paris authorities, students protested the closure of the Sorbonne, setting off a wave of civil unrest by MILLIONS of students & workers.

"Be realistic, demand the impossible".

In the late 60s, French youth assumed they were living under a quasi-benign dictatorship.

The main opposition parties, Radicals & Socialists, had essentially collapsed, which meant that progressive political change via conventional parliamentary channels was all but ruled out.
In 1967, students at the University of Paris had staged protests against restrictions on dormitory visits that prevented male & female students from sleeping with each other. In January 1968, student leader Daniel Cohn-Bendit verbally attacked France’s Minister of Youth & Sports.
Read 23 tweets
1 May
A headteacher suggests “good morning everyone” should be used instead of “boys & girls”, because it's more inclusive & doesn't create a gender divide, & all the usual unhinged divisive opportunist anti-woke culture war morons are now actually trying to cancel her!
The headteacher made it crystal clear that despite misleading press lies & online reports, the words 'boys' & 'girls' ARE NOT BANNED.

Predictably, Nana Akua - the latest addition to Andrew Neil's polarizing "anti-woke" TV channel - still objected.

And now, thanks to the unhinged partisan crap emanating from the shit-stirring gaslighters at the 'anti-woke anti-cancel culture' Daily Mail, we now have outraged "anti-woke" warriors who decry the "cancel culture mob" ACTUALLY TRYING TO CANCEL the headteacher.

Jesus wept.
Read 4 tweets
1 May
Shit-stirring liar Andrew Pierce works for the Daily Mail.

The headteacher actually said the phrase “good morning everyone” should be used instead of “boys & girls”, because it's more inclusive & doesn't create a gender divide, adding “Of course we use the words boys & girls".
The headteacher made it crystal clear that despite misleading press lies & online reports, the words 'boys' & 'girls' ARE NOT BANNED!

Predictably, Nana Akua - the latest addition to Andrew Neil's polarizing "anti-woke" TV channel - objected anyway.

And now, thanks to the unhinged partisan bullshit emanating from the global hard-right 'anti-woke anti-cancel culture' shit-stirring #industry, we now have outraged gullible "anti-woke" warriors who decry the "cancel culture mob" ACTUALLY TRYING TO CANCEL the headteacher. 🤬
Read 4 tweets
1 May
#Lickspittles try to please people in authority, to gain advantage.

National newspapers exist primarily to create conditions conducive to protecting or enhancing the interests of their funders/owners.

Occasional negative headline about a bigoted liar are neither here nor there.
And what word might we use to describe people cosying up to the despicable far-right Orbán regime? #Lickspittles?

And what word might we use for those people who amplified the misleading view that the Cambridge Analytica scandal, about obtaining personal data of millions of people without their consent to be used for political advertising, was a 'conspiracy theory'?

Read 4 tweets
29 Apr

UK's richest 1,000 wealth increase since 2009:

571 MILLION💰💰💰

Crony contracts given to Tory donors:

2.4 MILLION 💰💰

Investment in Andrew Neil's #GBeebies:


Average additional annual income from nurse pay rise:

0.4 +👏
The wallpaper cost £840 a roll.

#NHS nurses will receive a pay increase worth less than half a roll of Downing St wallpaper this year – despite their heroics in guiding the country through a deadly pandemic resulting in 150,000 largely avoidable deaths.

#GBeebies investors may be more interested in #INFLUENCE than financial return: £60 MILLION was raised with help from Libertarian billionaires #Cato's John Malone & #Legatum's Christopher Chandler, & hedge funder Paul Marshall who bet big on #Brexit chaos.
Read 6 tweets

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